Home » Exercícios de Audio »Exercícios de Leitura »Inglês para Pilotos »Pilot_Posts »Videos » Currently Reading:

Pilot Schedules/Routines

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

TOPIC: Pilot Schedules/Routines

GOAL: To learn about the types of schedules and daily routine pilots live

 

Level: Easy

 

 

Exercise #1: Read about pilot schedules and their typical lifestyle, and then proceed to Exercise #2

It’s simple: If you want a typical “9-5” job, then flying airliners is not for you. In fact, most airline pilots have a very non-traditional work schedule. Expect to work weekends, holidays, and lots of early mornings or late nights as a junior pilot. There is no such thing as a "9 to 5" schedule in most flying jobs. Whether you work weekends or holidays depends on your seniority and what schedules you can bid.

Seniority dictates the types of planes a pilot flies, as well as his or her schedule. Pilots who are relatively new to the airline will fly reserve, meaning they do not have a set flying schedule. A reserve pilot may have “on call” duty for 12 hours or longer at a time. In this time, the pilot has to be packed and ready to fly, because the flight scheduler might page them at any moment. If a pilot is called in, he or she reports to the airport immediately for a flight assignment (for many airlines, the pilot must be ready to go within an hour of being paged). Reserve pilots are called up when the scheduled pilot becomes ill or can't make the flight for some other reason. The life of the reserve pilot is largely unpredictable: Pilots might spend several days on reserve and never get paged, or they might get paged every day. And when they report for duty, they could be flying over to the next state or they might be putting in a three-day trip to another part of the world.

Pilots with more seniority pick out a regular flight schedule, called a line. Pilots holding a line live a more "ordinary" sort of life, in the sense that they know ahead of time when they'll be working. But even these pilots spend a lot of time away from their families, and they never know what delays they'll encounter. In the United States, a pilot's scheduled flight time should not exceed 8 consecutive hours for domestic flights or 12 hours for international flights. In actuality, pilots may work for more than 16 hours straight, since flights are often delayed or extended.

Let's take an “average” pilot flying domestic and continental routes for a large international carrier. Such a pilot might work 3-4 days per week on average, and will spend 150 to 200 nights per year away from home. Those work days will include an average of 5-8 hours of flying, and anywhere from 8 to 14 hours of duty time. In the course of a year, a pilot will fly 600 to 1000 hours (U.S. legal maximum) and will put in 2,000 or more hours on duty.

A typical 30-day monthly domestic schedule might be something like 3 days on, 3 days off, 4 days on, 3 days off, 2 days on, 2 days off, 4 days on, 4 days off, 3 days on, 2 days off. A 28-day inter-continental schedule might be something like 1 day on, 1 day off (layover), 1 day on, 4 days off.

While a pilot’s overall schedule is somewhat unstable the daily work routine is more predictable. Flight crews arrive to work well before (about 2 hours) their first departure time. This allows them to plan their flights carefully. They thoroughly check their aircraft to make sure that the engines, controls, instruments, and other systems are functioning properly. Pilots also make sure that baggage or cargo has been loaded correctly. They confer with flight dispatchers and aviation weather forecasters to find out about weather conditions en route and at their destination. Based on this information, they choose a route, altitude, and speed that will provide the safest, most economical, and smoothest flight.

Most pilots spend a considerable amount of time away from home because the majority of flights involve overnight layovers. According to the Airline Pilots Association, pilots spend approximately 360 hours a month away from their home base. When pilots are away from home, the airlines provide hotel accommodations, transportation between the hotel and airport, and an allowance for meals and other expenses.

 

Exercise #2: Watch two videos about pilot lifestyles:

 

  1. An interview with retired British Airways Captain Ian Pullin.

 

  1. A musical presentation illustrating a typical airline pilot’s overseas trip.

Exercise #3: Answer the following questions, which are based on the information contained in the text and videos you’ve just studied.

  1. Pilots that are new to a particular airline usually begin flying ______.
  1. a line
  2. reserve
  3. part-time
  4. none of the above

Answer = b

  1. A pilot’s seniority is based on____?
  1. age
  2. when they first received their flight certificates
  3. airline hire date
  4. the type of aircraft they have flown before

Answer = c

  1. Another name for a new pilot is:
    1. junior pilot
    2. young pilot
    3. ace
    4. rookie

Answer = a

  1. True or False: A pilot’s schedule never changes.
  1. True
  2. False

Answer = b

  1. According to the Airline Pilots Association, pilots spend approximately ____ hours a month away from their home base.
  1. 360
  2. 240
  3. 120
  4. 500.

Answer = a

  1. Retired British Airways Captain Ian Pullin said job satisfaction and ______ were the best aspects about being an airline pilot.
  1. medical benefits
  2. the pay
  3. traveling
  4. varied work routine

Answer = d

  1. True or False: In the second video, the pilots visited the Eifel Tower.
  1. True
  2. False

Answer = a

Learn more about Aviation History!

www.globalaviationenglish.com

 

Contact Us

We would love to hear from you! Please fill out this form and we will get in touch with you shortly.

Connect to Us

Facebook Twitter Youtube Linkedin

Featured Posts

Announcement: Aviation English – Inglês para Aviação

Damon Freeman Aviation English

Welcome to Global Aviation English’s Blog. Here we will release up to date information about what is happening in the world of Aviation English. We will also share some of our videos, mini lessons, videos and tips for tests and interviews. We have FREE online courses for Pilots, Flight Attendants, Mechanics, …

Cabin crew procedures

bus

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] Cabin crew procedures Aim Practice English skills in an aviation context Revise some typical procedures and test yourself on knowledge you not only need to know but may be tested on during interviews Have fun! The list of cabin crew procedures can be …

Santos Dumont, Pioneer Aviator

Santos Dumont

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] Alberto Santos Dumont, Pioneer Aviator   Santos Dumont, born in 1873, grew up in a coffee plantation owned by his family but spent most of his adult life in Paris. He was so fascinated by machinery that even as a child he learned …

Airline vs. Executive Aviation

buswal

  TOPIC: Airline vs. executive aviation Listen to the audio GOAL: To compare airline flying versus working in executive aviation Level: Easy Exercise #1: Read about the differences between airline flying and executive aviation and then proceed to Exercise #2 The physical aspects of flying an airplane are fairly similar in …

Crew Resource Management (CRM)

English for Pilots

  [Audio clip: view full post to listen]TOPIC: Crew Resource Management (CRM) Exercise #1: Read about CRM and then proceed to Exercise #2 Crew Resource Management (CRM) training originated from a NASA workshop in 1979 that focused on improving air safety. The NASA research presented at this meeting found that …

Parts of an Aircraft

Parts of Plane

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] 1. Read about the various major parts of an airplane, then proceed to Step 2 Although there are many aircraft designs flying today, most of them share a common assembly of major parts that all pilots should be thoroughly aware of. Ever since …