Many people have this opinion that a pilot has a glamorous job. They get to go to many cool places that they themselves have never been, maybe a location that’s on their bucket list that they may never see or its the photographs that are used in periodicals. Then there are those that wish they had taken up flying or at least taken a lesson or two to see what its all about.
Whatever the case may be, a pilot’s life on the road does offer the occasional great moments here and there that other’s may think that yes that is the special life. But I can tell you from experience that is not always the case, or should say its rare. I feel I’m fortunate to be flying a large range business jet that has a range of close 6,500 miles. That can be good or bad. Its good that you have the opportunity to have the possibility on seeing many different places you would never ever see as say an accountant (that’s what my advanced education earned me). However, that one long leg sitting in the seat in a very small enclosed area for over 10-12 hours of flying can get a old quickly.
The type of flying I’m doing is much different than an airline or regional airline pilot. They go to the same places alot. Not much variety there. Plus the crew base they begin the tour may not be where they live. So they have the challenge of just getting to their job to begin with. I feel I’m very fortunate to not have to worry about that part of the job. Since my company does not have crew bases I can live pretty much where I want as long as I’m near an airport with commercial airline service as my company buys my airline ticket to get me to the jet they need me to crew. Of course, that has its own challenges too. As an example, I’ve airlined from the US East Coast to Beijing, China to start my 7 day work week. I can verify that after you’ve watched all 6 movies in business class from Chicago you still have a couple hours left before you land.
Then there’s the hotel situation. Need I say more? Some are good, some are … let’s just leave it at that. I pray the walls are as sound proof as possible as I really don’t need to hear what the occupant in the next room is up to.
I’m now back in the NY area after leaving Dublin, Ireland this morning. Tomorrow I head to California. That’s 8 time zones in two days. If you count when I started this week and getting home from California on Saturday (hopefully) that will be 16 time zones in 6 days. And my wife wonders why my butt is dragging when I get home.
But this is the life I chose. Its a life that I know. And its one I do my very best to enjoy every day. I pinch myself everyday how good it is.