First step to Becoming a Pilot.First step to becoming a pilot
Why do I want to become a pilot?
To become a pilot, it’s a passion to fly. There are easier and cheaper ways of earning a pay cheque, but aviators share a passion that isn’t experienced in most other industries. While you might not attend college, you can except plenty of hard work, theory and examines. The challenges to reach the cockpit will vary from person to person. Some may face financial challenges on the road to their career, some may struggle with exams and the intensity of pilot training, while some may not enjoy the lifestyle. As mentioned above, pilot training is no for everyone, but those you pursue the dream, have the fire in the belly to achieve it.
Remember, the question “Why do you want to be a pilot?” is one you’ll surely be asked at a pilot job interview, so make sure you’re certain about your answer.
This links into the first tip; make sure to find out everything about the profession that you can. Get close to aeroplanes, talk to pilots who have already been through training – most pilots will be all too happy to share their own experience and pass on advice to help you. Find out about the different routes to your Air Transport Pilots’ Licence (ATPL). The two main routes are called Integrated and Modular. The first is a full-time course of study, generally lasting around 15-18 months.
This takes a student from complete beginner to a position where they are ready to take up a role as a commercial pilot. In contrast, the Modular route can be done at the student’s own pace, module by module, as time and money allow. What’s more, in most cases the cost is substantially less than Integrated, as you can train in ‘blocks’, allowing the cost to be spread over a longer period, even allowing you to return to work between modules. Both routes will give you the same licence, so make sure to research which route would be best for your career goals and situation. Previously airlines prefer an integrated course due to the traditional level of training.
This has since changed as both modular and integrated are considered equal in terms of training standards.
Before signing on the dotted line for any kind of commercial pilot training, you should look into obtaining your initial Class 1 Medical, which is necessary for anyone wishing to train for a commercial or airline transport pilot licence. Don’t commit any finances to a full-time course before you’re sure you’re medically fit to fly a commercial aircraft. Choose Wisely
Paying for your professional flight training is one of the most expensive investments you’ll ever make. Once again, research is key.
It is worth looking at a few flight schools so you get a feel of what each one offers, both in terms of cost, aircraft and additional training support. If you are visiting local flight schools, it is worth visiting or even a cheap airfare to visit ones a little further away. This will have a big impact on your future training and a school financially secure and with a good industry recognised reputation should be at the core of any investment you are planning to make with your future. The is the best aspect of considering modular training. By choosing the modular route, you can cherry pick the different aspects of your training, i.e. PPL, ATPL, hour building, MEIR and finally your MCC.
It will be tough!
The final tip is to keep going. Whichever training route you choose, there is no easy way to the cockpit but keep in mind that once you get there, the view from the office window is pretty special. A bit like a flight, there will be some turbulence along the way. Airlines are looking for people who are calm, collectively, problem solvers and will to see out the journey.
Going back to the start of the article, this is a passion job, the benefits and perks can be great, but you are doing a job you have always dreamt of. As the old saying goes, if you are happy working, you never work a day in your life.