Are you thinking about pursuing the profession of being a commercial pilot? Do you possess a good deal of moxie? Moxie is what it takes to not only earn your wings, so to speak, but it takes moxie to diplomatically and coolly handle the pressures and expectations that go along with this unique and demanding profession.
If you are wanting to turn your dream of flying the friendly skies into a full-fledged reality, here are three things you’ll want to consider:
Do I Have What it Takes, Intellectually?
It takes all types of jobs to make the world go ’round; and whether one is a lawyer, sanitation worker, car mechanic, or stock broker, we all play hugely-important roles with maintaining organization and sanity in this busy, crazy world of ours. And for those seeking a position as a professional pilot, intense training in the sciences and aerodynamic principals will be a prerequisite. Ask yourself: “Would I have the mental capacity to…
*** fully grasp physics and laws of motion, mass, inertia, pressure, temperature, fluids and gases – the theory of flight
*** clearly understand weather conditions regarding flight safety – meteorology.
*** comprehend aircraft maintenance and systems relating to electronics, hydraulics, pneumatics as well as material fatigue – aircraft systems
*** utilize maps and charts, celestial clues, visible landmarks, ground-based radio signals, etc. if air-borne computer equipment fails – geography and navigation
*** instantly recall and employ the hundreds of FAA stipulations during each and every flight – regulations and air-traffic control
Is My Personality a Good Fit?
A huge consideration is the type of personality you possess. If you are the type of person that is high-spirited and loves drama, you may want to consider becoming part of a theater group as opposed to an individual who is in control of the cockpit. A professional pilot must exude maturity and calm at all times; and being able to think clearly, even under extreme stress, is crucial. Cool thinking can make the difference between being able to safely land a big bird during a compromised flight or being unable to avert a crash landing. Case in point: Flight 1549 was headed to Charlotte, North Carolina from LaGuardia Airport in NYC and was airborne less than three minutes when it experienced a bird strike. An emergency Hudson River landing ensued; and it was a complete success due to the Captain Chesley Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles who displayed exceptionally-cool thinking and the ability to focus which allowed a victorious water landing, with zero fatalities among the 155 people on board.
Diplomacy, also, is vital. How one handles challenging situations separates the men from the boys, as they say; and like a cool-headed police officer, commercial pilots must exude a high-level of self-control and stamina and be highly discerning by knowing when to step in with force during a potentially-heated situation, and when not to. Are you the type who can address and resolve conflicts and disagreements in a constructive manner as well as project self-control in all situations? To be a successful commercial pilot, the answer must be a resounding ‘yes’.
Do I have Excellent Communication Skills?
Having the ability to communicate clearly, precisely, effectively and succinctly at all times is a top-tier requirement. Pilots must display this type of talent with passengers, the crew, and with the flight tower’s FAA professionals. Instructions from flight towers will be swift and detailed; and you must be able to reciprocate that type of communication with immediacy, clarity and conciseness.
Becoming a professional pilot is as fantasy for many and a reality for far fewer. But if you have a passion for flying and you are intelligent, eager to learn, are a concrete/practical thinker, and are very goal oriented, you have a good deal of what it takes to get started in this exciting and rewarding profession!