Every pilot must possess essential skills and traits especially in this modern age where it is easy to learn to fly than ever before. In this post, we discuss four essential skill sets that every pilot should have.
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Automation has simplified how pilots fly and has improved safety and efficiency by among others, reducing pilot workload. Unfortunately, it has contributed to the erosion of manual flying skills, which are commonly called “stick and rudder skills”. As a wise and professional pilot, you must ensure that you maintain these skills by manually flying and not always relying on autopilot systems. That is a sure way of maintaining proficiency in stick and rudder skills.
Human relations skills
A good pilot must have the correct attitude and be able to work effectively in a team. S-he must have a pleasant personality that ensures that there is a favourable atmosphere in the cockpit. Although this primarily entails joint problem solving, it also entails being assertive and ensuring that one’s ideas are voiced out without offending others or allowing others to trample on you. A good pilot aspires to be friendly to others in the cockpit but does not work on being a ‘Mr nice guy’ at the expense of safety. S-he will point out mistakes even to a more senior and experienced pilot and take over control immediately s-he realises mistakes are being made by the other pilot and not corrected.
Another essential trait of a good pilot is that s-he has problem solving skills and believes in analysing the possible solutions before arriving at the best option. S-he is not impulsive and thinks through every decision without necessarily wasting precious time.
A good pilot must have management skills. Yes, this includes proper management of resources in the cockpit, sharing of responsibilities, and knowing when it is okay to break the rules in the interest of safety. This does not imply that the pilot should willfully break rules: Rather, it means that if the pilot receives instructions (say from air traffic control) that could compromise safety, s-he will take measures that will avert an accident and ensure that air traffic control is informed as soon as possible of the deviation from the instruction.