Hey everyone, I’ll be flying for Air cargo carriers as a FO next month.
I wanted to get some advice from other cargo pilots on the following:
what baggage did you guys invest in
what do you typically carry with you on trips
food/diet/healthy lifestyle changes
sleep pattern changes.
since most of my flying will be night, this is very new to me as I’ve never worked “3rd shift”
any advice or input will be much appreciated !
Flying at night canoe tough, no doubt about that. I am flying a red eye tonight, managed to get some sleep during the day, but not as much as I would have liked.
My biggest advice for you would be to make sure that you eat healthy and work out. When I was early in my career I fell into the trap of eating junk food out of vending machines, not working out, etc. I ended up gaining a bunch of weight that took a long time to take off. Try to eat fresh foods and salads and make sure to hit the gym.
I’m not going to lie. Flying the backside of the clock is rough. I could easily be flying a larger plane making considerably more money and have more days off but at my seniority that would mean those kind of trips and I simply can’t do them. Fortunately you’re much younger so you should be fine. Just take good care of yourself.
I worked the back side of the clock in a different industry. I sat a desk all night which is very different than flying an airplane. However, the best advice I have is to commit to the back side of the clock. Sleep as much as you can during the day. Eat breakfast when you start your day, lunch mid day and dinner before bed. I found, keeping the same patterns helped trick my body in to a more normal pattern regardless of the position of the sun.
I pack my food for every trip and it’s been a lifesaver. I never have to worry… I have a cooler full of healthy snacks and meals to sustain me whenever I get hungry. Two huge reasons for a poor diet, inconsistency of meals and food choices available. Packing food negates both of those. It also saves me a lot of money while on the road.
Good luck! You’ll figure out what works best for you.
Ideally you want to adjust your sleeping habits, but inevitably you will be switching between cycles. I find that getting a nap in during the afternoon the same day of my red eye helps. For that, I also find that an eye mask, ear plugs, and blackout curtains come in handy.
Of course speak with your AME, but Sonata is generally FAA approved for occasional use with awkward sleep cycles.