Becoming a Pilot is really thrilling. It’s fun and adventure and challenge; and hasn’t everyone dreamed of flying a plane, sometime in their lives?
Young adults; some younger than you might expect, really have genuine interest in a career as a pilot as a practical option; which gives them an opportunity to experience their passion. As well as first-hand adventure while being guaranteed a decent income.
The process and details required to become a pilot can be confusing to many prospective pilots. Therefore, this site is dedicated to help such individuals attain their dreams.
Whether you seek a private pilot’s license or a commercial one
You will be able to get more information about your eligibility to become a pilot on this site. You definitely will also find info about training options for both ground training and flight schools; as well as more detailed information about piloting as a career. Or privately for fun!
This site was initially established by 2006 and operated through to mid 2011 by Island Pacific Flight Academy; which used to offer flight school and pilot training for private as well as commercial licenses in Canada.
I’m not affiliated with this flight school
This was based in Sidney BC, on Vancouver Island near Victoria. I took my own flight training in Camrose, Alberta. It was not trivial. It takes work and time, real studying, and humility to make mistakes and appreciate the skills of your teachers.
As a matter of fact, I fly to Vancouver Island quite often actually, and I’m laying down roots on theBC coast; so I thought I’d keep this website going as an aviation information site, even though it’s not open for student training.
Maybe in the future, someone might like to restart it; in which case, they can contact me to use the domain again. I just want to mention here; that I own an amazing mountain plane, the Expedition E350, made by Found Aviation, a Canadian Company. But I took all my flight training in Cessna 172’s; and my flight instructor was Allen Kurtz. Thanks Allen.
My daughter also got her private pilot license in Camrose. Allen is a very patient man. But there were a few other teachers who were less patient. This paragraph gives me a chance to talk about flight instructors. A relaxed flight instructor is very good to have. An uptight instructor, who criticizes the students too much, is just an inadequate personality. And sadly, students have to put up with it. Thank goodness students can get past that, become a fully licensed pilot; and leave their loser instructor in the dust; (Not you Allen, you are great).
From this moment on
Anyhow, there are some historical posts where you will learn about professional pilot training, pilot certificates and licenses, cost implications for flight training, best flight schools; as well as the requirements to become a professional pilot; on a hypothetical basis.
TRAINING TALK – A GLOSSARY
Here are a few of the terms you’re likely to encounter during your training.
Aerobatics: Flight that commonly involves barrel rolls, spins, as well as other high-performance maneuvers.
Aileron: A movable surface on the back of the wings that changes the roll of the airplane.
Airfoil: A curved body, such as a wing, that causes lift when air moves over it.
Airline Transport Pilot: A pilot who has completed Transport Canada’s requirements for the Airline Transport Licence; including a minimum of 1,500 hours of flight time and passing two knowledge exams. Allows a pilot to act as pilot-in-command of an aircraft that carries more than 18 people.
Airworthy: The state of being capable of flight, usually referring to an airplane’s mechanical condition.
Avionics: The radios and navigation instruments.
Check Ride: The “driver’s test” a pilot takes in the airplane to earn a certificate or rating. Also known as the Practical Test or Flight Test.
Commercial Pilot: A pilot who has completed Transport Canada’s requirements for the commercial licence; including a minimum of 200 hours of flight time; as well as passing a knowledge exam and flight test.
Currency: Meeting the legal requirements to exercise the pilot licence. Usually, it requires a certain number of hours of flight time over a given period of time.
Dead (“Ded”) Reckoning: Also known as Deductive Reckoning; a method of navigation that requires a pilot to fly a certain direction for a certain time at a certain speed to reach a destination a known distance away.
Elevators: Moveable sections of the tail that pitch the nose up or down.
Flaps: The movable section of the wing that increases lift and drag; and allows for slower, steeper descents during landing.
Flight computer: A manual slide rule or electronic calculator used to determine wind correction; fuel consumption, airspeed, as well as other performance calculations during flight planning.
Flight Test: A review of flying skills and aviation knowledge conducted by a flight instructor at the issue of a rating or license.
Global Positioning System (GPS): An array of stationary satellites that allows users to locate their exact position on the earth.
Horizontal stabilizers: The horizontal sections of the tail that include the elevators.
Instrument flight rules (IFR): A flight solely by reference to the cockpit instruments during low visibility or bad weather.
Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC): Weather that includes reduced visibility and cloud ceilings that require a pilot to fly by reference to his or her cockpit instruments.
Logbook: A register book that lists a pilot’s flight time, instructor endorsements, as well as completed training topics.
Main Gear: The landing gear underneath the fuselage of the aircraft; usually under the cockpit.
Medical Certificate: A legal document issued by an aviation doctor stating a pilot is physically fit to fly. A valid medical certificate is required to be in the possession of the pilot during all flights.
Multi-engine Aircraft: An aircraft with two or more engines.
Nose Gear: The landing gear nearest the nose of the aircraft in a tricycle-gear airplane.
Pilotage: Navigating by reference to a map and visible landmarks.
Pitch: The up and down movement of the aircraft’s nose about the center of gravity.
Practical Exam: The “driver’s test” a new pilot takes in the airplane to earn a pilot certificate. Also known as a “check ride” or “flight test”.
Private Pilot: A pilot who has completed Transport Canada’s requirements for the private license; including a minimum of 45 hours of flight time and passing a knowledge exam and flight test.
Recurrent Training: Annual or semi-annual training used to refresh a pilot’s knowledge and skills in a variety of flight situations; including in-flight emergencies.
Regional Airline: A commuter airline.
Roll: The rotation of the airplane around its nose-to-tail axis.
Rudder: Section of the tail that moves the nose to the left or right. Rudder pedals: Foot pedals in the cockpit that control the rudder, brakes, and steering of the aircraft.
Stability: The ability of an aircraft to return to level flight on its own after the controls are moved.
Tailwheel Airplane: An airplane with a small wheel underneath the tail of the aircraft, and two larger wheels under the wings. Also called “conventional gear” aircraft.
Type Rating: A rating to a pilot’s certificate that states he or she is able to fly a particular type of sophisticated or large aircraft; such as a Piper Navajo or a Learjet.
Uncontrolled Airport: An airport without air traffic control; pilots fly into and out of these airport using standard operating procedures to avoid one another.
Unimproved Airport: An airport with runways made of grass, dirt, or gravel, instead of concrete or asphalt.
Vertical Stabilizers: The upright portion of the aircraft’s “tail.”
Visual Flight: A flight made by referencing the horizon and other outside landmarks.
Yaw: The level; “wagging” back-and-forth movement of the aircraft’s nose about its center of gravity.
Island Pacific Flight Academy offers a Commercial Pilot License Training program following the guidelines set out in the Canadian Aviation Regulations. The minimum requirements are 200 hours total time of which 100 hours is pilot in command.
Medical requirement is a Category 1. (Proof of medical must be produced at the time of written exam).
Your Commercial Flight Training will consist of 65 hours flight time, plus approximately 90 hours of build-up time. Dual flight time required is 35 hours; which will include 20 hours instrument training, 5 hours of cross-country flight and 5 hours of night flight; (which includes a minimum 2 hour cross-country night flight).
Solo time required is 30 hours
This includes a 300 nautical mile radius cross-country flight from point of departure. This will include a minimum of 3 landings; not including point of departure, and 5 hours of night flying.
The number of hours that you will take to complete your flight training will depend on your other commitments, number of hours flown per week, weather, etc.
Island Pacific Flight Academy provides a 80 hour Commercial Ground School program as preparation for the written exam administered by Transport Canada.
Estimated Flight Training Costs:
These are based on using the Katana DA20 in the minimum completion time, and are assuming students have their Private Pilot License with a minimum of 45 hours total flight time prior to their Commercial training.
|35 Hours dual instruction @ 156.00 per hour||$5460.00|
|30 Hours solo @ 107.00 per hour||$3210.00|
|6 Hours ground briefing @ 49.00 per hour||$294.00|
|80 Hours Ground School (Classroom)||$399.00|
|Time Building Flight: Approx. 90 hours@ $107.00/hr.||$9630.00|
|Flight Test Examiner Fee||$200.00|
|License Processing Fee||$80.00|
|Transport Canada Written Exam Fee||$105.00|
|Total Estimated Costs: (Exclusive of GST)||$19378.00|
PRIVATE PILOT COURSE
A Private Pilot License allows you to fly light aircraft in Canada or Internationally with passengers.
Island Pacific Flight Academy offers a Private Pilot Training program based on Transport Canada’s minimum requirements of 45 hours of flight training; of which 17 hours must be dual instruction; including a minimum of 3 hours dual cross-country flight time as well as 5 hours instrument time.
Minimum required solo time is 12 hours of flight time; including 5 hours of cross-country flight time with a flight of no less than 150 nautical miles that shall include 2 full stop landings; not including the point of departure.
Medical requirement is a Category 3.
Proof of medical must be produced at the time of the written exam and before a Student Pilot Permit can be issued.
Island Pacific Flight Academy provides a Ground School program as preparation for the written examination administered by Transport Canada. The Private Ground School Transport Canada requirement is 40 hours. But to allow for flexibility in scheduling, Island Pacific Flight Academy provides a 48 hour course.
This groundschool satisfies the requirements of both the Recreation Pilot Permit and the Private Pilot License; as well as the Ministry of Education requirements for an External Credit course.
A valid medical and 10 hours of flight time are required for the written exam.
The number of hours that you will take to complete the flight training will depend on your other commitments, number of hours flown per week, weather, etc.
Estimated Training Cost are based on using the Katana DA20 and in the minimum completion time.
|17 Hours dual instruction @ 156.00 per hour||$2652.00|
|28 Hours solo instruction @ 107.00 per hour||$2996.00|
|6 Hours ground briefings @ 49.00 per hour||$294.00|
|48 Hours Ground School||$199.00|
|Ground School Supply Kit (books, handouts, etc.)||$275.00|
|Flight Test Examiner Fee||$200.00|
|Licence Processing Fee, Radio and Pre Solo Exams||$130.00|
|Transport Canada Written Exam||$105.00|
|Medical (approximate cost)||$110.00|
|Total Estimated Costs: (Exclusive of GST)||$6961.00|
FOR NEW AND STUDENT PILOTS
I’ve heard a lot about this “Katana” you have. What is the advantage of flight training in this plane vs. a Cessna?
The Canadian-built 2-seat Diamond Katana DA20 is one of the most advanced training aircraft on the market today. Built of aerospace carbon composite as well as fiberglass; it is lightweight yet very tough. The aerodynamics of the Katana are based on a European glider design, so they are forgiving to fly, yet amazingly maneuverable and responsive.
The controls are moved with a control stick connected by pushrods (as opposed to cables as well as pulleys); making it extremely easy and fun to fly.
Pilots particularly enjoy the unmatched visibility from the large bubble canopy. In addition, the DA20-A1 model is equipped with a constant speed propeller, making conversions to larger aircraft extremely simple.
Katanas have been described as the “sports car of general aviation”; achieving airspeeds comparable to a 4-seat aircraft for an extremely economical fuel consumption. Pilots who love them describe flying it as “being one with of the airplane”; much more so than any other small plane.
But the best way to see what we mean is FLY IT! The introductory flight lesson is only $69.00 + GST. You can try it for yourself. See why we love it!
Island Pacific Flight Academy is excited to announce that we have purchased one of these aircraft. It is available for rental and training now. It will be renting at a very economical price equivalent to the Cessna 150, so there is no extra cost to complete your training in this amazing machine.
How long is an Introductory Flight Lesson, and what does it consist of?
An “Intro” or Familiarization Flight Lesson is usually approximately half an hour (0.4-0.6 hours). Normally, this lesson is designed to show you what it’s like to fly an aircraft yourself, and as a result you get to do almost all the flying (under careful supervision of your instructor; of course). We even let you take of. You get to sit in the pilot’s seat!
Does an Introductory Flight count towards my licence?
Yes, it most certainly does! The Intro is usually the first logged flight in any pilot’s logbook.
I have heard a lot about “Groundschool”. Is this something that needs to be taken at the same time as my flying?
Your flight training is broken down into one of three things: preparatory classroom instruction for the flight portion, the actual flight lessons, and the academic evening groundschool. First, the preparatory instruction and flight lessons go hand-in-hand
(i.e. you will receive the prep instruction before you fly, then you head out to the plane and fly the lesson you just learned). Because this training is mostly one-on-one with your instructor, you set the booking times to fit your own schedule.
The evening groundschool course is about 8-9 weeks long, running twice a week in the evenings. Unlike the flying portion where you can set your own schedule, the dates of these courses are set in advance. You need to attend the groundschool before you can earn your licence. But you do not need to complete it in advance of the flying lessons. Rather, we find that taking the two simultaneously works the best.
The groundschool consists of 10 individual subjects; which are tested at the end in the form of a Transport Canada written exam.
Your groundschool already started; but I want to start flying now! Is it too late to join in??
No, as long as you start at the beginning of a new subject; (i.e. starting halfway through the Navigation or Meteorology is not recommended, as the material being covered will be based on the previous evenings). Most subjects are between 2 and 4 nights long; and some are only one night.
What’s included in your quoted prices?
We here at Island Pacific Flight Academy want you to know all the facts about your flight training before you start. We quote a price for a licence or rating based on Transport Canada’s minimums, then we add in all the government fees you will expect to have to pay so there’s no surprises, calculate all the average times for aircraft rental, instructor time and simulator time if applicable; and add it all together. The only thing our quotes do NOT include is applicable tax (see “Tax” question below).
Keep in mind: the hours we use to calculate are variable depending on the student’s availability to fly, weather considerations, and aircraft availability, to name a few.
What’s the deal with sales tax and income tax deductions?
Here’s one of the most frequent questions we get asked about renting aircraft or flight training. Well, here’s the answer!
- Private Pilot Licence/Recreational Pilot Permit: 6% GST only
- Commercial Pilot Licence or other ratings: 6% GST only
- Rental (recreational flying) or “build-up time”: 6%GST plus 7% PST
- Scenic Tours/Charters: 6% GST only
As an accredited Private Career Training Institutions Agency (PCTIA) school, we issue a tuition fee certificate at the end of each year for your income tax return. The Private License alone is NOT tax-deductible. But when you commence Commercial training, the entire cost of your Private License becomes deductible. Call us at (250) 655-0394 for more details.
What kind of financial aid is there for flight training?
You can be easily approved for Government funding for a Commercial Licence or other Flight Endorsements through the BC Student Assistance Program.
The TD-Canada Trust bank offers a very reasonable Education Line-of-Credit for student pilots. If you are currently receiving Employment Insurance, you may be eligible for financial assistance through Human Resources Development Canada. Check with the local HRDC branch for details.
Can I change instructors?
Of course you can change instructors at any time; we consider our cadre of instructors to be among the best on Vancouver Island, and we want you to have the most fun with your training while becoming the best pilot you can be. If at ANY time you do not feel you are getting the most from your flight training, ask for a consultation with the Chief Flight Instructor.
Is there anywhere I can find additional study materials to help me prepare for my upcoming exams?
For our students’ convenience, we have put together a page with links to hard-to-find information such as Transport Canada reference documents, the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs), the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM); as well as FREE Online Exam websites that we have found the most useful for pilots of all experience levels.
FOR PRIVATE PILOTS – ADVANCING YOUR TRAINING:
I’ve earned my Private Licence! What should I do now?
Congratulations, you have become a pilot! The next phase is the most exciting yet and we want to help you achieve whatever you want to do in aviation.
Assuming you are interested in a career path as a pilot, there are several phases of training still to come. However, the first step down the path is usually a course called the Night Rating. This 15 hour course enables you to fly in hours of darkness, allowing you greater freedom as well as ability to travel greater distances; without being restricted by having to land before night falls.
Following the Night Rating, we usually recommend that you start renting a plane and going places! Doesn’t matter where, just go places you’ve never been before, experience what it’s really like to be a pilot in command of your own airplane. This builds your confidence with the machine. And begins developing a trust in your new-found abilities.
Once you pass somewhere around the 100-hour mark in your logbook
You might start thinking about advancing your training again. You might choose to see what it’s like to be a West Coast Bush Pilot by trying a mountain endorsement, followed by a Professional 50-Hour Seaplane Rating . Or you might be interested in seeing what life an airliner captain leads, so you get your Multi-Engine Rating and learn how to fly in the clouds with an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Rating.
Or you might be thinking that sharing all the great things you’ve learned by becoming a flight instructor yourself after completing your license could be a rewarding and fun job. However you combine the courses that are available, once you have earned 200 hours of flying time in combination with a written exam and a flight test, you are a Commercial Pilot!
Call us at (250) 655-0394 or e-mail us for the full details or if you are interested in a career briefing, where one of our highly experienced instructors can assist you in answering your questions, outlining the next steps; and helping you decide on a career path that best suits your desires as well as goals in aviation.
Should I complete my Commercial License first, then continue on to additional endorsements?
Think of your Commercial License as an empty glass… you need to fill the glass with 200 hours; some of which you already have from your Private License. Within certain Transport Canada boundaries; there are few limits on how, where or what aircraft you acquire the remaining hours.
If you plan to continue on to other ratings, such as the Multi-Engine, Seaplane, Night, etc., we do recommend taking those ratings during the 200-hour period leading up to the Commercial Pilot’s License. For example, let’s say you are thinking about taking a mountain endorsement; which is approximately 15 hours.
You could simply hire an instructor and complete those needed 15 hours on ordinary training. But the mountain course makes a much more productive use of those 15 hours, earning you a new endorsement and a whole set of new skills & experiences, while having a lot of fun in the process.
At the completion of your license, you will find you have saved money by replacing one set of hours with another that has a more productive outcome. Try to make every hour of those 200 count towards a specific learning objective.
RENTING AND RESOURCES FOR LICENSED PILOTS:
Describe your fleet of aircraft.
Presently, we have a Katana DA20-A1, a Cessna 172; as well as a Beech Duchess Twin coming soon to develop our Multi-Engine IFR program. We are always looking for your feedback. Your opinion is important to us…! Please let us know what you would like to see here at Island Pacific Flight Academy!
I am a licensed pilot. What steps do I need to take to rent one of your planes?
We will require a short flight with an instructor. But we will evaluate each prospective renter’s needs individually, based on past experience both with the aircraft type and the region, currency of experience, etc. A short type exam will be required for your file. You will have to sign a rental policy.
What’s the story with renting for a longer trip?
We would like to see at least 3 hours of Flight Time (engine start to engine stop) per weekday when planning on being gone more than 24 hours. This is to reduce lost revenue on the aircraft during busier times. If aircraft availability is good, this rule may be flexible.
GENERAL AVIATION QUESTIONS:
What is this “phonetic alphabet” I keep hearing about?
We use words of the English language to represent letters of the alphabet because of the confusion that can arise from letters that sound similar; (E, C, D, P, T, V, etc.). Every pilot has to learn these letters before flying an aircraft alone, or “solo”. So to end the confusion, here they are!
|A – Alfa
B – Bravo
C – Charlie
D – Delta
E – Echo
F – Foxtrot
G – Golf
|H – Hotel
I – India
J – Juliet
K – Kilo
L – Lima
M – Mike
|N – November
O – Oscar
P – Papa
Q – Quebec
R – Romeo
S – Sierra
|T – Tango
U – Uniform
V – Victor
W – Whiskey
X – X-Ray
Y – Yankee
Z – Zulu
What do all the weird pilot terms mean?
What the heck is “Zulu” time?
Years ago, when long distance train travel was becoming more prevalent and passenger-carrying airlines were in their infancy, the time zone was invented to make travel timetables a little less confusing. Beginning to the east of Greenwich, near London in England, our 360 degrees of longitude were divided by 24 zones, and were labeled A-M (omitting J for some reason), all the way around to Australia.
However, the zones west of Greenwich were then labeled N-Y (the Pacific Time Zone is actually labeled “U” under this system). The zone that straddles the International Date Line is split in half, M on the east and Y on the west.
That only left the letter Z; which was then assigned to the zone where it all started, the 0° longitude line that passes through Greenwich. Thereby, “Zulu” time, or the time it is in Greenwich, England, became the time that was used to synchronize the timetables of trains (and later, airlines) everywhere.
Military aviation a very exciting, adventurous and fulfilling career; which is admired by many people. We all love fighters jets especially when we see them buzzing in the skies. Pilots in the military are very honorable and trusted individuals who usually are in command of very sophisticated weapons.
As a military aviator, you are trained to be precise in fast striking. When you are in the battlefield you are supposed to be vigilant and careful as you take down the enemies. Therefore military aviators are supposed to be intelligent people who are quick to grasp any unfolding situation and respond appropriately.
They are supposed to be patriotic to their country and loyal to their fellow service men on the ground. Above all, they must be self-sacrificing individuals whose love for country and fellow countrymen will be put to test from time to time.
The military use different aircrafts for various missions;
— Fighter Jets conduct multifaceted operations to gain air authority and to also destroy enemy targets;
— Bomber Jets strike over a long great distance with minimal civilian casualties.
— Cargo Aircraft usually perform long-range airlift and humanitarian efforts for the injured as well as those who need to be rescued.
— Helicopters are supposed to support any ground offensive operations.
Categories of military jets can be divided into two major types:
- Fixed-wing jets
- Rotary-wing jets
These consist of jets; which range from super-large, heavy-lift cargo planes to small fighter as well as attack jets. Fixed-wing aircraft are characterized by fixed or attached lifting devices (wings); which allow the jet to fly in a forward motion at high speed.
They usually run down a runway to achieve the velocity required to develop a lifting force that enables them to be able to overcome gravitational pull. They are powered by large turbine engines; which helps them convert the energy to thrust (as in a turbojet) or convert the energy to shaft horsepower to turn a propeller (as in a turboprop).
These consist of helicopters and tilt-rotor aircraft. Rotary-wing aircraft have a rotating lifting wing (rotor blade); which develops lift and thrust to overcome the force of gravity. The system allows the chopper to take off and land in a vertical or near-vertical style. This enables them to utilize rugged regions.
Helicopters are slower than fixed-wing aircraft do but make up for that by their versatility; as well as capability to be forward-placed in a battlefield environment; i.e. choppers can be placed in the front lines and operate from that angle. They can as well hide in a selected spot and wait for a target to appear.
Pilot’s Certificates and Ratings
There are several pilot certificates and ratings; in which you can train and get accredited for. The most basic certificate; which is available to all candidates on graduation of training is the recreational or private pilot certificate.
After obtaining this certificate, you may opt to continue your training and advance the skills; hence earning other certifications.
Certificates of pilot training programs include :
a) Recreation Pilot certificate
This certificate enables you to act as a pilot-in-command (PIC) of a one passenger plane; which you are only allowed to fly during the day.
Some restrictions imposed on the certificates includes:
No night flights, no flying beyond 50 miles, no flying at airport; which have radio communications through a controller.
Those restrictions make this certificate not popular; hence it’s never the best option.
b) Private pilot certificate
This is more popular. It is usually earned by many first time pilots on their graduation. In this certificate you are allowed to act as a pilot-in command; (PIC) of a plane with several passengers.
c) Instrument Flight Certificate
This allows a pilot to fly under instrument flight rules. The certificate is obtained after the private pilot certificate. It’s most preferable because the training as well as qualification make one a proficient; and better skilled pilot even under un-conducive weather.
With this type of certificate it means you can control and navigate a plane by referencing the flight instruments; hence you don’t need to use external visual references like, landmarks/ beacons. This means that even on poor visibility, you will know where you are heading. This is rating required if you are considering pilot as a career.
d) Commercial pilot certificate
This certificate allows you to work for flight companies as well as charge money for your services. It is obtained after the private pilot certification. Its training will equip you with proficiency, as well as more skills; along with qualifications to undertake pilot as a professional career.
e) Multi-engine rating
This rating allows you to fly a plane; which has two or more engines. It can be advanced after obtaining a commercial pilot certificate or an instrument rating.
Its training offers more and highly specialized skills such as safe landing in unfortunate circumstances where one engine fails.
f) Flight Instructor Certificate
This certificate will allow you to train or teach beginners the skills of a pilot.
There are basically 3 types of flight instructor certificate; which include:
- Certified flight instructor certificate (CFI). This allows you to teach students who are pursuing private or commercial pilot certificates.
- Certified Flight Instrument Instructor (CFII). This certificate allows you to train students who are pursuing instrument rating.
- Multi-engine instructor (MEI) Certificate. This certificate allows you to train students who are pursuing multi-engine rating.
g) Airline Transport Pilot certificate (ATP).
This is the most senior certificate in flight training. It allows you to act as a pilot-in-command (PIC) of a commercial aircraft of more than 12,500 lbs (more than 100 passengers).
The qualifications for eligibility of training for this certificate are:
- Be at least 23 years of age.
- Be a holder of at least the commercial pilot certificate and instrument rating.
- Have at least traveled for 1500 hrs as a pilot; which broken down into:
a) 500 hours of cross-country flight time
b) 100 hours of night flight time
c) 75 hours of actual / simulated flight time.
d) 250 hours of flight as a pilot-in-command.
h) Flight engineer certificate
Be that as it may, this certificate allows you to act as a flight engineer on certain airplanes. Flight engineer duties involves managing the aircraft systems-fuel, hydraulic electrics, etc., and assist the PIC as well as First officer. You don’t have to become a pilot to become a flight engineer.
Choosing a Good Flight School
Flying a plane is thrilling.
As a matter of fact, it is really rewarding and adventurous to learn how to fly a plane. A career in the air travel industry as a pilot enables you to have fun traveling to different destinations as well as the awesome experience in the air while you control an airborne machine.
In order to be a successful pilot, it’s vital that you get proper training to foster confidence, know how to control a plane in case of emergencies and ensure safety while airborne, while taking off and while landing.
Therefore, this means that you need to attend a good flight school; which will offer you the best training and experience paramount to the task at hand. Finding such a school can be a tedious task and confusing tasks for a beginner. The following guidelines should help you reach a decision on the best flight school with minimal problems.
Factors to Consider before taking flight lessons
If you are a beginner aspiring to become a pilot, the following tips will help you make a better decision.
Nevertheless, it’s important to first define your goals before joining any flight school. This is vital because it gives you focus and determination to work towards accomplishing them. You need to decide if you want to learn flying for pleasure or for your personal business activities of if your goal is to become a pilot as a career.
Next you want to determine the flight school; which is appropriate and offers the package that will suit your goal. Other things to consider include the cost and expenses of training and the time available – part time or full time.
Quality of Flight School
This is the next consideration; which should be taken into account.
Some of the factors; which you need to consider before choosing the most appropriate flight school includes :
The quality of the flight training, Professionalism of the school and training lessons offered.
All this is determined by the flight instructor. Experienced flight instructors are the best for training because they will ensure that you are well equipped with the necessary skills and qualifications.
An excellent flight instructor can be determined by the average number of hours spent on the air, the pass/fail rate of preceding students, the certification of the instructor; for basic flight training; the instructor should at least be a certified flight instructor ; CFI and for instrument rating the instructor needs to have a an instrument rating; CFII.
Safety measures and record.
On the other hand, the safety record of the schools is also a vital consideration. Not only the school; but that of the instructor needs to be known and used to reach a decision.
The nature and type of school. Is it public or private, college or university etc.
Moreover, this can help you quickly determine the quality of the training. Normally, private schools will have best facilities and excellent instructors for flight training compared to public schools. But their charges and fees may be exorbitant and relatively high. Universities are more preferable to colleges especially if they have been operational for a relatively long duration of time.
The school accreditation and the level of the training course-degree or credit.
Is the flight program accredited by international bodies? Do international bodies recognize the certificates gained? You will also need to know the examining bodies and their competencies and recognition.
The school certification offered. Is it part 61 or 141?
There are basically two categories of flight school, Part 61 and Part 141; which denote the certifications they operate under according to Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs).
However, the differences between the two are the number of flight time; which is required before certification. For a private certificate; which is the basic pilot certificate, Part 61 offers 40 hours of flight time while Part 141 offers 35 hours.
This difference makes may not be important during the private certificate training whereby less hours are required. But on advance training for instance in commercial pilots training, the margin is felt because part 61 requires 250 flight hours in this level compared to Part 141 requires 136. Therefore you want to know the total hours you will train before you are certified.
Another major difference is on the structure and accountability of the two. Part 161 flight schools are regularly audited by FAA. Their courses must be FAA-approved; as well as meet the students performance rates unlike Part 61; which doesn’t have such paperwork. This makes learning under Part 61 more flexible for students.
The pilot certificate, license, rating offered and costs.
Notwithstanding, the costs are major implications. They ultimately determine the decision you will eventually make. It is therefore important to compare several flight schools and their costs.
Financial aid offered, career assistance and any internship programs.
Scholarship programs, student’s loans as well as other education credit facilities; also, aids in education; such as bursaries will enable the costs of the training to be manageable. Hence should be considered because they help offset the total costs. Also career information and guidance is vital to enable you make the best decision on the certification; which suits your passions and needs.
Internship programs are great starting places for gaining some experience after training and their availability should be put into consideration.
Affiliation and partnership with regional airlines.
Without a doubt, this is vital for better training and experience. Hence should also be considered.
Growth and Development of the Aviation Industry
Air travel is an integral means of transportation; which can thrilling and adventurous in case of private leisure. But for commercial purposes, the aviation industry facilitates tourism as well as travel both of; which enhance the reliability of international trade, investment and generally boosts economic growth.
The aviation industry is vast and rapidly growing especially for the purpose of tourism and for business and trade.
For leisure traveling to favorite tourist destinations, winter vacations; as well as other holidays at exotic places; air travels makes it convenient and reliable for tourists to realize their dreams. This creates a need for countries to develop resorts; as well as other attraction infrastructures to lure such visitors for a fee; thus facilitating economic growth.
This is also a big in air travel with many companies becoming multinationals, as well as foreign investments greatly increasing as companies target how and under-exploited markets for their goods or services.
Nonetheless, these two factors have mainly contributed to the growth; as well as development of the aviation industry.
What is considered most, whether traveling for business or for leisure is the reliability of the air travel in terms of fast traveling and cost effectiveness in terms of the distance traveled.
Factors affecting the aviation industry
Basically fuel makes up a big part of the expenses in the aviation sector because aeroplanes use vast amounts of fuel; hence high costs of air travel; which is a major factor considered by travelers.
Unfavorable weather; e.g. fogs and snow can lead to the cancellation of flights; which results to an extra expense for an airline. Thus reduces the profits gained.
Nevertheless, airlines and air travel companies pay high salaries and wages to pilots, fling attendants, cargo handlers and other airport staff; which result to a big cut in their profits. Thus they must raise the travel charges; which leads to decrease in the number of travelers.
Commercial flights need a vast area for landing and taking off; which poses many challenges to the number of planes an airport can handle at a given time. Also the carrying capacity of a plane contributes a lot in terms of the profits to be realized in a given trip.
Cost of planes
Planes are expensive to buy or lease; which limits the growth. As well as expansion of the air travel industry because huge capital is required.
Usually IATA assigns routes to air carriers. This determines the fuel used and may lead to the increase in expenses incase the route taken is long.
Threats to the aviation industry
There are numerous threats; which impede a smooth growth of the aviation industry and they include :
However, in the recent years; threats of terror attacks in airports and plane hijackings was the US case of 911; or the lost Malaysian plane have limited the growth; as well as expansion of airlines.
Also, this has triggered increase in cost of surveillance. As well as hiring of more security personnel in the industry. Terrorism also frightens travelers. It also may influence their decision of using a airline over another.
IATA sets out regulations to be observed on the sky and tries to liberalize the policies. Especially in situations whereby a country may not allow air carriers of a certain company/country to fly through it.
Rise in oil prices
This eventually lead to the increase in costs of traveling.
Visa policies and regulation
Travel documents require long processes to secure them; which is both tedious and bureaucratic. Hence discouraging potential air travelers. Also some countries may impose visa conditions/cancellations to some individuals/countries; hence threatening the profitability of airlines operating in those countries. In some cases, travel advisory may go in hand with visa policies; which in turn affects the aviation industry.
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