There are a number of requirements as to the qualified pilot. To be a pilot a person must get a pilot certificate and have a rate in the category of the aircraft to be used. In addition, this person must have logged a certain number of hours as a pilot of the aircraft in the category. That is, this person must undergo flight training in the specified type of aircrafts.
Every pilot should be competent while piloting an aircraft. It is quite difficult to define competency. We can deal with two aspects when speaking about competency of a pilot. The fist point is being proficient, the second one – knowledge about the aircraft being used.
To know the aircraft does not mean just the ability to start the engine or to fuel the gauges. It means that the pilot must know the answer to every question which appears during the flight. For instance, how to select the RPM for particular phase of flight, to know the Recommended SSA Signals, the use of flaps, how to achieve the proper speed, how to let down, how to make a coordinated turn for a particular situation, to choose the proper procedure for descent, etc.
We can say that to be a competent pilot means much more than just to be a qualified pilot. Being a competent pilot means that the pilot’s work is accurate and efficient. It is comfortable for the pilot to be in charge of the plane, to run an aircraft in the every phase of the flight. Being competent also means that the pilot knows how to look after the engine and aircraft itself.
The conclusion can be made from the above that the definition ‘competent pilot’ includes ‘qualified pilot’, that is knowledge, plus practice and experience. Furthermore, I think that it is essential for every pilot to continue frequent study.