Aviation People: Ana Diculescu - Senior Cabin Crew
We continue the project "People From Aviation" and in 2018. The first interview this year was taken by Anei Diculescu - Senior Cabin Crew.
Aviation unites people, unites continents, unites emotions. We continue the series of interviews with "People From Aviation" and talk to Ana Diculescu - Senior Cabin Crew.
Ana Diculescu - Senior Cabin Crew
To get acquainted! Are we talking to?
My name is Ana Diculescu, flight from 19 years, Senior Cabin Crew at Blue Air.
Where did your passion for aviation come from and how did you decide to enter the field?
Being part of a family with a tradition in aviation, my father still working in this field, plus the smell of kerosene and aircraft, all made me follow my dream.
The first love was the helicopters, I grew up among them and that's how my aviation microbes got into my blood. It's a microbe I don't think you can cure.
Mine have always supported me to do what I love. After I went to college, they helped me continue to live in my fairytale world where I felt at home - aviation. But I focused on airplanes and working with the public, going in parallel with the studies.
What does your job involve and how much of an applicant is it?
The desire to make the flight go safely, the concern for the safety and comfort of the passengers and the work in the crew are just a few aspects of the on-board escort job.
It is a complex job, which combines both physical effort (long work in low pressure, radiation, vibration and noise) as well as mental effort.
From a psychic point of view, as a flight attendant you have to successfully work with many people at the same time and your own emotions.
I remember very fondly of the beginning period of my career and implicitly the moment during the training courses as a board assistant when the instructor at the time, Mrs. Georgeta Dumbrava, told us that the board members must be the perfect actors. When wearing the uniform, it is advisable to forget about the problems at home.
As a flight attendant, you interact with a lot of people: from colleagues on the ground, to crewmates and passengers. With passengers and colleagues spend the most time. If in the crew we are like a family and we understand each other and help each other when necessary, the passengers are what gives us the reason and the challenge of being on board.
Any request, fatigue and stress pale in comparison to the satisfaction of seeing the passengers embracing with their loved ones at the meeting. It is the feeling that you have contributed to their joy and flight safely.
How hard is it to get on board? What are the steps to take?
The passenger transport industry is expanding and the demand for on-board companions is constantly increasing. It is not difficult to become a flight attendant, but it is a lot of work to be a good flight attendant. It involves a lot of ambition, sacrifices and you always have to improve your performance and knowledge in the field.
It is a job that combines knowledge from many fields (medicine, physics, mechanics, security, dangerous goods, geography, meteorology and many others). This information is provided to future on-board companions through theoretical and practical courses.
In order to become a flight attendant, specialized courses must be taken within an institution accredited in accordance with the international law in force (either independently or within an airline).
The current trend at international level is to recruit non-specialized personnel (in Romania, except Blue Air, Tarom and Air Bucharest, which require the certification of a cabin crew member issued by the Aeronautical Authority) and to provide the necessary training as a flight attendant in within the company that offers the job.
The training involves both theoretical and practical modules for emergencies (fire fighting, depressurization, evacuation, survival in hostile environments, first aid, etc.).
Background in any field is welcome in this profession. As a cabin crew member, you use any information and life experience.
I know you don't have a fixed schedule. How do you divide yourself between work, private life and family life?
In my case, the mosaic of work-private-family life is a successful one. At home I have an understanding of the program. Passion for aviation was what brought me to the same place with my husband.
Sometimes it is more difficult because of the program made by the company. If you do not plan ahead of time, you risk to miss some unique moments, but in my case it is part of the life I was used to and I still choose to live.
I plan my activities according to the program received a month before the company. At the same time, I am happy to support and help the whole family in raising my daughter. There are days when I involve everyone and it is not always easy.
What are your future professional plans? Do you want to stay in aviation or pursue another job?
I must admit that for a period I also tried a job of the type 8-16. It was very difficult for me to adapt to a regular program, from Monday to Friday. At that time I was missing the flight with all the challenges that come with the package. The flight, the pleasure of working with people, the uniform and the rigors of aviation have led to a pleasant addiction, which I do not see myself giving up too soon. Another area that fascinates me and to which I would like to go without giving up aviation is environmental protection and recycling. Maybe at some point I will take more seriously this area of activity, maybe even in relation to aviation.
In your job I suspect there are no monotonous days. Can you tell us how a day at work is going? Have you had ups and downs, pleasant situations and less pleasant ones?
The on-board escort is based on procedures, so there is a well-defined scheme of the activity itself, but working with people makes the monotony disappear every day.
Each passenger is unique and has their own expectations; satisfying the needs of the passengers in relation to the trip and their satisfaction is for me the daily challenge that I try to fulfill as best as I can.
A day at work starts from home: preparation for the flight is rigorous. Besides the recapitulation of the necessary information (normal and emergency procedures, first aid, etc.) there is also the composition of the physical training.
Everyone associates on-board companions with beauty, elegance and care, so the importance of pleasing physical appearance is not to be neglected.
At the airport the entire crew meets and discusses the plan for the flight, including expected reactions in unforeseen situations and the mode of action, to keep them all fresh in mind and to shorten reaction time in such cases.
Once on the plane, the entire cabin crew checks the aircraft and then receives the passengers.
Each boarding is different, there are situations that need to be resolved without delay (from the passenger seats until the first aid is granted).
After boarding and closing the doors of the plane, slide the slides for the evacuation of passengers in case of emergency and then present the safety training to them.
Take-off and landing at all times are critical phases of the flight and then the flight attendants are alert to respond promptly.
After take off, repeat parts of the safety training on board (smoking rules, recommendation to keep the belts attached, etc.) and start the service on board (serving passengers). Maybe it can vary from race to race, depending on its specificity.
During this time, the flight attendants pay attention to what is going on both in the aircraft and outside, so that any anomalies can be communicated to the pilots.
In short: we are always on alert and ready to intervene in any situation, whether it is passengers who feel bad on board (the most common), or emergency situations.
Before landing, the passenger cabin is secured, all the necessary documents are prepared and after landing, at the base, the aircraft of colleagues from the ground is handed over (techniques, catering, etc.). If necessary, after the flight, the problems arising are discussed and the conclusions drawn.
In about 6000 hours of flight, we had no serious unpleasant situations. Nothing more than giving first aid, turbulence, landings and take-offs during bad weather or just false alarms, all within the limits of flight safety. I never felt in danger on the plane, on the contrary, always safe and defended.
The interaction with special people, the harmony of the crew, the breathtaking landscapes and the many "Thank you for bringing us safely" or "It was a wonderful flight" are just a few of the many pleasant moments on board the planes.
What advice do you have for those who want to pursue a career in aviation, especially as flight attendants?
The world of aviation is fascinating and wonderful. It just requires passion, patience and perseverance.
Ana, thank you very much for this interview. That being said, we wish you "Clear Sky" and as many non-incident flights!