Everyone Can Fly
Piloting is a skill that takes years to master. I was in air cadets for four years and I still only understand the bare minimum. Like, I could do it if I had no other choice, but it would end terribly. So in Sci-Fi, why is it that everyone and their grandma knows how to pilot a spaceship?
I believe that there’s three reasons.
Militant Society/Military Organization
Some societies require that you participate in the military to bolster the army ranks and defend the country. It allows for advanced security and nationalism. (There’s about 26 countries that require this today) A big part of the military is training, so they would learn how to fly and defend themselves.
Another subsection of this is that they all work for the government on the same ship and it was part of the basic training protocol incase the actual pilots are out of commission for some reason.
AI is Flying the Ship
Another explanation is that they aren’t piloting the ship at all, and an AI is doing it. As cars get more and more advanced, this might actually be a possibility. However, this presents a moral conundrum:
How does an AI place value on a human life? AI and automatic drivers don’t have the same moral compass as a human does. If a racist dick made the AI, it’ll be immensely biased and won’t have the block of: This person right in front of me is still a human being. Alternatively, how will it know to differentiate between friend and foe?
Finally, my personal favourite:
They Really Are Just Winging It and have Just the right Amount of Confidence to Pull it Off Convincingly.
It takes a special kind of moron to be able to have so much self confidence that you think you can fly a spaceship and have people actually believe you. This moron might get lucky and land the ship, or everyone might die.
Either way, it’s hilarious. If you’re going to write it that way, make sure you sell it. The moron has to be 💯 ready, willing and confident and they can’t let anyone know that they’re internally freaking out.
In conclusion, think out why people can fly spaceships, because that shit is complicated.