How does one become a pilot?
Airlines recruit pilots in various different ways. Training people “from the ground up” is a good, solid approach. After passing the aptitude tests, recruits receive top-notch training that fully qualifies them to make their first commercial flight as a copilot. Another approach is to recruit pilots who have gained experience elsewhere.
What skills should a pilot bring with him or her?
Everything that’s required of the profession in this day and age: excellent flying skills, decisiveness, the ability to work in a team, discipline, physical and psychological resilience and a willingness to take responsibility. The “mere” ability to fly a plane is no longer nearly sufficient.
How does one get promoted to captain?
The law requires you to hold a “Pilot in Command” license and have completed a minimum number of hours flying a commercial airliner, which is generally several years. In the end, the airline makes the decision based on the applicant’s career history, possibly taking into account their seniority (time already with the airline).
What fascinates you about the profession?
An unconventional workplace like the cockpit comes with huge responsibility and requires a high level of commitment – and I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting these challenges in my 40 years of active service. I also got to know so many countries that I’m now happy to stay right here in Germany, although I do watch the departing planes from the golf course in Frankfurt …