The Inner Art of Airmanship

Master Pilots in Their Own Words:

Captain George Lee

To me airmanship is all about the big picture and situational awareness. It is very much about being one step ahead of events, acting proactively rather than reactively and I would say that is a common thread through each of the types of flying that I have been involved with.

In my opinion the most important ingredients contributing towards [piloting] excellence are:

(a) Passion and hunger towards achieving what is wanted. I was always a very competitive person and that drove me to achieve high standards.

(b) That leads on to detailed and comprehensive preparation, leaving no stone unturned-preparing to compete in a World Gliding Championships is an excellent example of this.

(c) Being single minded and totally focussed on the task in hand.

(d) Finally it is important that all of the above doesn’t lead to tense flying as the best can only be achieved by relaxed but focussed flying.


George flew the F4 Phantom in the RAF, won three World Gliding Championship titles, and was a 747 check airman for Cathay Pacific. He wrote this for Inner Art of Airmanship in 2013.