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Are you a Real Pilot?


rgmwa
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Interesting question...

 

"Have you ever met a “real pilot?” I sure haven’t–at least not the ones some aviation experts talk about. According to them, real pilots only fly taildraggers, real pilots don’t use GPS, real pilots don’t cancel flights, etc. Apparently, like many things in life, the new generation of pilots is a bunch of sissies. But I have a different definition of a real pilot. It starts with someone who is smart enough to stay alive while flying, and it ends with someone who has fun doing it. So with apologies to those experts (you know who you are), here’s my list of 10 things real pilots do:

 

 

 

1. Real pilots help a fellow aviator when in need. While the extent of a pilot fellowship can be debated, I do believe real pilots go out of their way to help a fellow aviator. Whether it’s helping to tie down an airplane in the rain or offering to share operating expenses, most pilots recognize that our group is a small one and needs all the support it can get.

 

 

 

Is this what “real pilots” look like?

 

 

 

2. Real pilots don’t get into arguments on CTAF. Is there anything more pathetic than listening to a couple of arrogant pilots arguing about who cut the other guy off in the pattern? Real pilots know that such arguments only make flying more dangerous, so they avoid them. Even better, real pilots fly a standard traffic pattern if it’s busy.

 

 

 

3. Real pilots are not afraid to cancel a flight. There is no purple heart in aviation, in spite of what some NTSB reports suggest. A real pilot feels no shame in canceling a flight, whether it’s due to weather, mechanical issues or just not feeling up to it. Unless you’re in the military, no flight is worth dying over.

 

 

 

4. Real pilots are also not afraid to push themselves. Just because real pilots are humble enough to cancel a flight does not mean they lack confidence. To keep improving, they have to deliberately–but safely–push their boundaries. That means taking on a 15 knot crosswind when the time is right, or opting for annual recurrent training instead of the minimum BFR.

 

 

 

5. Real pilots embrace new technology, but never become slaves to it.There is no extra credit for completing a flight without a GPS. Sure, it’s a fun thing to do in a Cub on a beautiful day, and real pilots know how to fly without the latest gadgets, but only a dyed-in-the-wool contrarian would suggest that a KX170B is better than a GTN 750. Likewise, nobody is impressed if you don’t use the autopilot. Real pilots use all the tools at their disposal.

 

 

 

6. Real pilots are polite to FBO staff. Some pilots step out of their flying machines as if they are John Wayne inspecting the crew of a World War II battleship. Real pilots know better. Line techs and FBO staff are partners, not employees, and just might bail out a needy pilot one day. Best not to burn that bridge.

 

 

 

7. Real pilots fly the right airplane for their mission, skills and budget. One of my least favorite phrases in all of aviation is, “I only fly a Cessna 172.” Real pilots don’t care if they are flying a fancy new King Air or a well-loved Skyhawk. Both are excellent airplanes, depending on the mission, and both require real pilots to fly them. Likewise, the position of the third wheel does not determine the skill of a real pilot.

 

 

 

8. Real pilots view ATC as a friend, not an enemy. Air Traffic Control, far from being the aerial police, is an invaluable resource for anyone willing to use it. Real pilots aren’t afraid to ask for a controller’s advice on weather or to request progressive taxi instructions at a big airport. Amateurs try to fake it; pros ask for help.

 

 

 

9. Real pilots are humble. Mother Nature, gravity and Murphy’s Law are constantly working against a light airplane. Real pilots understand this, and appreciate the fine balance that’s required to complete a flight safely. That means they never overestimate their abilities or their airplane’s performance. It also means they are open to criticism, whether it’s from a flight instructor or from themselves during a post-flight debriefing.

 

 

 

10. Real pilots act like ambassadors for personal aviation–all the time. Just like a professional athlete or a politician, pilots are “always on,” at least in terms of representing personal aviation to others. Real pilots don’t brag about breaking the rules or tell dare devil stories at a cocktail party. Real pilots share the honest truth about flying: that it’s hard work and involves risk, but that it’s immensely rewarding and incredibly powerful.

 

 

 

Are you a real pilot? What would you add to this list?"

 

 

rgmwa

 

 

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I think he has already received an award in the States.( Harrison Ford) Pretty non BS type of operator.

 

Putting the safety of his/her passengers first.

 

Not affected by any calls to show off, by nonstandard antics to an impromptu audience Set a good example always.

 

Prioritise actions in an emergency situation (in order of importance.)

 

Never scare a passenger with the way you operate.

 

A good pilot is one who doesn't put the plane into a situation that takes an exceptionally talented one to get out of.

 

Inspect the plane thoroughly when it has ben left in the open or not used for a while..... That's it for the moment.. Nev

 

 

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In the living age - how about Harrison Ford? Reportedly a very affable and sociable ordinary pilot - (one who can also afford his hobby!).

Yes. Not to mention Jeff Skiles and `Sully' Sullenberger. Both great role models and also doing good work with the EAA.

 

rgmwa

 

 

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Yes. Not to mention Jeff Skiles and `Sully' Sullenberger. Both great role models and also doing good work with the EAA.rgmwa

Mmm Jeff Skiles,,,,it must be tough to be known as " Captain Sully and the other guy" , :-)

History is full of great pilots , but for me having older pilots that I'm comfortable enough with to ask really dumb questions makes them great.

 

A couple of times,

 

We were going through a tough time with teenage sons and I was not feeling real good ,I went to the CFI at our field and mentioned I was grounding myself for a while till things changed, the guy sent me some text and asked me in person every chance how things were going, as it was I only stopped flying for a month .

 

Second time was just on Sunday, someone asked for a prop start( I think maybe the master was left on, but not sure) ,I've started a DH82a plenty but never a flat 4 , after I got it going I asked for his opinion on the way I managed it( he has heaps of hand propping time ) ,it was good to get a general "yep ,very safe" ,but with some pointers thrown in.

 

Every pilot needs a fella around like this, one who's not afraid to tell you off if needed ,but also give good advice,

 

That to me is a real pilot, I've been lucky to have a few along the way aswell

 

Matty

 

 

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Experience is a lot of it and the attitude of the individual. If there is some kind of underlying "competition" going on it isn't helpful. This is for the instructor to handle as he/she calls the shots. I'm a bit hard on myself I have been told, and I expect the best from a student not in achievement necessarily but the best they are capable of at the time.( Effort). Time in the air is expensive of money and application. If the student regards it as a bit of a joke (rare) or won't do the preparation, I'm not that interested. Also if the instructor gets annoyed easily he should be in another occupation. I've heard this happens a bit, and it isn't on really. I was a secondary teacher when I got my instructor rating, so that must have made some kind of difference. It shouldn't be a disadvantage, but some teachers don't have a good "scene" either., so there are no guarantees. I have to admit I like instructing with aircraft, but I wouldn't like it to be like some sausage making machine, where one size fits all and you had to fail a certain percentage. You get to learn a lot about an individual in an aeroplane.. You know the ones you can trust.. and the ones that try to bluff ( did write something else here but it wasn't allowed) their way through..Nev

 

 

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Excellent sentiments. I'd just like to add one small (tongue in cheek) comment:

 

Australian pilots fly aeroplanes; they leave the airplanes to their American cousins.

 

 

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Yes AIRPLANE is a US term. Luckily I didn't stray there, though I'm still happy to fly an aeroplane that has "airplane" on the POH or the registration plate.

 

I have to add in the context of this discussion that I don't like the term "real" pilot. I've heard it used a few times around the traps and it seems to infer that those who fly Biplanes or tailwheel planes or A-380's etc are REAL pilots more so than some other pilots'

 

It isn't the plane you fly that makes the difference. It's HOW you FLY the plane you fly and your attitude to others, for all the reasons mentioned.

 

A person who gets angry and lets someone have it over the RT is NOT a GOOD pilot and it shows pretty poor self discipline and control . No matter how well he handles his/her plane . Self discipline is not an obsolete concept. If you can't manage yourself you (at some time) won't manage the aeroplane.. Here endeth the lesson .Nev

 

 

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I'm striving to be a Real Pilot, per the original post. Oh sure, I'm already a pilot - even have a card and everything! But everything you do, every choice you make, either makes the situation better or worse. Think about it and try always to pick the option that makes it better. All 10 items above can be paraphrased as "airmanship".

 

 

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