Chief Flight Control Officer

Flight Control Division Uniform
Originally known as the helmsman, or CONN, the Chief Flight Control Officer incorporates two jobs; navigation and flight control. A Flight Control Officer must always be present on the bridge of a starship. He or she plots courses, supervises the computers piloting, corrects any flight deviations and pilots the ship manually when needed. The Chief Flight Control Officer is the senior most CONN Officer aboard, serving as a Senior Officer, and chief of the personnel under him or her.

A professional helmsman maintains a steady course, properly executes all steering orders, and communicates to the officer on the bridge utilizing navigational terms relating to ship's heading and steering. A helmsman relies upon visual references and a variety of computerised checking and navigational displays to steer a steady course. The first officer or other senior officer on the bridge usually directs the helmsman.

Clear and exact communication between the helmsman and officer on the bridge is essential to safe navigation and ship handling. Subsequently, a set of standard steering commands and responses by the helmsman are widely recognized throughout Starfleet. The helmsman repeats any verbal commands in order to demonstrate that the command is heard and understood. The Interplanetary Convention on Standards of Training requires that helmsmen must be able to understand and respond to helm orders in Federation Basic, to account for any malfunctions or system failures in the Universal Translator.