Airline Transport Pilot Flight Requirements
Individuals who love to fly and are willing to dedicate a lot of time and effort to the pursuit of becoming a pilot may enjoy pursuing a career as an airline transport pilot. This job provides the opportunity to travel all over the world, transporting passengers on a commercial airline. The requirements for an airline transport pilot are extensive, requiring a steep investment of both time and money. It is important to examine all the training involved in this field before setting out, so that you can be well prepared for the challenges involved.
A career as an airline pilot should begin with a solid educational foundation. Commercial pilot certification requires 250 hours of flight time and certification as an airline transport pilot requires 1,500 hours. It's important to start getting this time in as early as possible. A college degree is not required to become a pilot, but it can be useful in demonstrating your dedication to the field. An associate's or bachelor's degree in aviation can provide useful knowledge. While obtaining this degree, it is important to begin flight training as well. Some colleges and universities offer flight training along with the aviation degree. Flight schools and some technical schools also offer flight training.
Many pilots opt to get their education through the military. Becoming a pilot in the military has its own set of requirements and rigorous training. The benefit is that you won't have to pay for the thorough education and extensive experience that you can gain. But this course of action isn't without its own costs. Joining the military is first and foremost a commitment to serve one's country in dangerous and potentially deadly situations. You will also be committed to serve in the military for a specific length of time before you are able to leave and pursue a career as an airline transport pilot.
To become any type of pilot for hire, you must have a commercial pilot certificate. Furthermore, to become an airline transport pilot, you must have an airline transport pilot certificate. Requirements for obtaining a commercial pilot certificate include completion of commercial pilot ground school and 250 flight hours. You must also have a medical certificate obtained from an Aviation Medical Examiner, an instrument rating and a multi-engine rating. Instrument and multi-engine ratings are earned by passing the required ground school training as well as an instrument rating check-ride and multi-engine check-ride. Once these requirements have been met, you must pass a written ground school test and a check-ride performed by a Federal Aviation Administration Examiner. Upon successful completion, you will receive a commercial pilot certificate. The requirements to then obtain an airline transport pilot certificate include a written test and 1,500 flight hours. Of these flight hours, 500 must be cross-country flight time, 100 must be night flight time, 75 must be actual or simulated instrument flight time, and 250 must be as the pilot in command. As pilot in command, 100 hours must be of cross-country flight time and 25 must be night flight time.
After obtaining airline transport pilot certification, the next step is to find employment with an airline. Once hired, further training will be provided. The pilot can expect about 10 weeks of training before beginning the job. About two weeks are dedicated to basic training and general subjects. After this, another two weeks will focus on the specific type of aircraft that the pilot will be flying. After this, simulator training will prepare the pilot for nearly any emergency he may encounter. This training wraps up with some final examinations and check rides. Next, an instructor will take the pilot through initial operating experience which includes a minimum of 25 hours of flight time to help prepare the pilot for a line check. The line check is the final test requirement for operating flights as a crew member.
After completing all of the required training to become an airline transport pilot, you will have a pilot certificate that lasts forever. However, holding this certificate does not qualify a pilot to fly any aircraft at any time. Strict regulations specify the experience needed to fly various types of aircraft. These include a number of hours of flight time on the aircraft. You must also have recent experience to fly. Though your certification won't expire, your flight hours will, and you will need to log additional hours if you want to pilot an aircraft that you haven't been on in a long time.
A career as an airline pilot can be a very interesting and rewarding experience. Airline pilots can also command an impressive salary of more than $200,000 for a tenth-year captain on some airlines. Pilots also receive benefits that can include free travel for their families and retirement benefits. However, becoming an airline pilot requires great dedication over a long period of time. The training can be gruelling as well as expensive. The cost of basic flying lessons starts around $80 an hour, not including the cost of renting the airplanes needed for instruction. The requirements for becoming an airline transport pilot are extensive, but for a dedicated pilot they may pay off in long run.
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
Requirements to Obtain an ATP Certificate
Airline Pilot Salary
Bureau of Labor Statistics - Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers