To qualify as a commercial pilot, a prospective pilot will need to have completed both theoretical and aircraft flight training and have passed all the required exams and flying skills tests as laid out by the UK CAA.
1. Research the industry
Before you decide if you want to become a pilot, it is important to research the realities behind this career path. Try to immerse yourself within the aviation world. You can do this by visiting different airfields and airports, and researching the flight schools who provide your desired training programme – most flight schools offer a tour around their campus where you can visit the environment you would be training in and ask any important questions you may have. Try to attend careers shows such as Pilot Careers Live, visit school comparison sites such as Pilot Network and subscribe to lots of aviation news blogs; this will help you to stay on top of all the current issues and trends within the world of aviation. You could also book a ‘Trial Flying Lesson’ to experience what it’s really like to be in control of an aircraft.
We sat down with FTA trainee pilot Nathan after he’d just finished his ATPL exams and discussed his journey to becoming a pilot.
To qualify as a commercial pilot, you need to complete both theoretical and aircraft ﬂight instruction.
Flight training requires skill, dedication and hard work but, once qualified, you can expect excellent career prospects, great pay and opportunities to travel the globe.
Dan’s interest in flight training started in an unusual place – a car boot sale. There he stumbled across a copy of ‘flight sim’ a computer game which focuses on aircraft simulation, and he became hooked. Just as well, because before that chance encounter, he’d always wanted to become a virologist…
One of our most asked questions during our tour is "what exactly is ATPL Theory?"
Airline Transport Pilot Licence Theory (ATPL Theory) is one of the stages you undertake when completing your Integrated Flight Deck Programme. You cannot obtain an ATPL licence without completing the ATPL theory. This is done by successfully passing 14 theoretical exams including Meteorology, Principles of Flight and Navigation.
For many people, the love of aviation starts at a very young age. This could not be more true for FTA Modular graduate Alessandro who, at the age of just 23 years old, has already achieved his dream of becoming a Commercial Pilot. Here we spoke to him about his training and early experiences flying the line for Europe's largest airline, Ryanair: