What Is Training To Be An Airline Pilot Like?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 5:13 am

What's it like, what does the course involve, do the airlines treat you well?
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Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2000 10:55 am

RE: What Is Training To Be An Airline Pilot Like?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 5:36 am

Initial ground school/sim training at the major airline level is the hardest thing I've ever done.....way harder than anything I ever did in college. Super high standards, minimal time to learn, and a high pressure environment are what it's all about. If you can't hack the program, they don't need you around....that's why you're on probation the first year. Not all that many wash out and you don't have to be Mr. Superpilot to pass....but you have to apply yourself like you've never done before and work your butt off. The yearly sims are tough, too....

RE: What Is Training To Be An Airline Pilot Like?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 1:04 pm

It's hard, but not hard like a college class you hate. there is a lot to learn in a short time, but it's something that you have a strong desire to learn, so it doesnt seem like as much work.
Ground school at an airline will normally consist of two parts. Basic Indoctrination, or "Indoc" which covers the company's porcedures and policies outlined in the FAA approved manuals and operations specifications, and aircraft Systems, which is an indepth study of the aircraft you will be flying, usually covering the mechanics of the sytems, their normal and abnormal operation and the specific procedures the carrier uses to operate each system. Usually during this phase a Cockpit Procedures trainer, or CPT is used to reinforce checklists and crew procedures. Basically a CPT is a wood and plastic cockpit mockup that allows a pilot to learn swith/instrument locations and checklist procedures without burning time in a $1000/hr simulator.
After ground school is simulator training, which can vary from 4-10 4 hour sessions in a full motion flight simulator. Usally two trainees will be in the sim, each spending 2 hours as flying pilot and 2 as non flying pilot.
the checkride is just like any other checkride. After the training you have been through it is usally a non-event.
Most companies treat new pilots pretty well. Once you are hired they want you to get through and get online. If a person has trouble with a certain area of training most companies have no problem spending a few extra bucks to get them up to speed, as long as the person is trainable and has a good attitude.
So a quick answer to your question would be-Its tough, but a lot of fun.

RE: What Is Training To Be An Airline Pilot Like?

Sun Apr 22, 2001 9:47 am

A friend of mine sent this to me last week. He's been flying the line for 3 or 4 years now. Thanks, but no thanks. I did my time with the majors. I'm much happier now flying corporate.

Letter from an airline pilot to all those who want to fly "real" airplanes someday:

Here is a home study simulator course for those who hunger for the romance and adventure of airline flying. The follow will help you prepare for the challenges and adventure of flying the line...

1. Stay out of bed all night.

2. Sit in your most uncomfortable chair, in a closet, for nine or ten hours facing a four foot wide panoramic photo of a flight deck.

3. Have two or three noisy vacuum cleaners on high, out of sight but within hearing distance and operating throughout the night. If a vacuum cleaner fails, do the appropriate restart checklist.

4. Halfway through your nocturnal simulator course, arrange for a bright spotlight to shine directly into your face for two or three hours, simulating flying an eastbound flight into the sunrise.

5. Have bland, over-cooked food served on a tray midway through the night.

6. Have cold cups of coffee delivered from time to time. Ask your spouse to slam the door frequently.

7. At a time when you must heed nature's call, force yourself to stand outside the bathroom door for at least ten minutes, transferring your weight from leg to leg, easing the discomfort. Don't forget to wear your hat.

8. Leave the closet after the prescribed nine or ten hours, turn on your sprinklers and stand out in the cold and "rain" for twenty minutes, simulating the wait for the crew car.

9. Head for your bedroom, wet with your suitcase and flight bag. Stand by the door till your wife gets up and leaves, simulating the wait while the maid makes up the hotel room.

10. When your spouse inquires,"Just what the hell have you been doing?" just say," Recalling the allure and romance of all night flying to romantic places" as you collapse into bed.

11. If you are a purist, do this two nights in a row.