Real Answers from Real Pilots

The Process of Becoming a Pilot

My name is Emirhan Yildiz, at the moment i am a 15 year old high school student in a small town. I’ve been looking through pilot training programs because i’ve been thinking about this career for a while. I understand that you need to be atleast 16 years of age to obtain a private pilot rating and i also understand this is one of the many steps to turning this hobby into a lifestyle and i’d like to get started as soon as possible. i was wondering, if it wouldnt be to much trouble if i could be given a list of the things that i need to do in a certain order for when i need to do them. thank you very much.

Hello Emirhan and welcome,

First and foremost it’s all well and good that you’ve been thinking about this as a career but the reality is until you’ve actually gone up and flown a small plane you honestly won’t know for certain if aviation is for you. You’re partially correct that you can’t get a student pilot certificate till you’re 16 (your Private at 17) but there’s nothing saying you can’t go up and take an Intro flight. My recommendation is you find a flight school close to your home and take a flight and see if it’s all you think it will be. If it is after that the process is fairly straightforward.

  1. Finish your education and get a BA degree
  2. Go to a flight school or academy (obviously I recommend ATP) and earn your licenses and ratings
  3. Work as a flight instructor to build the required hours
  4. Get hired at a Regional, build time and experience
  5. Get hired at a Major
  6. Live happily ever after :slight_smile:

Adam

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If i were to take an intro flight and i really liked flying in general, would it not be ideal to start training now and do my solo on my birthday, finish my education and continue my training?

Emirhan,

You’re best bet is to finish high school right now. Although you are probably very eager to start flying, you will not benefit much from having your private license just laying around. You will not be able to continue your training until you are 18yo at least (for the commercial cert) and that would have to be at a school other than ATP since you will not yet meet the admission requirements.

Like Adam said, take the intro flight first of all and see if it suits you. Finish high school and (we all recommend) continue your education while you’re at it, you will need it later on. You are younger than most of the people here on this forum and that means you already have a headstart, so don’t feel that you need to rush.

Yarden

Thanks Yarden, i’m very excited to get started yes, but ill try to pace myself and take everything into consideration.
Also, is it possible to go and get my college education at an aviation academy, therefore i am still learning about aviation and progressing forward while getting my degree.

It is possible to go to an aviation school. Examples that come to mind are Embry Riddle and Arizona State University. One thing to keep in mind though is that these schools can be very expensive when compared to flight schools and regular state run colleges.

Chris

Emirhan,

It’s really your call. If you’re gung ho and have the money and want to do some training now I say why not? Again keep in mind you can’t solo till your 16 and no Private license till 17 so there’s really not a whole lot you can do with those hours so you’re probably better off just waiting a while but again it’s your call.

I still recommend you take an Intro flight. It would be sad to be thinking about this as a career for the next few year, go up once and realize you hate it.

Adam

Already scheduled an introduction flight at the closest Airport next week. :smiley:

Awesome! Let us know how it goes.

Adam

will do