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Step by Step Guide To Become a Pilot

Pilot JobTo answer some of the questions and comments we receive from our blog readers, we propose the following step by step guide to prepare you for your aviation career.

Step 1 – Making The Right Choice.

You made the choice to fly for a living. You are pursuing a dream that requires much commitment and sacrifice. Apply the three C’s to your studying: Commitment, Control and Challenge. Commit to your class schedule, control your attitude during flight time and challenge your mind by everyday involvement. Be prepared, time is not the only thing you need to invest.

Step 2 – Cost

In addition to time, money is another investment students have to evaluate. The cost to attain a Pilot License can vary greatly from person to person. A minimum of 35 hours of flight time is required to receive a license (40 if flying part 61), but some students may need up to 70 hours of flight training. The total cost for flight training and equipment will range from $4,000 to over $7,000. Flight training is expensive and financing may be tough. Don’t give up – there are many options available. Read our blog on financing for flight school training to get started.

Step 3 – Find the Right Flight Training School

Location is an important thing to consider when you are looking for a flight training school. What state the school is in and what the weather is like is critical for your getting your commercial pilot license. In addition to location, there are other important factors to consider:

Check the reputation of the flight training school you are considering. You can do this through the local FAA Flight Standards District Office, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, National Air Transportation Association, the Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce.  
Often times, the best information – however – is word-of-mouth. After your formal tour of the facility ask some of the attending students what they think about the school. What is the training like? How much flight time do they get? What do they like about the school and what do they dislike.
A clean and professional facility means a well- run organization. What is the ground school like? This is as important as training in the plane. Make sure their flight simulators are up-to-date. These can vary from relatively simple Part-Task Trainers (PTTs) Cockpit Procedures Trainers (CPT) for practicing drills and checks, or Full Flight Simulators (FFS).

Student Housing
A flight training school needs to have student housing options. Student housing is cheaper than off-campus housing. You will be living with fellow flight students and that’s a good way to learn. Check the local market for real estate listings and prices for off-campus housing, too.
Aircraft Fleet
Are the planes new? If not, how old are they? How big is their fleet? Are the planes properly maintained and do you have access to the maintenance logs? A training plane should be serviced after every 100 hours of flight time. It doesn’t have to be new but it does have to well-maintained.

Step 4 – Physical Exam

Your actual ability to fly should match your dream of being a pilot. It it suggested to get a physical examination as soon as you realize that flight training is what you want to do. To find a doctor in your area, consider this resource link.

Step 5 – Education is Power

Don’t limit yourself to just your studies in your handbook. The more you know, the safer a pilot you will be. There are plenty of resources on aviation career such as FAA, aviationcareerguide, pilotjourney, and apla
Find the source you like and refer to it to get industry news and updates.

Happy Flying and Good Luck!

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