OK, this article has almost nothing to do with injury or disability. But in my younger years I gave a lot of thought to getting a pilot’s license, so this was interesting to me.
Pilots are among the most respected professionals in the world. Their training ensures the safety of millions of travelers each year, as well as the safety of those on the ground. Although the pay is competitive, becoming a pilot is much harder than just learning how to fly. Stiff competition, strict physical health guidelines, and high investment costs are all part of the deterrents facing would-be pilots.
Background in Mathematics and Physics
A large part of flight school is learning the basics of aerodynamics and how it applies to practical flight. A strong background in mathematics and physics helps young pilots analyze fluids, gases, forces, temperature, and weather patterns, all of which are necessary to fly an aircraft. Although mathematics courses above basic college algebra are not often required for flight school, it’s recommended that candidates familiarize themselves with calculus and physics to better understand aerodynamics and meteorology.
Ground School Training
If you’re not ready to jump into a career in aviation just yet, try and find a local airport that offers introductory flying lessons and rides. Seeing if you enjoy flying an aircraft, which is typically covered in the first flight, is the first step to seeing if you should pursue things further. Following your first flight, ground school is the next step. Although flying lessons are recommended by training companies as the next best step, understanding the basics of aviation in a ground school will help make better use of your money in flight school.
If you’re looking to land a job with a major airline carrier, patience will be your friend. While pilots working for major airlines often make six-figure salaries for their dedication to the company, there is an unfortunate overabundance of pilots looking to work in similar positions. The likelihood of working for an airline after obtaining your commercial pilot’s license is slim, and drives many pilots to find work in corporate aviation or agricultural processes like crop dusting.
Learning to become a pilot privately is often very expensive, which is why many aviators join the military to learn how to fly. After flight training, commitments to the military last about eight years, after which time many pilots choose to stay with the armed services instead of pursuing a career as a commercial airline pilot. There are also many requirements for becoming a pilot. Most airlines and the military require 20/20 vision so it’s good to check with a Londonderry Eye Care clinic, or optometrists in Edmonton first to be sure you can even apply.
Becoming a pilot is a long-term commitment that, while expensive, can pay dividends if you decide to pursue a path as a commercial airline pilot. For those unwilling to take the risk, there are fortunately many other aviation careers that are available to pilots who stray away from the traditional captain’s hat.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.