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Airline Pilot Profile

Airline Pilot Profile

 
Introduction

This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Airline Pilot. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Airline Pilot
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Airline Pilot Work Information


Finding Suitable Work

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We feature many Airline Pilot Jobs live online at this site and these posts are updated daily. Please book mark this page and return here on a regular basis or register with our site for Jobs by email so that you don't miss out on the latest work opportunities.

Working Duties Expected

Airline pilots fly people to destinations all around the world for commercial, business and leisure purposes. It is an exciting job, with lots of travel, but it is also very demanding.

A typical ''shift'' for a pilot begins an hour before take-off. Prior to the flight, the pilot will check details of the route, flying altitude and weather; calculate the amount of fuel needed, and check all the instruments are working properly; brief the cabin crew and contact air traffic control for instructions to take off.

Throughout the flight, the pilot will:

  • check data on the planes instruments and make adjustments
  • respond to instructions from air traffic control
  • maintain contact with the cabin crew
  • make announcements to the passengers
  • bring the plane in to land with the help of air traffic control
  • write a report, including any problems experienced


On short-haul flights, there is usually a pilot and a co-pilot. On long-haul flights, there may be up to two pilots and two co-pilots; they also work with cabin crew.

Hours and Environment:

Airline pilots'' working hours are strictly controlled for safety reasons. Hours will include nights, weekends and public holidays.

Pilots spend long hours sitting in flight decks, which are usually very confined spaces.

The amount of time away from home varies. On domestic routes, pilots could make four flights without leaving the aircraft but return home every evening. Longer flights can entail overnight or longer stays in other countries.

Flights may cross several time zones, so jetlag can be a problem. Working in a pressurised plane can sometimes cause health problems. Bad weather can also make flying conditions sometimes stressful and uncomfortable.

Skills and Interests:

To be a pilot, you should:

  • be calm and able to take charge in a crisis - you could have to deal with emergencies
  • be able to give clear, confident instructions to crew members and passengers
  • be a good team worker
  • be confident using technology
  • have good hand-to-eye co-ordination
  • be able to interpret maps and 3D displays
  • have good written and spoken communication skills
  • be able to follow spoken instructions from air traffic control


Entry:

Some airlines operate sponsored training schemes but the entry requirements vary. Sponsors usually look for at least five GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3), including English, maths and science, and two A levels/three H grades, or the equivalent, preferably in maths and physics. You may also need a good honours degree. Details of sponsorships, bursaries and scholarships can be found on the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) website.

You should check entry requirements with individual airlines. Contact details for these are available on the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAS) website.

You must be at least 18 to be a pilot, and the maximum age varies between 24 and 28. You should be physically fit, with good hearing, eyesight and normal colour vision. There may also be height and weight restrictions, and you must pass a medical examination.

Airlines are very selective and you must prove you are highly motivated. You may have to take a computerised flying aptitude test.

Qualified pilots from the armed forces, or with similar flying experience, can take a conversion course for a commercial pilots licence. Competition for pilot training in the forces is intense, and pilots must serve for a minimum of 12 years before they can take up employment with an airline.

You could fund your own training at a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)-approved school, but you would have to pay the full cost of the course. A list of flying training establishments approved by CAA can be found on the CAA website.

Training:

Training begins at one of the residential pilot training schools approved by the CAA. Subjects studied include avionics, aerodynamics, navigation, meteorology and aviation law. You will also fly simulators and real aircraft.

Pilot training costs over £50,000, but under a sponsored training scheme an airline would pay for all or part of your training. After qualifying, you might have to repay the cost in instalments from your salary.

Some airlines operate their own training schemes which can take up to 18 months. During the first months you learn basic flying skills and work towards a Commercial Pilots Licence with Instrument rating (CPL/IR) and frozen Airline Transport Pilots Licence (ATPL). A full ATPL is awarded normally after 1,500 flying hours as a co-pilot. At the end of the course you could be offered employment. You can then join a Jet Conversion Course to qualify to fly a specific type of aircraft.

You start work as a co-pilot, alongside a training captain, on short-haul flights to give you maximum experience of take-offs and landings. Eventually you will become a fully-qualified first officer.

Opportunities:

Pilots are employed by airline companies all over the world and can be based in the UK or overseas.

After about five years experience it is possible to apply to be a co-pilot on long-haul flights. Promotion to captain usually requires at least 5,000 flying hours, which takes around ten years to achieve.

Some pilots take on training or management roles alongside flying duties, or transfer to ground-based management and possibly reach a very senior position.

Other opportunities for pilots include flying instruction, ferry-flying, bush flying and agricultural flying in remote areas.

Annual Income:

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

The basic salary starts at around £30,000.
An experienced pilot earns around £40,000.
A captain can earn up to £70,000.

Further information:

British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA)
81 New Road
Harlington
Hayes
Middlesex
UB3 5BG
www.balpa.org.uk

Royal Aeronautical Society
4 Hamilton Place
London
W1J 7BQ
Tel: 020 7670 4300
www.aerosociety.com

Civil Aviation Authority
Personnel Licensing Department - Flight Crew
Aviation House
Gatwick Airport South
West Sussex
RH6 0YR
Tel: 01293 573700
www.caa.co.uk/srg

Other Useful Airline Pilot Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Airline Pilot job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Airline Pilot Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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