After about 10 months of studying a lot, I was ready to go for the theory exams. First, I had to do internal exams at the flight school to show that I was properly prepared and as I passed them all, I was allowed to go for the official exams.
Becoming a pilot takes multiple steps. Whether you do a modular or an integrated course, when you will start flying, you will be working on your first licence: Your Private Pilot Licence (PPL). With this licence, you can fly by yourself in a small airplane alone or with family and friends, but not for commercial purposes.
After three months of theory classes, we got the Cessna course. One week of learning all about the Cessna 172, the airplane we were soon going to fly! After the Cessna theory exam, it was time for the simulator sessions. The simulator had all the features of the Cessna cockpit, so we could practice well and simulate flights on ground.
After you have found a suitable flight school, you’ve passed the selections and you’ve found a way to pay for it, you will start the pilot course. If you do the Integrated ATPL (Airline Transport Pilot Licence) course, you will start with the course with ATPL theory classes.
You will have 14 subjects for which you will have to do 14 official exams:
In October 2011 I finally started flight school, as you could read here. All was new for me. I moved to a different country, lived on my own for the first time and started a course that I honestly did not know much about yet. All the courses were given in English and although my English was fairly good, I did not know many technical words and expressions that were used a lot during the course. Slowly but surely I managed to find my way and I was lucky to have roommates that were in the same situation.
In the previous blogposts I wrote about choosing a flight school and the general requirements. In this post I would like to include some extra information about the different types of flight schools and to explain different options that you might not have heard of before!
Initially I have been writing about the Integrated ATPL course, which is the course that I did (and know most about). However, there are different options that you could take into consideration! Press on the READ MORE button to find out!
So there I was, about to start my last year of high school, at age 17, knowing that I was accepted to the flight school and going to become a pilot. It felt like a dream! All I had to do, was graduating high school and prepare for the pilot course!
The first day of school I immediately made some changes. I used to do Science at Gymnasium level, which had classic languages included. I decided to drop Latin (I had already dropped Ancient Greek) as it was taking a lot of my time and I preferred to focus more on the science subjects (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology) that were quite difficult. I did need to choose another subject, so I chose Spanish. My classmates had chosen Spanish 2 years before, so the course I was going to join was already quite advanced. I therefore had to study everything that I had missed in the previous two years to keep up with my classmates. Knowing that I was going to study in Madrid, I had the perfect motivation and I loved studying the language.
Once you have chosen a suitable flight school (read blogpost #01 here), you will need to go and do selections to be accepted to start flight training. Not everyone is suitable to become a pilot. This can be a great disappointment for some people, but it is necessary as it is a job with a high risk and great responsibility.
Below I have written down the general requirements to become a pilot. Keep in mind that these requirements may vary per country and school, but it does answer many of the questions I have received from all of you.
Many pilots knew from a very young age that they wanted to become a pilot when they grew up. For me, it was a little bit different. I always admired pilots, I looked up at the sky when a plane passed and one of my earliest memories is waving my grandparents goodbye at Schiphol’s panorama terrace as they were leaving in a plane to Jordan. I loved seeing the big airplanes preparing for departure and watching them take off. I must have been 3 or 4 years at that time. From that moment onwards, I was always excited to go to the airport or just pass by and see the planes taxiing, being curious how it was possible that such big and heavy airplanes could fly. Once or twice I asked my parents if it was possible to become a pilot. Even though my parents always supported me in all possible ways, they also raised me with a positive but rational mindset. They told me that it was very difficult and expensive to become a pilot. They told me about the pilots aptitude tests to be accepted to flight school, medical checks and education. Based on this, I assumed it was very difficult and for that moment I did not continue to do any research. Press on the READ MORE button to read how I went from high school to flight school!
”Can you tell me how I can become a pilot?” It’s the number one question I get asked multiple times a day. You can find a lot of information on the internet, but the guidelines are not for every individual person. Why is that?
Because we are all in different parts of the world, with different backgrounds and there are very many flight schools worldwide. The best option for one person may not be the best option for another.
Even though you can’t find your perfect answer on the internet rightaway, Google will be your best friend when you start your research process. It all may sound a bit vague, but don’t worry: I will guide you through it. Press on the READ MORE button to see the first 5 steps to consider!