I'm a pilot – here’s what we're up to in the cockpit on your typical flight | The Sun

UNSURPRISINGLY, it takes an awful lot of work to keep a passenger plane up in the air.

Even though autopilot enables them to take a bit more of a backseat, there are still plenty of other aspects of the job for them to focus on.

A pilot has now revealed how they divide their time between steering the plane and working on other elements of their work.

He told The Points Guy: "We still need to have the ability to hand-fly the aircraft on the most challenging of windy days, but for the most part, we instruct the autopilot to follow the route which we have programmed into the flight computers.

"Handing the menial, capacity-sapping task of keeping the wings level over to the autopilot enables us to take a step back and absorb the bigger picture."

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The "bigger picture" involves lots of different things, including ensuring the safety and security of all on board the aircraft, as well as staying on top of all the flight paperwork, and making sure the route is safe.

However, there are also plenty of other things to consider too, including what to do in the event of any number of different emergencies.

The pilot explained that no matter where they are, they will always have an emergency plan ready in case of any unexpected problems.

He added: "We are also always thinking 'what if?' What if we were to have an engine failure right now? What if a passenger fell seriously ill? What would we do and where would we go? We will always have a plan ready to go."

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One of those plans is circling around bad weather, or diverting to another airport if it's too dangerous to land where they were expected to.

Another pilot revealed what really happens in their cockpit when a storm prevents a plane from landing.

After one of her flights from Saint Louis to Chicago had to return to Saint Louis because of bad weather, a pilot who goes by the name @almostcaptainmorgan on Tiktok explained the process for making the decision to turn back.

In a video she said: "Something I get asked all the time as an airline pilot is what do planes do when there's bad weather at an airport and we can't land. That happened today."

She explained that the go to solution is to circle around the airport while waiting for the bad weather to clear. However, that isn't always a suitable option.

She continued: "We have to do something called 'hold and wait'.

"Chicago wanted us to hold for over and hour and we only had enough gas to last us for around 30 minutes, that's not going to work."

Using a messaging system, pilots are able to communicate with airports to come up with other choices in order to make sure the plane avoids both the storm and running out of fuel.

Although Morgan had to return to the city she had set off from, the plane was able to refuel and complete the journey it was originally supposed to, without passengers having to get off.

She said: "We used our text messaging system to talk to dispatch and came up with a plan to return to Saint Louis.

"Now the worst of the weather has moved past Chicago, so we're going to do what's called a 'gas and go'.

"This means all the passengers stay on the plane, we get enough fuel to go back to Chicago and we try again."

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