Flight Instruction

Written by Robert Mac
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Flight instruction is the necessary evil--just like all schooling--to get to your dream job. Just like you have to shovel a lot of manure to create a beautiful garden, you have to sit through hours and hours of flight instruction in order to become a professional pilot. But it's worth it: as a pilot, you'll get to see more of the world than most people ever will.

Nothing beats traveling this great land of ours--except maybe traveling overseas. I've only seen a small part of the world--about 20 countries--but I still have the travel bug and would love to see more of it. An ideal job would be a pilot: fly around the globe, see the sites--and get paid for it.

Flight Instruction Is the First Step Toward Becoming a Pilot

But you can't become a pilot overnight--it requires numerous levels of training and certification. For example, to earn a private pilot's certification, you'll need to log a minimum of 40 hours of flight time, plus meet age, language, and medical requirements. Your flight instruction may be as short as a month or so in an intensive program, or four to six months if you go at a part-time pace. And that's just to get the minimal license.

As you move up the ladder--from Visual Flight Rules navigation to using the instrument panel, and from single-engine to multiple-engine planes--you'll have to increase your instruction, too. By the time you have enough training to be an airline pilot (plus 1,500 hours of flight time), you can get your ATP, or Airline Transport Pilot certificate. It's all about paying your dues: you can't get the good jobs without taking all the classes.

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