A Pilot´s Diary – Chapter 9

Hi! Another week, another diary. This week I worked only four days. After helping with two recruitment days in Oxford they gave me an extra day off. Here is what my schedule looked like:

Day 1: OFF 
Day 2: London to Trieste in Italy and back to London. Total duty time: 06:05 h 
Day 3: London to Riga in Latvia back to London and London to Dortmund in Germany. Total duty time: 10:40 h 
Day 4: London to Madrid in Spain. Total duty time: 06:40 h  
Day 5: Standby, called in at 06:32 am to operate a flight to Wroclaw in Poland and back. Total duty time: 05:00 h delayed due to slot time so not back home before late afternoon. Us as crew dislike delayes as much as you passangers do, we get paied for scheduled block time and not delayed time.

Frankfurt airport as zoomes from 37.000 feet

Day 1 OFF

Day 2 I came to the crew room pretty early, I had the option between two trains running with half an hour between them. I could either be really early or pushing it right on the check-in time, I don’t like stressing, you never know what could delay you, train delayed, long queue for the security or anything so I took the early train, and lucky that I did! I was safety pilot this day, which I didn’t know about beforehand, but I was happy that I got to the crew room early so that I could help the new guy getting all the paperwork prepared before the Captain got there. Being a safety pilot means that we were three pilots in the flight deck one of us doing training. I love being a safety pilot, I learn so much! I basically sit on the jumpseat as the third set of eyes, were anything to go wrong, or for any other reason, I can switch seat with the cadet. He could not have had a more challenging day as the first day on the line! Our APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) was inoperative, hung start when starting the engines, kept high 3500 feet high below fl150 which is not very desirable because you are between a decision to either increasing speed to get your profile back or reduce speed and get it back with drag, ie flaps, and speed breaks, that’s what they did and it worked out perfectly for a ten miles final.

Day 3, on my second day, we flew to Riga in Latvia and Dortmund in Germany. A four sector day which is not my first choice but good to do once in a while. It´s a really long day! We had some moderate turbulence on the Riga sectors, both going there and flying back, I always wonder, as a nervous flyer would you prefer one of us pilots to do a PA during turbulence, just to kind of hear the calm of our voices, or do you prefer us saying nothing? Dortmund has a very short runway, 1700 meters, it’s not a place to float! We do it as a Captain only landing, it makes sense that the pilot with the most experienced does the landing there. 

Weather as shown on our weather radar.

We were given a pretty ´heavy´transpoder code. 

Day 4, an easy two sector day, Madrid in Spain and back again to London, Stansted. The kind of perfect day where everything goes exactly according to schedule and plan, we landed back in Stansted 15 minutes before schedule.

Day 5 Being called in on standby is always a bit stressful, they called me at 06:32 I went to bed early the night before, I almost had a feeling that this might be one of the times when I actually get called…isn’t that funny? 06:32 is a generous time to get called on an early standby, the earliest they could call me was 04:00 am so I was happy that they didn’t haha Departure time for our flight was scheduled to be at 09:00, after I wrapped my head around that I was actually called on standby, usually takes a minute or two of staring up the roof, I checked the train table and there was one leaving at 07:18 so by now I had approximately 35 minutes, that taking to count the time that I need to leave my home to make it to the train. I usually allow myself an hour in the morning so had to prioritize my tasks…20 minutes prepping food 15 minutes for a shower, makeup and ironing my shirt….hey it’s about priorities and food will always be mine. We flew to Wroclaw in Poland and the forecasted wind was variable 40kts! Variable meaning that it could come from any direction and were that to be a 40 knots crosswind that is outside of the limits that we are allowed to take on the 737, so we took some extra fuel switch us and selected an alternate airport with not as strong wind.

That is pretty much it! If you haven’t already check out my youtube video where I share my a Pilots Diaries (link). And as always, if you have any questions please leave them below xx Maria

And here´s some food I had this week.

Almond milk chia and coconut yogurt with granola and date syrup. 

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3 Comments

  1. Andreas
    June 29, 2019 / 6:11 pm

    Great post and beautiful pictures Maria 👍✌😊

  2. Vivien
    July 1, 2019 / 11:23 pm

    What airline do you fly for?

  3. July 14, 2019 / 11:49 pm

    You’re such an inspiration!

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