Real Answers from Real Pilots

After high school


(Bernardo Enriquez) #1

Hi there, I’m Bernardo Enríquez, I’m 18 and this is my last high school year, I’m really interested on studying for airline pilot, this is what I want since I was 11, the first Time I flew in an airplane, so if anyone can answer me I will be forever grateful, what should I do? What are the best flight school in New York? How is that process to become an airline pilot?
Thank you


#2

Hello Bernado and Welcome! (Bernado, that’s fun to say :grin:)

First off “Best” is a very subjective term. What’s best for one person may not be best for another. I did my training with ATP so I’m obviously partial to them but there are many fine flight schools in the state of NY which is where I’m from.

The process to become an airline pilot is relatively straight forward. You have to train and study to earn all the licenses and ratings through the Commercial Pilot’s license and Instructors ratings. After that you’ll need to build the 1500hrs required to fly for a Regional at which point you will be an airline pilot eventually (hopefully) working your way to the Majors. College is not required at the Regionals but it is at most Majors so that should be a consideration as well. That takes us back to which school is best? You may want to look into a college or university that has an aviation program. Personally I always think it’s better to study something else so you have a “Plan B” but that’s my opinion. You could go to a local flight school. While that might be convenient they generally aren’t equipped to take you all the way through and it’s difficult to train consistently which is VERY important. Then there are aviation academies like ATP. As I said that’s where I went and it was the best choice for me. The training is the highest quality but also very efficient and fast which puts you in a position to start building time and get hired. ATP does requires you to have a degree or your Private license before you can enroll. Then of course there’s the military.

Btw, you mention you’ve flown IN an airplane but have you ever FLOWN an airplane? If the answer is no I strongly recommend you take an intro flight to make sure this is really what you want to do.

Adam


#3

Bernardo,

Welcome to the forums! Adam did a great job laying out the process to becoming an airline pilot. I wanted to add a bit to your question about the best flight school. The best school is the one that offers you the program that best suits your needs. Flight schools are not like colleges, there is no ranking system and they all prepare students for the exact same check rides that are administered by the FAA. Of course some can do a better job at this than others can. Check out this article that I wrote about finding the best flight school. I think you will find it helpful.

Chris