Because a jet pilot is habitual of flying super sonic aircraft, which can possibly go in any direction and do many maneuvers, which commercial aircraft can't, are they given any special training before entering commercial aviation?

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    $\begingroup$ Of course a pilot needs to be trained and rated for the aircraft that they are going to fly. You can't take an F-16 pilot and drop them in a 787 and expect that they will conduct a safe flight. They need to go through as much training as non-military pilots, save for a few that have time in type (like Air Force 1 pilots)... The biggest difference is that military flight time counts towards ratings and commercial/ATP. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Jul 8, 2016 at 15:56
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    $\begingroup$ Its also important to note that a military pilot is not an FAA certificated pilot, in order for that to happen you have to go through a conversion process. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Jul 8, 2016 at 16:00
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    $\begingroup$ Apart from flying the aircraft itself, there are a lot of FAA regulations and the airline's own operations rules to learn too. Even a pilot who moves from one airline to another would need some training. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Jul 8, 2016 at 16:24
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    $\begingroup$ @anshabhi The question as asked is very broad and basically requires answers to explain all of the training for type ratings and line checks. You would definitely learn more if you did a small amount of research ahead of time and asked questions about what you don't understand. As I recall, Cockpit Confidential has almost an entire chapter on commercial pilot training. $\endgroup$ Jul 8, 2016 at 16:59
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    $\begingroup$ I had a friend who was a Marine C-130 pilot, when I first got my CFI. I took him up in a Cessna 172. It was really interesting because his judgements were way off, but I only had to correct him once for ANYTHING. He tried to fly the approach at 110 kts (one comment and it was fixed). He tried to flare at 150 ft (show him once and it was fixed). I find that a good and experience pilot can very quickly be trained to fly a different aircraft. $\endgroup$
    – Adam
    Oct 15, 2016 at 14:43

2 Answers 2


Watch out for the words "centerline thrust only"!

The overall answer to your question depends on the military pilot's background and experience. Military heavy jet pilots (bomber and transport) will have very little difficulty converting over to civil airliners, as civil airliners and military transports of equivalent role are close cousins in flight characteristics, and many bombers aren't that far off either.

Fast-jet pilots, however, can run into one specific difficulty when transferring to civil jet aircraft. Most (albeit not all) twin-engine tactical jets have their engines mounted very close to the aircraft centerline. This means that there is very little yaw when an engine fails in a tactical jet, which is quite difference from the response of an airliner, or even most light twins, during an engine failure.

Hence, a pilot whose sole multi-engine experience is in twin-engine tactical jets may receive a "centerline thrust only" restriction on the CPL/AMEL certificate they are issued on the basis of their military experience. This restriction must be lifted before they can fly or receive a type rating in a non-centerline-thrust aircraft (even a DC-9 yaws enough on engine failure not to count). Thankfully, it's not a hard restriction to lift -- in the worst case, it's simply a matter of passing the multi-engine checkride in a light twin with wing-mounted engines, and may be liftable as part of a type rating course for a non-centerline-thrust multi-engine aircraft for that matter.


Note: this answer is based on googling, I am not a pilot.

Military pilots in the USA can apply for some civilian aviation qualifications on the basis of their military qualifications and experiance.


Sepcifically these include

Commercial pilots licenses. Instrument ratings Type ratings Flight instructor certificates (for those who have been flight instructors in the military)

Whether those qualifications will be sufficient will depend on what they want to do. Many larger commercial operations will require type ratings (which can be converted but only if the planes match up) and Airline transport pilot licenses.


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