Download PDF The Independent Command (Flight Engineer)

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Recruiter makes it easy to find out about new jobs for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers. Create your job alert and learn about new openings in your area. The annual compensation for this career has gone up since Salaries have increased by an average of 1.

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Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers tend to make the most in the following industries. Learn at your own pace during this week program. Access over 20 courses. Great for those who want to break into recruiting, or recruiters who want to further their career. Are you an aspiring airline pilot, copilot, or flight engineer? Want a new opportunity where you can earn a higher salary? Airline pilots typically start their careers flying as commercial pilots. Commercial pilots usually accrue thousands of hours of flight experience in order to get a job with regional or major airlines.

Final Boarding Call: As Concorde Departs, So Do 3-Man Crews

The most common path to becoming a commercial pilot is to complete flight training with independent FAA-certified flight instructors or at schools that offer flight training. Some flight schools are part of 2- and 4-year colleges and universities. The FAA certifies hundreds of civilian flight schools, which range from small fixed base operators FBO to state universities. Some colleges and universities offer pilot training as part of a 2- or 4-year aviation degree. Airline and commercial pilots who are newly hired by airlines or on-demand air services companies undergo on-the-job training in accordance with Federal Aviation Regulations FARs.

This training usually includes 6—8 weeks of ground school. Various types of ratings for specific aircraft, such as the Boeing or Cessna Citation, typically are acquired through employer-based training and generally are earned by pilots who have at least a commercial license. Besides initial training and licensing requirements, all pilots must maintain their experience in performing certain maneuvers. This requirement means that pilots must perform specific maneuvers and procedures a given number of times within a specified amount of time.

Pilots also must undergo periodic training and medical examinations, generally every year or every other year. Pilots usually accrue thousands of hours of flight experience as commercial pilots or in the military to get a job with regional or major airlines. Minimum time requirements to get a certificate or rating may not be enough to get some jobs. To make up the gap between paying for training and flying for the major airlines, many commercial pilots begin their careers as flight instructors and on-demand charter pilots.

These positions typically require less experience than airline jobs require.

When pilots have built enough flying hours, they can apply to the airlines. Newly hired pilots at regional airlines are typically required to have about 1, hours of flight experience.

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Airline or Commercial Pilot

Many commercial piloting jobs have minimum requirements of around hours. Those who are seeking a career as a professional pilot typically get their licenses and ratings in the following order:. Each certificate and rating requires that pilots pass a written exam on the ground and a practical flying exam, usually called a check ride, in an appropriate aircraft. In addition to earning these licenses, many pilots get a certified flight instructor CFI rating after they get their commercial certificate. The CFI rating helps them build flight time and experience quickly and at less personal expense.

Current licensing regulations can be found in FARs.

Final Boarding Call: As Concorde Departs, So Do 3-Man Crews - WSJ

Commercial pilot license. To qualify for a commercial pilot license, applicants must be at least 18 years old and meet certain flight-hour requirements.


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Student pilots use a logbook and keep detailed records of their flight time. The logbook must be endorsed by the flight instructor in order for the student to be able to take the FAA knowledge and practical exams. For specific requirements, including details on the types and quantities of flight experience and knowledge requirements, see the FARs. Part 61 of Title 14 of the code of federal regulations 14 CFR part 61 covers the basic rules for the certification of pilots.

Flight schools can train pilots in accordance with the rules from part 61 or the rules found in 14 CFR part Applicants must pass the appropriate medical exam, meet all of the detailed flight experience and knowledge requirements, and pass a written exam and a practical flight exam in order to become commercially licensed. Commercial pilots must hold an instrument rating if they want to carry passengers for pay more than 50 miles from the point of origin of their flight, or at night. Instrument rating. Pilots who earn an instrument rating can fly during periods of low visibility, also known as instrument meteorological conditions, or IMC.

They may qualify for this rating by having at least 40 hours of instrument flight experience and 50 hours of cross-country flight time as pilot in command, and by meeting other requirements detailed in the FARs. Airline transport pilot ATP certification. All pilot crews of a scheduled commercial airliner must have ATP certificates.

To earn the ATP certificate, applicants must be at least 23 years old, have a minimum of 1, hours of flight time, and pass written and practical flight exams. Airline pilots usually maintain one or more aircraft-type ratings, which allow them to fly aircraft that require specific training, depending on the requirements of their particular airline. Some exceptions and alternative requirements are detailed in the FARs. Pilots must pass periodic physical and practical flight examinations to be able to perform the duties granted by their certificate.

Commercial pilots may advance to airline pilots after completing a degree, accruing required flight time, and obtaining an ATP license. Advancement for airline pilots depends on a system of seniority outlined in collective bargaining contracts. Typically, after 1 to 5 years, flight engineers may advance to first officer positions and, after 5 to 15 years, first officers can become captains. Communication skills. Pilots must speak clearly when conveying information to air traffic controllers and other crew members.

They must also listen carefully for instructions.


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  5. Observational skills. Pilots regularly watch over screens, gauges, and dials to make sure that all systems are in working order. They also need to maintain situational awareness by looking for other aircraft or obstacles. Pilots must be able to see clearly, be able to judge the distance between objects, and possess good color vision. Problem-solving skills.

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    Pilots must be able to identify complex problems and figure out appropriate solutions. When a plane encounters turbulence, for example, pilots assess the weather conditions and request a change in route or altitude from air traffic control. Quick reaction time. Pilots must respond quickly, and with good judgment, to any impending danger.

    Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U. Source: U. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. In May , the median annual wages for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:.

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    In May , the median annual wages for commercial pilots in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:. Airline pilots and their immediate families usually are entitled to free or reduced-fare flights. Pilots have variable work schedules that may include several days of work followed by some days off. Although most commercial pilots remain near their home overnight, they may still work nonstandard hours.