Av8
Topic Author
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2001 10:18 am

Airline Flying: Boring?

Sun Nov 03, 2002 9:52 am

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!!!
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Sun Nov 03, 2002 10:13 am

Ernest K Gann once said that flying is hours of boredom, punctuated with moments of sheer terror.
 
radarbeam
Posts: 998
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 9:00 am

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Sun Nov 03, 2002 1:25 pm

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
 
Shawn Patrick
Posts: 2465
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2000 7:30 am

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Sun Nov 03, 2002 3:52 pm

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
 
DE727UPS
Posts: 810
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2000 10:55 am

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Sun Nov 03, 2002 4:12 pm

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

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Sun Nov 03, 2002 4:19 pm

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

 
Shawn Patrick
Posts: 2465
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2000 7:30 am

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Sun Nov 03, 2002 5:17 pm

I wonder how military flying, mainly cargo/transport, compares to airline flying? More exciting?
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Sun Nov 03, 2002 7:11 pm

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
 
backfire
Posts: 3467
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:01 am

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Mon Nov 04, 2002 3:56 am

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?
 
Guest

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Mon Nov 04, 2002 4:39 am

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!

 
Guest

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Mon Nov 04, 2002 4:44 am

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!
 
Rick767
Posts: 2613
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2000 8:11 pm

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Mon Nov 04, 2002 5:20 am

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...
 
johnnybgoode
Posts: 2144
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2001 8:47 pm

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Mon Nov 04, 2002 5:42 am

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.
 
Rick767
Posts: 2613
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2000 8:11 pm

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Mon Nov 04, 2002 5:52 am

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...
 
EGGD
Posts: 11880
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2001 12:01 am

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Mon Nov 04, 2002 6:08 am

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)
 
Rick767
Posts: 2613
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2000 8:11 pm

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Mon Nov 04, 2002 6:19 am

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...
 
EGGD
Posts: 11880
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2001 12:01 am

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Mon Nov 04, 2002 6:23 am

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!!!
 
donder10
Posts: 6944
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2001 5:29 am

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Mon Nov 04, 2002 6:28 am

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

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Mon Nov 04, 2002 6:33 am

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

 
Av8
Topic Author
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2001 10:18 am

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Mon Nov 04, 2002 6:43 am

Thanks so far for all the replies! Its been nice reading all your opinions and it's helped a lot!
 
FlyboyOz
Posts: 1743
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2000 10:05 am

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Mon Nov 04, 2002 7:52 am

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
 
N751PR
Posts: 1210
Joined: Thu May 09, 2002 6:06 am

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Mon Nov 04, 2002 8:03 am

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."
 
Rick767
Posts: 2613
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2000 8:11 pm

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Mon Nov 04, 2002 8:06 am

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...
 
Guest

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Mon Nov 04, 2002 8:17 am

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
 
Rick767
Posts: 2613
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2000 8:11 pm

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Mon Nov 04, 2002 8:37 am

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...
 
EGGD
Posts: 11880
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2001 12:01 am

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Tue Nov 05, 2002 5:00 am

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 wearing his magnificent uniform and holding a gold-handled leather bag with 'KLM MD-11 CAPTAIN' written in gold along the side. Now thats what I call a nice night!! (hotel in question was Nairobi Serena, *supposedly* one of the best hotels in the world).
 
Guest

RE: Airline Flying: Boring?

Tue Nov 05, 2002 5:08 am

No way, Serena is nice, but the "place to be seen" in Nairobi is definitely the Norfolk Hotel...  Big thumbs up

Rgds

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