Human factor can never be entirely eliminated in piloting an aircraft, unanimously agreed during Round Table Discussion on Pilot Training, conducted via the Airbus A320 FFS opening event at Baltic Aviation Academy in Vilnius. The opinions voiced in the discussion are those of: Peter, Instructor, Germany; Dr. Prabir Ray, Legal Adviser, India; Nariman, Commercial Pilot, Sweden; Alexander, Instructor, Germany; Janusz, Captain, Poland. Please see the extract from the discussion to dive into the topics. Round-table moderated by Arnis Ritups, Latvia.
Imagine that you have been authorized to pick a new pilot and there are several young ones to choose from. What would be the first sign you would be looking for? What are the most important qualities for the future pilots?
Capt. Janusz: If you really want to become a pilot you will always become him. What it takes is your own guts and determination. Of course, the worst thing is when somebody presses you, for example, your father, because he is very rich: he presses you and you will become a pilot, but not necessarily a very great one.
Nariman, B737 Pilot: You should get a close look into yourself; just to be sure you are really suitable for the profession. A good upcoming pilot for me is calm by nature. These qualities are the most important to me. I have had the experience of flying with the specialists who are not so calm by nature. They tend to criticize and attack you for all the small errors you might make, what does not add to the safe atmosphere in the cockpit.
Calmness in the stressful situation – how is it possible to acquire this tandem? Is there some training for pilots which can help them to keep a peaceful mind?
Dr. Ray, Adviser: Simulators cannot perfectly teach you to be calm. In flight simulators we operate the artificial flights without any real danger. However, when you are placed in a real cockpit, you must deal with the fact that there are real passengers sitting in an aircraft. I think you must do some spiritual training as your mind has to be properly set. Maybe one should take on yoga to keep his mind calm and ready.
Alexander, Instructor: Maybe yoga can help, but your spiritual mindset forms through your experience, trainings and standard operating procedures.
Peter, Instructor: You can be calm only if you know that you have received enough of training and experience. You have no time allowing an opportunity to think about the passengers behind you. You have to think about how to bring the aircraft safe to the ground, that’s it. There is no time for any other mind to come to your head.
Alexander, Instructor: In the critical situation you should perform like some sort of a machine.
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