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Old 26th Aug 2017, 15:05
  #175 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: West Wiltshire, UK
Age: 68
Posts: 390
Originally Posted by annakm View Post
On the other hand, I've known graduates with degrees in aeronautics, astrophysics etc who have sailed through their ground school exams but had no cockpit sense or synergie. Consequently, they failed when it came to the actual art of flying.

Whilst it filters out the less able, academic achievement isn't always the measure of a good and competent pilot.
I once flew with such a pilot.

Much of my professional flying career was test flying, in some form or another, some in aircraft that had no formal clearances and where the limits of the safe flight envelope were still being explored. This meant flying some fairly hairy sorties from time to time, although always with pilots that were exceptionally good, often ETPS graduates.

The only time I've ever been scared sh*tl*ss in an aeroplane was when it was being flown by a highly qualified on paper, but clearly very unskilled in the art of flying, character. My unease started when critical speeds were marked on the ASI with chinagraph marks, before we taxied out, and then got steadily worse as I realised the character was, literally, flying by numbers. The landing was bloody awful, with two near-ground loops and the aircraft coming off either side of the runway - it was just a miracle there were no aircraft on the taxyway.

After landing I jumped out and went to have a cup of tea. Two things happened; the first was an instructor/examiner I knew came up to me, hands held high, saying "it's not my fault, I couldn't find a reason not to pass him", the second was a yell directed at me by the airfield manager, who started to rip me a new one until I got a word in edgeways to say that I was not PIC.
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