Becoming a Pilot: Things You Should Know
Being a pilot has many perks, including traveling to distant places and excellent pay. But to become a pilot, you need to undergo a process first. There’s also education and training involved.
Today is a good time to start if you want to become a pilot. The US will need over 200,000 pilots from 2019 to 2038. There will be thousands of openings available for commercial and airline pilots until 2026, as well.
If you want to start your career as a pilot, here’s the process on how to do it, plus basic things you should know.
The Difference Between Private, Airline, and Commercial Pilots
There’s a progression with the learning process of becoming a pilot. First off, you need to learn how to become a private pilot. Then you can proceed to train as a commercial pilot. And lastly, you can train and become a commercial pilot.
As a private pilot, you can fly aircraft for your pleasure and hobby. You can undergo a few training sessions, including turboprop training and other smaller aircraft.
Commercial pilots, on the other hand, allow you to fly aircraft for air tours, crop dusting, rescue operations, take aerial photos and videos, and the like.
Finally, airline pilots are the ones we are most familiar with. They help transport both cargo and people from one place to another. Their flights are often scheduled as well.
How to Become a Pilot
The first and most important thing is to consider what type of pilot you want to be. The requirements needed can depend on whether you want to be a private pilot, airline, or a commercial one. So, decide on what route you want to take and check what requirements are needed.
Once you have determined what you want to be and acquired the requirements, it’s time to find an FAA-approved flight school. You can also take private lessons, but ensure your flight instructor is FAA-certified.
Some schools will require a student pilot certificate. Check with your school and get it when necessary. You’ll also need a medical certificate from an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME).
Besides flight training schools, you can also get these courses from community colleges and technical schools. The subjects you need to tackle are basic aerodynamics, flight controls, FAA regulations, aircraft components, and more.
You can then take flight training lessons.
After your education, you’ll have to pass a private pilot knowledge test, and then a practical exam. However, you need to be endorsed by your instructor before being qualified for these tests.
From there, you can start the progression of your education until you become a certified pilot.
How Long Will it Take to be One?
The length of time depends on what kind of pilot you want to become. As a private pilot, it can take around four months. If you’re going to become an airline pilot, it will take three to four years, plus the necessary flight hours you need to accumulate.
Becoming a pilot can be a hard and long journey. But, soaring through the sky and finally reaching other destinations is worth it in the end.