Sunday, 12 August 2012

Faith in a Dream

We're stable at 41000ft, it's deeply dark out there apart from a brighter spot on the horizon in our 9 o'clock. The dimmed flightdeck lets us enjoy an amazing canopy of stars. As I lean forward, I relish the reddish horizon just above the Captain's shoulders.
The view is about to get fantastic. I wish you were here to see this.

"Airline pilot? Come on, stop dreaming! There's no job out there".

Turning left by 10°, the morning light is slowly starting to flood the cockpit. The Alps are taking a sharper shape in the orange darkness as we progress further South. This never fails to be magical, I don't know how to describe it to you but this is truely awesome!

"Get a normal job and fly on your spare time rather, that's the best thing to do".

The Captain is glued to the window, some of the finest landscape is now seating all around us.
A mighty 747 crosses us 1000ft above, leaving miles of bright orange contrails behind.
The sun is cracking the horizon, God this is magnificient!

"Be realistic young boy, this industry is no longer what it used to be, find something else".

The mighty Mont Blanc, standing at some 15,800 ft in our 1 o'clock, is getting a truely amazing golden coat.
I'm speechless, the view from the flightdeck is incredible!
I grab my camera to catch the action, but no picture nor words can describe what we're gaping at.
I can't help but think of those who gave me these wise advice, probably stuck in the traffic at this time of day on their way to some boring job. If I had followed their recommendations, I'd probably be seating at a desk with no window either, wondering why I listened to those who once told me I would never achieve my goal.
Among them, a lot were people who dreamt of becoming pilots themselves but ended up letting the dream go.
Someone once said, people too weak to follow their dream will always try to discourage yours. There might be a clue there...

The Captain invites one by one our four Flight Attendants in the cockpit. They are as amazed as we are. I'm looking down at the approach charts with a smile spreading across my face. At destination I'll be flying a "non-precision approach" (no ILS) with a 30° turn on short final and a steeper than normal approach angle, a very nice procedure to fly. I remember quite well all those who claimed that flying an airliner was all about pushing buttons. They would have loved the ride if they were here today.

After the up-and-downs, the never ending struggle, the hits-and-misses and years of hard work, I'm pondering on how my job is awesome.

For every risk I took, there was someone to tell me I would not make it.
When I was looking for a tow pilot job, I called every single flying club in the country. Lots of them can be quite agressive on the phone, they don't need you, they want you to have such and such licences and ratings that you don't have, they are looking for people already experienced in this area, they expect you to be from the city, you have to be available on the next morning, you must be ok with working for them while earning nothing and having to do the cleaning, paperwork and maintenance, ...
You're never the person they're looking for, and when they do have something to offer, it is miles from what you were hoping for. So you keep looking, you get on a bus, you travel across the country and you do what you are supposed to do: you don't give up.
Then one day comes when fortune favors you, when fortune favors the bold.

The sun is now intensely bright, sunglasses on, time to set up the stunning six-month old 737 for my approach.

Hold on to your dreams,

Hang in there.