Pilot training is becoming one of the most required services in 2018.
We know this because from now till 2034 there will be an increasing need for pilots. So, it’s the right time to become a pilot.
This means that more flight schools will need to offer flight more training. Maybe it’s the life style or simply love for aviation, but always more people want to become pilots.
I already wrote about how much it costs to become a pilot, now I want to tell you how you can do it.
How to become a pilot
First of all you need to know that there are 3 different licenses you need, before you can become a pilot.
- PPL – Private Pilot License
- CPL – Commercial Pilot License
- ATPL – Airline Transport Pilot License
Start by getting your medical certificate. In the US you will get, together with the medical certificate, also the student pilot certificate. The type of medical certificate varies according where you live.
US, Europe, Australia, Asia… laws are a bit different in this, so I won’t go into details, but once you contact the flight school, you will get all the information needed for your medical certificate.
So, lets go into details and see how to become a pilot.
Choose a Flight School
This is an important step of the process.
There are many things to consider when you start looking for a flight school, but I will try to give you some points to focus on.
First of all you want to see the dimensions of the school. Some local flight schools have a few airplanes and this can be a problem when you need to book your flight with the instructor. It’s best if they have a good number of aircrafts.
Second point is to see which type of aircraft. Most flight schools use Cessna 172, an airplane built almost specifically for flight training, because it’s easy to fly, tough and easy to maintain.
There are flight school that use more modern airplanes and this should be the right choice. Avionics is changing nowadays, we are starting to see more glass cockpits, so I would suggest you to choose a flight school that has these types of airplanes.
Third point is to see how many flight instructors the school has. For the same reason mentioned before when I told you to check the number of planes.
Often you will fly always with the same instructor, but you want to fly more than once during the week, so there’s a need for more instructors to be available, specially if it’s a big organization with many students.
Private Pilot License
The first license (PPL) will make you eligible to fly on small single engine airplanes, such Cessna 172 or Piper Tomahawk.
You will have to attend a flight school, pass medical exams, study all the theory as part of ground school and do 45 hours of flight training.
Ground school is performed either in classroom with a group of people, one-on-one lessons with a flight instructor and many flight schools also use computer based training or online learning.
Once you get you PPL you will get your Instrument Rating which will allow you to fly using navigation instruments in order to fly also in clouds or with bad weather.
Commercial Pilot License
The second one (CPL) requires 150 hours of flight training. With this license you will be able to work as a pilot and get paid to fly.
This also means that you will have to get other licenses, such as:
- Multi Engine (if you will fly on twin engine airplanes). It’s important to get this rating as multi engines perform very differently from single engine.
- MCC – Multi Crew Coordination. As a pilot flying on bigger airplanes you will find your self in the cockpit together with another pilot. It’s important to know how to work together safely.
- Night Rating. Often you will fly at night. This type of training is very important as flying at night is very different compared to day flights.
So how to get all of these certificates?
What you can do is, while you are building flying hours to get to the next level which is ATP license, you can get all the other licenses (multi engines, MCC, etc.).
Airline Transport Pilot License
The third license (ATPL) is the actual license you need to be able to work as an airline pilot.
You will need 750 hours of flight training and study a lot!
But there’s a solution to save some time and money.
You can get all 3 license at once.
Modular or Integrated?
It’s called Modular or Integrated Training.
Modular means that you will get one license at the time, instead integrated lets you get all 3 at once, it will let you study for the ATPL final exam and build the required hours.
If you have time and money you should go for the integrated solutions.
Instead if you need to work to pay for your training, then go for the modular solution.
At this point you have all the requirements to be an airline pilot, but you still need the right training to be able to fly on jet airplanes. This will help you transition from propeller engines to jet engines.
After this you will have to get certified to fly a specific aircraft, such as Boeing 737-800 or Airbus A320.
Normally most pilots get trained on those used more by airlines. This will give you a better chance to get hired by one.
This is how you become a pilot. It will take some time and you will need to be very motivated. It’s not easy, but the reward at the end of the journey is worth it!