Welcome to APG Radio, Episode 6. I’m Paula Williams.
Today, we’re continuing our series from our last Future Pilot Workshop with Captain David Santo; and he’s diving deeper into questions we’ve received about the requirements for airline pilots. Every kid that dreams of becoming an airline pilot has probably thought, “You know, I wonder if I have what it takes to fly one of those big jet airplanes! Today, we get to find out.
Paula Williams: Fantastic, well let’s dive in to the questions if you’re all right with that.
I know we’ve got a number of them. So let’s get right into it. Somebody’s cutting to the chase. If I work through APG, will I have a job after successful completion of the APG program?
David Santo: And the honest answer there is to say you’re not guaranteed a job in any of the cadet programs.
What you are guaranteed is an opportunity, so the opportunity is gonna be how well you exercise the program. Make sure that your record is clean, you don’t have any accidents, incidents, violations, no criminal convictions. Unfortunately we’ve seen especially young men and women make bad decisions early on in their careers that affect them.
But bottom line right now is there is a severe pilot shortage throughout the world. And if you have the flexibility to move and you’ve kept your nose clean, you’ve applied yourself, you’ve done a good job, you are going to get hired. Airlines need you. They are parking airplanes.
They’re not taking new deliveries because they do not have enough pilots. We see this all the time. I get ads all the time from pilot recruiters putting desperate ads together for first officers, for captains in placement all over the world, especially the Pacific Rim. Now, if you are a person who says to us, says, hey, I’m I gonna be guaranteed a job in Toronto, Canada?
The answer is going to be, probably not. You have to go, in this occupation, you have to go to where the jobs are.
Paula Williams: Right.
David Santo: There are a lot of jobs here in the United States. If you flight instruct, are you going to get a commuter job?
I would say the chances are 90% that if you’ve got a clean background, you do a good job and you go flight instruct, you’re gonna land a commuter job. Probably higher than 90%, but I’m being conservative. If you wanna go into an airline job in the Pacific Rim, I think your chances are just as high.
Paula Williams: Excellent. Next question, what are the requirements to become an airline pilot? And maybe we can keep this at a really high level because I know there’s lots of differences in different places and things.
David Santo: So, in general, you have to be a healthy person. That doesn’t mean you can’t be without any kind of physical defect.
But in general you have to be of average health, of average abilities, mental abilities, education, and you need to have a clean background. You need to be somebody that has good decision-making skills and good situational awareness. The rest of it, you can go to schools, and you can learn.
It’s a learned trade. It’s a learned career path, and that’s really just going out there and finding a flight school and going to school. But you can wear glasses as long as your vision is correctable. There are some disqualifying medical issues like diabetes and so forth. You can google those online.
But if you’re of average health, average mental ability, with good judgement skills and good situational awareness, chances are you’re gonna meet the requirements.
Paula Williams: Excellent, so most of us would be fine. What are the requirements to get into the program with the expectation to be able to complete it successfully?
David Santo: So with the Airplane Pilot Gateway program, one of the things that’s being offered, again, that I really like, and it’s not a prerequisite. But it’s a aptitude test. So how do you know if you’re a young person coming into this industry, or how do your parents, or your loved ones, your family know that this is a good fit for you?
And there are some aptitude tests that can be taken that can determine whether it’s gonna be a good fit for you. For me, I think the aptitude tests are important. However, I don’t believe that they’re the end all, be all. I’m still a firm believer that if this is something you really want Then pursue your passion.
You’ll overcome the hurdles and you might be somebody that takes a little extra time or a little extra training, but passion makes up for a lot of hurdles. And you can be very successful in this career.
Paula Williams: So passion and persistence trumps talent, I guess.
David Santo: It does, I really do believe that.
I think it’s a learned skill and with practice and repetition and hard work, we can teach you. I think the bottom line, though, for APG is that they’re looking for the serious applicant. This is a career gateway, this is not a course that I think is designed to be a fun, you know, a good time program.
I certainly hope it’s fun. If you have a passion for flying, it’s gonna be very fun. But it’s gonna be a hard work. You’re gonna have to dedicate yourself to completion of the program to be successful at it.
Paula Williams: Thanks for joining us! Now you know what the requirements are for airline pilots, and you probably have a pretty good idea of what it takes.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your journey to become an airline pilot, or if you’re an airline or recruiter that needs pilots, OR if you’re a flight school that would like to be part of our network, we’d be happy to talk with you. Just call us at 1-385-881-3358, send an email to info@AirlinePilotGateway.com, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
And be sure to tune in next week when we talk about the cost of pilot training programs and some of the options for getting the resources to make your dreams happen.