As a “mentor” on this forum I’m continually asked for suggestions on how to shorten the process to the airlines (particularly since the introduction of the “1500hr Rule”). The majority of the people on this forum are young (under 30) and anxious. I am neither but I do remember what it’s like (and I have 3 children in their 20’s to remind me if I forget). While I understand and appreciate the desire to expedite the process and get behind the controls of jet traveling the country at .82 mach ASAP I feel compelled to point out that not all of what we do is super fun.
In addition to being an A330 pilot at Hawaiian Airlines I’m also a CRM (Crew Resource Mgmt) instructor. Part of CRM training is the study of aviation accidents and incidents. While aviation is truly the safest form of transportation in the world, as I trust you’re all aware it is not without some level of risk. Pilots are human and humans make errors. Unlike most professions our errors can have grave and catastrophic results. I’m not writing this to frighten anyone or give you pause about your prospective career. My intent is to simply encourage everyone to take a breath, slow down AND most important not see your time instructing as simply “time building” or the means to an end. There’s a concept you’ll learn during CFI training called “the law of primacy” which basically means the things we learn early on tend to stay with us the longest. I encourage you all to use your time instructing to hone your skills and build good habits. Habits that will make you a better pilot and will stay with you throughout your career.
I just finished reading a book called Understanding Air France 447. It’s a very detailed and technical analysis of the A330 crash that tragically ended 227 lives. I try very hard to not Monday morning quarterback any pilot since I wasn’t sitting in that cockpit and none of us knows what we would do in the same situation. That said the bottomline is there were 3 pilots all of whom forgot their most basic flying skills. The reality is the vast majority of us will never be tested. Again our industry is ridiculously safe with many layers of protection and redundancies. BUT, should the situation arise, your “Sully” moment, whether you spent those early hours learning and practicing vs simply watching the clock could make a huge difference in not only your life but all those sitting behind you. Aspire to not only be a pilot but to be a good one.