Personality of a Pilot.

Whatusername

Drive hard and NEVER lift.
AVWeb and APC both have some great articles on this.

http://www.airlinepilotcentral.com/resources/news/the_pilot_personality_20070820246.html

http://www.avweb.com/news/aeromed/181606-1.html

I know this was posted back in 2008 regarding the APC/ALPA article. But four years in Internet terms is a lot of time so I may as well repost this. I also realize that the observations in both of these articles is not nessarily going to represent the JC community as a whole.

That being said I do find several interesting similarities with my own personality. I can agree with the APC article on the part where pilots like taking things apart something I'm notorious for (voiding the warranty is the other). I can also agree that I only want the facts when I'm trying to get information. Sociability with others I can kind of sort of agree with. If anything I know I tend to come across as a bit aloof when I'm dealing with new people. Although it has been something I have tried to work on.

I do disagree with the paranoia. At most I might worry about leaving my AV receiver or my TV on when I leave home. I also disagree with the statement that about being a realist. I can be a realist *IF* I need to be. Other wise I'm dreaming up new ideas. The pages upon pages of hypothetical Kickstarter projects/apps on my iPad is proof of this.

There are more traits that I could mention but I won't go into them as I have been typing this on my iPod Touch and not my notebook (power supply kicked the bucket). Although I'll try to add more later.
 

UAL747400

Well-Known Member
Agreed. I don't believe there is any one personality or personality traits that can categorize a "pilot". I'm more on the abstract and philosophical side.

One thing is for sure. You have to have many many screws loose in the brain to do it for a living! :D
 

Zidac

Well-Known Member
I do think there's something to this. The Myers-Briggs personality tests frequently identify me as an ISTP, which lines up with the pilot profession fairly well.
 

USMCmech

Well-Known Member
I do disagree with the paranoia. At most I might worry about leaving my AV receiver or my TV on when I leave home.
The term Paranoia has a negative connotation in our society, but I don't believe that this article is not implying a self destructive or unhealthy degree of paranoia. Pilots have a healthy degree of paranoia in that they are on the constant lookout for potential problems, but the paranoia does not typically rule our lives.

Setting the alarm on your phone AND arranging a wake up call is a good example of healthy paranoia. Wearing sturdy shoes and leaving them on until after take off just in case of a crash is an example of healthy paranoia.

Paranoia does not mean that we wear tin foil hats.
 

SeanD

Well-Known Member
Ehh...there isnt anything different or unique about a pilots personality anymore than any other profession. Fear is still the leading motivator for every job.
 

jergar999

Yoke Pumper!
If you think paranoia defines the psychological profile of most pilots get an EMS job for a while and get to know the medical crews. Aviation paranoia meets malpractice paranoia meets everyone is gunning for my job paranoia.
 

Boris Badenov

He comes to save the day in a broken truck.
"personality of a Pilot" sounds like an Embry-Riddle egostroking production to me. Sort of like Astrology.

Look at me. I'm wildly anti-social and I don't have a clue how the airplane works (don't care, either). You push the power thingie forward and it flies. Now get off my lawn.
 

ChasenSFO

hen teaser
I agree with a lot of it from what I've seen in most pilots. I can tell you as a very philosophical, creative left brain thinker and a "lazy" person who likes to think outside the box to make things easier, I have trouble getting along with many pilots in my personal life. Yet, I still have the majority of the traits outlined in the articles. Sounds accurate to me.
 

flyingbum

Needz Re-Edjamacayshun
I've got a student pilot that I already cringe for the poor bastard that has to sit next to him someday. Guys a complete tool bag and a half.
 

Whatusername

Drive hard and NEVER lift.
The term Paranoia has a negative connotation in our society, but I don't believe that this article is not implying a self destructive or unhealthy degree of paranoia. Pilots have a healthy degree of paranoia in that they are on the constant lookout for potential problems, but the paranoia does not typically rule our lives....
Agreed, I can see where a healthy dose of paranoia is useful. Much like how having some stress in your life can be a asset.

I don't believe there is any one personality or personality traits that can categorize a "pilot". I'm more on the abstract and philosophical side.
Again I can totally agree. There are a wide range of traits and personalities that can make up any profession (Medicine, Law, IT). But at the same time I often think that there are certain dominant personality traits that people in those professions would have. But I could be wrong.

One thing is for sure. You have to have many many screws loose in the brain to do it for a living! :D
See there's one of those dominant personality traits. :D

"personality of a Pilot" sounds like an Embry-Riddle egostroking production to me.
Yeah I wasn't trying to do that. If anything I thought this would be more of a interesting read than say a ERAU/pilot mill propaganda.
 

thevideographer

Well-Known Member
I think personality tests are mostly BS. Everybody is going to act differently in different situations, you can't say all pilots are "diligent, but don't like rushing" because that depends 100% on the situation. I'm probably the least "typical" pilot from a personality standpoint (exact opposite of a Type-A personality) but I still have some of these traits. I do know that I don't get along with fighter pilots. They're just the worst :D Then again maybe there is something to it because I once took a "True Colors" personality test and it showed that I and the only other pilot in the room had the same personality type, and we barely knew each other.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
Some of the personality tests make sense.

Truth be told, I get along with former Navy pilots way more than former Air Force SAC pilots. It's like night and day.


Sent from my TRS-80
 

nocturnalaviator

Family Man
"personality of a Pilot" sounds like an Embry-Riddle egostroking production to me.
This! Exactly my thoughts. I am a realist, and the reality is this article is BS. Police officers could also fit this description. These articles and "tests" make me laugh. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to work.
 

frog_flyer

FredFlyer
I recently went to a leadership conference that had many Officers from all sorts of jobs. We did the 4 Colors personality test, and after reading the descriptions of each, I was sure that all the pilots would be in my corner. When we split up, there were pilots in every corner.

It's a pretty useful exercise. I think I'm a Gold, and I'm a 80% correct today is better than 100% perfect next week, whereas Greens strive for absolute perfection, no matter what the investment. It drives me F-ing nuts. It's good to understand where they're coming from.
 
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