When you’re hired by an airline as a pilot, you will need to do a specialisation course for the type of aircraft you are going to fly. It will start with theory about the airplane, about all the systems and the Standard Operational Procedures that you have to follow. How to set up the cockpit for a flight, how to do the system tests and how to work with the FMC (the Flight Management Computer, the little computer where you insert the desired route and all performance settings of your take off and landing).
After you finish flight school, you have your licence in your pocket, it’s time to apply for jobs! For some people it’s easy: if they finish at a good time, where there are many pilot jobs available for low-experienced pilots or maybe if they know someone in a high position in an airline.
This post is meant for the pilots that are not so lucky. I am writing this from my own experience, so I know what situation you’re in. You are so ready to start working as a pilot, it has been your goal for so many years and now that you have your licence, all you want is to find a job and start flying!
So here we are, at the final course of flight school: The Multi Crew Cooperation (MCC) course! So far, you’ve learned how to fly single and multi engined aircraft, but even though you were often with your instructor, these planes are all single-pilot aircraft, which means that they can be flown by one pilot only.
Big jets such as Airbus and Boeing aircraft require a minimum of two pilots. One that takes care of the flying whilst other one talks on the radio, checks the fuel and aircraft status and fills the flight plan. In case of a system malfunction, the Pilot Not-Flying – PNF (or Pilot Monitoring – PM) tries to solve the issue using the Quick Reference Handbook (QRH) and the Pilot Flying (PF) continues to fly the aircraft.
The last two flying exams of the pilot licence are the Multi Engine and the Instrument Rating.
To prepare for the Instrument Rating, you start in the simulator. There, you will learn all the basics of Instrumental flying. You will learn to use VOR (VHF Omnidirectional Range) Radio Beacons to navigate without seeing outside for visual reference.
After the theory exams and the Private Pilot Licence exam, you will prepare with an instructor for the Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL). With a CPL you are allowed to fly commercially, which means that you are allowed to perform flights for a company and you can earn money working as a pilot. The CPL exam is quite similar to the PPL exam.
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 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 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!
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.
”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!