For many kids growing up, flying an airplane is one of their dreams. There's something about taking control over such an enormous machine and navigating it through the skies that appeals to a child's imagination. However, for many kids this dream goes away with time. If you're one of the select few that still holds on to this dream, you're going to need the four following characteristics to turn it into a reality:
True Passion For the Job
If there was only one defining characteristic of the successful airline pilot, it would undoubtedly be a strong passion for the job. Without a true determination to succeed in the industry, many trainee pilots will fall by the wayside due to the high demands placed on them during aviation school. Flying a large commercial airline without help is an extremely daunting prospect, and only those most determined to learn will succeed.
The pressure of becoming an airline pilot isn't only through the job itself, but also the investment required to achieve this goal. Learning to fly isn't cheap, and although there are a number of ways to pay for your education, many trainees are self-funded. Therefore, it's essential to have a deep rooted passion for the job in order to see your investment through.
When a commercial airline is in the air, it is the pilot who is in charge. It is the pilot's job to communicate effectively to the rest of the team, letting them know what is required of them in every situation. Engineers, cabin crew and air traffic control will be taking their orders from you, so it's vital that you have the confidence to inspire faith in those around you.
In addition, the role itself requires a high degree of self-confidence. Mentally, flying a commercial airline is a very taxing job, so you must be entirely confident in your abilities whilst in the air. The ability to make quick decisions with the confidence to back them up is an essential characteristic in any airline pilot.
Great Academic Record
Having a good academic record is imperative if you wish to secure sponsorship for aviation school; however, it will also stand you in good stead if you plan to self-fund your course. Pilots have to make decisions extremely quickly, and these decisions have a lot of weight when you consider the number of passengers on board a typical airline. As such, having the ability to solve problems quickly and effectively will benefit you greatly in your future career.
Although most aviation courses require only a high school diploma, you should tailor your academics to becoming a pilot. Advanced courses in maths and physics will prove beneficial throughout your career, so consider your curriculum choices wisely. Additionally, having a back up plan is a key skill to being a successful pilot, and this applies to your academic career also. Competition for jobs at large airlines is fierce, so you should always have a plan B in waiting. This will reduce the pressure on you during aviation school, allowing you to focus on what you're passionate about - flying.
Career and Working Flexibility
If you're considering a career as a pilot, then you probably already have a great degree of flexibility. This is a fast paced industry that demands a lot from its employees, and you definitely won't be working a typical 9-to-5 job.
The downside of this is that it is unavoidable that you miss birthdays, weddings and other social events. You simply do not have the same control over your schedule that an office worker has, though this is likely one of the things that attracted you to the industry in the first place. Having the ability and nerve to cope with this is extremely important if you wish to carve a successful long-term career for yourself.
For more information, you can contact aviation colleges in your area.