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Home > General > Is it true that pilots never panic?
Is it true that pilots never panic?
Professional Pilots - General
Sunday, 29 October 2006 06:38
Hello Captain,

I*ve heard that pilots never panic. Is there some kind of special training for pilots to make sure that they do not buckle under pressure?



Hi Amit,

I would not totally agree with your statement that pilots never panic. Pilots are human just like anyone else. We share all kind of emotions? happiness, anger, fear, etc.

Panic, we all know, is something that causes a period of intense fear or discomfort in a person - often accompanied by a sense of imminent danger.

The natural role of the anxiety leading to panic appears to guide us toward immediate evasive action, be it 'flight or fight'?.

We were 'designed' by evolution to work effectively within our natural environment and when we create technologies that do not conform to the rules of the natural world, we increase the odds of panic. But panic can be overcome.

You may see pilots being cool or acting confidently in a real emergency. In reality, they have no time to panic because they have been me' and all sorts of emergency procedural training in the simulator, ensuring that, should a real emergency arises one day, they will know exactly what to do.

So, should an engine fail during a take off (after the safety speed), say on an Airbus A320 - the workload is rather heavy. The pilot conscientiously runs through the steps that he was taught: use the rudder to keep the aircraft on the runway centerline, rotate to about 12 -13 degrees pitch and trim out the rudder pressure (count about 15 seconds) before selecting the autopilot on.

At above 400 feet agl (above ground level), the emergency drills are executed. The pilot needs to know which engine had failed and whether it was a flame out or the engine was severely damaged. He then must decide whether to relight the engine that had flamed out or activate the fire extinguisher and shut down the bad engine.

When at the acceleration altitude (between 800-1500 feet), the airplane is leveled off, flaps are then retracted and the pilot has to make a distress call. He needs to keep the control tower, crew, passengers and the company informed. Thereafter, he has to prepare the aircraft for a landing by reprogramming the computer.

What I have described is just a brief summary only but oh boy, in a real situation, the pilot is so occupied that he hardly had time to panic!

Well, we need to expect panic and understand how it can affect a pilot if he were not well prepared and trained. So the best way to forestall any panic is to prepare ahead of time.

Yes, there is definitely some kind of special training for pilots to make sure that they do not buckle under pressure!


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Capt, you are wrong in giving evolution credit for design. The chance of it happening is 1 in 10 to the power of 40,000. The probability is like taking one atom out of the universe, painting it red, putting it back in, and drawing it out by random.

Reflect on it.
Servant of Christ , 23 Feb, 2014

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