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The term "flight specialist" can refer to several jobs that relate to the functioning of an aircraft, though it is most commonly used to refer to a flight operations specialist, who will be responsible for managing plans and paperwork for a flight, airfield, or other air operation. The flight specialist in this regard will be responsible for documenting and perhaps even outlining all aspects of an airplane's flight, from crew information to flight path and maps. This position requires at least a high school education and usually some college training or certification.
Specific duties for a flight specialist can vary, but in general, it is likely this professional will have an active hand in planning a flight. He or she may assign crew members to a specific flight, manage the flight path and runway information, prepare safety information for flight personnel, and various other tasks that are pertinent to the safe and efficient flight of an aircraft. It is very likely that the flight specialist will work with other professionals in this capacity, such as a payload specialist who plans the loading and unloading of a plane. The payload information will be transferred to the flight operations specialist, who will record it in the appropriate files.
The flight specialist will also often be responsible for distributing relevant paperwork to flight crews and other relevant personnel. This information may concern navigation, landing instructions, radio operations, or other information that will be relevant to the safe operation of the aircraft. It is therefore important for the flight specialist to be exceptionally organized and able to manage several complex tasks at once. This is a demanding career that requires an eye for detail and an ability to communicate effectively. On the job training is required, and the new employee may spend several years taking part in such training.
Many flight specialists are trained through special training programs, though some may simply obtain a college degree and learn the more flight-specific skills on the job. Sometimes a high school education is sufficient to find employment as a flight specialist, but the candidate's math, reasoning, and communications skills must be well developed. The specialist may work on a team with other professionals, and it is likely that he or she will work under the guidance and tutelage of a more experienced specialist for several years to ensure proper job training for the complex tasks he or she will be expected to complete.
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