The 10 Commandments of the IC Pilot
1. Be quiet, low key and non-threatening when with the clients, the passengers and the aircraft.
2. Discretion in talking about other operators carries the utmost importance. If you gossip about another operator or another pilot, the client will presuppose that you will talk about them also. Confidentiality about proprietary information should be held in strict confidence.
3. If you book a trip with a client, and another better trip comes up during the same period, never cancel the one for the other. NEVER! Conversely, if you are not available for a trip, HELP the client find another, dedicated, independent contract brethren to fill their needs. Help them whatever it takes.
4. Always maintain a professional posture when around the client. Your attire, your demeanor and attitudes reflect directly upon your profession, and reflect the entire industry of professional, independent contract pilots.
5. Determine your daily rates in a fair manner, conforming generally to industry standards. Be consistent and reliable in your dealings with all your clients. Never, ever, brag about how busy your are, or how much money you make. They don't want to hear that.
6. Prepare a document of agreement with the client, so that all the terms of your contract services are understood up front, and no surprises or disagreements arise after the fact of your services.
7. Maintain your qualifications and currency in your aircraft of service and keep all other professional documents up to date. This would include training documents, passports, licenses, medicals, drug tests, your company entity papers, SSN or Employer ID documents, etc.
8. In the cockpit, handle yourself in accepted professional manner regarding procedures, CRM, checklist philosophy, and be somewhat flexible to the nuances of individual operators. Be a Chameleon, but be professional.
9. Just because you are a PILOT, give a helping hand in all phases of the flight operation, such as pre-flights, oiling, stocking, emptying trash, cleaning carpets and woodwork, helping the Flight Attendant, loading and unloading baggage, updating their charts, and anything else that may be required to make the operation smooth and successful. There is no job that is unimportant.
10. Be a good road partner a fun person to be with. Nobody likes to travel with a deadhead.
These 10 Commandments have been derived from my 7 years of being a dedicated, independent, contract pilot. Hope you enjoy them, and I invite you all to add to these Commandments based on your own thoughts and experiences.
Re-published by permission from Jeff Beck.