Recent reports show there is a shortage of trained and qualified aviation graduates, with an estimated shortfall of more than 70,000 U.S. air transport pilots. This trend is certainly not limited to the United States, though. In fact, two of the biggest budget carriers in Japan are planning to cancel hundreds of flights this summer due to a shortage of available pilots. This goes to show that the problem with pilot shortages is an international problem, and that it may be an ideal time for students to get the required training and enter the exciting field of aviation.
The Japanese budget airline Vanilla Air recently reported that there are not enough pilots to fly all of the scheduled flights this month, and attempts to secure enough pilots have not been successful in time to meet current demands. Additionally, some crewmembers have also recently moved on, leaving Vanilla Air between a rock and a hard place. All Nippon Airways (ANA), the owner and operator of Vanilla Air, says that it will have no choice but to cancel one third of the flights it has scheduled for June. That amounts to a total of 154 flights, which may affect as many as 2,500 scheduled passengers. Passengers with reservations for these 154 cancelled flights will be guaranteed seats on other airlines, according to ANA president, Tomonori Ishii. The carrier, which is the product of a recent joint venture with a Malaysian airline, says it is working to hire recently graduated pilots and borrow some from other airlines in order to resume full operations in July.
One of Vanilla Air’s competitors, Peach Aviation, is facing similar problems. In fact, Peach Aviation Ltd. predicts that it may have to cancel more than 2,000 flights between now and October because it doesn’t have enough qualified pilots. Peach is also fairly new to the scene, operating since 2012, but its low-cost flights quickly attracted a high number of passengers. While the carrier was meeting the demand for flights at first, a recent shortage of pilots due to illness and other reasons has left Peach unable to satisfy the increasing number of passengers looking to fly. According to Peach CEO, Shinichi Inoue, more than 15% of their pilots are unavailable to fly due to health reasons, and they have been unable to recruit a sufficient number of new pilots and crewmembers, or promote from within. This series of cancellations could affect as many as 2,088 flights which would have carried approximately 26,000 passengers.
The United Nations specialized aviation agency, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), began warning about pilot shortages two years ago, and the problem is expected to reach a critical mass in Asia, Latin America and Africa by 2030. For those interested in pursuing a career in aviation, whether in Asia or any other part of the world, it might just be the ideal time to begin the education and training to fulfill this demand.
Projecting a professional image is a key requirement for achieving success as a commercial pilot. The National Transportation Safety Board considers pilot professionalism to be of such critical importance in the aviation field that it sponsored a 2010 forum specifically devoted to this topic. Appearance, decisiveness, initiative and an unselfish attitude are essential elements in building your reputation as a consummate professional.
Keeping your uniform clean and pressed can help you present a crisp, pulled-together image for your passengers and crew. Meticulous attention to detail will help you look your best on the job:
• Shoes and belts should match and should be in a dark or neutral shade. Shoes for both men and women should be polished and appropriate to the working environment.
• Hats, if worn, should be in good taste and be worn in the appropriate way.
• Neatly trimmed, clean hair is a must for both men and women in the aviation industry. Extreme fashion statements are to be avoided when choosing hairstyles. For men, a neatly groomed mustache is typically acceptable; a full beard or shaggy mustache is not.
• Visible piercings and tattoos are frowned upon in the professional environment. Single pierced earrings for women are an exception to this general rule.
• Duty uniforms must be clean, pressed and worn according to employer regulations.
Even when you are not on duty, making an effort to look your best and to dress conservatively can reinforce your professional image.
As a pilot, you will be called upon to make critical decisions on a daily basis. Thinking quickly and making the right calls is absolutely essential to ensure the safety of your passengers and crew. An assertive and calm demeanor is your best asset in making tough calls and can help you inspire added confidence in your crew as well.
Identifying problems quickly and taking steps independently to address these challenges is one of the hallmarks of a true professional in the aviation world. Pilots are called upon not only to perform their duties but to serve as leaders among the crew and within the industry. Living up to these high standards and working proactively to address small issues before they become big problems can help you succeed in the cockpit and in the corporate arena.
As a pilot, you will depend on your crew to support and facilitate your work. Maintaining an unselfish attitude and sharing your time and resources with these vital team members can help you build a rapport that can help you weather difficult times both in the air and on the ground.
Building a reputation for professionalism can open doors of opportunity for you as a pilot and can ensure your continued success in the fast-paced world of modern aviation.
As the second in command to the captain of an aircraft, a first officer must always be ready to support his or her fellow pilot, the plane’s crew members and any passengers onboard. First officers are expected to act dependably and responsibly at all times in order to prove that they too have what it takes to be captain one day. The expectations are high, but a first officer who is able to prove their dedication and trustworthiness will often be able to move up through the ranks and become a captain. Jeff Bushnell, Col USAF (Ret), Director of Education and Aviation Standards for Coast Flight Training, recently discussed the expectations that first officers must meet in order to support their captain and prove that they are captain material. According to Bushnell, a first officer who possesses the following qualities and lives up to the following expectations should be a success.
The Top Expectations for Airline First Officers
In order to be a competent professional, the first officer must be a safe and skilled pilot above all else. This means following company procedures to the letter, possessing an excellent knowledge of the airline’s aircraft, and understanding every aspect of company and FAA regulations.
A good first officer is also expected to be someone that others enjoy being around. Regardless of what else is going on in his or her life, the first officer must be able to get along with their captain and other colleagues if they’re going to successfully work together in cramped quarters for days at a time. Being unpleasant isn’t only annoying – it could put safety at risk.
If a first officer doesn’t show respect to every member of their team, they will not gain any respect from other members of the airline’s team, including those who make decisions about promotions. First officers are expected to respect every customer, flight attendant and member of the airline personnel, regardless of rank or station.
An excellent first officer must be a highly responsible person. If anything should ever happen to the pilot, the first officer must be able to step in, take control of the situation and make the right decisions in a split second. The expectation here is that the first officer will make a prudent decision that never puts lives at risk.
Good pilots possess a pleasant personality and understand the importance of teamwork. The first officer is expected to work well with their fellow pilots, of course, but the team doesn’t end there. He or she must also work well with the maintenance personnel, gate agents and flight attendants and interact positively and personably with passengers.
The fact is that even the most skilled and qualified aircraft pilot will miss something or make at least a small mistake at some point in their career. The first officer must have the courage to speak up when their captain misses something, no matter how intimidating it may be. When lives are at stake, there is no time to stay silent.
About Jeff Bushnell
J. Jeffrey Bushnell, Col USAF (Ret), Director of Education and Aviation Standards, prepares Coast Flight Training’s students to meet the commercial aviation industry’s needs of today and tomorrow, and leads the flight school’s safety and standards. With 20,000+ flight hours under his belt, Bushnell developed Coast Flight’s extraordinary “scenario-based” (vs. maneuver-based) training syllabus, through which students learn to fly in real-life situations to different airports and through the same airspace as the airlines. Unique in the flight-training world, Coast Flight uses simulator training extensively, as do commercial airlines and the military.
Coast Flight Training has created a new position to foster the highest quality preparation for its pilot trainees and has named Col. Jeff Bushnell, USAF (Ret.) Director of Education and Aviation Standards. The retired Air Force colonel, flight examiner and squadron commander brings 43 years of military and airline aviation experience. Col. Bushnell retired from Continental Airlines with over 20,000 flight hours.
“Jeff brings over forty years of experience training pilots to military and commercial aviation standards,” said Will Dryden, Coast Flight’s President. “Jeff developed scenario-based training (SBT) while in the Air Force, long ago adapting it to the commercial carriers and has developed and ushered through the FAA-approval of Coast Flight’s unique scenario-based training program. Among other benefits of this proprietary scenario-based training, student pilots fly the same routes to the same airports as the airlines while training through various high traffic zones; they finish their training more than prepared for an airline job.”
Col. Bushnell served 29 years in the US Air Force Reserves where he began as a pilot, then instructed and tested new pilots, served as Squadron Commander and Wing Inspector General, and finally retired in 1999 as Reserve Advisor to Director of Requirements for the USAF.
In addition to a successful military career, Col. Bushnell worked in the airline industry for People Express Airlines and later Continental Airlines. He developed People Express’s Scenario-Based Training program for the B727 modeled after protocols he designed for the USAF.
Under its Aviation Career Training (ACT) Program, Coast Flight’s four-tiered pre-screening process, Coast Flight advocates for each applicant to ensure they meet the criteria to become a professional pilot, empowering candidates to make informed decisions prior to investing in an aviation career.
“Candidates don’t waste time and money without first knowing if they qualify. Coast Flight’s primary business goal is to create professional, responsible, highly trained pilots who the airlines will hire,” said Mr. Dryden. “We measure our success by the success of our candidates.”
Over the last couple of years I have taken both Coast Flight Academy’s Emergency Procedures Course and Instrument Refresher Course. If you own / fly a SR22, and don’t get in nearly as many hours as you’d like, use your instrument rating primarily to file IFR to VFR on top when the marine layer hanging around, shoot the same approaches all the time to keep current, ever wonder about turning back to the airport on a engine failure on take off, and when should I be using the CAPS system, then I highly recommend both courses. The courses include presentation material with questions and answers followed by several hours in the Coast Fight Redbird simulator. On the simulator you will experience, practice, and learn things that are not possible in the real plane. For example, with an engine failure on take off, you can practice turning back to the airport or pulling the CAPS handle so that the reactions to these emergencies become automatic. You can fly an instrument approach into any airport under any conditions and have system failures along the way. Both courses are great for maintaining important skills and knowledge. They build confidence in your decision making process which adequately prepare you for real emergency situations.
ForeFlight Mobile has released Version 4, the latest version of its popular app for the iPhone and iPad, to help guide pilots on the ground and during flights. The ForeFlight software application has been popular among pilots of small planes since its initial release, and Version 4 promises to offer even more helpful tools for flying such as a new airspaces feature, integrated FAA “green book” A/FD, navigation log, personal waypoints, plates organizer, and more. The technology isn’t perfect yet, but the latest version is a good additional resource to supplement the knowledge and on-plane tools that every pilot is working with.
The Pros of ForeFlight Mobile HD Version 4
Many pilots rave about ForeFlight for the instant access to A/FD, airport intelligence, flight planning, high quality weather and service providers, as well as its customized system for radar, satellite data and visualizing charts that assist in flight or at the airport. It offers a Download Manager that provides the latest data on a 28-day cycle, flight planning tools, and enhanced weather forecast imagery.
Version 4 does provide some striking enhancements, which are particularly helpful in the following areas:
by David Perloff
Born and raised in San Diego, Maegan’s a hairstylist at A Robert Cromeans Salon downtown. She helps Tease Boutique in the Gaslamp with its photo shoots and was the “mane” girl for this issue’s cover and fashion editorial pages. “For fun, I just like to hang out,” she says.
Chris is a diesel mechanic from Springfield, Virginia. When he isn’t fixing engines, he likes to “skateboard, surf, race motorcycles, rock climb, travel, the list goes on.”
The Epic Limo stretch Lincoln that picked up this evening’s blind daters at their homes (him, in Pacific Beach, then her, Downtown) about half an hour ago is now dropping them off at Coast Flight, a Pilot Training and Aircraft Management Company based at Montgomery Field in Kearny Mesa.
Before they board a Cirrus (an ultramodern plane that features a rocket-ejected parachute in case of engine failure) for a sunset ride along the coast, let’s review the pre-date interviews.
PacificSD: What makes you a good catch?
MAEGAN: I am me. What I put off is what you get. I love traveling and being adventurous, but at the same time I think silence can be beautiful.
CHRIS: I can’t swim away that fast.
What are you looking for in a date, physically and/or otherwise?
MAEGAN: Physically, I tend to love myself a tall, dark and handsome man. A person’s eyes, aside from their hair, are normally the first things I notice. I just want to meet a guy who’s fun, interesting and, if all goes well, hopefully is a great kisser, too.
CHRIS: Obviously, someone who’s attractive, and I prefer taller girls, but really just someone who is fun to spend time with, intelligent and can deal with my sarcasm. She should look cute in a beanie, too. I spend a lot of time in the mountains.
How are you feeling about the date tonight?
MAEGAN: I’m a bit nervous, I’m not gonna lie.
CHRIS: I’m stoked. Blind dating is a new experience for me. Plus, we get to fly a plane, and you guys are buying us dinner and drinks.
What’s the sexiest thing about you?
MAEGAN: Aside from being the total package? Just kidding. I’d say the sexiest thing about me is my smile.
CHRIS: I’ve been told I’m tall, dark and handsome. We’ll have to wait and see if she agrees.
What do you like least about yourself?
MAEGAN: That I can be a little shy when I first meet someone.
CHRIS: I’d like to clean my smile up. If any of your advertisers want to hook me up with Invisalign in exchange for some PR, that’d be great.
What’s your biggest fear?
MAEGAN: My biggest fear is missing out on an amazing life opportunity because I was scared to commit to the unknown.
What’s your surefire trick for making a date end with romance?
MAEGAN: Be a little mysterious and undress them with your eyes.
CHRIS: Keep my foot out of my mouth.
What’s the best thing that could happen during the date?
MAEGAN: We totally mesh and have a super great time.
CHRIS: We join the Mile High Club in the plane while doing barrel rolls.
3753 John J. Montgomery Dr., Kearny Mesa
Into Thin Air
The blind daters vanish from sight
After being fitted for headphones and briefed on safety guidelines, Maegan and Chris board a four-seater plane. With pilot and plane-owner Will at the helm (and PacificSD’s fearless photographer riding shotgun), they take-off.
The plane flies to the coast, south along the water to Downtown and then back to the airport in a 45-minute loop. Once back on solid ground, the daters high-five, Top Gun-style, and then jump back into the limo for a sunset ride by the embarcadero before heading to Glass Door in Little Italy, where they’ll have dinner overlooking the airport.
At dinner, they seem to be getting along well, laughing and looking into each other’s eyes as they talk over drinks and appetizers. Once they’ve had a chance to settle in, they’re split for mid-date debriefings.
PacificSD: How’s it going so far?
MAEGAN: It’s going really good. He has been such a gentleman and he’s interesting, and we are able to talk to each other very easily.
CHRIS: She’s really cool and, I mean, you can’t go wrong flying, driving around in a limo with free booze. Absolutely zero to complain about.
Is this the type of person you’d normally go out with?
MAEGAN: He is somebody that I would definitely be interested in. I think he’s fun and he’s good-looking and he’s entertaining and I think that the more we get to know each other, we can definitely find out we have lots more in common.
CHRIS: Personality-wise, yes. But I probably wouldn’t pick up on her at a bar, because she’s shorter. I normally pick up on tall girls, but she’s cute. Everything is there.
How was the flight?
MAEGAN: I was kind of nervous about it in the beginning, but once we started going, it was great. He made me feel super comfortable. He actually has flown himself before, so he was definitely ready to do this experience. And I recently went skydiving, so I was like, “If I can jump out of a plane, I can fly a plane.” I saw such beautiful views that I’ve never seen before and I am so happy I said I’d do this.
CHRIS: I’m always stoked to be up in a plane, and it ended up being a way better operation. All the planes are brand new. I expected to be up in an old plane, so a brand-new Cirrus was a great experience.
What’s the most attractive thing your date has done so far?
MAEGAN: Asking me if it was okay ordering what he wanted out of the menu. He wanted to order some mussels. I said yes and it ended up being good.
CHRIS: She told a lot of really funny jokes in the limo. She’s not afraid to be herself.
What would your parents say?
MAEGAN: They’d be like, “Wow, he’s really tall. And really cute!”
CHRIS: As long as I’m happy, they’re happy.
Rate your date on a scale from one to 10 for looks.
MAEGAN: Like a 10. No, like a nine. I mean, I can’t give him a perfect score, right?
CHRIS: Nine. I wish she was a little bit taller, but she’s cute.
And for personality?
Do you want to kiss your date right now?
CHRIS: I can make out with her later.
Does your date want to kiss you right now?
CHRIS: I think so. We were doing some of the photo shoot stuff and we got close, so it might be there.
What on Earth?
A mysterious occurrence after touchdown
As their entrees arrive, Maegan and Chris are finally left alone for the rest of the night. With the limo at their disposal, they linger as the PacificSD crew departs. We call the next day to see what we missed.
How was Glass Door?
MAEGAN: The ambiance and view were fabulous, and so were the food and drinks. We tried a little bit of everything.
CHRIS: Cool place. Great view of the bay, and we managed to catch the tail end of the sunset. We had a few things they had prepared for us that weren’t on the menu, like oysters and ceviche, and I really liked the sound of some of the dishes on the menu, so I ordered the bacon and bleu cheese mussels as well. For entrees, we had a veggie lasagna, which was good. We also had a tortellini stuffed with beef short ribs, and that was delicious.
What happened after the magazine crew left you alone?
MAEGAN: We hung out and had some drinks. It was a fun time.
CHRIS: We drank some more tequila shots in the limo and got dropped off at Craft & Commerce to finish off the night.
When did you get home?
MAEGAN: I don’t recall an exact time.
CHRIS: One or two-ish.
Was there a kiss or romantic exchange?
MAEGAN: He’s a big, strong, tall, handsome man. How could I not feel some chemistry there?
CHRIS: Maybe, but only the two of us and the limo driver know for sure.*
*[Editor’s note: that’s only kinda true, Chris.]
What was the best part of the date?
MAEGAN: Flying in the plane. The coastal view of San Diego was gorgeous, the flight was fast and smooth, and I discovered that I think it would be awesome to learn how to be a pilot.
CHRIS: My date.
Will there be a second date?
MAEGAN: Yeah, I’d hang out with him again. He was fun company.
CHRIS: She’s actually going to be in my part of town later this evening, so we’re going to meet up.
AFTERMATCH: Like planes that vanish in the Bermuda Triangle, a chunk of time seems to have disappeared last night.
The limo dropped the daters at Craft & Commerce, that’s a fact, but what happened next remains murky. Chris says he got home at “one or two-ish” (with the “ish” confusing matters only further), but Maegan says she isn’t sure.
Luckily for everyone involved (especially you, dear Reader), PacificSD can shed a little light here: when we called the daters just before 11 p.m. to see if they still needed the limo, Chris said, “Uhhh…I guess not. We’re already back at her place.”
Last night’s blind daters may not be members of the Mile High Club (aka Pie in the Sky), but there may have been some membership status achieved back on terra firma. PacificSD’s agents aren’t trained like the TSA, but they can sure spot when passengers are hiding something.
Blind date safety tip: bring your seat to its upright and locked position. And always try to fly (and keep your stories) straight.
340 14th St., Downtown
858.270.LIM O (5466), epiclimo.com
1835 Columbia St., Downtown
Published on 8/30/12 by patricia