What makes a good First Officer?

–          Learn and observe from the Captains you fly with.  You will see very good traits, some marginal and some bad ones.  Pay attention to the good ones and in the future you will be a good Captain.

–          Always let the Captain set the rhythm of work.  Don’t start doing checklists were not called unless the Captain forgot them.  A good pilot does not prompt the other one putting his/her hand on the flaps or landing gear lever.

–          If you have a big ego, you probably going to have a hard time being a First Officer, because your ego will be bruised and tested by different Captains.  When the Captain points you something, don’t say  – “yes I was about to do it” – or say – “right”, like if you were testing the Captain’s knowledge.

–          Don’t burn bridges, in this industry you will need of all the friends you can make.  The guy sitting in your left can be the one reviewing your resume in your next application.

–          An aircraft’s cockpit is not a good place to be shy, ask questions to clarify that you don’t understand, be respectful but express your opinions, ideas and/or concerns in a clear manner.

–          The most stupid question that you can do in an airplane is the one you don’t do.  Be willing to ask, if the Captain doesn’t know the answer, then go to the book and learn together.

–          Be honest and be yourself, don’t go into business by yourself, like chilling with flight attendants or talking with girlfriend on the phone meanwhile you are on duty.

–          Keep professional 100% of time, be always on time for your flight and if for some reason you are delayed, call flight dispatch, let them know you care about your responsibilities.

–          If you see a potential danger to the safety of the flight, don’t hesitate to speak up, or even act.  If the Captain is smart (and most of them are), his response will be:

Thank you.


…. and …  live to fly another day!!









“if we professional pilots share our experiences, we are making a safer aviation”

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