Date: 17 August 2017
L3 Airline Academy trainee pilot Ryan Clyde - who features in ITV documentary 'easyJet: Inside the Cockpit' tells us his favourite things about flying.
1. The views
Photos are so much better than words to show the beauty of the daily 'office views'. When people ask me questions like 'Do you still love flying?' the first thing I think of is the glorious view we have the privilege of seeing every day. The cliché of 'breakfast over the Alps' really is pretty spectacular, as are the approaches at some of our destinations (my favourites are Nice and Lisbon). Every passenger loves bagging the window seat and we get even better panoramic views every time we fly. In the cruise I do occasionally gaze out of the window and am reminded how awesome this job is.
2. The people
One of the best things about flying for an airline is working closely with different teams of people every day. Due to the random nature of our rosters we fly with different people all the time, meaning no two days are ever the same. This also keeps the work environment very dynamic. How often you fly with the same people depends on the size of your base - here at Paris CDG I tend to see familiar faces every 6 weeks or so, while at a base as big as London Gatwick you'd be surprised to ever see them again! Due to our short turnarounds there's rarely time to socialise so we get quite good at getting to know each other very quickly over a quick 'cuppa. We have awesome people at easyJet and a great crew is what turns a good day into a great day
3. The learning
This is a career where you can never know it all, no matter how much experience you have and I think that kind of longevity is quite unique. Every day truly is a learning day. With gruelling sim checks every six months, it's important to keep focussing on techniques, revising operations manuals and acquiring new knowledge. But as well, it's very satisfying coming home from work every day having learnt something new.
4. The variety
As well as the variety of working with different people, there's also a huge variety in the days we work. With over 120 destinations within the easyJet network, there's lots of opportunity to visit new places. On top of that weather, air traffic control, passengers, crew, technical issues, operational requirements, other traffic and much more make it an ever changing environment. This is a key job requirement of the modern pilot: to manage the aircraft, flight and crew to get all the passengers safely from A to B amidst all these factors. The variety can sometimes be a challenge and occasionally means socialising outside of work can be a challenge - we don't call it 'standby surprise' for nothing! There are few jobs where each day is as exciting as this, though.
5. The landing
Undoubtedly, the highlight of every flight is the landing. Nothing quite beats guiding up to
66,000kg of Airbus towards the ground at over 150mph before gently raising the nose and gracefully touching down on the runway. Landing is absolutely the most exciting, exhilarating and brilliant thing to do in a plane and often we get to do it up to four times a day. There's no better feeling than nailing a landing and then going to do the walk around to prepare for the next sector and thinking 'I just landed that'.
You can watch Ryan feature in ITV documentary 'easyJet: Inside the Cockpit' on the ITV hub.