We in the aviation community take as an article of faith that those who occupy the seats in an airplane cockpit for a living are, in every sense of the word, professionals. Whether you wear the epaulettes of a commercial flight crew or the coat and tie of a private operator, there is no doubt in your mind that you are a professional. But what does the word really mean? What are the requirements for entry into this lofty club of gravity defiers? Is there a litmus test of some sort? We ...

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