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wongben4

Questions for real commerical pilot

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Hi, I have a few questions about the life of a commerical pilot:1) what do you eat in long haul flight? Do u eat what a J class PAX eats? or your meal is somehow different from what a PAX eats? (I read a book which was written by an BA pilot and he mentioned in his book that there are some rules on pilot's meal, such as 2 pilot cannot eat at the same time, and they cannot eat the same kind of food) 2) What do u do during leisure time? I know that after a long haul flight(a round trip), u get a week to rest in home, what do u do during that time? Do u need to do something which is job related such as practice emergency proedure in the sim, review the Flight Operating Manuel in home, or go travel.3) How can u adjust your biological clock? Can you sleep whenever you want to? If you didn't sleep well the night before the shift, would you call in sick? (I am a private pilot and I know how it feels when flying the plane in the morning with only 4 hrs of sleep) I know the above questions sound silly, but I really want to know how is the life of a commerical pilot.Thanksben

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Hey Ben,I dont fly long hauls but as a commercial pilot the lines you quoted are very true.we have choice of meals like you mentioned.Both the pilots dont eat at the same time so that at least one pilot is monitoring the systems of the aircraft.Yeah each pilot gets a different meal and from a different tray so that if the food is poisoned or any food is stale leading to one of them falling sick...at least the other pilot can take over.We'll and coming to my leisure time we'll most of the time i do make up with my social life and we'll since it my job i do practise my emergency procedures on the simulator.You never know whats gonna happen and when.The life of a commercial pilot is quite risky.At the end of a flight we either come home or goto jail ;)We'll the best thing is if you are not able to fly then dont !!Because a hundred lives are behind you - depending on you.So thats basically the life of a commercial pilot - we'll at least mine.-Navneet(F/O A320)FS 2004 Version 9.1AMD Athlon 64 3000+ASUS 7800GTX 256MB PCIExpressMSI nVidia nForce4 Neo 3 Motherboard1GB DDR400(PC3200) Kingston RAMWestern Digital 30 GB (7200 rpm)Seagate Barracuda 120 GB (7200 rpm)Sony DVDRW - 16XHP CD12 CDRW - 12XSamsung SyncMaster 740N LCD 17'PanelCreative Sound Blaster Audigy 4Creative Inspire 5.1 5200Windows XP SP2Logitech Extreme 3D PROLogitech Cordless Optical Mousehttp://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/747400.jpghttp://www.precisionmanuals.com

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Ben-I don't know what carrier Navneet flies for, but his answer doesn't resemble any reality I've ever experienced...The food that is prepared for crews really isn't a whole lot different than the meals served anywhere else on the airplane, except that the contents of the food tends to be regulated by a union contract requirement to provide hot meals of a specific variety. The food is no better or worse than the quality you'd find in the first class or business clase cabins, but it's served pre-packaged in a tray with the same plastic utensils and wet plastic wrap that everyone else gets. The food is high in sodium and is thus not very good tasting, makes you thirsty and is generally bad for your health metrix if eating in quantity over a long period of time.The food is prepared under highly regulated conditions, and I don't know of many lines that actually require their crews to eat different food sources any longer. Much of that fable comes from over dramatized movies from the 1960s and 1970s... ;-) For convenience the crew will frequently eat at different times, but my experience has been that this is because it's inevitable that the moment we both are chewing on something- ATC will call and require a radio response- so it's easier if we eat sepearately- or just ensure we aren't chewing at the same time.Unlike Navneets observation, the job is not high risk, nor is it dangerous. The professional culture of the airline pilot group is exceedingly high. Hiring protocols at airlines tend to weed out the "off reservation" personalities and leave behind a core of folks who are generally very like minded and considerate of one another's skills and background.In my entire career i can't honestly tell you I've given much thought to the responsibility of flying passengers around. I think that anyone who is giving that too much thought probably would be better invested putting their concerns into their flying. The concerns that I have had for passengers tend to happen during mechanical delays when you feel that your passengers are being given inaccurate or misleading information regarding their hopes for reaching their destination in a timely fashion. I want the passengers riding behind me to feel confident in their crew, and confident that they have been treated honestly by the airline- but I don't worry for their safety. If they fly with my crew, their safety is assured.Airline pilots fly in such varying environments, changing conditions and in various stages of health, sleep deprivation and distraction from factors from their own lives that the job is so routine and comfortable it would amaze you. There is nothing dramatic or hypertensive about the work- and the performance of the job is so mundane to it's participants that it is almost as if we are feining bordom most all of the time.An airline cockpit isn't a dramatic place filled with dramatic personalities. It's actually quite laid back and relaxed- and things in the cockpit of a modern airliner happen in a familial manner that is heavily cloaked in the scripted performance of all crew members. If there is excitement or hystrionics- then something is wrong with the participants....In my career I've run across just about any type of problem you can imagine (except hydraulic...never had a hydraulic problem.... but i've had intermittent fire warnings, pressurization problems, engines that wouldn't behave, avionics failures, electrical mishaps and some encounters with weather I'd just as soon forget....) but on only ONE occasion can I say that things were exciting- and it was the result of a failure in the skills of the pilot seated next to me... One time- and it lasted 15 seconds.As for free time- well... Hotel layovers get boring. You best develop a hobby of intellectual persuit of one type or another- lest you become creased with worry from too much time spent contemplating your own life.... :-)Time at home is not much different than anyone elses time. You minimize the amount of time you spend working- and maximize the amount of time you spend in your own pursuits. You study when you have to- attend recurrent training twice a year- and you keep your job in the closet with your uniform because you enjoy having a means of employment that doesn't require you to "bring it home with you."So- at risk of making all airline pilots sound like drole individuals- you'll find that as a whole, the community of pilots is quite un-enamored with the "glory" of aviation- but very few of us would trade it for the world.Edit: Oh- i forgot to answer your question about sleep. In the professional airline pilot world, I've heard of very few piltos who will call in sick because they didn't get a decent night's sleep. As professionals, you learn quickly to conduct your lifestyle in a manner that ensures you reach the cockpit in top mental condition to perform your work- not because it requires any greater mental acquity than any other job- but because the job is made particularly miserable if you attempt to participate while exhausted. Further we have high standards of one another and we aren't want to tolerate excesses of a fellow professional that leaves him less than prepared for the days tasks.That being said- sometimes you just can't sleep. So what to do? You tell your cockpit crewmate about your condition- and you soldier on to get the job done- and you do it well.Honestly- sleep deprivation is part of aviation. Unfortunately the industry has worked hard to ensure that significant research into fatigue is not conducted- as it might raise the cost of doing business. And after all- the professionals up front there in the airplane have been making saftey a priority in spite of occasional bouts of sleeplessness, haven't they? ;-)

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1) J meals when we can get them. Personally I always try to grab a burger or something in the terminal to eat and take that on the flight.If its a flight leaving London I try to get in early and eat in the terminal.The food onboard is OK but they only change the menu every 3 months so you get pretty tired of eating the same thing all the time.2)I normaly get 2-3 days off after a trip and try to aviod anything to do with aviation,though like now I have sim next week so will have to read the books.I`d rather be out on my motorbike or fishing or walking in the hills.3)I`m lucky in that I can tend to sleep anytime. Thats the key, eat when you are hungry and sleep when you are tired,your body tells you what it needs,if you try and tell it, it doesn`t work so well.Right now I`m in a hotel in San Francisco watching Jerry Springer,having woken up 4 hours ago.Hopefully I can get another 1 hour nap before I check out in 3 hours.I Will have 3 hours break on the flight but seldom sleep in the bunk.I will finally reach my own bed in about 19 hours time from now,after a 10 hour flight followed by a 3 hour drive.Its a boring life in reality(long haul),but it pays well!,and has other lifestyle benefits.cheersJon

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"I don't know what carrier Navneet flies for, but his answer doesn't resemble any reality I've ever experienced..."Just to remind everyone that no captain or copilot or company is equal. Depends on the phase og your career and much more. For example when you first become a captain for an airline, you often get that extra feeling of responsibility you didn't "really" feel as a copilot. And that is natural. It's not as we're just laid back and are just a few tired chaps sitting up front wizzing by at near the speed of sound. There is supposed to remain a sense of responibility of what you have behind you.And also, I happened to work for 2 consecutive airlines that still have these policies. One is not eating together and two is not eating the same meal. In my company at least it was not so we could talk to ATC without having a chunk o' burger between the molars but because one crew memeber must always remain in a position to take control of the aircraft. Kind'a hard to do with a mouth full of meat, a knife and fork in the hands and a tray on your lap. This was so at my company and also at KLM, since our rules are directly taken from their directives. It seems BA also has this rule. I agree that eating different meals does very little to minimize the food poisoning threat. People can eat the same thing at the gate for example. The trays are also made at the same time, stored at the same temp at the same duration etc etc etc.....so the chance of poisoning is little.But remember, no to people or airlines are alike....Xander

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>The food is high in sodium and is thus not very good tasting,>makes you thirsty and is generally bad for your health metrix>if eating in quantity over a long period of time.My cynical self tells me that the reason why the food is high on sodium is so that the passengers will buy more drinks. So what is the real reason? ;)Karsten

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Wow ! Interesting thread... The myth of the modern airliner pilot redefined ! Thanks for sharing those anecdotes with the average simmers... In spite of all, pilots are still humans :-lol

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>Right now I`m in a hotel in San Francisco watching Jerry>Springer,having woken up 4 hours ago.Jon,Instead of watching Jerry Springer you should be in my place, on the other side of the Bay and I would cook you a great steak. My cellar has many outstanding wines too - for pilots that are not about to check-out :-lolMichael J.

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I have questions as to what airlines are looking for in pilots. If someone could get in contact with me please via email. I don't mind waiting a couple weeks for responses, because I know that all the ATP rated pilots (or many of them) have very busy schedules, and take any moment to rest that they can.

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Just for my own curiosity :)What are the smoking pilots doing in the long hauls?Are they allowed to smoke?Cristi

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>What are the smoking pilots doing in the long hauls?They are doing the same as smoking passengers - they don't smoke. ;)Michael J.

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Hey Michael, I'm no airline pilot, but if you'll take in a sleep deprived (more than any toher pilot - believe me)private pilot I'll accept that offer of yours for a stake anytime! ;) Don't worry though. Last time I checked my schedule won't allow for a trip to Oakland for at least some 10 years! By then Robert and his gang will probaly be offering us Full Virtual reality Boeing 787 in FS XV :)Best Regards,Victor LimaSBGLhttp://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/800driver.jpg

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Victor,Do they make good wine in Brazil?We get wines here from all over the world - I had Argentinian, Chilean, Australian wines but somehow I don't recall ever seeing a Brazilian wine in my local stores.If they do - bring a good bottle and I will cook you a steak - but no doubt South America knows best how to cook beef so I could probably get a few tips from you ;)Michael J.

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"the passengers had a choice, chicken or fish""yes thats right, I had the lasagna"

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Nope, no good wines here in Brazil. We do have a pretty good drink called a caipirinha (kuy-pee-REEN-yah) famous all around. We cook good barbecues around here, but much different form the true American version. (oh I'd kill for that big red stake on a berbecue sauce). BTW Californinan wines are the new craze, I'm personally very fond of them (can you be fond of a wine), but cannot remember any names now. Anyway, next time I'm in Oakland we'll talk about planes over caipirinhas and a nice big stake. Stake care! (God that was horrible)Best Regards,Victor LimaSBGLhttp://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/800driver.jpg

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