As we all battened down the hatches in preparation for Storm Eunice to hit, pilots went about their day job, safely flying passengers in and out of airports around the country.

But this was no fluke. It’s down to the regular and routine training that pilots undertake as part of their job. 

Regular assessment keeps pilots current and competent

As often as every six months, pilots undertake flight simulator training and assessment to prove that their technical skills are current. There is no room for error when working in hazardous conditions, so pilots are constantly put through their paces so they can demonstrate they are competent, no matter what situation they are faced with.  

It is due to this that they are able to safely carry on doing their job when conditions become difficult, as they did last month. In an interview with The Independent, British Airways’ Chief Pilot Trainer, Rich Allen-Williams, said: “The ability to land safely in high winds is a fundamental skill and capability for all pilots […] while more challenging than in calm conditions, [it] is regularly practised by pilots in the simulator.” 

So contrary to the comment in this clip about the pilot being ‘lucky’ in his approach to land during Storm Corrie earlier in the year, it has nothing to do with luck. It is that pilots keep their technical skills current by sitting routine and regular technical tests. What’s more, this pilot knew exactly what to do when the approach didn’t go to plan… again, not due to fluke, but down to the hours and hours spent in flight simulator training:

What’s this got to do with Connected Competence?

Well, basically, why should engineering and construction be any different to aviation? After all, be it oil and gas, nuclear, wind, or any other sector, it is a hazardous industry to work in. Your day to day is filled with environments and tasks that require specialist knowledge and skills. If materials, processes and systems are not maintained properly, you and your colleagues could be at risk. And, like in aviation, one wrong move can lead to unintended consequences or an undesirable situation.

To drive this point home further, take a moment to compare pilots to car drivers. For many of us, we take our test at the age of 17 and, as long as we don’t do anything drastic, then we never have to take it again… even when reapplying for it at the age of 70. Yet someone is killed or seriously injured every 22 minutes on UK roads. Imagine how much lower this figure might be if we were required to regularly and routinely prove that we are competent drivers. Food for thought, isn’t it? 

Connected Competence does what flight simulator training does – it proves your competence, regularly and routinely. All you have to do is demonstrate your competence every 3 to 4 years, depending on your discipline. It’s for the safety of you and your colleagues. 

Safety is a particular issue as we approach shutdown periods… look out for our next blog about how Connected Competence can help: Keeping Your Co-workers Safe In Shutdown Periods. 

But, in the meantime, why not benefit from the industry funding that has been made available by ECITB? Vouchers can be issued by Connected Competence employers until the end of March 2022. Find out more about gaining Connected Competence with funding here.