A working day of a private jet versus an airline pilot

A working day of a private jet versus an airline pilot

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Cooperation - Advertisement

Hello my Aviator, one year ago I was offered to fly for a different company. Switching jobs not only implied to get trained on a new aircraft type but also to get to know a new operation. I started my aviation career as First Officer on a Citation XLS business jet. Now I am flying the wide-body aircraft A300. I passed my initial line check three months ago and I have flown over 200 hours on the Airbus so far. I thought this is a good time to compare a working day of a private jet pilot with an airline pilot. Find out in my conclusion if I finally prefer one type of operation. 

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Citation XLS + in Dublin

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Getting to and from work

Private Jet

As a private jet pilot, I could choose my home base within Europe. The aircraft returned rarely to its home base in Germany, so it was operational wise more convenient to send the crew by an airline, rental car or train to the current location of the aircraft.  Most of the time I proceeded out of Tegel or Schönefled airport to Nizza, Paris or London.

Airline Pilot

Usually, I fly on duty to and from my home base. Sometimes I also have to jumpseat on a flight of my company to get to work or to go home. Unfortunately, I have fewer proceedings flights with other companies. That way I am collecting fewer miles and I will soon lose my Lufthansa frequent traveler status. On the other end, the time-consuming proceeding flights are now past.

 

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Croove - New carsharing service

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Absent from home

Both jobs require being absent from home about half a month. Therefore I have decided four years ago not to own car. Before I only used it to drive to the airport and the rest of the time it was parked uselessly on the street.

In case I need a car there are many alternative means. Like the new carsharing service, called "Croove". It is a private carsharing platform so you rent all kind of car models from private persons. You can also rent your own car profitable when you do not need it. It all works via an application for your personal device (Appstore / google play) and you are fully insured like with any regular car rental service. It is really convenient for me. I can save money on the rental price and I can also use their valet service which brings and picks up the car e.g. at the airport.

 

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Croove - Handing over the vehicle

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Schedule/ Reachability

Private Jet

I usually received the flight schedule for the next day the evening before. The business aviation is a volatile branch and therefore changes can occur hourly. That I why the company provided me with a phone, so they can reach me 24 hours. A working day comprised only a small part of flying. The major part was caring about the passengers, booking transport, ordering catering and organizing a place to sleep. On duty, I liked to be flexible and I found it exciting not knowing where the next flight would take me. I remember one time sitting in cold Moskau and I said to my colleague: "A flight in the south to Mallorca or Ibiza would be nice!". Two hours later we received a call informing us that we fly to Mallorca and Ibiza. That was a funny coincidence.

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Happy crew = happy landings = happy VIP passengers

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Airline

My flight schedule is published one month ahead. This allows much better planning. I know already my destinations and flights with exact departure and arrival times well ahead of time. Aviation is influenced by many different factors that is why changes can occur at an airline as well. In case there is an update I will be reminded my an online platform or via an SMS on my phone. I can fully concentrate on my tasks of a first officer and I do not get distracted from loading passengers bags, receiving catering and taking care of special passengers requests.

 

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Checking my flight schedule online

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Flight hours / duty times

Private Jet

In my career as a private jet pilot, I probably waited longer on passengers, fuel, and catering than I actually flew the aircraft. On a typical working day in the high season, I flew up to 5 legs a day coupled with long waiting periods in between flights. The preparation and the postprocessing are extensive. At busy airports like Nice, France, we often arrived two hours before an outbound flight to be fully ready for the scheduled departure. After the last flight of the day the aircraft still had to be cleaned and maybe refueled for the next day.  Most of the time there was some catering left, so we could enjoy a meal together in the cabin. In six years as a private jet pilot, I flew about 2000 hours.

More about a day of a private jet pilot here in my series.

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First days as a Frist Officer on the Citation XLS private jet

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Airline 

Reporting time of the crew is one hour before the flight and I currently fly a maximum of three sectors a day. The departure times vary a lot. I had to get to used to fly really early in the morning and late at night. In this type of operation, I will gather about 450 hours a year. This is still not a lot when you think about low-cost airline pilots, who fly up to 900 hours a year. On a duty day, I know my exact flight schedule and I know the location I will be spending the night. The waiting time on turn around is decent. It is absolutely bearable when you compare to passengers who let you waiting for an unknown period. After the last flight of the day, we already leave the aircraft about 15 minutes later.

 

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Underneath an Airbus A380

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Layovers/hotels

Private Jet

The final destination of a working day was not always sure when we left the hotel. Sometimes it was a real surprise in which city we would sleep at night. Since the business is so volatile we were not allowed to book a hotel until we received the "go" of the company. I am the master of hotels and it was usually my job to find an appropriate place to sleep. I liked that we as a crew could choose the hotel ourselves. But on the other hand, we wasted a lot of time, searching for a place to stay.I flew to many different destinations within Europe and I got to know a wide range of airports. I flew to many different destinations within Europe and I got to know a wide range of airports.

Airline pilot

Like as a private jet pilot I mostly fly within Europe but now only to certain destinations. In my first 200 hours, I almost got to know all airports within the network. Hotels and transport are organized by the company.

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Layover in Barcelona, Spain

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Do I have a preference?

I can only speak about my impressions and experiences I gained in both operations in the last seven years of my aviation career. The picture might look totally different with other airlines.

The private jet and airline operation differ a lot. Both are enjoyable.

As a private jet pilot, I spent most of the time waiting and duty times were lengthy. Whereas an airline pilot flies more in fewer duty hours. Everything is more organized and you do not waste time organizing catering, booking hotels and ordering transport. But I am missing the VIP catering and the private terminals, which also offered comfortable lounges for the crew.

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Private jet or airline pilot?

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One fact which I liked about the business aviation was that I flew too many different destinations and I got to know challenging airports. On the other hand, the business is very volatile. That means you can expect changes on short notice. Now I have fixed schedule and I know how much rest I have in the end. I can really plan with the time in between duties to do sightseeing and go on tours.

In my opinion, the business aviation was a really good school because I had to be independent and well organized to complete more than the task of flying the airplane. I still think that the airline operation is more relaxed and I really like the fact that I can now fully concentrate on my tasks of a first officer.

 

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If you could be a pilot for a day would you rather be a private jet pilot or an airline pilot? Please leave me a comment below and do not forget to subscribe to my blog with your email.

Happy landings!

Your Pilot Patrick 

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Christmas charity

Christmas Charity for DKMS

Christmas charity UPDATE of 07.01.2017:

I am happy to inform you that my charity auction of my suitcase was really successful.

The company MIG Isoliermontage GmbH auctioned the suitcase for 700,-€. Peter Ludwig, the CEO of this company, found that the proceeds were not high enough. That is why he doubled the sum to 1.400,-€ without taking the suitcase.

In the end the second highest bidder received the suitcase. The proceeds of 310,-€ go additionally to DKMS. Myself increased the donation with 90,-€. Therefore I was able to donate a total of 1.800,-€ to DKMS for the fight against blood cancer.

Thanks to all who supported this auction by bidding, liking and sharing my posts.

Donation to DKMS

Update vom 07.01.2017:

Deutsch:

Der Koffer wurde freundlicherweise von der Firma MIG Isoliermontage GmbH für 700,-€ ersteigert. Die Summe war dem Geschäftsführer Peter Ludwig jedoch zu gering, sodass er auf den Koffer verzichtete und den Betrag auf 1.400,-€ verdoppelte.

Dadurch kam der zweithöchste Bieter zum Zuge, sodass noch einmal 310,-€ zusätzlich für DKMS erwirtschaftet wurde. Ich selbst habe die Spende noch einmal um 90,-€ auf 1.800,-€ erhöht. Somit konnte ich die DKMS mit Hilfe meiner Aktion mit 1.800,-€ im Kampf gegen den Blutkrebs unterstützen!

Danke an alle die meine Aktion unterstützt haben!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4F8CfQu6n4?rel=0&w=560&h=315]Hello my Aviators!

(Deutsche Version siehe unten)

Welcome on board of my Christmas charity event. Christmas is the time of giving that is why decided to do my first charity event for DKMS. I will auction a smart suitcase worth 450€ through my Instagram and social media. This fancy hand luggage, which has GPS, a build in scale and power bar, can be controlled with a App.  The entire proceeds of the auction will be handed to DKMS Deutschland.

Who is DKMS? It is a non profit organization which tries to delete blood cancer. There are 6,8 millions of registered donors world wide, but still 6 out of 10 do not receive a bone marrow transplant. Every 3 minutes an American and every 15 minutes a German is diagnosed with a blood cancer.

Christmas Charity Auction for DKMS

The auction will start December 12th and ends on December 16th at midnight. You can bit on the suitcase via the comment function on Facebook and Instagram on December 12th. Whoever bits the highest will receive the suitcase.

To support my charity auction please like and share my event on facebook to make aware of blood cancer and raise a lot of money for DKMS.In case you are not interested in the suitcase you can become a donor. It is for free and does not hurt at all. You can be become a donor in: Germany, USAUKPoland and Spain.

Together we can delete blood cancer together!

Your Pilot Patrick

Deutsch:
Hallo meine Aviators,

willkommen "on board" meines Wohltätigkeit- Weihnachtsevent. Weihnachten ist die Zeit des Gebens und deswegen habe ich mich dazu entschieden meine erste Wohltätigkeitsaktion für DKMS Deutschland, DKMS US, DKMS UK Fundacja und DKMS Fundación DKMS. Ich werde über Instagram und Facebook meinen persönlichen smarten Koffer im Wert von 450€ (mit integriertem GPS, Wage und power bar) versteigern. Die gesamte Summe, die bei der Versteigerung erwirtschaftet wird geht an DKMS Deutschland.

DKMS ist eine non Profit Organisation, welche sich dem Kampf gegen Blutkrebs verschrieben hat. Es gibt bereits 6,8 Millionen registrierter Stammzellenspender, doch trotzdem erhalten 6 von 10 erkrankten nicht rechtzeitig die dringend benötigte Stammzellenspende. Alle 15 Minuten erhält ein Patient in Deutschland die Diagnose Blutkrebs.

Stäbchen rein Spender sein - Become a donor for free!

Die Auktion startet am Montag, 12.12.2016 und endet am 16.12.2016 um Mitternacht. Die Gebote können über die Kommentarfunktion unter meinen Bildern getätigt werden. Derjenige mit dem höchsten Gebot erhält den cleveren Koffer.

Um meine Wohltätigkeitsaktion zu unterstützen und auf die Problematik Blutkrebs aufmerksam zu machen, bitte ich Euch an meiner Facebook Veranstaltung teilzunehmen, sie zu liken und zu teilen.

Falls Ihr kein Interesse an dem Koffer habt könnt Ihr dennoch Euren Teil dazu beitragen. Ich bin seit fünf Jahren regestrierter Spender. Eine Registrierung als Stammzellenspender ist kosten- und schmerzlos möglich. Weitere Infos dazu findet Ihr hier.

Zusammen können wir Blutkrebs besiegen!

Dein Pilot Patrick