any real pilots in here ?

Pro Member Trainee
emtz Trainee


I need a very big advice from real pilots. I want to become an airline pilot
(since I was probably 5 years old). I'm a junior in high school right now.
Taking a private pilot course next year in school. What would be the next step ? Do I have to go to college ? How many years if so ? Does it matter
what kind of college ? What courses should I take in college ? What's next ?
Aviation school ? Please give me some advice, I need to make decision of my life.

Thank you in advance,

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Pro Member Trainee
ronaldpatton Trainee


Yes there are "real" pilots here on this forum. My interest in flying started when my dad would take us kids to sit under the approach lights to Seattle International (KSEA) to watch the planes land (back in about 1960). I didn't take my first lesson until I was 30 but it was the best thing I ever did. I am about to work for Mexican Gospel Mission in Phoenix to serve as their pilot (waiting for my house in Connecticut to sell). There are several ways to get where you want to go. One young man I helped to get started nows flys for Delta. He started mowing the lawn for a local flight school (nickname Lawnboy) and made friends with the instructors and taking lessons with the money he earned. Before too long was was an instructor and then went on to fly for a small commuter and then Delta. I think all the majors want a 4 year degree and lots of flying hours. Go to the local bookstore and get a copy of Flying! magazine. There are lots of ads for flight schools. Also, you can start flight training right now. You need to be 16 to solo and 17 to get you private license. Check out the nearby small airports with FBO's (fixed base operators) and see if you can work there for the summer (you may have to work cheap, but you will be around airplanes and people who can teach you). It will also be a good place to work summers while you are in college. As for your degree, your grades will be of greater interest to a prospective airline than your major (think avaiation, business or a technical major, not art of poetry). Also, there is the military. If you are in good shape and have 20/20 vision uncorrected (only a military requirement), and excellent grades, you may be able to qualify for flight training. I bet it will be much more fun to fly an F-16 than a Cessna 172. The key thing is go for it and start now. Feel free to email with questions and let me know how you are progressing


Great advice there RP........

Pro Member First Officer
Rambunctious First Officer

It depends very much on how much money you have access to. If you want, you can qualify for a commercial licence without a degree (in Australia), however you need to get the requisite hours in the requisite aircraft.

The main prerequisite is a "natural" feel for the controls, ability to react logically in an emergency, and a very sound grounding in the fundamentals of flight physics, planning & weather.

I am a private pilot, and once thought of commercial licensing, but work took priority.

If you really want to do it, you will find a way!

Pro Member First Officer
leadfoot First Officer

This is from leadfoot, I wish you the best of luck. I also wanted to be an airline pilot, but my health went to hell in a handbasket shortly after I graduated from school. I can still get a 3rd class medical no problem though. 1st class might be a stretch for me though. So one thing I'll say. Take damn good care of yourself. They don't make spare parts for us people. One pointer, from one pilot to another; I have found that the most dangerous thing to a pilot is not being well rested before a flight. Fatigue can have a serious effect on your abilty to pilot an airplane. Take this advice to heart. Leadfoot.

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