I have learned some valuable lessons about aircraft and how to safely fly them from some very experienced pilots as I was working on advancing my career in aviation. Putting those lessons into affect during my flight training and aviation career allowed me to reach my career goal, to be an airline pilot, and I pass them along to aspiring airline pilots whenever I get a chance.
Some of them are:
- You must be able to give priority to the time and energy required for learning to fly on a professional level. If you are unable or unwilling to make flight training to meet your career goal a top priority,
then don’t waste your time. You must apply yourself to study and preparation prior
to your flight training sessions in order for you to get the most from this
valuable time in the cockpit with your instructor.
- There is a well-worn saying in aviation: There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots. Your long-term objective must be to become an old pilot.
- Career-minded pilots are able resist the temptation to do anything unsafe, illegal, or nonsensical. These temptations will fade with maturity (see the advice above).
- Accomplished pilots are a reflection of their attitude towards life. A pilot's attitude, not just flight training, leads to professional performance in the cockpit. Attention to detail, a positive outlook on life, common sense and a willingness to work hard
to achieve their goals are qualities that cannot be coached or instructed. An aspiring pilot must bring these qualities into the Flight Training Center the first day, and display them in the cockpit thereafter.
- Outstanding pilots will not fly in aircraft or conditions beyond their capability. They know their aircraft, its systems, its limitations and how to react to malfunctions or emergencies.
- Great pilots know and understand the FARs. These regulations are in
place for good reasons. They are often in place as a result of accidents or casualties
and must be taken very seriously. These regulations are enforced religiously by
The FAA, and there is rarely anything an offending pilot may say after the fact
to mitigate the circumstances. When it comes to violations of the FARs,
prevention is key.
- Exceptional pilots are constantly bettering themselves as pilots. Every take-off, every landing, every climb and every decent is an opportunity to demonstrate improvement.
- The best time to begin flight training to become a professional aviator is before everyone else starts doing the same thing. Since your life will be greatly affected by something called Seniority
after you join the ranks as an Airline Pilot, it is best to finish your flight training
and get hired by an airline
sooner than those other pilots aspiring to the same position.
A career as an Airline Pilot is one that can be achieved if
you have the right attitude, but it must be pursued with enthusiasm. I can
assure you that no airline will come knocking at your door asking for your services,
you must aggressively pursue your career as an Airline Pilot or it will never
If you do have the qualities mentioned in this piece,
the good news is that careers in aviation are available now and more
opportunities will be available over the next few years. The next success story
can be about you if you are willing to develop and follow your vision of
successfully achieving your goal of becoming an airline pilot.