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Ten Things You Should Consider When Becoming An Airline Pilot

Published Sep 1, 2009 on Pilot Jobs

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With this nation's recovery from the current recession, the airlines will recover and once more they will be in search of pilots to fill open positions on their flightdecks. As you consider whether you will pursue a career as an airline pilot, there are a few things you should consider.

  • Reasons.
  • There are logical reasons for pursuing a noble career such as that of an airline pilot, and there are some that make no sense. Think this one through before you make any kind of commitment, and expect to spend a lot of time gathering information before making such an important decision. Learning about the career from professional pilots is the key to deciding your own reasons for pursuing an airline pilot career.

  • Aptitude.
  • Not anyone can become an Airline Pilot; it takes qualities that not everyone possesses. In addition to the technical skills and hand-eye coordination required, you have to be flexible and work with constantly changing schedules, and enjoy a lifestyle of traveling.

  • Flying.
  • You should make sure that you like to fly. A "discovery flight" may be in order before beginning to train.

  • The FAA Flight Physical.
  • Airline Pilots have to take a lot of physical exams to ensure that they are healthy and safe to fly. Can you pass them? Call an Aviation Medical Examiner to schedule your first exam (the certificate will also serve as your Student Certificate), or read about the requirements.

  • Support.
  • Your family and loved ones are important when you consider pursuing a career in avation. Are they on board? Having them behind you cheering you on will make the journey worthwhile.

  • Background Check.
  • If your background check reads like a novel, there might be a problem. However, in recent years, airlines have become less stringent with their requirements for a perfect past. Many minor offenses are considered, then dismissed, depending on how long ago they occurred. If you've made a few mistakes, it likely won't cause a problem in your application process, but you might want to have a good explanation handy if asked for one. Speak with someone in the industry who can give you some guidance about your specific circumstances.

  • Driving Record.
  • Airline Pilots have to know and abide by a lot of rules and regulations, so Airlines tend to look at your driving record as a good indication of whether you are willing to learn the rules and obey them. As with criminal background checks, each circumstance is specific to the individual, so speaking with someone in the industry will help you make the right decision.

  • Arrests.
  • The background check will most obviously include looking for an arrest record. This subject isn’t as sensitive as it once was, as long as you have demonstrated a change in the attitude that got you in trouble in the first place. This one is particularly hard to get around if you have a felony conviction though, because it shows that you have a hard time playing well with others.

  • DUIs.
  • This too is forgivable under the right circumstances. Be ready to show that you have stayed out of trouble and changed your ways.

Take all of these things into consideration when deciding to pursue a career in aviation. Due diligence and a lot of investigation are in order when making life altering decisions of this importance. Once you have made up your mind however, it is time to be singularly minded in your planning for and pursuit of your career goal.

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Airline Pilot Career Guide PDF

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