Today we have talked to Olli Taipale, Chief Pilot at Finnpilot.
I started as pilot in April 2006 – so it’s over 14 years now. My friend’s father – who later became my colleague – was pilot. Once I was with him onboard and at that moment, I decided to become one too!What is the best thing about your job and why?
Absolutely to meet people from different countries and cultures and learn how to work in those atmospheres. Pilotage is nowadays a lot of psychology – understanding and to be understood. And yes, I never say no thanks to cuisines of various countries of the world.What do you take with you onboard for each pilotage?
Our area is large, and you never know where you end up. That’s why I always have spare underwear and gear of personal hygiene, something to eat - like fruit and peanuts. The iPad is nowadays a must because we do billing with it and also share vital information with the crew onboard - route plan, port info, traffic info, weather… Then of course my TRENZ pilot plug device, a lot of charging cables, a handheld VHF, face masks, hand sanitizer, rubber gloves and sunglasses. As personal safety gear I wear life jacket, helmet, safety shoes, climbing gloves and reflective clothing.Do you have wishes for future improvements for pilots, especially in safety?
It’s time to start look after our personal safety. Still we see many pilots around the world boarding without helmet and not paying attention to proper footwear, for instance. I really don’t know, why it’s that way -it is our own lives and safety on the table. It’s easy to pick low hanging fruits at least – let’s do it!What makes your pilotage area special? Which special skills are required from pilots?
Our area is the largest archipelago in the world by the number of the islands. We have totally 40000 islands here! It’s essential to be able to remember and read the radar picture, control the rate of turn and use fairway area properly due to small margins which leave no room for error. The Archipelago Sea is also one of the 40 national parks in Finland and home of thousands of birds. In that point of view the safety of navigation becomes even more important.One more question - what is your opinion about Marine-Pilots.com?
It’s great to have a common pilot platform! I hope it becomes even more popular and there would be pilots sharing their experiences and thoughts of this marvelous profession.