Step by step guide to becoming a pilot

Airline and commercial pilots are trained to operate aerial vehicles in order to perform duties like transporting supplies and passengers. Although this career may appeal to adventurous souls, there is also a high level of stress and responsibility involved in commanding aircraft under different weather conditions and in various difficult situations. Typically, two pilots are required in most aircraft, and the most experienced pilot is considered the captain.s.

What does a pilot do?

Pilots man the controls of commercial, private, government, and business airplanes and helicopters. You fly police helicopters, massive passenger planes, biplanes, fire fighting planes, cargo planes, or rescue planes, to name a few. You pilot these machines to transport military vehicles, fire retardant, water, products, or people.

Not all of your time is spent behind the controls though. Depending on your exact job title, you have varying responsibilities. As a bush Pilot in the Alaskan outback, for example, you schedule the entire trip, from wheels up to wheels down. You do this by creating a flight plan that outlines your exact route, speed, flying altitude, and time frame. Once aboard, you perform a flight check, monitor the weather, observe warning lights, and watch gas and oil gauges. On a commercial aircraft, you do some of the same things. However, you have less control over when and where you fly, and you have additional responsibilities such as greeting passengers and communicating with Flight Attendants.

What kind of skills are required?

In order to become a pilot, you need to be able to make quick decisions, remain calm under pressure, and work long and odd hours, including overnights away from home. In addition, you need to be in good physical health, not because the job is physically demanding, but because you need to pass vision and hearing exams. You also need to pass a general physical exam before you receive your license, and periodically afterwards. This ensures that you’re fully qualified to fly that plane. After all, you are responsible for millions of dollars worth of equipment, not to mention the safety of many human lives both in the plane and on the ground.

The steps to becoming a pilot

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
  2. Gain flying hours
  3. Earn a pilot’s license
  4. Complete additional tests and training
  5. Work as a pilot
  6. Advance in the field