What does a Commercial Pilot Do?
Commercial pilots are those who are tasked to fly and navigate commercial aircraft and helicopters. Airline Pilots fly aircraft for airlines – full service, charter and low cost – which transport passengers and cargo on a fixed schedule.
They are responsible for transporting passengers who are either going on holiday or travelling for business, and generally work for commercial airlines. Their primary responsibility is to operate the aircraft, but throughout the day, they can find themselves checking the weather, performing pre-flight inspections. Pilots are also responsible for the safety of all crew and passengers onboard the aircraft.
What are the Main Responsibilities of a Pilot?
The responsibilities of pilots vary from day to day, depending on factors such as whether the flight is a long haul, international, or a one-hour internal flight.
General pilot duties include:
- Pre-flight checks of all the instruments, engines, fuel and safety systems aboard the aircraft
- Working with flight dispatchers to create the best flight path
- Supervising the loading of cargo, baggage and fuel
- Briefing the cabin crew members before flight
- Following the instructions given by air traffic control
- Adjusting the flight path in case of weather emergencies
- Informing the cabin crew and passengers and crew about journey progress
- Writing end reports about in-flight issues
- Making regular checks on aircraft’s technical performance, pre-flight safety checks on navigation and operating systems
What Qualifications & Skills Do I Need to Become a Commercial Pilot?
In order to work as a commercial pilot, you need to first gain an Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL). Training for this can take around two years and can cost as much as £100,000.
To get on to a pilot training course, you will need to have performed well at school. E.g. grades A*-C (9-4) and A-levels in at least English and Maths. Subjects including science or a second language would be a great advantage.
You must also be at least 21 years of age to apply for an ATPL, and you’ll need to pass a background security check. you will also need to have a Class 1 Medical Certificate.
Most Approved Training Organisations (ATOs) will put you through their own testing to make sure that you have the right personality and skills to be a successful pilot. Over a series of written papers, interviews, group tests, and simulator tests, you will be expected to demonstrate skills such as problem solving, spatial awareness, and people skills.
Some of the core skills commercial pilots must possess include: strong leadership skills, the ability to remain focused and level-headed under pressure, complex problem solving skills, decisivness as well as excellent communication skills.