What Skills Make a Good Pilot?

What Skills Make a Good Pilot?

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According to the experts, as worldwide demand for international and domestic flights continue to grow, the airline industry is facing a tremendous shortfall. The shortfall is estimated at just under 35,000 commercial pilots, which means tremendous potential for those interested in training as a pilot and earning a commercial pilot’s license. Have you ever considered a career in aviation? If you have, you may wonder if you have the skills to make a good pilot. Here the professionals at Airlink Flight School share the skills needed to become a knowledgeable and successful commercial pilot.

In any career a mixture of the right soft skills (social skills, work ethic, people skills, etc.) and hard skills (learned, measurable skills) lead to success. The same is true for pilots who need a well-rounded blend of soft and hard skills to deliver a positive experience for crew members and passengers even during unexpected in flight events. Let’s start with soft skills like communication, teamwork, and other personal attributes you may have that can lead to your success as a commercial pilot.

Soft Skills for Pilots

Soft skills for pilots start with the ability to communicate well. Since pilots have to keep everyone on board safe, they must be in constant communication with crew members, Air Traffic Control, and their passengers. Teamwork is another soft skill crucial for commercial pilot success. In fact, communication and teamwork are complementary skills. While training, potential pilots must be able to effectively communicate with instructions, in a way similar to the manner in which Captains and First Officers communicate on the job. Communication and teamwork among pilots, crew members, dispatchers, and air traffic control ensure the coordination and safety of every flight.

In addition, those seeking a career in aviation should have the capacity to control stress, particularly in emergencies. In flight, a pilot’s ability to remain calm in light of an emergency, is crucial for the safety of passengers and crew members. A commercial pilot needs to be decisive, acting with confidence in pressurized, stressful situations. Airline pilots also need the ability to multitask, focusing on multiple tasks at the same time, and giving full attention to all the details of flying. While in flight, not only does a pilot have to navigate, but also communicate with the crew, passengers, operations, and air traffic control.

Hard Skills for Pilots

Hard skills are those skills which are taught and when learned provide measurable knowledge and abilities which lead to career success. For pilots, these skills include a complete understanding and knowledge of the aircraft being flown and its avionics. With every flight, the pilot is responsible for checking the aircraft’s overall condition through a series of checklists – before, during, and after the flight. Pilots also verify fuel levels, file flight plans, gauge engine performance, communicate via radio, and navigate the aircraft – all technical skills required for safe aircraft operation.

Pilots also need an good understanding of mathematics and physics, as formulas and calculations are necessary for principles of flight, balance, mass, and navigation. These skills are taught during flight training but having had a few math and physics classes beforehand can’t hurt! Situational awareness is another skill commercial pilots need. As an airline pilot, you’ll need to continually aware of your surroundings from weather conditions to other aircraft, altitude to systems, and the overall configuration of the craft and the procedures required in the event of an emergency.

Are You Ready to Start Your Pilot Training?

Airlink Flight School is ready to help you become a commercial pilot though the Part 141 Commercial Program. Contact the team at Airlink Flight School for more information.