Pilot, airline pilot, aircraft pilot, helicopter pilot, or the captain; there are various titles for the person flying an aircraft. The aircraft pilot responsibilities describe work assigned to professionals working under any title mentioned above. Aircraft pilots can work for commercial airlines, cargo airplanes, military aircrafts, or for chartered planes. In any situation, the pilot has to fly the aircraft and transport the passengers or cargo safely to the destination.
The aircraft pilot is usually assisted by a co-pilot or pilot's first officer. Still, he holds the authority for taking all the decisions. The pilot has to look after other crew members during the flight and instruct them accordingly.
Before a flight takes off, the aircraft pilot has to go through the weather reports and repair reports submitted by the engineers and technicians. He checks the functioning of every part and system. He also communicates with the flight dispatchers and air traffic controllers and follow their instructions to takeoff safely. After takeoff, the pilot has to choose a specific altitude and speed to minimize travel time and risks. He has to continuously communicate with the control tower and inform them about the altitude, speed, and route of the aircraft.
During an emergency or rough weather, the aircraft pilot is solely responsible for ensuring the safety of the aircraft and passengers. He has to search a safer route or options for emergency landing before any damage occurs.
Following are some of the common responsibilities of aircraft pilots working for different sectors in the aviation industry.
The aircraft pilot has to inspect all the parts and systems of the aircraft. He has to go through the reports of the maintenance engineer and technicians and cross verify all the systems.
Coordinating with Ground Staff
The aircraft pilot has to coordinate with the ground staff and follow their instructions for a safe takeoff. While the flight is en route, the aircraft pilot is required to update the control tower and air traffic controller about the location, expected arrival time and any other information as asked.
Instructing Cabin Crew
The aircraft pilot has to instruct the cabin crew and keep them informed about the flight status. He communicates with the flight engineer and asks for any inspection or repair in the systems or parts if required.
The aircraft pilot has to report the details of the flight to the airport administration.
An individual aspiring to work as an aircraft pilot must:
To become an aircraft pilot, you will have to attend an aviation institute and hold a minimum of 250 hours of flying experience to obtain certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). You also need to qualify various physical and written tests held by the FAA to obtain the certificate.
Apart from flying commercial airplane, aircraft pilots also test new aircrafts and train new pilots or aviation students. They may work for commercial airliners, military, law enforcement agencies, healthcare facilities, etc.
Salary for an aircraft pilot is dependent on the sector and the total experience held by the candidate. Similarly, additional allowances are paid by every employer but the limit to these allowances again differ with each employer.
All the aircraft pilot responsibilities you read above are assigned for every pilot job. You must have also realized that flying commercial or military aircrafts is not the only career option for a pilot. You can serve the society by working as a pilot for a healthcare foundation or enlighten the aviation students with your knowledge and experience.