Today we accompany our Austrian Airlines co-pilot Nadine on her journey high above the clouds. You can expect interesting insights into the life of a pilot - an exciting profession that combines discipline, teamwork and fun.
Hello, my name is Nadine Renner, I am 34 years old and a co-pilot on the Airbus fleet at Austrian. I started my pilot training in Graz almost exactly 14 years ago. After a few years of flying experience abroad, I have been a co-pilot with Austrian for nearly five years now and have around 5,000 hours of flying experience. In addition, I have been supporting the training of colleagues on the Airbus for about four years as a Synthetic Flight Instructor with my knowledge. During the past two years, when there was less flying than usual, I used the time to complete my Master's degree in Aviation Management. As a fleet officer, the knowledge I have gained is very beneficial to me.
How did you become a pilot, what was your motivation?
For me, the dream of flying developed in my early childhood days. Growing up in the flight path of Vienna, I was already more than fascinated by the world of flying at the age of 3 and spent every weekend at the airport with my parents to watch planes take off and land.
Besides the benefits of getting to know new cities, I was most fascinated by how it was possible for a plane to take off from the ground and fly. I wanted to be able to do that too!
What does your workday look like? Do you have a daily routine at all in this job?
A good hour before crew check-in, our working day, which we use to prepare for the flight, I make my way from the south of Vienna to Vienna Airport. I then discuss all the important details about the flight with my Crew, such as flight time, weather and number of passengers. Arriving at the aircraft, the crew should always be one unit and work together perfectly. When you know your colleagues, it makes it all the easier. Unlike in an office, for example, we often work together as a team without having known each other beforehand. Procedures and guidelines are there to ensure that the crew works like clockwork. As a pilot, there is no such thing as a routine day. Sometimes the alarm clock rings at 3 am a.m. for an early flight to Stockholm. On other days, the night is turned into the day on a night flight to Yerevan. But it's precisely this variety that makes the job so exciting for me.
What all do you need to consider before taking off as a pilot?
The pilot's most important tasks are not only the preparations for takeoff with subsequent monitoring of the onboard computers during the flight but also those for landing at the destination, as these are among the shortest but most critical phases during a flight. This involves analyzing the weather at the destination airport, making runway calculations and discussing the approach itself as a team. Most flights are so-called point-to-point flights. For example, from Vienna to Frankfurt and back.
Do you also get on a plane in your free time? Do you have a favorite destination?
Even on my vacation, I love to get on a plane, planned or spontaneous, and explore the world. Whether it's a beach vacation in Mauritius or a city trip to Amsterdam.
The great thing about being a pilot is that every now and then we also have the opportunity to enjoy our evening off, for example on the beach in Tel Aviv or in Stockholm. Here, it's especially fun to end the day with the entire crew by having dinner together or taking a walk by the sea. Before heading back to the airport the next day for the next exciting flight.
Is there something like your most beautiful flight that you will always remember?
In the past years, I was able to experience an incredible number of beautiful flights and especially approaches to airports such as Corfu, Nice or Funchal. The most moving approach for me will probably always be the approach over Vienna. Because that always reminds you of how it all began.
Discover the world with Austrian Airlines
Dear Nadine, thank you very much for the great insights into your profession.
Maybe you'd like to start a career above the clouds, or maybe you'd just like to take off with us and discover new destinations. Then book your next Austrian flight right here and with a little luck, you will meet our charming co-pilot Nadine directly on board.