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Professional Pilot Be a Truly By Matt Johnson I


n an era when so much aviation industry news and training focuses on new technology and keeping up with so-called proficiency, one important aspect of being a pilot is being neglected: professionalism.


Recently, a colleague reached out for assistance on a new project. His company wanted to create an advisory board to offer advice on its aviation services. I was humbled he sought my advice. He garnered my full attention when he said the company was writing a quick bio on me and he asked, “How long have you been flying as a professional pilot?” I had an easy and ready answer. “Since. Day. One.”


Some answers are astounding when pilots are asked, “Are you a professional pilot?” or “What makes you a professional pilot?” Many think once the ink is wet on their commercial pilot certificate, a magic wand has been waived and they are now, by the stroke of the examiner’s pen, considered a “professional.” Likewise, many feel that once they land that first paying pilot position, they


are now a professional pilot because they are getting paid to fly. This is complete and utter nonsense. You should strive to be a professional pilot on Day One! Private, commercial or ATP rated, being a professional pilot isn’t limited just to those who get a paycheck every two weeks.


To be successful in the aviation industry, or any industry for that matter, one must be a master of their environment. Mastering your environment requires professionalism throughout each step of your career. Mastering your environment will be difficult and take a lot of effort on your part. The formula itself for success isn’t difficult. Don’t reinvent the wheel; instead, learn from true professionals. How do you know who the consummate professional pilots are? The answer’s clear. They often demonstrate professional characteristics. They strive for excellence, they never stop learning, they strive for competence, they are mentors (and have mentors), they are humble, and they are prepared. Let’s delve into each of these qualities that compose the DNA of a professional pilot.


rotorcraftpro.com


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