The Other Side Of The Door: What Pilots Do Inside The Cockpit

We’re all familiar with the pilot’s voice that rings in the aircraft as soon as the passengers settle on their seats: this is the captain speaking… it indicates the start of the flight ahead. But since pilots are in charge of flying the plane, we don’t usually get to see them around the hallway; we just hear them. This leaves many people thinking: how can pilots manage to operate this gigantic machine? Do they get bored in there? Do they take naps in there?

There’s so many questions without answers! But to finally put your curiosity to rest, here’s a sneak peak on what pilots actually do inside the cockpit:


Before the aircraft takes-off

Before everything starts, pilots meet up with their co-pilot first, This is important as this is the only time that they’ll get to know who they’ll work with. Is their co-pilot an experienced one or a new one? This first meeting will answer them all.

After that, pilots then enter the cockpit before passengers get on the plane. This is when the most meticulous part of their job starts.

At this stage, pilots undergo what is something called “sterile cockpit”. It is a term used to describe when the pilots talk about their flight plan. They talk about the weather conditions, how much fuel load they need, passenger count, and all other information needed to perform a smooth flight.


The leap of flight

Pilots can’t just take-off when they wish it, they actually have to wait for an adviser’s approval to do so. The adviser is usually delegated inside the the airline building, and he is the one in charge of the runway, helping all aircraft to land, park, and take off safely.

Depending on the rules of the airline, pilots can relax when the plane is in the sky, especially if their coordinates are programed rightly. However, this does not mean that pilots can slack off at their job right then. They still pay keen attention to their instruments for anything that might suddenly come up.

Change in weather, for instance, is something that may be forecasted but not fully predicted. Another example is when their airline company advises them to switch route due to certain situations.


While they roam on cloud nine

Pilots only have the knowledge and experience when it comes to troubleshooting critical situations. That’s why they need to stay alert and be on top of everything that’s going on inside and around the plane.

Most of the time, pilots read up on flight manuals while they’re up in the air. They also check the fuel’s condition every now and then. In other cases, pilots also ask reports from cabin crew members about the happenings inside the cabin.


When it finally lands

As the flight draws to an end, pilots inquire the airport to know if the conditions are all right for them to land. Once they get their go signal, they then calculate the needed information to  ensure a smooth transition from hovering above the ground to landing on the aircraft’s wheels.

At this point, passengers are allowed to leave the plane. But pilots have yet to check the machine and wait ‘till it “turns off” rightly. After double-checking everything, that’s when pilots are allowed to leave the plane, rest, and get another plane to fly.



Those are just tidbits and a simple overview of what pilots do in the cockpit. But if you want to know more, the best way to find out exactly what happens in there is to become a pilot yourself!

However, always remember that the entire airplane flight relies heavily on the training and knowledge of the pilot. This is the utmost reason why you need to undergo a lot of education and training before you take on their first passenger plane.

WCC is a premier flight school in the Philippines which offers a variety of courses from flight attending to aircraft maintenance. They also house a top notch aviation school with only the latest in pilot training facilities. Get to know more about WCC by visiting


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