In-flight turbulence, bird strikes, rejected takeoffs, technical problems, engine failures… Each day, many events like this happen worldwide. And yet, they are not reported in the news. Why? Because the pilots and crew successfully handle the situation and manage to carry passengers safely to their destination.
During the third week of July, more than fifty incidents or minor accidents occurred worldwide, while – thankfully – no fatal accident has been reported (source: the Aviation Herald). In all these cases, thanks to the professionalism and competence of the pilots, the crew and other safety professionals – like air traffic controllers -, all passengers reached their destination.
This reminds us of the importance of the pilot’s role at a time where the profession is under constant pressure, be it through a possible loosening of European pilot training standards, or from increasing commercial pressures on pilots when having to take crucial safety decisions.
There is often an ideal and yet wrong perception of the role of the pilot. They are seen as being well-paid to go to exotic places in nice uniforms. This is forgetting that, every day, the pilots have the heavy responsibility of ensuring that their passengers and crew arrive at the destination safely. Every day, they face challenging situations where failure is not an option and where alertness, concentration and professional skills are a must. Of course, they are trained to handle these difficult situations. But, in this busy summer period for aviation, let us just remember next time we fly, that the pilot may have saved our day!