An interview with one of the coolest pilots on Instagram.
With 24,400 followers on instagram, Susanna Sundberg is a famous pilot in social medialand. Blonde hair, blue eyes and endless legs of course do help to grow your amount of social followers, but the breathtaking views from the cockpit are definitely a good reason to become fan of her dreamy Instagram account. Discover more about her in the interview below!
Susanna, tell us who you are?
I was born in Sweden and I work as a pilot all over Europe, flying for SN Brussels Airlines since 2014. I love to travel and discover new cultures, and that is also why I decided to become a pilot. I love sports and a healthy lifestyle, and I am very passionate about our charity project Aviatrixart, which raises money for cancer research. I started flying commercially in 2007 and I have been living in several different countries ever since.
What’s your favorite destination?
Iceland and the Faroe Islands.
What’s the craziest experience you ever encountered as a pilot?
Definitely Mongolia. We flew from Ulan Baatar to the Gobi desert and landed on a gravel strip in the middle of nowhere. When we were doing our tour to check the runway condition and current wind we saw a flock of wild horses pass the runway: it was an amazing experience! Before our flight back I went for a short walk and met a group of wild Mongolian camels that were drinking water from a fire truck. For a pilot who is used to fly on big airports across Europe, this was the most surreal experience I ever had!
Could you describe the feeling you have when you are up in the air?
Relaxation! After all the stress of pre-flight preparations, performance calculations and having to wait for passengers and cargo to be loaded, we usually depart manually, without autopilot. When we reach a higher altitude, we turn the autopilot on, lean back in our seats, wait for breakfast and enjoy the amazing view we have. All stress and problems on the ground disappear in an instant.
What does a normal working day look like?
I wake up, shower, get dressed and have a quick breakfast. All bags and clothes are prepared the evening before and I drive to work drinking my tea in the car. I arrive at the crew center one hour before departure, sign in, meet the captain and we check the flight plan, destination alternate, weights, fuel and weather together. After updating our EFB’s (electronic flight bags), we meet up with the cabin crew, brief them quickly about flying times and weather conditions. After the security check we are transported directly to the plane. Once at the plane we do the external check, performance calculations, check fuel, cargo, routes and clearances. There are quite some checklists that need to be completed before the doors close so we can taxi to the runway. Once on the runway and cleared for take-off we fly our planned route to our destination for the day. We usually have less than one hour before we return back home again. During the flight we eat, talk, follow up the flight details, check fuel and solve possible problems that occur during the flight. We take turns on who is flying. When we arrive back home (if we are not at a destination), we fill out our paperwork at the office, check out and drive home after another great day at work.
How do you match this with your family life?
It is the most difficult part of my job but so far it works out quite well! Sometimes I wish I could have more time at home instead of spending a lot of time in hotels, but it is a part of the job.
One last question: what comes to your mind when you hear the word “Samsonite”?
Ever since I started flying I have always used Samsonite for my cabin and crew bags. I used the X’Blade series for a long time, but will update this year to the new Cosmolite collection!
You can follow Susanna on Instagram via @Susythepilot. Interested in supporting her charity project? Go to www.aviatrixart.com, and buy their amazing Female Pilot Calendar.
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