what is a typical work day of an airline pilot involve?
i was just wondering what a typical day of an airline pilot involves, and what is a typical work day like for an airline pilot?
- RickHLv 610 years agoFavorite Answer
The days will be anywhere from 6 hours to 14 hours long. Under some conditions, the days may be even longer. The flying, depending on whether domestic or international, will generally have anywhere from 4-11 hours of flying.
As for any given day: Report to airport, sign the collision damage waiver (Dispatch Release), find food, brief the crew (if FO, get briefed), fly the flight, repeat as necessary. When the day is done, either go to crew pickup location, go to hotel, have cocktail, eat, then sleep; or go home, have cocktail, eat, then sleep.
- 10 years ago
Scheduling the Line
The FAA regulates that airline pilots spend no more than 100 hours a month or 1,000 hours a year in flight. However, many additional hours are logged each month waiting for flights, completing paperwork, and staying overnight in different cities.
At the beginning of each month, how an airline pilot will spend a workday is determined when he "schedules the line" or chooses his monthly layout of flights. Each airline pilot will bid on his preferred line and ideally be assigned one of his top picks. Pilots with the most seniority usually get their first pick of schedules, while newer pilots may get a less favorable schedule. Typically, airline pilots work 3 to 4 days on followed by 3 to 4 days off.
Airline pilots spend their workday before each flight planning the flight and checking the plane to ensure that everything is working properly. Pilots will choose the path, speed, and altitude of the flight based on decisions agreed upon amongst themselves, air traffic control, and weather experts studying conditions for the projected path of the flight.
An airline pilot works closely with his copilot during takeoffs and landings, as these are the two most complicated aspects of the flight. Once the plane is at a cruising altitude, the airline pilot will spend his workday flying alternating legs with the copilot. Throughout the flight, the airline pilot monitors the plane's instrument panel and fuel level, steers the plane along the planned path, and communicates with air traffic control about possible adjustments to the path or altitude of the flight based on turbulence or unfavorable weather.
When the plane lands, the airline pilot will spend the rest of a workday filling out paperwork on the flight and any requests for maintenance on the plane.
Downtime and Layovers
Much of an airline pilot's workday is spent in the crew room at airports or staying overnight in a hotel to get ready for the next day's flights.
In an airport crew room, airline pilots typically catch up on paperwork, check updated protocol from their airline, nap, watch TV, or eat meals and snacks.
When an airline pilot has to stay overnight in a city, the airline pays for all transportation and accommodations. Airline pilots usually have to report quite early for flights the next day, and since their job is taxing and requires intense focus on detail, most opt to catch up on their sleep instead of touring new destinations.
- Rob GLv 610 years ago
For a typical day in the middle of a trip...
Wake up in your hotel room, get dressed, catch the van to the airport, go through security, find your plane, get your release paperwork, get the plane ready, board up, depart for your destination, bs with your crew/read/eat/whatever to pass the time in cruise, land, kick the passengers off, do a few more legs perhaps until you are done for the day, catch the van to the hotel, wait for the next day. Repeat until it's time to go home.
It's all very routine. Having to wait around at airports for hours on end is also very common. Being an airline pilot involves spending a lot of time doing nothing.
Getting to your base for the first day of your trip and going home on the last day can be a big event. If you are lucky, you live in the same city as you are based and you can just drive to work. Eventually though, most pilots eventually have to "commute" to work. Many times this will mean having to leave your house a day early in order to get to work on time. That means more waiting around for flights, paying for your own hotel room/crashpad, etc.
All in all, I found it to be a boring job. Sure it is very exciting at first because everything is so new. After a while though, you've flown to all the cool places and seen all the sights in exotic cities. At that point, it's a job that involves waiting around for hours on end until it's time to go home.
- 10 years ago
A Day in the life of a Pilot
The job of an airplane pilot carries considerable charm, prestige, responsibility, and risk. An airline pilot can find himself in a different time zone, climate, and culture every day. As one notes: “It’s like a new and different expedition every time...a new and exciting world to discover and journey through.” Pilots literally have the lives of their passengers in their hands. The physical and mental demands are rigorous. The ability to remain calm under pressure and having perfect vision, hearing, and coordination are crucial requirements. Roughly 60 percent of all pilots are employed by commercial airlines, the most visible and widely known job available to pilots. Such professional visibility and prestige come with significantly more responsibility and a better pay scale. Commercial airline pilots fly large passenger planes often with 200 or more people aboard. There are several important safety steps that a pilot must take before every flight: Checking and filing flight plans, securing the approval of the air traffic control personnel of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and checking weather and flight conditions. The airline pilot or captain is assisted in his job by a crew consisting of a co-pilot, a flight engineer, and a flight attendant. Sometimes the crew is extended to include an additional co-pilot and a navigator. Another important “member” of the crew is the automatic pilot, an electronic device which is programmed to fly the plane. Even when the automatic pilot is on, it is the captain’s responsibility to remain alert to problems that may affect the plane. During the flight, the pilot and co-pilot maintain radio contact with ground control stations to report on altitude, speed, weather conditions, and a host of flight details. With minimal retraining, the commercial pilot can make the transition to other areas of aviation. Helicopter pilots are used by television networks and radio stations to deliver traffic and accident reports. They are also used for air-taxi service, sightseeing operations, mail delivery, and rescue services. Agricultural pilots are involved in farm maintenance techniques such as crop dusting, fertilization, insect, and weed control. To make such a transition, the pilot would have to learn about the proper use and transportation of chemicals. Pilot instructors teach company airline pilots regulations and procedures. Chief pilots supervise the training of new pilots and handle other administrative work; test pilots test new planes; executive pilots are employed by large corporations that own or lease planes for company use.
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- 10 years ago
Very stressful. They have to plan every flight and check the weather before each flight. They make about 5 to 8 trips a day to different cities. It all depends on what routes they have. It can be short trips of 2 to 4 hours or one international trip that can take 8 or 10 hours.
- markusLv 43 years ago
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- 10 years ago
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