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What Does It Take to Become a Licensed Pilot

The ability to pilot an aircraft is not only accompanied by the coveted credential and title of “aircraft pilot,” but also a number of valuable skills, and in many cases, the potential for a stable, rewarding career. It is no wonder why nearly 127,100 commercial pilots took to the skies in 2019, earning a median salary of $130,440 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The world of aviation has open doors and many opportunities for those who are dedicated to forging a lasting path for themselves. That being said, becoming a pilot, especially a career pilot, is not easy. Like anything of worth, it requires patience, effort, and diligence. As flight training experts, we have a few insights to share with regards to “what it takes.”

First, the Intangibles

It’s no secret that operating an aircraft requires a certain set of skills. However, many folks may not understand the breadth of what a pilot is required to do. Though many successful pilots develop the necessary skillset during training, it is beneficial to begin with a foundation. The following are some important traits a qualified pilot should possess. 

  • Clear Communication: Communication between pilot and controller ultimately gets the plane safely in the air and allows the aircraft to return safely to the ground. 
  • Awareness: In this context, awareness is a general term that includes many components. Such components include environmental awareness, mode awareness, and spatial orientation, among others.
  • Team Working Abilities: Flying a plane from point A to point B requires coordination with many parties. 
  • Quick Thinking and Decisiveness: There are times when pressure will be applied to a situation and a pilot will need to work effectively under time and resource constraints. 
  • Ability to Maintain Calm: In the event of a dangerous situation, a pilot cannot panic. Instead, controlled actions must be taken to avert a potential crisis. 
  • Leadership: A pilot must be able to manage the cockpit and captain the plane.
  • Confidence: Doubt leads to fear. Aircraft operators must have confidence in themselves as well as the capabilities of the aircraft. 
  • Good Judgement: In some instances, there is only room for correct decisions. Through training and instinct, a pilot must develop good judgment. 
  • Creative and Logical: Flying an aircraft involves both technical and creative thinking. 
  • Ability to Retain Information and Recall it Under Stress: Put simply, there is a lot to learn, and it must be learned well. 

Second, the Resources

A pilot’s certificate certainly isn’t earned overnight and doesn’t come without a cost. Thankfully, FLT Academy offers programs that allow students to graduate with a commercial license in as little as 12 months, with financing options that are uniquely accommodating. In the spirit of setting proper expectations, flight school will require your time, effort, and money, but the rewards can far outweigh the costs in the long run. Though the road may be difficult, the bright future it can lead to is a considerable return given the investment. 

Third, the Right Team of Instructors

Not only is it important to receive expert instruction that can lend you the knowledge you will need as an aircraft operator, but it is also important to work with those who can help you find career opportunities. FLT Academy is committed to getting you the best flight instruction which is why we have partnered with SkyWest Airlines to bring you FLT (Flight-crew Lead Training). After completing a flight program with FLT, we make it easy for you to start flying with one of the nation’s most reputable airlines. At the end of the day, you likely want your pilot’s license as well as an opportunity to use it. 

We Offer Professionalism and Expertise So You Can Provide the Same

FLT Academy is proud to be one of the top flight schools in the west, introducing an unparalleled dedication to both safety and value to each one of our comprehensive flight programs. Our offerings are extensive, our instructors are remarkably qualified, and our student success speaks for itself. 

If you are confident you have what it takes to become a pilot as well as an interest in pursuing an aviation career, let FLT Academy guide you towards your goal. Learn more.