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A Career In Aviation – What You Need To Know

A lot of children dream of being a commercial pilot when they grow up. As a toddler, sneaking a peek inside the cockpit of a Boeing 727, while leaving on vacation with my parents was what sparked my dream of someday flying. Flying becomes almost a passion for some. The freedom you feel soaring high above the ground, alone, at the controls of a plane is a beautiful, sometimes surreal experience. For those bitten by the flying bug, that wish to work in aviation, the time has never been better.

Have you ever visualized of becoming a Commercial Pilot? There’s always a need for qualified commercial pilots, and it can be a fun and rewarding career. The first step in becoming a commercial pilot is obtaining your Private Pilot’s Certificate. It can be done at your local airport. Many flight schools offer flight training. It’s best to do an internet search or visit your local airport and see what flight schools exist. They can give you a breakdown of the cost to obtain your certificate.

small airplane

This week we were visited by a Pilot out of Coeur D Alene Idaho.  He isn’t an actual full time pilot, he just does it as a hobby.  His full time job is helping company’s achieve a strong online presence through Search Engine Optimization.  He was a very smart guy and shared some pretty big names as clients.  If you’re a company struggling with getting your website in front of people I encourage you to look him up. You can find him by doing a google search “Coeur d Alene SEO” You can also find him through his Twitter and FB page.

To become a Private Pilot the core requirements are you must be at least 17 years old, you must pass a written and practical (flight test). You’ll also be required to pass a medical exam and hold at least a third-class medical certificate. Later, you will need to earn a second class medical certificate to obtain your commercial license. Regarding flight training, to receive your Private Pilot Certificate you’ll need a minimum of 40 hours total time of flight training. Usually, your flight training is done in a Cessna 172, which is a four-seat aircraft. These planes have long been the choice of flight training because of their stable flight characteristics and ease of learning to operate.


Once you complete your training and pass your tests, you’re free to fly with friends, go on trips and share expenses of fuel, but you can’t be paid to fly yet. It is the time that most aspiring build flight time by doing as much flying as they can. The next step is to obtain your Instrument Rating. This rating will allow you to fly in the clouds without outside visual references. It is not necessary to get your Commercial Pilot Certificate but is required if you want to fly with airlines or most other air carriers. The instrument rating is specialized training to teach you to fly by only using the flight instruments on the plane.

To become a Commercial Pilot you’ll need to have your Private Pilot’s Certificate, be at least 18 years old and have at least 250 hours of total flight time. You’ll need additional training from an instructor and to pass another written and flight test. Once you get this license, you can now be paid for certain types of flying, like banner towing, agricultural flying and aerial photogrammetry, but you still aren’t in a position to fly as a flight crew member for an airline. To do this, you need to build up a lot more flight time; typically 1500 hours. You can build up time by becoming a flight instructor, which requires more training and certifications.

Once you have the hours needed, you’ll need to obtain your Airline Transport Pilot certificate (ATP) & a first class medical certificate. The ATP is what allows you to work as a flight crew member in scheduled airline operations. You must also be at least 23 years old, read, write and speak English and be of good moral character.All of this flight training costs money and some opt to go into the military to learn to fly. So becoming a Commercial Pilot is hard work and takes dedication, but once you reach your goals the possibilities for flying jobs is endless. You can be a charter pilot, airline pilot, tour pilot and more.

With leaps and bounds in unmanned aerial vehicles technology today, there will soon be more of a need for pilots to fly these types of aircraft and mechanics to service them. If you’re passionate about aviation but don’t necessarily want to fly, there are many other fields in aviation that you can go into like aeronautical engineering, air traffic controller, dispatcher, mechanic and more. The sky’s the limit.

Author: John McGinnis

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