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Pilot Training FAQ Before You Take Your Flight Lessons

Pilot Training FAQ Before You Take Your Flight LessonsAirline pilots have a glamorous job, piloting large aircraft loaded with passengers all around the world. It takes a lot of training just to get licensed to fly these aircraft, let alone get hired by a major airline.

An airline pilot’s job description is to safely fly an airliner, but a pilot does much more than just fly. A typical day may start with the pilot using computer skills to check weather and flight plans. The plane must be pre-flighted and all aircraft logs reviewed. When ready, the pilot will oversee the push-back and then taxi to the runaway. While flying, in addition to monitoring aircraft systems, the pilot must communicate with the FAA and the company. Pilots may work long hours and strange shifts, often being away from home for several days.

Civilian pilots must go through rigorous flight training before they are finally rated for airliners. To fly large aircraft, a pilot must have an Airline Transport Pilot rating (ATP license). In addition to having achieved all the lower ratings, there is also a requirement for total flying time and for time as Pilot-in-Command.

The pay a pilot receives is based on many variables. Seniority, type of aircraft flown and whether the pilot is a Captain or First Officer all affect the pay level. The hours that a pilot may fly is regulated by the FAA. Most pilots will fly between 75 to 80 hours a month. Starting out, a 1-year seniority pilot flying regional small narrow-body aircraft can expect a range from $21 to $41 per hour. The same pilot flying narrow-body aircraft can expect anywhere from $30 to $75 per hour. The highest paying position will be piloting wide-body aircraft. The 1-year seniority pilot will earn from $30 to $75 per hour. But after 10-years seniority, this pilot can expect $99 to $235 per hour.

Pilot Training Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find a flight school?
There are more than 3,000 flight schools nationwide, so chances are there’s one at your local airport. Flight school search online database.

How and where can I get a student pilot certificate?
An aviation medical examiner (AME) typically gives you a student pilot certificate to fill out as part of the third class medical exam. Your flight instructor will likely refer you to a local AME, or you can find an examiner online using AOPA’s database of AMEs, searchable by city and state. A student pilot certificate is valid for the duration of your third class medical – 60 months for student pilots under age 40, and 24 months for student pilots age 40 or older.

For how long is a student pilot certificate valid?
A student pilot certificate is issued as a combination student pilot certificate and third-class medical and is valid for the duration of your third-class medical certificate.

What are the vision, hearing, and general medical health requirements that must be met in order to be a pilot?
Your vision must be at least 20/40 for near and distant vision with or without corrective lenses, and you must be able to perceive those colors necessary for the safe pilot performance. For general health and medical-related questions, refer to AOPA’s medical subject reports Web page prior to visiting your AME.

Do I need a medical certificate to become a sport pilot?

A medical is not required, but you will need to have a valid U.S. driver’s license. You must comply with each restriction and limitation imposed by that U.S. driver’s license and any judicial or administrative order applying to the operation of a motor vehicle. You must also meet the requirements of Federal Aviation Regulation 61.23(c)(2): You must have been found eligible for the issuance of at least a third class airman medical certificate at the time of your most recent application (if you have applied for a medical certificate); you must not have had your most recently issued medical certificate (if you have held a medical certificate) suspended or revoked or most recent authorization for a special issuance of a medical certificate withdrawn; and you must not have any medical condition that would make you unable to operate a light sport aircraft in a safe manner.

How much does it cost to learn to fly and get a pilot certificate?
There are a lot of variables that affect the cost of learning to fly, including the frequency of flight lessons, weather conditions, the kind of aircraft in which you are training and its availability for scheduling, and individual aptitude. A rough estimate would range between $5,000 and $9,000, depending on the certificate being sought.

How long does it take to learn to fly and get a pilot certificate?
The same variables that affect the cost of learning to fly will affect the time it takes to earn your certificate. The FAA has established the minimum number of flight hours needed to obtain a certificate. Under Part 61 of the federal aviation regulations, the minimums are 20 hours for a sport pilot certificate, 30 hours for a recreational certificate, and 40 hours for a private pilot certificate. Some schools operate under an alternate regulation, Part 141, which provides more FAA oversight, more rigid schedules, and more paperwork. The added requirements allow them to reduce the minimum hours of private pilot training to 35 hours. However, many schools believe that a true average flight training time for a private pilot is between 50 and 60 hours, whether the school operates under Part 61 or Part 141. Others believe that 68 to 70 hours is the more likely average. These flight hours can be spread over a time span of several months to a year or more.

What are the differences between a Part 61 and a Part 141 flight school?

Part 141 schools have more FAA oversight, more rigid schedules, and more paperwork. For the added requirements, they are allowed to reduce the minimum required hours of private pilot training to 35 hours, rather than the 40-hour minimum required when training at a Part 61 flight school. The Part 61 school, on the other hand, is able to be more flexible with training schedules and has the ability to tailor the curriculum to meet individual students’ training needs. Either school must train you to pass the very same practical test.

How old do I have to be before I can start taking flying lessons?
You don’t have to be a particular age before you can begin to take flying lessons. That said, however, you do have to be at least 16 years old before you can solo an airplane (14 years old for operation of a balloon or glider), and 17 before you can be issued a pilot certificate. Therefore, it may not be particularly efficient from the standpoint of cost and flight hours to begin lessons too early.

How old is too old to begin flying lessons?

Say “student pilot,” and most people think of a youngster chasing a dream. In reality, today’s fledgling is likely a middle-aged adult who’s not only chasing, but actually fulfilling, a lifelong ambition to be a pilot. The average student pilot today is in his 30s, and the typical average active pilot is a decade older. In addition, more than 25 percent of all U.S. pilots with current medical certificates are in their 50s. And some pilots learn to fly after they retire. Source

Pilot Training Program With Aviator Flight Training Academy 259 Flight Hours
For more than 27 years Aviator has been the leader in multi-engine flight training. We have provided over 5000 professional pilots to the airline industry, both nationally and worldwide, through our Professional Pilot Flight Training Programs. Our FAA-certified Part 141 approved flight programs provide students with the skills and experience demanded by today’s commercial aviation industry. Aviator is accredited by the ACCSC (Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges).

Our Professional Pilot Program is set in a flight training, structured environment to ensure the student receives the knowledge that is required to be a professional pilot. This program is from 0 hours to over 250 hours, of which 200 hours will be multi-engine time. The program includes Private Pilot Single Engine through the Multi-Engine Flight Instructor Certificate. Cross Country flying is coast-to-coast, if desired.

Distributed by Viestly

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