Becoming a pilot is something every child dreams of at some point. Armando Poeta had the same dream which he fulfilled first by serving in the Italian Airforce and then working as a flight instructor and commercial pilot.
From his experience, Armando Poeta shares that being a good pilot requires a mix of technical and interpersonal skills. They need to be quick, and agile, have the ability to manage teams, and much more. Psychologically, pilots should ideally have spatial intelligence — the ability to perceive patterns and visual data. This article lists some other skills a person needs to become a pilot according to Armando Poeta.
An understanding of physics and math
The application of many concepts of maths and physics is required in the aviation process, from mass and balance to different calculations. Being comfortable with these subjects will help you both in the training school and actually flying independently.
Understanding aircraft systems
As a pilot, you should know your aircraft inside out, says Armando Poeta. Pilots are required to perform checks on every part of the airplane before taking off to ensure everything is in order. This is also something you will be trained for, and will be one of the most essential things you learn. So pay attention!
Attention to detail
As mentioned, you will have to deal with checklists, calculations, and coordinates, and have to adapt to weather or technicalities. All this requires acute attention to detail and being aware of your surroundings at all times.
Communication and teamwork
A pilot is only as good as his crew. You will have to work in close tandem with the co-pilot and crew while flying, so learning how to manage and work in a team becomes important. At the same time, you will also be following the guidance from the control towers, and knowing how to communicate and understand critical information briskly is paramount.
Quick thinking and decision making
Whether it be dynamic weather or last-minute changes to the flying plan or a technical issue, quick decision-making is a skill every pilot needs. According to Armando Poeta thinking on your feet as you are miles in the air is both a thrill and a huge responsibility. You have to be aware of how your decision affects you but also everyone else on the aircraft.
Ability to manage stress
With this requirement of being aware, adapting to circumstances, and making decisions comes a lot of stress. The pressure is heightened when you hit a snag or are in a dangerous position. Remaining calm and communicating your issues with those on the ground, or being able to coordinate the best course of action with your team is something a good pilot should be able to do in high-stress situations.
According to Armando Poeta, being a pilot is a wonderful adventure every time, but it comes with a lot of responsibilities and stress. Being able to manage that and be alert at all times is needed if you wish to be an excellent pilot. Aviation is full of dynamic factors and a pilot has to balance all of them.
Of course, all pilots — regardless of industry — go through vigorous training before they are qualified to fly independently. These are just a few things you will learn in the course of your training, but they will make the foundation of everything else you learn. If you feel these are skills you already have, then Armando Poeta recommends trying aviation as a career.