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Military pilots operate many different jet and propeller planes. Aircraft range from combat airplanes and helicopters, to supersonic fighters and bombers. In addition to actually flying aircraft, military pilots develop flight plans; check weather reports; brief and direct all crew members; and perform system operation checks to test the proper functioning of instrumentation, controls, and electronic and mechanical systems on the flight deck. They also coordinate their takeoffs and landings with airplane dispatchers and air traffic controllers. At times, military pilots may be ordered to transport equipment and personnel, take reconnaissance photographs, spot and observe enemy positions, and patrol areas to carry out flight missions. After landing, military pilots must follow "after landing and shutdown" checklist procedures, and inform maintenance crews of any discrepancies or other problems noted during the flight. They must also present a written or oral flight report to their commanding officer.
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