22 Feb

How to not mess up at your first airline job?

Getting your first professional job is something hard to describe in words. Anyone who has put effort in getting a certain qualification is looking forward to finally working as one. Sometimes this road appears to be long and both emotionally and physically exhausting. But when you finally get it… oh boy, you feel like you just have conquered the world and you finally are able to relax, right? Not really. Yes, you achieved something already, but you are entering the whole new world while opening your first job door. And guess what, there is a chance that you will fail. So what is important to remember to do at your first job in order to successfully begin your glamorous pilot career?

The attitude of “almighty”

The first thing that airlines encounter with the new rookie pilots is their attitude. Yes, you did great, you finished your studies, the airline has chosen YOU to join their team, but you still have so much more to learn. Basically, if you are a rookie pilot, you should understand that since you have started working, the whole new period of your life has began too. And even though your previous experience and knowledge has been valuable and brought you here, you have started filling “a new sheet of paper”. So act like it. Try to learn from your superiors, pay attention to everything is happening around you and do that respectably. There is no doubt that gaining your first 500 flight hours is your main goal, after that your pilot career should roll pretty smoothly. However, even if you joined your first airline thinking, that it is “only to get hours”, that doesn’t mean you have rub that fact in the other employees face. Rather than acting like “what you can give to me”, act like “how can I help you”. Soak in all the information and just be a great rookie pilot.

Hold your horses, cowboy!

There is no doubt that when entering the airline your main goal is to gain experience and most importantly your flight hours. Unfortunately, many times rookie pilots only see this one goal forgetting, that being a pilot means so much more. Just like working in any kind of organization, any kind of job, first of all you work in a team so do not forget your CRM and MCC skills. Secondly, there are so many organizational responsibilities like following certain aircraft and company procedures or filling documentation that you must take very seriously. “They forget about studying, about organizing papers, forget about resting. The most important thing is having their licenses in order and being available to fly, wherever it may be. They’re always ready to operate wherever the company needs them or even to change to a different company if the number of block hours is superior. Gaining experience is their goal. Performing well and commanding an aircraft is their dream”, shares her experience Mónica Ferreira working with flight operations support at White Airways.

Brace up before you even start

In general, the situation of the new pilot standards is not in your favor. The pilots who work with rookie pilots agree that the standards have lowered over the past years, which has been caused by various triggers. Hrvoje Jirousek Crew Training Post Holder at Limitless Airways names few of the reasons why this happens: “The airlines are looking more favorably to the applicants who already have type rating, or have the means to pay for it themselves. That way the selection is limited to the pilots who are financially capable to undergo the training on their own, so the rests are not even considered in airline evaluation process. So rookie pilots are customers who are paying and it is very rare that they will fail even if they only meet marginal standard”. In order to avoid this, it is important to acknowledge the fact that becoming a pilot does not mean just being able to pay for the studies. Is your training provider making an effort to actually evaluate whether you are suitable for the profession? What are the criteria upon which they are making the assessment? Do they work in partnership with airlines for pilot assessment? These are the important questions that, you should analyze and get answers to before choosing your training provider.

Another reason is the automation: “trend in aviation nowadays is to use all gadgets and avoid flying the aircraft manually or skip on using the visual approach (which is essential item in training). This fact has contributed to some fatal accidents in the last few years” adds Hrvoje Jirousek. And not only that! While getting your qualification you should work hard on SOP and CRM training, pay attention while mastering the art of sharing tasks, understanding the automation, but actually be able to fly manually in case of equipment failure.

So if you have just got your first job – congratulations! But do not forget that this is your chance to start your amazing pilot career or go through struggles. You choose.