|This great shot is from "Erik" in Frankfurt this morning. Reminds me when flying for eight hours from Toronto to Frankfurt during the wee hours of the night and getting late landing clearance 300 to 400 feet "off the deck." You are spring loaded to execute a "go-around" and all it takes is one extraneous transmission to miss your landing clearance. Stress...what stress? :)))|
So mine is the most stressful job???
The last day or so the media has been airing segments on the most stressful jobs. Looks like my profession is the most stressful white-collar job out there!
Here’s the list:
1. Commercial Airline pilot
2. Public relations officer
3. Corporate executive
6. Advertising account executive
9. Emergency medical technician (EMT)
10. Real estate agent
But why is being an airline pilot so nerve wracking...let alone being captain?
Most of the time flying an airplane is “moments of sheer terror coupled with hours of boredom.” (I know you have heard this overused cliché hundreds of times) but why then is being airline pilot so stressful?
When you think one of the toughest things about my job is trying to keep it with recurrent training every 6 to 8 months, medicals, annual check rides, "transport" showing up on a whim…it can up the stress level a few notches.
Now throw in the “other” parameters…
Wage freezes, deep salary cuts, pensions potentially vaporizing, downturns, concessions, strikes, mergers, contract renewal, certain groups wanting to make political statements, etc…can add to the grey hair.
Now think about schedules, being away from home, restless sleeps, jet lag, crew meals, eating on the road, dehydration, cosmic radiation (it’s not that bad…an article to come) lack of exercise can all cause wear and tear on the mind and body.
(Luckily, I’m a regular at the gym which helps a little keeping things in check)
Then there’s situations at home: not getting holidays off, missing your kid's birthdays, and being away from home for long periods allowing things to fester imposing marital and family stress.
(On that note, Christer looks like I put too much weight on Halifax layovers and not enough for May 15th. I will be missing your concert!. I arrive from Denver, Colorado late that night) :((((
Then throw in weather…thunderstorms, slippery runways, delays due to deicing, strong winds, poor visibility, snowstorms all of which can cause premature balding…
(Notice air traffic controllers did not make the cut? I guess their offices don’t nudge thunderstorms or don’t slide down the runway at 150 knots? Having said that, you guys do a fantastic job and I fly in the safest airspace in the world because of you…thanks!!!)
Then there are ground holds, holding patterns, maintenance issues and flying from A to B with just “adequate” fuel.
Now throw in the media having their finger on the pulse looking for any “hiccup,” a fully loaded plane of passengers armed with cell phones and computers ready to hit “send” can also add a little paranoia.
Then there is security cameras, cockpit voice recorders, flight data recorders, internal departments scrutinizing flight profiles, ground based amateurs armed with scanners recording everything you say. Plus maintenance monitoring us ensuring we treated those multi million dollar engines with TLC. All of which causes one to ponder whether this job is worth it and should we pursue the "least" stressful white collar career -audiologist?
So is it worth pursuing the most stressful profession out there? You bet your sweet “you know what” it is!!!!
To achieve the goals you have set out for yourself.... that is success. So what if being an airline pilot is stressful? I know I wouldn’t have it any other way. To go through life without any regrets is priceless, but who does that? As one ex-ornery boss of mine once said, if you are not pushing the airplane to “barber pull” (over speeding the airplane) you are not trying hard enough.
I know one thing…I love my job!