S:1246 Principle: “Your airplane”

(Principles are basic truths that, when applied, cause success to come to you easier and quicker.)


When there are two capable pilots in an aircraft only one at a time is at the controls and responsible for the flying. When the one flying turns over the responsibility to the other it is considered good crew resource management to say “Your airplane” and the other responds with “My airplane” so there is no confusion as to who is responsible. This verbal sequence may sound a little silly to non-pilots, but the consequence of a miscommunication is not good when you’re thousands of feet in the air.

Being a copilot in an aircraft is not the same as being a passenger in a car. A copilot has responsibilities not expected of a passenger. A passenger is along for the ride with few routine duties. A passenger may not even want to be responsible for the journey. There are people who choose to go through life as passengers. That doesn’t mean they don’t make comments about the journey their ‘driver’ is providing – usually while looking out the rear window!

In contrast, a copilot is engaged, ready to assume responsibility, a true partner in the success of a journey.


Coaching Point: Are you a pilot or a passenger? Ready to say “My airplane”?


Copyright 2019 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.