A Day in the Life of a Commercial Pilot

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We’ve all done it – sat in the airport departure lounge, and gazed out over the tarmac. The noise, the energy, the hint of sweet perfume from the jet engines, the bustle, all culminating in the loping stride of a plane down the runway and onto who knows where. But have you ever wondered, daydreamed, ‘could I do that?’ Have you ever wondered, what’s it like to be a commercial pilot?

How does your day begin?

As we well know, what goes up must come down. But you want to come down on your own terms. Before passengers, baggage, or even sitting in the cockpit, your first job as the Pilot is to inspect the aircraft. You are checking the fuselage, wings, the tires, the fuel, the engines and completing your flightplan. Once you are happy, and only then, do you welcome the passengers and crew and settle into your seat.

Now is your moment to fire the engines. The whir of the turbines accompanies you onto the runway, where you balance the wind and accelerate up to lift off. That’s the moment. The one you fly for. The thrill of the planes weight lifting off the ground and the clear blue skies ahead.

Cruising, crossing the world

Now you are in the air, but it is not time for a rest. You monitor your instruments, weather, fuel and keep a listen out on your radios, all while being aware of the breathtaking view of the curve of the world beneath you.

Your job isn’t simple. As a Pilot, you need to have a planned route, checking in with ground control along the way, know where the nearest airport is and have alternative routes planned, just in case anything goes wrong. Today, all your planning has paid off, you have had a perfect run. All that’s left now is to gaze outside your office window 35,000 feet in the air.

You can see the destination, you have communicated with the tower, time now to get the aircraft safely on the ground. While the autopilot may be able to land itself, your job has barely begun. Once again you are on the radar, scanning weather and wind direction, listening to the tower, avoiding other aircraft. Your role is to do everything at once and thread your craft through the airborne traffic of an airport.

You get the all clear. Time to land.

Speed is washed off, the ground starts coming up. You can see more and more detail on the surface. Landing gear down, get the speed just right, and account for the cross breeze.  Aimpoint attitude airspeed you tell yourself, round out, fly level, idle the engines and look to the end of the runway


Tires are down,  brakes on, reverse engines. You’ve done it. Another successful landing.

You can let go of that breath now.

Taxi off the runway and dock at the gate to unload passengers. Now is time for the shutdown checks, daily report and handover to the maintenance crew for refuelling and the next journey. Your day is done. You go home, hang up your hat and finish another day in your dream job as a commercial pilot.

Have you ever thought about flying? Why not book one of our TIFS (Trial Introductory Flights) at Bunbury Flying School? You may or may not catch the flying bug, but you will definitely have a day to remember.

If you think a commercial pilot licence might be part of your future career, call us and spend your days gliding above our beautiful South West and beyond.

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