Anyone that flies an aircraft, including a plane or helicopter, is referred to as a pilot. You can pilot a variety of different aircraft – from small single-man planes to large commercial aircraft. This may be as a part of the forces, including the air force or army, or for a private airline flying people around and out of the country. Fire departments also need pilots to fly both planes and helicopters to fight large fires, and other rescue services need pilots for getting to people in remote locations quickly. If you want to become a pilot, there are a lot of options for your career trajectory.
What kind of training is involved?
To become a pilot, there’s a significant amount of training to be done, and this isn’t cheap. Pilots need to have perfect control over their craft which takes many hours, as well as being responsible for other people in most careers, meaning they must be safe enough so that no lives are in danger. Many flight schools are available to people interested in becoming a pilot. These give people that have no experience in flying an opportunity to be qualified to fly.
These schools will let you start on a small plane that only has one engine to start to become familiar with the controls. You’ll learn how you correctly prepare a plane or helicopter for take-off, take off itself, turn, and then bring the aircraft onto land. Once the fundamentals have been taken care of, the next step is to learn how to read and use the crucial dials and read offs given in the craft to properly guide you as you fly. By mastering this, you’ll learn how to fly, even if you can’t see where you are in overcast and cloudy weather.
The next step is to start learning more advanced maneuvers. This includes taking off in bad conditions like rain and snow, and then landing again safely. You’ll also learn how to fly larger aircraft with more than one engine. All learning will be done with an instructor on board, as well as solo flying later on with some help from flight simulators to gain additional experience.
What certifications do you need?
In America, the FAA is the main governing body and has a selection of certificates that people can get to qualify themselves as pilots. These vary depending on if you want to be an airline pilot or fly commercial planes. These qualifications generally consist of having a set number of hours flying solo to ensure that you have the experience needed, as well as several theory and practical tests to ensure that your skills are up to scratch. There’s also a physical element to the testing, and you must prove that things like your vision are to a standard to not impede your flying. You must also take a routine medical check to make sure you’re clear of any drugs, and that your mental and physical health put you in a safe place to pilot an aircraft.