We all know Flightess is a platform that serves as a tool and resource for the Business Aviation community. That being said, I would be remiss to not have any information that includes the individuals who sit at the front of the plane and fly it! Thats right people, our dearly beloved pilots.
I am so honored and excited to have one of my all time favorite pilots here on Flightess to answer some questions and talk about the professional Corporate Pilot’s perspective on working alongside flight attendants.
For anyone who may be new to the world of corporate aviation, I think you will have some keen take-aways from Kelvin and a fantastic perspective on how important it is to work alongside your crew members in a positive and productive way to get the job done.
Allow me to introduce Captain Kelvin Bryant
Q: Kelvin, tell us a little about yourself. What do you love most about being a corporate pilot?
A: I am currently a Client Aviation Manager on the Challenger 300 at Solairus Aviation. What made me favor corporate aviation over the other parts of the industry is the dynamics of the operation. No day or flight is ever the same. We fly to diverse locations that vary from anywhere between a large metropolis such as New York to places such Page Arizona and everything in between. Not only does it require sharp skills, but it also keeps me engaged.
Q: In your opinion, how important is it for there to be synergy between the pilots and flight attendant? What are ways that flight attendants can help create synergy with their respective flight deck crew?
A: Synergy is extremely important in the flight crew environment on many levels. A crew that is in tune with one another, is not only more effective, but is also more efficient. Synergy comes from observation and experience. Getting to know your crew, their likes and dislikes, and their strengths and weaknesses are all good ways to improve synergy.
A crew that is in tune with one another, is not only more effective, but is also more efficient
Q: What qualities would you look for when hiring a flight attendant? (hypothetically)
A: First and far most, the cabin attendant has to have a positive attitude and strong work ethic. A cabin attendant should also have a friendly, but professional demeanor and appearance. Other good qualities of a cabin attendant is being a student of the craft, i.e, always discovering and learning. A cabin attendant has to be able to adapt quickly to many challenges often in a short amount of time in order to ensure successful outcomes.
Q: From your perspective as a captain, what are some of the biggest mistakes you see CFA’s make?
A: Time management can be a shortfall of many Cabin Attendants. There are many times that we feel that we have an infinite amount of time to complete our task. Sudden changes in scheduling occur or the client shows early and unannounced which leaves us scrambling. We, as a crew, must use our idle time wisely.
Time management can be a shortfall of many Cabin Attendants.
Q: For any pilots reading this, what are ways that pilots can help support CFA’s in their role?
A: We, as pilots, can help support our Cabin Attendants by ensuring that we are giving them good briefings before every leg and debriefings at the end of the day. Giving cabin attendants information on ground delays, taxi times, flight times and types of turbulance to expect would greatly improve the quality of the cabin service given. We should review how things went and what could be done to make things go better next time at the end of the flight day. We also need to understand that there are two pilots up front and typically only one cabin attendant in the back. Us pilots lean on one another when we get task saturated. Cabin Attendants don’t have that support. We, as pilots, can do quite a few things to support our cabin attendants and relieve a bit of their load . Asking them “How is everything going?” and “Is there anything that I can do to help you?” goes a long way. The motto that I try to instill in my crew is “The work isn’t done until we’re all done.” It isn’t too difficult of a task to help tidy up the cabin at the end of a flight when all the paperwork is done and the aircraft is all buttoned up. Are we checking to see if our cabin attendants are still fit for duty when those rapid trip changes come into play and the day has been extended longer than planned? Or are we gauging if we’re good for the trip on our fitness for duty? These are the things that we, as captains, have to be sure to take into consideration.
Q: Can you share a personal story of how the crew (pilots and flight attendant) worked together to solve a problem that arose while working?
A: One event that stands out was an emergency situation. We were 40 minutes from our destination when a client became non responsive. Our cabin attendant alerted us of the issue and we all immediately sprang into action. While I alerted ATC, my copilot was looking up the nearest suitable airport, and our cabin attendant was grabbing the medaire kit and calling medaire on the sat phone. Through a coordinated effort we managed to be on the ground in less than 15 minutes with medical personnel standing by. The cabin attendant did quite a few notable things. She not only found the medaire number quickly, but had all pertinent information available when given the slew of questions being thrown her way. She also fell back on her training of assigning the other clients, who were panicked, duties such as placing dishes in the lavatory sink in preparation for landing. This gave her more room to assist the client in distress. The level of professionalism exhibited by the crew really made this stressful event move in a direction to have a positive outcome. The true key to our success was how amazing our cabin attendant performed under immense pressure. Her systematic approach to handling this event had shown that she had taken training seriously which makes her the ultimate professional.
If you're a corporate pilot and would like to share some relevant experiences and advice please feel free to comment below! Want to follow along with Captain Kelvin? You can find him here