An Airline Pilot needs to demonstrate a high level of competence across various skills sets and ensure the safety of the aircraft and everyone on board.
Let us look at some key skills which you will be required to demonstrate!
- Communicate clearly, concisely, and promptly.
- Project good body language.
- Use interactive briefings.
- Verify colleague’s mental models and share your own.
- Offer active listening and suggest ideas.
- Proactively resolve ambiguity.
- Use option questions.
- Maintain RT phraseology and procedures.
LEADERSHIP AND TEAMWORK
- Listen to others.
- Take control of the situation and lead from the front.
- Support team members and keep motivation high.
- Inspire team members and value everyone.
- Offer space for ideas and listen to concerns.
- Support and keep deadlines in sight.
- Advocate position when needed but respect others.
- Offer empathy and be open to feedback.
- Resolve conflict constructively.
PROBLEM SOLVING AND DECISION MAKING
- Use an appropriate decision-making model.
- Use all resources available to diagnose a problem.
- Use option generation by working out pros/cons and costs/benefits.
- Ask for suggestions.
- Clearly state agreed on options and assign tasks.
- Review and adapt to changes.
APPLICATION OF PROCEDURES
- Have relevant knowledge on procedures and systems of the aircraft.
- Use checklists effectively.
- Apply SOPs correctly.
- Accurately comply with company policies and know local and national procedures.
- Comply with rules and regulations of each member state.
- Stay calm and not impulsive.
- Manage distractions and pick up signs of stress.
- Prioritize tasks and delegate effectively.
- Accept assistance when needed.
- Work methodically and have a plan or a model to use.
- Seek help when required.
- Know what the airplane is doing, what’s happening around and what’s to come ahead.
- Monitor and think ahead during low workload periods.
- Consider what-if scenarios and have a plan for contingency.
- Manage threats effectively and keep other crew members informed.
AIRCRAFT PATH MANAGEMENT- MANUAL CONTROL
- Control the aircraft accurately.
- Maintain and stay within the flight envelope.
- Apply SOPs at all times.
- Call out deviations and correct them.
AIRCRAFT PATH MANAGEMENT- AUTOMATION
- Manage the aircraft safely with correct automation modes.
- Understand FMA (Flight Mode Annunciator) and what it’s trying to tell you.
- Monitor the input with vigilance.
- Take control of airplane if it’s not doing what it’s supposed to be doing.
“I would like to stress that there is much more to this than just these eight core skills alone. A pilot with good interpersonal skills will add value to the flight deck. Be prepared to work with people of different cultures and personalities while maintaining high professional standards at work. Be proactive and take control of the situation apart from just being technically tooled. An airline is a 24/7 business which needs us to adapt to multiple, last-minute changes, ending up where we didn’t expect to be at the start of the day. It is also vital to realize that not all birthdays and anniversaries will be spent at home.
Personal fitness and good sleeping habits add real value to one’s work/life balance too and make sure that flying early mornings or reporting late evenings, flying through multiple time zones, etc. don’t take the best of them.”
Dipeet Mehta (A320 rated Airline Pilot & Mentor)
Founded in 2021, for pilots by pilots.
Faguni Saxena (DGCA & FAA Commercial Pilot)
Dipeet Mehta (UK, EASA Airline Pilot)
Please note all information is based on practical experience and procedures with regulations valid at that time. Always check for the most updated information directly with the supplier, regulator, and other means. We hope you enjoy our website!