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Airline Flying: Boring?  
User currently offlineAv8 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 37 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3062 times:

For all you airline pilots out there: Does airline flyingget boring??? Does it get very routine and just not exciting? How much variance is there in the routes that you fly and the destinations you go to?? Just curious. Thanks a lot!!!

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 17
Reply 1, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3043 times:

Ernest K Gann once said that flying is hours of boredom, punctuated with moments of sheer terror.

User currently offlineRadarbeam From Canada, joined Mar 2002, 1310 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2994 times:

About 3 weeks ago I talk with a chopper pilot (he flies a Bell 222). He is an ex-military guy and after having paid his dues with the Canadian Air Force he went on with an airline flying a B757. After a couple of years he got bored flying the line so he bought his own helo with a another ex-mil guy and now those two are flying high-end-full-of-cash customer (Tommy Hilfiger friends for example) to some of the most remote places in Quebec, mostly for hunting. He says that they sometimes get some good adrenaline when flying to some of these places.


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Radarbeam


User currently offlineShawn Patrick From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2608 posts, RR: 17
Reply 3, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2948 times:

From everyone I've talked, they absolutely love airline flying.

Personally, I'd think that any airline job would be a helluva lot more satisfying than some sort of desk job... can I have a gun please?  Big grin


User currently offlineDe727ups From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 814 posts, RR: 14
Reply 4, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2937 times:

It can be boring at times. It's a great job, though, and I wouldn't want to be doing anything else.

User currently offlineJetguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2936 times:

Well, for what it's worth, I'm a corporate pilot and I love my job. I used to fly for a major airline, but I was bored out of my mind. Airline flying took the "fun" out of flying. (After all, how tough is airline flying really? Takeoff, fly a SID or take vectors for the departure, fly to "where ever", then a STAR and/or vectors to an ILS and land - then repeat ad nausium.)

We fly better equipment (they've got all of the lastest "whistles and bells"), get better training (Flight Safety every 6 months, Radar school, Aerobatics, altitude chambers, etc, etc, etc,...) and fly to "better" places. (Coast to coast and border to border on a routine basis, plus multiple trips per year to Europe, Mexico, South America and Asia.) The only possible draw back is the salary, but even that isn't so bad anymore - most experienced corporate guys are commanding low to mid six figures. The time off is very comparable, I work an average of 3 days per week and get 36 days of vacation per year There's no way I would go back.

Jetguy



User currently offlineShawn Patrick From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2608 posts, RR: 17
Reply 6, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2906 times:

I wonder how military flying, mainly cargo/transport, compares to airline flying? More exciting?

User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 7, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 2869 times:

I think that for the military cargo pilots, there is at least a greater variety of destinations to fly to (even when you're not supporting some operation somewhere in the middle of nowhere where the landing strip is made of sand or grass and the tower is a tent with a radio antenna on top).
But then again, you probably get less time in the air because of the cutbacks that are destroying the budgets for maintenance and fuel.



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineBackfire From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2773 times:

I'd say that it probably has it moments of utter boredom and routine, just like any job.

I came within an ace of becoming a commercial pilot. But I didn't want it enough to pursue it to the ends of the earth -- and while I'm sure it would have been interesting I often wonder whether I'd have frequently been bored rigid once the novelty wore off.

Now my line of work puts me right at the heart of the airline industry, and the experiences and people I meet make it fascinating. I've never got up in the morning wishing I was in a different job. It's a great feeling. So I'm not a pilot...who cares?


User currently offlineCapt.Picard From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2747 times:

This is interesting.

I'm a student (not a pilot) but will have to figure out pretty soon what to do after University - money doesn't grow on trees, as most of us who have to work know.

I'm contemplating piloting - not necessarily for the airlines, and preferably in Australia. I would put quality of lifestyle before money, but not by a large amount.

Most airline pilots I've spoken to seem to share the same enthusiasm for flying. Those who fly short haul (intra-Europe) say they never get bored, but that they can imagine long haul flights may occasionally become tedious. They can't imagine themselves stuck inside an office, day in day out.

I have to say, I share their point of view on the latter!



User currently offlineCapt.Picard From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2739 times:

Found this very relevant link on PPRUNE

http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=67636&highlight=enjoy+flying

If most of these replies are from real pilots, it's very encouraging!


User currently offlineRick767 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 2662 posts, RR: 51
Reply 11, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2716 times:

Aspects of every job will become routine and repetitive. But flying for me has always been my dream and still is. Sure, after 3 consecutive 12-hour night duties it seems very tedious, pretty boring not to mention extremely tiring.

But then some days we get a sunrise at FL380 over the Atlantic, cruise over amazing scenery on top of the alps, see the most amazing cities from altitude on clear nights, or view incredible star and planet formations in the skies above not shared with those on the ground.

I flew into Manchester (EGCC) last night, and the firework displays across the area were a marvel to watch as we banked 25 degrees right on vectors for the ILS. As far as the eye could see it was flash after flash...

It's times like that which remind you - it really is the best job in the world.

Also true to say that those who do it for the money, are usually sorely disappointed. You have to love this job. Thankfully, 95% of us do.



I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
User currently offlineJohnnybgoode From Germany, joined Jan 2001, 2187 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2699 times:

well, i always love to spend some time in the cockpit whenever i have the possibility and i certainly envy the pilots´ view from the cockpit when i´m sitting in the back...

but my father, who is a commercial pilot, he wouldn´t like flying longhaul aircraft. as a small kid, it was unbelievable that my father was confident with flying smaller aircraft (HS 748, Fokker 50, CRJ, and nowadays the ARJ...) and only shorter flights, but the more i think of it, i would prefer as well doing 3 to 4 take-offs and landings a day than to sit 12hours in the cockpit and just monitoring displays.
well, longhaul flights have certainly teir nice aspects, you get to see more of the world and it´s certainly much more fun to fly the bigger jets, and it pays better as well  Wink/being sarcastic , but i think when you´re doing this for quite some time, it really can get boring.
perhaps not for the likes of us who enjoy aviation, but there a pilots out there who are certainy less enthusiastic than any of us...

cheers
daniel



If only pure sweetness was offered, why's this bitter taste left in my mouth.
User currently offlineRick767 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 2662 posts, RR: 51
Reply 13, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2701 times:

Daniel,

You are correct a lot of (short-haul) pilots are scepical about long-haul flying. I am very lucky in that I fly for an airline which operates a "one-fleet" philosophy (all pilots can fly all aircraft). This means that since I am based at LGW I get a mix of long and short haul flying. Whilst probably 80% of my work is 2-4 hour "there and back" European legs, there is the occasional Orlando or Cancun flight which pops up and it makes a refreshing change from the norm.

The shared 757/767 type rating allows us to do this.

Like you said we do get to see some different parts of the world (and actually stay there). I have been to Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, India, Egypt, Isreal and Thailand in my time here all of which have been a great experience.

If the question arose though whether I would take long or short haul I would probably side with your father and take the short-haul. More variety, more "action", but would miss the long distance destinations all the same.



I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
User currently offlineEGGD From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 12443 posts, RR: 35
Reply 14, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2677 times:

Personally, I'd think that any airline job would be a helluva lot more satisfying than some sort of desk job...

I totally agree. When you get up at 6am on a grey, cold, windy, wet monday morning, which would you rather be doing?

a)Driving 2 miles in an hour to get to your cold dark office and sit there for 8 hours, without seeing daylight.

OR

b)Go off to the airport, do some quick sums and figures and then fly off above the cloud level, watch the sun rise and make some more calculations, monitor a few instruments and then 3 hours later arrive in some hot and sunny destination?

I think, i'd rather take b)


User currently offlineRick767 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 2662 posts, RR: 51
Reply 15, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2662 times:

EGGD,

Its great isn't it? Only hassle is that your situation "b)" normally has to be reversed after 1 hour in the sun, and you head straight back to the grey, cold, windy, wet afternoon in the UK.

Less glamorous than it sounds after a couple of years, but yes the sunrise makes it worthwhile and it beats a desk job any day. Just a pain when the Captain decides you can fly out and he's Flying Pilot for the return sector and so gets to do the walkaround in the sun when you had to do it in the rain!



I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
User currently offlineEGGD From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 12443 posts, RR: 35
Reply 16, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2652 times:

Rick - yeah I guess that having to come back is a bit of a pain in the ass. But you still have that glimpse of somewhere a little less depressing, plus I find other countries fascinating so even seeing a small part of one is a big bonus  Big thumbs up.

Plus, the pay is better than most deskjobs!!!


User currently offlineDonder10 From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 6659 posts, RR: 22
Reply 17, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2642 times:

Rick,
do you know if the BY training scheme is still on and if so,do you have a URL for it please?


User currently offlineB747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2648 times:

Agree to the fact that all line pilots like their job...
Is it a job or a hobby... ?
xxx
Short flights or long haul - I have done both, used to do 727 flying in USA, Carribean and Europe, and sometimes 4... even done 5 legs short legs per day... Would be dead tired...
xxx
Long haul, which is generally just 1 sector... even 10 or 12 hours long, does not bother me at all... I get tired with number of sectors... Jet lag does not bother me at all, I dont mind eating breakfast at midnight, and having dinner and a cold beer before going to bed in the ealy morning...
xxx
In my good old PanAm days, was definitely not boring, I went all over the place, hardly ever went there twice or three times a year... Now, for me it is South America to Madrid, 99% of the time... not really boring, but I have memorized all frequencies and waypoint coordinates...
xxx
(s) Skipper  Smile



User currently offlineAv8 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 37 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2622 times:

Thanks so far for all the replies! Its been nice reading all your opinions and it's helped a lot!

User currently offlineFlyboyOz From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 1985 posts, RR: 26
Reply 20, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2588 times:

Yeah..when I flew long haul flight, it was really boring if there were no PTVs in the back of the seat in Economy class. I really hate to wait for how long when my plane arrives in destinations! In addition, I hate to sit on the seat for ages. Now I realised that I really hate hate long haul flight! LOL


The Spirit of AustraliAN - Longreach
User currently offlineN751PR From United States of America, joined May 2002, 1247 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2576 times:

Airline flying boring? I think not!  Smile Well since I don't fly often I pretty much enjoy every minute of my flight. (yeah call me crazy Big grin)


Ladies and Gentlemen it's happy hour.You will get two approaches for the price of one.
User currently offlineRick767 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 2662 posts, RR: 51
Reply 22, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2569 times:

Donder10,

Which scheme are you referring to? Direct entry (First & Second Officer) or part sponsorship?

Rick.



I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
User currently offlineCapt.Picard From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2559 times:

LOL, I think Donder was referring to the PS offer.

There was a bit of a hoo-ha in Flight magazine about the applicant requirements i.e. they were too specific (A Levels in specific subjects, etc.) Given that only a proportion of aspiring aviators will have chosen Physics and/or Maths at A Level (or degree level), many potentially suitable young men & women are immediately excluded. (Some of us chose A Levels on the basis of academic interests, not commercial ones!)

On the other hand, Britannia are offering to invest much in their future flight crew...so they are wholly entitled to make their selection criteria as specific as they deem necessary.

Anyway, the argument in Flight (letters section) goes on....I think some people are immediately inclined to compare all UK airline sponsorships with those offered by BA in the past..it's inevitable, but not all airlines are like BA!

Rgds


User currently offlineRick767 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 2662 posts, RR: 51
Reply 24, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2532 times:

Picard,

I agree with the requirements for the scheme being far too specific. I have nothing like those qualifications educationally, and many of our Captain's left school with 'O' Levels (GCSEs).

Some of our more senior pilots have no education qualifications at all (not one).

From Britannia's point of view, though, they can only benefit from such "pickiness". For a start it will reduce the number of applications significantly. Secondly it allows them to predict that all applicants stand a very good chance of gaining first time passes in all 14 very difficult ATPL written exams. Retests cost too much money and as you know these schemes are run on a shoestring.

In general though I am opposed to any pilot sponsorship scheme (and that's not just because I was rejected from all of them - which I was). There are a great many young men and women out there perfectly qualified for entry into an airline job, and very many who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in life and pay there own way through. I have many friends who have done just that and sit without a job right now.

It is also unfair to those who apply to the scheme, who think their credentials will get them through when all it is really is "lottery luck". Get down to the last 50 and your personality will make the difference, but how many of the 3,500 get down to the last 50? Have spoken to guys who have run sponsorship schemes in the past and 2 in 3 initial applications went in the bin. It was the only way for them to get the numbers to a barely-manageable level.

Sorry but that's not fair as far as I'm concerned. But as an airline would you do the same? Course you would.

Anyway to answer the question I think the closing date for applications has been and gone, will check though.

Rick.



I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
25 EGGD : Rick - not sure about the glamour. Whilst on holiday last year I remember arriving late at night at the hotel, and seeing a captain checking in wearin
26 Post contains images Capt.Picard : No way, Serena is nice, but the "place to be seen" in Nairobi is definitely the Norfolk Hotel... Rgds
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