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  • Mattie Bohanan

Complacency – not ok in the flight deck and not ok in the industry.

Updated: Aug 19, 2022

As a pilot, you often hear the importance of not letting complacency creep into the flight deck.

Complacency, defined by Merriam-Webster as “self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies,” can have detrimental and deadly results.

No one is immune to complacency, either. It takes a lot of accountability and energy to fight it, especially when you start to get comfortable with your flying capabilities.

The negative effects of complacency in the flight deck are infamously talked about. In fact, it serves as an important subject in all ground schools, regardless of experience level.

So, my question is this:

If we don’t accept complacency in the flight deck, why do we accept it in our industry?

Like the flight deck, our industry is going to suffer if flight departments remain complacent in hiring. We are blinding ourselves to the potential to become the utmost efficient and safest industry if we don’t start to tap into the cohorts that are historically underrepresented. We are losing bright individuals and fine pilots when we don’t offer schedules that fit individuals who have diverse skill sets.

The change can be made, and the first step is awareness. Together, and with organizations like HERA, our industry can discover its blind spots to become more inclusive, safer, and more efficient.


Mattie is a CFI/CFII and a Graduate Research Assistant at Auburn University, where she is pursuing an M.Ed. in Adult Education. She enjoys drinking her morning coffee, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.


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