Quick Guide to Becoming a Pilot - ATC - Aviation Information

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Quick Guide to Becoming a Pilot

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There are many avenues you can take to land a career as a pilot; however, one thing is consistent in any approach you take. You must obtain a pilot's license as well as enough hours to be competitive for the position you are applying for. A very basic outline to becoming a pilot and progressing in the career is listed below.

To operate an aircraft you must be licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration. There are many different licenses you can receive as a pilot, but for many, the first step is to obtain the "Private Pilot's License." With a private pilot's license you may operate the aircraft you are certified in, anywhere in the United States, as well as carry non-paying passengers. You may request the passenger split costs of the flight, but you may not act as a taxi and charge in that manner. To earn a private pilot's license there are certain things that need to be accomplished. You must be able to pass a medical examination from a certified Flight Surgeon, receive instruction in the aircraft from a Certified Flight Instructor, pass a written examination, and finally pass an evaluation with an FAA examiner in which you fly the aircraft.

The cost of the basic privates pilots license varies greatly. Typical costs for a private's pilot license can be valued around $8,000 to $12,000. Some factors to consider are the type of aircraft. The higher performance aircraft, the more it will cost to get certified in it as it cost more to operate them. Your ability to grasp the concept of flying will be another deciding factor in the price. The more hours you fly the aircraft, the higher the cost of the license will be. The minimum number of hours to get certified in is 40, though it is common for initial students to extend beyond 60 hours. The amount of time you can dedicate to flying will also weigh on the price of the license. If you can dedicate a few hours a week, you will spend less money overall as the knowledge and procedures will remain fresh in your head. If you are only able to fly once or twice a month, it may take longer as some of the knowledge you learned in your previous lesson will escape your memory. Finally, your knowledge of aviation plays a role in the cost. If you have been involved in the field for sometime then certain things will come natural to you that may not come natural to the next person.

There are many places you can go to receive your initial instruction. One of the best ways to find a place is visit the local airport. If you have more than one airport in your community, visit them all. Meet with the instructors, get a tour of the facility and type of aircraft they fly. Some flight schools only fly certain types of aircraft. Others offer a variety. Common aircraft types to start your initial training in are Pipers, Cessnas, and Grummans. For more information on the Pipers and Cessnas check out his article. Most flight schools will offer an introductory flight at a relatively cheap rate. They will take the prospective student up and let them get a feel for the aircraft and decide if flying is for them or not. I would suggest to do this in any aircraft you are interested in so you have a good idea of what aircraft works the best for you. Also, when choosing a flight school, it is very important to know their safety record. They should keep detailed files of this and be able to provide them if you ask, as they are required to document this information. You may also want to glance over the aircraft maintenance records to ensure they are complying with all federal aviation regulations. Another important factor to consider are what type of insurance coverage they provide. Most flight schools will cover the student and aircraft while they are in training, but you will need to look into insurance coverage once you are certified.
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