Anonymous asked in TravelAir Travel · 1 decade ago

How could I become a pilot?

I'm 14 years old and have small experience in flying light aircraft. Anyway, when I turn 15 (late November) My Father said he would start paying for flying lessons (£140-60) an hour.

Could anyone please explain what I must do to become an Airline Pilot?

Please Explain: What grades in school

how many hours?

Also, I'm going into year 10 in school. I am joining Air Cadets when they do recruitment.

Please explain what I must do.. Thanks!


Jorrocks. I'm worried about my GCSE's I don't know if I can pass them. I'm not at all stupid but we have had 3 GCSE tests last year and I failed all of them. I'm waiting for the results of the one's we done last week. Going to get them August 24th.

Could someone become a passionate, dedicated pilot become a Airline Pilot with few GCSEs?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Looks like you're on the right track. Starting early with a benefactor prepared to pay for your training.

    Stick with school and get good grades in case the pilot thing doesn't work out for whatever reason, but the airline pilot route is generally as follows: (note this commentary is based on the JAA model. Things differ slightly in the USA with the FAA).

    PPL: Private Pilots Licence. The basic "driving test" of the air. This qualifies you to fly a particular type of aircraft (usually single engine, piston) on a "private" basis, that means you're not allowed to earn money by doing it. This covers only Visual Flight Rules (VFR) which means you should only fly where you can see, for instance, not in cloud or other obscuring weather. You will need to pass a class 2 aero-medical to obtain this licence.

    Add ratings: Ratings permit you to fly other types of aircraft (for example complex twin engine), and in other ambient conditions (Night Rating, Instrument Rating etc).

    Build hours: Logged hours in the air, take-offs and landings all contribute towards recognised experience.

    CPL: Commercial Pilots Licence. This permits you to be paid for flying. For a CPL, a class 1 aero-medical is required.

    ATPL Ground school: Air Transport Pilot Licence study and exams to bring your CPL up to what's known as "frozen" ATPL.

    Airliner Type rating: To fly an airliner, you need to have the type rating for that kind of aircraft. In order to attain a type rating, you need a certain amount of time as pilot-in-command of that type of aircraft, not such a big deal for a little plane, but a passenger jet costs a LOT of money to take into the air. The likelihood is that you'll need to pay for this personally (unless you're lucky enough to be offered a type rating from an airline).

    Hours building: To attain full ATPL you need 1000 logged hours of flying.

    So, in summary:

    PPL (+ night rating usually), Instrument Rating, Multi Engine Rating, CPL, ATPL exams, Jet type rating, Hours building.

    Good luck.


    Regarding GCSEs / exams:

    Do as well as you can with your exams, but try not to worry too much about the results. Recently, airlines aren't too interested in your academic qualifications if you have the appropriate licences, ratings and logged experience. They would only use exam results as one selection criterion for training programmes (which are pretty much non-existent lately), or where otherwise identical candidates are applying.

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  • dcgirl
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Many airline pilots start their careers in the military. To become a commercial pilot you need a certain number of flight hours, which can be quite expensive to acquire, even with your father's financial backing. In the US they are raising the requirements to 2500 hours which will cost thousands of dollars to get, and that would just qualify you for an entry-level position with a regional carrier due to the competition for senior pilots jobs. If you consider joining the Air Force you can get the flight hours you need while being paid instead of paying for it, then leave the services with enough experience to step into a commercial airline pilot's career without a lot of debt. I can't speak to the grades (I'm from the US so don't really know the various school test requirements in the UK) but if your grades qualify you for military service, it's definitely one path worth considering.

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  • MadMan
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The other responses are correct. However, before you start spending money, get a full eye exam including a colour vision test. If you do not have perfect colour vision, you cannot be a commercial pilot. If you are a boy, you have a 1 in 12 chance of having some kind of colour blindness.

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