What is C on Boeing 737? (Captain)

The Captain, denoted by the abbreviation “C”, is the highest-ranking pilot on a Boeing 737 aircraft. This role carries significant responsibilities and requires extensive training and experience. In this article, we will explore the duties and qualifications of a Boeing 737 Captain, as well as their vital role in ensuring the safety and efficiency of each flight.

The Role of the Captain

The Captain is responsible for the overall operation of the airplane and its crew. They have the authority and final decision-making power for the aircraft during the flight. This includes the safety of the passengers, cargo, and crew members on board. The Captain is in command of the cockpit and is responsible for the execution of all flight procedures and protocols.

Before each flight, the Captain reviews the flight plan, weather conditions, and relevant notices to airmen (NOTAMs). They also perform pre-flight inspections to ensure the aircraft is in proper working order. During the flight, the Captain communicates with air traffic control, directs the co-pilot and other crew members, and handles any emergencies or difficult situations that may arise.

Qualifications and Training

Becoming a Boeing 737 Captain requires a significant amount of training and experience. Pilots must first obtain a private pilot license and progress through various stages of certification, accumulating flight hours and experience along the way. The specific requirements may vary by country and airline.

To become a Boeing 737 Captain, a pilot typically needs to have a commercial pilot license and an airline transport pilot license (ATPL). These licenses require a minimum number of flight hours, often around 1,500 to 2,500 hours, depending on the country and regulatory body. Pilots also need to pass rigorous written exams and practical flight tests.

In addition to the licenses, pilots must undergo specific training on the Boeing 737 aircraft. This includes simulator training, where pilots practice various flight scenarios and emergency procedures in a realistic, controlled environment. The training covers systems operation, cockpit procedures, and handling abnormal situations.

Boeing provides comprehensive training programs for pilots through its Boeing Training and Flight Services division. These programs are designed to ensure that pilots are proficient in operating Boeing aircraft and are updated with the latest advancements in technology and safety protocols.

The Importance of the Captain

The role of the Captain on a Boeing 737 aircraft is crucial for the safe and efficient operation of each flight. The Captain’s decision-making abilities, leadership skills, and technical expertise are instrumental in navigating the complexities of air travel.

The Captain is responsible for assessing and mitigating risks during the flight. They analyze weather conditions, monitor the aircraft’s performance, and make critical decisions to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers and crew members. The Captain must also communicate and collaborate effectively with air traffic control and other relevant parties to ensure a smooth and coordinated flight.

Furthermore, the Captain acts as a mentor and role model for the co-pilot and other crew members. They provide guidance, support, and training to help develop the skills and professionalism of their team. The Captain sets the tone for the flight, fostering a culture of safety, collaboration, and excellence.


The Captain on a Boeing 737 aircraft is a highly trained and experienced pilot who holds the highest authority for the safe and efficient operation of the aircraft. They play a critical role in decision-making, risk assessment, and effective communication during each flight. The Captain’s qualifications, training, and leadership skills are vital in ensuring a smooth and secure journey for passengers and crew members.

For more information about the Boeing 737 aircraft and the role of the Captain, you can visit the official Boeing website here.

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