View Full Version : On a more positive note

Ned Gerblansky
18th Nov 2012, 05:16
Hi chaps and chapettes from everywhere!

A couple of my most favourite f/o's are coming up for their commands, and I thought about what advice I could give to them to enable their progression in a seamless manner.

What qualities does it take, when you can look at your roster and say "This is going to be a great day!"? How does the inclusion of the right names on a piece of paper decide your demeanour? But it does!

I had the pleasure of flying with quintessential captains from DC-3 days who were complete gentle-folk. I have also flown with complete dorks, in whose trust I would not consign a tri-cycle.

So, my question to you all is :

What is the magic ingredient?

Three principles of leadership as were taught to me by the largest aircraft operator in this land were:

1. Be very good at what you do. If you think you are a good pilot, be better. In fact, be even better than that. Be freaking good, no, be the best there's ever been.

2. Look the part. An un-ironed shirt with four bars on the epaulettes might signify your command status, but it doesn't make you a leader.

3. Never ever bullshit people. Tell the facts or tell nothing. Read "Gulliver's Travels" and learn about the "Thing that is not".

The last advice that I would give, is try to inspire. Life isn't easy, but take everything as it comes.

Please add to this as you see fit.

We can only make better captains!

18th Nov 2012, 06:01
In response to the above:

1. Be average, far less competition there and you get paid the same.

2. The 4 star hotels at best have $15 dollar irons and if you can be bothered doing a good job I would see it as a character weakness.

3. Bullshit is paramount - the manuals are full of it, the flight deck conversation is composed of it and everyone including the pax expect it.

A command is really the sign you are committed to an industry that has white ants and you have the ability to watch conditions deteriorate over the next 30 odd years without it affecting your mental and physical health too much.

Get out while you still can!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Bunglerat
18th Nov 2012, 06:34
So... A thread starts with a post containing elements of praise for colleagues moving up the ladder, along with a few words of positive advice & encouragement & an invitation to others to offer likewise.

First & only response thus far (not including mine): Sarcasm, negativity, & an invitation to "get out while you still can."



18th Nov 2012, 07:21

Well said.

One could spend great deal of time and words trying to embroider the principles you espouse.

It would not make them any more clear and powerful.

Unbending personal and professional integrity.:ok:

Wannabe may present a less buoyant view but it is nonetheless a part of the deal, it's how you deal with it that separates the men from the boys.:cool:

18th Nov 2012, 07:22
Crystalballwannabee.....I for one appreciate your sarcasm. Some others are just a little too precious to have a sense of humour. Maybe another forum is best suited for them.

18th Nov 2012, 08:54
I think Gaunty nailed it.

To deserve command, you must have integrity. Integrity which means that you have kept up with the books, you have kept up with the notams, you have had adequate rest prior to duty, in short that you can be trusted absolutely to perform any and all duties to the best of your abilities and respecting all the rules. Integrity means that your operating standards are the same whether you are being checked or not.

On a personal note, you must be trustworthy to your crew and, if necessary, go out on a limb to protect them from any "outside influences". The buck stops with the Captain, live up to that!

Oh yes, you are allowed to enjoy the job!! It's the best job going in the world, enjoy it.

18th Nov 2012, 09:01
Geoffrey aka Mustafgander,
That's very good from a retread from the purple empire. I endorse your sentiments 100%.

18th Nov 2012, 10:19
Hi chaps and chapettes from everywhere!

Spare us please from those who choose not to speak English properly on Pprune the "Professional" Pilots website. :ugh:

owen meaney
18th Nov 2012, 10:33
not to speak English properly English Nazi needs to learn proper English his self

The Green Goblin
18th Nov 2012, 10:39
Being a good captain isn't about having all the answers and knowing more than the other guy/s.

It's about using ideas from other people and acting accordingly.

Remember once you're CTL as an airline Captain you have nothing to prove, you have already proved it. The only thing you have left to prove is if you're a decent person.

Let the guy in the right seat prove how good he/she is, it'll make your job much easier at times if you give them the chance :ok:

Ned Gerblansky
18th Nov 2012, 10:58
It is really nice to see the positive feedback here. I would have to agree that integrity is most likely the "priceless ingredient". Respect for co-workers is up there as well. I was only trying to see if we, the aviation community had any tips for the up and coming.

Sad to see the nay-sayers relying on the hackneyed phrase of "professionalism". It only means that you get paid for what you do. I think it was Paul Simon who, in the song "The Boxer", sang about a come-on from the whores in 7th avenue. They get paid for what they do.

I do declare that at times I sought some comfort there.



18th Nov 2012, 14:11
green goblin.

Well said.

A good captain should not hesitate to use the phrase "I dont know the answer, but lets look it up, lets find out". You are a captain, a decision maker, not an encyclopedia.

18th Nov 2012, 18:07
As long as the ladies on 7th ave strive to be the best at what they do, what's the problem?

18th Nov 2012, 21:36
Be positive.
Be practical.
Be prepared to say "Buggered if I know" (and not just to the F/O).
Be able to admit your errors and do something about them (and not try to hide them).
Listen - not just hear.

Holding at
19th Nov 2012, 07:20
Set your own standard - over and above what the company expects of you - and strive to reach it.

Have your own predetermined limitations and let the FO 'fly the sector' when it's their turn. Let them make decisions, and only if it exceeds one of your predetermined limits, then say something. ie. when its their turn, be a true support pilot. If your always telling the FO what to do, they will never make mistakes (except the ones you force on them) and will therefore never learn.

CRM starts with Crew. Operate as a Crew and the management will be a lot easier.

EK_Bus Driver
19th Nov 2012, 08:49
Well said Ned. I've been in this game 34 years and I always enjoy (or try to) going to work. My tuppence worth;

1. Integrity
2. Honesty
3. Responsibility

Never be arrogant, aggressive or a "smart arse"! The last person you ever need in any Flight Deck is an arrogant, aggressive, smartarse. Always treat the other Crew members (regardless of their position) with respect. To gain respect you have to give respect.... I have always treated others and spoken to them in a manner I like to be spoken to myself... Always works for me.

Be gracious in defeat and humble in victory... It's not about "who is right" it is "what" is right that matters.... A good FO is worth his or her weight in gold... Give praise when it's appropriate, it will be appreciated.

Never stop learning and Remember - Command is a privilege not a right! And that privilege can be revoked at any time! You're only as good as your last sector.

Vis 10k Plus
19th Nov 2012, 10:03
You will know the good FOs by the fact that Captains enjoy flying with them. And when they achieve their commands you will know they are good Captains by the fact that their FOs enjoy flying with them. Never fails.