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Details for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers


Description

Pilot and navigate the flight of multi-engine aircraft in regularly scheduled service for the transport of passengers and cargo. Requires Federal Air Transport rating and certification in specific aircraft type used.

Tasks

  • Use instrumentation to guide flights when visibility is poor.
  • Respond to and report in-flight emergencies and malfunctions.
  • Work as part of a flight team with other crew members, especially during takeoffs and landings.
  • Contact control towers for takeoff clearances, arrival instructions, and other information, using radio equipment.
  • Steer aircraft along planned routes with the assistance of autopilot and flight management computers.
  • Monitor gauges, warning devices, and control panels to verify aircraft performance and to regulate engine speed.
  • Start engines, operate controls, and pilot airplanes to transport passengers, mail, or freight, while adhering to flight plans, regulations, and procedures.
  • Inspect aircraft for defects and malfunctions, according to pre-flight checklists.
  • Check passenger and cargo distributions and fuel amounts, to ensure that weight and balance specifications are met.
  • Monitor engine operation, fuel consumption, and functioning of aircraft systems during flights.
  • Confer with flight dispatchers and weather forecasters to keep abreast of flight conditions.
  • Coordinate flight activities with ground crews and air-traffic control, and inform crew members of flight and test procedures.
  • Order changes in fuel supplies, loads, routes, or schedules to ensure safety of flights.
  • Choose routes, altitudes, and speeds that will provide the fastest, safest, and smoothest flights.
  • Direct activities of aircraft crews during flights.
  • Brief crews about flight details such as destinations, duties, and responsibilities.
  • Record in log books information such as flight times, distances flown, and fuel consumption.
  • Make announcements regarding flights, using public address systems.
  • File instrument flight plans with air traffic control to ensure that flights are coordinated with other air traffic.
  • Perform minor maintenance work, or arrange for major maintenance.
  • Instruct other pilots and student pilots in aircraft operations and the principles of flight.
  • Conduct in-flight tests and evaluations at specified altitudes and in all types of weather, in order to determine the receptivity and other characteristics of equipment and systems.
  • Evaluate other pilots or pilot-license applicants for proficiency.
  • Load smaller aircraft, handling passenger luggage and supervising refueling.
  • Plan and formulate flight activities and test schedules, and prepare flight evaluation reports.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
  • Experience - A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.

Knowledge

  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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Wages for this career
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