Around the Pattern

Ramblings about flying for fun and profit.

Tag: international flying

The Commuting Pilot Flying International Routes

OK, I think I’m back close to the right time zone. The last day of a trip for a commuting pilot can seem to last forever….. mainly because it does. Example:

4:30 am Japan time, wake up, just because. Couldn’t sleep.

9:30 am Japan time, receive crew call and leave for the airport an hour later.

1 pm Japan time, take off for U.S.  (total time 8:30 since waking up, so far)

11:45 am EDT(same day) land in U.S.  Flight time 11:45. Don’t you just love that dateline? Now, I did get a 5 and a half hour break(last half of the flight) and probably slept 4 hours of it, so I’m not totally out of it yet. Naps are your friend. (total time now 20:15)

Drop off flight bag and get a decent dinner, or whatever you body is calling the meal.

3:30 pm EDT take off on first leg of commute, land at 5 pm PDT. I think I managed a 1 hr nap on that flight.

7 pm PDT take off on second commute leg and land at 8:30 pm

Arrive home 9 pm (I think that adds up to a total time of 32:30)

That’s why the house rule is: No power tools, No flying and No financial decisions for 3 days after one of these trips. And don’t even consider a serious conversation.

That’s why you won’t see a post for about 3 days after a trip. I wouldn’t be able to put together a coherent sentence.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like international flying, but it is definitely hard on your body.

Now I’m home for a week. I completed most of my home ‘to do’ list today. I hope to make it out to the local airport tomorrow so I can start the annual on my plane. But that’s another story.

Fly safe.

Crew call at 3 am

Here I am, awake since midnight, waiting for the next crew call that should come an hour from now. Actually, that sounds worse than it is.

For me, one of the hardest things, physically, to contend with as a professional pilot is the effect that time zone changes have on your ability to get reasonable rest before a flight. As a domestic U.S. pilot, I had to deal with the 6 am departure after a 10-hour layover on the East coast while I had a West coast body clock. Multiple nights like that make you wonder why you were in the business, unless you happen to have a nice day like Kevin did recently. Now I fly primarily the international routes. My local 3 am call is at a body time of noon back home. Well, noon yesterday.

For this layover, I tried staying on ‘home’ time and managed to get a fairly decent night’s sleep. And, thanks to the 24-hour availability of room service, I even got a nice meal to start the day. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always go as smoothly.

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