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How to Become an Airline Pilot

Rohini Mohan
Do you dream of becoming an airline pilot someday? Airline pilot training is an expensive course and requires that each trainee complete specific hours of flying in an aviation school and pass the examination conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Working in the airlines as a pilot is a very prestigious career and only the best make it through. Although being a pilot has its financial perks, it is also an high-risk career. Unlike other types of pilots, airlines pilots are responsible for the lives of the passengers aboard.
The safety and security of airline passengers lies in the hands of well-trained and experienced pilots. To become a pilot, you will firstly need to be passionate about planes and know all about their structure, aerodynamics, and know about the type of airline planes that are used in the USA.

How to Become an Airline Pilot in the US

Bank Loan

The first thing to do is to get your expenses straight. Talk to banks for a loan if you cannot afford the course fee and prepare for a collateral as well. Only once your done with that, may you consider the next steps. This is because pilot training courses are extremely steep. The course may cost you anywhere between USD 60,000-200,000 in the US.

Select an Aviation School

You will need to find out which is the most affordable and viable airline training school in your state. Make sure that the school you choose has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Medical Certificate

In order to enroll for airline training, the candidates will be required to go through rigorous medical examination by FAA medical officers and only once they clear all level, will they be deemed medically fit to fly.

Select an Experienced Flight Instructor

Search for a good flight instructor so as to gain your private pilot certificate. It is very important that you learn from the best while keeping your budget in mind. The skills you learn as a trainee will determine the way you perform throughout your career.

Reach Minimum Flying Hrs

The private pilot license course should provide you with a minimum of 40 to 60 hours of flying, which is mandatory to be eligible for the private pilot license.

Get Prepared

During the course you will get to learn about air navigation, aircraft systems, ways to carry out precise aircraft operations, and handle the plane in various climatic conditions and altitude.

Instrumental Rating

Once you attain your private pilot license, you will need to get the instrumental rating certificate. This certifies that you have gained 50 hrs of experience in cross-country flying, while being the PIC (pilot in command) as well as 40 hrs of flying in a simulator-controlled environment.

Commercial Certificate

This certificate will require a total of 250 hrs of flying, with 10 hrs of dual instructions in a rather complicated and advanced aircraft, as well as the total time frame needed for instrumental rating (50+40 hrs). Once you gain a total average of about 500 to 1000 hrs you will have the required experience to fly for regional airlines and jets.
These flight do not need Airline Transport Pilots. In order to work for big airline companies an ATP is mandatory which would require at least 3000 hrs of total flying with 1500 hrs in a multiple engine aircraft and 1000 hrs as a PIC of turbine engined air crafts.

Total Years and Salary

The laws are very strict and clear in the US about becoming an airline pilot. All candidates are required and expected to have a minimum of 4 years of college education and degree. Civilian flying will involve having a total of at least a minimum of 5 to 10 years of flying experience. The salary can be anywhere between USD 67,000-119,000 in the US.
Until a few years ago, airline jobs were much sought after, but now have slumped in popularity because of to the overall fall in general market conditions.