Although these days aircraft are being equipped with increasingly modern technologies 70% of air accidents can still be attributed to human error. For quite a while now commercial carriers have assumed the responsibility for ensuring that only both physically and mentally prepared pilots operate flights. However, the extremely intense and attention demanding position also requires a person fitting a certain psychological profile. Despite the utmost attention paid to pilot qualification and experience requirements the psychological preparedness and scrutinized candidate selection are still not included in most of the pilot training programs.
‘The aviation industry is repeatedly faced with the same dilemma: why some pilots manage to avoid accidents while others, despite many hours spent on flight simulators, are subject to a number of stressful emergency situations? For instance, recently the LOT pilot has successfully landed the company’s plane in Poland whilst due to panic, communication errors and other human factors many of his colleagues have ended up with causing catastrophes.’, - wondered the CEO of AviationCV.com Skaiste Knyzaite.
Aviation experts worldwide agree that nowadays pilots act more as computer system’s managers than actual plane operators. Their stress is basically triggered whilst still being on ground. Before take-offs pilots must transmit all the required flight information to computerized flight systems and that requires considerably intense concentration. Today’s pilots must possess more knowledge and an ability to plan a few steps ahead.
The AviationCV.com experts have observed that whilst training on flight simulators the technical pilot’s performance supervision is plainly insufficient. Instructors must also pay attention to a pilot’s heart beat, respiratory rate, speech variation, posture, facial expressions, emotional reactions, etc. Some pilots, when faced with stressful situations, manage to remain rational and see a couple of steps ahead while there are many pilots that are incapable of handling the non-textbook situations without taking unmeasured risks and failing to rationally respond to unforeseen challenges.
‘Unfortunately, gaining all the needed experience from automatic training systems is not entirely satisfactory. However, when these systems fail that lack of experience can influence the upcoming future. Simulators cannot account for everything; therefore critical situations must be ‘rehearsed’ from the psychological perspective. This way, when real emergencies occur, pilots are less likely to subdue to panic and emotional breakdown.’, - explained S.Knyzaite.
There is no ideal pilot type, however, airlines and training institutions must carefully select candidates whilst paying attention not only to the hourly experience but also to a psychological pilot’s profile.