Roving the skies: the struggles involved


The life of a pilot seems intriguing, even privileged, and it sure is. If you intend to grab a job in the industry, you will find yourself touring the world many times a year and enjoying great incentives provided by your employer. In addition to that, you will have literally half the month to yourself. You see, some pilots will work only 8 days a month. The most overworked pilot will be at work for around 20 days in the regular month, which is a lot less than people in other professions can lay claim to.

However, there is a flip side to it all. Becoming a pilot is not something you can achieve in a couple years. There are challenges along the way, and you must prove your mettle if you are to rise to the levels you want. The challenges start right at the very beginning. Learning to fly is one of the most expensive undertakings in the world. Flying schools need the best instructors and top of the range machines. That explains why as a student, you might find yourself slapped with sky-high fees requirements. Not to worry though, because with the right mindset, you will just about manage. You could clean carpets or wait on tables as you progress with your studies. That extra income is always very good as it allows you to cover odd expenses such as boarding, books and manuals.

The challenge of licensing

Your first priority after training is to fly, but it won’t come that easy. You will need a private pilot’s license. This certification allows you to fly autonomously, but it does not give you the right to earn money from the hours you put in. However, this is usually a great step forward as it allows you to continue your education and earn the confidence of the perfect pilot.

Going commercial

A commercial pilot’s certificate is your ticket to the airlines-and the big money. To get there, you first need to pass all your around school tests. You will also need to clock at least 250 flight hours, and again, it’s going to cost you quite a bit to get to log that number. Afterwards, you have one hurdle; aviation regulations require you to undertake a check-ride under the strict supervision of an instructor. Technically, this is a regular flight but most of the maneuvers will be guided and executed as per the instructions of the professional alongside you. If you pass this ride, you are awarded a commercial pilot’s certificate

But you are still not there…at least not just yet

Cessna 180While you will have made a lot of progress, you need to work a little more. Sure, you are able to fly, but you are limited in your options. Commercial airlines will require you to have clocked more than 1500 hours before they consider your application. Again, the costs of these undertakings are right up there but most pilots get it done eventually.

You are going to need to spend substantially on your studies and flight hours, but getting to the top has its rewards. As a pilot in the major airlines, you will find yourself earning around $100,000 a year. Long-serving professionals in these airlines take home anything north of $300,000.

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