I have a family member currently in flight school to become a pilot, so I was curious if there was a faster and cheaper process. I did a lot of digging and I found some things that could be of help to him and maybe to you.
The fastest way to become a pilot is with an accelerated flight school.
Keep reading and I’ll share the exact steps to becoming a pilot, 6 steps to accelerating the process, 3 steps to earning money, a cool tip to pass and retain the written work and 4 ideas to getting hours to get your commercial pilot license.
Steps to Become a Pilot?
Step 1: The first step in becoming a pilot is to do a “discovery flight” to see how you like it. Get some hands-on training to see how it is.
If you’re not sure about it then it might be better to “bail out” now to save your time, energy, and money. Plus, you can brag to many people you have flown a plane.
If you love flying then the next step is medical.
Step 2: Pass the medical exam to ensure your health will NOT hold you back from flying.
Step 3: Get your finances in order. Learning to fly can be expensive and the cheapest and maybe the best place is the military.
If the military is not an option, then the next choice is a flight school and if you add up ALL the costs of getting a commercial pilot’s license it could be around $100,000 dollars.
You just want to ensure the money is not going to hold you back from being a pilot.
The good news is there are scholarships (but they are not easy to get). Many scholarships are geared towards equality and this means they can be geared towards women and ethnic minorities. This place HERE can point you in the direction of finding some scholarships.
More good news is the airline United actually has its OWN flight school where it’s working to train 5,000 new pilots a year. The bad news (or good news) is this program is geared more toward women and ethnic minorities in fact, 80% of the first class fit this profile.
United wants half of its students to be women or someone of color.
The cool thing with United is they pay for $17,000 of the training to get a private pilot’s license. In addition, United is helping make loans available to cover the rest of the $70,000.
The best part is they guarantee someone a job out of school. Some more cool news is the loan provider knows that United certified the pilot and has a conditional job offer at the company.
All of this reduces the risk to the loan provider and can reduce the interest rate and increases the chance to get the loan.
Step 4: Would be studying, and passing the written exams and practical tests, which might just be the hardest part.
The good news is this place HERE, offers you as much help as possible to pass these tests and exams. Everything from videos, podcasts, blog posts, lesson quizzes, flashcards, workbooks, audiobooks, test prep, software, and more so you succeed.
Before you start to “spend a lot of money” my family member is paying $400 per flight, you will understand many of the terms, concepts, and ideas of flying to make it so you understand things MUCH faster.
Step 5: Would be to choose a flight school. Ideally, one that isn’t too busy to make things easier. Buying “flight time” in bulk and choosing the cheapest airplane can help you save some money.
Step 6: Be prepared for each flight lesson. The school is going to get paid per flight, so they might NOT mind dragging things out and this will cost you more money.
This is why obsessing over flying and investing your OFF time in learning as much as you can accelerate the process.
All the stuff you learned on the ground could be reinforced when you’re flying with a flight instructor. Then all the stuff you learn flying can be reinforced at home after your flight.
All this re-inforcing can help you retain things faster and this will SAVE you money!
You can also learn faster by going through your processes and maneuvers on the ground in a chair, so when you do fly you would have done the procedure MANY times in a chair.
There is even an app HERE where you can listen to air traffic and this can be done on the ground and can speed up the learning process.
Learning the language of pilots and flying on the ground WILL accelerate the learning process.
How to Earn Money as a Pilot?
Step 1 – The first step to earning money as a pilot is to get a private pilot license which allows you to fly single-engine aircraft.
Step 2 – Earn your instrument rating and this allows you to fly in low visibility weather.
Step 3 – Get your commercial pilot license, this allows you to earn money with an airline. This includes taking your written FAA exam and having over 250 hours of flying time.
Getting over 250 hours of flying time can be the expensive and tricky part. Instead of buying a plane, and joining the military you could share a plane.
Reach out to other pilots on social media using Linkedin, Instagram, Facebook, or any other platform. Join Quora or Facebook groups and look for pilots in the area.
Maybe someone has a plane that you can make a deal with to get those hours. Of course, there are legal things to be aware of (I’m not a lawyer) but HERE is a place to get more information on this type of way of getting flying hours.
Another way is flying clubs that can provide discounts to get the hours. There are also time-building programs and volunteer opportunities to get flight hours. HERE are a few places to volunteer with a private pilot’s license.
Also, you could try to work at a local airport to network with someone who owns a plane that can help you get flying hours.
According to ZipRecruiter in January 2023 the average income of a starting commercial pilot is $50,044 a year which is around $24 an hour.
Considering it takes TONS of time, learning, and around $100,000 to learn this profession the real question is if it’s worth it. If you “really” love to fly then it could be (Money isn’t everything).
Another option that is faster and costs MUCH less money to start is to be a commercial truck driver. I wrote a whole post about the industry HERE and some interesting stuff that many people don’t know about it.
Finally, if you’re super lazy (Like me) and looking for a cool side hustle I would recommend taking a look at blogging and affiliate marketing. I’ve been into it for over 10 years and I’m giving away a free eBook about it HERE.
I hope this blog post on what’s the fastest way to become a pilot was helpful. Bye for now.