Connect and get the inside scoop on Airline Companies

Welcome to Airline Pilot Forums - Connect and get the inside scoop on Airline Companies

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ. Join our community today and start interacting with existing members. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free.

User Tag List

Post Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-21-2013, 06:46 PM   #1  
Gets Weekends Off
Thread Starter
9780991975808's Avatar
Joined APC: Sep 2013
Position: PA-18, Front
Posts: 187
Default A flying career is what you make it

Excerpt from "Beyond Stick-and-Rudder":

"The key to survival in our profession is adherence to three simple rules," according to one old-salt. "First rule," he says, "when your eyes pop open in the morning, start the day with a healthy dose of pessimism. Second, by the time you drink your first cup of morning coffee, you should be cynical. And third, your first operational thought of the day, and all others that follow, should confirm your pathological paranoia."

These three rules, though they may not be hallmarks of positive thinking, reflect the law of the jungle. Pessimism reduces the number of unpleasant surprises. In the business of line flying it is better to be prepared for adversity than to hope it will not come. Cynicism keeps us on our toes. By remembering the Regulator's motto (as perceived by the pilot), "We're not happy until you're not happy," we put in the effort to keep our noses clean in regulatory matters. And paranoia helps us keep an eye on six (o'clock). We watch our backs by taking human nature into account and by noting trends. For instance, in the absence of clear, concise instructions or at least knowledge of intent, people tend to do what one least expects. And without attention to trends, circumstances have a mysterious way of creating the most unfavorable situations.

These three survival rules are certainly worthy of meditation. However, the question every pilot ought to ask himself is whether mere survival is his ultimate career goal? Should a pilot merely survive his career, or is he expected to do more? Is there more to life on the line than completing a survival course? And if so, what is there to a rewarding flying career?

The answer comes only with the passage of seasons… sometimes.


Over the years, he has come to realize that the first and foremost quality of an Air Carrier pilot is strength of character balanced by the ability to get along with people. Nothing is more important; not "gifted hands-and-feet," not adherence to SOPs, not even airmanship. He starts each day by praying for guidance from above. Then, starting with the check-in for his first flight, his sense of duty guides him to live up to the trust vested in him. He acknowledges that needs, wants, capabilities, limitations, aversions and preferences vary among people and does not try to force his personality on others. If he is the captain, he sets the tone of his command according to the capabilities and limitations of the crew but adjusts it to meet individual needs. Back home, or in a hotel after his flight cycle, he rehashes the events of the day, asks for forgiveness for his failings and seeks self-improvement. Conversely, he appreciates people for what they are. He tries to put himself in the shoes of those responsible for his frustrations and does not let resentments interfere with his crew rest or linger into the next day. As he turns in, he thanks his Maker for Divine Guidance received and, if he is lucky, retires for the night enjoying a feeling of contentment and pride in a job well done by a dedicated crew.

If his career is truly blessed, he sets the parking brake at the end of his last flight knowing he had completed more than just a survival course. He turns off the lights satisfied he had mostly lived up to the trust placed in him by God, society, his employer, the crew and, last but not least, the passenger. He had completed nearly all missions he had been assigned, despite uncertainty and inadequate or non-existent support, yet never bent an airplane or worse, killed a passenger. This work began with a prayer these words might save lives. It now ends with the exclamation, "Amen to that!"
9780991975808 is offline  

Post Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Awesome career advice would be awesome. dub dub II Career Questions 7 02-21-2012 11:40 AM
Flying career or become an accountant left seat Career Questions 8 01-05-2012 01:49 PM
Midwest Flight Crew compared to RJ crews Flyboydan Major 32 07-14-2008 02:14 AM
Looking real hard at flying career, age questions... wickedsprint Flight Schools and Training 3 08-25-2007 04:14 PM
Ryanair to Make Flying free Linebacker35 Major 6 04-06-2006 09:34 PM

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:33 AM.