Practical info: what training to become an airline pilot

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To become an airline pilot with a European airline, certain educational and training requirements must be met. Typically, the journey involves the following steps:

  1. High school diploma : A high school diploma (or equivalent) is essential to start a career as an airline pilot in Europe. It forms the educational basis required for further training.

  2. Training in an approved flight school: The main training takes place in a flight school approved by the civil aviation authorities. The choice of school may vary, but it must be certified to provide professional pilot training programs.

  3. Private Pilot License (PPL): The process begins with obtaining a Private Pilot License (PPL), which allows you to fly aircraft non-professionally.

  4. Commercial Pilot License (CPL): After the PPL, you will need to obtain a Commercial Pilot License (CPL), which authorizes paid piloting. This requires fulfilling specific criteria, including a certain number of flight hours.

  5. Instrument Rating (IR): The instrument rating is crucial for airline pilots, as it allows flying in adverse weather conditions based primarily on aircraft instruments.

  6. Aircraft Type Rating (TR): If you are hired by a specific airline to fly a particular type of aircraft, you will need to obtain a type rating for that aircraft.

  7. Flight hours and experience: European airlines often have flight hour requirements for hiring airline pilots. You will be required to accumulate a specified number of flight hours, which may vary depending on the company and position.

  8. Selection and evaluations: Candidates also go through rigorous selection processes, including psycho-technical assessments, skills tests and interviews.

In summary, becoming an airline pilot with a European airline requires a high school diploma, followed by training at an accredited flight school. Private and commercial pilot licenses, instrument rating, as well as flight hours and experience are also required. Requirements may vary slightly by country and company, but these general steps are typical of the training and recruitment process.

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