Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

Description

Pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-wing, multi-engine aircraft, usually on scheduled air carrier routes, for the transport of passengers and cargo. Requires Federal Air Transport Pilot certificate and rating for specific aircraft type used. Includes regional, National, and international airline pilots and flight instructors of airline pilots.

Tasks

  • Work as part of a flight team with other crew members, especially during takeoffs and landings.
  • Use instrumentation to guide flights when visibility is poor.
  • Start engines, operate controls, and pilot airplanes to transport passengers, mail, or freight, adhering to flight plans, regulations, and procedures.
  • Contact control towers for takeoff clearances, arrival instructions, and other information, using radio equipment.
  • Monitor gauges, warning devices, and control panels to verify aircraft performance and to regulate engine speed.
  • Respond to and report in-flight emergencies and malfunctions.
  • Steer aircraft along planned routes, using autopilot and flight management computers.
  • Check passenger and cargo distributions and fuel amounts to ensure that weight and balance specifications are met.
  • Monitor engine operation, fuel consumption, and functioning of aircraft systems during flights.
  • Inspect aircraft for defects and malfunctions, according to pre-flight checklists.
  • Choose routes, altitudes, and speeds that will provide the fastest, safest, and smoothest flights.
  • Confer with flight dispatchers and weather forecasters to keep abreast of flight conditions.
  • Direct activities of aircraft crews during flights.
  • Brief crews about flight details, such as destinations, duties, and responsibilities.
  • Order changes in fuel supplies, loads, routes, or schedules to ensure safety of flights.
  • Record in log books information such as flight times, distances flown, and fuel consumption.
  • Make announcements regarding flights, using public address systems.
  • Perform minor maintenance work, or arrange for major maintenance.
  • Test and evaluate the performance of new aircraft.
  • Coordinate flight activities with ground crews and air traffic control and inform crew members of flight and test procedures.
  • File instrument flight plans with air traffic control to ensure that flights are coordinated with other air traffic.
  • Conduct in-flight tests and evaluations at specified altitudes and in all types of weather to determine the receptivity and other characteristics of equipment and systems.
  • Instruct other pilots and student pilots in aircraft operations and the principles of flight.
  • Plan and formulate flight activities and test schedules and prepare flight evaluation reports.
  • Load smaller aircraft, handling passenger luggage and supervising refueling.
  • Evaluate other pilots or pilot-license applicants for proficiency.

Skills

Equipment Selection
Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Abilities

Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.

Work Activities

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

Interests

Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Style

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Leadership
Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Work Values

Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Lay Titles

Air Force Pilot
Aircraft Pilot
Airline Captain
Airline Pilot
Airline Transport Pilot
Airplane Pilot
Army Helicopter Pilot
Astronaut
Check Airman
Co Pilot
Co-Pilot
Commercial Airline Pilot
Commuter Pilot
Executive Pilot
Facilities Flight Check Pilot
Fighter Pilot
First Officer
Flight Inspector
Jet Pilot
Military Pilot
Navigator
Navy Fighter Pilot
Pilot

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$0.0 hourly, $114,200 annual.
Employment (2008):
66,270 employees