First Officer Responsibilities in the Real World

First Officer responsibilities and duties will vary based on the operation or outfit the pilot is flying for, and a few sites have descriptions of what to expect as a First Officer.

And, there is also the real world that the First Officer lives in. This is a summary of that world from Dick Bares, a 20,000 hour pilot.

A Reminder of Your First Officer Responsibilities

by Dick Bares (First Officer Tasks for a CitationJet)

As the designated PIC of this flight, would you please clean the aircraft inside and out, neatly arrange the seat belts neatly, service the lav, check tire pressures, shine the leading edges, clean the windshields and side windows with soapy water and dry with a yellow microfiber rag from Costco, monitor the refueling and ensure Prist is used, and that we have the required amount of fuel on board for our destination and alternate.

Speaking of alternates, plan and file our flight plan for 15 minutes prior to departure to be able to pick up clearance 30 minutes prior (be sure to also alert ATC if we will be departing VFR). Get the current ATIS, and program our cleared flight plan and store it in the FMS.

Ensure the ice cooler has a variety of waters, sodas and are on ice. We won't bother with coffee as most FBOs have coffee available in the lobby. The snack drawer should also be well stocked with a variety of choices, mints, and gum. The trash can should have a fresh bag as well.

Also, be sure to print out the current and forecast weather for our destination and alternate as well as capturing screenshots of important weather information en route incase we can't get XM weather.

Once that's all done, contact the FBO and ensure the rental cars will be delivered to the aircraft on the ramp and figure out where the FBO is located on the airport and how do we taxi to their ramp and where do they want us to park. Be sure to also know what the street address is so that the passengers can navigate their way back to the FBO once their trip is complete.

Please also do some Yelp! research about where the best wings and beer in town are. Don’t forget to leave your cell phone number with the FBO in case they need us (not my cell phone ‘cause I don’t want to be disturbed during our sit days), and get the ramp access code so that we can get back in.

Have you reserved our hotel rooms so that we get the best senior citizen/retired military/pilot discount rate and still get points in our accounts? What time does the pool and exercise gym open and close and is breakfast included?

As the designated PIC of this flight, it is my responsibility to ensure that you also do a complete post flight, remove all trash, straighten the seat belts, vacuum the carpet, service the lav, lower the window shades and install the cockpit shades, secure the flight controls with the seatbelts, or if the airplane will not be moved, you may use the cockpit control lock and then install the sign on the nose towing lugs stating, “DO NOT TOW”.

Additionally, you shall install the engine and pitot covers, static wick covers, check the engine oil levels, disconnect the battery, lock all locks, check the oil bypass valve button, and then do a final walk around to verify the aircraft is secured for the night.

I understand that there are more items for you to include in this list so I will leave it to you and I will go take my puppy for his morning walk.