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Singapore to New York: How pilots fly this epic 18-hour journey

Last week saw Singapore Airlines resume its record-breaking flight between Singapore and New York. The 15,337-kilometre journey takes just over 18 hours on an A350-900, flying a route that can take it close to the North Pole. With such a long flight comes a number of challenges for the crew of four pilots. A heavyweight takeoff, some serious … Continue reading Singapore to New York: How pilots fly this epic 18-hour journey

Why pilots don’t have to wear masks when flying

It’s universally accepted that wearing a mask reduces the spread of viruses. As I continue to visit countries around the world, it has become an anomaly when you see people not wearing masks. On an aircraft, the ventilation and airflow are better than any other enclosed spaces, on a par with an operating theatre. This, as … Continue reading Why pilots don’t have to wear masks when flying

As a pilot, I’ve learnt just how good long-haul flying is for the soul

Everyone loves an adventure. Growing up in Lincolnshire, my best friend lived on a farm and each time I went round to play, it was a proper adventure. Hide and seek in the barns, pushing our way through cornfields and staging mock battles in the treehouse. I loved exploring and I loved the sense of … Continue reading As a pilot, I’ve learnt just how good long-haul flying is for the soul

Police escorts and hotel lockdowns: How the pandemic has killed the glamour of being a pilot

Being an airline pilot is a glamourous job. Or so the movies tell you. Whilst the image of the ‘Catch Me If You Can’ pilot is a relic of the 1960s, the reality of the 21st Century is something quite different. Long flights often followed by just 24 hours in an airport hotel, the joys of … Continue reading Police escorts and hotel lockdowns: How the pandemic has killed the glamour of being a pilot

Evolution of an airliner: From the 747 jumbo jet to the 787 Dreamliner

Last week, aviation enthusiasts from across the country descended on London Heathrow to watch British Airways’ last 747-400s depart for their final resting places. The recent retirement of the aircraft leaves some very large shoes to fill. The 747 has been a core staple of long-haul travel for the past 50 years. The aircraft was the pioneer for long-distance … Continue reading Evolution of an airliner: From the 747 jumbo jet to the 787 Dreamliner

The sad demise of the 747, the icon that inspired a generation of pilots

To many, the 747 personified ambition; it was inspirational. If you put your mind to it, you could achieve anything The first time I piloted a 747, I was 14 years old. Easing away from Terminal 4 at London Heathrow, I can still feel the thump through my seat each time the nose wheel rolled … Continue reading The sad demise of the 747, the icon that inspired a generation of pilots

Smashed windshield — how pilots deal with cracked glass

Last week it was reported that an A319 just airborne out of Chicago O’Hare had to make an emergency return to land after the flight deck windscreen was smashed by hail. Whilst images in the media portrayed a dramatic event for those on board, how serious really was the event? Dealing with thunderstorms and severe … Continue reading Smashed windshield — how pilots deal with cracked glass

A balanced approach: How weight and loading are critical for takeoff

Last week, it was reported that the incorrect loading of a Prague-bound A321 out of London Luton Airport caused “takeoff issues” for the pilots. A last-minute change was made to the aircraft operating the service, from an A320 to a longer-bodied A321. However, the passenger seating was not changed, meaning that there were more people towards the … Continue reading A balanced approach: How weight and loading are critical for takeoff