Being a Commercial Pilot is a lot more than just flying a plane, but could it be the job for you? Before we get into the ‘how’, let’s first understand the ‘what’.
What is a Commercial Pilot?
A Commercial Pilot is a person who flies the aircraft and manages all the situations and conditions for a safe flight. They can work for any commercial job like Airline, Cargo, Charter, Corporate, Aerial Photography, etc. It definitely isn’t a simple job, but it is safer than driving a car with good practice and knowledge.
Now let’s talk about the ‘how’.
If you have the proper guidance, the journey to becoming a Commercial Pilot becomes easier and saves a lot of time, money, and effort. There isn’t one direct way to go about it, but it has been recognized and understood that taking certain steps can be safer in terms of time and effort.
The ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) monitors and governs the aviation sector worldwide. Its job is to plan and develop rules and regulations for safe international air transport.
Each country has its own regulatory body which monitors safe travels and follows the rules issued by ICAO. Some of the most famous ones are FAA (United States), EASA (Europe), TCCA (Canada), etc. To start your journey of becoming a Commercial Pilot, you need to earn an SPL (Student Pilot License). Any flying club or school will issue these to you.
Like anything else, pilot training can be rigorous. Your instructor will monitor your progress until you are ready to fly alone. You are then solo released if passed. The first solo flight is the most memorable and cherished memory of any pilot because it’s the first time you control the aircraft alone. It’s the sole duty of the pilot to bring the plane safely back.
A PPL (Private Pilot License) is a license that you can get if you are interested in flying as a hobby and not as a career. This license gives you the freedom to fly the aircraft alone and with family, but you cannot use it to earn money.
After PPL comes CPL (Commercial Pilot License), which gives you the freedom to fly an aircraft as a job. In the US and Canada, the minimum flying hours required for issuance of CPL are 200 hours and 250 hours, respectively. You will need to clear written exams and have a valid medical license. To know the exact requirements for your country, visit the regulatory body’s website.
Don’t let the hundreds of documents and licenses put you off, though. This is more about seeing whether Commercial Piloting is the right job match for you. All the studious aspects will come later once you’ve determined that answer. Flying is a lot more than just a job; you need to have a drive and a passion for understanding the machinery. Just like any other field, it has its own ups and downs, and it is totally up to you if it is something that suits you.
It can take a few months or even years to get your first job, but you don’t want to make a decision lightly. Commercial Piloting takes a lot of investment — approximately $45000-$65-000. Cadet Programs are also available, which are a little more expensive than the conventional CPL.
CPL during COVID
Despite the disruption of Covid, traveling isn’t going to stop any time soon. By 2030, there will be around 1.8 billion worldwide tourists a year, and the easiest and fastest way to travel is by airplane.
Therefore, this is the best time to start a CPL. We may still be recovering from the pandemic, but there will be a requirement of over 250,000 pilots in the next 10 years. So, now is the best time to start. It will take you a minimum of 1.5 years to complete a CPL. By then, we will (hopefully) operate a post-Covid world.
However, make sure that you have a good financial backup, as this field demands a lot of investment.
All the best and happy landings!
Read More: The first step towards getting a job