Questions & Answers for Parents & Grandparents:
A great place to begin is at your local airport with a Discovery Flight. A Discovery Flight is a short introduction to flying with a Certified Flight Instructor. The lesson begins before you leave the ground by preflighting the aircraft, observing the engine start and taxing to the runway. The student will observe the takeoff and once airborne and at a safe altitude the student will be given the flight controls. They will start to get a feel for the airplane by flying straight and level, climbing, descending, and turning. Once it is time to return to the airport they will observe the landing while the instructor explains their actions and thought processes. Once the aircraft is parked, the instructor and student will go inside for a more thorough debrief on what just transpired and discuss next steps. A discovery flight is a great opportunity for parent(s) to join in on the fun by (quietly) observing the lesson from the backseat and taking pictures/videos.
Not necessarily….A college degree is not a requirement by all airlines/flying jobs though having some kind of a degree is currently a requirement of most major airlines. There are several universities with flight programs.
Get her signed up for a Discovery Flight by contacting a flight school at your local airport.
-Check out the Civil Air Patrol. www.gocivilairpatrol.com
- No, however the military is a great option because their flight training costs would be paid for by the government. Each branch has a flying sector.
- Attain your pilot certificates while earning a degree at one of the following universities: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Purdue University, University of North Dakota, Auburn University, Delaware State University, Hampton University, Ohio State University, Florida International University, and Liberty University.
- Finally, there are set flight schools where all of your ratings are achieved in one facility in a short amount of time: ATP Flight School and American Flyers
This will depend on your chosen path…meaning if you are attending a university and obtaining a 4 year college degree while flying, then it normally will take a few years to obtain all of the ratings necessary to support an airline career. However, if one joins the military it can take longer. If selecting a flight school and are 100% dedicated to your flight training with no distractions and are flying several times every week, then one could possibly obtain their ratings in a much shorter period of time.
To fly professionally in the United States, there are several licenses and ratings required.
They are: Private Pilot License (basic flying using outside references), Instrument Rating (learn to fly only using instruments inside the flight deck), Commercial Pilot License (requires more experience and performance knowledge of the aircraft), Multi-Engine Rating (the knowledge and ability to fly an aircraft with more than one engine).
Each rating will require a written knowledge test and a flight test portion with an FAA Designated Examiner (DE).
- A medical certificate is a required exam with an FAA Aviation Medical Examiner (AME)
- This is required to make sure all pilots are in good health before they take an aircraft in the sky
- There are 3 classes of Medical Certificates: 1st class, 2nd class, and 3rd class
- Link to FAA Medical Certification: Medical Certification (www.faa.gov)
We recommend referencing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s website for more information and reaching out to your local Aviation Medical Examiner to discuss what options your child has. Pilot Medical Certification Questions and Answers (www.faa.gov)
- The costs will vary state to state, due to insurance requirements/costs and gas prices. Costs will also vary depending on the effort of the student. For example, if you fly 3-5 times a week then your skillset will be far greater than someone who comes to the airport to take a lesson once every 2-3 weeks. Someone not coming very often will require refresher training. The amount of hours to obtain a private pilot license can vary greatly (40-80 hours difference which is a huge cost difference). Best advice: Flying often=Less flight training expenses!
- The average price to obtain a private pilots license is $40,000 to $45,000, but remember this is not a cost, this is an investment in a career that will provide a return on investment ten times that amount…
- That number seems scary but there are many ways to support the goal of flying! It simply requires determination and time…Meaning time to research and apply for scholarships, grants and more! Not to mention that when you are working on your licenses it is very important that you are flying often in order to save time and money.
- Ask the local flight schools about what flight training packages they offer and financial support they can give
- Designated flight schools often work with set lenders to provide loan support
- FAST provides many scholarship opportunities – head over to our scholarships page for more information.
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Commercial airline pilot, cargo pilot, corporate pilot, flight instructor, test pilot, military pilot, crop duster, charter pilot, fire fighter pilot, government services pilot, bush pilot, float pilot etc.