Handling Pressure Booster…


Here we go…

PART 1: Handling Pressure

Sometimes as a commander of an aircraft can be a lonely place.  It doesn’t matter whether you are single pilot in a Cessna or the Captain of a multi crew jet.

The good news is that it is usually only temporary and there are some ways to develop mechanisms and systems to combat and conquer.  Back in eClass 8 I laid the foundation for building resilience when there is pressure to achieve an outcome.

Hopefully you have taken action and implemented some of the techniques that I use.  I gave you our 5 step plan.  Check it out again.

Our 5 Step Plan for handling pressure:






Since it has been 8-9 months since you took this class YOU will be a different YOU so it is a good time to refresh and look deeper.

You probably have more training and experiences under your belt which means that you are building history for yourself.  History that you can use to draw on in the future.  Good bits and bad bits because they all form part of improving your skills.

There will have been decisions that you had to make and be accountable for.  Practise creates clarity.  The more you are placed under the need for an outcome – the better you will be becoming at handling pressure.

It is all connected.  The pressure to achieve an outcome leads to the need for a decision which leads to the need for a system or mechanism to be developed.

It is this fundamental system that needs to be uniquely you that will make you the guru later.  Once you know that you have framework to apply to any problem or situation, then the less you will feel the pressure.  Not sure if this sounds too deep but will go there anyway!  It is possible to get to the stage that you can embrace pressure when it is presented.  Imagine that feeling if the moment you feel the pressure to achieve you automatically step into a relaxed response.

You don’t have to know the solution straight away – just know how to apply the steps until the solution becomes clear.

I can tell you without hesitation some pilots go through their whole career not developing their own unique system to handle pressure.  They try to be someone their not.  It is possible that they just don’t get their fundamentals right and while they still can achieve the standard, they quite often could be better.  They could be better at handling pressure.  If they are lucky at some point they will meet someone that can see that they need a few basics fixed.  The most common place for this to show is when they are training to become a Captain on a jet.  Sometimes it is just the right conversation at the right time that can change everything.

You may be wondering how to avoid this being you.  The good news is that you have already given yourself the best chance to get the fundamentals right as you have taken action to be part of this mentoring program.

I know the secret because I continually striving improve and innovate ourselves by watching and listening and implementing what I know.

The secret is you.


Most people deep down know that they might have a weakness or fear that they hide.  Humans are very clever at self preservation and this includes protecting their ego.

For you to improve you need to do what we do and take a good hard look at yourself.  I suggest you be honest with yourself and admit your weaknesses and fears because then I can get on with the business of turning them into your strong points.

Most people have some level of fear of failure for example and this can affect how well you handle pressure.

Throughout history most breakthroughs occur from some sort of failure.  You can turn this fear of failure into a motivator to continually improve.  This way it is less likely to hold your success back and therefore turning a weakness into a strong point.

What this means practically for you is when presented with a problem you can apply your solution framework which results in the outcome being achieved without you noticing the pressure!

PART 2: From Colleagues/Crew.

So let’s get practical.  I’ve talked about handling pressure generally but I wanted to give you some tips that you can use day to day.

I are well known for achieving the desired result as commanders but through different methods.  This is because I have different personalities and different life experience – it doesn’t really matter why.

What matters is that the fundamentals are the same.

When a problem is presented to you by a crew member each party needs something.

They need acknowledgement that their problem is important to you, that you have understood and that you are capable of reaching a conclusion.  They are human and their ego needs fluffing so fluff it.

You need time to process and apply your framework to work the solution.

What I say  

[What it means]…

(See below in speech marks is What You Say and in blue brackets is [What it means])

Eg. “Thanks for letting me know at the moment everything is ok, just give me a minute and I’ll get back to you.  Let me know if anything changes.”



This can be modified or remodelled depending on the problem presented to you.

Sometimes may find that the crew member may not back off when you are trying to buy some time and this is where phase 2 may need to be deployed.

This part depends on the urgency and how direct you are as person but at the extreme level where safety will be affected you will be able to extremely direct.

Let’s say they just won’t get out of your face and give you thinking time and ground contact is a factor.  Yes we are at life and death.


The fundamentals of handling pressure are common how you deliver them will eventually be individual to you.  The great thing is that you are the controller of time and creating space for you to think.  I call it ‘thinking time’.

The final factor affecting your time is FUEL.  When that is gone you have run out of time.  So if you feel uncomfortable about making time remember that if you don’t act eventually you will lose control of time.

Take action to run your ship to your comfort zone as small actions early will reduce the big ones later.

PART 3: From Passengers:

To get paid to fly you need bums on seats.  As pilots we need to be mindful that our passengers are paying our wage however what they are really paying for is to get to their destination safely.

Sometimes passengers can complain, winge and cause delay.  You may be surprised to know that they do not always see you as the hero who got them there safely.

The truth is they can’t help it.  All they are really worried about is their own world – not yours.  You can’t expect them to understand the pressures and challenges that you are under.

You could have battled bad weather and/or aircraft problems which you have worked through to a safe conclusion but all they will care about is the firm landing and the delay.

All I can say is – GET OVER IT!

Your duty of care needs to be separated into 2 parts when it comes to pax.  Yes I do all I can to make their journey seamless however when it comes to safe operation of the aircraft we like to put it like this…

If I get there – then you get there!

As you develop experience you get better at weighing up when you can meet their needs and when you just need to focus on safety.  You don’t have to be everyone’s friend when there is a job to be done.

Here is what many airlines use as to help us with the order of our priorities…

      • SAFETY
      • COMFORT
      • SCHEDULE
      • ECONOMY

You can use this also to help you keep focussed and keep pressure in perspective.


PART 4: Questions for You.

      1. What are the 5 Steps to handling pressure?
      2. How do you create thinking time when confronted with a problem?
      3. What is the order of priorities?
      4. What is your system or framework to handle pressures or problems?
      5. Write down all the things that concern you about handling pressure and please raise them at webinar.


Next week’s preview…’’7 Reasons Why Many Pilots Nearly Gave Up And Why They Didn’t…’

Find out how doing anything that you can even before you start will be of immense value to your career.

Congratulations on completing this Eclass.  Check out below the Eclass calender to see what’s in store!


If you need to use our Pilot Advice Service or have any questions or comments please send them to info@ouraviationsecrets.com


Don’t miss out on a opportunity by procrastinating.

Look forward to speaking with you at the Webinar.

Don’t Worry!

You will be sent the Webinar Invitation Link and Instructions closer to the time.


http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54492-156-8639FF5164CAE1AC8E9290F679F028DBCaptain Craig Baker

Airline Pilot and Professional Pilot Mentor