Attributes of a good prospective pilot

Hi all,

On Adam’s posts, I noticed he uses the phrase “not everyone can or should be an airline pilot” often. This can be a vague question, but specifically, what type of people can’t or shouldn’t be a pilot? In case of myself, I perform best in an environment where there are set rules and procedures. I don’t derail from the procedures on the job and never had non-compliance issues. So, I believe I have basic attributes to start, but want to know what else are needed besides good study habits, good communication skills, and quick accurate decision making skills.



The skills you mention are spot on. What I have seen is that somebody simply do not have the ability to be pilots, they lack the skills required to fly. An example might be that I have zero artistic ability. None. Doesn’t matter how hard I try or what kind of training I get, I am not an artist. It is important to recognize those kinds of issues very early in training to save the student money. This does not happen very often and usually is recognized early.


Don’t forget those that probably have perfectly good technical flying skills, but have no business interacting with the flying public!


I know these days everyone grows up thinking they can do “anything”. While that’s a wonderful, empowering sentiment, it simply isn’t so. You state things like “good study habits and good communication skills”, those are great but if the moment the wheels leave the ground you’re terrified or lose your lunch, that’s a problem. “Quick accurate decision making skills”? How do you know? Have you ever had to make a quick accurate decision after losing an engine or half your instruments? I once found myself in a somewhat hairy weather/fuel situation. The person I was flying with was rolled up in the corner looking for their wubby. They quit the next week.

Flying isn’t rocket science and it doesn’t require “nerves of steel”, it does however require a fair amount of intelligence, coordination and composure. It’s unfortunate but no, despite what the purple dinosaur and mommy and daddy told you, not everyone can be anything they want to be.



We need to put together a “Best of Adam” post :joy: I love it, blunt, straight to the point, no babying or participation trophies. Keep 'em comin!


That’s crazy Michael, I didn’t even know this video was out there. I’ve heard of microphones getting stuck but nothing like a full blown explicit conversation like that. Very interesting thanks for the video.

To be clear, he’s not en ex-employee.

Does he still work for Southwest?


Realizing that I lack the skills to fly after I start my training would be a disaster. Have you seen people taking two or more intro flights in the past? Do you think that will help me see if I have an ability to become a professional? I was told that I can get a free intro flight if the loan is approved.



Fortunately no issues on interactions :slight_smile:
I’ll probably never say negative stuff regarding coworkers, company, schedule etc since everything will be recorded on the blackbox even without the microphone on! :astonished:

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Yes, I took two intro flights myself. If you are really unsure about your skills after the intro flight, I would suggest going to your local flight school and taking a few more lessons there. It should be apparent rather early if you are going to have issues or not. Most people do not.



Totally agree with you. We’re not superhuman so we don’t have all the ability to become anything we choose to be. It’s just sad that accepting your limits sometimes can be viewed as lack of self confidence. Of course, I never had to make a quick accurate decision on the air but I’ve avoided quite a few number accidents on the freeways. I wonder if that will help :thinking: