Hot answers tagged

66

No, this is not a good idea, and No, it is not possible finish your education at 23, and then get employed as an intercontinental airline pilot. It seems you have a distorted idea of what an airline pilot actually does. An intercontinental airline pilot usually spends just 24 hours at the layover destination. Much of that time is spent sleeping to recover ...


48

Some very spot-on comments, some comments that are totally ignorant of the job. I am a retired ATC, 32 years. I worked at one of the world's busiest and most complex US facilities (as described by many independent sources). Have you ever: Heard a family on the other end of the radio screaming just moments before they were obliterated in the air by a ...


38

When I worked in the design department of an aircraft company, I had two types of coworkers: Those with and those without a pilot's license. You could easily spot the difference. In aircraft-related engineering decisions it was soon obvious. I mightily preferred to work with other pilots - they would have a much better grasp of "what looks about right" and ...


28

Even once you get a job as a commercial pilot, you're not going to be starting intercontinental routes immediately. For starters (in the US at least), you're probably only going to be able to start at a regional airline, flying short regional jet flights back and forth. The airline industry is very much dependent on seniority, so you'll have to put in ...


26

The Delta Interview Process I interviewed about three months ago at one of the several regionals that uses the Delta interview process. It goes a little something like this: Company Introduction You arrive in the morning, somebody meets you, shakes your hand, and you usually hear a little speech or presentation about the company. If your prospective ...


26

Do cargo pilots receive different training than airline pilots? First, cargo carriers are airlines just as passenger carriers are airlines, and cargo pilots are airline pilots. In the U.S. there is no difference in the training and certification of pilots dependent on whether they fly passengers or cargo. Also, be aware that airlines you generally think of ...


24

If your intention is to travel the world, then don't be a pilot. Instead, be a flight attendant. In addition to the possibility of being on international flights relatively early in your career, you will likely be surrounded by a majority of female coworkers who will be very glad to let you walk the aisles, lift the luggage, calm the rowdy passengers, and ...


21

Well, the short version is: The airlines pay what they have to pay in a free market. They can get away with it because pilots are willing to accept it. Like any other business they are in it to make money and keeping costs down is just as good as making extra money, so they aren't going to volunteer anything extra. Now, why do pilots do it? Because of ...


20

For a commercial pilot (without a CFI rating) you've got some options, but the real golden goose of time building is flight instructing. Most folks I know who are time-building accumulate the minimum amount of time until they have enough to get the CFI rating, then go out and instruct to get to their end goal (time / types). Without the CFI rating, some ...


20

"...a year or two"? Seriously don't even think about it. But ignoring your lack of commitment, here are some ideas. Instead of traveling the world, try living and working in a foreign country. This can be an incredible adventure and broaden your horizons. You'll have an understanding and appreciation for international concerns that can't be matched by ...


20

Depends on the reasons the FAA had to justify the need for a 709 ride. If it was some kind of bureaucratic maneuver without justification for doing so and you pass the ride with flying colors, probably nothing. If there was a serious discrepancy in your airmanship which required a 709 ride to verify improvement on your part, it's going to depend on whether ...


20

It depends on the final product presented to the airline. If an airline had two candidates, one of whom soloed in 10 hours and did well in a Sim Eval but was self absorbed, didn't like to follow procedures if he/she knew better, and didn't work well with people, and a candidate who took 30 hours to solo but was a team player, can get along with anyone, was ...


20

Time All other things aside all commercial part 121 pilots have a finite end date, starting at 45 means you are going to be ~20 years behind the young guys. Since the FAA mandates retirement from part 121 operations at 65 you have 20 years left but let's look at that a bit more practically. Assuming you pay for all your own training and don't need to go the ...


20

You aren't crazy. People have started later than you and been successful. However, age does bring additional challenges, which one could argue is an ageist bias of sorts. The first is age itself. Part 121 carriers have a mandatory retirement age of 65. That puts a hard limit on a potential airline career in terms of seniority and wages. There is no hard ...


19

Honestly, every U.S. Air Force pilot I know, who wanted to retire to the airlines, got hired on with no problems. The ex-Air Force pilots I know have all gotten immediately put into the big planes: A380, 747, 767, 787, etc right from the start. This is because the airlines know that an ex-military pilot has had some of the best training and experience in ...


19

Before the turn of the century (I can't believe I'm using that phrase, as I retired in 1999) and especially back when all 3 engine and 4 engine airliners had a flight engineer, the usual career path at many airlines was to hire in as an Flight Engineer, or FE (two stripes), progress to an First Officer, or FO (three stripes), and then become a captain (four ...


18

Ok, I was posting this as a comment but was becoming ridiculously long... I worked for most of my professional life in fields that are somehow related. I can see that there are three areas of study that will help you a lot here. First: programming languages. Knowing a language used in the industry is a plus. Now I am working in the automotive/...


17

I suspect the only answer is "on the job". Learn both C and C++ and some embedded programming and try applying for any junior positions in companies doing avionics you'll find. Mobile phones can't really be considered embedded any more, but you should be able to find a course in robotics or cybernetics (industrial controllers) or an internship involving ...


17

Lufthansa does. They actually prefer people they can train themselves, so they never learned things which Lufthansa considers bad practice. This becomes impossible if the airline grows quickly. Therefore, all the new carriers (Etihad or Vueling, for example) need to rely on hiring certified pilots. See Lufthansa-Pilot.DE (only in German but speaking German ...


15

I'll answer from a US perspective, since that's where most of the studies I've seen come from, coupled with working in the US system. I'll point out a few areas the statistics possibly show issues. There are less than 15,000 controllers in the US(estimated, from memory and older sources). Most other professions usually are far larger, and such that an ...


15

The honest answer: nobody cares or would even ask you that question during a professional pilot interview. Aside from a military pilot job where they can wash you out during pre-solo training, it doesn’t matter. Primary checkride failures can be dings against you if you have a long string of them without a solid explanation. But everyone fails a primary ...


15

It depends on your jurisdiction. A lot of places mandate a retirement age of 65 for scheduled commercial pilots (part 121 here in the USA). You are allowed to fly 91 and 135 (charter) operations over 65. While you state you don't want to fly for the airlines, it's worth noting that this retirement age causes a large influx of older out of work pilots many of ...


14

I'm no expert, but I can think of two general reasons: risk of incapacitation, and general physical limitations (reaction speed, stamina, the ability to maintain concentration for extended periods etc.). The age 65 limit only applies to part 121 ATP pilots, by the way; you can still be a commercial or private pilot for as long as you can keep getting a valid ...


14

It is a common perception because it is a reality. Listen to Live ATC tapes of the final approach to ORD. These controllers are talking non-stop, making decisions and issuing instructions that very literally have hundreds of lives in the balance. If they get it wrong, it is not just "oops, let's try better next time". It has to be right every time. ...


14

PPL is Private Pilot License May fly for pleasure or personal business. Private pilots cannot be paid, compensated to fly, or hired by any operator. CPL is Commercial Pilot License Can be paid, compensated to fly, or hired by operators and are required to have higher training standards than private or sport pilots. ATPL is Airline Transport Pilot ...


11

British Airways ran the Future Pilots Programme in 2013, which offered applicants with only A-Levels (no university degree/diploma) aged 18-55, the chance to co-pilot an A320 or 737. Financially, this is how it worked: We have joined forces with Airline Placement Limited (APL), a subsidiary of CTC Aviation, and together we've designed a unique ...


11

This entire branch is known as avionics (aviation electronics). Limited work is generally done by the aircraft producers themselves, and the majority is subcontracted to specialist companies. A name which does come to mind is Thales group, who are behind much of the Airbus A380 avionics. Other ones are Rockwell Collins, Honeywell and Garmin. These are ...


11

You need to look at turn-of-the-century early industrial age history for your answer. Factories were filled with skilled workers who could weave or smith or do some other specialty with great speed. These were not unskilled workers by modern standards, but their skills were common in those days. The efficient factories lowered prices for those products, ...


10

There are probably several major effects. 1) Piloting is a "bikini inspector" job, one that people will do because they enjoy it and the social status it may convey. If you have a passion for a profession, you will work in it for less. After all, people pay to pilot planes as a sport, so some percentage of pilots will work for relatively little pay just ...


10

"Air Traffic Controller" is a poorly understood job and isn't personally dangerous. The member of the general public has little knowledge apart from its listing as extremely stressful (top five!). The perception may well be accurate, but the perception itself is based on this combination: "Air traffic controller" shows up in mass media lists of "most ...


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