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What makes a good pilot?

Old 12th Oct 2003, 10:28
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Location: AUS
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What makes a good pilot?

I'm interested in hearing from experienced pilots what they think makes a good pilot?

What qualities do they possess?

What do they do / don't do, that average and crap pilots do and don't do?

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Old 12th Oct 2003, 15:42
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PPRuNe Co-Pilot
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Its a shame you just require "experienced pilots" opinions.

Hope you find what you are looking for...
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Old 12th Oct 2003, 15:52
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A lot of ops managers and owners would say that a good pilot breaks flight and duty times, flies over loaded, puts up with unserviceability, will work for nothing, use a VFR GPS as a DME etc etc.

Experienced pilots are those who can recognise that what the owner/ops manager wants for their financial gain can cost you your licence and/or life, and refrains from it to live to fly another day.

Self dicpiline, on-going self learning always trying to improve yourself will make you a better pilot. And most of all keep asking questions like you have here, learn from other peoples mistakes, experience.

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Old 12th Oct 2003, 16:27
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a good pilot is always thinking

S is for............. for yourself, safety for your pax, and safety of your aircraft.

A is for.............

Accuracy, Navigation calculations, fuel calculations are they right???fly by the numbers, aim to be the smoothest pilot using the controls.

E is for...........

Efficiency on joining circuits, warm ups, and checks.
remember that just because you did your checks in two minutes did you do it right???
imagine the savings by being efficient on each flight saving 2 minutes each leg, when a air charter company run 10 - 20 aircraft.

A good pilot is one that shows basic airmanship and respect to other airman.
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Old 12th Oct 2003, 16:32
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Can do attitude

lots of ops managers and owners will expect you to bust some rules and safety standards to get a job a done and this is wrong and not the mark of a good driver.

However I would like to include into that mix a flip side to that argument for consideration.
The practice of good airmanship, thorough systems and aircraft knowledge plus good situational awareness are just some of the qualities you will find in a "good" pilot.

I have always found some great drivers are the ones who don't tell you why the job can't be done, but explain the problem and offer possible solutions that are safe, legal, and suitable to the company and the customer (if indeed their are any). These people use the grey matter to do the job not relying on the ops manager or owner to come up with possibly "rule breaking" solutions.
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Old 12th Oct 2003, 16:46
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opps I forgot to include that one too.......

knowledge is power, and a good understanding of your aircraft systems is going to make you a good pilot.

good summing up Poto.
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Old 13th Oct 2003, 09:14
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There's OLD pilots and BOLD pilots but there's no OLD BOLD pilots.
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Old 13th Oct 2003, 12:14
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Good pilots do not crash as much.


Know one that had four in first 1000 hrs.

I would call him a bad pilot.
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Old 13th Oct 2003, 16:25
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Some people used to think that a good pilot wore a white headband with kanji writing on it (apologies to the PC brigade)
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Old 13th Oct 2003, 18:02
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I said generally.

Quote from operator queried about experience requirements during job search -

"200 hours, 20,000 hours, they all crash"

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Old 13th Oct 2003, 19:18
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Be able to Think..

Know the machine.

Know the rules and use them for guidance.

Be a proffesional. (or aim to be)

Efficiency isnt everything, I would place it low in order of priority, it would be difficult to shave 2mins off each sector without sacrificing safety and professionalism.
Old 14th Oct 2003, 07:18
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5 left and right,

getting a better ground speed by flying in 10 knots of headwind compared to 20 knots of headwind is more beneficial dont you think?????....

and this is by changing alttudes from 9500 feet to 7500 feet and this was over a 420 nm sector. me thinks that I saved more than 2 mins....

and did safety suffer????

not at all!!!!!!!!

I think it showed my professnalism. efficency is thinking two steps ahead, a bit like a chess game.

remember SAE??? the order they went in is very important.
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Old 14th Oct 2003, 08:02
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Sure, in that case you would be plain ignorant if you didnt take advantage of the wind, and if safety and ride are not issues then why not be efficient.

In the BIG PICTURE however, efficiency is not high on the priority list.

Operators (& pilots) should concentrate more on how to make money rather than how to save it.

My opinion only.

Isnt that what this thing is all about?
Old 14th Oct 2003, 12:27
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A person willing to listen and learn from their mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes but it is how we deal with them that makes the difference. A who cares attitude or denial is a big negative.
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Old 14th Oct 2003, 13:18
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but you are making money by saving on flight time, as well as not pushing aircraft to the limit. I was told by one operator they had a problem wearing out wing flap bearings on the cessna aircraft they were operating up to 14 flights a day. they needed replacing quite a lot.

The solution was to have pilots operate the flaps 10 - 15 knots less than top of the white line.

what was the outcome???

they had to replace the wing flap bearings less times each year per plane.
the boss said that by changing pilots driving habits he found that he was able to put this saved money back into other areas of the company.

I guess that made his pilots good for other companys in the future.
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Old 14th Oct 2003, 13:25
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The ultimate test of a good pilot is not to break anything, not to
offend anybody, and retire rather than leave the industry for
either of the previously mentioned.....
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Old 14th Oct 2003, 14:15
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In addition to the above.

Motivation, not just a desire to succeed but to do the whole job paper work and all. I have seen to many pilots that were good operators in the air but to bloody lazy to brief students properly, clean the aircraft and keep records and time and duty's up to date. Flying skill is a fine thing but if your lazy you wont get far.
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Old 14th Oct 2003, 17:11
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Join Date: May 2002
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I'm sure there are many others but these are just a few that come to mind:

Strong person,
Positive attitude,
Performs well under stress and pressure,
Good communicator,
Manages his time well,
Relates well to those around him.

404 Titan is offline  
Old 14th Oct 2003, 19:34
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Join Date: Jul 1999
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I think you will find that quite a few operators specify company speeds for flaps and landing gear: Two reasons I suppose... firstly is to save wear and tear, secondly as a buffer for the pilot.

It is al very well to be efficient, but if the charter / pax don't want to fly with you... you can be as efficient as you want, cos no one will be complaining. Two mins per sector will work well IF your MR is in hours and minutes, not hours and decimals of hours.

Safety is always the first priority.
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Old 14th Oct 2003, 20:54
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: australia
Posts: 264
A good pilot?
normally a genuine sort of person
Someone with life experiences
someone whos willing to learn something new.
someone who knows how to treat machinery
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