How to fly for an airline

I want to be a airline pilot in the near future. But I don’t know how to become one. Please post your experience with it and how you became one.

Thanks, Carson

Sorry if this is a duplicate I looked


Asking a forum full of aviation enthusiasts probably wouldn’t be the best place to get full-on commercial pilot advice… Best of luck to you in the future though!


Google is your friend. Though there are a few RW pilots like @DeerCrusher , @Heavydriver and a few more I believe.


@Yuan_Tugo @Ryan_Vince @Aernout off the top of my head

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The biggest thing to do to become a pilot is to do good in school. Good grades and good bevavior brings you a long way in life.


The best way to go is to go to either the Air Force or Navy and have extremely good grades and I mean extremely good then you can go to flight training at the Air Force or Navy after graduation, get your flight hours and experience and whatever else you need, then apply for several airlines once you know you meet their qualifications. There is one other way to do it and if you go this way, your chances of being a pilot will decrease because airlines value former military pilots. Trust me I have a couple family members who are airline pilots. This way is going to a college with a RASI program. I think that is how you spell it. After that, you can go to a local flight school, learn and get flight hours, then apply for some airlines. Hope that helps :)


Honestly, one of the better ways to do it it a Part 141 flight school (if in the US). If not in the Us, then any university that offers an aeronautics degree. Any questions, fill free to Dm me

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For the UK there’s a company called CTC Wings, you have to take out a business loan but once you get to this stage they pay back your loan should you fail, assuming you don’t - many companies such as BA, EasyJet, Jet2 and a number of others actually “sponsor” trainee pilots based on abilities and you could land yourself a co-pilot job straight out of this. If you pass training, the loan is yours to pay back.

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  1. Your parents savings account
  2. A good flight school
  3. Prepare to spend

Don’t forget Matt! (@DeerCrusher) :)

Like @Ryan_Farell said you should do the Air Force or the navy. But make sure you do it through the reserves this way you are only part time. You will only have to deploy 1time every 1-2 years. And it’s kart time allowing you to fly for an airline when the time is ready. My dad is a reservist and flies the kc-135R stratotanker and flies for FedEx in the 757-200F.

I found this on Google when I had the same question:

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Most mainstream commercial airlines require that you have a Bachelors degree to fly for them outside of just the mandatory FAA ATP license. There are some programs that give you the flight experience you need to get your ATP and your Bachelors in the same 4 years. One is Aeronautical Sciences degree at NDSU, however this is one of the very few programs to offer this. If you are going straight to the commercial sector you should get a Bachelors degree first. Most airlines do not look for a specific degree field but Aeronautical Sciences wouldnt hurt. If you do not do the 4 year combined Bachelors/ATP program you would then have to go to a qualified school that offers the CPL/ATP program. The most well known are Embry-Riddle and ATP Flight Academy.

In order to get your ATP you must go through all the requirements and acquire your CPL, PPL, IR rating, and must acquire 1500 hours of flight time, with a multi engine qualification. To get your ATP on the fast track program with flying full time will take you around 2 years. The cost usually is around 60-70 thousand dollars depending on what school you go to. After you are hired by an airline you still need to go through type certification so you are rated on the aircraft you will be flying. This can be anywhere from $7000 to $15000 depending on what type rating you are looking at. The type rating training usually lasts 14-16 days with multiple exams of flight system knowledge, practical ability to fly the aircraft, and emergency training. In addition to the flight time needed for an ATP you must have 23 hours of night flying and be at minimum 23 years old.

Once you get your ATP license doesnt mean you will necessarily start flying for the Legacy carriers or even other large airlines. Most new ATP holders start out in the regional airlines first and have to move up the pilot rankings in order to be qualified to fly newer aircraft. You may not gain enough flight time or rank to move up or change companies for anywhere from 2-4 years. Once you have acquired more hours you still need to go through more of an interview process in order to be hired by a larger carrier.

Overall, becoming a pilot has become a lot more difficult in response to the FAA changes in pilot training starting in 2013. This has led to difficulty in hiring new pilots for regional carriers. Most flight training academies have reimbursement programs that allow you to recuperate around 75-80% of the training cost over the time of your first ATP hiring and being a commercial flight instructor while you are gaining your 1500 hours of flight time. In addition, you must receive a Grade 1 Flight Medical evaluation pass to be an ATP.

To summarize- Either way once you graduate high school you will need at least 4 years of training to fly for an airline and must be 23 years old to start flying even if you hold everything necessary for an ATP before hand. Personal recommendation if you want to fly for a commercial airline as soon as possible is to get your bachelors and either do your flight training at the same time if you can afford it our go straight to flight training afterwards. You can go the military route but that is a lot more difficult to get in as you must have the grades and approval to go through the officer program. You CANNOT fly for the military unless you are entered into the officer program not the enlisted program. The officer program does require a Bachelors degree also, but you can get accepted to the Air Force/Navy’s officer program and start receiving training for you flight time for free from them. However, this is a very difficult program to get into. Flight Officers in the US military are the cream of the crop. Even after finishing your tenure to the military you still have to go through some conversion training to acquire your ATP as the requirements dont necessarily always match up.


If you are amaricn can you go to a British flight school and vice verca

Yeah, so long as you have the money

And the money really is like a down payment on what you’ll be getting. Yes it’s alot, but you’ll be making it back once you start flying. There’s a pretty big demand for pilots nowadays, so finding a job after you finish training shouldn’t be hard.

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