What do Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers Do?
Airline Pilots, copilots, and flight Engineers are responsible for the piloting and navigation of planes on both national and international flights. You will be charged with carrying passengers and/or cargo safely and promptly to their destinations. Specifically, you will be flying fixed-wing aircraft with more than one engine. To be a pilot, copilot, or flight engineer you must be certified in Federal Air Transport and you will need to have ratings for various types of aircraft.
Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers Skills and Abilities
You will need to be very familiar with the operation of aircraft systems as this will be your primary responsibility. You must be able to successfully control the aircraft from the cockpit and understand what the different dials and indicators on the control panel mean so you can continue to operate the craft effectively. Active listening skills and problem solving skills are a must. You will need to be able to interpret information quickly so you can adjust your movements based on unforeseen circumstances like weather, turbulence, or technical issues in mid-flight, pre-flight, or post-flight. The physical demands for this job are as follows:Good vision (no near-sightedness or far-sightedness)Great depth perception and spatial reasoningThe ability to focus fully while also being alert in order to respond to issues that may ariseHigh reaction timeMultitasking ability (specifically, using different limbs for separate purposes simultaneously)
Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers Duties
This position requires a wide range of duties. In order to perform the tasks that this position demands you must:Operate and steer aircraft.Perform test flights.Monitor systems for signs of emergency and be ready to proactively address hazardous conditions.Use weather conditions, operation system indicators, and inbound communications to determine the best course of action to take in flight.Use your equipment to guide you in low visibility situations.Maintain contact with control towers to receive clearance and specific instructions for arrival and takeoff.Ensure that the pre-flight checklist is met.Delegate tasks among the crew accordingly.Keep the crew and ground team up to date on flight details.Consult with air traffic control.
Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers Tools and Technology
You must be proficient in understanding and operating aircraft systems, such as communications, guidance, steering, and oxygen equipment systems. You will also be working with flight computer systems like autopilot and data reporting software. Other types of software that you will need to use include scheduling software, search software, and navigation software.
Education and Training for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers
The number of pilots, copilots, and engineers with a bachelor’s degree in 2014 was 59.1%. A bachelor’s degree in piloting and flight crew, airline instructing, or a related field is usually required for this position. Most pilots, copilots, and flight engineers have less than five years of experience. You will receive some training on the job as well.
Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers Salary
The pay for these positions as of 2014 ranges from $64,800 to over $187,200 annually. The pay is salary only and very rarely is an hourly rate applied. The national median salary in 2014 was $118,100 and the state with the highest median salary of $139,400 was Florida.
Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers Jobs by Geography
In 2012, there were 66,400 pilots, copilots, and flight engineers in the United States. This figure is expected to drop 7% by the year 2022. There are states that are anticipating an increase in the number of employed individuals in these positions, though. Colorado, for example, is supposed to see a 32.3% rise of pilots and flight engineers by 2022. Texas, Montana, and Hawaii are expected to see a rise of around 20%.