Becoming A Professional Pilot and Getting Your License

Pilot Instruction. Ref:

All prospective pilots must complete high school. A college-preparatory curriculum is recommended because of the need for pilots to have at least some college education.

Most companies that employ pilots require at least two years of college training. Courses in engineering, meteorology, physics and mathematics are helpful in preparing for a pilot’s career. Flying is taught in military and civilian flying schools. There are approximately 600 civilian flying schools certified by the FAA, including some universities that offer degree credit for pilot training. Pilots leaving the military are in great demand.

Certification or Licensing

To become a pilot, certain rigid training requirements must be met. Although obtaining a private pilot’s license is not difficult, it may be quite difficult to obtain a commercial license. Before you make your first solo flight, you must get a medical certificate and an instructor-endorsed student pilot certificate. In order to get that, you must pass a test given by the flight instructor. The test will have questions about FAA rules as well as questions about the model and make of the aircraft you will fly. If you pass the test and the instructor feels you are prepared to make a solo flight, the instructor will sign and endorse your pilot certificate and logbook.

To apply for a PPL (private pilots license), you must take a written examination. To qualify, you must be at least 17, successfully fulfill a solo flying requirement of 20 hours or more and meet instrument flying and cross-country flying requirements.

Types of Pilot Licenses

Student pilot certificate – Used for the initial training period of flying. Student pilots must fly with a flight instructor and can only fly solo after receiving appropriate endorsements from their flight instructor.

Recreation pilot certificate – Limits the pilot to specific classes and categories of aircraft, a limited number of passengers, the distance that may be flown from the point of departure, and flight into controlled airports.

Private pilot certificate – Allows a pilot to carry passengers and use his or her aircraft for limited business purposes.

Commercial pilot certificate – Allows a pilot to fly for compensation and hire

Airline transport pilot certificate – Required to fly as captain by some air transport operations.

All pilots and co-pilots must be licensed by the FAA before they can do any type of commercial flying. An applicant who is’ years old and has 250 hours of flying time can apply for a commercial pilot license. You must pass a rigid physical exam and a written test. Before you receive an FAA license, you must also receive a rating for the kind of plane you can fly (single-engine, multi-engine) and for the specific type of plane such as Boeing 747 or 707.

Sound physical and emotional health are essential requirements for aspiring pilots. Emotional stability is necessary because the safety of other people depends upon a pulot remaining claim and levelheaded, no matter how trying the situation. Physical health is equally important. You must have 20/20 vision with or without glasses, good hearing; normal heart rate and blood pressure, and no physical handicaps that could hinder performance.

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