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What it’s like to be a Corporate Pilot

Are you thinking of becoming a corporate pilot? There are many draws to this aviation career path, including prestige, the chance to meet celebrities, and of course – the opportunity to travel the world!


If you’re wondering what it’s like to become a corporate pilot, consider a typical day in the life.


Night Before

Wrapping up a day of work, you pull into your local hangar at 7:00 p.m. After logging your flight and ensuring that the plane is safely tucked away for the night, head to the pilot’s lounge to hang out, chat and network with fellow aviators. Swap stories about past flying adventures while you build friendships with those that share your interests. You head home early to get a good night’s sleep so you can be fresh for the big day tomorrow.


9:30 a.m.

Wake up and leave for the airport for an 11:00 a.m. scheduled take-off.


10:00 a.m.

Arrive at the local airstrip, grab a cup of coffee and a muffin to fuel your day. Review your upcoming flight itinerary, weather conditions and assigned crew members for the trip. The conditions in the sky are bright and clear, so there will be no delay or cancellation of your assigned flight: a quick round-trip flight to a another city in the region. Your co-pilot is someone whom you’ve flown with before, so you’re happy to be flying with a friend.


You run into one of your pilot acquaintances in the hangar who tells you he just got back from Palm Springs and it’s gorgeous this time of year – looks like you know what your plans are on your next off-duty weekend!


10:40 a.m.

Coordinate fuel, ground power unit, catering and other standard pre-flight measures. Your plane is readied, clearance has been received from the air traffic controllers and everything is programmed to the proper specifications. You brief your co-pilot, first officer and other crew members, discussing the flight plan, sipping some coffee and chumming it up as you wait for your corporate passengers to get seated and comfortable.


11:00 a.m.

You welcome your passengers aboard, ensuring them that the flight will be safe and worry-free. After that, it’s time to start the engines and take off to your client’s destination.


11:20 a.m.

You’ve ascended to 35,000 feet, leveled off and passengers are now free to move about the cabin. You hand-off control to the co-pilot and head to the cabin to give a quick greeting to the aircraft owner or executive in charge. This personal connection is a part of the job that many captains love, as there are no locked flight deck doors on a private jet.

11:40 a.m.

You fly over a beautiful mountain range, highly visible on this clear, cloudless day – it’s a great reminder of why you do this for a living.


12:30 p.m.

After receiving clearance to land, you touch down you safely at your destination, spend time debriefing your crew and see your passengers off as they file into a waiting taxi to go about their business. While you’re waiting for them to return so you can head home, you have some time to kill. Head out to experience the local culture of the area. You and your co-pilot find a quaint cafe tucked away off the main drag and enjoy some delicious local cuisine, chatting it up over good food and atmosphere.


After lunch, you head downtown and visit the local boutiques and stores. You forgot your sunglasses at home, so you purchase a new pair of aviator sunglasses to shield your eyes on this clear, sunny day (after all – you have to look the part, right?). A local shop is selling post cards, so you decide to buy one and send a memento of your travels to a close family member.  


2:00 p.m.

You check Facebook to see what’s happening in your world and notice that an old college friend lives in town. You message them to see if they’re available for coffee, and they are! You meet up at the local coffee shop and spend time reconnecting and reminiscing about the good ‘ol days.


2:30 p.m.

You receive an alert that the flight has been scheduled to take off at 1600 hours. You bid your friend farewell, pay your check and travel back to the airport to get ready for the return flight, repeating the pre-flight process that you’ve done so many times before. With your aviator sunglasses on, you head out to the runway and board the plane.


3:40 p.m.

Ready the plane for flight, receive clearance, check weather conditions and board your passengers. Ensure all of your flight members are accounted for and prepared for flight


4:00 p.m.

Take-off on your journey back to your local airport. Once you’ve reached altitude, provide food and snacks for your passengers and say a quick “thank you” for being a patron.


You pass over that same mountain range, and it’s even more beautiful against a crimson sunset in the distance as you can make out the curvature of the earth. Again, you realize the wonders flying for your job provides.


5:20 p.m.

Thanks to a strong tailwind, you arrive at your destination well before your scheduled landing time – which translates into a bigger tip for you! You see the passengers off, thanking them again for flying with you or on behalf of your aviation company.


5:40 p.m.

After the crew has received a debriefing, you head to the pilot’s lounge and again see a few of your close pilot friends doing what they love to do: chatting about anything aviation-related. You join in the conversation for a bit as you decompress from a hard day’s work.


6:15 p.m.

You and your pilot buddies decide to continue the good time by going to the local pilot’s bar for a beer and a burger.


7:00 p.m.

Once you’ve had your fill, you tell your friends you’ll see them tomorrow and take a cab home as a sense of satisfaction washes over you. The taxi driver starts-up some small talk, inquiring about your day.


You tell him, “I was three states over, flew over a breathtaking mountain range, met a prestigious business owner and ate delicious cuisine – all while hanging out with some of my closest friends.”


“Wow! That’s a pretty amazing day, what I wouldn’t give to turn this taxi into a jet and see what the world has to offer…”


“It is pretty amazing to experience something like that everyday,” you respond out loud.


“All in a day’s work,” you think to yourself as a smirk spreads across your face. At last, you reach your final destination – home.


Ready to Take-off in Your New Career?

Does the lifestyle of a corporate pilot sound right for you? If so, look to Inflight Pilot Training for all of your pilot training needs. If you’re searching for more information on becoming a corporate pilot, contact Inflight today via our contact page or call us at (952) 698-3000 to see what our instructors can do for you.