Detailed Step by Step Guide on How to become a Pilot. Pilots fly fixed-winged aircrafts and helicopters in order to provide transportation to passengers or cargo. Most aircrafts usually require two pilots at a time during a flight. One of them is the captain and the other is called the co-pilot or the first officer. The captain is responsible for the safety of the aircraft, its passengers and the cargo and is in command of the aircraft. 

Detailed step by step Guide on How to become a Pilot
The captain makes the final decisions and the co-pilot assists the captain. The pilots take turns flying the aircraft to avoid fatigue and safety hazards. While one of the pilots is operating the controls, the other is in constant communication with ground air traffic control and carries out the necessary paperwork and calculations.  Sometimes, there can be three or more pilots on board to take turns flying the aircraft depending on the distance of the route and type of vessel they’re flying.
Flying an aircraft requires much skill, practice and a certain set of qualifications. A pilot needs to perform a list of non exhaustive task on a day to day basis including running a check up prior to take off, briefing the crew about flight details, reporting any malfunctions, staying in constant touch with air traffic control, switching duties with the co-pilot to avoid exhaustion, monitoring all systems, filling the aircraft log among others

Detailed step by step Guide on How to become a Pilot

 

It is not an easy job to become a pilot. It requires dedication, patience and perseverance to become a pilot. The following is an easy step by step guide of how to become a pilot

1 Obtain a College education 

While a degree is not mandatory, employers prefer pilots with a college education.There are college degree programs available for those who didn't learn to fly airplanes in the military. Commercial airlines prefer employees with a bachelor’s degree over those with associate’s degrees. Those that major in physics, mechanical engineering, computer science or aerospace engineering have a better educational foundation for becoming a pilot. Commercial airlines prefer applicants who have taken up aeronautical engineering along with liberal arts classes. Flight school classes are typically taught by instructors who are certified by the federal aviation administration (FAA)

2 Gain Flying Hours

A pilot in training needs to log a minimum of 250 flying hours before being able to earn a pilot’s license. There are two ways to log these flying hours- pilots may fly with US Armed Forces where they will be familiarized with many different types of aircraft or they can become an instructor through the FAA. Flight schools help pilots in training earn their necessary flying hours by employing them as instructors. 

3 Earn a License

Once the necessary flight hours are gained, the next step is to earn a pilot’s license. The applicant must be 18 years or above and can complete the rest of the requirements for a commercial pilot’s license from the federal government. Candidates must pass a physical and a written examination. While the physical examination ensures that the pilot has good vision, hearing abilities and no physical impairments that might interfere with the performance of the flight. The written exam includes safety information and a skill test that is observed by an FAA certified instructor.

4 Complete Additional Tests and Training

Additional tests and training are required depending on the type of pilot position. Certain airlines require their pilots to take psychological and intelligence tests. The FAA offers many different types of certification such as airworthiness certificates and medical certificates.

5 Don your Pilot Cap

Major airline companies prefer hiring pilots with a minimum of 4000 hours of flying hours. But pilots must begin somewhere. Hence, most pilots employed with commercial airlines work as co-pilots and obtain additional experience through this position. Alternatively, pilots may work in other industries to gain the required flying hours. These industries include emergency services, agriculture or reforestation. 

6 Work your way up the ladders

Pilots typically advance with experience. Pilots follow a ranking system of seniority. After gaining years of experience, typically anywhere between 5-15 years, a candidate is eligible to be promoted to the position of a pilot. Bigger airline companies have opportunities for even further promotion such as director of chief pilot position.

Types of degrees for a Pilot

 

Earn a High School Diploma or a GED

If you want to pursue a career as a pilot, the first step is to complete your high school and earn a certificate. If you have mathematics and physics in your curriculum, it will act as a bonus point for the candidate. 

Associate Degree

In order to be able to take up the necessary training to become a pilot, a candidate has to either complete a four years bachelor’s degree or a two years associate degree. If a candidate doesn’t have the required fund to pursue a bachelor’s degree program, they can opt for an associate’s degree. Regional airlines do not require pilots to have a four years degree. An associate degree in Science with a focus on physics and mathematics will help you prepare better for the training.

Bachelor’s Degree

For most of the major airlines, a four years bachelor’s degree is a must for a pilot. Candidates must pursue a bachelor's of science with specialization in the field of aviation. Since major airlines pay better than regional airlines, it is recommended to pursue a four years bachelor’s degree. For those that do not pursue a bachelor’s of science but want to pursue a career as a pilot may be able to land him interviews with a smaller airline. The four year bachelor’s degree program is a credential indicating that the candidate has the ability to think critically and complete the airlines’ unique education program.

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