Topic Author
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon May 31, 1999 1:40 am

How to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Tue Jan 05, 1999 7:24 am

I was wondering how the commercial pilots around this site got their job with the airline? Did you start flying at an early age? What types of planes did you learn on first, or did you learn aviation in the Air Force (that is how my uncle became a pilot with Pan Am and TWA several years ago.) What where the qualifications and testing required by the airline. Thank You!

RE: How to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Tue Jan 05, 1999 7:39 am

You can join the forces adn they will train you to be a pilot adn then from that you can go to an airline.
The other way is you get your
Multi engine
CFI and then you teach to gain time
ATP (airline transport pilot)
Then you will fly for a commuter then after about 5 years of that and depending on the demand you can fly for a major.
In Europe Japan and Austrlia airlines train you as of demand that is what I am hoping for! Or not I will gain all my lincense then go to a Airline skipping CFI as that is not neccesary were I want to fly.

RE: How to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Tue Jan 05, 1999 7:45 am

I am looking into one day becomming a pilot. how would I do so if I have a ood knoledge of planes, but have never flown in my life? In the US, do you have to start out small, or can you train for big, and then get right to it?
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RE: How to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Tue Jan 05, 1999 7:49 am

Either you can do the military thing for four to six years or you can train at a civilian school.

For the FAA to hold the licenses you need to get the following time built up.

Private-40 hours
Commercial-300 hours
Airline Transport Pilot(ATP)-1500 hours

When I talk about hours that is the actually time you spend flying an airplane. A lot of guys go ahead and get there instructor ratings and teach as a way to build up their time.

You can't get paid for anything that you do in an airplane unless you have the commercial certificate. Most companies won't even look at you unless you have the ATP. And the majors have even higher requirements because of the demmand for their jobs. Some regions have their own requirements. As a general rule up here in Alaska you have to have 500 hours in state before an airline(or insurance company) will even consider you.

Don't let that 1500 hour number scare you away though. I know two guys who had commercial ratings but didn't have the hours they go hired on as ramp rats (cargo handlers) and both of them six months later got bids to right seat metros. A lot of the time there are back doors to the cockpit. Two non-flying ratings you might look at getting are the A&P(mechanic) and the dispatcher. Like any job the more people you know the mort likely the job.

RE: How to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Tue Jan 05, 1999 7:53 am

So how do I go about doing this? this sounds all very confusing! Ok, how do I get someone to record these hours and how can I get commercail hours if I do not already have the license?
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am


Tue Jan 05, 1999 8:00 am

Actually you have a good job for getting to know the senior pilots at your airline. They are usually the ones that do the hiring so it obviously doesn't hurt to know them.

See if someone at the local airport offers an "introductory flight" This just takes you up for a half hour-hour just so you can see what is going on. If you decide to take lessons it is just a matter of getting hours hours hours.

As far as hiring you have a big bonus especially if you allready work for the company. They don't have to train a new person to company procedures and you know the system. This will be especially benificaly if you keep working there while learning to fly. It has been my experience that most companies like hiring from within.

One final note. If you decide to fly please do it at a part 61 school. These 141 schools they have are just bus driver factories.

Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

hours and ??????

Tue Jan 05, 1999 8:06 am

You must have been writing this while I was typing that second msg. It really isn't confusing. I am just lousy at explaining it.

There is no different types of hours. hours are hours. The Pilot(You) is responsible for recording them. So what you do is buy a logbook (They are about 3 bucks) and note how much time a flight you made took.

If you have any other questions let me have it. It may be better to reach me on my E@mail address though. I am going home for the day.

RE: FAunited7

Tue Jan 05, 1999 8:06 am

What do you mean the 6 school? And should I tell the airline I am doing it or not. I have only been a flight attendant for what, I think 2 years (I know what I said in earlier posts, but that included other airlines). Would they still want me? =)


Tue Jan 05, 1999 8:16 am

That is great that you want to be a pilot. There are not many female pilots and I think there should be more. In BA they have 2 female captains in the 757 and 767 and there must have a couple hundred captains.
Next time you fly speak to the pilots about flying they might have a plane and offer to take you up or they might be a CFI and offer to teach you. You should go down to your local airport and start working on your Private which will allow you to fly a single engine airplane. Then after that get your instrument which will allow you to fly in bad weather and airlines like that early.If you go to a FAR 40 school which is a FAA approved school you can get your commercail in 200 hours to save money and then you get your CFI and teach in your spare time. You CFI will pay of the loan for your Lincense if you go that way and it will cost you around $20,000 and then when you an instructor get you multi and then when you have a 1000 hours you can get a job with Skywest or something. Then after a few years with them then I would go to United they will be pleased to know you were a FA for them. Also they have a training program that when you get your Commercail over 21 years old and have a first class medical they will fund the rest of your training I would look into that if I were you as they will like you alot as you work for them! I hope you do become a pilot as I am sure you will have alot of fun.
Any questions please E-mail I will ba happy to answer them to the best of my ability.
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: FAunited7

Tue Jan 05, 1999 8:21 am

There are two different sets of FAA rules govening flight training FAR 141 and FAR 61.
If you go to a school on the airport that has a fixed schedual of classes then it is a part 141 school. Most all college programs are like this. The one I am attending is under part 141. You would probably have to dedicate two-three years full time to see a flight job.

Part 61 are the general rules for flight training. This is what most guys at local airports operate under. It is a lot more flexible and you can do it at your own pace. This is what I personally recommed but research out what you want to do. If you decide just to learn to fly on your days off this is what you would do it under.

The big thing for you is whether or not you want to do this full time or not. If you flight train part time during your off days it will take longer... There is a good chance that by the time you get the hours for you to make an application for a pilot job you may have enough seniority at UA that it wouldn't be worthwhile. I don't know what the corperate attitude is at UA but you may know some pilots up there that if they found out you where taking lesson would be able to offer no shortage of good advice. This is what happened when I decided to take flying lessons.

Good Luck. If I can confuse you more plz feel free to e@mail me.

RE: FAunited7

Tue Jan 05, 1999 8:23 am

Ok. Well, the idea of being a captain sounds lke it will take me like 8 ears and a TON of money. No offense, but I am a male you know.Lets go a little slower if possible, LOL. so first I have to buy a plane and rent an instructor? Then go to FAA school and get hours. Then call up United and ask for the job? IS thst right?

RE: FAunited7

Tue Jan 05, 1999 8:25 am

I would not tell them straight away I would tell you friends and the captains but don't go up to your boss adn say I am becoming a pilot! I think that that is uneccesary. When you are ready to fly for an airline then tell them. I would also not quiet being a FA while being a CFI unless you are married to a rich man. CFI do not get paid that much but they do it for the time in the plane not for the money.
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: FAunited7

Tue Jan 05, 1999 8:35 am

Money wise. It's not too bad if you do it part time. I don't by into the theries that you save money by going to a 141 school since you have to get that many hours plus to get a job.

Typicaly if learning to fly goes like this.

1. Finding an instructor.(step one besides deciding to do it)
He/She will be the one who provides the school. He will be the one who shows you how to do things in the airplane. Also signs you off for your test ect. A lot of them are employed by the FBO's at the airport. This is where you would rent the airplane.

2. After you get you private license you just have to build up hours untill you get to the number of hours need for the next license. You will probably spend some time with the instructor so you can learn the particulars about that license but you are pretty much free to do what you want with the airplane after you have the private. You can still either rent, buy(exp) or build one.

3. After you have either the CAX or ATP then just start sending in resumes to whoever is hiring. United hiring threshhold is pretty high though so just be warned.

Speak to aviator ua

Tue Jan 05, 1999 8:52 am

You might want to E-mail aviator UA he sasid he wanted to teach people to fly heavy. He would proably be able to get you in the simulator and give a taste of flying and what is invovled. I can understand both of you guys a busy but it will enthuse you and if aviator ua can not do it you should ask united as they will cut you a deal but you get a taste of it.

RE: FAunited7--L-188

Tue Jan 05, 1999 8:53 am

Thank-you soo much, that helped a lot!
Posts: 706
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 5:07 pm

RE:UAFA and Iain:

Tue Jan 05, 1999 8:58 am

Listen up! FAUnited I understand that you want
to see if you can be a commercial airline pilot
kudos!!!! Here is what I suggest:
Go part 61 for your private and if you love it
switch to part 141 for the rest:
and then get your
Multi engine
How old are u?
You may need about $15,000-$20,000

I think you should go part 141 if you are serious
about becoming a commercial pilot! This will give
you the skill you will need!! It's hard but it's worth it!
By the way a 141 could just be a flight school not a
college! I went to a part 141 flight school.

I just got my commercial and I'm waiting till
my ship comes in to get that ME rating so
I can hop on up the ladder! I'm only 20 so ATP
is out of the question right now.

Iain: I don't me to be rude and I like you a lot!
But you post on somethings you are half way
familiar with. I know you know your stuff but
I think you should leave some post alone.
I hope you understand I always look forward to
your post !!!

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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 12:16 pm

RE: FAunited7

Tue Jan 05, 1999 8:58 am

Good luck FAunited7. Do a cross country to Hagerstown and visit with us. We have a lot of UAL people that come through


Tue Jan 05, 1999 9:36 am

About FA united 7 age if she said she has been a FA for 5 years and with United you have to be 19 to be a FA the youngest she is is 24 older anuff to get her ATP.
Also I might not know all the FAR and I missed the one on far141 and was of the hours by 25 I still think I everything help also what is the advatage of going FAR 60 I can not think of one! They are not cheaper they seem to be in the miidle of no where.
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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:10 am

RE: RE:UAFA and Iain:

Tue Jan 05, 1999 9:45 am

I agree with FedEx.
Posts: 706
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 5:07 pm

RE: Iain:

Tue Jan 05, 1999 9:57 am

Iain: I don't want to get into a war of words with
you because your cool but when you don't
know squat about something such as 141
then don't say anything! If you ask most airlines
and cargo they look at how you where trained.
They like the idea that you where 141 because
it is a more serious strict by the book program and
61 is not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you where in charge of an
airline would you hire someone that screwed
around for years working on there certifications
under 61 and not having much skill? I wouldn't!
When I first began my endevour to be come a
(hopefully) a commercial pilot I called around and
asked some of my pilot friends and a guy I know
that owns Ameriflight the biggest 135 in the country
how I should do my training. He and others told me
if I was serious I should go 141 to show that you are
skilled and serious about flying as a carrer. This is
my opnion and you are entiteled to yours.. Still friends?
I hope so!!!!

RE: Iain:

Tue Jan 05, 1999 10:10 am

Of course we are still friends but I think I know the concept of FAR141 which is the important thing.

RE: How to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Tue Jan 05, 1999 6:08 pm

The requirements by most carriers are as follows,
total flight time: 2500 hours
multi-engine time (piston) 500
multi-engine time (turbine) 500
Pilot in command 1800
actual instrument time 250

Now this is MINIMUM time. A major carrier will insist on this time being in your logs before you even get to the interview.

RE: How to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Tue Jan 05, 1999 6:38 pm

Of course it goes without saying that you need all the ratings in your logs as well including an ATP endorsement. Dont worry about type ratings.
If the airline thinks you're good enough to hire, after initial training they will type you on the aircraft you are assigned to.

RE: A word of caution...

Wed Jan 06, 1999 1:35 am

Whether you have followed a Part 141 course or have done it the other way, chances are that you have 200+ hrs, with maybe 25 multi engine if you are lucky. Very few people will even consider hiring somebody with those hours. So, you may have to get those hours some other way. Sure, there are ways, but they are few and far between. Unless you have a major bank account and you can afford to buy flight time (which, by the way, many people frown upon). So,you may actually have to become a flight instructor to build up that flight time and for some reason many people don't want to do that. And I'm not even mentioning the difficulty in getting that multi-engine time up. Also remember, even more importantly perhaps, that right now we are experiencing a very good economic cycle which means there are plenty of jobs around (that is, with the right number of flying hours). Chances are though that once you have finished your training we are in an economic downturn and it will be extremely difficult even to find a flight instructor position. So, I'm not trying to discourage you from persuing this great career, but I would like to show you that things aren't always that great. Think about this before you really decide: for every pilot that makes it to the airlines, there are probably ten that have tried but never made it, many for the reasons mentioned above. And I don't think I'm exagerating, I'm affraid.

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