Since 1966, Star Trek has been boldly going where no one has gone before. Part of its mission of exploration has led the Starfleet ships to have to flee dangerous situations. And to escape a dangerous situation in space, the ship needs the best pilots the Federation has to offer.

But who is the best pilot in the Star Trek franchise? That’s a difficult question to answer, because each pilot brings something different to the table that can invaluable depending on the situation. But whether they are flying the Enterprise, Voyager, Defiant, or a smaller ship, these pilots always rise to the occasion.

RELATED: Star Trek: The Next Generation Characters Who Appear On Other Series



10 Chakotay (Voyager)

Robert Beltran as Chakotay

Chakotay was essentially a jack of all trades for the Voyager crew. He could easily adapt to several different positions on the ship and preform them admirably, but he always seemed second best at anything he attempted. This includes his turns as the ship’s pilot.

Chakotay would often take over the helm during emergency situations and proved himself time and again as an accomplished pilot. He was also tasked with flying the Delta Flyer in the attempt to tow Voyager back to the Alpha Quadrant in the show’s 100th episode.

9 Wesley Crusher (The Next Generation)

Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher

Has any Star Trek character been more frustrating than Wesley Crusher? The kid was immensely talented at almost everything he attempted. When Captain Picard began letting him on the bridge as an acting Ensign, he quickly proved to be adept at piloting the Enterprise.

Wesley went to Starfleet Academy, where he quickly became one of the best cadets assigned to the piloting detail. His piloting career was cut short due to linking up with the Traveler. However, despite his talents, the show’s writing really hampered the character overall.

8 Pavel Chekov (The Original Series)

Walter Koenig and Anton Yelchin as Pavel Chekov.

Much like Chakotay on Voyager, Pavel Chekov was not the regular pilot on The Original Series. However, when asked to take over the helm, he held his own. Chekov would navigate the Enterprise through some of its sticky situations when his good friend Hikaru Sulu was unavailable.

On top of stepping in as pilot when called upon, Chekov also stepped up as reserve Science Officer and head of security. If Chakotay was a jack of all trades, Chekov was the first utility player in Star Trek.

7 Keyla Detmer (Discovery)

Emily Coutts as Keyla Detmer

A more recent inclusion in the list of starship pilots, Keyla Detmer took the reins of the starship Discovery on the Paramount+ Original Series. Detmer is determined but nervous in the early seasons, but she develops a confidence over time that serves her well in flying Discovery.

RELATED: Star Trek: Best Movie Villains, Ranked

Detmer was injured in battle and had to receive an ocular implant to regain her vision. This allowed her to connect with her cyborg colleague, Airiam, which played a major role when Airiam died on a mission.

6 Erica Ortegas (Strange New Worlds)

Melissa Navia as Erica Ortegas

Introduced as the pilot of the Enterprise in Strange New Worlds, Erica Ortegas has already taken her place as one of the best pilots in the Star Trek franchise. Her confidence has never been in doubt, as she helmed the flagship through a black hole’s gravity well.

Ortegas held her own in battles with several different aliens in the first season of the series. Viewers are hoping to see more of her backstory fleshed out in future seasons.

5 Sidney La Forge (Picard)

Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut as Sidney La Forge

The daughter of Geordi La Forge had an inauspicious start to her piloting career. During her academy years, she crashed a number of shuttles, earning the nickname “Crash La Forge.” However, when assigned to be the pilot of the Titan, she rose to the challenge.

Sidney held her own against enemy pilots and helped Picard on his mission against the changelings. She honed her skills enough to be promoted to the Enterprise and could be a key figure if the rumored Star Trek: Legacy ever takes flight.

4 Jean-Luc Picard (The Next Generation)

Sir Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

While he may be recognized as the greatest captain in the Star Trek franchise, it was Picard’s skills as a pilot that got him promoted to captain. He piloted several ships for Starfleet over the course of his career, including the Reliant and the Stargazer.

RELATED: Star Trek: Best Engineers, Ranked

As Captain of the Enterprise, Picard would occasionally take the helm when necessary to steer the ship out of danger. His skills led to the legend and then, as captain, he lived up to the legend.

3 Travis Mayweather (Enterprise)

Anthony Montgomery as Travis Mayweather. Scott Bakula as Jonathan Archer

The very first pilot of the starship Enterprise, Travis Mayweather piloted Starfleet’s flagship on its first mission under the command of Captain Jonathan Archer. He grew up on cargo ships, but joined Starfleet where he was able to make history as a pilot.

Mayweather flew the ship the very first time it reached Warp 5, and often came to the rescue of Enterprise’s crew on the shuttles when they were on away missions. Of all the pilots, he is one who can truly say he went where “no one has gone before.”

2 Hikaru Sulu (The Original Series)

George Takei and John Cho as Hikaru Sulu

The original helmsman of the Enterprise introduced on The Original Series, Mr. Sulu gets the Kirk’s crew out of several scrapes over the years. On top of flying the Enterprise, he also took the helm of a Klingon Bird of Prey. His talent led him to be promoted to Captain of the Excelsior in original film series timeline.

In the Kelvin timeline, Sulu is again an integral part of saving the Enterprise crew. Admittedly, a mistake he made in the first film delayed their response to Vulcan, that actually saved their lives. From that point on, he excelled as a pilot in every scenario in that timeline.

1 Tom Paris (Voyager)

Robert Duncan McNeill as Tom Paris

While Sulu may be the most recognizable pilot in Star Trek, Tom Paris, arguably, had the hardest job. He was sitting in prison when he was released and handpicked to pilot Voyager. When the ship ended up in the Delta Quadrant, Paris was tasked with flying the ship home and getting everyone back safely.

Paris also built the Delta Flyer that Chakotay piloted on the attempted towing mission. Tom Paris was the first pilot since Sulu to be considered cool by Starfleet standards. And he changed the way pilots were viewed in the entire franchise.

MORE: Star Trek: Best Villain In Each Series

#Star #Trek #Pilots #Ranked

Categorized in:

Tagged in:

, , ,