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How To Become A Commercial Airline Pilot  
User currently offlineUCSBIslaVista From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 9 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 17596 times:

I just graduated from college and I really wanted to become a pilot for a commercial airline. My major was Business Economics but my dream has always been to be a pilot. I wanted to know what would be the best way to accompish this. I have read on some Airline websites that they have programs that you can enter that takes you through the process. I just wanted to know how long it would take and what is the best way to go about it. Thanks Chris

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineType-rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 4992 posts, RR: 19
Reply 1, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 17513 times:

Well, you have part of the qualifications, your degree.

Short and simple:
It doesn't matter where you get your training from, just so much as you have the ratings and hours. Look around. I have heard that the average airline new-hire is about 34 years old and has about 5,000 hours total time. However, I know a AA Eagle new-hire that has about 2,250 hours flying time. He started his training in 1998. Where will you get your hours from?
It also helps if you are rich. (Or have rich parents who are willing to foot the bill for you!) Flight training is very expensive these days. Back in 1970, it cost me about $18,000 to get to Commercial-Instrument, CFI(I). Nowadays, it'll cost you about $40-60,000! And this doesn't include living expenses such as food, housing, etc. Just when you think you are done, then you need your ATP. And remember that this industry is very cyclical, there are tons of pilots from the airlines still out on furlough.

This topic pops up every other month, do a search for more info. I see you are a relatively new user to a.net. Welcome!



Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7092 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 17465 times:

Try "jetcareers.com" it should help you seeing as you live in the states. It's got some good info on there. I know that it is certainly helpful for me.
Welcome to A.net


User currently offlineLHR27C From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 1279 posts, RR: 16
Reply 3, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days ago) and read 17438 times:

PPrune is also useful (http://www.pprune.org) although more Europe orientated.

Ideally you would want to get in being sponsored by an airline as a cadet, however these places are highly competitive and not at all common over the last few years, I'm not sure whether any of the US airlines are recruiting that way at the moment.

Here in the UK Easyjet and Thomas Cook are sponsoring cadets under a scheme run by CTC/McAlpine, however there are various strings attached. With Easyjet they will pay back the cost of training over 15 years, if you leave them in that period you must take fund whatever is remaining.



Once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned forever skyward
User currently offlineDC3CV3407AC727 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 314 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 17407 times:

Just do it,follow your passion, you will have no regrets,feel free to contact me,I will help you how I can.


the rumble of round engines is like music to me,likewise the thunder of thr JT8D
User currently offlineBobnwa From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 6465 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 17380 times:

To my knowledge, no US carrier has the cadet system. Since you are a college graduate why don't you try and enter the Air Force or Navy in their pilot training program. You will have an obligation to serve for a number of years, but the training is second to none. Plus, when you are ready to get out of the service, you will be very a very employable canidate for the airlines.



User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 6, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 17385 times:

Sounds like you have the disease. My sincere condolences. Enjoy the flying because the career will offer little else.

If you wanted to be a pilot for the money, forget it. Any other use of your degree will likely pay more. Check out the thread on the impending liquidation of USAir. The pilots there would have been better off in retirement if they'd been janitors in the Alabama public schools.

That said, it is a great life if you have the calling.

I would not recommend paying a commuter airline tens of thousands of dollars for their buy-a-job program. Partly I would not do that because of ethical considerations - I think they are running a lottery. Mostly though, unless you want to spend your whole career with them, you will still be in debt when you leave.

The military route is not very practical at the moment. Most branches are training very few pilots and they are retaining them for a long time.

Getting the licenses will not be the big hurdle. Find the money and you will find the licenses. The real trick is to get the first couple thousand hours. There are lots of ways to do it but you may have to get creative about it.

I will yield now to the guys who have done the first few years more recently than I have. I am at the other end of my career and have no real idea how I'd go about getting started in today's climate.

I just know I would do it.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineGr8SlvrFlt From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 1603 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 17364 times:

A guy walks into a bar with a bucket of cow dung in one hand, holding a shotgun in the other, and carrying a cat on his shoulder. He orders a beer, chugs it, tosses the bucket in the air and shoots. Crap goes flying and the cat gets startled and runs off with the man running behind. Amazingly enough, this same scenario is repeated three days in a row. Finally, the bartender, perplexed and tired of cleaning up the mess, asks the strange fellow what is going on. He replies, "Well I always wanted to be an airline pilot and I met one recently who told be the most important thing I would have to do is learn to drink beer, shoot the shit and chase pussy!"  Big thumbs up

User currently offlineAeroflot777 From Russia, joined Mar 2004, 3007 posts, RR: 27
Reply 8, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 17320 times:

I also want to live out my dream, become an airline pilot. But contrary to my grandparent's belief, I don't want to do it for money. But instead something about flying fascinates me. I heard that the earlier you start flying the better.


User currently offlineBurnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7539 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 17306 times:

It doesn't matter where you get your training from, just so much as you have the ratings and hours.

Actually it does. You are more likely if you were in one of the following.

US Air Force
and the others are doing college with flying at the same time.
University of North Dakota
Embry Riddle University
Ohio State University
Purdue University
Auburn University

Those are in order of best to good.

Its not too late if you do it a private place. However, those attending the above institutions are more likely to get hired then someone that has just gone to a private flight school that many airports have.



"Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 17269 times:

UCSB: I wish you all the best...make the decision based on facts and reality, but also what YOU want to do. I wanted to be an airline pilot for the longest time, still do really, but it's not practical for me now. Instead, my Dad told me to get a business degree, so I followed his advice, graduated with a degree in Bus. Econ., though not from UCSB, now I'm in accounting, and I'm f-ing miserable, wanting to get out as fast as I can. So, don't make a decision based on what someone else tells you what they think you should do.

Loved that joke, BTW.... Big grin


User currently offlineType-rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 4992 posts, RR: 19
Reply 11, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 17200 times:

Burnsi28:

UCSBIslaVista already has a degree. Why would he want to attend a another university?

I agree that the U.S. Military is a great place to train. But read post #6 again.

I think your list of schools is utter BS. Sure they are fine universities with great aviation programs, but the airlines look for quality flying time and the number of hours flown. They really don't give a hoot about where they trained at. Degree, Ratings and Experience count, not which alumni association you belong to!

Besides, I see a little bias there towards U of ND. Their NTSB record doesn't really look that good....



Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
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