When you have a sickness or injury that requires medical attention, you look for the non-professional doctor right? Legal problems? Let’s go see the un-professional lawyer, yes? I’m certain these thoughts never cross your mind. So when your neighbor wants you to take them around the bay for a sightseeing tour, do they ask you if you are a professional or a non-professional pilot. I think not.
If you are a pilot, you are a professional pilot. It really is that simple. Webster defines the adjective professional as:
- a: of, relating to, or characteristic of a profession
- b: engaged in one of the learned professions
- c (1): characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession
- c (2): exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace
- Are you concerned with your passengers’ safety and making it to your destination safely?
- Do you plan your flight to ensure you have met any required regulations based on the type of flight you will be conducting (IFR/VFR)?
- Do you check weather before departing to ensure you have an accurate picture of the conditions you will encounter en-route?
- Do you get updated weather en-route if forecast weather is not as expected?
- Do you debrief yourself at the conclusion of every flight and look for improvements you can make?
- Commit to a debrief after every flight: Debrief yourself about what went right, what went wrong, and what you can do to improve for the next time.
- Commit to some kind of pilot training every year: This could be a new rating, certificate, endorsement or just a course that maybe teaches you some new avionics.
- Commit to sounding better on the radio: Many pilots think their radio skills are top notch. Yet every day, I hear pilots responding to “standby,” failure to read back runway assignments with taxi instructions and always starting a radio call with “and.”
- Commit to adhering to all appropriate regulations for your flight: 91.103 has a lot of required “to do’s” for all of your cross country flights.
- Commit to being a better pilot…
If this sounds too difficult or time consuming, no problem. Just let me know before you head to your next doctor’s appointment and I’ll get you in contact with a non-professional doctor. His name, Curtis Springer and he lives off of Zzyzx Rd. Look him up.