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How Pilots Live

An Examination of the Lifestyle of Commercial Pilots

Simon Bennett

This book paints a detailed picture of the commercial pilot lifestyle, from the struggle to pay for training to time spent down route to thoughts of retirement. Once a glamorous occupation, commercial flying is today more of a job than a vocation with many pilots working the maximum permissible hours for increasingly meagre rewards under evermore stressful conditions. Pilots talk candidly about acute and chronic fatigue, short-notice roster changes that leave them insufficiently rested, noisy and poorly serviced down-route hotels, long daily commutes to work, indebtedness, fear of losing their pilot’s licence, industry volatility, dread of lay-off or redundancy, the quality and agendas of airline managers, the impact of these and other stressors on family life and where they think the aviation industry is going. Despite these privations pilots remain enthusiastic – a testament to their professionalism and love of flying.
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About the author

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SIMON BENNETT has a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from Sheffield City Polytechnic, a Masters in Communication and Technology and a PhD in the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge from Brunel University, London. He has taught risk management at the University of Leicester for seventeen years. He works as a consultant to the aviation industry where he specialises in flight-deck human factors (teamwork, communication, leadership, morale, hierarchy, stress, fatigue, etc.). He has published in numerous academic journals and aviation periodicals. His books include Human Error – by Design?, A Sociology of Commercial Flight Crew, After Hubris, Nemesis: Why Flag Carriers Fail and Innovative Thinking in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Manage ment. Before entering academia the author managed an IT department in London.

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