The career path of a commercial airline pilot
During our childhoods, many of us aspired to be a pilot when we were older, but what does the qualification process actually include?
With your place of work being at 39,000 feet, spending your life working on an aeroplane can be thrilling, and the travel, culture, and social opportunities of working in aviation are certainly plentiful too! Whether you’re a captain, co-pilot, or flight attendant, keeping healthy is very important because of the altitudes that you will work at.
Sometimes, working on a plane can be stressful and quite frankly, bloody hard work. To be better prepared for the physicality of the job, make sure you squeeze in a few exercise sessions into your weekly routine. Being fitter will help you breath better during working hours, allowing better blood circulation and improving overall health. By flying at a high altitude, your body will be under slightly more pressure than it would at sea level. Counter this by improving your cardiovascular health as well as muscle integrity to help handle the situation better.
Whilst working, it is important to keep your bodily water levels topped up throughout the day. We lose more water at a higher altitude, therefore it’s of vital importance that your water consumption rate is higher than what you would consume on the ground. Take advantage of your rest time between flights by drinking plenty of water, or even better, coconut water which is extra tasty and very refreshing!
As is the case in every line of work, getting enough sleep to do your job is hugely important. Working in aviation, you must get used to having irregular sleep patterns. Once you’ve touched down, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to recuperate, even if you have landed in a very exciting city or country that you desperately want to explore!
If you work long-haul then you will also have to get used to sleeping at high altitude when it’s not your shift. To avoid any sleep disturbances, invest in some noise cancelling earplugs and a light reduction mask.
Lots of aviation professionals make the mistake of disregarding their friendships with people who aren’t in the aviation industry. Because of irregular shift patterns and stopovers in places far and wide, it may seem hard to keep up a strong social circle back home, but by making an effort to do so, will keep you grounded, and will help you keep in touch with the ‘real world’.
By taking an active interest in world affairs, you will have knowledge prior to arriving in any given place – knowledge that might affect you whilst you are there. Having a tip-off about local culture from magazines or from reading that you have done on the internet could help make your stopovers in foreign cities even more enjoyable (or keep you out of trouble!).