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Becoming an airline pilot is a dream of countless Americans, but very few manage to turn it into a reality. It is not just a challenging field but also an expensive one that demands good support from family and a lot of finances at one’s disposal apart from a lot of other preliminary requirements of the individual itself.
One needs to understand what pilot training is, and then accordingly plan and arrange for finances. After training, one must then understand how to get a pilot licence. Here are a few steps that one is expected to go through to become a professional pilot
What to Do to Become a Pilot?
1. Get a Graduate Degree: Being a graduate is not necessary to fly any of the regional airlines’ but if you plan on becoming an international air pilot or plan to fly for one of the aviation giants in the country, than a 4 year graduate degree is a must. This demonstrates to the airlines your seriousness in completing their course. You could pick aviation as one of your minor if not major subjects at college.
2. Pick a Good Aviation School: Do a thorough research on aviation training and how much is pilot school. Make sure you get your finances figured out well in advance before you approach any of the schools. Ask around about pilot schools with good trainers. These schools can charge anything from a few hundreds to a tune of $10,000. Make sure the aviation school is recognized and monitored by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). The average flying time is 60 hours and make sure that is on your schedule that they give you as well.
3. Acquire from the FAA, a first class medical certificate: Be fit and in the pinkest of your health when you go through this examination. Get a first class one so you don’t spend too much on the same certificate exam over and over again.
4. Get a Commercial Certificate along with Good Instrument Rating: This stage comes way after you get become a private pilot. Anyone serious about their career in aviation must think about this and plan carefully. An instrument rating will need 40 hours of actual/simulated instrument conditions, flying cross country for about 50 hours and PIC (pilot In Command). To get a commercial certificate, you would have to go through 50 hours of cross country flying; 10 hours spent in a complex aircraft for dual instruction and 100 hours of PIC which makes 250 hours of total time.
5. For any paid pilot who transports cargo or passenger, it is compulsory that they get a commercial pilot licence issued by the FAA. This licence also carries the instrument rating. Helicopter pilots also need to acquire the commercial pilot licence but with a helicopter rating.
6. Gain More Experience: The easiest way to get the most amount of flying experience is to become a trainer at a training school. This also comes in handy when you go on to get you multi-engine rating certification.
Over and above all of these requirements is the unending passion to fly that will keep you going through all the obstacles throughout the training. If you have a burning desire to become a pilot, with the right skills, you are sure to touch heights, and we mean that quite literally!
Al Naqui (AGI-I)