Our goal is to help you to learn how to become a pilot. Particularly when it comes to cost effective ways to see if doing so is right for you! For many people, becoming a pilot is a lifelong dream. The thrill of flying a commercial jet airliner at 33,000 feet is a goal that many aspire to achieve. However, the path to becoming a pilot can be long and expensive, with a commercial pilot’s license costing around £100,000. Additionally, it can be difficult to determine whether a career as a pilot is right for you before investing in the necessary training.
How long does it take to become a pilot?
The time it takes to become a pilot varies depending on several factors, including the type of pilot’s license you want to obtain, the amount of training you require, and your personal circumstances.
The duration of training can vary depending on various factors, including the flight school, training intensity, and individual progress. Here’s a rough outline of the training timeline:
Private Pilot License (PPL): The initial step is to obtain a PPL, which allows you to fly light aircraft privately. The PPL training typically takes around 6-12 months to complete, although the duration can vary depending on factors such as personal availability and progress.
Hour Building and Additional Requirements: After obtaining a PPL, aspiring commercial pilots in the UK are required to build a specific number of flight hours (usually between 150 and 200 hours) to meet the requirements for a CPL. This stage involves accumulating flight experience by flying different types of aircraft and gaining exposure to various weather conditions and operational scenarios.
Instrument Rating (IR): Alongside hour building, aspiring pilots pursue an Instrument Rating (IR), which allows them to fly under instrument flight rules (IFR) and in adverse weather conditions. The IR training includes theoretical knowledge and practical flight training, focusing on navigation, communication, and instrument flying techniques.
Commercial Pilot License (CPL): Once the required flight hours and IR training are completed, aspiring pilots can undertake CPL training. This phase typically takes an additional 12-18 months, but the duration may vary depending on individual progress and training program structure. The CPL training involves advanced theoretical studies, flight training in more complex aircraft, and examinations to assess knowledge and proficiency.
Multi-Engine Rating (ME): As part of CPL training, aspiring commercial pilots also acquire a Multi-Engine Rating (ME). This rating enables them to fly aircraft with multiple engines, which is a prerequisite for many airline pilot positions. ME training covers the specific skills and procedures associated with operating multi-engine aircraft.
Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL): After obtaining a CPL and ME rating, the next step is to pursue an ATPL. The ATPL is the highest level of pilot license and is required for commanding a commercial airliner. To obtain an ATPL, pilots must complete additional theoretical knowledge training, including advanced aviation subjects such as aerodynamics, aircraft systems, meteorology, and air law. The ATPL training duration can vary, typically ranging from 6 to 12 months.
Flight Instructor Rating (FI): Some pilots choose to further enhance their career prospects by obtaining a Flight Instructor Rating (FI). This rating allows them to provide flight instruction to other aspiring pilots. FI training involves advanced teaching methods, instructional techniques, and assessments.
In addition to the pilot’s licenses, pilots are required to undergo regular training and re-certification to maintain their skills and stay up-to-date with the latest regulations and technology. We often get qualified pilots come to us for practice to keep their skills where they need to be.
Is it hard to be a pilot?
Becoming a pilot requires a significant amount of dedication, hard work, and skill. It can be challenging to learn the necessary skills and knowledge required to fly an aircraft safely and efficiently.
To become a pilot, you must complete a rigorous training program that includes both ground school and flight training. This training can be physically and mentally demanding and requires a high level of focus and attention to detail.
Additionally, pilots must possess excellent communication skills and be able to make quick decisions under pressure. They must also be able to work effectively as part of a team, as flying a commercial jet airliner is a highly collaborative effort.
How much do commercial pilots earn?
One of the most significant considerations when choosing to become a pilot is the earning potential. The salary of a commercial pilot can vary depending on several factors, including the type of aircraft flown, the employer, and the pilot’s experience level.
According to Payscale, the average annual salary for commercial airline pilots in the United Kingdom is £70,000, with salaries ranging from £32,000 to £132,000 per year. However, this figure can vary depending on the type of aircraft flown. For example, pilots flying large jets like the Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 typically earn higher salaries than those flying regional jets.
The level of experience is also a significant factor in determining a commercial pilot’s salary. Pilots with more experience can earn higher salaries, with many airlines offering bonuses and pay increases based on the number of years of service.
Overall, the earning potential for commercial pilots in the UK is substantial, but it can take several years of experience to reach the highest salary levels. However, it’s essential to remember that pursuing a career as a commercial pilot should not be solely based on earning potential. The love of flying and the thrill of taking to the skies should also be significant motivators for anyone considering this career path.
How much does it cost to be a pilot?
Becoming a pilot is a significant financial investment. The cost of obtaining a commercial pilot’s license can vary depending on several factors, including the school you attend, the type of training you require, and the location of the school.
On average, obtaining a commercial pilot’s license can cost around £100,000. This cost includes the cost of ground school, flight training, and certification exams. Additionally, pilots must undergo regular training and certification updates to maintain their licenses.
Despite the high cost, many aspiring pilots are willing to invest in their training to achieve their dream of becoming a commercial pilot. However, this investment can be risky if you are not sure whether you have the aptitude and passion for a career in aviation. This is where we may be able to offer assistance, a try before you buy, so to speak.
What is a flight simulator?
A flight simulator is a device that replicates the experience of flying an aircraft in a simulated environment. Flight simulators can range from simple computer programs to full motion simulators that use hydraulics to replicate the experience of flying a commercial jet airliner. In fact we have produced a blog article so that you can learn the difference between fixed base and full motion simulators should you want to have a read.
Flight simulators can be used for a variety of purposes, including pilot training, research, and entertainment. They are an essential tool for pilot training, as they provide a safe and controlled environment for pilots to learn and practice their skills.
The importance of flight simulators
Flight simulators are an essential tool for pilot training, as they allow pilots to practice a wide range of scenarios in a safe and controlled environment. Simulators can replicate everything from routine flights to emergency situations, providing pilots with valuable experience that they can apply in real-world scenarios.
Additionally, simulators can be used to train pilots on specific aircraft types, such as the B737, A320 or A330 … all of which we have access to. This training is essential and pilots will have hundreds of hours in simulators to obtain the necessary certifications to fly commercial jet airliners.
Simulators are also valuable for research purposes, as they allow researchers to test new aircraft designs, study human factors in aviation, and evaluate new technology and equipment.
Why Level D Full Motion Flight Simulators are necessary
Level D Full Motion Flight Simulators are the most advanced type of simulator available. These simulators provide a realistic experience of flying a commercial jet airliner, with a fully enclosed cockpit, realistic controls, and motion simulation that replicates the feeling of flying.
Level D simulators are essential for pilot training, as they provide a realistic and immersive experience that is as close as possible to flying a real aircraft. Pilots can practice a wide range of scenarios, including emergency situations, in a safe and controlled environment.
Additionally, Level D simulators are required for pilots to obtain the necessary certifications to fly commercial jet airliners. Airlines require pilots to complete a certain number of hours in a Level D simulator before they can fly a commercial jet airliner, as it provides the most realistic and accurate training available.
How a Full Motion Experience can save you money
Investing in flight training to become a pilot is a significant financial investment. However, it can be a risky investment if you are not sure whether you have the aptitude and passion for a career in aviation.
One solution to this problem is to hire a Full Motion Simulator experience to gain a realistic experience of what it feels like to fly a commercial jet airliner. This experience can help aspiring pilots to determine if a career in aviation is for them before investing significant time and money.
Hiring a Full Motion Simulator from a reputable provider can save you money in the long run. Instead of investing in flight training only to realize that a career in aviation is not for you, hire a simulator for a fraction of the cost and gain valuable experience and insight into the profession. Better to spend £499 than £100,000! We can give you not only an experience in the cockpit but show you what is involved with planning a flight and the safety checks involved. The job is not only flying and often is done via screens and charts rather than looking out of the window.
Booking a simulator with Full Motion Experience
B737 Full Motion Flight SimulatorYou have options when it comes to an experience walking in the footsteps of a commercial pilot.
We offer a range of Level D Full Motion Simulators, that provide a realistic and immersive experience of flying a commercial jet airliner. The Boeing 737, Airbus A320 and Airbus A330 are available to us. They are professional training simulators and often hired in advance by airlines. If you‘d like to hire them it is best done as far in advance as possible.
The simulators we have access to are maintained to the highest standards, and our experienced instructors are dedicated to providing you with the best possible experience. Whether you are a seasoned pilot or a first-time flyer, we can tailor your simulator experience to your needs and skill level.
Prices start from £499 an hour in the B737 Full Flight Simulator. The more hours you book the more you will save per hour. In the A320 and A330 the facility we hire from has a minimum hire period of 2 hours. The A320 is £949 and the A330 is £1200 for two hours. All of them will come with a 30 minute briefing beforehand.
The “Future Pilot – Career Intro Course”
If you are serious about a career in aviation, specifically as a commercial pilot, getting the opportunity to pick the brains of a pilot may be few and far between. During an experience booking you can of course ask any question you may have but you will be limited by the time of your booking, which you will likely want to spend actually flying the simulator!
As such we have designed a course which will not only give you the opportunity to fly in the simulator of your choice (B737 or A320) for two hours, but there will also be two and a half hours of classroom time where the student can learn more about:
… and the Simulator Session Plan. This will include a discussion of what you may want to achieve and the depth of detail you may wish to have when flying. Don’t worry, you don’t need to know exactly what you want to do … your co-pilot will have ideas as to best show you the life and daily workload of a commercial pilot.
The time in the simulator is ample to enable you to accustom yourself with the controls and ask as many questions on the cockpit you may have. What we want to do though is to allow you to experience the work of a pilot. As such, you will take the aircraft from cold and dark, through real world checks, take off, an A to B flight and back to an airfield bringing your passengers to the gate.
The time devoted to the classroom is spaced out with 60 minutes before your booked time and 90 minutes afterwards. The first hour is spent planning for your flight, you will likely be more excited about getting into the simulator. Once you have finished your session in the Full Flight Level D Simulator, you will have half an hour to have a debrief. We will talk over how you did and answer any questions you may have about your time in the simulator.
Then it is onto the career path. We will explain how to get from where you are now to where you want to be .. a commercial pilot! This time has been shaped into a useful breakdown of what will be required of you on your path.
If you would like to read even more about the course, please click on one of the course options below.
Becoming a pilot is a dream that many people aspire to achieve. However, the path to becoming a pilot can be long and expensive, and it can be challenging to determine whether a career in aviation is right for you before investing significant time and money.
Hiring a Full Motion Simulator experience from Full Motion Experience is a cost-effective way to gain valuable experience and insight into the profession before investing in flight training. Our simulators provide a realistic and immersive experience of flying a commercial jet airliner, and our experienced instructors provide you with the best possible experience tailored towards exactly what you want.
Flight simulators are an essential tool for pilot training, and Level D Full Motion Simulators are necessary for pilots to obtain the necessary certifications to fly commercial jet airliners. These simulators provide a realistic and immersive experience of flying a commercial jet airliner, with a fully enclosed cockpit, realistic controls, and motion simulation that replicates the feeling of flying. Being the size of a house and using hydraulic legs to control the movement these machines are a sight to behold! When else will you be able to be as close to flying a commercial airliner? When else might you be in control of £15 million professional training equipment?!
Hiring a Full Motion Simulator from Full Motion Experience is a great introduction to aviation. As close as the real thing as you can get without training with as much attention to detail as you like. The simulator hire time is bespoke to you and your needs. If you want to know what every switch does in the cockpit. No problem! If you want to plan your journey beforehand, we are there on email and you have 30 minutes before your flight with our pilot instructor.
Maybe the option of a Future Pilot – Career Introduction Course would be more valuable to you? We would love to have you along and offer the information you would need to start your career. It may be more expensive, but you will get more time in the simulator(s) and the whole time with us will be devoted to assisting you to understand the path to your proposed career choice.
Instead of investing in flight training only to realize that a career in aviation is not for you, £100,000 is a lot of money! … You can hire a simulator for a fraction of the cost and gain valuable experience and insight into the profession with experienced instructors who are dedicated to providing you with the best possible experience.
Whether you are a seasoned pilot or a first-time flyer, we can tailor your simulator experience to your needs and skill level.
Contact us today to book your simulator experience and take the first step towards your dream of becoming a pilot.