— purported to have been written by a fifth grade student at Jefferson School, Beaufort, SC. It was first published in the South Carolina Aviation News.
It’s been an interesting couple of last weeks here (at work) for me. I’m really enjoying my job and I love the flying, and I love the airplane. The fact is, I think, I’m getting pretty good at what I do. And that brings on another problem where I really find myself confined in my role of First Officer where I’m stuck doing the same thing more or less every day with no real challenge. I guess I had to learn an important lesson the last couple of weeks. I was gently reminded not too long ago that, despite my abilities and knowledge, and my desire to achieve, to perform, I am still “only” a First Officer. As such, I have to still respect the captain as the final authority in any and all matter.
Now that being said, I think that I really have my own role and my own place in the TEAM, and being a First Officer really gives me a golden opportunity to sit back and oberserve and learn and absorb a lot of information – and it truly gives me a chance to learn from everybody that I work with. It’s an every-day learning job.
And that has been a real lesson for me, to sit back and to humbly accept my role, while always doing my best to exceed expectations. Rather challenging no? I loved the quote at the top of this article because it brought to light so many of the actual needs, problems or challenges pilots see and share every day. I particularly loved that part: “if I get airsick, I couldn’t be a pilot and then I would have to go to work.” Pilots are a very rare breed of people indeed – some of the few people I personally know who enjoy going to work and relish (almost) every day for the addicting sensation of flight. But every day brings its own set of struggles, especially when it comes down to people.
See, pilots do have to be able to read maps, see through clouds, and read their instruments. But most of all pilots have to learn to rely on each. Always remember that wether you have an empty airplane or 500 passengers riding behind you, your first responsibility is to bring each other home. Not yourself alone, or the passengers – each other. Because only by working as a crew will you achieve best performance, and with your combined abilities – Safety.
There is a song I heard a few weeks back, and I loved it so much I wanted to paraphrase it because I think it reflects perfectly the role of pilots today: Serve; And bring each other home.
It made me realize that when I go to work, it doesn’t matter if my title says First Officer, Captain, or Chief Pilot . Only this matters: to serve to the best of my abilities my team and my employer, and that whatever I say or do, it is said or done to help the team bring each other home – safe, alive, and most importantly – ready to go feed the addiction once again 😉