How To Be A Commercial Pilot?

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Boeing 787 Simulator (Source: )

Topics Covered In This Blog

  1. What It's Like To Be A Commercial Pilot.
  2. Benefits Of Being A Commercial Pilot.
  3. Requirements Of Being A Commercial Pilot.
  4. What Is The Process To Be A Commercial Pilot.
  5. Cadet Pilot Programmes.
  6. Some Flying Schools That You Might Look Forward To.
  7.  Some Cadet Pilot Programmes That You Might Look Forward To.
  8. Beautiful Pictures From Aircraft Cockpit
  9. Videos That Might Help You.


What It's Like To Be A Commercial Pilot.

Being an airline or commercial pilot can be someone's dreams coming true. It can be pretty exciting , great and adventurous job. Flying a plane is a quite of a thrill and only few people are lucky enough to be getting this opportunity in their lifetime. What else can be better than flying a plane, travelling to new places, meeting new people and getting paid for it ? Sounds fun though. With all these perks, there are some lemons that this job gives you too like, disturbed sleep cycles or sometime very less sleep, no family life , mostly far away from home , lots of moving to different places and many more, but if you are a person that loves to be up in the air then these are no blocking boulders for you, and if you are a person afraid of heights then trust me don't even get near this job.

Benefits Of Being A Commercial Pilot. 

Something that I really like about being a pilot is that,  you can seriously be the person eating breakfast in Italy, a lunch in Dubai and a dinner in Tokyo. It's just amazing how you keep moving on and have new and different experiences. Being a pilot can be other form of enjoying the life to the fullest. A world tour wont be something hard for you. You and your family can travel round the globe, at very discounted price or sometimes even for free! Plus the views from the cockpit are really beautiful, you can check some pictures in the blog below. Cockpit can be the best office with the best view ever built. Other than that pilots have an attractive salary packages. You can meet lot of new people and make lot of new friends from different places. You can have lot of stories from your flying adventures to narrate them to your grandchildren. You can be staying in some of the best hotels of world, in short your life as a pilot can be someone's dream.

Requirements Of Being A Commercial Pilot.

The following two things matter most in your career as a pilot.

  1. Your Mental Health
  2. Your Physical Health

Mental Health

A pilot's job is very demanding and full of responsibilities, because you are flying a billion dollars worth bird with precious human lives that boarded the plane completely trusting on you and your skills. Which means that while working hours you need to be mentally alert, and ready for each and every type of situation. A pilot shall also have a cool and calm mind, and this is a very important property of a pilot's personality. One must have ability of making a quick accurate and precise decisions, because an emergency can occur anytime and a pilot shall must react quickly to it, to bring the passengers safely back to the ground. You shall be mentally fit and ready to accept challenges.

Physical Health

Other than that you shall be physically fit. Your body shall be in good shape, neither too weak nor too heavy. You shall have good eyesight with or without correction lenses. You shall have no blood pressure, diabetes and hearing problems. You shall have no breathing problems or any problems with being on heights. You shall not feel vomiting or dizzy while being in air. Your ears , eyes and heart functions shall be normal. Other than that there are different requirements of different country's CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) . Their medical requirements might be slightly different then each other, but they all are nearly same. It's just that your body shall be physically normal with no disorders. you can check the following links for further reading.


What Is The Process To Be A Commercial Pilot.

To be a commercial pilot you have to clear the medical tests first and then obtain some of the following licenses, all of this process of obtaining licenses is a step by step process.

  1. SPL (Student Pilot License)
  2. PPL (Private Pilot License)
  3. CPL (Commercial Pilot License)

SPL (Student Pilot License)

Student Pilot License includes mostly nothing more than some paper work, medical tests and examinations on basic knowledge of aviation.

PPL (Private Pilot License)

Private Pilot License includes total of 40 hours of flying time, which is usually achieved on a single propeller engine aircraft like Cessna 172 or Cessna 152. This 40 hours of flying includes minimum of 20 hours flying with instructor and minimum 10 hours as solo. The minimum 20 hours of flying with instructor includes cross country flying, circuits , night flying and instrument flying. The other minimum 10 hours as solo includes solo cross country and solo circuits. After achieving PPL, you are eligible to fly the type of aircraft your license designates to. Its important to get SPL before PPL

CPL (Commercial Pilot License)

Now this is the most important license to your career as commercial pilot. Its important to have a PPL before getting a CPL. CPL includes theoretical examinations as well as 150 hours of flying out of which 70 hours must be flown as PIC ( Pilot In Command), out of these 70 hours, 20 hours of cross country must be flown as PIC. Now out of 150 hours10 hours are instrument flying out of which 5 hours might be done on simulator. After achieving CPL now you are eligible to work with an airline as a pilot. However there is another license after CPL that is known as ATPL ( Airline Transport Pilot License ), though CPL is enough to get in an airline as a pilot and ATPL can be done afterwards. 

This was the typical way to become a pilot, but now a days we have cadet pilot programmes organised by different airlines, which I will explain in the next paragraph.

Cadet Pilot Programmes

Some airlines have designed a pilot training courses such that it takes you from a zero hour pilot to a pilot with frozen ATPL. These cadet pilot programmes are a bit more expensive, though the airline in some cases guarantees you the job within the same airline. As my personal opinion, I'm not very much impressed from these programmes as they are way too expensive, and maybe not everyone can afford them. However there are lot of such programmes that will come under our discussion in this blog.

Some Flying Schools That You Might Look Forward To.

Now that you have a clear view of typical way of being a pilot and cadet pilot programmes, you might choose one, if you choose the typical way so keep on reading this paragraph or if you choose cadet pilot programmes then skip to next paragraph. Now there are lots of flight schools out there in the business that will offer you courses to be a commercial pilot, but some of them are really great while others are just nearly scams, that will take away your money and won't make your training worth the money. Following are top 5 schools that I would recommend on basis of my personal research.

1) ATP Flying School (Origin: USA) ( Website : )

2) BAA Training (Origin: Lithuania) (Website: ) (Phone :+370 5 252 5536)

3) CAE Oxford Aviation Academy (Origin: U.K) (website:

4) Emirates Aviation University (Origin: U.A.E) (website: )

5) Malaysian Flying Academy (Origin: Malaysia) (website:

Some Cadet Pilot Programmes That You Might Look Forward To.

If you have chosen a cadet pilot programme option for yourself than this paragraph is for you. There are some airlines basically that combine with flying schools and design a training of cadet according to there code of conduct. Some of the following are very famous cadet pilot programmes.

1) Etihad Cadet Pilot Programme ( Only for U.A.E Nationals)(website: )

2) DRAGONAIR Cadet Pilot Programme ( website: ) 

3) WIZZ AIR Cadet Pilot Programme ( website: )

4) EasyJet Cadet Pilot Programme ( website: )

5) Qatar Airways Cadet Pilot Programme ( website: )

Beautiful Pictures From Aircraft Cockpit


 An A-321 flying over snow covered mountains. ( source: )


Cloud Surfing, from cockpit of a B-737NG Credits: gc232 ( source: )

Beautiful view of city at night time from cockpit of a Cessna aircraft ( source: )

 Sunrise from an A-320 cockpit. ( source:

Cloud Surfing, A-320 (

Another amazing shot ( source: )

Videos That Might Help You

                                               Which college should I go to to become an airline pilot ( credits: Capt. Scott , youtube channel: askcaptainscott )

                                               Do I need a college degree to be an airline pilot ( credits: Capt. Scott , youtube channel: askcaptainscott )

                                            How to become an airline pilot ( credits: Capt. Scott , youtube channel: askcaptainscott )

                                            Can I be an airline pilot if I start flight training in my 30's ( credits: Capt. Scott , youtube channel: askcaptainscott )

                                            Is english the primary aviation language around the world ( credits: Capt. Scott , youtube channel: askcaptainscott )


 About The Author

Hello! Im a 19 years old VATSIM P1 rated Pilot undergoing practical checks for my P2. I also serve Pakistan vACC as S1 ground controller. I have been reading on aviation since past 4 years. Currently I am a B-777 commander at Pakistan International Airlines Virtual, I also serve them as Assistant Director Flight Scheduling. I have flew in CTP 2k15 grand VATSIM event, and looking forward to start my CPL in 2k16 IA. Wish me a Luck!


*Note: Questions In Comments Will Be Entertained.

About the author


19/ Taurus / Trainee Pilot / Vatsim P1 Rated Pilot / Vatsim S1 Controller/ B737 Specialist/ Aviation Analyst/ Aviator.

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