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Amelia Mary Earhart

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Amelia Mary Earhart was born on July 24th of 1897 in Atchison Kansas. It is said that the year of Amelia Earhart's death is 1937 however the place of her demise is unknown. The world famous aviator's first taste of aviation really did not impress her all that much. After a while when Amelia saw that airplane at the state fair, she went to a stunt flying exhibition where her life long love of flying was born. During that fateful exhibition a pilot dove towards Amelia and a friend while they watched the show, most likely in an attempt to scaring them. Amelia Earhart stood her ground and as the plane swooped over her head that this was her life’s calling.

After she graduated from high school in 1915 Amelia Earhart worked for a time as a nurse's aide in a Canadian military hospital during the first world war. Earhart attended college and became a social worker. Amelia Earhart took her very first flying lesson in January of 1921 and just six months later through a lot of hard work was able to put together enough money to purchase her own plane. The bright yellow plane named "Canary" was used by Amelia Earhart to set her first women's flying record for reaching an altitude of 14,000 feet.

Amelia Earhart entered several flying contests over the years that weren't taken very seriously by men. Through these competitions she met George Putnam who would eventually become her husband. However still wanting to remain independent Amelia Earhart thought of her marriage more as a partnership and had been quoted as saying the relationship was "dual control".

In the years that followed Amelia Earhart continued to smash flight records while planning her last adventure. At the age of forty years old Amelia Earhart wished to be the first woman to fly around the world. The ill fated flight was not the success she hoped it would be as she and her co-pilot never made it to their final destination.

While no one knows for sure what happened it is a theory of many that Amelia Earhart and her co-pilot were captured and possibly killed by the Japanese in Saipan.

4. Pilots: Flight Managers or Aviators?

Pilots are concerned. Concerned about the level of training they will get in future. Read ‘level of training’ as meaning both quality and quantity, because both are under pressure. Add to this the challenge to cope with the ever increasing automation on the flight deck. Key questions therefore arise: shall we train pilots to understand what the plane is doing and teach them to simply “manage” the airplane? Or shall we train pilots to be able to really fly the plane using the so-called “stick and rudder skills”?

So, what is the answer to the key question if a pilot is a manager or an aviator? The answer is simple and complex at the same time: a pilot has to be both a flight manager and an aviator. The pilot needs to be able to switch between both skill sets – flight deck management skills and core “stick and rudder” flying skills – as the circumstances require. Pilots must be able to think "outside the box", i.e. be trained for non-linear, unpredictable and undefined events.

The pilot profession is under pressure, not only because of the training challenges mentioned above but also because various stakeholders are exploring how to make training less time-consuming and thus less expensive. Less time needed to train a new pilot means more pilots can be trained in the same time which is helpful to cover for the predicted shortfall in pilots over the next decades. And less training for pilots during their career makes them more productive (i.e. more flying hours during commercial operations) and eliminates part of the expensive training cost.

Pilots are the first to ask for adequate, sufficient and meaningful training. Why? Because they know from firsthand experience that only a well trained pilot is able to guarantee the safety of a flight. So, let’s not nibble on training, and rather strengthen training programs so they are scaled up to what we need for our industry and passengers: safe flights – even under the most demanding circumstances.


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