How to Become a Jet Pilot

A career as a jet pilot is a thrilling ambition to have but one that would require immense dedication, determination and financial backing as well. You cannot become a jet pilot in one go and there are many milestones that you need to successfully cross before you can achieve your dream.

It also comes with its share of uncertainties as the demand for pilots depends directly on the economy. During economic crisis or recession, fewer people travel by air, leading to many airlines drastically streamlining their work force. This results in intense competition and many pilots find themselves out of work. However when the economy is booming, the reverse is true and the demand for pilots increases and so does the amount on their pay checks.

You would need to have sufficient experience in flying smaller and slower planes before getting an opportunity to fly a jet aircraft. This is the reason why even military pilots usually begin by flying single engine planes before training on jet aircraft as the latter are too fast and complex for an inexperienced pilot to attempt to fly.

What is Flight Time?

Flight time is the actual number of hours that a pilot has flown an aircraft. A pilot’s experience can only be measured in flight time. For a private pilot’s license, only 40-50 hours of flying time is required whereas a commercial license requires around 250 hours. However in order to fly passenger airlines and jet aircrafts, you would need a whopping 1500 hours of flying experience. In fact this is the minimum stipulated flight time in order to earn an Airline Transport Pilot rating. The best way to accumulate flying time is by offering one’s services as flight instructor. However, this too requires you to have obtained a Certified Instructor Rating from the FAA.

What are the physical requisites?

A first class physical rating is required for all professional pilots and this has to be renewed every six months. Medical conditions like color blindness, diabetes, heart disease and even psychological ailments like bipolar, schizophrenia and depression would prevent one from being able to get a first class rating in the physical examination. There are also some stringent tests for vision which need to be cleared by every aspiring pilot.

A step by step guide to becoming a jet pilot

  • Training Program: A formal training program that teaches the principles of flying and clearly explains about the instruments and consoles in the cockpit. Aviation rules and regulations and the methods of electronic communication are also taught during this intensive course
  • Commercial Pilot License: After obtaining your private pilot license, you need to earn a commercial license for which you need a flying experience of 250 hours.
  • Airline Transport Rating: However it is only after accumulating a flight time of 1500 hours are you entitled to obtain the airline transport rating. It is this rating that authorizes you to be employed as a pilot with a passenger airline and to fly jet aircraft.

Now that you are aware of exactly how to go about accomplishing your aim of becoming a jet pilot, you can plan ahead, work hard and be ready to take flight and watch some golden opportunities come your way.


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  2. How to Become a Pilot UK
  3. How to Become a Corporate Pilot
  4. How to Become a Pilot in Canada
  5. How Long does it take to Become a Pilot

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