Flying

Print page

Commercial pilots work for airlines or helicopter firms. In addition to jobs carrying scheduled and charter airline passengers, pilots may work for freight operators, fly business aircraft, become a flight instructor, pilot planes serving many functions in remote areas or even tow sky banners!

An aspiring pilot needs to be enthusiastic about flying but also calm and level-headed with good co-ordination, excellent communication skills, excellent health and a stong academic record. Both a medical test and aptitude testing are important requirements for pilot employment.   Look at the Flying Links page for more information on these points.

Traditionally, pilot training was sponsored by the airlines, leading to employment after graduation from a Flight Training School. But airlines have made big changes to the way they train pilots in recent times and very little airline sponsorship available means that many pilots have to find their own funding for flight training.

The following funding options for commercial pilot training are possible:

  • Limited airline sponsorship
  • Scholarship and grants from some aviation organisations
  • Self-funding
  • Study on an aviation related degree course which includes (self-funded) flight training

Flight Training schools generally offer either the ‘integrated’ route to obtaining a ‘frozen’ Airline Pilots’ Licence (ATPL) – where cadets start their training from scratch and complete the full training in a specified period of time within the same school – or the ‘modular’ route, which is more flexible, as the different training modules can be done in different schools over a longer period of time.

Whichever route you choose, as mentioned above, you must obtain a CAA Class 1 Medical certificate to be able to fly passengers in addition to your ATPL. It is advisable to obtain this before even starting training to ensure you meet the medical criteria.

Commercial Pilot training is expensive, so you should do lots of research into the various options available before committing to any course and seek advice from an impartial source such as the Royal Aeronautical Society or the Honourable Company of Air Pilots (formally GAPAN).  Look at the Flying Links page to begin your search

Finally, don’t forget there is also the option to train as a military pilot, flying for the RAF, Royal Navy (Fleet Air Arm) or Army Air Corps. Find out more in this section.

Our Latest Tweets

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020 at 2:01am
Remember if you are currently an operational Pilot or are thinking about becoming one, join us and our expert panelists for a topical discussion and Q&A on the Future of the Skies for #pilots register for FREE here: https://t.co/Y0OjZOwm69 #avgeeks #WeAreAviation #airlines https://t.co/XODSbC0t3b
Monday, June 1st, 2020 at 2:10am
There is still time to register for our FREE Pilot Careers Webinar, we will be discussing various topics to determine the potential future of our skies for Pilots. Sign up here: https://t.co/4vIwxOKS0h #avgeek #WeAreAviation #pilots https://t.co/bkJmsJMmuj
Sunday, May 31st, 2020 at 10:01pm
It's back to school today for some! However, many #parents will still be #homeschooling their #children. To keep everyone occupied we have a fantastic range of #aerospace & #STEM activities. Click here to begin: https://t.co/1VK182nn2i https://t.co/yRhUJosEac

Our Latest News

The Faculty of Engineering at Strathclyde is delighted to offer a newly developed module in...

Read More

Are you struggling to find new activities during the lockdown? Get creative and enter our video...

Read More

The Royal Aeronautical Society launched the Centennial Scholarship Fund in 2003 in celebration of...

Read More

Upcoming Events

Alta logo
09/062020

Our first virtual Alta mentoring session will take place on Tuesday 9 June, 14.00 BST,...

Read More
24/072020

An update regarding FIA2020 Mar 20, 2020 It is with great regret that we announce the...

Read More
06/112020

Careers in Aerospace & Aviation LIVE 2020, the Royal Aeronautical Society’s (RAeS)...

Read More