How Pilot Training Shapes Character

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Pilot training teaches resilience

A resilient mindset is one that sees challenges as opportunities instead of barriers. Being resilient doesn’t mean being good at everything, it means being willing to learn, adapt, and fail without giving up. Learning new skills and acquiring new knowledge is something that doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time, perseverance, and discipline.  Pilot training demands the acquisition of new skills, some of which are highly technical, and others that revolve around communication and composure.

 No one is born knowing how to fly, everyone has to learn from scratch the array of skills that a pilot needs and it takes time and effort. For most people who undertake pilot training, some things will come easily and some things will be more difficult and it takes resilience to get better at things that provide challenges.

Meeting the challenge of studying aviation

A Bachelor of Aviation for example is a challenging degree that requires a student to learn aerodynamics, mathematics, and communication skills.  There are also safety requirements and emergency situations to understand. A trainee pilot has to learn to pull together a wide range of skills and put them into practise,

The ability to learn hard things is a valuable skill not just for pilots, but for people in general. Everyone faces challenges in life, it is how they are dealt with that really matters, and those who have the resilience to face issues with confidence and a willingness to learn will always be better off than those who lack them.

Leadership skills

Leadership is something pilots have to be able to demonstrate. They are in charge of the aircraft and the safety of themselves and their passengers. The pilot makes all the decisions on board and their word is final. There is a challenge in conveying this to passengers in a way that is clear but is not offensive. It can be a delicate balance, especially for those pilots who work in tourism and scenic flights.

Decision-making under pressure

Every decision a pilot makes has to be a good one, especially when under pressure. It takes focus, recall, confidence, and excellent training to be able to do this. Pilots prioritise safety above everything else. They are taught to evaluate situations quickly, identify risks, and make decisions based on their assessments. Clearly, this is crucial in the cockpit, but it is useful in everyday life as well.

The ability to be measured, logical, proactive, and confident in one’s choices are all helpful approaches in day-to-day living.

Discipline and following procedures are key life skills

It can seem counterintuitive at first, but discipline is actually the key to freedom. When one sticks to a schedule and a routine they can enjoy free time without the pressures of unfinished tasks or being behind schedule.

Learning new skills and gaining new understanding takes discipline and repetition. By setting study schedules and sticking to them the new information will have time to settle in without the pressure of falling behind.

Pilots have a lot of learning to do, both theoretical and practical. Their training involves understanding technical information, being able to recall it at the right time, and putting it to use at the right time and in the right circumstances. Imagine being a pilot who has passengers expecting to take a scenic flight and having to tell them it cannot proceed because of weather concerns. This is difficult, but it is the job of the pilot to keep everyone safe.

Communication builds healthier relationships

Communication is considered a soft skill but it is still a very important one. How one communicates, both verbally and non-verbally has an impact on everyone around them. As the pilot is in charge, what they say and do is noticed by everyone around them.

Using the above example, where a pilot may have to cancel a flight due to weather concerns, communication skills go a long way toward either helping or harming the situation. If passengers understand the reasons why a decision is made they are far more likely to be grateful that their safety was put first than if they weren’t given a good explanation. This, of course, carries over into other aspects of life.

The better a person can express their thoughts the better their relationships with other people is likely to be. Good communication builds trust and this provides a stable foundation for connection, friendship, business partnerships, and relationships in general.

Pilots skills are also life skills

The skills a pilot has to learn and utilise are crucial in the cockpit but they are transferable and valuable to everyday life too.  When attending one of theflight schools in Australia, a student will start to learn how to follow procedures, develop leadership skills, be disciplined about their learning, how to communicate effectively and they will face challenges that will build resilience – all of these skills combine to make a great pilot and a person who is well equipped for life in general.

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