How Can You Become an Airline Pilot?


Quick Answer

Those interested in careers as airline pilots usually need college degrees as well as flight training and accreditation, an instrumentation rating, a multi-engine rating and an airline transport pilot certificate. Each step requires training, flight time and testing. Military pilot training allows candidates to bypass civilian training channels and apply directly to airlines.

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Full Answer

Commercial airlines typically require pilots to have a bachelor's degree, but it can be in any subject. To receive a commercial pilot's license, candidates must be at least 18 years old. They can train either at a flight school or with a private instructor. Applicants must pass a medical exam, have vision correctable to 20/20, log a certain number of flight training hours, and pass a written and flight exam.

An instrument rating, which is obligatory to carry passengers at night or more than 50 miles in distance, is acquired by attending instrument rating ground school, logging instrument flying time and passing an instrument flight test. Receiving a rating to fly multiple-engine planes entails taking lessons and passing a flight test. Candidates for an airline transport pilot certificate must be 23 years old, have at least 1,500 flying hours, and pass the written and flight tests. Once a candidate is hired by an airline, the airline gives training in its specific procedures.

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