There are many Hollywood films that have glamorized airline pilots as brave, smart and heroes of the skies. But, in reality, it’s a lot tougher than it looks on screen to be all those things.
Being a commercial pilot puts a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. And for someone who’s looking to change career, you’ve got to think carefully if this is a life you want.
A pilot has to wear many hats in the office. Because they have to be the leader, give instructions and have enormous self-confidence. While at the same time, able to receive help and assistance when and where they need it.
It requires being somewhat academically capable in order to plan flights, make accurate assessments of the aircraft and answer correctly, some difficult questions regarding flight path and time schedule.
However, this career path puts all the hardship and reward on your shoulders. It’s up to you how well you do. There are some valuable traits you need before going ahead in this direction.
1. Strong and Healthy
Flying exposes the human body to atmospheric pressures like no other job in the world. You’re up, suspended in the air, high above the earth, for prolonged periods of time.
This puts adverse pressure and lack of pressure on your body and brain, which means you need to take a thorough medical examination before getting the all-clear.
You’ll need a Class 1 to be able to fly commercial operations and start training. A national or international civil aviation authority will monitor your physical and mental fitness levels. If you want to pass the Class 1 stage, you will be examined for up to 3-5 hours.
Mainly, your heart, lungs, brain, hearing, eyesight will be tested thoroughly to make sure you can function under pressure.
2. The Proper Qualifications
Anyone can become a commercial pilot which is the beauty of this career change for those interested. All you require is the knowledge, intelligence, and drive and you can become the latest addition to the skies, soaring around the world.
To get a commercial pilot licence, you’ll need a Diploma of Aviation which is approximately a two-year course, ideal for students wishing to pursue a career in the aviation industry. You’ll go through an intensive course, with both theory and practical training.
Such a course will be in line with the regulation standards of the Civil Aviation safety authority. Therefore, bear in mind, it’s not all about flying and learning about atmospheric pressures and aerodynamics. You’ll also be tested on your competency and clarity of thinking under duress.
3. Confidence and Authority
If you’re the confident type, and quite happy to take the initiative and you’re objective-minded, being a commercial pilot will fit your traits.
Each pilot needs to be a leader within their own circle. Whether it’s with the mechanical crew on the ground, with passengers, flight attendants, and less experienced pilots.
You need to be a figure of authority, commanding and taking charge, but not an over-bloated egomaniac who isn’t willing to take advice from others.
People skills are very important because you’ll be dealing with passengers who may be nervous and staff who need direction and their own objectives set for them.