Suitcases, dogs, avocados and coffins: What’s really travelling in the cargo hold?

Most commercial airliners are designed to transport hundreds of passengers around the world in varying levels of comfort. If you’re fortunate enough to be sat up the front, you’ll have the luxury of a fully flat bed and delicious linen to sleep the flight away. Sat further back is a little less glamourous, having to make … Continue reading Suitcases, dogs, avocados and coffins: What’s really travelling in the cargo hold?

To land or to divert? How pilots decide the safest option

Time is a precious commodity. It can either be a pilot’s best friend or their worst enemy. Having the ability to differentiate between perceived time and the actual time is a key skill of a good pilot. So, when approaching an airport where the weather is less than ideal, pilots never want to be backed into … Continue reading To land or to divert? How pilots decide the safest option

How do pilots deal with an engine failure on takeoff?

An engine failure on takeoff is one of the most challenging situations a pilot can face. The sudden asymmetry of thrust can cause the nose to lurch to one side, requiring immediate and instinctive reactions. If the engine has caught fire, alarm bells will be ringing (physically and metaphorically) and lights will be flashing. It’s … Continue reading How do pilots deal with an engine failure on takeoff?

Brace for impact! How the landing gear on the 787 Dreamliner works

“I didn’t even realise we’d landed!” Of all the comments pilots like to receive from passengers, this has to be right up there. Everyone loves a smooth landing, it makes us pilots feel proud and passengers feel safe. However, no matter how smoothly we fly, bringing a 190-ton aircraft down onto the runway at 170 mph … Continue reading Brace for impact! How the landing gear on the 787 Dreamliner works

How pilots deal with radiation and flights over the North Pole

Racing around the world at 43,000 feet, you may think that the biggest threat is hitting the ground below you. However, have you ever thought of what’s hitting the aircraft from above? Cosmic radiation is all around us, but its effects are seen more at altitude, and particularly at the Poles, than on the ground. However, some … Continue reading How pilots deal with radiation and flights over the North Pole

From engine fires to systems failures: How pilots manage emergency situations

At all times during a flight, one of the pilot’s sole responsibility is to ensure the safe flight path of the aircraft, no matter what else is going on. This is particularly important when it comes to emergency situations. The natural urge is to get involved and help solve the issue. However, this will often … Continue reading From engine fires to systems failures: How pilots manage emergency situations

How pilots are awarded their licences

The path to becoming an airline pilot contains many hurdles and hoops that cadet pilots must jump over and through. By the time they take to the controls of their first commercial flight, they will have completed hundreds of hours of flying in both aircraft and simulators and be the proud owner of an official pilot’s licence. However, recent … Continue reading How pilots are awarded their licences