The Pilot Story

Apparently, in Japan, there was no concept of power harassment in the cockpit until not so long ago.

投稿日:22/04/2023 更新日:

I’m J.
I work as a pilot in a Japanese company.

I am going to write about power harassment in the cockpit in Japan.

While I personally think that being a pilot is a good profession, I really hope that the power harassment is the only thing that needs to be corrected.

I hear that it used to be much worse, so it seems to be a little more decent now.

A pilot’s workplace is an environment conducive to the occurrence of power harassment.

A pilot’s workplace is an environment conducive to the occurrence of power harassment.

Power harassment is the act of using the superiority of one’s position on the job to harass those in a lower position. (In short, bullying the weak).

Pilot training and examinations are not graded like examinations.

The instructor/examiner looks at the skills of the applicant and subjectively decides whether the applicant has passed or failed.

Therefore, the instructor/examiner can drop a trainee at his/her discretion.

The reason for failure can be given after the fact.

Trainees are trainees, so they are not perfect. They can drop a trainee they don’t like on the pretext of some mistake without being accused of power harassment.

Because of this, trainees may think that they will be dropped if they take a stand against something unreasonable.

But when your life as a pilot is at stake, you have no choice but to put up with it.

For trainees, the positional advantage of the instructor/examiner is considerable.

Training is conducted in the cockpit (or simulator), in a closed room, with only the instructor/examiner and trainees.

This is another environment where power harassment is likely to occur.

This is because a third party’s eyes cannot reach the trainees.

Another environment in which power harassment is likely to occur is the authority of the captain under the Civil Aeronautics Act.

The captain is legally given tremendous authority.

He is in a superior position both in terms of position and legality.


In light of the above

(1) positional superiority
(2) Secret room
(3) Legally, they have tremendous authority.


All of these factors make it an environment where power harassment is very likely to occur.

Excessive Guidance” Does Not Equate to “Power Harassment

Excessive Guidance” Does Not Equate to “Power Harassment

Many people are mistaken. Excessive guidance does not necessarily constitute power harassment.

People with poor leadership skills often say, “Nowadays, if I say something a little stronger, it will immediately become power harassment,” but that is not true.

You have to tell them what is wrong.

If it cannot be fixed, there are times when you have to tell them strongly.

Guidance and power harassment are completely different.

For example, “You are a scumbag,” “You are an idiot and your family is an idiot,” “I will kill you! (← There are people who actually say these things), punching, kicking seats, etc., are these considered coaching?

If there are 100 people, I think 100 people will answer that it is not guidance.

If it were an airline outside of Japan, you would be sued and fired immediately.

Power harassment has nothing to do with guidance.

As I have said many times, too much guidance does not constitute power harassment.


On the contrary, trainees should consider whether this is power harassment or guidance.

The more gutless the trainee is, the more likely he or she is to make a fuss about power harassment even after a slight reprimand.

If the reprimand is related to training (work), then it is instruction.

It is not fair to immediately cry “power harassment” just because you can’t do something.

Trainees don’t improve when instructors yell at them or intimidate them.

There are a few people who yell at some of us during instruction, and a few who clearly spread grumpiness.

I believe those are 100% meaningless.

First of all, trainees are good adults who have graduated from college.

The very idea of yelling at them to do what you say is childish and shallow.

Some people think it makes the training tighter, but I think they are wrong.

I don’t think a person who won’t do pilot training unless he or she is made to feel tense by others is not suited for a pilot.

You are training for a job that involves people’s lives, so you don’t need someone else to tell you what to do, you need to keep yourself motivated.

Besides, most of them are training to become pilots because it is their dream.

They will work hard even if their instructors leave them alone.

Those who study because they get angry at their instructors are not suited for pilot in the first place. They will probably fail at some point.

Also, instructors who yell and often get emotional are often “self-satisfied types.

They are very self-satisfied because they do not care whether their words and actions are beneficial to the trainees or not.

The instructor’s job is to develop the trainee to a passable level.

Yelling at them uses energy, but that energy is often wasted.

Yelling at someone for training instruction may not be power harassment at the very least, but I don’t like it.

I understand if it is said in a normal tone of voice.

Also, some people say that “treating people in a harsh manner is daring to make them nervous so that they can show their strength in the midst of such tension.

That is an excuse for those who lack leadership skills.

I have heard that in some foreign companies outside of Japan, if a trainee fails, the instructor also fails.

The tension between being yelled at and being tense in a life-threatening situation is on a completely different level.

If you think about it for a moment, you should understand.


There is no end to what I can say, so I will leave it at that for now.

※I’m going to use a very gentle expression this time.


-The Pilot Story



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