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Flight Training Requirements for Aspiring Pilots

Flight Training Requirements for Aspiring PilotsA question many aspiring pilots ask is “what does it take?” – What is needed to become a pilot? “What is needed to become a pilot? Many still think you need special skills to pilot an airplane. And that you have to be extremely smart and have senses no-one else has.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Though many pilots are smart all of them are just normal humans with a passion for flying. If you just want to learn how to fly for fun then there really are no requirements besides being able to read, write, talk and pass a medical test.

In theory this also applies to commercial pilots, but the requirements set by the flight schools are far below what the airlines require. In general you should have at least a high school diploma or equivalent and you will have a benefit if you got advanced math and physics classes. This is because the flight theory includes a lot of physics. Also basic math skills are used all the time in flying.

If you are aiming for the airlines some of them may even want you to have at least a two or four year degree from college. But this is all depending on demand for pilots, company policy and nationality of the airline and is therefore never an absolute.

However it is common for airlines to give you different tests with an aviation psychologist during the interview process. It is like an advanced IQ test specially made for the aviation industry. Testing like this can take from one to a couple of days and will evaluate your ability and potential as a pilot.

Buying a test like this from an aviation psychologist before starting your training can be a cheap and valuable investment. Some flight schools in Europe even require you to have taken such a test with a minimum score before they let you start training. The aviation psychologist will give you a certificate to add to your resume/application.

“Anyone can learn how to fly, just some use more time and money then others.”

What Flight Training Students Need to Know

Where can I get flying lessons?

To find the top flight schools in the United States, visit flight school directories at the following websites: pilotjourney, Bestaviation, AOPA, AviationSchoolsOnline.

All of these directories offer a search by zip code, city, state or name of the school. Choose a couple of schools first so you can compare. Do your research, call and talk to the instructors, visit the school if possible and then decide what flight school will give the best education for your money.

Is It Hard to Learn to Fly?

If you have the passion, the skill will come. People of all shapes and sizes, ages and abilities have learned to fly. It’s fun, and from the beginning of your training, you get to do most of the actual flying! On the practical side—While flying isn’t a difficult skill to learn, you’ll have to be willing to stick with it until you meet all the requirements.

Is Flying safe?

A well-built and well-maintained aircraft flown by a competent and prudent pilot is as safe or safer than many other forms of transportation. Flight schools aircraft are also highly maintained.

What is the difference between a recreational pilot’s certificate and a private pilot’s certificate?
As a recreational pilot, you have to fly within 50 nautical miles of the airport where you learned to fly, you have to fly during the day, and you can’t fly in airspace where communications with air traffic control are required. You are better off just getting your private pilots license. It will only take you a couple more hours. A private pilot doesn’t have these limitations. It usually takes fewer lessons to get a recreational pilot’s certificate than a private pilot’s certificate. Some flight schools do not offer the recreational pilots certificate.

Flight Training Timeline

Self-Paced Curriculum

As a self-paced student, you must dedicate at least ten days per month to your training. Anticipate an additional 10-20 days of required availability compared to the Fast Track Training Timeline.

Daily Training Schedule

You will coordinate your daily training schedule with your flight instructor and depending on instructor and aircraft availability, you may accelerate your training pace and complete the program in much less time than possible with training just 10 days per month.


Now is the best time to go to flight training school. The economy is improving and the commercial pilot job market is opening up. By 2011, experts predict the commercial aviation business will be booming again.

FAFSA – or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is your first step for flight school financing. Use it to apply for federal student financial aid, such as the Pell Grant, student loans, and college work-study. Most states and schools use FAFSA information to award their financial aid. Visit FAFSA website for more information.

Distributed by Viestly

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