Real Answers from Real Pilots


(Omar ) #1

currently right now I’m 18 years old and I attend a community college and working on getting my associates degree. Being a pilot is always been my dream but everytime I do some researches I get scared and question myself about this. so I really need some help. I’ve been thinking should I join the ATP program after I finish with community college. because I know th process of becoming a pilot takes long and I want to start as soon as I can. I also want to know if it’s like a school with homework and tests and quizzes or mainly it’s going to be hands on flying. and if the certification is hard or not and what happens if u fail them. and also how long does it take to be hired as an instructor to get paid. because if I graduate from college in 2020 and apply to ATP I want to know how long is going to take me to get paid so I can build a family or do you think I should give up on this dream because I’m way too young?


Hello Omar and Welcome!

First off Omar the only thing you’re too young for is giving up on your dreams! Second what makes you think you want to be a pilot? Have you ever flown a small plane? Many people think it’s cool (and it is) but how can you rack your brain trying to figure out if this is what you want to do for the next 45 yrs of your life if you’ve never tried? If you’re serious you need to go to your local ATP or flight school and take an intro flight otherwise this is all rather pointless.

Now let’s say you do and you enjoy it. Great ATP is def the way to go. Yes there’s homework, yes there are quizzes (and oral, written and flight tests), yes it’s hard and challenging and yes it requires a tremendous amount of study and commitment. I honestly want to thank you for asking Omar because for some reason there are many people out there who think because they flew an airplane on Grand Theft Auto that Delta airlines is going to just hand over the keys to a $300 million dollar airplane with 300+ lives and say here you go!?! It is definitely challenging BUT also worth the sacrifice and commitment if you’re up to it. As for failures many people have 1 on the records and it’s not a biggy. When it becomes more than 1 well that could be a problem. Let’s assume though that you’re going to study and work hard so failures won’t be an issue.

After you complete all your training its another couple of weeks to be standardized as an instructor and you could be instructing and getting paid within a month.


(Omar ) #3

no I honestly never flew before. but yes I think I want to do it for the next 45 years of my life because I really enjoy flying and enjoy the environment and excitement of flying/traveling and I want to pursued this dream. okay and also r there going to be instructors teaching you these lessons and prepare you for the exams or is it all self taught type of thing. and lastly what do you mean by take an intro flight?



Taking an introductory flight means exactly that, a first flight where you and an instructor go up in a small airplane for a flight where just the basics are covered. You will likely do a few takeoffs and landings along with some maneuvers. The flights typically last 30-45 minutes. You can take an intro flight at ATP or at just about any other flight school. Look here for more informations:

Learning to fly involves a lot of time spent with instructors, both in the air and on the ground. Much of your material will be taught to you by your instructors, some of it in a class room setting. That being said, there is a lot of self study involved along the way. At the end of the day it is much like any other type of training, instruction followed by self study.



“Yes I think I want to do it”. Omar buddy the key words in that statement of yours is “I think” and there should be a question mark after that. Not trying to talk you out of it (quite the contrary) but if you haven’t ACTUALLY FLOWN AN AIRPLANE then you don’t know. Fact is ATP won’t even accept your money for training until you do. That should tell you something. If you’re serious you need to go up!


(Omar ) #6

I know I’m asking a lot of questions and I apologize. but for the intro classes is there any requirements? or do I just make an appointment and go?



There are a few requirements before you can take an intro flight with ATP. The first is that you must pass the Intro Flight online learning module. The second is that you must be at least 18 years old, and the third is that you must be capable of obtaining an FAA First Class medical certificate. You don’t actually have to have the medical certificate, but you must not have any major health concerns that would prevent you from having one. If you click on the link I sent you earlier these requirements and the link to the online learning module is all there.

Other flight schools will probably just take your money and let you go fly. The purpose behind ATP requiring you to take the online learning module is that they want you to actually learn something. Flying isn’t just about hands on the controls, there is a lot of book learning that goes into it as well. Either way though, the intro flight is basically a fun introduction to flying.

Let us know if you end up scheduling one.


(Omar ) #8

lastly what if u want to fly for an airline overseas how does that? and what’s the process?



Flying for an airline overseas is a whole different process. To begin with “overseas” is a broad term, you need to look at which specific country you want to fly in. I would think about the airline that I wanted to fly for and check what the country they are based in requires of their pilots. I would also then look into what residency requirements that country or airline has to see if they will even hire a pilot from outside of their country.




Really depends on the country and the airline. Pretty much every country has their own governing aviation authority. Some will recognize your FAA licenses, some have a simple conversion process, some it’s more complicated. Many foreign carriers actively recruit US pilots (Asia in particular) and the airline themselves will help with the conversion. If you have a particular airline or country in mind I’d do some Googling and see what they require.