Professional Pilots -
Wednesday, 13 June 2007 08:16
Dear Captain Lim,
First and foremost - thank you for all the effort and time you have put into creating this website. Although I have no intention of becoming a pilot as I hope to study medicine at the university, this website has opened my eyes to appreciating and understanding this profession and allowed me to learn about aviation and aircraft.
I was wondering if you could explain the relationship between a captain and his first officer/co-pilot. For example, to what extent does the captain rely on his copilot for psychological/physical support during a flight (especially long haul intercontinental)? As an experienced pilot, is your copilot important to you and would you be comfortable flying a short haul flight on your own?
Thank you for your time and I wish you all the best.
I have partially answered this question a few times beforen - "What exactly does a copilot do and is there a need for one?"
As I have stated in previous FAQ, all First Officers are trained to a very competent level. In fact, short of a better word, he can also be referred to as the deputy captain as he takes over the safety of the flight in case the captain is incapacitated.
On a normal flight, the atmosphere in the cockpit is generally very relaxed. However, in an emergency, the workload becomes very heavy. At this stage, crew resources management (see CRM here) comes into play ? that is, the crew is trained to support each other, whether psychologically or physically.
So, a co pilot is very important to me, whether on a long or short haul flight.