Wilhelm Guna joined flydubai in 2009 as the company's first first officer. Today, he's a captain who collects new aircraft from Boeing's factory in Seattle to the UAE and also pilots flights to more than 40 of flydubai's destinations. Mr Guna describes a recent day in and out of the cockpit.
As soon as the alarm clock goes off, I get out of bed and jump on to the cross trainer.
Just before I leave for work, I take a quick glance at the latest aviation weather report and forecast. After checking in at the flydubai crew area, I see which aircraft I will be flying and confirm the crew in case anything has changed since I planned the flight the previous night.
I conduct a thorough crew briefing. We proceed through customs and immigration and on to the crew bus to the aircraft.
Once all the passengers are seated, we take off for Beirut, which is a 3.5-hour flight, and one of our busiest routes. Take-off and landing are the most critical stages of any flight, so a good departure and take-off safety briefing along with a detailed approach briefing at the arrival end is the key to safe operations. The first officer and I adhere strictly to "essential communication" until we reach 10,000 feet. Throughout the flight, [we] carefully evaluate the flight progress and continually monitor the aircraft. But [we] also take a few moments to enjoy the journey, because after all, we do have the very best view in the house.
After touchdown in Beirut, I dock at the gate, shut down the engines and switch off the seat-belt sign. Once [passengers] have disembarked, we prepare the aircraft for the turnaround. It's a busy 45 minutes.
The passengers heading to Dubai board the aircraft. Children often like to have their photo taken with the pilots, so we oblige; after all, they are potential future flydubai pilots.
I touch down in Dubai, and once the passengers have disembarked, run through the final checklist, tidy the cockpit and shut the aircraft down before handing it over to an engineer, who ensures it remains in top condition.
Back in the office, my first officer and I complete our post-flight duties, which include returning the electronic flight bag computers, aircraft mobile phone and briefing pack, [and] paperwork.
Once home, if I have a flight the next day, I go through a flight preparation routine. That includes making sure my uniform is ironed, which stems from my military days.
My wife, Marina, and I sit down to dinner; seeing her is the highlight of my day. We talk about our working days as Marina, too, is airline crew.
Once I start falling asleep in front of the TV, it's time for bed.