Being a commercial pilot can be tedious, but flying an airplane is not boring.
As an individual with no experience in flying airplanes, may become curious about the professional pilots’ duty.
I understand, it is normal for general people to think pilots have nothing to do while the airplane is cruising on autopilot.
But that is not the case.
I got my first pilot license years ago, and I guess I am eligible to explain why being a pilot can be tedious but not dull.
First, let’s figure out why flying can be boring, and then I will tell you why it is not.
Why can flying be boring?
A person with zero experience in operating an airplane might think flying a plane is as easy as driving a car.
But it is not.
There is a lot of preparation a pilot has to do before every take off.
From the time the airplane take off until the airplane lands safely, the pilots need to monitor numerous instruments. Pilots have the responsibility of the passengers’ life and need to stay alert at all times.
Do you think with so much responsibility while operating an airplane can be boring?
Flying is a passion for many pilots, and many of them enjoy transporting passengers from point A to point B.
- But working in airlines as a commercial pilot, the pilot has to repeat the same tasks several times a day;
- Staring at the instruments for hours can become boring after working in an airline for years;
- Working irregular shifts can be tedious and boring for pilots.
On the contrary, flying in general aviation is not so dull. I met a few pilots who quit their job in the airlines and work in general aviation now.
They quit the job because the stress in the airline job was high, and a pilot who merely wants to fly the aircraft for passion, does not want to carry the stress.
Did you know working in the airlines is stressful?
Indeed, flying a million-dollar airplane with hundreds of passengers on irregular schedules can become tiresome for pilots.
A student pilot today may dream of working in an airline after years of training.
It is a dream for many aspiring pilots.
They want to wear that uniform and walk in the airport and have that feel of sophistication.
Like any other dream, the journey is always exciting. But once a pilot is living his/her dream, it is not so much fun anymore.
Two reasons play a significant role in why many aviators choose to become an airline pilot:
- They think they can travel the world for free;
- And to experience different cultures.
There is no doubt, as an airline pilot, one can experience different cultures around the globe. Have the best meal at the best restaurants in different countries.
But at one point, this particular experience will not be so much fun.
Imagine going to Spain 5 times in a month, and you do not have the chance to go to the beach for once.
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You can hear many airline pilots say this:
- Most of their time during long-haul flights, they stay in their hotel rooms.
The pilots are in a different country, but they spend their time in the hotel rooms, hotel bars and restaurants. Commonly pilots prefer only to sleep because they are tired and want to have adequate rest before their next flight.
Do you think traveling from one hotel room to another hotel room is pleasant year after year?
Likewise, airline pilots need to spend most of their time in the airport.
Being in the airport and having the same coffee from your favorite coffee shop chain will not be stimulating after few years.
In reality, flying an airplane is not boring, but the repetitive tasks as an airline pilot is boring and tedious.
Now I want to ask you which job is not boring?
All jobs are boring for a person if the person is not passionate about their work.
Is being a commercial pilot boring compared to your 9-5 job?
Working at a desk every day of the week from 9 am to 5 pm is very dull. Yet, there are billions of people who work from a desk. They spend hours just looking at their computer screen.
They repeat the same tasks years after years until they retire.
How about the stress there? Sitting at a desk with a computer doesn’t mean the person is stress-free.
All jobs have anxiety. Some have more some have less.
But being a commercial pilot has its advantages.
Working as a pilot, you will get an office like no other. Every flight will bring new challenges.
On each flight, a pilot will have a new experience. And the sights a pilot gets to see from his/her office is like none other.
Working at an office, sitting at a desk all day, you can only dream of what pilots view on every flight. And yes, you will only have the chance to imagine that only during your break time.
Why are airline pilots not bored?
Being able to fly an airplane is a dream for many. And it is a passion for most pilots.
You will hardly meet a pilot who will say that they do not enjoy flying an airplane.
An airline pilot may say that staying in the hotel rooms is boring for him. But he may not ever say that sitting in the cockpit and taking off the ground is monotonous.
Controlling an airplane with the responsibility of hundreds of passengers’ life is challenging.
Landing the airplane safely every time makes a pilot feel euphoric.
No matter how many hundreds of landing a pilot did before today, the pilot will always have a satisfaction in landing this giant machine securely.
It is not only about the take-offs and landings.
What do you think about the cruise during autopilot? That must be boring, right?
Although the airplane is cruising at thousands of feet on autopilot, a pilot cannot sleep.
How would you feel if you know that the pilots are sleeping and the airplane is flying by itself at high altitude?
Pilots are not allowed to sleep. Even during a cruise flight that pilots need to monitor to ensure safety.
No matter how automated an airplane becomes, a pilot will always be the soul of the aircraft. It is crucial to have someone to control all the automation inside the cockpit.
“The engine is the heart of an airplane, but the pilot is its soul”Walter Raleigh.
The weather may change suddenly, and the autopilot will try to fly the airplane through the bad weather.
Autopilot can’t recognize the turbulence ahead and can’t divert from its path slightly to avoid the turbulence
But a pilot can do that. A pilot can do whatever necessary to ensure the safety of the passengers.
How boring is flying general aviation?
General aviation is precisely the opposite of commercial aviation. In general aviation, a pilot can fly a wide variety of aircraft.
There are no strict schedules, and usually, the flights are only during the day time.
Night flights are not regular in general aviation.
So typically, pilots in general aviation are flexible with the time and do not have the stress of flying like commercial aviation.
Nevertheless, the most important thing about flying in general aviation is that most airplanes doesn’t have autopilot. Thus the pilot has to control the aircraft manually, and that makes the flying more challenging.
Flying an airplane for hours at the same time, monitoring the instruments can be very tricky for pilots.
So, in my opinion, flying airplanes in general aviation is not boring, but can become tiring replicating the same job.
Being able to fly a plane is the best experience of life for many people.
“Pilots take no special joy in walking.
Pilots like flying.”Neil Armstrong.
Safely taking off and landing every time gives a feeling of satisfaction.
Such a job can never be tedious.
But several pilots quit the job in airlines and start working in general aviation.
Those pilots get tired and bored of flying commercial jets but never give up flying. Hence they continue working in general aviation.