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Pilots Have A Say - With First Officer A.Logan

Written By Bronwyn Darnoc 28 Aug 2018
Pilots Have A Say - With First Officer A.Logan
Name A. Logan
Pilot ranking (Student,SO,FO,SFO,Captain,Pilot, Military Pilot,etc) First Officeer, soon to be Captain
Airline (current) e.g. Qantas, Lufthansa FedEx Express
Aircraft types flown (Airbus, Boeing, helicopter,Seaplane ...) Airbus A300/A310, Embraer 170/175, Dash 8 100/300 and many other GA airplanes
How many years have you been flying? 15
At what age did you first fly solo? 18
How many NM have you flown to date? I'm not sure, I've often wondered how many, but haven't yet sat down to find out. I did look to see how much I flew over the holidays and that was: 23,000 miles
1. At what age did you decide to become a Pilot and why? As long as I can remember I've wanted to be a pilot. My grandfather was a railroader, so I think transportation is in my blood.
2. What do you like the most about flying an aircraft? I truly enjoy the uniqueness of every flight. Even though we as pilots do the same thing time and time again, no flight is ever the same. Being able to adapt and evolve through the course of a flight is amazing to me.
3. Is it hard to fly an aircraft? Do you need lots of practice? Flying isn't particularly hard; however, the skills required to do so safely time in and time out are difficult to obtain. Learning to fly is one of the most rewarding experiences out there (if anyone is thinking of doing it, go for it!). Troughout training pilots practice, practice, and practice. No matter what pilots will always practice and keep their skills sharp. At the highest level we are required to practice our skills and abnormal situations constantly in simulators. Learning never stops!
4. How often do you fly? (commercial or private) What do you do if you are not flying? Commercially I fly very regularly usually around 12-17 days a month. Privately I haven't flown in about 7 years, I miss it too.
5. How do you prepare for your next flight? (e.g.time before take off/aircraft inspection/ route/weather maps) Prior to any flight I rest, especially flying overnight being rested is key. Starting an hour before flying as a crew we review paperwork (flight route, weather, planned weights and fuel, NOTAMS (Notice to Airmen, they will tell us how things are with the airport, ground based navigation equipment, etc.) aircraft maintenance status. When we as a crew are satisfied with all these things we go out to the plane. There we start our prechecks and aircraft setup. The first officer will complete the walk around while the Captain ensures the interior of the plane is setup and ready. We will get the most recent weather, enter our route into the FMS, calculate weight and balance data, check aircraft performance, and when all that is satisfactory we will finish out our preflight duties and prepare for flight.
6. Do you have a favourite airport/runway/landing and why? I've always enjoyed flying the river visual to runway 19 in DCA. It's a beautiful approach because of the proximity to Washington DC, and it is complex so we as pilots have to be on our A game.
7. Have your ever flown an aircraft with your family onboard?Does it feel any different? (e.g children, partner, parents) I've had the chance to fly all of my family (before I flew Cargo). It was always rewarding, my favorite was when I came out of the flight deck during the flight and my daughter saw me and was overly excited, smiled big, then offered me her grapes. My other favorite thing about that flight was it was her first flight and I was the Captain, and the first one to fill out her Simply for Flying logbook. Beyond that it isn't all that different, maybe more pressure to not have a bad landing!
8. Do you have a funny flight story or special flight experience you can share? I was flying to Manchester once, and we had two passengers that kept commenting on how small the plane was and they were concerned whether or not we could make the trip. Our flight attendant assured them we were ok, but they were insistent, telling her they came in on a much larger plane. Flight attendant told them that happens often and again we would make the journey no problem. Then they asked her if we would really cross the ocean with this plane. It was then she realized they were supposed to go to Manchester UK, not Manchester NH. It turned out their travel agent had booked the wrong city.
9. Is there an aircraft "secret" you can share? All the air coming into an airplane is cooled. The air used to pressurize the plane is "bled" off the engine and it is VERY hot to begin. So the air travels through a heat exchanger and into the air conditioning packs where it is further refined to a temperature acceptable for the cabin. Some airplanes use recirulated air, and others use 100 percent new air. All air is fed through a HEPA filter before entering the cabin. Even the airplanes combining filter and recycled air, the new air is at a higher ratio so the air is completely new every few minutes.
10. What is the hardest part about flying? (e.g fatigue, leaving family, take off etc) Managing fatigue is always a difficult part of flying. Our schedule can vary wildly and we travel all over the world so it really does a number on the body clock. Leaving family is definitely way up there too. It's the things we miss out on, the events, birthdays, holidays, etc. that are most difficult. While flying the hardest part is dealing with the unkowns, weather, maintenance, delays, aircraft issues. Those events can take an easy flight and make it hard.
Do you think a child should own a flight logbook? If yes why? I sure do, in an age where things are becoming increasingly digital, having a hand written unique document of your journey is an incredible thing to have. Especially as children grown up they can look back at their flights and remember those journeys and travels.
If you could inspire the next generation what would you tell them?

Go out there and do it. Whatever your passion is, embrace it, cultivate it, live it. You won't regret it.

 

Thanks First Officer Logan for sharing your personal flying experience. Flying your daughter on her very 1st flight must have been such a memorable experience and one most of us will only ever experience in the plane. The funny flight story is one that happens quite frequently and one I'm sure we don't ever want to experience ourselves! We look forward to following your journey as a future Captain  You can follow First Officer Logan on IG "logan3db" where he shares his flight deck experiences and knowledge about planes!

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