Getting started in aviation is an exciting adventure. It’s a lot like getting your driver’s license, except you’ll be learning to fly a plane during your very first lesson. If you plan on making a career out of being a pilot you’ll need to get your commercial pilot certificate. This takes a little bit more training than a recreational license, but will allow you to have an exciting career in aviation. You can begin your journey by following a few simple steps.
If you are serious about a career in aviation, obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in aviation or aeronautics. While a degree is not required, many companies will see it as an advantage. After deciding if you want your degree or not, begin looking online for flight schools in your area. There may only be a few, so you may need to expand your search if you aren’t happy with your immediate results. When you’ve found the school you want call them to set up a meeting. Talk with all of the flight instructors that teach at the school. You should find somebody that makes you feel safe and comfortable. Once you’ve found your trainer schedule your classes. A commercial pilot needs 250 hours of flight time, as well as 40 hours of instrument flying experience in the air and in a flight simulator.
After getting in your flight hours you will need to take a written exam, and demonstrate your new flying skills. You will need to take a physical, and prove that you have no physical handicaps that will affect your ability to fly. A psychological test is also often required. Once you’ve been hired you will most likely be required to train for another six to eight weeks, with an additional 25 hours of flight time. In the beginning you’ll probably be hired as a copilot. This will allow you to learn even more from a pilot with more experience.
Advancing through the ranks usually takes some time, and is based on seniority. However, to move up faster, you can obtain an air transport pilot’s license. This shows that you have experience with cross-country flights, as well as night and instrument flying experience. You will need to pass FAA written and practical exams in order to get the air transport pilot’s license. By following these steps, and continually advancing your education, you will have a successful career in aviation in no time.