My personal advice if you want to become an airline pilot.
One of the most frequent questions I get through my Instagram account @pilotmaria is “What can I do to become an airline pilot”
I love that there is such an interest in this profession and I wish I could answer each and everyone of you individually but unfortunately time is limited, so I put together this blog post and hope it will answer as many of you as possible.
First of all, use an online search tool and find where the closes flight club or school is to you. Normally every smaller airport has a flight club located with one or more smaller single airplanes such as a Cessna 172 or a Piper 28. Contact them and ask if you can come and visit. Sometimes they even have “open day” days where anyone can visit, ask questions and maybe even go for a test flight. If not ask if a member can take you flying for half an hour or so, it might cost you something between 50-150 Euro depending on aircraft and what fees they have. Comparing to what the actual flight training will cost you it will definitely be worth it. Once you have tasted flight you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards- if this is true, you know aviation and flying is for you.
Second step will be to find a clinic where they do Medical class 1 examinations. Without a medical class 1 you can not fly commercially, so I recommended to have it checked before you start applying for flight schools. Flight training is expensive it will cost you something between 50k to 150k Euros depending on school, country and what is included and what is not. Some of the more famous and more expensive schools can be worth checking out since sometimes they work closely with the airliners and will help you to get an interview.
Third step, you have to decide either you do an integrated or modular training. Basically integrated means that you do the whole training integrated from PPL till frozen ATPL. All at once and you normally pay all at once as well which can be a high sum to pay up front. Modular means that you do each step individually you start with PPL (Private Pilot License), ATPL theory (Airline Transport Pilot License), Multi engine, Instrument rating and CPL (Commercial Pilot License) and MCC (Multi Crew Cooperation) or in other order. Why I says ATPL theory and not CPL theory is just how I did it, you can read the CPL theory and then go for the ATPL theory. They are similar just that ATPL requires a little bit more knowledge. I already knew that I wanted to do the ATPL theory as it is often a requirement from the airliners. ATPL is the Captain’s theory and you have to have it to get your fourth stripe and be able to fly as a commander.
With the modular training you pay as you get along. You pay for your PPL you finish your PPL then you go for the Instrument rating etc. If you during your training decides it is not for you or for any other reason you decide you do not want or can become a pilota you have only “lost” what you have paid so far.
I did all my flight training in Sweden and I had to finance it myself. When I decided I wanted to become a pilot I worked hard to save up for flight training. Hard work paid off and became reality and I am very happy to be where I am today flying 737NG around Europe.
Many of you might be concerned that pilot will not be needed in the future having all these airplanes that fly themselves. Answer me this, would you fly on one of them? Aircraft’s are still being delivered from Boeing, Airbus and other companies. The list is long for airliners waiting for their aircraft’s, as long as aircraft’s are still being delivered we are still good to go, in my opinion.
I hope it helps some of you. I know this post is similar to my previous one but I tried to narrow it down to more facts and clarify some more questions I get everyday.