Flying a plane: Its amazing effects on a person’s mind

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Ask any pilot out there and they’ll swear that flying a plane is the adventure of a lifetime.  All those years learning and obtaining the requirements for flying are more than worth it.  For commercial airline and business pilots, the pay is more than substantial.  For pilots who’ve taken up flying as a hobby, the thrill of flying is enough.

As if all the perks of flying weren’t enough, recently, studies have shown another incomparable benefit to this endeavor.  Apparently, flying also provides great mental health benefits for the pilot.  Here are a few of them.

Neural function improvement and better focus

Flying a plane and driving a car have a lot of differences.  One of these is that if one drives a car long enough, the actions become second nature and muscle memory guides the driver through the process.  This isn’t the case in flying.  There are too many actions for the body to remember and a lot more conditions to consider, which is why flying requires a greater deal of focus.

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Heightened ability to multitask

In conjunction with better focus, a pilot develops the ability to multitask with much more efficiency and with higher quality of output.  While the number of tasks a person can do well is still limited, a pilot learns to improve how he does them as he contends with and reacts to signs and symbols all over the cockpit that serve as stimuli.

Scott Beale has led various aviation firms in attaining growth in revenues with his competencies in strategic and tactical planning, account development and acquisition, government contract and management, sales team training and supervision, and financial reporting.  More reads on aviation here.

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These heroic airline pilots are not to be forgotten

In aviation history, there are plenty of near-misses where the pilots did the right thing and were praised for their heroic deeds. Here are some names and stories that deserve a look back.

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Jakarta incident
On June 24, 1982, a British Airways flight from Heathrow to Auckland was passing over Jakarta, Indonesia, when it encountered volcanic ash from Mount Galunggung’s eruption, leading to failure of all four engines. The captain, Eric Moody, reassured passengers and calculated how far the plane might successfully glide before reaching sea level. The engines successfully restarted at about 13,500 feet.

Miracle on the Hudson
Chesley Sullenberger III was at the helm of US Airways Flight 1549 when it managed to land safely on the Hudson River after the aircraft was disabled by a flock of Canada geese. He told a publication that his only training for a water landing was going through a few paragraphs in a manual along with a brief classroom discussion.

British Airways Flight 5390
A badly fitted windscreen panel failed and sucked the captain, Tim Lancaster, halfway out of the cockpit on board a flight to Malaga with 81 passengers back in June 1990. His legs remained inside and tightly gripped by flight attendants, while co-pilot Alastair Atchison made an emergency descent amid an inability to hear air traffic control due to rushing air. The pilot landed safely in Southampton and was treated for a broken arm, frostbite, and shock.

Saving a superjumbo
Richard Champion de Crespigny, the captain of a Qantas flight on November 4, 2010, saw engine number 2 exploding over Indonesia, ruining a wing and causing a fuel tank fire. It forced the plane to make an emergency landing in Singapore, where miraculously no one was hurt except for four tires that blew during landing.

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Scott Beale has been working in the aviation industry for more than 20 years, successfully growing businesses, both of which he acquired and founded. Read more about his professional experience on this site.