Good pilots are hard to find

What exactly makes a person a good pilot? What do you guys think?

When I was hiring pilots, what I was looking for was mostly in a pilot was if the guy (or gal, I actually hired plenty of girls) was safe and will fit in well with the team. I have seen pilots who made beautiful landings every time and really had that helicopter under control, but they took chances I didn’t like and they didn’t get along with their coworkers. I also didn’t quite care for the old crusty jaded “can’t tell me nothing” pilots, even though they might have more experience flying (even though I kinda ended up being one of those guys in my last year or so in helicopters, HAHA… at least the old and crusty part). At the time we had a fairly young team and everyone got along really well. There was some pressure on me not to ruin that, because it usually only takes one bad apple to ruin a good thing. Of course, they all had to know their job. We were just looking for guys who were great team players above that.


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5 comments on “Good pilots are hard to find
  1. Fbs says:

    My first Instructor told me « a good pilot is one that dies in it’s bed ». I try to be a good pilot. I don’t know what it’s worth, as who knows, maybe Chuck will manage to be a good pilot too as cartoon heroes never dies…

  2. Bálint Szebenyi says:

    My instructor told me almost the same as Fbs: a good pilot only does so much that he/she is surely able to carry out, nothing more. If there is a doubt there is no doubt.

  3. Karel A.J. ADAMS says:

    Big difference between a professional and a recreational pilot. All must know their limits – personal, legal, aeroplane, … – professional pilots need to be good teamworkers on top of that.

  4. DeanRW says:

    I’ve seen quite a few accident reports having, as the main character, a very experienced pilot who did a very stupid thing (the last one in his life). Experience is not enough, it seems, and attitude (as in other things) might be the (second) most important factor. So you have to find another experienced pilot, one with a good attitude, and bright enough to recognize it in others, to establish how good the first pilot is. But then, how do you decide how good the second pilot is? Well, you find a third pilot, one with… [Exceedingly long post cut by webmaster]

  5. Frank Merrill says:

    Hi Folks,

    I lift my cup of coco on this unusually chilly September evening to my favorite flight instructor, the late Larry Carmody, who wryly told me “a pilot can do any stupid thing in an airplane once.”

    Best Regards,

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