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A day in the life of a full-time student:
Full-time students are expected to be active in their studies. Full-time students will fly at least 2-3 hours a day, 5-6 days a week.
To fly an hour students are expected to prepare for at least 2 hours to maximize the benefit of the lesson. Students are expected to study for at least 4 hours for every hour in the classroom. Learning to fly is an intensive, emotional endeavor. It is not simply a physical manipulation of the controls. To stay on schedule, we book 6-7 days a week expecting to lose at least 1 day of the week to weather. Ground School is conducted in the evenings so that the daylight hours are for flying.
Here are the facts:
The reality is that all pilots have to start with entry level flying jobs. Entry level flying jobs are hard to get. After the completion of your commercial license, a new hire has one problem: you have minimal experience. You are competing with other commercial pilots who have the same problem. You will have to sell yourself, have the type of training and experience that the entry level aviation companies want, and you will need some timing, (right place at the right time). This has always been the case.
Even during several recessions, I have seen pilots land their first flying jobs when there were supposedly no jobs to be had. How did they do it? Proper training for realistic entry level jobs and they were determined and had a LOVE for flying that made them stick it out even when times were hard.
If you have that determination and love for flying, then and only then will you be successful as a commercial pilot. If flying is not something you really, really, want to do as a career, then forget it. If it's a passing fancy, get a private license first. See how well you like it before committing to all the training. We are more than happy to sit down and talk with you and give you a realistic outlook on what a career in aviation could hold for you.
What do we do? First of all, I cannot guarantee anyone a job. When someone is considering the instructor rating we look at how many instructors we currently have, which of them, if any, are thinking of leaving and what the likelihood is of this person being hired upon completion. If the person is someone that we would want to hire and there is no opening, that person is then the next person to be hired when there is an opening. We have hired many of the instructors that we have trained over the years and will only hire pilots we have trained.
What does all this mean? It means that you must get all the facts first. Research aviation. Talk to pilots already in the industry. Talk to students, and graduates who have trained at the school you are considering. (We can supply references from former and current students.) Even better, visit the school that you are considering. As difficult or expensive as it may be, it could be money well spent.
I would like to close by saying that for myself aviation has been the greatest career that I could have ever chosen. If you feel that aviation is the career for you, then come talk to us and let your dreams take flight.
How does learning to fly work?
These requirements include ground school, flight training time, flight training device time, and flight test standard requirements. To achieve these requirements you need to work with a flight training unit who then has the responsibility to develop a syllabus and hire flight instructors/examiners to complete the training efficiently and safely.
There are 2 parts to learning to fly. The ground school and the flight training.
Flight Training. This is actual in flight training in the airplane. One on one with a flight instructor. A typical lesson takes 2 hours. 30 minutes on the ground in a briefing room going over the flight (preparatory ground), 15 minutes for a preflight/walk around/fueling, 60 minutes for the flight itself, then 15 minutes to debrief. During the debrief you will discuss what went well, what didn't go well and how to prepare for the next lesson.
You can start the flight training anytime. You are in a class or one. When you and the instructor show up, the lesson starts. The pacing and schedule of the lessons are up to you. You can fly once a month, once a week, or 4-5 times a day if it's productive for you. The more often you fly the sooner the course will be done and the less money it'll cost you to learn to fly.
Ground Schools covers the theory you need to fly and to pass the written exam. Ground School can be done in a group setting, one on one with a flight instructor, or online as a distance learning course. The best method for ground school depends on the schedule you can maintain, the start day, and how you learn best.
You do not need to complete ground school before you start flight training. We suggest to do ground school and flying at the same time. What you learn in theory you can put to practical use in the airplane and the lesson will be better remembered.
Hints on saving money during flight training
Pursuing flight training in as short an amount of elapsed time as possible will ensure that you are learning something new each time you go out, instead of trying to re-learn things you were taught last time. As a minimum, try to fly once or twice per week.
II-PLAN YOUR TRAINING INTELLIGENTLY
Where the requirements for one course are covered in another course, make sure you take the courses in an order so as to minimize the amount of flying you have to do. For instance, doing the instrument rating and the commercial pilot license concurrently may minimize the amount of instrument training you will have to do.
III-PREPARE FOR LESSONS
The more time and preparation you put into preparing for the next lesson the more you will get out of it. Prepare for the lesson by reading the manuals, memorizing the procedures, and visualizing the exercises.