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Private Pilot School: Pilot Training and Career, Pilot Schools

Anyone interested in becoming an airline pilot, flying a helicopter or learning how to fly a charter plane will need to obtain their pilot's license from a certified pilot school. Pilot training programs are available at flight clubs and pilot schools around the world, allowing candidates to learn several hands-on skills for handling a plane, and gaining knowledge about the history and future of the aviation industry. Pilot schools can also provide resources and connections to professionals in the aviation industry, opening up several opportunities for a successful and rewarding pilot career.

Job Description and Responsibilities after Pilot Training

Pilot training provides the foundation for a successful career as a pilot or aviation professional, and this goes far beyond learning how to fly an aircraft. Common responsibilities of a certified pilot include:

  • Working with crew members

  • Testing new planes

  • Flying either cargo or people from place to place

  • Ensuring safety of passengers and crew

  • Adhering to ethical standards

  • Following FAA rules and regulations

  • Preparing a plane for takeoff or landing a plane

Types of Pilot Training Programs

There are several distinctions in pilot licensing and certification, and pilot schools offer a different set of curriculum and training for each level. The most common types of pilot training programs include:

  • Military Flying – a program for military aviators that involves flying the most advanced aircrafts, learning military flying rules and regulations, and training for combat.

  • Private Pilot License (PPL) – the most common license available through private pilot school, this type of license allows candidates to fly their own plane. This type of license is most common for those who want to fly for leisure purposes or are a member of a flight club. This license requires 40 hours of flying time and passing a written exam.

  • Commercial Pilot License (CPL) – the license required for those who want to become a paid pilot and fly aircraft from an airline. Commercial pilot license requirements require between 190 – 250 hours of flight time depending on how the training is delivered, and holding a private pilot license (PPL) is required before beginning the program.

  • Airline Transport Pilot License (ATP) – this license is typically acquired by those who want to serve as a pilot captain on a multi crew aircraft. The ATP requires at least 1,500 hours of flight time, and is the highest license anyone can obtain as a pilot.

Skills Learned at Pilot School

The training programs at pilot school are not restricted to only learning how to fly. Pilot schools train candidates to operate different types of aviation equipment, learn about the history of aviation, and also learn safety and precaution measures as they pertain to the industry. Key skills learned at pilot school include:

  • Understanding visual flight rules (VFR)

  • Using instrument flight rules (IFR) effectively during operations

  • Handling emergency situations

  • Jet takeoff planning

  • Corporate aviation regulations

  • Crew resource management

Pilot Training Requirements and Obtaining a Pilot License

A pilot school prepares candidates for a rewarding career as a pilot or aviation professional, but each prospective pilot must complete specific pilot training requirements in order to obtain a pilot license.   The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires all prospective pilots to complete 40 hours of flying time before they can obtain their Private Pilot Certification.

Training for a professional flying career depends on the level of certification the candidate wishes to achieve.  Professional pilots are trained in several fields including emergency procedures training, crew resource management and takeoff rules and regulations. A private pilot school may have additional training requirements and eligibility factors in order to obtain credentials as a qualified pilot.

Pilot School Costs and Financing Options

Most candidates attending a pilot school, whether it is a private pilot school or a public one, will have the option to select the number of classes or lessons they take each week.  This allows the pilot school to offer a price for a set of pilot or aviation classes, and this can vary depending on the location of the pilot training program, whether the student is taking an accelerated training program, and the trainer who is delivering the pilot training.

Flight training costs for the private pilot school training program can range anywhere from $5,500 to $10,000 depending on the type of plane, instructor and location of the training school.

Pilot Career Potential and Employment Prospects

Employment prospects for a pilot career look promising for regional and low-fare airline jobs, but most pilots will be faced with a competitive industry in other areas through 2016. Median annual earnings for airline pilots were $141,090 in 2006 and $57,840 for commercial pilots in the same year. Related jobs and career options include:

  • Air traffic controllers

  • Flight instructors

  • Aviation class instructors

  • Airfield operations specialists

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Private Pilot School: Pilot Training and Career, Pilot Schools