Training to become a pilot takes between 2 and 4 years. Pilots always have a lot of responsibility, because they are in charge of flying lots of passengers every time. Flying can also be a very grueling job that requires mental strength and top physical performance. That is why the applicants’ abilities and the quality of the training programmes have to fulfil very strict criteria. There are now over 200 female pilots at Lufthansa, so when we talk about “the pilot” we are talking about male and female pilots.
A pilot’s daily work: an office above the clouds
Before the pilot boards the plane they meet their co-pilot in the briefing area. They are both trained pilots and can fly planes, but the pilot is the captain on board. They check the flight plan and emergency airports, study the weather charts and calculate the flight time according to wind and current weight. Then they calculate how much kerosene they will need to fill up. Before take-off they check all instruments in the cockpit and program the board computer with the flight path.
Once all passengers and the luggage are on board it’s time for take-off. The pilot flies the plane and the co-pilot is in charge of radio communication. They are constantly in contact with the air-traffic controllers on the ground. The pilot carries out the whole take-off and landing. That means they drive the plane to the runway, accelerate to 250 kilometres per hour and then take off. During the ascent the wheels are folded in and the flaps are closed. Then the autopilot takes over, a computer that can independently maintain altitude and speed.
Shortly before landing the pilot then takes over the controls again and safely lands the plane. After parking and a few further checks the flight is over. They then either fly straight back home or the entire crew leaves the plane and flies back a few days later.
You can find all sorts of information about your dream job as a pilot for Lufthansa here!