Archive for August, 2013

Flight Training Degree For International Students

Flight Training Degree For International StudentsMore international students are studying in the United States—and are increasingly relying primarily on their own funds to do so.

In the 2011-2012 school year, international student enrollment at both colleges and graduate schools in the United States increased, according to the “2012 Open Doors Report” released today by the Institute of International Education (IIE). In total, 764,321 students from abroad were enrolled at a U.S. institution, a 5.7 percent increase over 2010-2011.

“The good news is that international students continue to come to the United States at a steadily expanding rate, and U.S. institutions still have plenty of capacity to receive these students and to provide very personalized care for the international students who are here,” notes Peggy Blumenthal, senior counselor to the president at IIE.

For students from any foreign country, a U.S. education is likely an expensive endeavor. International students are typically not eligible for financial aid programs through the U.S. government, scholarships are often limited, and some colleges even charge additional international student fees on top of tuition.

Leaving home to attend college or graduate school is a big step—and leaving your home country can be even scarier. Want to study in the United States? Find out how to succeed from undergraduate and graduate international students, who offer advice based on their experiences pursuing business, engineering, computer science, math, and other majors at U.S. schools. Source

Attention international students interested in flight training degree in Aviation!
Aviator College has an International Students Department that provides guidance to international students. Below we listed the information pertaining to degree program, visa and housing. For additional information contact Aviator College today.

Staff members assist students in interpreting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations. Services include assisting visa holders with travel signatures, new I-20’s, social security and visa extensions, international student orientation, as well as other immigration matters.

The Aviator College of Aeronautical Science accepts aspiring International Students who wish to complete an Associate of Science Degree in Aeronautical Science. The Aviator Flight Training Academy accepts International Students who wish to complete a certificate program or earn specific licenses. The Degree Program will take up to a 24 months for completion. Students complete five consecutive semesters. The last two semesters contain an internship component. Interns are required to instruct a minimum of 153 hours each of the two semesters along with completing the General Education Requirements. Transfer Credit may be given for the General Education requirements and previous flight training completed. Send transcripts and copies of any current flight licenses to the Registrars Office for determination.

Visa Information

If you are planning to come to the U.S. for the Aeronautical Science Degree Program (including flight training), you must enter on a Student Visa. The College is approved by the INS to issue paperwork for visas under the Foreign Student Exchange Visitor Programs.

Aviator College provides a certificate of eligibility (I-20) to all admitted international students. The form is used to apply for the F-1 or M-1 Visa. The form verifies to U.S. immigration officials the student is academically qualified to attend the College, and has sufficient funds to cover the required period of study, and that subsequent funds will be available for the future. Students must demonstrate proof of financial support at the time of application.
Aviator policy states that students are required to attend for one full semester when entering the United States on a College provided I-20 form. Aviator College will not release a student to another educational institution until the student completes one semester.

  1. Upon receipt of your deposit and the Application for Enrollment, you will receive the original I-20 or IAP-66 student visa form via overnight mail at the address provided. Remember you must provide a complete physical address in order for delivery to occur.
  2. You must take the original visa form to the U.S. Embassy in your country for approval. Please inform admissions of your tentative arrival date and your flight information so a representative may meet you at the airport to welcome you to the USA and Aviator College of Aeronautical Science & Technology. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
  3. If you have applied for a visa you will also need to register with S.E.V.I.S . at – see their website for details.
  4. Contact your local US embassy to make an appointment, and ensure you have the required documentation and follow the correct procedure for the visa interview. READ Your local US embassy website extremely carefully!
Housing For International Students

The housing complex is located on the campus. Every housing unit has four bedrooms, and four bathrooms. The bedroom may be divided into two separate rooms, saving on housing costs if you desire. Wireless internet is available for student use. The housing units are furnished with dishes, glasses, cookware, silverware, microwave oven, furniture, and a television. Linens are NOT included. Students will need towels and queen size sheets. Students have access to an outdoor pool, tennis and volleyball courts.


Located in Vero Beach, just north of Fort Pierce, is additional student housing. The houses are three bedroom, two-bath, with full kitchens. Each house is furnished with dishes, glasses, cookware, silverware, microwave oven, furniture, washer/dryer and a television. Linens are NOT included. Wireless internet is included.

Aviator has a fitness center in the Administration Building for student use. For students who desire a full-service gym, the Jungle Club, located in Vero Beach just a few miles from the Aviator, is a unique and first-class health club. It is equipped with weight rooms, two swimming pools, spa, sauna and much more. Aviator students receive discounted memberships if they should choose to join the club. The Jungle Club has a website at: and offer a great deal of information about their health club including a virtual tour.

Student Learning Center

The 24,000 sq.-ft. Student Learning Center is a modern two-story building that houses the Café, Fitness Center, Post Office, FAA CATS Testing Room, Classrooms, Teaching Auditorium, and CRJ Simulator. The Office of Admissions, Office of the Registrar, International Student Services, Office of Student Affairs, and Executive Suites are located on the first floor along with the Pilot Shop & Bookstore and the Learning Resource Center. Note: Students enrolled in the college have full access to all resources at Indian River State College, online and at their five campuses, including their libraries.

Flight Operations & Aircraft Maintenance

The 7500 sq.-ft. Flight Operations Center is adjacent to the Student Learning Center and houses the Office of the Director of Education, Veteran’s Affairs, and the Director of Flight Operations. All aircraft are located on the west side of the airport, parked directly in front of the Student Learning Center.
The 10,000 sq.-ft. Aircraft Maintenance Center houses the Maintenance Shop, Procurement Office, Office of the Director of Maintenance and Maintenance Records Administrative Assistant.


Flight Training Fleet In Your Flight School

Flight Training Fleet In Your Flight SchoolThe training airplane is where you practice in the air what you’ve learned on the ground. High wing or low, it doesn’t make much difference. What’s important is how well the airplane is equipped and maintained. It’s also important that the flight school’s trainers are dedicated to training and not to rental.

How many trainers a school has depends on the number of active students. Generally speaking, one trainer serves four or five full-time students. This ratio may be higher with part-time students. Another consideration is the fleet’s mix of primary, advanced, and multiengine trainers.

Because trainers are flown often and sometimes hard, how a school maintains its training fleet is important for both safety and scheduling. Asking questions about maintenance policies and procedures should be part of every flight school interview.

An Overview of the Flight Training Fleet

You’ll never forget the first airplane you fly. No matter how many other aircraft you may pilot, that first trainer will always have a special place in your heart and your logbook. However, picking the plane or helicopter you learn to fly in should to some degree be based upon your flying goals and your budget. Basic trainers are solid little airplanes with just enough room for you and you instructor. These “two-place” or two-passenger aircraft making learning to fly as easy as possible while keeping your flying cost low. Most are very forgiving to fly and are more tolerant of a beginner’s mistakes. However, they can also be a bit sparse when it comes to equipment and, in some cases, comfort. If you and your wallet are a bit bigger, then you may want to consider learning in a larger four-place (four-passenger) aircraft. Your costs will be higher, but you won’t have to transition or “move up” from your trainer when you want to take your spouse and two children for their first ride. These aircraft also tend to be capable of flying farther and faster, and have more advanced avionics that will help if you later decide to earn your instrument rating.

Piper Warrior (4-place)

For the last three decades, the training fleet has been dominated by two aircraft: the Piper Cherokee, which evolved to become the Piper Warrior, and the Cessna 150/152. Tens of thousands of pilots spent their formative flight hours in the larger four-seat Cherokee or Warrior and the diminutive two-seat Cessna. While Cherokees are less common within the training fleet today, Piper Warriors can be found at many flight schools. Warriors are also very common instrument training aircraft as well as a popular aircraft to rent. Cherokees and Warriors are two of the most common private aircraft, second in numbers only to the Cessna 172.

Piper Tomahawk (2-place)

When the original Piper Aircraft Corporation first conceived a new trainer in the mid-1970s, the company polled flight instructors to determine what traits this airplane should have. The 1978 to 1982 Tomahawk delivers what these special customers ordered: an airplane that provides honest response to pilot inputs, a comfortable cabin with great visibility, and big-airplane-style handling. The control forces and sensitivities match those of the Learjet 35, making transitions to larger aircraft the easiest of any basic trainer, hence the Tomahawk’s popularity with U.S. Air Force flying clubs.

Cessna 172 (4-place)

Though strictly speaking it’s not a pure trainer, the 172 is one of the most common airplanes used by flight schools. There are really three Cessna Skyhawks — the newest versions, produced since 1996, are 180-horsepower and 160-hp airplanes with fuel-injected four-cylinder Lycoming engines; the 1984 through 1968 models with the 160-hp or 150-hp four-cylinder Lycomings; and the early ones (1956 to 1967) with 145-hp Continental six-cylinder engines. 172s are also very common instrument training aircraft as well as a very popular rental model. Learn to fly in a 172 and you’ll be able to rent and fly from almost any fixed base operator (FBO) worldwide.

Cessna 152 (2-place)

Some people say that since then end of World War II, more pilots have learned to fly in the Cessna 150 or 152 than any other type of airplane. They’re so easy to fly that they’re often affectionately called the Land-O-Matic after a term used by Cessna in its old marketing campaigns. These two Cessna models leave complexity behind in favor of low operating costs, reliability, and ease of use. However, these same easygoing flying qualities can make transitioning to a larger aircraft later more difficult. For additional fleet info and details, visit the source-AOPA

Aviator Flight Training Fleet

Aviator fleet consists of 11 multi-engine and 19 single engine aircraft
The Aviator fleet is made up of multi-engine and single-engine aircraft. The primary aircraft used in our training programs are the Beechcraft BE-76 Duchess, Piper Warrior III PA-128, and the Cessna 172 Skyhawk, all are well known as training aircraft the world over. Our fleet also includes a Piper Arrow and a J-3 Cub. All aircraft are maintained in our maintenance facilities located here at the St. Lucie County International Airport. We average more than 35,000 hours of flight time per year. They are all equipped for VFR and IFR flight per FAR 91.205 (except the J-3 Cub which is VFR Day only).

Beechcraft BE-76 Duchess

The Beechcraft Duchess, also known at the BE-76, was designed as a general aviation, light twin training aircraft. A little sister to the Beechcraft Baron, the Duchess was chosen by Aviator as our multi-engine training aircraft because of the durability built into the product by Beechcraft. All of the Duchess aircraft at Aviator are equipped for instrument operations with an HSI and a VOR; many of the aircraft also have an ADF. Because the future is area navigation (RNAV), we have multiple aircraft equipped with Garmin 430 GPS systems. Having a broad range of learning options is the best way to help ensure future employment. The Duchess fleet is currently being upgraded to ASPEN glass cockpits. Several aircraft are equipped with weather radar and/or lightning strike detectors.

Cessna 172 Skyhawk

The Cessna 172 is the most widely used primary training aircraft in the world. Aviator uses the Cessna for private pilot and single engine training with Garmin EFIS Systems.

Piper Warrior III PA – 128

Aviator College welcomes it’s new fleet of Piper Warrior III airplanes equipped with Avadyne EFIS Systems.

Fleet Maintenance

Aviator has its own in-house maintenance facility, a 13,000 square foot environmentally approved hangar. Maintenance is under the supervision of the FAA. All technicians hold Airplane & Powerplant Certificates or better. Maintenance is open six days a week.

Multi Engine Time Flight Training

Multi Engine Time Flight Training

The Requirements for Obtaining A Multi Engine Add-on Rating To an Existing Pilot Certificate:
  • You must hold at least a Private Pilot Certificate.
  • Must be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language.
  • Hold at least a current third-class FAA medical certificate.
  • Undertake required training as described in Flight Lessons and Ground Lessons found listed below. Many of the Flight Lessons will require more than one flight to make you comfortable and proficient
  • Recieve a signed recommendation (8710), from a MEI, that you are competent as an multi engine pilot and ready for the multi engine add-on rating checkride.
  • Must successfully complete a practical test given by an FAA-designated pilot examiner.
Flight Time Requirements:

If you are adding on a Multi Engine Rating to a Private or Commercial certificate, you will have already met the time requirements. The maneuvers for the private and commercial certificate are the same, but the standards are more demanding for the commercial.

If you are obtaining an initial Multi Engine Commercial Certificate (i.e. you hold a Private Pilot Single Engine Land Certificate only and you want to obtain a Commercial Multi-Engine Certificate) you will need to meet the aeronautical knowledge plus minimum eligibility requirements for the certificate you are seeking (PIC in MEL). Keep in mind that a Multi engine aircraft is considered a complex aircraft, thus meeting that requirement toward the Commercial Rating. Source


Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) is an aviation flight category that describes weather conditions that require pilots to fly primarily by reference to instruments, and therefore under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR), rather than by outside visual references under Visual Flight Rules (VFR). Typically, this means flying in cloud or bad weather. Pilots sometimes train to fly in these conditions with the aid of products like Foggles, specialized glasses that restrict outside vision, forcing the student to rely on instrument indications only.

With good visibility, pilots can determine the attitude of the aircraft by utilising visual cues from outside the aircraft, most significantly the horizon. Without such external visual cues, pilots must use an internal cue of attitude, which is provided by gyroscopically-driven instruments such as the attitude indicator (“artificial horizon”). The availability of a good horizon cue is controlled by meteorological visibility, hence minimum visibility limits feature in the VMC minima. Visibility is also important to avoid terrain.

Because the basic traffic avoidance principle of flying under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) is to “see and avoid”, it follows that distance from clouds is an important factor in the VMC minima: as aircraft in clouds cannot be seen, a buffer zone from clouds is required.

Can You Log PIC Flight Time In IMC Without An Instrument Rating?

According to a December 14, 2011 Legal Interpretation, yes! The FAA was presented with a scenario in which Pilot A and Pilot B both hold airplane single-engine land private pilot certificates. They fly a cross-country trip together in a single-engine land airplane. The flight is conducted in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) under an IFR flight plan filed by Pilot A, who is instrument rated, while Pilot B is not. Although Pilot A acts as the actual PIC for the entire flight, for a half-hour leg of the flight during IMC, Pilot B is the sole manipulator of the controls. The FAA was then asked the question “whether Pilot B can log actual instrument and PIC flight time for the portion of the flight during which Pilot B was the sole manipulator of the controls.”

The Interpretation initially noted that for the purpose of logging PIC time under FAR 61.51(e), a pilot must hold ratings for the aircraft (category, class and type, if a type rating is required), rather than for the conditions of flight. It then concluded that even though Pilot B was not instrument rated and the flight was conducted in IMC, Pilot B could log PIC flight time for the portion of the flight during which Pilot B was the sole manipulator of the controls since he was properly rated in the aircraft. The FAA went on to note that Pilot B could also log actual instrument time for the portion of the flight during which Pilot B was the sole manipulator of the controls under FAR 61.51(g)(1).

Next, the Interpretation addressed the logging of flight time by Pilot A. According to FAR 61.51 (e)(1)(iii), a pilot acting as PIC may only log PIC time if more than one pilot is required under the aircraft’s type certificate or the regulations under which the flight is conducted. Since only one pilot was required for the flight in the scenario presented to the FAA, the Interpretation concluded that Pilot A could not log PIC time for the portion of the flight during which Pilot B was the sole manipulator of the controls. The FAA reached this conclusion in spite of the fact that Pilot B could not act as PIC (no instrument rating) and Pilot B was not a required flight crew member for any portion of the flight under the aircraft’s type certificate or the regulations under which the flight was conducted.

What can we learn from this Interpretation? For starters, the regulations distinguish between “acting” as PIC and “logging flight time” as PIC. So, it is possible that by “acting” as PIC you can have the responsibility of a PIC, along with the potential liability, but you can’t log that flight time as PIC. Doesn’t seem fair, but that’s what the regulations provide. Source

Multi Engine Time Building & Flight Training Specials From Aviator Flight Training Academy

Our “Twin-Time Pilot” program offers 100 hours of Multi-Engine flight time anywhere within the Continental United States and the Caribbean. Aviator’s twin time program operates 24 hours-a-day, (24×7) rain or shine.

Lacking actual IMC flight time?

Aviator encourages flights into IMC. We operate a fleet of Beechcraft Duchess, the majority of which are fully equipped with weather radar, Garmin 430, HSI, DME, and Intercoms. Fleet of aircraft are now being converted to EFIS systems “Glass Cockpit”

50 hr. Multi Engine time building $ 6,292.50
75 hr. Multi Engine time building $ 8,955.00
100 hr. Multi Engine time building $ 11,617.50

NOTE: Price Includes 5 hour Check out, Sales Tax, Insurance, & Fuel at $5.00 per gallon
Housing available for $ 650.00 per month or less

Contact Aviator
Schedule a Visit

Flight School Decision Process

Flight School Decision ProcessJust as a decision to become a pilot, research and decision process on choosing a flight school should not be taken lightly. People who sign up for flight schools to receive their flight training have one of two goals in mind; either to learn to fly for pleasure, or for a career. Choosing the best flight school partly depends on which of these goals the student has in mind. If flying for fun, the process can be much less complicated than if preparing for a career as a professional pilot.

All flight schools offer one of two types of training, which are numbered according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulation they follow. They are called Part 61 and Part 141. By the letter of the law, Part 61 requires an average of 5 hours of flight time less than Part 141, with Part 61 requiring between 20-40 hours and 141 requiring 35 and under. This is the least significant difference in the regulations, since most flight schools will require any student to have at least 40 hours of training regardless of which program they are under, and many students end up needing 50 or more hours.

Those seeking to become professional pilots should also seek schools that are accredited by the US Department of Education. These schools can offer degrees in various aspects of aviation. A degree, in combination with professional flight training, makes the student more competitive when entering commercial markets.

Flight Training, Flight School and General Aviation Tips You Must Consider

Do not enter this profession unless you are absolutely passionate about aviation and becoming a pilot.

As you have read, you will accumulate serious amounts of debt and work for many years for very low wages. The only thing that keeps most new pilots going is their love of flying. If you don’t have that passion, you’ll find that the “glamor factor” of becoming an airline pilot will wear off very quickly, and you will be tired, in tremendous debt, and will have wasted many years of your life. That’s no place to be, trust me. I see it all the time. If you like airplanes but are not absolutely dedicated to the profession, get a job doing something else and join a local flying club or purchase your own general aviation aircraft. You’ll be much happier, and you can still enjoy aviation.

Do not get a Bachelor’s Degree in an aviation related field. It is very likely that at some point in your career you are going to be furloughed.

Maybe twice. Maybe for a long time. I have found that furloughed pilots that have degrees in fields like engineering or accounting or nursing or education or other timeless “in demand” fields land on their feet better, and don’t suffer the financial devastation that can follow that first or second furlough. A degree in “Aeronautical Science” or “Aviation Management” is great if you’re going to work in the field of aviation, but if you’re furloughed that means that the aviation industry is in the pits. That “Aeronautical Science” degree will be as useless as your Commercial Pilot Certificate when everyone is furloughing and no one in the aviation industry is hiring. Get a non-aviation degree that you can use for gainful employment when that furlough comes. You’ll thank me. Try to choose a flight school that provides a direct path to employment, preferably to reputable regional airlines. Remember, if you want to become an airline pilot, you want to get turbojet Captain flight time as quickly as possible so that you can become employed by your desired airline at as young an age as possible. You also want to avoid low paying jobs, like flight instructing, if possible. There are many flight schools out there that offer direct paths to the regional airlines after successful completion of their programs, and some offer very competitive, all inclusive prices. Further, some schools will offer you employment as a flight instructor at the completion of your flight training if the regionals aren’t hiring. Those are the flight schools that you want on your “short list” as you consider which school to send tens of thousands of your dollars to, all else being equal of course.

Avoid giving flight schools large deposits or large “up front” payments for your training, even if they offer you a discount.

The flight training industry, unfortunately, is just as fragile as the airline industry is financially. The flight training industry is full of flight schools that prey on young people who dream of becoming airline pilots. Just in the past several years, many flight schools have closed and/or gone bankrupt, taking unsuspecting students’ prepayments and deposits with them. Some students have fronted their entire $50,000+ training bill, lost everything, and never received anything more than a few hours of flight training before their school went under. When you do business with a flight school, treat it as if it will go out of business tomorrow, no matter how reputable and stable you think the school appears to be. Protect yourself and your money.


Why Choose Aviator Flight School For Your Pilot Training
  • Licensed by the State of Florida Commission For Independent Education License #4155
  • Aviator Flight Training Academy is a Division of Aviator College of Aeronautical Science & Technology, which is licensed by the State of Florida Commission for Independent Education and Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.
  • 27 Years in the Flight Training Industry
  • To date, Aviator has trained over 5000 pilots for the commercial airline industry
  • Only School Offering 200 Hours of Multi-Engine Time
  • Aviator is the only flight school that has a full 200 hours of multi-engine time included in our program
  • No Flight Training Devices (Simulators)
  • FTDs are not used towards your flight time for any ratings
  • Approved by the Federal Department of Education to offer Title IV Loans
  • Aviator has the ability to offer students federal funding on approved accredited programs
  • Job Placement Assistance with Regional Airlines
  • Aviator offers job placement assistance for our graduates
  • “A” Rating with United States Better Business Bureau
  • Classroom Environment – All classes taught in our educational center, NOT online

Contact Aviator
Online Enrollment
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What Type Of Pilot Do You Want To Be

What Type Of Pilot Do You Want To BeFAA’s rules for getting a pilot’s license (certificate) differ depending on the type of aircraft you fly. You can choose among airplanes, gyroplanes, helicopters, gliders, balloons, or airships. If you are interested in flying ultralight vehicles, you don’t need a pilot’s license.

There are a variety of aviation pilot jobs, each with its own set of hiring requirements, benefits, and challenges. Benefits and compensation will vary according to the type and size of the company. For any pilot job, there is a considerable amount of flight training required. Some pilots received their training in the military and others through civilian training. For most of the pilot jobs, you must have at least a commercial pilot certificate, instrument and multi-engine ratings. The hiring requirements will vary for each airline and company.

Pilot Positions

There are two-three types of pilot positions with any airline or company: Captain, First Officer, and Flight Engineer. Compensation and some benefits at the airlines and most companies are all based on “seniority.” “Seniority” at an airline is based on a pilot’s date-of-hire. When a pilot is hired as a First Officer or Flight Engineer, he/she is assigned a seniority number at the bottom of the list. For example: When a new pilot is hired, he/she is assigned a seniority number at the bottom of the list such as 105 out of 105 pilots. Over time, the pilot will advance (move up) on the seniority list due to retirements, resignations, or other reasons pilots are removed from the seniority list. Advancing on the seniority list results in better work schedule, aircraft selection, job promotion (upgrading to Captain), route assignments, vacation time preferences, and other privileges.

Types of Pilots
Agricultural Pilot (Aerial Applicator)

An agricultural pilot flies airplanes and/or helicopters carrying various chemicals and compounds such as herbicides, insecticides, seeds and fertilizers to spray farmlands, crops, forests, orchards, fields, or swamps. Some jobs also require aerial surveying of wildlife animals, cattle, and crops, or disbursing fire-extinguishing agents on forest fires.

Salary Range
$20,000 – $70,000

Educational Requirements
High school diploma, special training, and license

Aviation Employers
Agricultural operators, large farms

Test Pilot

There are different types of test pilots such as Experimental, Engineering, and Production Test Pilots. Test pilots must have “nerves of steel.” It is the most hazardous job of all pilot jobs. Their job involves testing new and overhauled airplanes to make sure they are airworthy, which includes, but not limited to: testing the limits of airplane’s design strength, performance capabilities, and equipment, preparing written and oral reports on their flight experiences, and making suggestions for improvements. Test pilots that work for the FAA may test new types of navigational aids or experimental equipment aboard an airplane.

Salary Range
$15,000 – $200,000

Educational Requirements
College Preferred

Aviation Employers
FAA, airlines, aircraft manufacturing plants, government agencies

Major/National Airline Pilot

For many pilots, the ultimate job is to be a major airline pilot. Major/national airline pilots fly passengers or freight/cargo to major and mid-size domestic and/or international cities. There are numerous major/national airlines in the United States, Canada, and other countries. These airlines operate large jet aircraft manufactured by Boeing such as the B-737, B-757, B-777, and Airbus such as the A321, A330.

Some of the benefits of working for the major airlines include: average annual salary between $100,000 and $200,000 or more, flying a variety of airplanes, more than 12 days off per month, excellent working conditions, excellent benefits (health and medical) and retirement plans, travel passes, and other privileges.
Airline pilots begin their careers as First Officers (Co-Pilots) with a regional airline, large corporation, or military branch. After accumulating the necessary flight hours and experience, they apply for pilot positions with major/national airlines. Once hired by the major/national airline, they begin as either a First Officer or Flight Engineer. Visit Step 6 for more information about Becoming an Airline Pilot.

Salary Range
$23,000 – $250,000 or more

Educational Requirements
College Preferred; most require 4 year degree

Aviation Employers
Major and National Airlines

Commuter/Regional Airline Pilot

Many pilots use the regional airlines as a “stepping stone” to accumulate the necessary flight hours and experience to apply to the major/national airlines. Regional airlines fly short/mid-range routes to small/mid-sized cities to transport passengers to the major cities for the major/national airlines to continue their trip. They operate various airplanes ranging from turboprop to small jet airplanes such as the Jetstream 32 and 41, Beech 1900, Saab 340, ATR, Dash-8, Regional Jet, and others. These airplanes carry between 19 and 70 passengers. There are numerous regional airlines throughout the United States and Canada.
Regional airline pilots work more hours, have less days off, smaller retirement plans, and lower pay rates compared to the major/national airline pilots. Visit Step 6 for more information about Becoming an Airline Pilot.

Salary Range
$16,500 – $60,000

Educational Requirements
College Preferred; most require 4 year degree

Aviation Employers
Commuter and Regional Airlines

Air Freight/Cargo Pilot

Air freight/cargo pilots fly time sensitive packages, letters, freight, and cargo such as bank checks, express packages, perishable food items, and more to small and major cities. There are a few major air freight/cargo companies in the United States, Canada, and other countries such as UPS, FedEx, DHL, which operate large jet airplanes such as B-757, B-767, B-747, A-321. There are also numerous small to mid-size companies that have contracts with some of the major cargo carries that operate various small twin-engine, to turboprop and small jet aircrafts such as the Piper Senecas, Beech Barons, Piper Aerostars and the LearJets. These pilots typically fly during the late night and early morning hours between 9p.m. to 7a.m. Visit Step 6 for more information about Becoming an Airline Pilot.

Salary Range
$25,000 – $200,000 or more

Educational Requirements
College Preferred; most require 4 year degree

Aviation Employers
Major Air Freight/Cargo Airlines
Private Companies

Helicopter Pilot

Helicopter pilots typically fly short flights in duration at low altitudes carrying workers and/or supplies to offshore oil rigs, transporting accident victims to a hospital heliport, lifting heavy loads to tops of buildings or to remote mountain sites, rescuing stranded people, or disbursing fire extinguishing agents on forest fires. Helicopter pilots can maneuver their helicopter to hover over a particular area, or land on a small cleared area.

Salary Range
$29,000 – $57,000

Educational Requirements
College Preferred; most require 4 year degree

Aviation Employers
Helicopter Operators, Large Corporations, Private Companies, Hospitals, Government Agencies, Radio and TV Stations

Corporate Pilot

Corporate pilots fly aircraft owned by businesses or industrial firms transporting company executives to domestic and/or international cities for company business. The types of airplanes flown vary between turbo-prop planes (i.e. King-Air), executive jets (i.e. Citations to Gulfstreams), and large jets (i.e. Boeing 737). Corporate pilots are responsible for planning all aspects of each trip such as flight planning, arranging for passenger meals and ground transportation at destinations, loading and unloading baggage, supervising the servicing and maintenance of the aircraft, keeping aircraft records, and more.

Unlike airline pilots, corporate pilots fly less routine schedules and irregular hours. These pilots fly to unfamiliar airports, and exotic or exciting places. They are also at the call of the company executives whenever they need to travel on company business. Some large companies have several airplanes and a flight department, in which their pilots may fly a regular schedule. The benefits and compensations are dependent on the type and size of the company.

Salary Range

Educational Requirements
College preferred; most require 4-year degree

Aviation Employers
Large Corporations (with a flight department)
Private Companies (with a flight department)


Flight School Pro Pilot Program

The programs at Aviator Flight School are designed to provide what the airline industry demands of future commercial pilots. The training you will receive at Aviator is one of the most intensive and challenging programs offered in aviation flight training today.

During your flight training you will fly a total of 259 hours, of which up to 200 hours will be in a multi-engine aircraft. The ground school portion is in a structured classroom environment. As the shortage of pilots continues to grow, Aviator College is consistently meeting with major air carriers to determine the flight training and education that they require.

You will receive a minimum of 643 instructional hours for the Professional Pilot Program.The instructional hours includes all ground and flight training. 6 months of housing is included in the price of the program. If you come with a Private Pilot License 5 months will be included in the price of the Program.

Upon completion of your flight training Aviator College encourages the graduating student to apply to stay on as a flight instructor.

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How To Prepare For Your Pilot Job Interview

How To Prepare For Your Pilot Job InterviewEmployment of airline and commercial pilots is projected to grow 11 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Modest employment growth is expected as air travel gradually increases over the decade and as more travel takes place between Asia and the United States.

Job opportunities will be spread among both passenger and cargo airline companies.
Most job opportunities will arise from the need to replace pilots who leave the workforce. Between 2010 and 2020, many pilots are expected to retire as they reach the required retirement age of 65. As older pilots retire and younger pilots advance, entry-level positions may open up. And the demand for flight instructors may increase as they are needed to train a greater number of student pilots.

Job prospects should be best with regional airlines, on low-cost carriers, or in general aviation, because these segments are anticipated to grow faster than the major airlines. In addition, entry-level requirements are lower for regional and commercial jobs.

However, pilots with less than 500 flight hours will probably need to accumulate hours as flight instructors or commercial pilots before qualifying for regional airline jobs.

Pilots seeking jobs at the major airlines will face strong competition because those firms tend to attract many more applicants than the number of job openings. Applicants also will have to compete with furloughed pilots for available jobs.

Pilots with the greatest number of flight and instrument hours usually have the best prospects. For this reason, military and experienced pilots will have an advantage over entry-level applicants. Source

The Pilot Job Interview

If you have your flight training completed and licenses in hand, the next step is to find employment. The tips below list some of the reasons why pilots fail their interviews to get a pilot job. Review, learn and prepare better to get your dream pilot job. Source

  1. Negative first impressions. Treat each person with equal respect and courtesy – from the person who calls you for the interview, to the gate agent and the interviewer. If you don’t, the word will get back quickly to the recruitment department.
  2. Lack of knowledge of the company culture and business plan. Do your research. You want to be sure the company is a good fit for you and make that clear in the interview. You don’t want to say something contrary to the business plan or philosophy during the interview. For example, you don’t want to say at a Southwest interview that the thing you like most about your current job is flying a variety of aircraft or at FedEx that you are a “morning person.” If you are interviewing just because you need a job, that will come through.
  3. They don’t get to know you. Don’t go to an interview over prepared with canned or rehearsed answers. You always hear recruiters say, “Be yourself, we want to get to know you.” Well, you can be yourself all day, but that doesn’t mean they are getting to know you. You need to tell your own stories, your own way. Be careful not to let your friends or what you read in the forums direct what you say or how to act. Each pilot perceives an experience in his/her own unique way. They want to know you, not your friends or someone in cyberspace.
  4. Lack of substance in stories. In a pilot interview you need to be very descriptive and provide a lot of detail. If you don’t say anything, you won’t get hired. Don’t time your stories. Once you do that they become scripted. As long as you are describing what they are targeting and they are learning positive things about you, give as much detail as possible. If you start repeating yourself, going off on a tangent, or they look at their watches more than once, it is time to stop. I would rather hear more than not enough.
  5. Lack of professionalism. Interviewers want to see pilots who are poised, polished and professional. So don’t fidget, crack your knuckles, or tap on the table. You don’t want to be stiff and speak in a monotone – unless that is your nature. But, you also don’t want to come across cavalier or overconfident. Sit up and get involved. Demonstrate interest.
  6. Poor grooming and/or inappropriate attire. Wear a conservative business suit and hairstyle. This is not the time to express your individualism. Think about it. You will be required to conform to company uniform and grooming standards. Let the interviewer remember you, your strengths, qualifications and qualities, not what you were wearing.
  7. Poor communication skills. Articulate clearly and use correct grammar. Don’t swear or quote someone swearing and don’t use slang. Again, a little polish is required without sounding like an English professor.
  8. Bad attitudes. While we all like to think our attitudes are stellar, sometimes overconfidence or acting a little cavalier in the interview can cause our demise. Stay away from small talk that moves in a negative direction – like furloughs, union issues, etc. Interviewers feel that it is a privilege to work at their respective companies, and want to see that you feel that way too.
  9. Disregard for the “4 H’s”. Honesty – let them get to know the real you. Humility – they want pilots who are humble, with an attitude of service. Humor – they want pilots who are easy to get along with. Homework – there shouldn’t be anything you don’t know about that company when you get to the interview.

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What Are Your Expectations in Getting a Job As A Pilot Job?

What Are Your Expectations in Getting a Job As A Pilot Job?In July 2013, The Federal Aviation Administration said it was making final a rule that says all commercial airline pilots hired by U.S. carriers will be required to have at least 1,500 hours of flight time.
The Air Line Pilots Association, which praised the new rule, said it goes into effect Aug. 1.

“The rule gives first officers a stronger foundation of aeronautical knowledge and experience before they fly for an air carrier,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in the agency’s announcement. “With this rule and our efforts to address pilot fatigue – both initiatives championed by the families of Colgan flight 3407 – we’re making a safe system even safer.”

Before, a first officer had to have only a commercial pilot license, which requires a minimum of 250 hours of flying. The new rule requires the ATP license and the 1,500 hours. In addition, the FAA now requires a pilot to have at least 1,000 as an airline first officer before flying as captain. The minimum age for an ATP license is 23 years.

After finishing flight training, we all have one thing on our minds. Landing that first job! Below is an article that lists some of the things you can expect before hearing the word “Hired”.


Everyone seems to get VERY hung up on this one. There is more to an airline than their hourly pay rate. While doing your research be sure to look at more than just the hourly pay rate. Some companies have better contracts than others. For example some companies simply pay you X to fly from here to there because it takes 2 hours. If your flight taxis out and sits on the ramp for 5 hours, too bad, you are only getting paid for 2 hours. Other companies will pay you “block or better”. This means that you are guaranteed 2 hours of pay and if you go over that, they will pay you for the length of time you have to sit on the taxi way and the flight time. Duty Rigs are another thing you should check for in their contract. Every airline that I know of only pays it’s pilots when they are actually in the cockpit with the door shut. Is this company going to make you show up to work at 6am to fly to some po-dunk airport and sit around for 5 hours before flying to your next destination? If they do this to you, are you going to get paid at least X hours for the day? I don’t know about you, but when I have to go to work, I like being paid for my time! I’d rather not sit around in some airport terminal and not get paid. Other companies pay their pilots a yearly salary no matter how much or how little they fly.


Where will you start and end all of your trips? Are any of their bases close to your home or will you need to move or commute? If you plan to move, make sure you factor in how much moving will cost you and how much housing costs in the city you are moving to. If you choose to commute, you need to consider things like paying for a crashpad at your new base. Airport parking fees at your home airport. What companies have service between your home airport and your new base? How frequent are the flights between those two airports? Does your company have jumpseat agreements with the companies that service those airports? How competitive will your commute be? (how many other pilots will be trying to do the same commute you are) Commuting will let you live where you want but it also means you will use a lot of your days off getting to and from work. When the weather is bad and the flights are over sold, this can really take a toll on your stress level. You might have to leave home at 6am to wait around at the airport all day to catch a flight to your base. Then after you get to your base you might not start work until 8pm and you don’t get done flying until midnight. Obviously this makes for an extreemly long day! (the same can be true for getting back home after you are done flying)

Another hot topic area is how quick is the upgrade? Typically upgrades are faster at companies with a lot of movement. You need to ask yourself, why does company A have so much more movement than company Z? Is it because other airlines are hiring their pilots so quickly or because people don’t like working there? Generally it’s because people can’t stand working there. The choice you have to make is if you’d rather have a decent quality of life for a longer time or get the quick upgrade and hate your quality of life.


Almost every company offers some sort of flight benefits. Some are better than others. Almost all of them are space available reservations. This means that you can go for free or relatively cheap as long as there are seats available. Yes, this can be a great deal, but can also be a huge headache. I’ve gotten on the first flight of the day many times, but I’ve also sat around the airport from 6am until 9pm trying to get on a flight only to be turned away. Tickets are so cheap these days, if I need to get somewhere, I don’t bother trying to ride on my flight benefits and I just buy a ticket instead.


Yes, I know you are young and don’t need to worry about retiring for at least 30+ years. The question you need to ask yourself is: How old do I want to be when I retire and how comfortable of a retirement do I want to have? I’ve flown with other pilots that have no clue what they will do when they retire because flying is all they know and they don’t have very much money in their retirement funds. If you start saving for retirement early on, those funds will grow over and over again and you will have a very comfortable retirement. Some companies offer matching contributions which is basically FREE money! You should at least contribute at least that much per paycheck that way the company is giving you the maximum FREE cash possible!


Do you have any idea what SJS is? Shinny Jet Syndrome! There are so many people who come out of flight training that have SJS it’s pathetic! Don’t go fly for some company just because they have brand new shinny jets! You paid a lot of money and spent a lot of time to get to where you are today. Just because XYZ has 50 brand new CRJ-700’s or EMB-170’s on order, that does not meant they are a great company to work for. Do your homework and you will be a lot happier with your decision!

Types of flying

This comes down to what type of person you are. Do you like the scheduled routine and like knowing when you start work and when you will finish? You will fly to the same airports over and over again, but you’ll know all the routes and won’t have to worry about landing somewhere you are unfamiliar with. This type of flying is usually with a hub and spoke carrier. Are you the type of person who likes variety in your life? There are companies out there where you’ll hit different airports all day instead of the same ones over and over. How many days would you like to work in a row? Some comapnies do all day trips where you start and end your trips at your base every night. Other companies have 2 day, 3 day, 4 day trips, etc. Some places even do 18 day trips where you work 18 days straight (with breaks on the road) and then you are off for the remainder of the month. These are all things to think about before you narrow down your job search. Options: Airline or Freight carriers tend to be hub and spoke always going to the same airports during your trips. Fractional Ownerships, corporate or charter companies usually don’t go to and from a hub all the time. They have a lot more variety in their schedules.


This is a big area that you should put a lot of research into. A contract can make or break your decision to work for a company. Would you rather work for a company that has 10 guaranteed days off per month or one that has 15 guaranteed days off per month? Some companies have that quick upgrade time, but guess what, you are going to work your tail off! When you first get started in the aviation world, you will probably want to fly, fly, fly, but after the luster wears off, you’ll want more days off! For most people, that’s what it’s all about. Get the most time off and make as much money possible. Other things besides days off to consider are things like seniority or merit based systems. Seniorty is good because it forces the company to give pilots perks in seniority order. Such as bidding your schedule based upon how long you’ve been at the company, who upgrades and in what order. If you are on a merit based system, you better be ready to suck up a lot! If you don’t, you will more than likely be passed over for the bosses kid or someone else who does suck up.


Will you be paid during training? Will the company put you up for your training or will you have to rent a place to stay during training?

Training contracts –

I love this one! Some companies have them and some don’t. If a company requires you to sign a training contract before they will let you work for them, that should be a HUGE red flag! Normally this means that people hate working here or there are better places to work so they get some experience and leave. The only way the company can keep people is by holding them to these expensive training contracts ($10,000 – $15,000 is pretty average). Companies that are good places to work won’t require you to sign one of these because they aren’t worried about you leaving. Source

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