UCSBIslaVista
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Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 10:55 am

How To Become A Commercial Airline Pilot

Fri Aug 20, 2004 3:05 pm

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
 
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RE: How To Become A Commercial Airline Pilot

Fri Aug 20, 2004 3:58 pm

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!
 
ZKSUJ
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RE: How To Become A Commercial Airline Pilot

Fri Aug 20, 2004 6:05 pm

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
 
LHR27C
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RE: How To Become A Commercial Airline Pilot

Fri Aug 20, 2004 8:20 pm

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
 
DC3CV3407AC727
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RE: How To Become A Commercial Airline Pilot

Fri Aug 20, 2004 9:28 pm

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
 
bobnwa
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RE: How To Become A Commercial Airline Pilot

Fri Aug 20, 2004 10:05 pm

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.

 
SlamClick
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RE: How To Become A Commercial Airline Pilot

Fri Aug 20, 2004 10:07 pm

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.
 
gr8slvrflt
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RE: How To Become A Commercial Airline Pilot

Fri Aug 20, 2004 10:26 pm

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
I work for Southwest, but the views expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Southwest.
 
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Aeroflot777
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RE: How To Become A Commercial Airline Pilot

Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:00 am

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.
 
burnsie28
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RE: How To Become A Commercial Airline Pilot

Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:24 am

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.
 
StevenUhl777
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RE: How To Become A Commercial Airline Pilot

Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:56 am

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
And the winner for best actress is....REESE WITHERSPOON for 'Walk the Line'!!!!!!!!
 
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RE: How To Become A Commercial Airline Pilot

Sat Aug 21, 2004 4:09 am

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!