Posts: 7275
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 12:21 am

Another Day In A Life Of An Airline Pilot!

Thu Oct 28, 2004 4:56 am

Hi everybody.

here another trip report out of the view of the cockpit!

Have fun reading it!

It should all started like a usual day flying from Hannover (HAJ) to Catania (CTA) in south italy.

I was sleeping in my hotel room and I had to get up at about 1:30 am to get ready for my flight departing at 3 am. At about 1:10 am my cell phone was ringing and the company: good morning, sorry to wake you up, but the flight will be delayed for an hour, so you can sleep an hour more! I just said thank you, and fell back to sleep! So I got up at 2:30 am and the flight should depart now on 4 am!
I got dressed and walked over to meet the captain and the Cabin Crew. All pretty tired but in a really good mood and it seemed to be a lot of fun today.
I was pilot flying on the way down to CTA and we talked about how much fuel we need. I decided to take about 600kgs extra fuel down there to fly faster to catch up the delay or maybe due to the traffic down there!
So we were brought out to the aircraft and we prepared everything to get ready. The passengers arrived and we wanted to leave, but there was no Push back truck. So we waited another 15 minutes until it was there and we left Hannover at around 4:15 am….
The flight itself was pretty uneventful. When we got the weather of CTA it just said: Severy thunderstorm, heavy rain really bad winds. So, no chance to land there… We entered a holding pattern near the airport where we could see that huge thunderstorm cloud right over the airport! The captain looked at me and asked me what I plan to do now! He said: “You are pilot flying, you tell me what we gonna do!” I just said: “Okay!”
So I thought about how much fuel we have to stay in the holding pattern and how much fuel we need if we have to divert to Malta or to Palermo. I calculated a moment and then told the captain that we can stay in that holding for about 15 minutes and then we have to make a decision. He just said, okay, that’s what I was thinking of, too. So we talked to the cabin crew and made an announcement to the passengers.
On the frequency there were 2 other aircrafts who wanted to go to CTA, too. They were in a holding pattern, too, but some miles away from us.
The 15 minutes passed and we got an actual weather report of CTA and it was not really better now. So I said: “Let’s go to Palermo!” The captain said: “Yes!” and I turned into the direction of Palermo and entered that all into the FMS while the captain was talking to ATC to tell them that we have to divert to Palermo! Then we made a normal approach (ILS RWY25) and landed there. On the apron the captain called the company, because we need a new flight plan and fuel figures for the flight to CTA. The captain was outside talking to the ground staff and the refuller and I was on the phone with the company, getting the data for the flight to CTA. We got in a pretty hurry, because now we got a slot we had to accept otherwise we had to wait for 2 hours in Palermo! So, we refuelled and I was preparing the cockpit again. Then the captain was back and we received a new loadsheet. We now had 7 tons of fuel on board and we started the engines. This fuel is enough to go to CTA, hold there for a long time and just in case come back AGAIN to Palermo.
So, we took off and the huge Thunderstorm cloud was not anymore over CTA so we made a normal approach to CTA and landed there. After 60 minutes of turn around time there on the Ground, we flew back to Stuttgart (STR) and the Captain was Pilot flying now. This flight also was uneventful and finally we landed in STR with a delay of 4 hours and 3 minutes  Wink/being sarcastic pretty good, huh?
Then I just relaxed on my Lufthansa flight (as passenger( back home to Frankfurt (FRA) where I live. I came back home and just went to bed to take a nap  Wink/being sarcastic

It was an interesting day and pretty exciting…

I hope you enjoy reading it…

Posts: 1334
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 2:44 am

RE: Another Day In A Life Of An Airline Pilot!

Thu Oct 28, 2004 5:00 am

Great trip report!

Tells us what its like up front when the pilot has to divert

Silly Islamic extremists, it's just a cartoon!
pilot kaz
Posts: 4591
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 9:07 am

RE: Another Day In A Life Of An Airline Pilot!

Thu Oct 28, 2004 6:40 am

Lol, look at you, pilot in command, bless  Big grin

oh yes, very good report, always interesting to read from a pilots point of view  Big thumbs up

kazzie x
Posts: 454
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2004 11:45 pm

RE: Another Day In A Life Of An Airline Pilot!

Thu Oct 28, 2004 6:42 am

I wanna thanks Wilco for his very humble explanations and extra comments on his trip over TeamSpeak.

Well... That was quite a flight! And quite a test for decision making... Way to go, pal!!! Also... Nice ending of the story. Pretty quick!

I just wish I had this call everyday... "Daurys, you have one hour more to sleep to day" !!! Sooo cool!

Thanks for that Wilco! And remember, you report every trip you make (everyday) since its something new for us anyways!

Posts: 151
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2001 9:15 am

RE: Another Day In A Life Of An Airline Pilot!

Thu Oct 28, 2004 2:18 pm

Thanks for the report.

Just as a suggestion... your username alludes to the type of aircraft that you fly, but it would be great if you could also include the type info in your report.

This is the time. And this is the record of the time.
Posts: 7275
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 12:21 am

RE: Another Day In A Life Of An Airline Pilot!

Thu Oct 28, 2004 5:20 pm

hi Craziboy,

yeah, sorry, forgot to write that... I flew a 737-800 and that was the last trip report of that type. From now on all reports will be out of a 737-300/500.

Posts: 576
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2003 5:45 am

RE: Another Day In A Life Of An Airline Pilot!

Fri Oct 29, 2004 6:09 am

Hi Wilco,

Another great report! I really enjoy reading reports like this, you get the idea of how things work out in cockpit. Interesting to read about the diversion too.
It's Scandinavian
Posts: 1016
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 7:34 am

RE: Another Day In A Life Of An Airline Pilot!

Fri Oct 29, 2004 9:09 am

Hello Wilco !
Thank you for giving us this great report, it is very appreciated. Always interesting to read a trip report from a different point of view. Could you perhaps elaborate some more about how a diversion decision is made, in this case why did you chose Palermo instead of Malta ? As far as I know there is not a big difference in distance between those airports and Catania, maybe 50 km, so maybe you (Lufthansa that is)have better relations with the Palermo airport ?

Thanks !  Laugh out loud
Posts: 19163
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: Another Day In A Life Of An Airline Pilot!

Fri Oct 29, 2004 2:08 pm

Very nice report Wilco! Thunderstorms must really look cool from the air.


7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
Posts: 1844
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2004 5:42 am

RE: Another Day In A Life Of An Airline Pilot!

Fri Oct 29, 2004 9:03 pm

Very nice Phil. But wheres the pics of the thunderstorm!!?? lol

Maybe I'll let my mum read it as she was in CTA at the same time  Smile
Neutrality means that u don't really care cos the struggle goes on even when ur not there, blind and unaware
Posts: 3528
Joined: Sat May 19, 2001 9:22 am

RE: Another Day In A Life Of An Airline Pilot!

Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:05 pm

Wilco.........another great report!!!!!!!!! Keep them coming!!  Big thumbs up

Phyllis  Wink/being sarcastic
Posts: 846
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 3:49 am

RE: Another Day In A Life Of An Airline Pilot!

Wed Nov 03, 2004 2:18 am

Hi Wilco,

Another excellent report from the cockpit - and exciting, too by the sound of it  Big thumbs up.

So your alternates were LICJ and LMML? Presumably in these cases you select the nearest alternate that has satisfactory weather?


Once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned forever skyward
Posts: 7275
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 12:21 am

RE: Another Day In A Life Of An Airline Pilot!

Thu Nov 04, 2004 1:19 am

hi LHR27C,

we decided to go to Palermo, because it was closer to our present position and Malta was on the other site of the huge thunderstorm! And we really didnt want to fly through it...  Wink/being sarcastic

Usually you have one alternate, but you have 3 other alternates listed on your flight plan with the informations you need: time to go there, fuel you need to get there, elevation...

The fuel is calculated after a missed approach at the destination and then to the alternate... So, most of the time you have enough fuel if you divert before you do the missed approach, that saved about 200-400 kgs (B737) and then you have more chance to hold longer in a holding...

So, there are a lof of factors you have to consider before you decide...

User avatar
Posts: 1919
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 6:00 pm

RE: Another Day In A Life Of An Airline Pilot!

Thu Nov 04, 2004 4:11 am

Great report wilco, like everyone else has said, its great to hear from the pilots point of view.
Keep the reports coming  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Feedfetcher, lightmac and 35 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos