Beyond the Cockpit: A Look into the Life of an Airline Pilot

Post date: 10 May

If you were to ask 100 children what they want to become when they grow up, we’re sure that a good number of them would say, airline pilots. This exciting career choice might take some intense education, but once you’re up in the air, there’s no feeling quite like it. Airline pilots get to travel to some of the most exotic locations in the world, but what is life really like for them on a day-to-day basis? In this post, we’ll be exploring the finer details of a pilot’s lifestyle, as well as what training entails.

What Does a Typical Day Look Like in the Life of an Airline Pilot?

Of course, the daily life of an Airline Pilot will depend on whether they have a flight chartered or not, but in this scenario, let’s imagine that they do. First of all, they’ll get themselves ready for work. Casual clothing won’t suffice, so most will prepare their uniforms in advance, including their shirts, ties, trousers and hats – not to mention their shoulder-worn insignia to distinguish them as a pilot. Breakfast is a must before the day is in full swing – and they can expect food filled with nutrition to keep them focused and ready for the flight ahead.

Morning Routine: Pre-Flight Planning, Briefing and Inspection

They already know their route, as this is scheduled in advance as a standard process. Most will be briefed before the flight, introduced to the cabin crew and welcomed onto the plane ready to prepare for take-off and a safe flight. The pre-flight planning phase can be incredibly important, as it is during this time that the pilot will have their activities for the day ahead confirmed. This briefing can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours depending on the complexity of the flight and other factors before the pilot finishes up with a full inspection of the plane to ensure that everything is as expected and required. A combination of the right flight training courses will provide everything you need to understand these procedures and equip you with the skills you need to undertake them properly.

In-Flight Duties: Take-off, Cruising and Landing Procedures

The life of an Airline Pilot requires training in both technical and soft skills – and this is why pilots typically opt for fully licensed and certified European Flight Academies like Egnatia Aviation to ensure that their skills are up to the task. After take-off, once cruising speed has been reached, the pilot will aim to keep a careful eye on factors such as temperature, the elements, engine performance and general comfort and control.

When it comes to flight training with a top academy like this, you can expect a comprehensive approach to education; from access to EU-approved flight courses to soft skills that are taught by highly-qualified tutors that have a blend of academic accreditation and real pilot experience (more on additional essential pilot qualities to have below). All of this can be enjoyed within some of the top facilities, including training at one of the best General Aviation airports in Europe; Lydia Airport (KVA/LGKM).

  • Communication: Interaction with Air Traffic Controllers and Other Crew Members

While passengers enjoy a snooze, a little food, or in-flight entertainment – the pilot and their co-pilot will often be hard at work corresponding with air traffic controllers on the ground, providing information on the flight, the wind speed, direction and other important details, as well as their Estimated Time of Arrival (checking for landing clearance in the process). Additionally, the pilots won’t typically be able to leave the cockpit for too long, so they’ll rely on their crew members to provide them with what they need, such as refreshments, updates on passengers and so on. It’s this ability to communicate that has become such a vital part of training for any pilot wanting to take to the skies commercially.

  • Breaks: Rests and Meal Periods During Long-Haul Flights

Pilots aren’t machines and so they need rests, toilet breaks, food and drinks just like passengers do. Fortunately, most pilots have two tricks up their sleeves: their co-pilot, who should be trained to handle the aeroplane in the absence of the Captain, and autopilot, a system designed to handle basic tasks, such as keeping a plane heading in the right direction. Pilots are entitled to rest breaks and meal periods, although most opt to eat in the cockpit so that they can keep an eye on the flight. This is an important skill often taught within flight schools as part of time and task management practices.

  • Challenges in the Life of an Airline Pilot: Dealing with Unexpected Events and Emergencies

When properly trained by a professional academy like Egnatia, a pilot will be educated on dealing with worst-case scenarios, in the event that something bad should happen. Between the pilot and his co-pilot, they’ll learn how to handle extreme weather, damage to engines and flying in emergencies. These are all vital skills for an expert in charge of a plane – and with proper training and education, there won’t be much that they can’t handle.

  • Lifestyle: Travel Perks and Work-Life Balance

All pilots share one thing in common when it comes to their lifestyle, and that’s the ability to travel to stunning parts of the world. Most employers provide discounted flights for friends and family of the pilot, and as work stays in the sky, it can be left behind when on the ground to offer a great work/life balance. That seems like a nice side perk in the Life of an Airline Pilot, right?

Why Being an Airline Pilot is a Rewarding Career

From the incredibly appealing wages, right through to getting to meet new people and visiting exciting places across the globe – becoming an airline pilot can be one of the most rewarding careers on the planet. Not to mention that wages are high as standard, there is the potential for career growth and an amazing sense of community to be a part of, so becoming a pilot is a fantastic choice for the next generation of trainees. As the industry is bouncing back after the hardships experienced during Covid, now is the right time to get started on your journey to becoming a pilot, and as Egnatia partners with major airline Wizz Air to offer a set amount of qualifying cadets pilot roles each year, the potential for entry into the industry is further improved.

Ready to experience the intriguing and prestigious life of an airline pilot?

Then, contact our mentors today to answer all of your questions