Is there a certain “geek” factor needed to want to be a pilot?

The other day, we noted an article in Air Facts Journal about why there are so few female pilots but some of the comments posted to the original article brought up an interesting idea: The geek factor required to be a pilot. Specifically, commenter Joseph, a software engineer with a whole collection of large and small gadgets and tools, posted:

However there is a certain Geek mindset required to do software engineering (I’m not talking about dumb T-shirts and cargo pants, but the attitude). And lets be honest pilots are as much geeks as computer programmers when it comes to the attitude, they are just though of as more macho I suppose.

Joseph then wrote that the geek mindset is off-putting to girls. Moreover, aviation comes with a feeling that one must “accept and become part of the lifestyle to succeed in the industry.” 

On the hand, Bobby, a 35 year pilot and self-proclaimed computer geek responded by writing that most of the macho pilots he has known were not computer geeks at all as they only thought about airplanes and flying 24/7.

Joseph then replied by writing that aviation geeks has the same core personality as computer geeks but its just with a different technology. He then added that:

They live and breath their work and hobby, they are defined by it. The problem is when one is both a computer and aviation geek. Finger points at myself when I say that. Aviation is a life style not a hobby or a career, its not something you go in and do 8 hrs and leave each day, at least if its something you want to succeed in.

Commenter Maureen added that she and most of the other female pilots she knows have been or are into hobbies like needlework, knitting, quilting, etc. which also require the same amount of attention to detail that is required to assemble models. She also added that she and many of her fellow female pilots are also geeks with plenty of electronic toys and other combustible engines such as motorcycles, tractors, atvs etc.

Hence, what do you our readers think: Is there a certain “geek” or perhaps another quality or mindset needed to have a passion for aviation or perhaps its all left up to chance?

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