A day with Alex Smith, how to be a woman pilot

celebritiesnews

18 August 2015
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Alex Smith is celebrating 20 years at British Airways as a pilot. On this occasion, she agreed to share a day from her racing life. "It's an extraordinary job and I think more women would exercise if they are not persuaded that this is a man's job," says Alex. Aged 44, she lives in Camden in North London with her husband Jonny, financial advisor and their three children, William, 10, Lola, 9, and Honor, 6 years. They say time flies when you love what you do, and that is certainly the case for the British Airways pilot, Alex Smith.

It was 20 years ago when Alex Smith joined British Airways after responding to an ad in a magazine. Two decades later, she divides her time between her life in heaven as a 747 pilot around the world, and her life on earth as it trains future pilots with the program she had herself to follow early in her career, "Future Pilots Program".

"As a long-haul 747 driver, I start my day between 7:00 and 9:00 am depending on the destination of the flight. I find the rest of the crew and one or two pilots for departure briefing. This is often the first time that we see but we've all been trained on standard operating procedures; So we know exactly what lies ahead. Once all information is gathered regarding the flight, we go on the plane and spend about 40 minutes to prepare the device.

It is above ground we are busy to ensure a safe flight. Once the flight reached the cruising speed, we can relax a little. I like going to the passenger meeting at that time; it allows me to reassure those that feel nervous. I answer their questions about the flight. Sometimes a smile is enough. I realize that seeing the driver helps many passengers who are afraid of flying. During the flight, we take an arrival briefing to update all the necessary information.

When flying, most of the time, every day is quite normal but always be prepared for the unexpected.

As a pilot, we have irregular and unusual sleep patterns so the best to recover quickly is to sleep as soon as you can and to focus on moments of rest. I try to always plan these moments in advance.

My beauty tips: Use both a day cream and night on the face for a long-haul flight. When I pass me the cream during flight, I feel that my skin absorbs it at a glance. And especially drink water more than necessary during the flight to look less tired!

It is a wonderful job, which beyond being a man or woman, can match or not her personality. Being a pilot represents a particular lifestyle with irregular schedules, which may not suit everyone. But women do not have to say it is not for them. In addition, British Airways offers equal career opportunities.

This is a career that I think is not incompatible with family life, by its flexibility and which can be followed full-time or part-time and still be as interesting.

Today I have 3 children aged 6 to 10 years and I adapted my pilot career to suit my needs at different times of my life. One benefit as the pilot's job is that I have free time during the week; which allows me not to miss important events, such as meetings or outings to school, birthdays, etc.

The most important for me is to have a reliable home when I am absent. My husband is a great help, and my parents, but I also have a fantastic nanny in whom I have absolute confidence.

I have some favorite destinations.

New York for shopping. When I make a stop over in New York, I get up early, take a walk in Central Park and then go to attack the shops.

Cape Town for its wonderful landscapes. I love wandering in this city before relax beside the swimming pool, activities that offer me interesting contrast to my London life.

And finally, from where I come into the world, the return to London is always special for me, night and day. I love the view from the cockpit on arrival at London Heathrow. We fly over the capital and enjoy a beautiful view of the different attractions of London, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye, the Tower Bridge along the Thames. "