MH772 From Canada, joined Jul 2000, 71 posts, RR: 0 Posted (13 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3334 times:
Quick question to all the commercial airline pilots out there. Is this business really hard to get into?? Is it better to get the CPL by enrolling in a university or college flying programme?? Is physics really important if I want to get into this business (because most of the universities & colleges state Math as their only important prerequisites next to English for their admission requirements). And oh yeah, is it a really long climb to get from CPL graduate to a twin-engine jet pilot for a decent airline. Any help here would be greatly appreciated.
Francoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 4406 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (13 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3222 times:
I'm not as pessimistic as Dirksavage. Not yet, at least!
If you're really a die-hard passionate, you'll make your way through anyhow. It doesn't matter wether it's through the big door,the back-door,the window, or the key hole!
Your first job may or may not be hard to find, but I really think it's worth it.
I'm just starting. I've been flying commercial for 2 years and 1/2, on turboprop, in the caribbeans. I recently became a captain and It may just be the beginning, but I'm loving every minute of it.
That's just to cheer you up, I can't really be of any help with the university problem. But please don't make the "twin-engine jet pilot in a decent airline" be your only career goal in life! There's so much more to aviation. The professional part of it may not be the best!
Plus I'm sure you don't even know what a "decent airline" is, you'd be surprised!
If you're in for the the love of flying, then stay healthy and worry no more.
Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
Darius From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 141 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (13 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3149 times:
Here in the Netherlands there are several ways to enroll in commercial aviation as a pilot. The quickest way to become a pilot for an airline is to go through selections of integrated flight schools, and if you get accepted, in two years time you leave the school with your ATPL theory and CPL. The most of these schools have a good name in the industry, and so have their students, so you will find a job, if, of course, the pilot market if favorable. KLM hardly employed new pilots for the last two years approximately, until recent summer, and now market expectations are fairly good for new graduated pilots. So, if you get through the selections, it depends a little on your luck how soon you get employed. But if you had a good education you will get employed sooner or later. Selections for the KLM Flight Academy can be started at the age of 16 or 17 till the age of 27. So you can go to college or university first. This is the path i've chosen, I'm graduating for my studies now and recently got accepted for the KLM Flight Academy. I am very happy with the fact I studied first, even though I could have gone to the KLM FA straight outta high school. This is basically because my interest goes further than "just" flying. But this a personal choice. I know that for the KLM flight academy high school physics are compulsory, but you can do this as a "stand alone" subject in the Netherlands after your high school. Another way of obtaining a CPL is the modular way, which basically means you get your licences and ratings, i.e. PPL, CPL, IR, ME not necessarily at the same school, you sort of pave your own way. If you do it this way, chances of finding a job at a big airline quickly are smaller, however surely not impossible, again, of course, depending on market demands. These modular obtained CPL pilots usually build experience flying charters, small cargo airlines, instructing, just any kind of flying that gives them enough hours of experience to apply for a job at a big airline. As an example, KLM hires students as first or second officer straight form the flight academy without any experience other than that from the KLM FA, which is about 180 hours (not exactly sure about the exact amount), whereas if you apply at KLM with a modular obtained CPL, you must have something in the order of 500 or 1000 hours multi engine experience (which can be hard to get) (again not exactly sure on the numbers, but it gives an indication). So there are many different ways to many different pilot seats, it can not be said that it is "easy" or "difficult". However, with determination you will get there!
Beware that this goes for the Netherlands, so it may not be representative for another country.
Hope this helps. Cheers.
DPrush From United States of America, joined May 2002, 97 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (13 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3082 times:
Dude, don't worry 'bout physics, at least not in the States. If you can add, breathe and have 20/20 corrected, consider yourself a pilot, at least in the States. That's what's so great about aviation in this country, anyone can do it so, come over, get a loan and get to it...
'though, it'll be a while 'fore you ready to pay the loans back
Covert From Ghana, joined Oct 2001, 1586 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (13 years 8 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 2994 times:
Corrected to 20/20 means just that, corrected. If you take a piece of bubble gum and stick it a a bottle chipping and stick that to your eyes, you have corrected vision as long as it allows you to see at 20 feet what a normal person can see at 20 feet...
Saab2000 From Switzerland, joined Jun 2001, 1621 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (13 years 8 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 2946 times:
One more thing, "keep your nose clean". This means that you need to live a fairly boring life. Some airlines like to know a lot about you and if there is something they don't like it could go against your chances. An incident with drugs or a DWI will more or less eliminate you from their "wanted" list even if it happened a long time ago. Same goes for speeding tickets. At least this is my understanding of the majors. Also, keep your flying record clean. They WILL find out about incidents.
As far as some others said, it can be a crappy industry to work in. Some times I hate it. On the other hand I cannot imagine any place I'd rather be or anything else I would rather be doing. I love the atmosphere of aviation - be it on the ground or in the air.