How to Become a Pilot
Category : Teen Job Guidance
Do you dream of a career as a pilot? If yes, chances are that you do not know what it takes to become one. This post is intended to provide you with useful ideas and tips on how to become a pilot. So without further ado, let’s start.
It is better if you started planning on how to become a pilot right from the time you are still in high school. While it may not be considered a given, it advisable that you develop special interest in science subjects such as physics and mathematics, as knowledge gained will certainly be useful in the future.
Get a college degree
A college degree is not compulsory to qualify to fly an aircraft. But if you are planning to work as a pilot in a major airline someday, you will need to undergo a four-year undergraduate program, preferably for a Bachelor of Science degree such as in aviation, aircraft operations and aeronautical engineering. This will sort of show that you have what it takes to complete the trainings required to become a pilot.
Obtain first class medical certificate
Costs of trainings required to become a pilot is often prohibitive and you are still required to be in good health to achieve your aim eventually. So before devoting too much of your resources to becoming a pilot, make every effort to secure a first class medical certificate from a medical examiner recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Once you are sure of your health status, look for a facility where you can be training around a nearby airport. Such facilities include flight schools, flying clubs and fixed base operators (FBOs). Some colleges and universities also offer flight training as part of aviation courses. You will be taken on different topics, including aerodynamics, weather and navigation.
After passing your medical examination and receiving necessary instructions, you will then need to take and pass a written examination, usually comprising 100 multiple-choice questions. You must also have at least 40 hours of flight time to your credit to be granted a private pilot license, which enables you to fly aircraft within the country.
Undergo further training
If you have your sights set on working as a commercial pilot, you will need to work on your instrument flying rating and commercial certificate. A commercial pilot license requires at least 250 hours of flight time and a minimum of 1500 hours for an airline transport pilot certificate. There are also other ratings you must possess to get ahead, including multi-engine rating, in the career.
Acquire more flying experience
While 1500 hours of flight time can get you a job in regional airlines, a minimum of 3,000 hours of flight time, which must include at least 1,500-hour multi-engine flight time, will be needed by major airlines for their pilots. You can gain useful flying experience by completing your CFI rating and working as an instructor at the school you attended. You may also consider joining the military to enable you boost your flight hours. Another good way to gain experience is by taking up role of a flight engineer in airlines.
From this point on, you only need to continuing increasing your flight hours, undergoing more training and taking extra FAA exams to move up the career ladder. It is pertinent to note that you must have perfect vision to become a pilot.
Image: Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jetstarairways/6946693528