Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

What they do:

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.

On the job, you would:

  • Use instrumentation to guide flights when visibility is poor.
  • Respond to and report in-flight emergencies and malfunctions.
  • Work as part of a flight team with other crew members, especially during takeoffs and landings.
  • Contact control towers for takeoff clearances, arrival instructions, and other information, using radio equipment.
  • Steer aircraft along planned routes, using autopilot and flight management computers.
  • Monitor gauges, warning devices, and control panels to verify aircraft performance and to regulate engine speed.
  • Start engines, operate controls, and pilot airplanes to transport passengers, mail, or freight, adhering to flight plans, regulations, and procedures.
  • Inspect aircraft for defects and malfunctions, according to pre-flight checklists.
  • 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.

Knowledge

  • Transportation
  • Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Geography
  • Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • English Language
  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Physics
  • Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Mathematics
  • Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Mechanical
  • Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Psychology
  • Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Law and Government
  • Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

Skills

  • Operation and Control
  • Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Critical Thinking
  • Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Coordination
  • Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening
  • Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking
  • Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Monitoring
  • Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Abilities

  • Control Precision
  • The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Response Orientation
  • The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
  • Problem Sensitivity
  • The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Spatial Orientation
  • The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
  • Depth Perception
  • The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
  • Far Vision
  • The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Rate Control
  • The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
  • Reaction Time
  • The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
  • Multilimb Coordination
  • The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Selective Attention
  • The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.

Work Activities

  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Getting Information
  • Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

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.
  • Second Interest High-Point
  • Secondary-Cutoff/Rank Descriptiveness
  • 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.
  • Third Interest High-Point
  • Tertiary-Cutoff/Rank Descriptiveness
  • 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.
  • First Interest High-Point
  • Primary-Rank Descriptiveness

Work Styles

  • 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.
  • Self Control
  • Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Leadership
  • Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Cooperation
  • Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Integrity
  • Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Persistence
  • Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.