Someone ever said that aviation more than a profession is a disease; it may have some part of truth.
I personally consider that aviation can be considered an addiction and, although I will never tell someone to experiment with addictive substances, here goes my advice in:
How to become a Pilot!
1. PRIVATE PILOT LICENSE – PPL
The first step of every civilian pilot career if the Private Pilot License – PPL. This is an amateur license, it means you can enjoy flying your own airplane, taking friends, or family, but you cannot fly for revenue. This license can be obtained at a local flying club, flying school or as an integral part of a Professional Pilot Program done in an Aviation Academy.
- Be at least 17 y/o.
- A Class III Medical Certificate, obtained from an Aviation Medical Examiner – AME
- Have logged at minimum of 40 hrs. of flight training
- Pass an FAA – Federal Aviation Administration – computerized aeronautical knowledge flight test.
- Pass an oral flight test and practical flight test administered by an FAA Inspector or FAA Designated Examiner.
After you obtained the Private Pilot License, if you want to fly on Instrument Meteorological Conditions, or under Instrument Flight Rules, you must get your Instrument Rating.
Requirements for obtaining an Instrument Rating are:
- 50 hrs. of Cross-Country flight time as Pilot in Command – PIC
- 40 hrs. of actual or simulated instrument conditions (1)
(1) Note: Flight under actual or simulated instrument conditions have to be done under supervision of a Certified Flight Instructor. Simulated instrument conditions refers to fly under the hood or any applicable training device.
2. COMMERCIAL PILOT LICENSE – CPL
The Commercial Pilot License – CPL allows you to fly for hire or revenue. Is the kind of license required if you want to apply for any flying job either flying passengers, cargo or air work.
- Be at least 18 y/o.
- Be holder of a Private Pilot License
- Have at least 250 hrs. total flying time, of those you must have at least 100 hrs. as PIC, 50 hrs. of Cross-Country and 10 hrs. of dual instruction in a complex aircraft.
3. CERTIFIED FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR – CFI
A pilot’s experience is measured in terms of flight time. If you want to land a job you need experience. A good way of start logging flight time is becoming a flight instructor. You can have the possibility of instructing at your local flight school or flying club and log flight time.
Next steps to go for are your Multi-Engine – ME, your Certified Flight Instructor / Instrument – CFII and your Multi-Engine Instructor – MEI
4. TYPE RATINGS.
A type rating is an endorsement in the pilot’s license to fly a certain model and make of aircraft. Typically, all aircrafts above 5700 kgs. / 12.500 lbs MOTW – Maximum Take-Off Weight and some light jets require a type rating. Requirement for a type rating vary also according to aviation regulations of different countries.
A type rating can be issued as Pilot in Command – PIC or Second in Command – SIC.
First steps getting experience in an aviation career are not easy, except that you are a very lucky guy with or know the exact person to open an aviation job for you with the ink still fresh in your CPL. Some commercial pilots start working in aviation companies as flight dispatchers, load masters, engineers, etc., as a way of staying inside the industry and be ready to catch an opportunity when appears.
Once you have all the ratings and a total of 500 to 1000 hrs. total time you can start applying for certain regional airlines and be hired as a First Officer – FO.
In certain countries with high demand of pilots there’s also a possibility to access to a cadet pilot program.
Flying for the major airlines require a total experience of around 1500 to 3000 hrs total time to apply, depending on demand of the market.
All story maybe too long to be post here and variables are a lot too, so if you have any question don’t hesitate in contact me.
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