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Words in the sky

2021-10-14 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Essay范文


Most people have the impression that the work of a pilot is rather pleasurable: when they see an airplane in the sky, they imagine the pilot sitting in the cabin, putting the autopilot mode on and enjoying the view, like what depicted in many of the US movies. It is also common for people to relate the profession with males only. After my interview with a female pilot, all these impressions have changed. Jen works for the China Airlines as the first female pilots in the company. Her daily job is to fly a commercial airplane between two cities inside the country. Jen’s work doesn’t require her to work outside the airplane much. Therefore, the writing she does is mostly based on the airplane status on a daily basis. To form a basic idea of the writing involved for an airplane pilot, the essay will give a summary of information from the interview of Jen, together with secondary sources, describing the language use and content of paperwork for a typical pilot.

Before getting into the details of specifics in writing, an introduction of the interviewee is necessary. Jen graduated from the Civil Aviation University of China, which was established in 1951 to provide civil aviation tertiary education and training for new pilots in China. Although Jen graduated with honors, she still needs to go through some very difficult trainings before her career could start. In the daily routine work, it isn’t easy to stay alert and focused, but Jen told me that passion is the key for her to manage the work well. When I asked Jen about how much she will write during her daily work, she said it depends on her working schedule. She also said that when she first started work, she did not expect such amounts of paperwork for a pilot, which have become the norm for her now. Typically, the amount of writing require is fixed with clear instructions on which items to include. With years of experience and over 4000 hours of flight experience, Jen have a successful career and a role model for many of the younger pilots in the company.

The public would be surprised about how much of paperwork is involded for a pilot. Actually, Jen told me that only half of her work is related to flying the airplane, and the rest about paperwork. As a pilot, Jen needs to be prepared for any situation. And this preparation part is where most of the writing is needed, which is different from traditional writing in many ways. In the classes in university and the pre-occupation trainings, Jen learned to use MS word to take note. For a manager who can easily access the digital information, Microsoft Word becomes one of the tools she uses for writing. Despite the convenience of the software, pilots still have a paper logbook which they fill out during the flight. In addition to the tools used, the language style in the writing is nothing like how Jen learned to write in university. In university, Jen uses most academic writing which not allows using the abbreviation in the essay. There is an extensive amount of abbreviations used in the paperwork for a pilot, the number of regular ones is as much as 200 (GOFIR). The use of these abbreviations increases the efficiency of work and reduces the time needed for writing.

In terms of the content of writing, there are two major components: preparations before flight and flight logbook, which is during the flight. According to Jen, pilots need to check-in to the cabin at least an hour before the flight departs for preparation work. Preparation before flight requires the pilot to know her recent flight schedule and the details of this flight. The second thing needed is an initial health assessment, including fever, drinking alcohol, and even emotional problems. The psychological problems of a pilot used to be overlooked, but with many incidents last year, people can never be too careful. At last but the most important part is to check the flight task about this flight, including aircraft and crew information, where the flight is from and the terminal point. Report of the recent security incidents is also required, such as the specific information about the airports that are taking off and landing, and the area to pass through during the flight. Finally, the weather and flight route, which is the determining factor of the flight safety. Jen informed me all these work is only before the flight. Basically, the work contributes to the insurance of two things: the normal functioning of the machines, and the security of the flight faced with elements of uncertainty (Wien). Pilots often need to multitask in their positions to ensure both circumstances are met and reflect the conditions in writing.

The writing required during the flight is much simpler compared to the preparation phase, since most of the effort of the pilot is on keeping the plane up in the sky. The logbook used in the flight is more of a mechanic nature, since it is only forms for pilots to fill in. despite the simplicity, the log journal is crucial for the safety assessment in future flights (Wien). Although Jen couldn’t provide me with a sample of the logbook, I was able to obtain a copy of it online, as shown in figure 1 (Business). Basically, you need to fill in the date, the model number of the aircraft, id number, the name of the pilot and co-pilot, and where does the plane fly from and where the terminal is. Also, if you are passing by any airports you need fill that out, too. Of course, there is a separate page that record down the plane conditions during the flight, how it functions, if there is any noise produced, or other mechanic problems needing attention. Since the pilots stay with the airplane in the control room the whole time of the flight, this logbook information is of great significance in the maintenance and repair works in the future.

Figure 1: Sample Template of Pilot Logbook

The amount of work Jen needs to finish is large. All her required work is done during flight also as a pilot of a commercial airline, it is often that she needs to work overtime. Jen also works on most of the weekends, even holidays. On the intensity of her work, she simply laughed and said, “Sometimes I feel like I work 24/7 the whole year, and I can also be put on call at any time.” Overall, different from the imagination of the public, there are extensive amount of paper work required for a pilot like Jen, and the flying part requires even more sense of responsibility. The writing plays a very important role during a flight, the information a pilot writes as well as the digital data she or he inserts can assist a great amount of people’s work: the ground support, the cabin crew, as well as aviation engineers. Jen is a very modest person, and she pointed out she still had a lot to learn in the future. She also said a pilot is no easy work to do, and any writing problem can lead very serious accident. Therefore, cautiousness and sense of responsibility are crucial in her line of work, for which I have a lot more respect than before and a whole new level of understanding.



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