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OSP Occupational Profile

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NOC Code: NOC Code: 2271 Occupation: Air Pilots, Flight Engineers and Flying Instructors
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Pilots fly fixed wing aircraft and helicopters to provide air transportation and other services. Flight engineers (second officers) monitor the functioning of aircraft during flight and may assist in flying aircraft. Flying instructors teach flying techniques and procedures to student and licensed pilots. Air pilots, flight engineers and flight instructors are employed by airline and air freight companies, flying schools, the armed forces and by other public and private sector aircraft operators. Pilots fly fixed wing aircraft and helicopters to provide air transportation and other services. Flight engineers (second officers) monitor the functioning of aircraft during flight and may assist in flying aircraft. Flying instructors teach flying techniques and procedures to student and licensed pilots. Air pilots, flight engineers and flight instructors are employed by airline and air freight companies, flying schools, the armed forces and by other public and private sector aircraft operators.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Skill levels are assigned to tasks: Level 1 tasks are the least complex and level 4 or 5 tasks (depending upon the specific skill) are the most complex. Skill levels are associated with workplace tasks and not the workers performing these tasks.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Text Reading Text 1 2 3 4
Writing Writing 1 2 3 4
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3 4
Computer Use Computer Use 1 2 3
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Money Math Money Math 1 2
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2 3
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2 3
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2 3
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3 4


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading Text
  • Read email containing flight scheduling information. (1)
  • Read aviation magazines to learn about topics such as flight safety and aircraft maintenance. (2)
  • Read about operational faults and needed maintenance in aircraft log books. Look to see if there are recurring faults or safety concerns that will affect planned flights. (2)
  • Read flight safety briefings, line reports and company memos and directives to improve performance and learn more about general safety topics. (2)
  • Read policy and regulatory manuals such as the standing operating procedures issued by Transport Canada to ensure that training plans follow approved policies and regulations. (3)
  • Read accident reports and bulletins from Transport Canada and from the Transportation Safety Board to learn about recent accidents, causal factors and new regulations. (3)
  • Read aircraft operation and maintenance manuals to learn about normal and abnormal operating procedures. (4)
  • Read the Canadian Air Regulations and the less technical Aeronautical Information Publication issued by Transport Canada to learn about air regulations and procedures for aviation in Canada. Read about revisions and addenda to the Canadian Air Regulations. (4)
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Writing
  • Write email to co-workers, colleagues and others on a variety of topics. For example, flying instructors write email to students who request changes in their flying lessons and to Transport Canada requesting appointments for students' flight tests. (2)
  • Write comments describing normal and abnormal operating events in line reports and aircraft log books during and following flights. (2)
  • Write letters describing accidents and in-flight mishaps. For example, air pilots may write detailed descriptions about the failures of landing equipment that resulted in accidents while landing. They explain the procedures they followed to avert the accidents and the possible consequences of taking other actions. Flying instructors may write letters to insurance companies detailing the events and conditions which caused student pilots to crash aircraft. (3)
  • Write training manuals, syllabi, training aids and lesson plans for initial and recurrent training programs. Describe training requirements for different types of aircraft and explain the goals of the training exercises in documents for instructors and students. Keep the manuals up to date to reflect changes in rules and regulations. Training programs are audited periodically by Transport Canada for quality and currency. (4)
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Document Use
  • Attend to runway lighting systems. (1)
  • Scan pre-flight checklists to confirm that students have completed external checks of aircraft in accordance with operating instructions. (2)
  • Read loading graphs and charts of moment envelopes to determine aircraft weight and balance prior to flights. (2)
  • Read charts to convert estimates of snow cover on runways to Canadian Runway Friction Index numbers. (2)
  • Read pre-start forms that list aircraft systems and instruments to be checked during restarts, taxi checks and stand-down checks. (2)
  • Complete training record forms to document pilots' performance during simulator training. Assess pilot performance and document proficiency ratings and general comments on official Transport Canada Flight Test Report of Pilot Proficiency Check. (3)
  • Refer to lesson plans in ground schools. Ensure that lesson plans are updated regularly to comply with changes in rules and regulations. (3)
  • Read manifests of dangerous goods that will be loaded on aircraft. Scan the manifests for descriptions of the dangerous goods, hazard classifications or risk groups and appropriate handling instructions and spill procedures. (3)
  • Check aircraft maintenance log books for information such as total flying hours, required maintenance and inspection dates and operating discrepancies. These discrepancies are noted in the minimum equipment list manual which is kept in the aircraft and tells pilots what equipment may be inoperative and under what conditions aircraft may be operated. (3)
  • Use weight and balance graph sheets showing the total weight of a load including the pilot, other crew members, passengers, baggage, fuel and water to ensure that loads are within the centre of gravity limits for aircraft and in accordance with safety regulations. (3)
  • Read information from cockpit instruments and graphical user interfaces such as the flight management system head's up display (HUD). The HUD includes graphical and textual information on altitude, airspeed, vertical speed, weather radar readings, vector coordinates, system status, visual identifiers, and many other variables. Flight-progress monitoring is ongoing so check information from flight instruments frequently to ensure that the aircraft is operating correctly and the flight is proceeding safely and efficiently. (4)
  • Complete flight-planning forms and flight test and proficiency check summaries. Enter information about headings, weather forecasts, cruising altitudes and flight levels, flight routes, destination aerodromes, fuel required and use of visual or instrument flight rules. Review information from documents such as radar images, meteorological reports and aeronautical charts, adjust and correct the information on the forms during flights to reflect changing conditions. (4)
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Computer Use
  • Use word processing. For example, write incident reports using Word. Create reports by inserting text into report templates. (1)
  • Use bookkeeping, billing and accounting software. For example, those who manage their own businesses track expenditures and profits using small business accounting software such as Quicken. (2)
  • Use email to exchange information with peers and colleagues. Create and maintain address and distribution lists, and send and receive attachments. (2)
  • Use graphics software. For example, use PowerPoint to create slide presentations for training sessions. Insert tables, charts and diagrams to build more effective presentations. (2)
  • Access specialized databases developed by Transport Canada to get information about aviation accidents and their causes. (2)
  • Enter data into spreadsheets to record student performance and test results. (3)
  • Use computer and software applications. For example, use advanced flight management systems on newer and larger passenger aircraft for flight planning, navigation, performance management, aircraft guidance and flight-progress monitoring. Use graphical user interfaces to input and read information about flights. (3)
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Oral Communication
  • Communicate with air traffic controllers and airline dispatch operators about what runways to use for takeoff and landing. (1)
  • Address passengers over aircraft public address systems at various times during flights. For example, tell passengers about weather conditions, altitudes and estimated times of arrival. During abnormal situations such as aborted landings due to severe weather, tell passengers what is happening and reassure them. (2)
  • Communicate frequently with flight crew about the status of the aircraft and its readiness for take-off. Air pilots recognize the importance of professional and tactful communication, knowing that it results in more effective and efficient flight crews. (2)
  • Discuss student progress and developmental needs with other flying instructors. (2)
  • Discuss problems encountered during flights with crew and attendants. For example, during thunderstorms air pilots may discuss options with flight crews before making important decisions. (3)
  • Make formal presentations to small groups of students in classrooms. In some cases, provide several levels of flying instruction, including private and commercial pilot licences, instrument flight rules and multi-engine ratings. Change presentation style to suit the level of instruction. (3)
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Money Math
  • Calculate flight training fees using hourly and daily rates. Total amounts on invoices and calculate applicable taxes. (2)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Prepare budgets for training programs including classroom instruction, simulator and flight training. Include costs of aircraft rental, fuel, flight simulator use, salary, airport fees and classroom supplies. (2)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Compare global positioning coordinates of latitude and longitude with flight plan projections of time and distance. Deviations from flight plans are calculated, documented and communicated to local air traffic control centres. (2)
  • Convert load sheets prepared by ramp personnel into weight and balance forms. This requires calculating gross weight and centre of gravity using the 'moment arm' and the 'balance moment' of loads brought onto aircraft. (3)
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Data Analysis
  • Calculate fuel burn rates on each leg of multiple-stop flights. Data from each leg are compared and analyzed for irregularities. Calculate average fuel consumption for the entire flight. (2)
  • Calculate average altitude by combining durations spent at different altitudes. (2)
  • Confirm that there are sufficient flying hours remaining to complete flights before the next inspection or maintenance. (2)
  • Monitor engine performance data such as temperature trends, revolutions per minute, fuel consumption and inter-stage pressures. Integrate and analyze the data for signs of pending problems or to assist in diagnosing performance problems. (3)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the amount of fuel aircraft will use during flights. (1)
  • Estimate the amount of snow cover on runways. (2)
  • Estimate time required to load aircraft, de-ice wings, receive clearance for take-off and complete flights. If scheduled to make turn-around flights, estimate whether the 'eleven hour duty limit' will be exceeded. (3)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Those working for smaller companies or who are self-employed may be responsible for scheduling their own time. They play a large role in coordinating and integrating their job tasks with many people who need to be involved in every flight. Air pilots who work for smaller companies, fire fighting or rescue services may be expected to fly to remote or dangerous locations on short notice. Some may have schedules that are often chaotic. Those working for larger airlines or freight carriers have their flights scheduled well in advance by airline flight operations. They are provided with monthly schedules so that their daily routines and flight plans are quite structured and follow similar patterns. Flying instructors organize their work with detailed schedules. They coordinate their daily job tasks with students. The scheduling of flying lessons is sometimes complicated by cancellations due to bad weather. Air pilots who work for smaller companies may plan the operations of other aircraft and schedule their crew. Flying instructors plan training programs and schedule training sessions for their students. (3)
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Decision Making
  • Decide to cancel flights when Navigation Canada reports bad or threatening weather. (2)
  • Decide to accept dangerous goods cargoes and review manifests to determine whether the cargoes are documented and properly processed. Do not accept hazardous cargoes if you believe there are risks for aircraft, crew and passengers. (2)
  • Decide what type of de-icing fluid to use when taking off during snowstorms. For example, Type 1 de-icing fluid, which is hot, will remove everything from the wings when sprayed on. The air pilot and flight engineer have the option of also applying Type 4 de-icing fluid. This is a is a mucous-like, spray-on substance that will prevent anything from getting on the wings. Type 4 is costly and its application can delay takeoff by up to an hour. They decide whether the severity of the snowstorm warrants the use of Type 4 de-icing fluid. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Aircraft have repetitive problems during flight. For example, an air pilot notices that the door latch continuously releases during take-offs and landings. Despite repeatedly noting the problem in the aircraft log book, it has not been corrected by the aircraft mechanic. The pilot speaks directly with the aircraft mechanic, who promptly orders and installs a replacement latch mechanism. (2)
  • Encounter aircraft system malfunctions during flights. For example, a pilot may discover that an aircraft's wing flap is stuck fully down, causing excessive drag and affecting aircraft control. The pilot selects the flap override switch, bringing it up twenty degrees, to make landing possible and reports the fault in the log book. (2)
  • Encounter mechanical problems during flights. For example, a pilot experiences engine failure on a single engine aircraft. The pilot checks to see if the fuel tank is empty and then switches the fuel selector to the reserve tank in an attempt to restart the engine. If that does not resolve the situation, nearby terrain is assessed in order to select a suitable area for a forced approach. (3)
  • Encounter failures in communication between flight operations and airport services. For example, a pilot discovers that fuel for a return flight is not available. A six to eight-hour delay will occur unless the pilot can locate another source of fuel. The alternate refueller found demands a premium price for the fuel. The pilot arranges to load the premium-priced fuel, and the flight continues on schedule. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Consult terminal area charts to find the length of landing strips. (1)
  • Review the Canadian Air Regulations and the Aeronautical Information Publication for information on rules, regulations and procedures concerning unusual or unfamiliar situations. (2)
  • Locate information on aviation topics in trade publications, websites and databases. (2)
  • Find information needed to plan flights. Carefully review and monitor Navigation Canada weather reports, maps and computerized radar images, and take information from pilot operations' handbooks. Review aeronautical navigation charts and aerodrome-specific charts for information about vector coordinates, radio beacon and visual identifiers, and classified airspace boundary information. (3)
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Critical Thinking
  • Evaluate the learning needs of students in ground school. (Flying instructors) (2)
  • Evaluate students' readiness for Transport Canada flight-testing. Assess students' airborne flying skills and compare the results to Transport Canada safety regulations, review students' academic and applied skills by asking questions and providing short tests. (Flying instructors) (3)
  • Judge the accuracy and completeness of students' flight plans. Check for specific information such as current and forecasted weather, and the details of the projected flight paths to ensure possible hazards have not been overlooked. (Flying instructors) (3)
  • Judge the accuracy of flight plans provided by flight operations and dispatch. Review flight plans to ensure that the information they contain is adequate to safely execute flights. Assess all information in collaboration with the crew and flight operations before deciding whether flights should proceed. (Air pilots and flight engineers) (3)
  • Judge the air-worthiness of aircraft you are asked to fly. Review the aircraft's maintenance history, visually inspect the aircraft, and talk to mechanics, other pilots and ground crew. (Air pilots and flight engineers) (4)
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