To become a professional airline pilot is a dream for many, but it requires a comprehensive level of skill and competency (not to mention various licenses and certifications). For those who wish to become an airline pilot; here is a comprehensive guide from the AAG Newsroom that explains the various certifications required and the kind of training you can come to expect at each and every phase.
For those interested in becoming a commercial pilot, AAG offers the Alpha Airline Pilot Program (AAPP), a full course training program that provide cadets with a comprehensive system of knowledge, skills and training, and all of the licenses required to become a First Officer for an airline.
Below covers the various phases of training within the AAPP and also the licenses you will need to obtain in order to become a commercial airline pilot.
Private Pilot License
The first step in becoming a pilot is acquiring a Private Pilot License (PPL). The PPL allows you to become the Pilot-in-Command (PiC) of a private aircraft. PPL holders have the privilege of flying an aircraft for personal and recreational use. At the same time, PPL holders can also take part in volunteer work and flight exhibitions during aviation-related events. However, privately licensed pilots are restricted to operate an aircraft on commercial flights.
During the PPL, cadets are required to go through 3 weeks of ground schooling, 40 hours of basic training in the Cessna 172, and 5 hours of training in a fixed-wing simulator. At the end of the program, cadets are required to take a skill test to obtain their license.
Commercial Pilot License
Upon completion of the training and acquisition of the PPL, cadets will then need to obtain a Commercial Pilot License (CPL). As a CPL holder, pilots are authorized to professionally operate an aircraft for remuneration. Along with the PPL, the CPL is typically considered as the foundational license in order to become a commercial airline pilot. Cadets will be required to follow the CPL with an Instrument Rating (IR) certification on the aircraft that they have learned to fly on, in AAG’s case – the Cessna 172 G1000.
During the CPL phase, cadets are required to go through 11 weeks of ground schooling on flight theory; 140 flight hours at the Cessna 172; and 5 hours of training in the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)-certified A320 simulator for advanced cross country and instrument flying. Cadets are required to take a skill test afterwards to obtain their commercial license.
As mentioned above, the next step is to acquire an Instrument Rating (IR). Holding an IR enables commercial pilots to fly during adverse or extreme weather conditions, such as typhoons and thunderstorms. During these situations, visibility may be compromised, and pilots have to rely on instruments for navigation.
During this phase, cadets are required to go through 20 hours of flight on a Cessna 172 and 20 hours of training in the Airbus A320 full-motion flight simulator. Upon completion of the program, cadets are required to take a skill test to obtain the Instrument rating.
In addition to the PPL, CPL, and IR certifications, pilots will also be required to acquire a Type Rating. The type rating is a regulatory certification that enables pilots to fly a specific type of aircraft such as the Airbus A320.
AAG offers type ratings on the Airbus A320, the most popular aircraft in the Asia Pacific Region. One of the most important and coveted type rating among commercial pilots, the A320 type rating opens up an array of professional opportunities for pilots, as airlines are on the constant lookout for someone who’s certified to fly this aircraft. At the same time, this accreditation also facilitates an easier transition to other jets that belong to the same Airbus family, such as the double decker A380.
During AAG’s type rating training, cadets are required to use the A320 procedures trainer and the full motion Airbus A320 simulator for 56 hours. They are also required to attend additional classroom sessions and complete more computer-based training, in order to further hone their skills. Afterwards, they are required to take a skill test. Interested in becoming an airline pilot? Contact us today to know more about AAG’s course programs and requirements.
Photos from AAG