Reaching the rank of captain is one of the most significant moments of any airline pilot’s career. Trading in the three-stripe jacket and picking a pristine new four-stripe uniform is the culmination of years of hard work.
Whilst the years spent in the right-hand seat are all building towards that upgrade, the final few months are the most demanding of a pilot’s entire career. In order to make the move from first officer to captain, all pilots must complete the command course.
It’s not just about flying
Many people imagine the job of a pilot is pretty straightforward. Press a button and the aircraft takes off. Press another button and it lands. The rest of the time, we just watch the screens as the autopilot does all the work. Feet up, drinking coffee, chatting about the latest football results with their colleague.
However, as soon as the weather gets exciting or we deal with an inflight emergency, all of a sudden we are heroes. How can the same coffee-drinking, autopilot-reliant sports fans suddenly become saviours?
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