My question somehow relates to this question asking about how pilots cope with boredom, but now the scenario is not the typical airliner configuaration with two pilots, but with only one. I'm thinking of single pilot operated business jets with flights over, say, 4 hours. What does the single pilot do to prevent boredom and associated problems such as vigilance loss and fatigue? They've got no one to chat with as stated in the first answer to above cited question... of course, they will continue to check and monitor systems, occasionally report and talk to ATC, but there is plenty of scientific evidence (i.e. see this book) a simple monitoring task can easily lead to fatigue - so are there any methods pilots use to prevent boredom and vigilance decrement?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ While some business jets are certified single pilot, almost no business jet is operated with a single pilot (at least as a business-use jet, ferrying employees, etc), mostly for insurance purposes. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Jan 9, 2018 at 15:53
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ When I flew light singles and light twins commercially, we often had to have help unloading so we took turns with another pilot being PIC. We spent most the time betting on bazaar or the latest regulations - we kept score. The looser had to buy a couple rounds of beer at the end of the day. This was very beneficial - it kept us abreast of the latest regs. When I was alone, I played guessing games with myself; trying to see how close I could get to the correct time over the next fix, fuel calculations, testing the range of nav sites, how long I could go without touching the controls, etc. $\endgroup$
    – jwzumwalt
    Jan 9, 2018 at 16:36

1 Answer 1


Not long ago, I had my longest flight as a PPL: about 4 hours from Dallas, TX to Kansas City, MO, in a 172, facing a steady headwind the whole way, so making a ground speed of less than 90kts.

I ran checklists about twice as often as normal, and re-did my fuel calculations very regularly (in part because of the extremely slow progress).

I listened to the ATC frequency, and tried to build a good mental picture of all the planes around me.

I went through every single setting and option on my MFD glass cockpit and iPad.

I watched the scenery, both for visual navigation (despite my GPS), and just to admire the view.

Even after all this, the flight was pretty boring near the end, and I'm glad I don't do flights that long very often.

  • $\begingroup$ You have posted this answer on both this question and dupe question, don't you think it should only be on one? $\endgroup$
    – Notts90
    Jan 9, 2018 at 16:38
  • $\begingroup$ This question got closed. I posted my answer on the question that remains open. $\endgroup$
    – abelenky
    Jan 9, 2018 at 17:55

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .