Airline Flying is a highly responsible occupation that requires the pilots to possess the right Airline Pilot personality profile.
Therefore even after extensive training, pilot candidates are required to undergo aptitude and psychological testing with the airline. These tests are designed to identify applicants that have the know how to be pilots but not the ability to be able to handle the pressure, stress and responsibility of hundreds of passengers who rely on them.
There have been various studies and opinions of what are the key ingredients for the right Airline Pilot Personality however below are a few characteristics.
Pilots are logical thinkers. They are able to assess instrument panels, weather and turbulence to detect any concerns. If the pilot does find something wrong, they quickly analyse the situation and come up with an appropriate solution without resorting to panic or allowing fear to cloud their judgment. Furthermore they possess the confidence to action their solutions and provide direction to those working with them. Airline flying is not for those who suffer from self-doubt or who would rather do what they are told than take the lead.
Pilots don’t allow themselves to be controlled by their emotions. Emotions are a liability in an occupation where keeping cool can mean the difference between success and disaster. This doesn’t apply only to dangerous situations in the air. Successful pilots must keep their emotions “in check” during arguments and must not behave aggressively. They are open to critical observations and change, and maintain their composure even during stressful situations.
Professional and Diligent
A successful airline pilot is dependable and responsible. It is not a job for someone who looks out for their own interests or will cut corners when they are impatient. They must be diligent and willing to do what is best for the airline and its passengers. If a takeoff must be delayed for a couple of hours due to bad weather, for example, the pilot cannot just decide to take off early because his schedule has been upset. The pilot must maintain his/her focus and professionalism throughout the waiting period and flight. Pilots must also be capable of remaining alert and maintaining their stamina even during long, exhausting periods of stress.
Works Well With Others
Pilots tend to be social people who enjoy interacting with others. This is a positive because effective communication is a major key to the success of a pilot. They need to be active listeners when receiving information from the ground, and be able to clearly convey their situations in the air. While pilots should be independent enough to take the initiative, they nevertheless work closely with their copilots and crew and value their input.