5 Qualities Every Great Pilot Must Have

Jeanne A. Curley

Becoming a pilot requires passing exams, earning licenses, and completing certain flight hours. Typically, the first step many aspiring Filipino aviators take is to enroll in a flight school so that they can get the comprehensive pilot training in the Philippines that they require. There, students can acquire fundamental aviation knowledge and the technical skills to safely operate a specific aircraft type.

Apart from what they learn in the pilot training program, individuals who want to become aviators must develop certain characteristics to be effective in their jobs. These qualities allow pilots to communicate well with air traffic controllers and the rest of their flight crew as well as make quick yet sound decisions in high-pressure scenarios. 

Having said that, take note of these different qualities that can help you become successful in your career as an aviator. 

Strong Communication Skills

Part of a pilot’s role is to communicate with air traffic controllers, who guide pilots during landing and take-offs. Pilots and the air traffic controller also communicate when either party has flight-related proposals, requests, or confirmations. Essentially, the pilot and air traffic controllers work together to manage airport and airspace flow. This is why pilots must have effective communication skills. Otherwise, failing to communicate clearly can lead to serious consequences such as aircraft accidents. 

Apart from the frequent communication with the control tower, a pilot’s communication skills also come in handy when providing instructions to their co-workers and passengers. In some cases, airline pilots help handle passenger disputes. To help enhance such skills, you need to continue practicing verbal communication with other people. It would also be helpful to respond to and work on any critical feedback given to you as a pilot since this can help you improve on both your problem solving and communication skills. 

Confidence

Many pilots are often confident individuals, which is a helpful trait when they’re faced with different situations. Whether they’re flying a one-seater propeller plane or a multi-engine aircraft, pilots have to make decisions that they must feel confident about. If they second-guess their abilities or their choices, their hesitance can lead to real problems. During in-flight emergencies, for instance, pilots must have a certain level of confidence in themselves, their skills, and their decisions to handle the situation safely. 

In a more specific example, if a pilot sees a storm system on their radar, they only have a short amount of time to choose whether or not to land the aircraft or find the best route around the storm. Once they’ve made their choice, pilots have to rely on their skills to fly the plane to safety. It’s especially important for pilots in training to develop this level of confidence during their training so that they’ll know exactly what to do when faced with a situation like this.

pilot

Situational Awareness

Another vital quality many successful pilots share is their situational awareness. In the aviation industry, having situational awareness refers to the individual’s ability to be conscious of everything happening throughout the flight. This includes having a mental picture of the aircraft’s physical position, the flight conditions, the weather systems, and other environmental factors such as proximate terrain, airspace restrictions, and obstructions.

In essence, situational awareness allows you to know what’s happening and anticipate future events. If a pilot doesn’t have adequate situational awareness, it can lead to loss of control accidents, uncontrolled flight into terrain, airspace infringement, or an unexpected encounter with adverse weather conditions.

Composure

Having the ability to stay calm during high-pressure situations is a prime quality all pilots must possess. When people panic, their minds go haywire and can lead to clouded judgment. As a result, it’s difficult to come up with a rational decision, especially during an emergency situation.

Although people have different personalities, being able to stay calm and collected can be very advantageous if you want to pursue becoming a pilot. Even if composure isn’t innate to you yet, it can be developed during pilot training. Typically, aspiring pilots are put in intense and stressful incidents to practice keeping their cool and handle different flying scenarios and emergencies. This also ensures they’re confident enough to make sound judgments and execute tasks even while under a lot of pressure.

Quick Thinking 

Often, pilots face time and resource constraints as well as other stressful factors like turbulence during a flight. Also, pilots only have a moment’s notice to act during a flight incident or emergency—which can make decision-making quite challenging if you aren’t quick on your feet.

As a pilot, being swift in making the best possible decision for particular circumstances can prevent aviation-related incidents from having disastrous results. To ensure you stay sharp at all times, you must constantly expand your knowledge and skills so that you can be prepared for different flying scenarios. Some ways to do this are by adding extra flight hours or undergoing further training.

While every person is unique, there are some commonalities many top-notch aviators have. These are the qualities that help them ensure they’re performing at their best no matter the circumstances they’re in. If you have yet to possess the traits mentioned above, you can enroll in a flight training school that can help you develop these skills and qualities. With the best aviation training and your persistence, you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful pilot.

Additional reference links:

https://hartzellprop.com/7-traits-great-pilots-have-in-common/

https://flygirlllc.com/the-top-8-qualities-good-pilots-need-to-have/

https://fly-ga.co.uk/traits-skills-good-professional-pilot/

Experienced Educational Consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the education industry. Passionate about early childhood education and empowering educators to make informed instructional decisions to meet the needs of all learners. Skilled in professional development, instructional design, curriculum development, educational marketing, and educational publishing and editing. Strong consulting professional with a M.S.Ed. in Curriculum Development and Instruction from California State University at Fullerton. Currently living is Seoul.

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