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How to Become an Airline Pilot

How to become a pilot

How to Become an Airline Pilot

Do you dread going to work each morning? Are you looking for a little excitement in your life? If you answered yes, maybe you should consider a career (or new past time) as an airplane pilot. When you become an airplane pilot, you never take your work home with you. Stress will be left at work.

Choosing to become an airplane pilot will not be easy. Before deciding, you need to know how to become a pilot. The process to become a pilot can be daunting at first glance.

To become a pilot in the United States, you must have a Federal Aviation Administration license. There are many types of pilot licenses available. To become a private pilot, you must pass a physical exam, pass a written exam, pass a check-ride and receive instruction from a flight instructor. There are some basic components you must also learn. You will need to learn navigation, regulations, and aerodynamics. It can take anywhere from six to eight months to earn your private pilot license. You will need a total of 40 hours flight time. Of those 40 hours, 20 must be with an instructor. It will cost anywhere from $8,000-$10,000 to obtain a private pilot license. If you choose to become a private pilot, there are a few things to remember. First, you can not be paid to fly an airplane. You can ask passengers to share expenses. If you are looking to be paid, consider becoming a commercial pilot.

In the United States, there are a couple conditions to becoming a commercial pilot. First, you must be 18 years of age or older. You must hold a private pilot license or a higher certificate. You will need to be able to read, write and speak English. If you are running low on money, joining the Air Force is a great way to get flight experience. To receive a commercial pilot license, you will need to have logged 250 hours of flight time. You will also be required to receive a medical certificate. The medical certificate will cover things like eye sight and any medical conditions that could prevent you from safely flying an aircraft. Commercial pilots must renew their medical certificates every year. Captains must renew their certificates every six months. You will need to obtain a instrument rating and a multi-engine rating. To receive an instrument rating, you must be able to fly with low visibility, log instrumental flight time and pass a instrument flying check-ride.If you will be flying planes with more than one engine, you will need to obtain a multi-engine rating. At some point in your career, you may want to become a captain. To become a captain, you will need 1500 hours of flight time. Of those hours, 250 must be pilot in command hours. You will also need to be a high school graduate, pass a written exam and obtain a first-class medical exam.

Being hired as an airplane pilot can be difficult at times. The more flight hours you have, the better your chances of being hired will become. First year pilots can make anywhere from $25,000-$50,000 each year. Pilots who have ten years of experience can make up to $100,000-$300,000 a year. If you are looking for a challenging and rewarding career, becoming a pilot may be for you.

How long, exactly, does it take to be a pilot?

There are many things to consider when deciding to train as a pilot. There are many flight schools available whose training periods range from 6 months to 5 years. Pilot training is counted in hours, so it really depends on how those hours are packed into as short a training period as possible. For example, one commercial pilot course has 110 hours of ground training plus 150 hours of flight training, all of which can be covered in 2 months if the student has the time.

Another factor is the type of pilot certification being earned. The Federal Aviation Administration offers certificates to student, sport, recreational, private, commercial and airline transport pilots. There is no minimum required flight experience or aeronautical knowledge for a student pilot; an airline transport pilot, however, is expected to have several hundred hours of logged flight time.

Consider the category of aircraft; flying a helicopter is vastly different from flying an airplane, a glider and a hot-air balloon. A balloon pilot may have a private certificate in 8 days, and a commercial certificate in 10. A helicopter pilot course takes 15-16 months to complete.

The military path to becoming a pilot is different. There are Army pilots, naval aviators for the Navy, the Marine Corps and Coast Guard, and the Air Force airmen. The training required for an air force cadet takes four years. Army pilot training takes about a year.

Depending on the school, certification level and aircraft type, the path to becoming a pilot can take from a few days to a few years.

Being a pilot is serious business and is not for everyone. One has to be responsible for hundreds of innocent lives and be extra cautious when at work.

Commercial Pilot Requirements

In order to be a commercial pilot the pilot must be at least 18 years of age, be able to read, write and converse in English fluently, hold at least a 2nd class FAA medical certification, hold instrument training certificate, received logged ground training from an authorized instructor, pass the knowledge test of at least 70%, and have 250 hours of flight time completion of the flight test. For the pilot that wants to advance even further into gliders they need a minimum of 255 hours in a glider, minimum of 100 flights in a glider as a pilot in command, 3 hours minimum flight training, 2hrs solo flight.

The advanced training program of a commercial pilot hones their skills of aviation and it consist of solo flying, dual flying and cross country flying. The courses for advanced training consist of air instruction, ground instruction and administration, single and multi-pilot training, instrument departure procedure, time turning procedures, coordination, advanced maneuvers, radio navigation, IFR flight, , night flying, cross country circuits, mountain flying, advanced instruction, and flight test preparation.

Commercial pilots are governed by strict regulations and they can fly small planes, jets, large commercial airlines, and cargo haulers, fly planes for banner tours, agricultural applications, and photography. Many individuals join the air force and train their, others go to flight schools inside and outside of the United States. In either situation the training needs to be done to acquire all licenses and flight training.

A commercial pilot must have the drive and the love of flying. There is no college requirement for becoming an advanced pilot but it is preferred by many organizations. In most cases of the commercial pilot seniority will dictate your position, what planes you will fly, determine pay, and determine schedule. The way to move up is through the hiring of new pilots and the retiring of senior pilots.

Becoming a pilot of commercial or military fields require the correct amount of educational training, flight training and passing of several exams. Once the exams are completed the hard work begins on the ground and in flight. Advanced pilots must also show versatility by being able to fly in all types of aircraft.

Getting Commercial Pilot Certificate

For starters, if a pilot wants to work for commercial airlines, then they have to get a commercial pilot certificate. It is gotten by acing commercial pilot ground school and put in a minimum of two hundred and fifty hours of flying. These hours include intense maneuvers and stated conditions that the successful pilot would meet if they were on the job.

Once hours are inscribed in the system and a written test has been successful done, a check ride is required. This is similar to a driving test only that it’s done in the air. A Federal Aviation Administration officer accompanies the pilot to be and asks that certain moves be done so they can evaluate. If all goes well, the examiner issues a commercial pilot certificate.

Before becoming a fully operating commercial pilot, the applicant must pass a first or second class medical certification, an instrument rating which measures the ability of the applicant to fly in low visibility and a multi-engine evaluation which checks on the applicant’s ability to fly aircrafts with more than two engines. If a pilot is very successful and has many years in the job, then an airline transport pilot certificate is issued and this is the highest honor a pilot can get. With this certificate, one is qualified to be a captain and must have passed a first class medical evaluation, have a high school diploma and have put in 1500 hours of flying of which 250 were as a pilot in charge.

While certification from an accredited aviation school is all one needs to become a pilot, most employers prefer the applicant to have college credits or better yet a college degree. College degrees can show that one is willing to learn and can stick to a rigorous schedule.

Commercial VS Private Pilots

Throughout the United States, many community colleges, along with many private flight schools, offer aviation courses leading to a private pilot license. Despite this increased access to ground school and flight school and opportunities in flying aircraft, the number of licensed pilots in the U.S., 594,285 at the end of 2009 versus an all-time high of 827,000 licensed pilots in 1980, is rapidly dwindling. Out of the 2009 figures, only 211,619 were private certified pilots.

Cost could be a major factor in discouraging people to obtain a private pilot certificate in the U.S., whether private, commercial or an airline transport pilot license. To obtain a private pilot license, it is estimated to cost between $6,000 and $12,000 with most of that cost coming from the rental of an aircraft to gain the 40 hours of minimum flight time required to receive the private license certificate. In addition to aircraft rental, the student must pay the flight instructor, usually at an hourly rate, along with fuel costs. And, then as part of the licensing requirement, the student must rent or own an airplane and fly solo across country for at least 10 hours of flight time.

Anyone, 17 or older, can become a private licensed pilot in the United States as long as ground school is completed, flight instruction with and without a certified instructor present and meeting the minimum 40 hour flight requirement and passes the seven examinations that are part of the licensing procedure.

In ground school, the student pilot will learn about the different aircraft, about safety and inspection requirements, about aero dynamics and what enables an airplane to gain altitude, turn and land, about weight and space distribution, about weather patterns, about take-off and landing approaches, about tower communication, about pitches and yaws and mid-air stalkings and about filing a flight plan and understanding transponder directions and signals and fuel use and distribution, along with rules and regulations governing flight in America.

In ground school, safety is the major component of the class and during flight training, the student will be tested orally by the flight instructor about what was learned in ground school.

Unless instrument rated, a licensed private pilot can only fly in daylight, with good visibility and can only carry up to four passengers in a single engine aircraft. The private pilot cannot accept any pay for transporting passengers or equipment and he must have a class 2 medical exam every 24 months.

If a licensed private pilot desires to move to higher levels of flight certification, including instrument flying, multi-engine planes and sea planes and commercial flight, the pilot must gain additional experience, training and certification by a certified instructor.

How Much Can Pilots Expect to Make?

A pilot salary starts at $27,712 and goes up to $102,802 and when a bonus is added, the salary increases to $28,406 – $129,572 respectively. This peak is usually for a captain and with eighteen years into the job, the senior pilot can earn $182,000 a year. A pilot salary however has misconceptions around it. Most beginners don’t make all that much and their experience is what determines how fast it will increase.