A day in the life of a Charter Pilot

It is 0800 am on a Sunday morning, I arrive at the aircraft and send a Teams message to advise my Operations department that I am on duty. I let them know that I am at the aircraft and I start preparing it. Obviously to pilots this starts with a the preflight check and one of the first things to do is connecting the battery in the back of the rear hold. I start checking over the inside, plugging in the oxygen masks, checking voltage, testing systems all quickly but never rushing and always checking every light and action to what is being tested.

Once the inside is good I check the outside of the aircraft. Some things are different on a Jet aircraft compared to a Piper Cherokee but all items from the checklist are followed. 

As I finish off the walk around a linesman from the FBO (Fixed Base Operator) turn up, The fuel order has gone in and a fuel truck turns up. The Captain has decided on full fuel. I check the route, fuel burn and passenger load and agree his numbers. While the linesman are here one takes away the coffee pot and later returns with fresh coffee, ice and today’s newspapers. They also return with the GPU (Ground Power Unit). We get that hooked up to the aircraft and they turn it on the sound of the diesel engine from the GPU know makes conversation hard with the linesman. I turn on the power, check the required 28 volts. Brilliant. I give at thumbs up to the linesman who knows the GPU is powering the aircraft. I run through the rest of the checks and as its Florida the air conditioner comes on o make the cabin and cockpit more comfortable. I also remember to turn on the power to the coffee pot. Time to get the flight plan clearance. I check my iPad and my Captain has copied me in on the flightplan which includes all the weather and NOTAMs (Notice to airman) relevant for our trip. The NOTAMS show no runway closures at our destination or anything that affects our route. 

I listen to the local airport weather and airport information and ask for my clearance. “N**** is cleared to Nantucket airport via the Sandollar2 departure, Climb via the SID (Standard Instrument Departure) then as filed. Expect Flight level 450 (45,000ft) 10 minutes after departure. Contact Palm Beach on 123.62 and squawk 4535” I read this back to the controller, they confirm my read-back so now I start loading this into the flight management system.  

I get a message from the Captain, the Passengers are here and he is bringing them out to the aircraft. He confirms the weight of the passengers and I start doing the weight and balance calculation as well as the runway analysis. We need to make sure we have the aircraft in balance and we have enough runway to take off and land. The Captain is giving the passengers the safety briefing and I check the numbers and load these into the Flight Management computer and send a copy by email to the operations department, who acknowledge receipt of the email.

The Captain takes his seat and we start the necessary checks I call them out, he checks the switch condition is where it should be. We start the engines and then run some more checks. We discuss the weather and runway and check the flight plan in the computer. I call for taxi and we start out for the runway for departure. More checks to be done, thrust reversers, flight instruments, engine instruments. I call them out and the Captain which on this leg is the pilot flying (PF), I am the pilot monitoring (PM). 

To be completed…….