The captain, or pilot-in-command, in addition to being proficient at flying the aircraft, also assumes the role of in-flight manager.This role of authority is often more effectively accomplished when the captain is piloting the aircraft, especially in an abnormal or emergency situation.
Can you imagine having to take a road test every six months in order to keep your driver’s license? I’m not sure why or how this perception came to be, but it seems that much of the general public doesn’t think the co-pilot is a real pilot or is somehow grossly inferior to the actual “pilot pilot.” To better describe their roles, let’s get away from pilot and co-pilot, because they’re both pilots, and start with the actual industry nomenclature. Both pilots have ATPs and type ratings to fly their assigned aircraft.
In fact, when a captain and a first officer are paired together to fly, they typically split the flying 50/50.
Most recently, the recovery of the black boxes from the Air Asia crash and the information it contained perpetuated the myth: “We now know that when this happened, the co-pilot was at the controls.” This was said as if to imply that this piece of information should provide valuable insight as to why a dangerous situation occurred, as if to ask, “Why wasn’t the real pilot flying the plane in a deteriorating situation?
” Today, on behalf of my colleagues, I’d like to make some clarifications about the roles of the pilot and the co-pilot.
This means that a captain at one airline who switches jobs to work for another airline will have to start as a first officer until he or she has the seniority to upgrade to captain again.
Because of this system, and a multitude of other scenarios and variables that could be an essay of its own, it is not at all uncommon for a first officer to actually have more experience than the captain that he or she flying with.
Worth breaking out a pressed shirt for such a short time? It lives in the trunk–and head for the employee lot.
No, but you don’t want to look like a scrounge in the only free part of the day before heading for the airport, right? Gulp–another trip to the cleaners in uniform pants and an undershirt to pick up the uniform shirts you blot out of your mind on days off? The freeway’s a transition zone, both to and from the airport.
After a pilot has acquired the type rating, it must be kept current.