Top Three Myths About Becoming a Commercial Pilot

Have you always dreamed of becoming a commercial pilot, either flying Helicopters or Fixed Wing Aircraft? Is it your dream to become a commercial pilot and fly for a living? Before you invest time and money into becoming a pilot, there are a few things you need to know.

You’ve probably heard that there is a high demand for pilots, and this is the perfect time to become a professional pilot – and it is. We talk to dozens of prospective flight school students every day. There are many myths and misconceptions that we attempt to correct. Below are the top 3 myths about becoming a commercial pilot.

Myth #3: There is a High Demand for Pilots.

This is perhaps not so much a myth as it is a controversy – the demand for qualified pilots. The controversy starts and finishes with the term “Qualified Pilots”.  In 2012, Boeing forecasted that 70,000 pilots will be needed in North America between now and 2031.

In 2012, Boeing forecasted that 70,000 pilots will be needed in North America between now and 2031. However, on July 10th, 2013, the FAA released the final rule for the Pilot Certification and Qualification Requirements for Air Carrier Operations. This ruling requires pilots to hold an air transport pilot certificate (ATP) in order to fly for an air carrier (which is a good thing). However, this made it harder to become a commercial pilot. The point is that fixed wing operators are looking for “quality pilots” to fulfill the forecasted demand.

To apply for an air transport pilot (ATP) certificate, applicants must have at least 1500 flight hours. Although there is a large demand for pilots presently and in the near future, the demand is for “experienced pilots” who are qualified to meet the FAA’s new ATP requirements. It is important to note that this FAA rule change only had an impact on Air Carrier Operations. Helicopter companies, looking to employ helicopter pilots, do not operate as “Air Carriers”. For this reason, helicopter operators were not affected by the FAA change.

What about commercial helicopter pilots? Is there a demand for commercial helicopter pilots? The truth is that experienced helicopter pilots who are well trained are in high demand – no doubt. There are incredible opportunities for helicopter pilots who have the right training and solid experience. The key factor is “where did you get your training?” If you have graduated from a reputable flight school, you will find that there is a demand for your services, and you will be positioned to get the best jobs.

Myth #2: You Can Begin a New Career as a Pilot in Mere Months.

There is a belief that someone who has never flown before, can get a Pilot’s License (Certificate) and start a new career as an aviator in mere months. While there is some truth to this myth, we need to clarify that it takes a great more to begin a career as a professional pilot. The truth of the matter is yes, a person can get a pilot certificate within a few months of training. However, the first certificate you will receive is a Private Pilot Certificate. This certificate does not allow you to fly for compensation or hire. If you want to fly for a living and start a new career as an aviator, you will need additional certificates and ratings.

The Ratings and Certificates needed for a top level aviation career will likely include:

•    Private Pilot License (PPL)
•    Instrument Rating (IR)
•    Commercial Pilot License (CPL)
•    Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)
•    Certified Flight Instructor of Instruments (CFII)
•    Air Transport Pilot (ATP)
•    Misc. Add-On Ratings (Airplane, Rotorcraft, Multi-Engine, Type Ratings etc…)

Everything listed above is not required to begin your aviation career. At a minimum, you will need a Private Pilot’s License and a Commercial Pilot’s License in order to legally fly for compensation. The Aviation Industry is a highly competitive field, so do not expect to get offered a job with the bare minimum. A new student pilot will have to dedicate 1-2 years to his or her flight training.

A new student pilot will have to dedicate 1-2 years of training in order to get the necessary certificates and ratings desired. You will then need to work an entry level job for 1-2 years, or more, as you build proficiency and gain flight experience. Before you know it, you will be ready to market yourself as a qualified pilot for many of the better paying jobs. Be ready to pay your dues before you start making the good money.

Myth #1: Instead of Becoming a Commercial Pilot, You Are Better Off Getting a Traditional Education Like Your Parents Did.

The average young adult, after dedicating 4-6 years of their life to college studies, can walk away with the once coveted Bachelor’s Degree. However, they quickly realize that it is tough to find a job in just about every field of study: Employers want ‘experience’ among other things. Well, where do you get that experience? Today, more than ever, you start from the bottom and scratch your way to the top. Get ready, it might take awhile.

All too often today’s college graduates have invested a great deal money to gain an education that they may never end up using. Many college grads are taking any job they can find. Simply type “College Grad” into a Google search window, and the results are peppered with entries about how tough it is for college grads to find jobs. The number of college graduates working minimum wage jobs in 2012 was nearly 71 percent higher than it was a decade ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest figures. I’m sure the 2013 figures are much worse.

However, aviators with a college degree are finding jobs.  As a matter of fact, college educated aviators are in high demand. There are many different degree choices for professional pilots. Plus, from day one, as a student pilot in a college program, you will be logging flight hours and gaining the experience needed to launch your new career. Student pilots go to class in the morning and fly in the afternoon (or visa-verse).

Can you imagine a Law Student or Medical Student stepping into the courtroom or emergency room on day one of law/medical school? Neither can we. Both law and medical students take Labs as a part of their course work. But these labs don’t put the students front and center into their respective fields. Meaning, they are not in court trying cases or working with patients. Commercial pilots, on the other hand, start flying in their “lab” courses right from the start. Student pilots start building flight hours in week one of flight school. That’s why today, more than ever, deciding to launch an aviation career is one of the best choices you can make!

Get Started With Your Flight Training Today

You can get started today by filling out our online application. If you would like more information, you can call us at (844) 435-9338, or click here to start a live chat with us.

The Robinson R-22 Helicopter

The Robinson R-22 is a small two-bladed, single-engine helicopter made by Robinson, and piloted with a floor mounted stick between the pilot’s knees. The first R22 was designed in 1973 by Frank Robinson, and was first put into production in 1979. As of 2015, more than 4,600 R-22’s have been manufactured, making it one of the more popular helicopter models.

The Robinson R22 is powered by a 160 bhp Lycoming 0-320-b2c engine. This lycoming engine is mounted horizontally and is aircooled. The R-22 is a popular helicopter model for training helicopter pilots at flight schools, and we use them at Upper Limit Aviation as well

Get Started With Your Flight Training Today

You can get started today by filling out our online application. If you would like more information, you can call us at (844) 435-9338, or click here to start a live chat with us.

Robinson R-44

The Robinson R-44 is two-bladed, 4 seat light helicopter made by Robinson Helicopter Company, based off their R-22 design. The R44 was designed in 1980s by Frank Robinson, and had its first flight in March 1990. After further testing, the first production model of the R-44 was delivered on February 1993. The R44 is powered by a Lycoming IO-540-AE1A5 6 cylinder flat engine with fuel injection rated at 245 bhp.

Over 5600 R-44 helicopters have been produced, and it has become a popular choice for helicopter flight schools. The R-44 is used for the majority of rotorcraft training at Upper Limit Aviation.

Get Started With Your Flight Training Today

You can get started today by filling out our online application. If you would like more information, you can call us at (844) 435-9338, or click here to start a live chat with us.

Bell 206 Helicopter

The Bell 206 is a two bladed, single engine helicopter by Bell Helicopters. Some 206’s come Equipped with 2 Engines also known as TwinRangers. The Basic Shape and design of the bell Has remained virtually unchanged since 1967. Some variants included a modified tail rotor and more powerful engine. The Bell 206 is most commonly powered by an Allison 250-C18 turboshaft engine making 650 hp.

Whether for corporate transportation, emergency medical services, offshore oil and gas rig support, law enforcement or firefighting, the 206 has what it takes to accomplish the mission. The 206 high-inertia two-bladed rotor system and patented suspension system delivers an incredibly smooth ride. The 206 can hold up to seven passengers very comfortably, and the club-passenger seating allows for face-to-face conversations.

Get Started With Your Flight Training Today

You can get started today by filling out our online application. If you would like more information, you can call us at (801) 596-7722.

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