When it comes to writing books, it is always the original ideas that win, and this is one that most people have been waiting for someone to write about. This book is very well-researched, well-written, and thoroughly deserves to be read and reviewed by mainstream global media outlets. The author provides the readers with factual information and very useful messages on a subject that is crucial to those who take us safely from A to B. The author does this all with an entertaining and witty song throughout. It is a pleasure to read what he has written - so much more beautiful and interesting than anything else that you will find in any aviation related magazine.
The only problem here is that I, or anyone for that matter, sadly cannot reveal the identity of the author. Which is a shame, because when you read the amount of excruciating detail that he has gone into in laying out the crude fundamental reasons of why pilots and cabin-crew fail to get a good night sleep, only then you end up realising how fortunate those are that are reading this subject. I appreciate that the author provides interesting facts with a winsome sense of fun, and sometimes with silly-clever interludes, but on the whole there is a lot of pertinent information about a serious subject at hand.
It goes without saying that for a demanding job as being an airport pilot (and also cabin crew), getting the license and qualifying to get the job is only the first step in something that can be a rewarding career. However, the real challenge is to fight off the fatigue that comes with the job (it can make or break a career- and that’s one of the many reasons why you need a Class 1 Medical to be an airline pilot).
For most passengers, a single 12-hour flight can be enough to put off flying for a while- imagine doing that day-in day-out for the rest of your career. Pilots who fly internationally have to deal with jetlag and the weird times at which they land/take-off all the time, and they have to be fully mentally and physically fit for that. It is not easy by any means. Weird sleep patterns can have a disastrous effect on your body. In many cases, crew only have up to 48 hours of layover time before they turn-around and fly again. Low-cost and regional crew also have to deal with such challenges (though not with jetlag), but imagine starting at 3am and finishing at 1am the following day without a rest and aircraft delays, and then have to start again the following day- that’s the life of a low-cost airline pilot.
Many pilots and cabin-crew choose to find various ways to fight of their the pressures of the job - binge drinking (not everyone, of course), sleeping tablets, anti-migraine tablets, chain smoking etc. are all well-known habits that are practised in the industry (it is very difficult to get into and stay in the industry and very easy to get out of the industry). But how do you effectively end up enjoying a good night sleep on a layover? How do you manage to do that, especially if you are working for a not so well-known airline, where they stick the crew up in the cheapest hotel possible, complete with bed bugs and noisy neighbours?
Well, thankfully this book lifts the lid on a subject which everyone in the airline industry wonders about, but nobody has had the time to write about. I think every pilot, whether they are a trainee, experienced, a Top Gun… and even if they have flown Air Force One for the U.S. President, should get a copy of this book, grab a freshly brewed coffee (preferably not the one you get on planes), and cherish every word. In actual fact, this book would come handy to other insomniacs, especially doctors, nurses, night-time police helicopter pilots and so on.
The highly respected and experienced author works for a major airline (cannot give name) as an Airbus A380 Captain, and he has been all over the world and in all kinds of situations for the past 30 years – in other words, he’s seen and done it all from Dhaka to Guangzhou to Malta to Zanzibar and in other far flung places.
Click here to order this book from Amazon createspace for only $15.9
Click here for the book's website
Ready for action...another long haul flight. This time on-board the Boeing 747-8i - longest aircraft in the world.
At 76.25 meters, the Boeing 747-8 is officially the world's longest aircraft (cargo or passenger usage). It can accommodate a maximum of 605 passengers (in an all economy class configuration), or around 400 passengers (in a 3 or 4 class configuration). The freighter version of the aircraft has a cargo capacity of 30,177 cu ft (854.5 m3). 53 aircraft are currently in service, with 36 of those being freighter versions. Currently, Lufthansa German Airlines is the ONLY two airline that operates the passenger version with 9 aircraft in active service, and a further 10 on order. It was a pleasure to be on this rare gem, nick-named the 'Queen of the Skies'. There is talk that the current Boeing 747 aircraft used by the President of the United States of America, nick-named Air Force One, will be replaced with the Boeing 747-8i in the near future.
The aircraft I flew on today entered service on the 26th of July 2013 (aircraft Reg: D-ABYK), and this was it's 5th flight since entering service with Lufthansa. No wonder why the interior had a smell like that of a brand new Mercedes car!
For around 30 minutes in the late afternoon of the 16th of November 2009, airspace around China's capital city, Beijing, was closed off to general civilian traffic. Beijing Capital Airport itself came to a standstill for around 20 of those minutes- there were no take-offs or landings EXCEPT for the EIGHT- I say again- EIGHT aircraft belonging to the entourage of the President of the United States of America who landed one after another on Runway 36R. President Obama's plane, Air Force One (a special Boeing 747-200) was the 3rd aircraft to land on Runway 36R. The aircraft vacated left on taxiway 'Whiskey 5', and then 'Mike 6', before turning around on taxiway 'Zulu 3' towards the VIP parking bays (stands 710 to 714). The VIP terminal and parking area for aircraft is quite a distance away from the main passenger terminals, and even media are not allowed to go without extra special permission. I took these photos from around 2 miles away (from Terminal 3!), and it'll probably be the closest I'll ever get to Air Force One. While the aircraft are on the ground, they are manned by hundreds of staff from the Chinese and American national security guard 24 HOURS a day. The President's Air Force One parked neatly in between the two Air Force Two aircraft.
President Obama had come over from Shanghai, where yesterday (Monday the 16th), he greeted a group of about 500 Chinese students at the Museum of Science and Technology. His trip to Beijing was to boost further the relationship with China, and to have dinner with President Hu Jintao. Both of the Presidents met in private off Tiananmen Square here on a freezing Tuesday morning to discuss issues like trade, climate change and further boosting positive relationships, in a session that signalled the central role of China on the world stage. Beijing was in a lockdown for most of the day. President Barack Obama also toured the Forbidden City in Beijing.
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