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Many of us dream as children that one day we may become a famous Astronaut, a Doctor, or even a pilot. However, as we grow older things happen in life which stop these things from coming to fruition. It becomes clear as we make our way through school that these things aren’t as simple as they seem, and we may think we cannot achieve our dream.
However, if you have been inspired by famous female aviators or groundbreaking engineers, you may want to put that work and time into the job you’ve wanted since you could talk- and you can do it as long as you dedicate enough time to your work.
But how can you become a pilot?
The first thing you will need to do before you even start your training as a pilot is to have a medical examination performed on you. Contrary to popular belief, you can fly a plane if you wear glasses as long as you can prove that your sight is 20/20.
When applying for training to be a pilot, you must bear in mind that you have to be 21 before you will be able to take part in the advanced courses. Before this time you will want to learn more about flying and study the theory of planes and how they work. This will put you in a better position when you start your official training.
Just like becoming a doctor, the journey to becoming a qualified pilot is long, it will take a huge amount of funding and it is extremely competitive. You will want to make sure that you are totally sure of your decision before you commit to it. A great way to decide whether becoming a pilot is right for you is to enroll is some work experience with an airline. Many airlines will offer the chance for you to go and observe flying and to get a feel for how your job will proceed. It will allow you to make a decision on whether this is a career path you want to go through or not.
Like any other degree course, training to fly an aircraft will not be cheap. It is understandable because you are being put in charge of the safety of over a hundred people every time you set off- and this means that the training is lengthy, in-depth and costly. You will likely be able to get a loan from a bank or from the government for your course- and then you may want to get a part-time job alongside the course to help when you come to pay back the fees. It could range anywhere around $100,000 to train for your license, so it is a huge financial commitment to make.
If you don’t want to get a loan, you may be able to put a case forward to an airline for them to sponsor your training. A lot of the time airlines will accept applicants if they can prove how dedicated they are to the cause. If you can out a good case together this could be the ideal way in.
What’s the training like?
The way you train to become a pilot can be split into a few different categories.
- APTL Test – during the course of your training there will be around 14 exams which you will need to pass in order to move on and receive your license. They involve flight navigation, planning, aviation law amongst other subjects.
- Flight training- this is the bit you’ve been waiting for. Most of the training in flight will take place in the USA, and you will get to fly around in a plane with a trained pilot who will teach you the ropes.
- Night Qualification – you will be allowed to fly through the night, which is more challenging than in the day due to less visibility.
- CPL- after racking up 150 hours of flying time you will earn your commercial pilot license.
The tricky bit comes before you have qualified, and this is the part where you are selected to be able to train or not. You will go through a series of tests in your school or college to assess your mental ability, special awareness, and other skills which could prove useful as a pilot. You will need to demonstrate great technical skills and problem-solving in order for your school to approve you to go on your pilot training.