Climbing through the cloud at 6 miles per minute and bursting out 'on-top' into brilliant sunshine at 20,000 feet whilst the rest of the world works beneath you is both a privilege and a pleasure that only a pilot can truly enjoy on a regular basis.
Back down again towards the ground, flying a £120 million jet with 150 passengers on board flying accurately on instruments along a precise approach path, breaking through the base of the cloud at 100 feet and landing safely on the runway in a 30-knot gusting crosswind, is also a unique skill set routinely demanded from an airline pilot flying within Europe.
"Once you have felt an airliner lift off into the air solely under your control, or have watched the sun rising over the Alps at 35,000 feet, you will never lose your passion for this challenging and stimulating vocation"
Many believe that one has to be born to love flying aircraft - and they are not entirely wrong. However, today, more than anything, professional pilots are decision makers and bearers of heavy responsibility in a high-technology environment.
They work within a complex system of electronic equipment and computers, as well as managing and prioritizing information and communication with other crew members as well as teams on the ground. Pilots are capable managers in a fascinating and highly unusual workplace, responsible every day for the safety and comfort of a large number of people.
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