Pilots are often sent on long solo missions with no guidance or assistance along the way. They are given an objective and a “blue sky” plan; anything unexpected is the problem of the pilot alone. Despite the importance of the mission, there is nobody on board to share the stress that comes with “mission critical” tasks. Sometimes it’s hard to stay in the air with the gravity of heavy responsibility pulling at your wings, but the faith that’s been placed in your abilities can be very uplifting.
Solo pilots must be as vigilant of their resources – fuel, oxygen, time – as they are of potential obstacles. Stormy weather, reroutes or faulty equipment can instantly turn dealing with a straightforward mission into dealing with the impossible.
Does your work ever send you on a long, solo run with “mission critical” objectives? Does the lack of colleague camaraderie ever make the air feel thin? Would you welcome a solo flight as a testament to your skills and reliability, or would you find yourself reaching for the ejection handle?