The Pilot (VI)

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Pablo Edronkin

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Human Factors

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But aside the instruction and continuous education process itself, let me tell you that it is very important that you, as a pilot or aviator, develop an attitude towards fight and things in general:

- Fly tidy all the time: You have to be capable of both flying with precision and by the numbers to increase efficiency and safety, and to fly by the seat of your pants if instruments fail.

- Nurture your best judgement: don't fly like a robot; you have the autopilot for that. A human pilot must be able to exercise its ability to judge situations and decide what is best at each moment, even if it means breaking the rules, a fact recognised and allowed even by ICAO regulations for emergency and survival situations.

- Study continuously: Flying, as in other activities, requires constant practice and learning because things and people change. Being a pilot is like being a medical doctor: You will need to learn new things all the time.

- Know and respect your own limits: One of the worst mistakes an aviator could make is to let him or herself be guided by emotional impulses, and ego is the worst impulse of all. There are situations and thing for which someone may not be prepared, and it is best to leave control of the aircraft to those who are better. For example, sometimes I fly with a friend who works on an airline and rides on a B747-200, but he doesn't dare land a taildragger and leaves me the task when we fly together.

- Experience: There is no substitute for this whatsoever. Some people exaggerate or "inflate" flight logs in order to impress, look more experienced or even get airline jobs without adequate preparation; needless to say, this is illegal but it is also suicidal. So if you don't care for others, at least care for your own bones. Get real experience because in the end it will be far cheaper.

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