What is a commercial pilot ?
Love to fly ? If you are physically fit, unafraid of heights, have sharp reflexes, and think you're born to fly, consider a career as an airline pilot...and dream on! Here's what it is like to land a job as a commercial airline pilot
The job of commercial pilot is the most glamorous and exciting job in aviation. It is highly rated and one of the most adventurous careers which requires intensive training. This profession also demands a lot of time, dedication, patience and sacrifice. A career in aviation attracts many youngsters as it provide opportunity to travel around the globe. It is a lucrative field, however. a commercial pilot carries great responsibility for the aircraft he flies and the lives of his passengers.
This is a highly specialised job which requires knowledge of air navigation, interpretation of meteorological reports, operations of sophisticated electronic and mechanical controls, leading the aircraft under adverse circumstances, and being a leader to the flight crew and passengers under climatic and other emergency situations.
What do I have to do ?
The safety of both aircraft and passengers depends on their expertise and judgment. The most difficult part for a pilot job is landing and take-off. Pilots maintain contact with air traffic controls and cabin crew through-out the flight. They also speak at intervals to passengers, giving them information over the public address system on speed and height, details of ground areas they are flying over etc. Duties are shared usually with one co-pilot. After landing the aircraft is taxied to its final position and engines are shut down by pilots. Later they prepare a flight report, noting any problems or instrument difficulties.
Practical skills, good hand / eye coordination are essential and are assessed on application for training. Good health and physical fitness are vital. These are tested on application and subsequently throughout pilot’s careers. On failing a medical, flying duties cease immediately. Pilots need self confidence and leadership qualities - the skill to work with other people and to be willing both to exercise authority and accept it. Pilots also need to be calm and have the ability to take charge in an emergency. At the same time, they must be able to cope positively with routine work on the flight deck when everything is going according to plan. Navigating a plane involves state of the art computer controlled systems, technical skills and understanding. Hence, a background and interest in Maths and Physics are important. Communication skills are also essential. Pilots spend much time in contact with air traffic controllers and mistakes in understanding could be dangerous. Reports have to be filed at the end of each flight - these should be clear and concise.