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A Day In the Life of a Pilot

Chris St. Clair, Weather Broadcaster
August 31, 2012 — Most of us have flown on an airliner, but rarely do we hang out in the cockpit. The Weather Network crew recently got that chance.

Chris St. Clair, Weather Broadcaster and Pilot
Chris St. Clair, Weather Broadcaster and Pilot

Ever wonder what a day in the life of a pilot is like?

Join me as we go behind the scenes†to document exactly how pilots and crew prepare for anything mother nature may send them, as they keep hundreds of people safe over 10,000 metres in the sky.

As a pilot myself (with over 3000 hours logged), Iíve always been fascinated by flying and†how the weather affects a pilot's job.†

"A Day In The Life Of A Pilot" was filmed without a script, using two cameras. It is television at its best, a collaborative effort, with the crew at times helping with the camera work. Weíve got some really interesting facts about how flight crews are scheduled and how much they fly in any given week, their favourite and not so favourite places to fly, and what a pilot needs to know before every flight.†

How many people are working behind the scenes to get your flight airborne and keep passengers safe? Whatís the worst weather to fly in? Weíve got all the answers.

Our captain is Koko Gillis and heís flying a two leg trip on a very warm summer day from Toronto to Halifax. Itís a routine flight. The only variable is the weather. The heat may have an impact on our afternoon departure as WestJet flight 680 takes off. The weather is fair, but what does the forecast say about thunderstorms later?

Kokoís Pre-flight Checklist:

  • 1. Get weather briefing from "Control Centre."
  • 2. Check fuel.
  • 3. Balance load.
  • 4. Check lights and beacon
  • 5. Program flight computers.

Did you know?

  • Most airlines have a staff of meteorologists.
  • A flight from Toronto to Montreal carries over 4,500 kilograms of fuel.
  • A 747 jet carries about 450 passengers and burns approximately 12 litres of fuel per kilometre.
  • Fuel weight varies according to air temperature.
  • Approximately 30% of all air disasters are caused, at least in part, by the weather.

View from the airplane window
View from the airplane window

Weather is always critical and determines how a journey will be planned and executed. The wind, temperature, clouds, jet stream, rain, snow, ice, air pressure, are just a few of the weather factors concerning pilots and flight crew at the departure airport, during the flight, and at our destination.

This is your invitation to join an exclusive tour. Join us in the Captainís seat, in the nose of a Boeing 737, on a regularly scheduled WestJet flight to Halifax.

Catch "A Day In the Life of a Pilot" on TV - The Weather Network

Thursday August 30th at 7 pm and 10 pm ET
Friday August 31st at 10 am and 3 pm ET
Saturday September 1st at 10 am, 3 pm , 7 pm and 10 pm ET

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