One of the top contributors to someone grounded by the Fear of Flying is relinquishing control to people that they don’t know, and not knowing how well your pilots are trained! It is very important for a fearful flyer to understand the amount of training and testing that pilots not only receive initially, but also throughout their career.
During the Fear of Flying Courses at FlyHome, we discuss this topic in depth, so the passenger can feel comfortable with the men and women inside of the cockpit. A question asked to our clients is, “In your state, how often do you have to return to the DMV, and take a drivers test to renew your drivers license…” After a long pause, the client will always say, Never!… This is basically the case all throughout the United States, you basically go to the DMV, take an eye exam, and are then given a new license with a new expiration date in ten years, yes, TEN Years! Imagine how much can change in ten years.
Fortunately, this is not the case with pilots holding Commercial level pilot certificates, or licenses. So what would make you feel comfortable with how often your pilots are not only re-trained, but also re-tested to prove that they are proficient and capable of not only operating an aircraft during normal conditions, but also, abnormal conditions. Most clients will answer this question saying “Every two years or so”, and even that is not enough. Pilots are retrained and tested on their specific type of aircraft flown every six months as captain, and every twelve months as first officer. So what does this training entail? Retraining on the aircraft systems, backup systems, troubleshooting, single engine operations, emergency procedures, etc. All of these classes are completed in a classroom setting with a written and oral exam for each pilot upon completion. The pilots will then go into full motion flight simulators that are identical cockpits to the planes that they fly. In these simulators, the pilots will not have to fly during “Normal Conditions”, thats easy! Pilots will have to fly the aircraft in numerous emergency and failure type scenarios to demonstrate that they can not only identify problems, but rectify them to continue the flight safely. This training will last close to a week, as there are a lot of systems that the FAA and manufacturers have installed on the plane, mainly for your safety, so the pilots will have to demonstrate that they understand all of the systems that are available to them in flight.
When you fly next, look up into the cockpit and say hi, because those men and women work really hard to be up there, and its all for the safety of the flight. A pilots license was not just a one time test, there are many re-current training classes and tests that are required of them, and perfection is required, or their livelihood depends on it!
Learn more at FlyHome