Recently, Lufthansa Cargo had introduced to me to one of their MD-11 Pilots and were kind enough to allow me to conduct a brief interview with him. I have talked several times about Lufthansa Cargo and thought this time to look at the company from a “human interest” perspective.
Tim H. started with Lufthansa’s Passenger Airline Group as a pilot before making the shift to Lufthansa Cargo. In the past, Tim has been fantastic with providing information for some of my Cargo related posts and I’m grateful for his agreeing to the brief interview.
Many thanks to Lufthansa Cargo for granting me the opportunity, and many thanks to Tim for his time and great answers.
LufthansaFlyer (LF): When did you first realize that you wanted to be a pilot?
Tim: I wanted to be a pilot since I was a little boy. I have always loved flying and spending time at or around airports. This has never changed.
LF: What was the first airplane that you flew as a pilot (even going back to your days as a student pilot)?
Tim: When I was in flight school, I started on the Piper PA28 Archer. The next planes were the Beech F33A Bonanza and Piper PA42 Cheyenne. My first passenger plane was Lufthansa’s B737. After having flown there for four years I changed to Lufthansa Cargo where I currently fly the MD11 freighter.
LF: How did you come to be a Lufthansa Cargo pilot?
Tim: After some while at Lufthansa passenger airlines I was thinking about my next career step which is usually the upgrade to a long range fleet. Colleagues told me about Lufthansa Cargo which was one possible option. It aroused my curiosity and I decided to join that fascinating segment of Lufthansa. Never regretted it – great decision!
LF: What hobbies do you enjoy when not in the air?
Tim: I love reading, music and travelling.
LF: What Lufthansa Cargo “destination” is your favorite to fly to? Why?
Tim: Quito in Ecuador is one of my favourites and also of our most special airports due to its high elevation and the surrounding breathtaking volcano landscape. Furthermore the city, the country and its people are really nice. But after all, I really love all of our destinations since I believe every place holds some special secrets to discover.
LF: What preparations do you go through on a day that you are scheduled to fly?
Tim: I pack my luggage which is always a challenge especially for trips that include a plus 20 centigrade mild Hong Kong followed by a freezing minus 20 centigrade Krasnojarsk. I look at the current weather and those of the following days for all of the places I am supposed to fly to. I make sure to arrive timely at our base, i.e. 90 minutes before departure when we meet for our briefing. Then finally I meet with my colleagues and we work through the flight plan and papers, decide for the fuel and get the airplane running to make sure we leave on time.
LF: What has been the single most unique Cargo item that you have transported?
Tim: I once had the opportunity to be one of the pilots for a relief flight to Santo Domingo with over 80 tons of goods for the Haitian people and especially kids after the earthquake in 2010.
LF: How many trips do you take in a typical month?
Tim: Lufthansa Cargo pilots fly about 18 days per month. Given the average trip length of 6 days this means 3 trips. But we also have shorter trips of 1 or 2 days and a maximum length of over 10 days.
LF: What part of being a pilot do you find most rewarding?
Tim: The fascination of flight itself, plus possibly one of the most exclusive offices in the world and getting connected to places and people from so many different places all around our globe within a wink of time.
LF: What advice do you have for aspiring pilots that one day hope to fly for Lufthansa or Lufthansa Cargo?
Tim: Study hard and never stop dreaming.
To learn more about Lufthansa Cargo please visit Lufthansa-Cargo.com. For great video content, please visit their dedicated YouTube Channel showing great video footage of their aircraft and in-flight operations. In addition you can find them on FACEBOOK and on Twitter: @LufthansaCargo .