Hello there, I am a current B757 First Officer with Astraeus Airlines based at London Gatwick airport. Astraeus is an independent charter airline that operates a mixed fleet of 737 and 757 aircraft.
My typical day starts about 2 hours before my report time when I leave my home to drive to work, this is a bit of a chore as traffic around London's notorious M25 is some of the worst in the world! The report time my company stipulates is 1 1/4 hours before off-blocks time, this allows me time to meet the captain and the cabin crew, view the enroute weather, discuss fuel, speak to operations about any expected delays, and of course get to the aircraft. Once at the aircraft the pilot flying conducts the walk-around, whilst the pilot not flying that sector completes the paperwork, initialises the navigation system, and copies the relevant air traffic clearances.
The passengers board approximately 45 minutes before departure, which usually results in an on time departure, although anyone who has flown out of a London airport will know that the sheer volume of flights can result in significant delays!
At Astraeus we fly to many varied destinations, most of which are in Europe, however we also operate to Africa, the Middle East, India, and Canada. On the 757 the longest sector we operate is from Paris Charles De Gaulle to Djibouti, which is around 7 1/2 hours, it is around 200 miles further than it is from Heathrow to JFK.
I was employed by Astraeus about a year ago, and trained by them to fly the B757, previously to this my experience had been limited to light piston twins and turbo-props. I certainly feel very fortunate to be in the position that I am in, everyday is like a Friday!
My advice to any pilot looking for that first job or career upgrade is to keep plugging away, it will happen! I am living proof that someone with a limited experience background, no industry contacts, but a positive can-do attitude can succeed. My next goal is a command upgrade which will be assessed when I get to 3500hrs TT and 2000hrs on type, I cant wait!
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