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Professional Pilot Information List for Pilot Students

Professional Pilot Information List for Pilot StudentsThe reasons for the current pilot shortage are many. The sustained growth of domestic air travel since 9/11 and the extraordinary expansion of air travel in countries like China and India have added to the huge demand for pilots. U.S. airlines have transitioned to scheduling more frequent flights in smaller but more numerous aircraft for efficiency. The traditional source of airline pilots—the military—has reduced the number of pilots it generates to a mere trickle. According to U.S. Air Force statistics, in 1943, the U.S. Army Air Force graduated 65,797 pilots. These war-trained aircrews manned the cockpits of our airliners for decades. By 1996, the U.S. Air Force was graduating only 525 pilots per year.

As airlines plan to hire hundreds of new pilots, industry officials warn that a shortage looms because of retirements, greater training requirements and longer rest periods between shifts.

American Airlines, which is reorganizing in bankruptcy court while proposing to merge with US Airways to become the world’s largest airline, announced plans this week to hire 1,500 pilots over five years.

Where To Do Your Flight Training

Choosing the best aviation training center will depend largely on what the student wants to achieve, how far they are willing to travel, and what amount of time they want to spend in school. At the beginning of your flight school search, it helps if you have a general idea of what you want from aviation. Why do you want to learn to fly? What is your ultimate, long-term aviation goal? Do you want to fly for fun, or are you seeking a flying career? Will your flying be local, or do you want to use general aviation aircraft to travel? Do you want to own an airplane or will you rent? These are questions you should answer before you start considering flight schools. And you should consider whether you’ll train full time or part time; that can make a big difference in your flight school selection criteria.

There are more than 300 institutions in the U.S. that offer some sort of formal aviation training program. Some of that is related directly to flying. Other parts are concerned with aviation management, as well as airline or airport operations.
Before choosing a school, is to determine what type of degree or certificate is desired. A flight training center may offer a Bachelor’s degree in aviation, or it may offer other types of flight training programs and certificates. In some cases, a rating certificate is all that is needed to become a professional pilot. However, the higher the level of the degree, the more credibility that will be offered. For those simply looking to become recreational pilots, a more flexible and economical option may be to simply hire a private instructor, or join a flying club.

Funding Your Flight Training

The rising costs of a college education have made some feel that post-secondary degrees are a luxury. There is no need to see things this way as help is there for those who need it. College scholarships and grants are readily available to students willing to do the research and pay attention to the regulations.

Grant and scholarship providers set their own rules about who can and cannot apply and students should not waste their time applying for scholarships and grants for which they are not eligible. Finding college scholarships and grants with eligibility criteria you meet is key to receiving awards.

AOPA’s Aviation Services department has compiled much information on scholarships and loans, including an extensive listing of available scholarships. The subject report, Aviation Scholarships and Loans, is available to members free online.

FAA also compiles a comprehensive list of scholarships in aviation. Some are listed below. For a full list and other information, please visit FAA scholarships page.

ATP Requirements for Major Airlines

If flying for a major legacy airline is your goal, then a four-year degree is still a must-have. The majors, the high-end “boutique” carriers and the plum corporate jobs still require the degree along with high minimum hours and considerable multi-engine time. That’s where the aviation universities come in. The best employers in aviation regard a degree from an accredited aviation university as a key ingredient. For that reason, many flight schools prescreen their applicants to make sure they’re the stuff of which future airline captains are made.

Aviation colleges combine flight training with academics in degree programs that address aviation-specific education. Majors like aeronautical science and air-traffic management are combined with leading-edge flight training in first-line equipment. Most are four-year programs that include flight training. In these college programs, students earn their ratings and then stay on to instruct for at least a year. By instructing, they build time and experience the old-fashioned way. These college CFIs are paid respectable wages and receive considerable discounts on their tuition.

Some universities also offer two-year degrees but recommend that students finish their bachelor’s degree to get professional employment.

The Pilot Interview

After your flight training is completed, the interview is the next step. In the pilot world, the interview isn’t just a verbal exchange; it’s a plethora of tests, questions and intense evaluations. With interview preparation, candidates have a much greater chance of hearing the words “you hired”. The oral interview will consist of a human resources portion and a technical portion. The HR part asks typical open-ended questions like, “Why did you choose to become a pilot?” The purpose, of course, is to evaluate your personality. The technical interview consists of aviation knowledge questions and may include ATP-level questions. Your logbook will be reviewed and you’ll fill out a gazillion forms.

The simulator evaluation is next. Simulator types will vary, but the process is designed to determine your basic flying ability and IFR proficiency. You’ll brief a departure, take off, perform checklists and call outs, perform holds, fly approaches to minimums and show you can read the charts. After a missed approach and some vectors, you’ll move on. It varies with each carrier.

You’ll submit to a drug screening, a background check and, in many cases, a full medical evaluation. Some carriers administer a written test and do a psychiatric evaluation; almost all will review your driving record. You’ll need a passport for international flying.

There are several Internet resources that offer detailed interview guides (called “gouges”) for each carrier. They include actual questions and debriefs from pilots who went through the process.

Aviator Flight School Profesional 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.

Contact Aviator
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