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How Can I Become an Airplane Pilot?

You need pilot's license and thousands of hours of flight experience to become an airline pilot.
Before becoming a captain, a commercial pilot must gain experience as a copilot on a particular aircraft type.
Many pilots receive their training through the military.
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  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 July 2014
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There are not many prerequisites to become an airline pilot in the United States. While a college degree is an asset, it's certainly not required to obtain a pilot's license. In the past, most airline pilots were trained in the military, but that's no longer the norm either. For starters, it requires a 10-year commitment to the Air Force, and many people who have their sights set on becoming an airline pilot simply want to fly, and not go through military flight training or live a military life.

Most people who want to become an airline pilot are looking for a civilian license. This type of license can be obtained from a private flight school or from a college that offers a degree on aviation. Both options cost a lot of money. You can start with a basic private license, which requires a minimum of 40 hours of flight training, or go directly for a commercial license, which starts at 250 hours. Most private schools charge $80 US Dollars (USD) and up for one hour of flight. Classroom instruction, flying charts, and books are all additional.

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After the required hours are finished, those who want to become an airline pilot must pass a check-ride, the equivalent to a driver's license, which consists of a quiz, an oral test, and a practical test. While a pilot's license lasts forever, you'll need a medical certificate to work for an airline, and this is only good for 6-12 months, depending on the type of plane you fly. Since 9/11, all pilot licenses in the United States are now given under the permission of Department of Homeland Security (DHS), through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

After you obtain your pilot's license, you need to get flight experience before any airline would consider hiring you. Most airlines would not consider any pilot that has under a few thousand hours of flight in his or her charts. To become an airline pilot for commercial planes, you also need an instrument rating, which allows you to fly in bad weather conditions, such as below VFR (visual) minimums. You may also need a multi-engine rating, which allows you to pilot all planes under 12,500 pounds (about 5670 kg).

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Discuss this Article

anon341167
Post 134

I have finished my postgraduate in physics. I want to become a pilot. Where can I study this course in tamilnadu with a scholarship?

What is the procedure of applying for the test?

What is he cost of the study material?

How much time does the course take?

What is the age required to take the pilot courses?

anon330350
Post 132

I am from India and in 10th standard. I want to be a pilot, so which stream should I take? Which courses are required? What about fees and duration and the eligibility criteria?

anon270283
Post 124

I am in 8 class and want to become a pilot. At which age do we start our jobs?

anon238518
Post 122

There are lot of schools that provide the right training, and then there are schools that provide the right accommodation, and some with both, so it becomes very hard to know where to go. In that case, contact the school to get the exact information and the best guidance for flying and for ground studies.

oronno123456
Post 120

I am Mum. I am an h.s.c examinee. To be a pilot is my dream and everything. But my height is 5'1. Is it possible for me to be an air force officer? And what should I do after completing my h.s.c exam? Please help me.

anon220567
Post 118

i am 16 and i wish to be a pilot. all i want to know is which and how many subjects are needed.

anon212047
Post 117

Funny how so many questions still with the same answer. Guys, it's simple. You need to have a medical certificate, pass in 12th grade (a bit of physics and math will help) and you need to be good with remembering things too.

Just a little tip that helped a mate of mine: drink orange juice, eat yogurt every morning (unless you have a problem with it), drink lots of water, relax. It's going to help you in the long run.

anon211807
Post 116

I don't know if I will get a reply, but I have no idea so I am going to post it down anyway. I am a 25 year old guy. I am doing B.E in Kathmandu, Nepal. But now I realised that civil engineering was never my field and I kind of changed my mind for my life one step more. I fear being dissatisfied with everything I have here. Then I realised that studying to be a pilot and playing in the sky is what I have been dreaming since my childhood and what was lacking was my confidence to stand against others when I am right.

So, anyone having proper and accurate information regarding qualifications, eligibility, study cost along with materials cost, let me know.

wmmgdkm
Post 114

I am from Sri Lanka. I am a student of grade 12 Maths. So, to become a pilot what are the courses i should complete?

Can a woman be a pilot? And how can i become an international pilot? Please reply to me!

navitandhaal
Post 113

what should i do to apply as flying instructor? i am in plus 1 commerce, and first wanted to go for nda, but it was for males. but now i'm thinking about becoming a flying instructor. what are the requirements for applying, eligibility and money required? and can i become a flying instructor?

anon179523
Post 111

to become a pilot you must be medically fit. pilot training will cost around 20 lakhs. it is a ten month training course. i am a pilot in the philippines.

anon175577
Post 110

i am a student of class 8 and i want to be a pilot in future. i want to know the steps i want to start to be a pilot, like the knowledge i need and how long the course takes.

anon172871
Post 108

i am ebenezer, a ghanaian and a j.h.s. graduate. What are required courses (subjects)in s.h.s. for me to know how to become an airline pilot?

anon168947
Post 107

This post is for all the people interested in taking flying lessons.

The commerce students can take a course in flying provided they take some add-on exams conducted by their respective education boards so that you can cover physics and maths.

And for all those who are saying that at some places, getting a cpl will take six to eight months and it's also cheap, do not fall in that trap. Guys offering such packages just overlog your flying hours and there is a lot less actual flying. E.g., they will make you fly for 50 hours and just log some more hours so that you get eligible to apply for the commercial pilot license, which is illegal.

Normally, a cpl course will take around 12-14 months abroad and about two years or more in india.

Rajiv23
Post 105

I am a commerce student. i have passed my 12 form commerce, so what step i should take to become a pilot? is it possible or not? it is my dream to become a pilot. Due to certain circumstances i had to study commerce. Please reply.

anon162582
Post 102

I am from Nepal. i am studying in 12th (science) HSEB board. i have a dream to become a pilot. can i apply for piloting after i complete 12th?

anon159757
Post 100

I'm having 60 percent for 12th boards in cbse stream. only 49 for maths; 59 for physics and chemistry; 80 for maths. I want to study aerospace engineering in uk or usa. Will i get admission to any university?

anon158621
Post 98

I am from india and in 10th standard. i want to be a pilot. so which stream should i take? Which courses are required? What about fees and duration and the eligibility criteria? please do reply. Karan V.

anon157260
Post 94

I am from india and in 10th standard. i want to be a pilot. so which stream should i take? Which courses are required? What about fees and duration and the eligibility criteria? please do reply.-- shagun s.

awesomdud
Post 92

not exactly m8. i mean, even if you consider other courses that people enroll in, the theory part is comparatively easier, if you are interested. I mean. come on man, there are guys in the forum who are doing MBA. I'm pretty sure it's way easier.

but yeah, i do agree with you on the financial part. do not enter the field if you don't have a good back up plan. sometimes it takes years before some pilots get a good job.

Ultimately, if you're going to a good, reputable school, about 80 percent of the time, graduates will be successful.

anon153168
Post 91

Whomever posted the first article has obviously no clue or made an effort to know how, things work to study and complete the commercial pilot license Instrument ground and practical standards training.

It is not as easy as you may think or the "impression" you were put under. It requires a lot, lot, lots of study and practice and lots of financial input and more study and at least 8 exams, which are not like "when I fly for 1 minute, how long have I flown for?" That's easy.

Prepare and make sure you study a lot! Enjoy! Realistic!

awesomdud
Post 90

it's really easy to get a CPL (Commercial Pilot License) nowadays. The cheapest and easiest way is to do it from the philippines. I did my training from visayas aerospace and i was able to get into charter flying as soon as i was done with my training.

so quality is obviously not bad, and unlike other countries, they give package deals so you don't have to spend on anything once you're there.

Qualifications required are only 12th and age from 18 to 55. even 17 is ok since you'll spend a year to finish your training if you take it slow.

Even commerce students can apply for CPL as it's not a requirement in the philippines to join for pilot training. but if you're from india, yeah you have to clear a physics and math exam for 12th but need not be in the science department. Hope this helps.

anon147801
Post 86

i am in a high school. i need to know the subjects to study for becoming a pilot? At least five subjects!

and what is the most coolest aircraft to fly?

jincmary
Post 85

is it possible to be a pilot after 12th commerce? if it is then can you please provide me with the information regarding the procedure to join the course, course period, total cost to be incurred for studying,regarding colleges and various necessary information. Please do reply.

anon141672
Post 84

i am an 8th grade student and i want to become a international pilot. What courses should i take to become a pilot after I graduate?

anon138865
Post 83

sir, iam now 29years old and i did 10th and I.T.I in Civil Draftsman but im interesting to become pilot. Is it possible or not? please let me know. your reply will be highly appreciated. Regards, Mohammad S.

anon137101
Post 79

my dream is to become a seaman, but my parents want me to have a course in criminology. I don't like crime.

I'm a 4th year student and i know what I like and don't like, so I've changed my mind. I'd like to try to study to become a professional pilot. Is it a hard course?

richter6
Post 75

Duration of the course is 6-8 months and qualification need is 10 +2, Location is Philippines.

anon136033
Post 73

I recently found out a course for commercial pilot.

Seems like an interesting one for me. You can become a pilot in 8 months and fee is kind of cheap for international standards.

anon133943
Post 68

I am a commerce student and my dream is to become a commercial pilot. is it possible to take pilot training by commerce students? Please share your views.

anon131416
Post 67

i am a mba student in uk. i had a dream to become a pilot and still it is my dream. i did my bachelor from my country in bangladesh. so after completing my course i want to implement my dream. so could you tell me what types of qualifications do i have to get to reach my dream?

1.where i have to communicate to get admission

2.how long duration this course.

2.how much cost it can take to complete this course in uk. thank you.

meetashwin
Post 66

I am a commerce student. i have passed my 12 from commerce so what step i should take to become a pilot. is it possible or not? it is my dream to become a pilot. Due to certain circumstances i had to study commerce.

anon127562
Post 65

umm. My name is Mack and in the future i plan to become a pilot.i dont got a lot of money just wanna be in the sky...you know?

anon120559
Post 63

I am in 10 standard and my aim is to become a pilot. Tell me about the study. what should i do to become a pilot? Please answer, please.

anon119698
Post 59

I am a student of class 8th and i am wishing to become a pilot. so, which courses are involved in this to become an airline pilot?

anon116225
Post 56

I am a commerce student. i have passed my 12 from commerce so what step i should take to become a pilot. is it possible or not?it is my dream to become a pilot. Due to certain circumstances i had to study commerce.

anon113351
Post 55

I am a first college student. what subjects do i have to take to be a pilot? my dream has always been to become a pilot.

anon111847
Post 53

I am a PAF and i was in the field my dream is to become an Air Force pilot. i am still studying and i am 19 years old. can you tell me the requirements and procedure about physical requirements?

anon105129
Post 49

i have a diploma in computer science. my dream is to become pilot. what i should i do?

anon102492
Post 48

now i am student of 12th class(non-medical).i want to become a pilot. my age is 16 years. i want to know: 1.eligibility; 2.tests for applying; 3.time of course; 4.fees; 4.age required.

anon99336
Post 47

now i'm doing my second master. i m doing mba in uk.

i haven't got good marks in my 12th commerce and i was going to join the bcom then i did a Master of e business and now i'm doing a second master MBA in the uk. i want be a pilot. am i eligible for that? i mean, give me some guidance for that, please.

anon93805
Post 46

i'm vashisht from amla in madhya pradesh, a small town. now I'm studying in class 12 and i want to become a pilot, but i don't know the procedure after 12. How can apply for it? Please help me.

anon88797
Post 42

My name is Tom and my future goal is to be a pilot.

anon87492
Post 41

i am a civil engineer, and i want to enter an aeronautical engineering course. can you give me the procedure?

anon86616
Post 40

I work as a civil engineer. my qualification diploma is in civil engineering. now I like to study airline pilot training. so I want to know about the procedure of applying for the training course; the cost of the studying this course; time of course; age limit required in the pilot courses.

anon85428
Post 39

My name is Sanhita. my goal in the future is to become a pilot.

anon84703
Post 38

i am a commerce students and want to pursue a cpl course. Please give me some relevant ideas about it.

anon84503
Post 37

Is there any age limit to becoming a pilot?

i m right now in third year of computer engineering. shall i do my master in pilot in USA? what is required for that?

anon83058
Post 35

i want to become a pilot of a fighter plane in indian air force. i am a science student in 12th.

what shall i do.

anon80941
Post 34

i want to become a pilot and have commerce and maths in 12th standard. how to become and what is the procedure for it.

anon79758
Post 33

i am praveen. i have finished my 12. my dream is to become a pilot. i don't have any problems in my body and eyes. please help me to become a pilot. i don't know what are the procedures to do. please tell me.

anon78309
Post 32

My name is kranthi and i am studying in my 11th standard.

I want to become a commercial pilot. Can you tell me the requirements and procedures and about physical requirements? my eyesight is slightly weak. my eye power is -0.5. i don't have any other problems except this, so can i become a commercial pilot?

can you please tell me what should i do after completing my class 12 and which test should i take and how to take it.

i would like to know: 1. The procedure of applying for the test. 2. The cost of the study material. 3. Time, of course. 4. Age required in the pilot courses.

anon78148
Post 31

i am dinesh. i am from india and my dream is to become a pilot. i am a 10th class student now. i need brief details about my further study to become a pilot. Please help me out.

anon77045
Post 30

My dream is to become an Air Force pilot. i can't find out how to achieve my dream. i can't find out any specified field. Please help me in fulfilling my dream. By the way I'm 17 years old and in 12th standard. My stream is arts. Please, please, please help.

anon76129
Post 29

i am a class 9 student. i am aspiring to become a pilot. what are the procedures?

anon71317
Post 27

I am a b.sc physics graduate doing second year in loyola college, chennai, tamilnadu. i secured marks in 12th standard at 69 percent. I want to become a pilot. But my family background is poor. so, kindly inform me.

1)i don't know about course fees?

2) Loan facility is available without any security

3)what are the qualification essential for a pilot?

anon65076
Post 23

I am student of class 12th commerce. how can i become a fighter pilot?

anon64929
Post 22

i am an Indian boy. I want to be a pilot but my background is not with this. I am studying in class 9. Please give me an answer.

anon64513
Post 21

I am minaj from india. my dream is to be pilot but I am 12th with commerce. can i be a pilot with 12th commerce? is that possible? Please, anyone reply and many thanks. Please, please reply. I want to be a pilot.

anon61042
Post 20

I am an Indian boy. I want to be an pilot as my background is not with this. I am studying in class 11 com. Please give me an answer.

anon60802
Post 19

what field is required to become a pilot? is it something like aerospace engineer?

anon60786
Post 18

i am studying in 12 commerce. my dream is to become a pilot. can i became a pilot?

anon59767
Post 17

hello. i want to become a pilot. i was in india 11th class non medical students. now i am in germany for two years, but am also doing study in germany, so i want knowledge regarding the pilot.

1. the cost of study material

2. age required in courses

3. qualification required

4. the procedure of applying for the test

anon55072
Post 15

My name is Ranjith. There is no age limit for the pilot training course. the minimum qualification is 12th standard and even degree holders of any discipline with a mathematics background can apply. My cousin is doing pilot training in the Philippines. He is a B.E holder, now selected in the pilot field. The fee structure is 19 lac including accommodation and food.

anon51741
Post 14

i'm going to be graduating after a year in commerce with maths background. Please tell about the institution that gives flying training. i want to become a pilot and also about fees structure.

anon51208
Post 13

i am a 12th commerce student (with maths) and i wish to know the following details:

1.how can i become a pilot?

2.the duration and fees required for the course.

3.eligibility criteria.

4.any exams i should appear to?

thank you

anon47613
Post 12

i am an 11th standard student, can i become a pilot? can a license can be attained even after 16? how much it will cost completely?

anon44075
Post 11

i'm a student of the 11th class. i will complete 11th in 2010. i want to become a pilot. please tell me about:

The procedure of applying for the test.

The cost of the study material

How long the courses last

Age required in the pilot courses.

anon42233
Post 10

i am going to finish my bca. Can I apply for the pilot training courses? Am I qualified for that?

anon40151
Post 9

well i would like to know the qualifications required to become a pilot.

anon39378
Post 8

dear sir, i am an mba, presently working with an educational institute. i wanted to know

whether i can change my field and become a pilot. i am from a commerce background and don't have any experience in math subjects.

anon38185
Post 7

Dear Sir,

I am a civil engineer, presently working with an international construction company. i would like to know who i can bring a change in my carrier and become a private airline service pilot.

the following i would like to know from you:-

1)The qualifications required

2)The course fees

3)Duration of course if i am suitable for that

4)Is there any job surety

Thanks & Regards --Anoop

anon29909
Post 6

I am a student of 12th commerce. How can I become an airline pilot?

anon22285
Post 5

hi Sir, i am educated from class 12th, its my life aim to be a airplane pilot, i dont have any concept about tests and requirements, would you help me that how can i be a pilot.

anon19215
Post 4

sir, i am student of class xii {non-medical} i will complete my xii in 2009. my dream to become pilot. i do not that what conditions would require to become pilot. i want known the following :

1.what test i have to give after xii

2.how much cost would require to complete the course?

anon16267
Post 3

hi, i am a student of class 12th. taken physics, chemistry, maths as my subjects i want to become a commercial pilot can u tell me the requirements and procedure and about physical requirements. my eyesight us slightly weak my eye power is -0.5. i dont have any other problems except this so can i become a commercial pilot. can you please tell me what should i do after completing my class 12 and which test should i give and how to give.

anon13935
Post 2

sir, i am student of class xii {non-medical} i will complete my xii in 2009. my dream to become pilot. i do not that what conditions would require to become pilot. i want known the following :

1.what test i have to give after xii

2.how much cost would require to complete the course

anon13511
Post 1

now i am student of class xii {non-medical} i want to become pilot. i am living in village brindpur, p.o sheikhupur,sultanpur road,kapurthala,punjab. become pilot.. so i want the knowledge regarding the pilot. i would like to know:

1.the procedure of applying for the test.

2.the cost of the study material

3.time of course

4.age required in the pilot courses.

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