should I visit incredible India

My day at the leading travel trade show in Berlin

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Dear Aviator!

How do you decide on which destinations are on your bucket list? Where do you get your inspiration from when planning your travels? I am sure you retrieve it online, from travel blogs, maybe even from my channels and most probably from friends, who report about their trips.

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Welcome to the ITB at the Messe Berlin

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Singapore Airlines double bed in Business Class

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The ITB, the world's leading travel trade show, in Berlin is the offline hotspot for all travel enthusiasts like me. I was invited by Incredible India to explore the trade show and to visit their exhibition, which was, in fact, an entire hall. They provided me with some giveaways, which you will be able to win at the end of this article.

Through my job as a pilot, I get to fly to many fantastic destinations. At the moment the flight operation requires me to overnight in cities primarily in Europe. Sometimes I even stay up to three days at one destination which allows me enough free time to explore. But it is not the same as traveling privately. It is your job and you are traveling with colleagues and not with your friends and family. That is the reason why I go on so many journeys even besides my pilot travels. I like either to discover new destinations, I haven't been to or I return to places I have enjoyed as a pilot before.

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I am a ship captain as well ;-)

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Indian Aviators :-)

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The ITB

As I mentioned before the ITB (International Tourismus Börse) is the world's leading tourism trade show. The companies represented at the fair include hotels, tourist boards, tour operators, system providers, airlines and car rental companies. Over 10,000 exhibitors from over 180 countries.

I not only use the ITB to inform myself about news in the travel industry but I also use the visit to connect with people from the travel industry. Primarily I try to get in contact with tourism boards of countries I would like to visit in the future. I think personal contact is extremely beneficial in regards to potential collaboration.

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Indian bride show

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Photo shooting with Incredible India

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Incredible India

On a daily basis, I get asked on my Instagram channel, if I have been to this or that country and when I am visiting a specific country. In case I haven't been there my answer is that I will try to visit as soon as possible. I made it my life goal to travel to as many countries as possible.

This includes India for sure. At the ITB and the dinner night before, I already got a glimpse of India's culture and their travel offers. Incredible India filled an entire hall. You not only could get in touch with representatives of the tourism office, hotels and tour operators but could also experience a little bit of the Indian culture. The women were dressed in their traditional clothing, a real wedding took place and you could participate in a Bollywood workshop.

In the end, I received a Henna tattoo on my hand so that my memories will last a little bit longer.

Why would I travel to India?

One reason why I would travel to India is to taste genuine Indian food ;-) I really like Indian cuisine, but not too spicy, please. I am always open to exploring new things, places and countries. India would appeal to me as a destination is that it is so different than everything else I have experienced so far. What I have learned from the exhibition is that India has more to offer than good food and the Taj Mahal. In my opinion, the country is underestimated in terms of traveling. Check their Instagram page for travel inspirations in India.

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Getting a Henna tattoo with my logo

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Free henna tattoos with Incredible India

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Good news for passengers

Another reason why I like to visit the ITB is that I am keen to learn about new cabin products of all the major airlines. Qatar Airways always surprises with new innovations in comfort for the passenger. For Business Class passenger they implemented the Q-suite, which offers a lot of space in an enclosed suite. Every seat has direct aisle access and the middle seats convert into a fully flat double bed.

New recline system

For economy class passenger they presented a new seat at the ITB. In their mock-up cabin, I took a seat and I could experience their innovations right away. The new recline system surprised me the most. You probably know how bothersome it can be when your fellow passenger reclines his seat in front of you. Now with Qatar Airways innovation, the seat slides forward to recline without infringing the comfort. Moreover, this allows for more clearance for your knees and chin.

 

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Qatar Airways new Economy Class

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Qatar Airways at the ITB

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The new recline systemm

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The ITB Berlin takes place annually in March at the Messe Berlin. So in case you missed it this year, I will see you there next year.

I had a fun day at the ITB and there is so much to discover. It is impossible to see everything in one day, so make sure you arrive once the doors open. I was exhausted after one day, but the impressions I could take from my visit were definitely worth it.

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Giveaway!

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Give away

Incredible India gave me a present with fancy Indian accessories (see photo below) and I would like to pass them to one of you my Aviator. I will include a personal note as well.

To join the giveaway

  1. Like this post (heart symbol)
  2. Leave me a comment below this article mentioning your next vacation destination

I will randomly choose a winner 31st of March 2019. Good luck!

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Giveaway of Incredible India!

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Subscribe to my newsletter, if you want to receive a message from me when I posted a new blog, video or event!

3 easy steps to subscribe:

  • Add me as contact: +49 152 52651846
  • Open your Whatsapp
  • Send me the code “Takeoff”

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

FOLLOW ME:

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city guide vienna

My city guide for a short trip to Vienna

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Dear Aviator,

are you planning a city trip to a European metropolis? If you do so then you should consider Vienna as a destination. In this blog, I will point out some highlights and share with you my tour guide. As a private jet pilot, I used to have layovers in this beautiful city in Austria, but with the airline, it is not on my route anymore. That is why I decided to visit Vienna again. I tell you where to stay, what to see and where to eat! At the end of this article, you can win a giveaway!

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I received a very warm welcome!

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You probably have noticed that I have not blogged for a while. This is due to my training to become a captain. It is really time-consuming and takes a lot of energy. The highest priority is to complete my UTC course (upgrade to commander) successfully. Currently, I have some off days in the middle of the simulator sessions and I decided to put away the books for a day to write the blog about Vienna (finally). Read my blog about my captain upgrade if you want to find out more.

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The city hall of Vienna

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Where to stay?

You are spoilt for choice when searching for accommodation in Vienna. I stayed at the five-star Vienna Marriott hotel, as I did already two years ago. The hotel has everything you need for the perfect city trip. It is located in the center of the city and all major sightseeing spots are walking distance. In case you want to relax there are a spa and swimming pool located inside the hotel.

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Vienna Marriott hotel

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Pool and Spa at the Marriott Vienna hotel

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I stayed in a park suite which offered a nice view of the adjacent park and a lot of space. The suite featured a dining area, a living room, and a separate sleeping room. Additionally, this room category granted me access to the M club lounge on the upper floor. In an exclusive environment, the Marriott hotel offers snacks and beverages. In the morning you can also enjoy your breakfast here and in the evening you can have a pre-dinner snack.

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Executive lounge on the upper floor

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Sleeping room of the park suite

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Living room of my suite

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In the park suite of the Vienna Marriott hotel, I also recorded my latest YouTube video. Check it out if you want to find out how I get ready to go flying.

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Do not miss any of my videos and subscribe to my YouTube channel PilotPatrick

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Insider tip

Vienna has a big brunch culture on Sundays of which I was not aware. By coincidence, I arrived on Sunday morning and the Vienna Marriott hotel invited me right away to their brunch in the Parkring Restaurnat. I enjoyed two hours of eating all kinds of delicious food in a nice setting. From a friend in Vienna, I found out later that the Marriott brunch is one of the most popular ones. So make sure that your city trip includes a Sunday. ;-)

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Live cooking

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Sunday brunch at the Vienna Marriott hotel

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Sunday brunch

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What to see?

There is so much to see.  I am not a typical tourist when I visit a city for the first time. Of course, I check online to get an idea what the city has to offer, but when I am there I rather go with the flow. Which means I walk through the city without a fixed plan. That's how I like to explore a destination. I love Vienna because of its architecture. Here, contemporary and historic buildings coexist in a strikingly innovative way. The city center called (first Bezirk) is decent in size so you can explore it by feed.

My must-sees: Schloss Schönbrunn, Hofburg, Opera, City hall, Graben, Stephan's dom, Schloss Belvedere, Prater, ...

Visit the official website of Austria for more recommendations.

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Hofburg view from the castle garden

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Hofburg Vienna

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Grapen street great for shopping

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Where to go for a coffee?

You know I am your foodie pilot and I love to go to coffee places which offer more healthy eating options. More healthy means for me:  fresh ingredients, organic products, no sugar and alternatives to regular milk. I am a big fan of raw cakes which means it is not baked and the ingredients are raw. The App "happy cow" helps me to find healthy places which are located around me.

Two healthy places, I can recommend:

One of the most popular traditional coffee houses is the Café Central. I only went there to see the spectacular ceiling. haha.

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Simply raw café

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Raw Sacher cake at the simply raw café

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Healthy café Veggiezz

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Café Central

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Treats at the Café Central

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Where to go for dinner?

In my Instagram stories, I asked you where I should for dinner. A fancy restaurant or a traditional Austrian restaurant were the options. In the end, I had to decide on the location, since the Instagram poll was not really clear. I went to a fancy restaurant called "DAS LOFT" so no Wiener Schnitzel. It was one of the tastiest restaurants I have ever been to and the view of Vienna was exceptional as well. The price is definitely worth it. If you want to go for a drink only, there is a bar on the same level.

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View of DAS LOFT

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Restaurant DAS LOFT

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Giveaway

You can win a "Vienna starter set" which includes a book about Vienna, a sleeping masks and a snow globe. I will also send a personal note with my autograph on it.

To have the chance to win you just need to complete the following 2 steps.

  1. Comment below this blog with the city you always wanted to visit
  2. Leave me a comment with "WWW.PILOTPATRICK.COM" on today's Instagram post from Vienna. 

I will randomly pick a winner on the 3rd of March 2019. Good luck! UPDATE: The lucky winner is "K. ________" please check your original comment below and follow my instructions to receive the price!

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Giveaway

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Three days in Vienna were a little bit too short. You should stay for at least four days. It is a destination which can be visited all year around. I was there in January and I was lucky. It was sunny but also quite cold. For sightseeing, warmer temperatures are definitely beneficial, but the Christmas season has also a very special atmosphere.

Subscribe to my WhatsApp newsletter, if you want to receive a message from me when I posted a new blog, video or event!

3 easy steps to subscribe:

  • Add me as contact: +49 152 52651846
  • Open your Whatsapp
  • Send me the code “Takeoff”

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

FOLLOW ME:

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product review beoplay e8 earphones

My new sophisticated earphones - product review

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Dear Aviator,

on my last city trip to beautiful Vienna in Austria, I took a new travel companion with me:  my new pair of earphones. After I showed them for the first time in my Instagram story, I received a lot of comments and message requesting to share more information about them. In this blog post, I will review one of the most sophisticated earphones of Bang & Olufsen and let you know if you should get them as well. 

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Recently my in-ear headphones of BOSE broke. I had them for many years and to be honest I was happy that they stopped working because I was not satisfied with them anymore. So this was the perfect reason to get a new pair. In the end, they were not up to date anymore and their use became unpractical. Especially since Apple removed the connection and extra adapted was necessary to listen to music from the smartphone. The cord and the small battery pack became bothersome.

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Check out my latest video on YouTube

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A must-have for all travelers

Whether you are traveling by plane, train or bus headphones of high quality is a must. You are your own DJ and you decided on the content you want to listen to whenever and wherever you are. I could not imagine leaving the house with earphones anymore. Especially when I have to fly as a passenger they are an essential travel companion. I really enjoyed the noise-canceling function of my previous earphones. They could make you forget about the noisy world around you. Not only the sound experience was improved, but you could also relax much better since the ambient noise was reduced. Noise causes stress. In my blog post about the fear of flying, I stated that noise-canceling headphones can be a helpful tool to fly more relaxed.

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Click here to get the SAME EARPHONES

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Why I chose the Beoplay E8?

My list of requirements for my new earphones was long. But the three most important characteristics were the size, the cord-free design, and a noise-canceling function. In the end, I decided on the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8, which is probably the most sophisticated earphones currently on the market.

CASE

The E8 comes with a genuine leather charging case. The small size lets you easily take them with you and charge them on the go. The battery lasts for 4 hours playtime and the case charges them another 8 hours. But the risk of losing them is quite high due to their size.

SOUND & FIT

The E8 delivers enables high-quality listening which includes a good bass delivery. You can choose from five ear tips to ensure a precise fit in the ear canal for an optimal listening experience. They are really comfortable to wear and do not bother at all.

CONTROL

The control of the earphones is through intuitive touch control. In the beginning, it is a little bit tricky, but you will get used to it quickly. You can you change/pause tracks, take calls and activate voice commands, all without taking your smartphone out of your pocket.

TRANSPARENCY MODE

With this feature, you can tune in your surroundings. For example, you are out in the city or you are talking to a person. For longer conversation, I recommend to take the earphones out since the transparency mode does not sound natural.

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PLUS POINTS

  • state of the art design
  • comfortable to wear
  • cord-free, truly wireless
  • impressive sound
  • intuitive touch-based control

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NEGATIVE POINTS

  • high price
  • easy to lose
  • not suitable for sports
  • only 4 hours playtime

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Click here to get the SAME EARPHONES

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Conclusion

The high-quality materials, the extraordinary design, and the sophisticated functions have a high price tag. They are a little bit more expensive than the "Apple AirPods" but the Beoplay E8 are definitely the better earphones. Even though they do not come with active noise-canceling function, the reduction of ambient noise is remarkable.  In my opinion, the value for money is appropriate. I see it as an investment that improves my everyday travel life.

Subscribe to my newsletter, if you want to receive a message from me when I posted a new blog, video or event!

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Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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vacation on mauritius

The vacation in paradise I always dreamed of?

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Collaboration /Advertisement

Hello my Aviator,

if I had to choose I would always decide on a summer vacation. I love the warm weather, the sun, the beach and everything that goes with it. Especially when I am able to escape the cold season at home in Berlin. This year I decided on Mauritius. This destination was always on my bucket list. Did it meet my expectations and was it really the paradise I always wanted to visit?

This blog post is supported by skincare of Eucerin.

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The PilotPatrick flat white with almond milk

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My Ocean villa

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Why Mauritius?

The name Mauritius itself suggest long sandy beaches, palm trees, and crystal clear sea. From what I have heard and seen it must be a paradise on earth. Honestly, I am not able to recall how it got onto my exclusive bucket list of destinations. When I started to plan my vacation in September I still did not know where to go. But once Emirates offered me to fly in their Business Class my decision was made rather quickly. One important point was that both flights from Frankfurt via Dubai to Mauritius were on board the A380 and November you can expect good weather (as long no cyclones visit Mauritius) Check out my YouTube video about my first time flying the A380 and Emirates.

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Skincare on my travels

During the winter season in Germany, I try to escape the cold season of the year at least once. So I packed Eucerin Sun protection for the sunny weather on Mauritius. It is not only vital to protecting the skin from the sunlight, but skincare is important throughout the year. Every day I can read new comments saying that I am perfect, but I can say my skin is not ;-) You might be facing the same problems as me. Sometimes it is a turbulent flight with the skin and once in a while, you have to use the right products to get it under control again. Eucerin offers a wide range of skincare for your special needs.

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The Pilot Essentials of Eucerin

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Bedroom of the Ocean villa

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DermoPure face fluid

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My daily routine

Clean my face: Eucerin DermoPure Cleansing Gel cleanses to remove dirt, make-up, and any excess sebum. The gel eliminates skin bacteria and prevents bacterial growth. I use it in the morning and before going to bed.

Shower: The pH5 shower gel of Eucerin which is made for people who shower frequently. It protects your skin from drying out. Especially during work, I shower a lot, that's why I carry a small travel edition with me.

Day cream: I differentiate between if I am exposed to strong sunlight or not. If yes I use Hyaluron Filler with SPF30. If not I use the DermoPure face fluid which has a matting effect and it also helps to control blemished skin. I can easily have a shiny fatty-face appearance, so it is ideal for me.

Hands and lips: Especially during the cold season and to fight the dry air on board of aircraft, I have always a hand lotion and a lip balm with me.

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The pH5 shower gel for frequent showers

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Hyaluron Filler with sun protection

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Brief facts about Mauritius

Mauritius officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean. The main Island of Mauritius is located about 2,000 kilometers (1,200 mi) off the southeast coast of the African continent The island of Mauritius is relatively young geologically, having been created by volcanic activity some 8 million years ago. The capital and largest city Port Louis is located on the main island of Mauritius. It inhibits around 1,2 million people.

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I was excited to go on a snorkeling trip but then ...

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Not the visibility underwater I expected (ocean in front of Grand Gaube)

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The paradise I have dreamed of?

As a blogger, it is my responsibility to share with you my personal opinion. This includes mentioning aspects that I did not enjoy or like as well. Like on previous blog posts, for example, the one about my dream job. I have not only listed the great advantages of my job, but I also mentioned the downsides which come with it.

I stayed for one week on Mauritius close to Grand Gaube, which is in the northern part of the island. As I found out the concentrations of attractions and activities is a lot higher in the southern part then up north. This was not too severe since I wanted to enjoy a rather relaxed vacation at the beach, with good food and hot weather.

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Why my disappointment?

But in the end, I was rather disappointed. Not of Mauritius itself. Do not get me wrong: it is paradise on earth! The people are all super friendly and their hospitality is one of the best one I have ever experienced. Never the less I felt like I was in a tourist trap. I do not mind to spend a little fortune for a vacation, but the cost-benefit has to be aligned. For a 5 star hotel in a junior suite with half-board, I spend over 700€ a night (regular price was around 1000€) I have never spend so much money on accommodation. Despite all the luxury amenities, it was not worth the extremely high price. I expected a lot more.

Additionally, all extras in the hotel were, in general, more expensive outside of the hotel and more expensive than in Germany. During my stay, I had to find out about the salary of the staff. I was literally shocked. Their daily salary is even less than the price for a burger in the hotel. They put in all the hard work to make it an unforgettable for the guests and they do not get rewarded accordingly. That's why I think the price is even more over the top.

Since it was my vacation, my precious off time, I made the best out of it: I wrapped up the positive sides in a video on my YouTube channel

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My recommendation

My opinion should not stop you from visiting Mauritius. Next time I would plan my stay more wisely. Get a rental car and stay at different spots on the island. Maybe a serviced apartment or a vacation rental of a villa could be a more affordable option. With a car, you can be more flexible and you have the chance to discover and see more of the island. That way you do not have to rely on expansive hotel prices of tours and activities.

Good planning is the key to a successful and satisfying vacation. 

Where will you spend your next vacation? Leave me a comment below and subscribe to my newsletter with your email!

As always safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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A380 emirtes business class

First time flying on board of the A380

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Advertisement / Cooperation

Hello my Aviator,

welcome on board of my first flight with an Airbus A380, the king of the skies. Yes, I am being sincere. Even though I am traveling so much and I am an aviation lover, I have never had the chance to fly with the A380 so far. To make my first flight an experience, Emirates welcomed me on board their flagship for a flight to Mauritius. In fact, it was also my first flight with Emirates. In this blog, I am sharing those two premieres with you.  

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Finally! I was excited like a little boy to go on my first flight the king of the skies. During the aerospace exhibition in Berlin this year, the ILA, I already took a glance inside the A380 of Emirates, which was displayed on the apron. At this point, I thought I will take forever until I will take a flight on board of the biggest passenger airline. But in the end, it took only 6 months to find me drinking a champagne in Emirates Busines Class on the way to Mauritius.

Check out my Vlog about the ILA and do not forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel: PilotPatrick

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The king of the skies

I am flying the A300, which was the first model ever built by Airbus. Its first flight was in 1972. About 20 years later in June 1994, Airbus announced its plan to develop a very large airliner, designated as A3XX to be a competitor to the B747. In 2005 the A380 had its first flight. The A300 is already a huge aircraft with 54 m length, 45 m wingspan and a maximum take of weight of 170 tons. Compared to the A380 this is small and light. The length is 72 m, the wingspan 79 m and the maximum take-off with is 575 tons. Impressive figures!

More economical than a car: The A380 consumes only 4,05L fuel per 100km per passenger.

Passengers: it seats a maximum of 853 passengers (typical 575)

Biggest aircraft? No there is one more airplane called Antonov An-225, it is larger than A380.

Wiring: If all the wiring in the A380 is laid end to end, it will stretch from Edinburgh to London – 320 miles.

Paint: More than 3600 liters of paint is required to paint the exterior of the aircraft.

Runway: Only 20 runways in the world are now fully capable of handling A380 aircraft. Others are not long or wide enough or not technically equipped for A380.

Flight hours: The Airbus A380 is designed to fly for 140,000 hours – meaning it could fly around the world more than 2,000 times in its lifetime.

Orders: as of September 2018, Airbus had received 331 firm orders and delivered 230 aircraft; Emirates is the biggest A380 customer with 162 ordered of which 105 have been delivered.

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Upper deck rear section of the Business Class

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Emirates

Emirates was only founded in 1985. Today the Gulf carrier, based in Dubai operates 3,600 flights a week to 140 cities in 80 countries around the world. Emirates only uses two kinds of airplanes, the Airbus A380 as well as the Boeing 777. Itis is the worlds largest operator of both airplane types. In total Emirates flies 234 planes.

Here are some more interesting facts about Emirates

International crew:  Cabin Crew from over 150 different countries. you will find at least 12 different nationalities of cabin crew. In total Emirates has over 60,000 employees.

First Flight from Dubai to Karachi was in 1985 on a Boeing B727 for the Royal Family.

Longest Flight takes 17 hours and 25 minutes from Auckland, New Zealand to Dubai on an A380.

Dubai Airport is the 3rd busiest on Earth after Atlanta Jacksonville and Beijing Capital Airport. 58 million passengers fly with Emirates in a year. (Source)

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Business class seat in row 23

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Business Class of the A380

Upperdeck! Flying in Business Class is truly a privilege and a luxurious experience. The entire upper deck of the A380 comprises the Business Class and First Class. The layout of the Business Class offers all seats direct aisle access. Especially the direct window and the middle seats (more for couples) grant extra privacy and storage. On all three A380 flights, I chose a seat in the rear cabin at the window. The seat right behind the bulkhead (row 23)  is great since there is no other passenger right in front of you. I enjoyed a tasty menu of regionally inspired gourmet dishes and drinks from an endless beverage menu. A specialty on Mauritius you could choose coconut water as a welcome drink. The seat also seamlessly reclines into a fully flat bed with a soft, comfy mattress and a cozy blanket.

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fully lie-flat bed

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The "Fly better" experience starts already before the flight. Since there is no flight from Berlin (unfortunately) I had to drive to Frankfurt Airport to catch my connection from there. The Business Class ticket includes either a free First Class Deutsche Bahn round-trip ticket (Rail & Fly) or the Chauffeur-drive. At Frankfurt Airport I arrived extra early so I could visit the Airport Lounge of Emirates. A picture/video is worth 1000 words. So check out my Vlog about my first time flying A380 with Emirates.

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Highlights of the A380

It is already a highlight itself to fly with the A380. The aircraft is extremely quiet inside the cabin. I was impressed that I could not really hear the take-off thrust on departure.

An onboard lounge: Fancy having a cocktail at 36,000ft in an exclusive lounge where you can mingle with other passengers and enjoy delicious snacks between meals. On the flight to Mauritius, the cabin supervisor invited me to have lunch at the dining table in the lounge. It felt like I was flying on a private jet.

Let's have a shower: Normally only First Class passengers are allowed to use the Shower Spa, but the for me the purser made a great exception. He knew how much you love seeing me taking a shower. ;-)

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Onboard lounge

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Shower Spa for First Class passengers

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Stop over in Dubai

On the way to Mauritius, I decided to do a short stopover in Dubai. It was only for 30 hours, but enough time to go shopping, to have a tasty dinner and enjoy some glamours vibes of the city of superlatives. I totally can recommend doing a stopover but plan for a couple of days so you can experience more. I stayed in the Le Meridien Airport Hotel. It is only a 10 minutes drive from the airport and 15 minutes to the downtown area of Dubai. Check out my Dubai Vlog from my vacation in April, If you want to find out about activities you can do.

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Le Meridien Dubai Aiport Hotel

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Thanks to the flight crew of Emirates for making my first A380 experience remarkable. I hope you enjoyed the journey as much as I did.

Have you flown on board of an A380 before? Leave it in a comment below and subscribe to my newsletter with your email!

As always safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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What's in a pilot's suitcase? My ultimate packing tips

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Hello my Aviator,

through my profession as a pilot, I not only became a professional traveller but a packing expert as well. I am definitely not a good example when it comes to travelling light weighted. But what makes my luggage so heavy? I will reveal the content in this blog post. Packing a suitcase for a long journey can be time-consuming and disappointing when you forget something important in the end.  I will give you some great packing tips to make your next packing session a lot more enjoyable.

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From my first pilot salary I didn't buy a pilot watch, but a set of suitcases

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Choose the right size of a suitcase for your trip!

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Home is where my bags are

I am travelling for about half of the month. Sometimes I am gone from home for one week during my travels as a pilot. My luggage becomes my loyal travel buddy. That is why I need to rely on it. Each piece needs to be the correct size and of good quality. The design of the luggage is also very important. My current checked luggage is out of polycarbonate material and with four wheels to handle it more easily. The volume of 89l and the unique shape are ideal for longer journeys. Besides my checked luggage, I take my business trolley/pilot case.

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What makes my checked luggage so heavy?

Travelling light is no longer an option for me. I try to save weight wherever I can, but my blogger activities require a lot of electronics and other equipment.

I also take a good variety of clothing for photo shootings. A suit and a minimum of two pair of shoes are always on board. Besides my clothing, I pack:

  • [amazon_textlink asin='B01LW19QX2|B01LW19QX2|B01LWCQ81A' text='Carbon tripod of Rollei*' template='ProductLink' store='wwwpilotpatri-21|wwwpilotpat00-21|pilotpatrick-20' marketplace='DE|UK|US' link_id='28723399-ca1f-11e8-a78e-a13fb93c78dc']
  • [amazon_textlink asin='B01C847NUK|B01C89H12K|B01D8C6ULO' text='Power hub of Anker*' template='ProductLink' store='wwwpilotpatri-21|wwwpilotpat00-21|pilotpatrick-20' marketplace='DE|UK|US' link_id='eea09c4e-ca1f-11e8-b619-877892390463']
  • [amazon_textlink asin='B077BRX9B8|B0779B9VRP|B0774KTV1X' text='Panasonic Lumix G9*' template='ProductLink' store='wwwpilotpatri-21|wwwpilotpat00-21|pilotpatrick-20' marketplace='DE|UK|US' link_id='5de0d558-ca20-11e8-9e7e-c7b2670bf5de']
  • [amazon_textlink asin='B071KVFPHK|B00D76RNLS' text='Tripods*' template='ProductLink' store='wwwpilotpatri-21|pilotpatrick-20' marketplace='DE|US' link_id='b6e97f10-ca20-11e8-ad77-79cf9e3b4874']
  • [amazon_textlink asin='B015R0IQGW|B015R0IQGW|B015R0IQGW' text='Microphone of Rohde*' template='ProductLink' store='wwwpilotpatri-21|wwwpilotpat00-21|pilotpatrick-20' marketplace='DE|UK|US' link_id='e6c49ff4-ca20-11e8-b476-47094e8274d4']

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My blogger essentials

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Small speaker for good sound in the hotel room

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10 ultimate packing tips

  1. Pack for the right weather and use the right size of a suitcase
  2. Put your clothing and items e.g. on a bed to get an overview
  3. Pack clothing which can be easily combined to create different outfits
  4. Always put your clothing in the same spot in the suitcase so you find it more easily
  5. Take a first aid kit for emergency cases
  6. Use dead space in shoes or between the telescopic handle for clothing
  7. Roll your clothing to occupy minimum space
  8. Packing cubes can be helpful to organize your clothing
  9. After finishing go through your checklist with the most important items
  10. Never put valuables in your checked luggage and use a TSA lock

In my video on YouTube channel: PilotPatrick, I wrapped it all together.

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Put everything on the bed to get an overview

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All travellers should pack a first aid kit

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Three items I always pack

  • Sleeping masks: to able to sleep in darkness also during the day
  • [amazon_textlink asin='B000TGKMZS|B00HCNHXV2|B01N8STO25' text='Earplugs*' template='ProductLink' store='wwwpilotpatri-21|wwwpilotpat00-21|pilotpatrick-20' marketplace='DE|UK|US' link_id='fd298bb3-ca21-11e8-8ecc-bb0dce99ba0a']: to have a silent and relaxing sleep
  • Swim shorts: the beach or pool can only be one flight away

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My before leaving home checklist not to forget anything important

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I hope you enjoyed my packing tips and find them helpful when packing next time!

What are the three items you always take on a journey? Please let me know in a comment below and subscribe to my newsletter with your email.

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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(*) Alle amzn.to Links sind Amazon Affiliate Links. Werden Käufe über diese Links getätigt, erhält der Linkersteller eine Provision von Amazon. Der Preis für den Käufer (Euch) ändert sich dadurch natürlich nicht.

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barcelona insider travel tips

Must visit places and my insider tips of Barcelona

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Cooperation / Advertisement

Hello my Aviator,

after one year of absence, I finally made it back to my happy place Barcelona. I really missed this city because it feels like a second home for me. Unfortunately, my schedule did not allow me to stay more than three days. In this blog post, I will show you my personal highlights and share my insider tips of Barcelona for your next trip. 

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Skyline of Barcelona from Bunkers del Carmel

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Barcelona my happy place

Barcelona is a great city for sightseeing. Around every corner, you can discover a new spectacular place. I recommend renting a scooter for your stay. This time I was cruising through the city with a Vespa of ViaVespa. A scooter gives you so much freedom to go to different places in a minimum amount of time.

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Scooter rental with ViaVespa

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Check out my Vlog about Barcelona on my YouTube channel PilotPatrick!

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Where to sleep?

Two years ago I lived for three months in Barcelona, I stayed in a shared apartment in the historic Gotico. It was a great experience to live right in the center of this vibrant city. Due to a new cockpit job, I was forced to move back to Berlin. For this mini-vacation, I decided to stay at the 5 star Arts Hotel Barcelona close to the beach. Its unique building characterizes the skyline of Barcelona and was first opened during the Olympics in 1992. The views it grants from the rooms, club lounge and the spa are exceptional.

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One bedroom suite in the Arts Hotel Barcelona

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Stay protected at the pool

The hotel recently opened a newly designed outside area with an infinity pool. Now you can overlook the beach and ocean while taking a swim. I love to cool down in the water and to relax in the sun. But not without the correct sun protection. At this stage, I want to remind you how important it is to use sunscreen to protect yourself from sunlight.

First of all not to get a painful sunburn. Secondly to lower the chances of getting skin cancer. Solely in Germany, 200.000 people became diagnosed with skin cancer for the first time in 2016. Additionally, the sun is the reason for skin aging and hyperpigmentation. About 90% of the visible skin aging is caused by UV- Light and HEV- light (high-energy visible light) Read one of my latest blog post to find out more about this vital topic.

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The new infinity pool at the Arts Hotel Barcelona

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Relaxing in a cabana with Eucerin sun protection

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Eucerin Sun Protection offers a wide range of sunscreen products for any age, skin type and occasion. Two of my favorite products is the “SUN OIL CONTROL FACE GEL-CREME” for the face and the “SENSITIVE PROTECT TRANSPARENT SUN SPRAY“. My face gets shiny really fast and is really sensitive. The “Sun oil control face gel-creme” is made for such skin types and is light and dries really fast. The transparent sun spray for the body has an ultra-light texture and is not sticky. Two great products for a day by the pool.

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Eucerin Sun Transparent and Oil Control

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What to do?

Bunkers del Carmel: A must visit if you want to enjoy one of the best views of Barcelona and the sea.  Turó del Carmel is a hill with a bunker on top. Best time is during sunset and sunrise. Take something to drink and don't think you will be alone ;-) The entrance is still free.

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highlight: La Sagrada Familia

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Cathedral in the gothic quarter

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Casa Batlló: Barcelona is the city of Gaudi. His architecture is world famous. One of the highlights is the Casa Batlló. I have walked by this townhouse many times before because it is centrally located on the Passeig de Gracia. If you like the outside of the building you should dare look inside. It is really impressive to discover the passion Gaudí has put into this building. I literally was overwhelmed by the beauty that I got glossy eyes.

Insider tip: For most famous sights, you can buy tickets online. This way you can skip long ques at the entrance.

 

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Casa Battló on Passeig de Gracia

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Boat trip: One of my highlights was a boat trip with Barcelona desde el Mar. I have seen Barcelona many times from the cockpit but to discover this amazing city from the sea was a unique experience. It gave me a whole new perspective of Barcelona. My little cruise lasted around 2 hours and I enjoyed a beautiful sunset from the sea.

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My first boat trip in Barcelona / Instagram: @barcelonadesdeelmar

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Sunset cruise in Barcelona / photo by Andrés

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Where to eat?

Barcelona offers diverse dining options. There is much more than tapas. Catalans eat late. Either be early or make a reservation. Here are my all time favorite places to go:

Väcka: Vegan restaurant and Cafe. Try their vegan classic burger and have a raw treat. Gracia

Teresa’s Carles: Vegetarian food and juices (only indoor/more for dinner) El Raval

Flax and Kale: Healthy restaurant offering a diverse menu (all day) Make a reservation and request a table on their outdoor rooftop garden. Don't miss the brunch on the weekend. El Raval

Surf House: Restaurant right by the beach. The menu offers healthy food but also tasty burger for a cheat day. Try their waffles! Barceloneta

Vinitus: In my opinion one of the best tapas restaurant in Barcelona. After 8 pm it gets really busy. You can choose your fresh fish from the display at the bar. Eixample

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healthy eating at Teresa's

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Teresa's Carles in el Born

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Petit Brot: completely raw café, daily menus, and juices (breakfast and lunch) El Raval

Casa Gispert: Dried fruits, nuts and so much more. Best dried mangos I ever had. El Born

BeBo cold pressed: Tasty healthy juices, raw snacks (more for to go) Eixample

Barraca: seafood and paella overlooking the beach of Barceloneta (lunch and dinner)

Cafè Jaime Beriestain: high-class food in a concept restaurant (more for dinner) Eixample

Nubafancy restaurant with live DJ, nice interior and outside seating (more for dinner)

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Nuba Restaurant

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Magic fountain show

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Which season is best to visit Barcelona?

Barcelona is great all year around. If you want to enjoy the hot weather at the beach then you need to visit during the summer months. But if you come to do sightseeing and to discover the city, then I recommend avoiding the high season. That way touristic places are less crowded and waiting times are less.

Insider tip: Visit Barcelona in the spring or late summer. My favorite months was October. Of course, the weather is not that stable, but the city is less crowded and you have the chance to go wave surfing.

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Fantastic weather, interesting sights, cultural events, the beach and of course friendly people make Barcelona a perfect vacation spot. You can choose from a great variety of restaurants and hotels. The prices for food are decent, but the hotel prices can be expensive during high season. My dream is still to live in my two favorite cities Berlin and Barcelona!

 

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Enjoying the beach of Barcelona

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In which city could you imagine to live as well? Please comment below and do not forget to subscribe to my newsletter with your email below.

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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fear of flying

Fear of flying - My 10 tips to become a more relaxed flyer

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Hello my Aviator, it makes me really sad to hear that many of you are anxious to fly and cannot enjoy traveling by plane! That is why I want to give you an update on my fear of flying blog post. I actually could write a whole book about this subject. I am passionate to help you to feel more comfortable on board. Hopefully, my 10 tips to manage this anxiety will help you so I see you much more relaxed up in the sky. 

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Fear of flying

In fact, a survey suggests that 43 percent of people have at least some fear of flying and around 9 percent are so afraid that they would not go on a flight. Now I understand why I receive so many comments and messages asking me what they can do against their fear of flying. In this article, I want to help you as much as possible to get over that fear which is also known as aviophobia. I hope that my personal words as a pilot are more persuasive than of a third person who is not involved in the aviation industry as much as I am.

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Clouds are an indication for an area of turbulence

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There is no reason to panic!

During my research for this blog post, I found out that the most common reason for the fear of flying is the fear to crash. But the probability for that is vanishing low. Let me mention them again to get an idea of how safe flying really is.

It is the safest means of transportation but also the most dangerous one at the same time.

Flying through the air with over 800 km/h with tons of ignitable fuel. In the first place, this does not sound really comforting. And because of that, we took all measures to make it to the safest way of travel.

The probability of your plane going down is around one in 5.4 million. (according to The Economist) It is more likely to be attacked by a shark or even killed by the flu. Traveling in a car is 100 times more deadly than flying in a plane. Despite the high profile plane crashes in the past, it has never been safer to fly. So are you also afraid when driving in the car?

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Flying: the safest means of transportation!

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Anxiety originates from ignorance!

I think the anxiety can originate from ignorance not understanding the complex system of aviation. This might trigger "what if?" catastrophic thoughts.

This starts with the ignorance of the systems of the airplane. Certain noises and normal flight maneuvers can already cause unease. For example noise of the brakes, landing gear, the flaps, and the engines. Especially during takeoff, you experience a lot of different ones. The engines run at a high thrust setting, the runway might a little bumpy and the landing gear retracts with a loud "bang". Trust me all those noises are normal. Most of you are scared of turbulences and think that they are dangerous. Please trust me they belong to the normal path of flight. Aircraft are built to withstand turbulence with ease.

Pilots always try to avoid turbulence and in case we encounter them we try to find a different level to escape the area of turbulence. This causes a spool up or down of the engines and a climb or descent to a different level.

The regulations in aviation are really strict. The authority requires that the aircraft are maintained at fixed intervals. Airlines could not afford to operate a badly maintained aircraft, which could cause them to lose their operator certificate (AOC) and of course their reputation.

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Aircraft are made to be flying and not sitting on the ground!

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Redundancy in all aspects of aviation!

Even when there happens to be a malfunction of a system, that does not mean it will end in a disaster. The aircraft are built to be flying in the air and constructed to be redundant. That means if one system fails, the airplane will still be safe to fly and a different system will take over it. For example, if one engine fails, the second one will keep the airplane in the sky and a safe landing will be possible. This is trained on regular simulator flights many times.

Maybe you have heard about the swiss cheese model before. This model of accident causation illustrates that, although many layers of defense lie between hazards and accidents. Only if there is a flaw in each layer, if aligned, can allow the accident to occur. A single mistake in one layer will not lead to an accident!

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Let's enjoy the beauty of flying together

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My 10 tips against the fear of flying

  1.  Choose an airline you feel save with or you know they have a good reputation, do not book just because the ticket is cheap
  2. Arrive at the airport with enough time, so you do not get stressed additionally. Minimum 2 hours prior departure.
  3. Book a seat with more space, e.g. at the emergency exit
  4. Try not to drink alcohol and caffeine this might intense your anxiety
  5. When boarding let the cabin crew know that you are a little bit nervous, a short chat with them can help
  6. Recall that you are safe and probability is on your side
  7. Control your breathing inhale deeply and exhale slowly: Relaaaaax!
  8. Use noise-canceling headphones, recall that flying and systems produce loud noises, listen to relaxing music and do things that distract you (food, beverages, books, music, sleeping mask)
  9. You are not alone! Millions of people travel by plane at the same time
  10. Keep in mind that the airplane is built to travel through air, turbulence is a normal path of flying,

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Flying in Busines Class can help as ;-)

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Am I going down?

I found an app “Am I Going Down?”, which claims to calculate the odds of a disaster on a particular flight. You put in three variables: the departure and arrival airports, the airline, and the type of plane used. For example, a flight from San Francisco to London Heathrow has a probability of 1 to 3.646.151 to go down. You would have to take this flight every day for 9.989 years before it crashes. Knowing the probability, which is not even worth mentioning for your particular flight, may help with your fear of flying.

I hope you will be more relaxed on your next flight, so you can enjoy the beauty of flying. Recall my 10 tips when flying next time. You might even save them on your mobile device. Now sit back, relax and enjoy your flight!

What causes you unease on a flight?

Your PilotPatrick

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Happy place Barcelona and my insider tips

Happy place Barcelona and my insider tips

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(Sponsored by product placement)

Hello my Aviator,

in August 2016 I moved my home base from Berlin to Barcelona. The original plan was to stay longer than three months, but then I received a new job offer which forced me to move back to Germany. Since then I did not get back to Barcelona until this summer. I was excited to return to my happy place for two weeks of vacation. I really missed the city because it feels like a second home. Unfortunately, the new network of the Airbus does not include Barcelona with an overnight. In this blog post, I will not only share with you my highlights of my vacation and give you some great insider tips but also share my experiences during the cruel attack on Las Ramblas.

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Skyline of Barcelona from the air

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Happy place Barcelona and my insider tips

Barcelona is a great city to do sight seeing. Around every corner, you can discover something new. I recommend renting a scooter to do sight seeing but only when you feel comfortable driving in high traffic situations. Moto rent offers affordable prices. A scooter gives you so much freedom to go to different places in a minimum amount of time.

Since I did already a lot of sight seeing during my past stays, I did not do much this time.

What to do?

Bunkers el Carmel: A must visit if you want to enjoy one of the best views of Barcelona and the sea.  Turó del Carmel is a hill with a bunker on top. Best time is during sunset and sunrise. Take something to drink and don't think you will be alone ;-) The entrance is still free.

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Enjoying the view at Bunkers el Carmel

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Casa Batlló: Barcelona is the city of Gaudi. His architecture is world famous. One of the highlights is the Casa Batlló. I have walked by this townhouse many times before because it is centrally located on the Passeig de Gracia. If you like the outside of the building you should dare look inside. It is really impressive to discover the passion Gaudí has put into this building. I literally was overwhelmed by the beauty that I got glossy eyes. Each guest receives a smart phone as a tour guide and that way you can explore the building also in the virtual reality.

Insider tip: For most famous sights, you can buy tickets online. This way you can skip long lines at the entrance.

 

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Casa Battló on Passeig de Gracia

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Tour guide 2.0 = smart phone

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Boat trip: One of my highlights was a boat trip with Barcelona desde el Mar. I have seen Barcelona many times from the cockpit but to discover this amazing city from the sea was a unique experience. It gave me a whole new perspective of Barcelona. My little cruise lasted around 2 hours and I enjoyed a beautiful sunset from the sea.

Insider tip: Book the boat "Sa Nina" for yourself and take your friends with. Instagram: @barcelonadesdeelmar

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My first boat trip in Barcelona / Instagram: @barcelonadesdeelmar

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Sunset cruise in Barcelona / photo by Andrés

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Where to sleep?

During my three months in Barcelona, I lived in a shared apartment in the historic Gotico. It was a great experience to live right in the center of this vibrant city. For this vacation, I stayed at several hotels in different parts of town.

I had the chance to spend part of my vacationat the Hotel Arts Barcelona. Its unique building characterizes the skyline of Barcelona and was first opened during the Olympics in 1992. It belongs to the luxurious hotel chain Ritz Carlton. As a pilot, I have slept in many 5 stars hotels around the world but the Arts Hotel is exceptional. Not only the temporary design but also the great team make the difference.

 

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Pool area of the Hotel Arts Barcelona 

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My executive suite was located on the 26th and offered me over 70 square meters of space and a fantastic view of the city and the beach. At night I could even see the Tibidabo mountain laying in my bed. The hotel itself is located right on the beach and just one kilometer from Barceloneta.

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One bedroom suite in the Hotel Arts Barcelona

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Luxury bathroom of my suite

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Over the weekend I almost did not leave the hotel, so I could enjoy all their facilities. The day typically started with a tasty breakfast. I spent some relaxing hours in a cabana at the pool and became a big fan of the Club Lounge on the 35th floor. This lounge is a bar, restaurant, cafe and relaxing area at the same time. It is like a hotel inside the hotel. It is more private since only few hotel guests have access to it.

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Check out in the club lounge

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Tasty breakfast on the patio of the Arts Hotel

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Do not miss out on the Spa 43, which offers luxury facilities paired magnificent view of Barcelona. Convince yourself in a 360 degrees video from the terrace in 150 meters height. For the first time, it took my VIRB360 of Garmin on a journey.  This compact camera takes your photos and videos to whole new level. Besides a brilliant resolution of up to 5.7k/30fps, it shoots in 360 degrees. The viewer can decide himself where he wants to look at and you can even share videos in real time with the VIRB360. Check out my first 360 degrees photo from the cockpit on my facebook page. From now on you have the chance to fly with me in 360 degrees.

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https://www.facebook.com/pilotpatrick/videos/vb.373722572693345/1524204674311790/?type=2&theater

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Insider tip: Get a cocktail prepared by Diego at the Hotel Arts. I was lucky to taste some of his creations. He is the funniest and coolest bar tender.

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Best barkeeper in town / Diego Instagram @dondiegobcn 

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If you rather want to stay in Eixample I can recommend the Ohla Eixample hotel. It is a five-star hotel with a minimalistic design and a roof top pool. I stayed in a spacious junior suite. The location grants you close proximity to all kind of different attractions, bars, and restaurants.

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Junior suite of the Ohla Eixample hotel

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Roof top pool in Eixample

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Which season is best to visit Barcelona?

Barcelona is great all year around. If you want to enjoy hot weather at the beach then you need to visit during the summer months. But if you come to do sight seeing and to discover the city, then I recommend avoiding the high season. That way touristic places are less crowded and waiting times are less. Additionally, you do not have to walk through the city in extreme heat.

Insider tip: Visit Barcelona in the spring or late summer. My favorite month was October. Of course, the weather is not that stable, but the city is less crowded and you have the chance to go wave surfing. Additionally, the prices for a hotel room are less expansive compared to the summer.

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Magic fountain show

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Where to eat?

Barcelona offers diverse dining options. There is much more than tapas. Catalans eat late. Either be early or make a reservation. Here are my all time favorite places to go:

Väcka: Vegan restaurant and cafe. Try their vegan classic burger and have a raw treat. Gracia

Teresa’s Carles: Vegetarian food and juices (only indoor/more for dinner) El Raval

Flax and Kale: Healthy restaurant offering a diverse menu (all day) Make a reservation and request a table on their outdoor rooftop garden. Don't miss the brunch on the weekend. El Raval

Surf House: Restaurant right by the beach. The menu offers healthy food but also tasty burger for a cheat day. Try their waffles! Barceloneta

Vinitus: In my opinion one of the best tapas restaurant in Barcelona. After 8 pm it gets really busy. You can choose your fresh fish from the display at the bar. Eixample

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Weekend brunch at the Flax and Kale

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Vegetarian restaurant Barcelona / Teresa's Carles

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Petit Brot: completely raw café, daily menus, and juices (breakfast and lunch) El Raval

Casa Gispert: Dried fruits, nuts and so much more. Best dried mangos I ever had. El Born

BeBo cold pressed: Tasty healthy juices, raw snacks (more for to go) Eixample

Barraca: seafood and paella overlooking the beach of Barceloneta (lunch and dinner)

Cafè Jaime Beriestain: high-class food in a concept restaurant (more for dinner) Eixample

Nubafancy restaurant with live DJ, nice interior and outside seating (more for dinner

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Meet and Greet in Barcelona

After a Meet and Greet in Berlin, Munich and Los Angeles, I was excited to meet my Aviators in Barcelona. One day prior my scheduled event the cruel attack happened on Las Ramblas killing innocent victims. I was at the sight just a couple of hours earlier and when it happened I was safe at the beach. The whole city was shocked and frightened that day. In the evening everyone stayed at home and Barcelona turned into a ghost town. But already the next day people were on the street again to make clear that they are not afraid "No tinc por!" This was a great signal to the world and to the terroristic organization. I decided as well not to cancel the Meet and Greet, because this would have been the signal that we restrict our freedom.

Thanks to all my Aviators who came to see me. I was really happy to get to know over 20 people. We met for one hour at Placa Catalunya to have a chat, take photos and to show that we are not afraid. Together we can create a more peaceful world!

 

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Meet and Greet in Barcelona with my Aviators

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Fantastic weather, interesting sights, cultural events, the beach and of course friendly people make Barcelona a perfect vacation spot. You can choose from a great variety of restaurants and hotels. The prices for food are decent, but the hotel prices can be expensive during high season. My dream is still to live in my two favorite cities Berlin and Barcelona!

 

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Enjoying the beach of Barcelona

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In which city could you imagine to live as well? Please comment below and do not forget to subscribe to my newsletter with your email below.

Safe travels and happy landings!

your Pilot Patrick 

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my highlights and travel tips of Los Angeles

My highlights and travel tips of Los Angeles

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Hello my Aviator, the road trip through California was a lot of fun. I started off in San Francisco from where I took the Pacific coast highway southbound. My final destination was Los Angeles, where I spend over one week in May. I am excited to show you my highlights and give you travel tips for your next stay in Los Angeles. 

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View from the Griffith Observatory

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The City of Angeles

Los Angeles is immense. Four million people live in a city which is so spread out that you get the impression that it does not seem to be one city. In fact, every part of town is different and has its own vibe. There is so much to discover and my list of things I wanted to do was long. In total, I stayed eight nights in L.A. and this was definitely not enough. On some days I was just relaxing and living like a local. The weather at the end of May was ideal.

 

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Meet and Greet with my Aviators from L.A.

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Public transportation exists but is bad and unreliable. I used a rental car for my road trip and to get around in town. Parking can be really expensive. Especially in West Hollywood, where street parking is not allowed at night. So you are basically forced to pay a valet parking which costs around 40$ per night. UBER  is very popular in the States. It is a convenient and inexpensive way to get around.

My tip: Stay at least for a week, so the sight seeing does not become too stressful. May is a perfect month. Overnight in different parts of town. Do not drive during peak hours and avoid parking at night in West Hollywood. 

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The Spirit of Santa Monica at the Flying Museum of Stanta Monica airport

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What did I do?

Griffith Observatory: This Observatory is well-known from movies and gives spectacular views of Los Angeles. The parking situation is horrible and it is a long way up there. I did a really spontaneous meet and greet. Even though that place is so remote seven Aviators showed up. Thanks again for coming!

Hollywood sign: I drove up to the Lake Hollywood Park (3160 Canyon Lake Dr), from this place you have a good view of the sign. The light was nice during sunset.

Venice: My favorite part of town. Trendy places with cool shops, café, and restaurants. Do not miss to visit Abbot Kinney Blvd and the famous and crazy Venice Beach Broadwalk.

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Santa Monica Pier

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Santa Monica Pier: I only took a quick stroll over the famous pier with its amusement attractions. The place was really crowded. I personally did not like it.

Walk of Fame: A must do touristic attraction. You probably will be disappointed by the crappy area around the walk of fame but it is fun to walk on the famous stars.

Beverly Hills: I was cruising along the Rodeo Drive with its luxurious shops and ended up in Beverly Hills, where the rich and famous life. The streets are picture perfect with hundreds of tall palm trees.

My tip: Rent a bike and drive along the bike route from Venice to Santa Monica. Especially around sunset it really beautiful along the ocean. 

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Typical road in Beverly Hills

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My accommodations

It stayed at several places in Los Angeles. The costs for an accommodation are expensive in Los Angeles. One night I paid 300$ for a 3-star hotel and it was nothing special.

The first few nights I spend in Venice at a lovely Airbnb. I had my own small bungalow with a nice outside area at a great location. The experience staying at the Airbnb was more personal than a hotel and the hosts Brad and Julien were great.

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My Bungalow in Venice.

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L.A. is so vast that is why moved to West Hollywood for a couple of days to discover this part of town as well.

The last five days I spend in Venice again. That time I stayed at different Airbnb which is one its kind. The property consisted of two houses with an original airstream and a patio with a hot tub. The property was located right in the heart of Venice close to Abbot Kinney Blvd.

My tip: Book your accommodations well ahead of time. They sell out quite quickly and get really expensive. I killed a lot of time searching for a place to stay during my vacation. The app "Hoteltonight" can be handy for spontaneous bookings.

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Amazing Airbnb with an airstream

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Abbot Kinney Boulevard

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Six Flags Magic Moutain

I am a big fan of roller coasters. For me, they can not be thrilling enough. As a teenager, I heard about Six Flags Magic Mountain the first time. In total, they have over 15 different roller coasters. I was excited to visit this amusement park, even though I read a lot of negative reviews on the internet. In the end, most of the complaints of other visitors proofed right. It was a rather disappointing fun day.

A lot of rides were closed because of maintenance and due to a short shower in the morning- It was not allowed to bring your own food (I still did). The outlets only offered unhealthy meal options and a regular pizza was over 30$. I did not have the impression that the park was well maintained either. But their rides were a lot of fun. Especially the roller coaster "X“ was a thrill. I visited on a Monday and maximum waiting time for an attraction was  20 mins. That was great.

My tip: If you are working in the travel industry register at Plum benefits. This online booking platform overs great discount on entertainment, hotels, etc. This way I could save 50% on the entrance fee. During my time as exchange student, I have been to L.A. before. I can recommend the Universal Studios a lot. 

 

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Six Flags Magic Mountain

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Where to eat?

Food is not inexpensive in the supermarket and in restaurants. Especially if you want good quality and organic products. To find healthy meal options I use the App "Happy Cow". Here are some places I can recommend. (not all healthy)

My tip: Popular restaurants are really crowded during peak hours. Try to do a reservation, so you do not have to wait for a table!

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Tasty oysters at a restaurant in Venice

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Sunset vibes at Venice Beach

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Pier at Hermosa Beach during sunset

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Next time in L.A. I want to take a helicopter flight over the city, do a hike to the Hollywood sign and visit the Getty Center. I also would like to visit all the amazing beaches along the coast line to go surfing. Los Angeles is definitely a place where I could imagine to live for a longer period of time.

What is your favorite city in the United States and what can you recommend to do there? Please comment below!

Happy landings and safe travels!

Your Pilot Patrick

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