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Airline pilot


Airline pilots transport passengers and cargo in the air, generally following set routes and schedules. The security of passengers and the crew is the most important part of the job. For this reason, very strict operating regulations and legislation are in place, which must be observed to the letter. On the other hand, air transport is also a service, and as such pilots must also take into account economic factors and the issue of punctuality in their role. Generally speaking, two pilots are required to fly a plane. The captain and the first officer perform the same tasks, but the captain has the command and overall responsibility for the flight.


  • Conducts the "preflight-test" (the test before the flight), checking that all the equipment is working properly: from the engines, to the flight instruments and the other systems. These professionals use all sorts of equipment in their job: altimeters, airspeed indicators (measuring the craft's airspeed), navigational and flight instruments, etc. Above all, they maintain radio contact with air traffic controllers.
  • Study the flight plan carefully.
  • Consult flight dispatchers and metereologists for information about the weather forecast. Where necessary, vary the route, speed or altitude in order to ensure the safest, smoothest, fastest and most economical flight possible.
  • Ensure that baggage is properly stowed.
  • Coordinate the rest of the crew, giving instructions to help them perform their responsibilities.
  • Perform the take-off operation, one of the most complex activities, for which a good rapport between captain and first officer is fundamental.
    The captain is in charge of directing the plane, while the copilot analyses the instruction panel. When the suitable speed is achieved, the copilot notifies the captain who initiates the takeoff manoeuvre.
  • In charge of the flight:
    This is generally operated by the auto-pilot, so that the pilot takes charge of overseeing that everything is functioning correctly, and monitoring data: fuel, state of the engines, air conditioning and all other systems.
    In certain cases he/she must modify routes, or change the altitude of the flight
    If visibility is poor, the captain must place his/her complete trust in the instruments available to complete all flight manoeuvre.
    Carry out flight handbook operations in the event of an emergency.
    Provide passengers with information from the cabin, over the PA (altitude, expected landing time, status of the flight, etc.)
  • Maintain constant contact with flight controllers, approach controllers and area controllers, who clear the aeroplane for take-off and landing, offer advice margins to maintain during the flight, and provide landing instructions.
  • Land the craft, with the assistance of controllers. This task demands a lot of concentration and coordination between the captain and first officer.
  • Carry out the taxiing of the aircraft - the set of circulation manoeuvres used to guide the plane from the gate to the runway and conversely, return it to its parked position.
  • Note down the technical details of the flight: duration, altitude and fuel consumption.
  • Responsible for regularly doing exercises in flight simulators in order to prepare for emergency situations.
  • Ensure that the flight plan is the correct one. Depending on the airline, may have to create the flight plan themselves.

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Centre per al desenvolupament professional Porta22

Barcelona Treball (Porta22)
Llacuna, 156-162, 08018 Barcelona

Monday to Friday from 9 to 18 h

Generalitat de Catalunya
Unió Europea FEDER
Unió Europea FSE