What are the Requirements to be an Airline Pilot?

What are the Requirements to be an Airline Pilot?

Photo by CC user Dmitrij.shpilchevskij on Wikimedia Commons

Have you always dreamed of becoming a pilot? From gliders to commercial planes to military jets, there are many different kinds of aircraft that you can receive training to fly, and of course there are many different career options for individuals who can fly any of these. If you are interested in becoming an airline pilot, you will definitely need to obtain an aviation degree from an accredited institution like North Star Aviation Mankato Mn. Here are some other requirements that airline pilots must meet:

Health Requirements

Pilots of all kinds must meet certain health requirements. The most basic requirements include having vision of at least 20/40 or better in each eye. They also need to have excellent hearing, and no diseases of the ear, nose or throat. They must be mentally healthy with no history of psychosis and they may not have any substance dependencies. These basic health requirements need to be verified every 5 years. Commercial pilots need to have better vision (with glasses or without) and are tested yearly. If you want to fly for an airline, you also need have a healthy heart, and have to have an electrocardiogram performed every 6 months if you are over the age of 40.

Age Requirements

Although people can learn to fly gliders or balloons when they are as young as 14 years old, and can be licensed to be a sport pilot as young as 16, commercial airline pilots must be at least 23 – and realistically, it would be very difficult for anyone younger to meet the required number of flight hours.

Hour Requirements

In order to fly commercial airliners, pilots must have a great deal of flight experience – at least 1500 hours of flight-time, with 500 hours of cross-country time, 100 hours of night flight.

Good Moral Character”

The FAA requires that airline pilots are of “good moral character.” Candidates are asked if they have ever been convicted of a felony; while this is not necessarily a deal-breaker, it is something that needs to be investigated further. This is a matter that is taken very seriously, because an airline pilot will be responsible for the lives of many people, and their decisions – whether they are in the air or on the ground – can have deadly consequences. So, any patterns of behavior that suggest that someone might not be able to put responsibilities towards other people first raise important questions. For example, one pilot lost his license because of his extreme behavior in a divorce which was taken as evidence of a character fault.

The responsibilities that airline pilots have for the lives of hundreds of people every time they go to work underscores the importance of ensuring that they are physically and intellectually prepared for the job, and that they have the highest degree of experience and judgment.

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