Qualifications to Become a Commercial Pilot – Locations, Ratings, & Programs

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Welcome to APG Radio, Episode 8. I’m Paula Williams. Today, Captain Santo will be answering questions about the what, where and when – where do our training programs happen, and what specific programs are available?

How Will I Obtain the Qualfications to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Paula Williams:  Another question, where will the training take place so that I can meet the qualifications to become a commercial pilot?

APG - Where should I get pilot training? - Qualifications to Become a Commercial Pilot

David Santo: Again, the tailored flight plan ask questions that help us determine which one of the locations we place you at.

So that’s really going to be a function of, again, your tailored flight plan. Where is it best for you to train at? We have a placement with academy locations all over the world. Here in North America there’s a very effective cost structure to flight training here. But we have academies all over the world.

And so, it’s a same great service, same great benefits, really tailored to fitting your needs, your training desires, what’s best for you. Then the other nice thing, of course, is with the airline pilot gateway for airlines is that, there’s no limitation in the number of people. So we can take one trainee, we can take 500 trainees to meet the qualifications to become a commercial pilot.

We’re not limited by a brick and mortar school. We have academy locations all over the planet.

Paula Williams: Fantastic. Great. And here’s another one that we’ll have a long or short answer depending on how you go with it, but what ratings will I obtain after successful completion of the APG program?

APG - qualifications to become a commercial pilot What Ratings Will I Earn?

David Santo: So based on your tailored flight plan, again, and it’s all based on what your career is going to look like based on what you tell us. But you could leave the Airline Pilot Gateway with a private instrument, multi-engine commercial license, a jet transition, a A320 or B37 type rating.

And either a flight instructor certificate or not, depending on whether you’re going to go offshore or stay within the US. So for less money than many of the other cadet programs that are out there, you can graduate with more credentials and more experience is going to get you hired sooner from the airline pilot gateway.

Paula Williams: Great. And I know there’s some other things that we can do concurrently rather than sequentially. So some of that time building and things can be compressed, depending on what someone’s Objectives are, there’s only so much we can do but there are some, I guess efficiencies in scale what we can use here but, you may not be able to if you’re going through individual schools, right?

David Santo: That’s absolutely right. I look at the programs and I’ve already mentioned their name but I look at an Embry Riddle which is a wonderful four year college education program. You graduate from there, and you’re going to have a four year degree. And you’re going to have a commercial multi-engine instrument, and probably a flight instructor.

And that’s going to cost you north of $200,000.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

David Santo: You graduate from Airline Pilot Gateway. You meet the qualifications to become a commercial pilot. You’re going to have a commercial multi-engine instrument. That’s true, but you’re also going to have the jet transition, you’re going to have jet type rating opportunities, so you’re going to have high altitude, high air speed, jet time, in your log book, as your work on a PIC type rating.

And that right there will make you stand out hand and shoulders above the competition.

Paula Williams: Fantastic.

David Santo: And all of that you can do for less than half, of an [INAUDIBLE]

Paula Williams: Right, and a very closely related question, how much flight time will I be able to watch?

David Santo: So the total flight time from the program ends up being about 228 hours if you go through the type rate program. 228 to 238, somewhere in there, depending on the jet transition program. So that’s what you would walk away with in your logbook to get the commercial multi-engine instrument jet transition and a type right program.

If you decide to do a flight instructor program, you’re going to end up with about 215 hours, 212 hours. Right and that of course will affect the price and the time and everything else but.

Paula Williams: And then will it meet it the requirements necessary to become an airline pilot?

David Santo: That’s a good question, and let me back track on that one just for a second because we have to talk about where. In a domestic United States, you would meet all the requirements, a shy of the time requirement. So we can get you everything up to the time requirements.

And the way we’re going to bridge the gap with you to get you the flight time to go to an airline is again, going to be tailored to what you want to do. Here’s your options. Option number one is the traditional option of you get your commercial multi-engine instrument, we get your CFI and we put you to work at one of the academies flight instructing while you’re building time teaching others how to fly.

Flight instructing is an awesome way to build your time. You get paid for it, so it helps offset your costs, and you’re learning while you’re teaching, which is, you know that’s how I built my flight time up, many of us, flight instructor, that was really the most plentiful pathway in the past.

There’s a new pathway and the new pathway is, you may elect to go over to fly in a Pacific Rim. For example, airlines all over the Pacific Rim, we talk about the VietJet and we talk about Peach Airlines and when we talk about all these airlines. In Asia they are looking for pilots and they will hire first officers.

So, if you don’t want to flight instruct, you want to go right out of the APG flight training phase, do a type program with us, get your type rating and then go over to apply directly as an exchange pilot. An exchange pilot means that you’re on a limited contract while they are training one of their local national pilots, you’re helping them to keep that seat warm and fly that airplane until their local guy is ready, and then we exchange you.

That’s a great way to build your time. I mean, you do a two year tour of that, you’re going to have far in excess what the airlines need, and you’re really going to have some strong credentials to go straight to work for one of the airlines.

Paula Williams: That sounds like a really good win win.

David Santo: It really is.

David Santo: I think everything that all the mentors involved in trying to help with this project have looked at trying to advise you and APG has been. We have to get students, not into the front door for training.

We got to make sure their career is a success. This isn’t a training program. This is a career Success Training Program. We don’t want you to just come here and go to school. We want you to be airline captains back home and from the airline captain seat hopefully, you’ll become a mentor for APG and others and you’ll also be referring people back to us.

So, our target isn’t on getting you in the door, it’s about getting you out the door and in success.

Paula Williams: Fantastic. And I know you kind of answered this to start with, but how much flight time is required to obtain a job with an airline?

David Santo: Well, it’s geographic, and it depends on the airline.

So here in the United States, you have to hold an ATP. So that is going to [INAUDIBLE] there are some ways to step that down. But in general terms, it’s 1500 hours. If you’re looking at going to work for an airline in the Pacific rim, along the Pacific rim in Asia, it’s really not a number of hours it’s the amount or the qualifications.

So as long as you have a commercial multi-engine instrument and the rating, you’re employable.

Paula Williams: Fantastic and I know you all ready answered this one as well, what are the medical requirements but I think if you have a specific question on that, that would almost be something that you need to.

To include on a flight plan or include in a questionnaire, something like that, so that we could do some individual research, but I don’t know if you wanted to go any further with the medical requirements on this one.

David Santo: Yeah, for the US, it’s real easy to google.

You can google the US FAA class one medical requirements and that will tell you exactly all the requirements, but again, if you’re of average health.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

David Santo:You’re a normal average healthy person, you’re not going to have any problems passing the medical requirement. When I was coming in to the industry, again, the guidance counselors who didn’t know any better.

They used to think they had to be, they used to describe airline pilots like they were professional athletes who could leap tall buildings and walk on water, and I can assure you, none of that is true. Just average health, average intellect, good judgment skills, good situational learning skills And you’ll meet the requirements.

Paula Williams: Fantastic. So, what are the knowledge requirements and this person’s including an example, India requires the understanding of the components and operation of the simple compass, does the FAA require in-depth knowledge of components, as well?

David Santo: Well, every country has got their own prerequisites. But nobody knows, for example, the requirements on the components and operation of a simple compass.

I would bet nobody knows that until somebody teaches it to them.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] True.

David Santo: So, this is where I’m saying is, these are all the requirements, all the knowledge base that you’re going to need is going to be taught to you during the airline pilot gateway initial and advanced training courses.

With an emphasis on not just the minimum knowledge, but the right knowledge to be an airline pilot. That’s really the goal here, is not just enough to pass the minimum regulatory requirements but to go on. Now, if I listed topics, flight physiology, meteorology, aerodynamics, navigation are all key components, and it goes on and on.

There’s a list, it’s a pretty extensive list of subject matters that you have to be knowledgable about to be an airline pilot. And honestly, we’re going to teach you that.

Paula Williams: Right, fantastic, so and this is related to those regional differences, but will an FAA rating be acknowledged in other countries?

David Santo: Can’t make a blanket statement like that, it depends on the country. The time certainly is going to be creditable. But every country is a little bit different, and that’s why it’s so important that you get with an organization that doesn’t believe in one size fits all training.

Paula Williams: Right.

David Santo: We’re going to look at your individual case and your individual needs and desires Based on that, we will be able to help assure that you’re going to get the right training, the right ratings, the right background to fulfill your career dream.

Paula Williams: Excellent. And then follow up to that, which countries do not acknowledge an FAA rating?

And that again may be something we’ll need to answer individually about the qualifications to become a commercial pilot in that country.

David Santo: Yeah, it really is an individual question. I’ll give you an example. Europe, under EASA, that’s the European Aviation Safety Association. Those network of countries that make up EASA, they have their own qualifications and they don’t necessarily acknowledge and accept FAA ratings.

That’s okay, because under the airline pilot gateway, we can do the training exclusively under EASA. Or DGCA, or whatever the regulation is that you need to complete. We will make sure that the academy that we place you at is going to provide the training that you need for your individual success.

Paula Williams: Right. This next question, I think, is probably being asked by someone who maybe mid career or in a situation where they began their training but may need to change direction. Can I convert an FAA rating to an equivalent rating in other countries? Once they’ve started-

Paula Williams: Decided to change direction.

David Santo: Yeah, and it is really, and it happens all the time. We certainly can help facilitate doing this but it depends on the country. So, some countries will allow you to do a conversion course like EASA, it’s a very extensive course. We have flight academies both in the United States and in Europe and other places that can help you to accomplish that.

Conversion from FAA to EASA, or EASA to FAA.

Paula Williams:Fantastic. Yeah, I think, that’s one of those things that will just need to be tailored, based on your starting point, because everybody is in a different place. Not everybody is starting from the beginning, and the airline pilot gateway is really designed to help anyone from anywhere.

Get where they want to go with their career. So that’s [INAUDIBLE].

David Santo: That’s exactly right. I mean one of the exciting developments recently is that now we have the ability to provide type ratings under both FAA and EASA, simultaneously. So if somebody’s dual rated already, and they’re looking for a type rating, or they want to do dual rating qualification, and we can do that as well.

Paula Williams: Excellent. Well, it sounds like we’ve answered most of the questions that are coming in. But if anyone has any additional questions, you’re welcome to type those in at any time. We’ve got about five minutes left, so just to quickly recap. The airline pilot gateway program, now knowing what we know [LAUGH] and knowing what we’re looking at.

I think it’s even more instructive to kinda look at the pattern of how you may fit into this, if you’re looking at this as a flight student coming in. This program actually really works for anyone. So, assuming that you downloaded the APG brochure, if you haven’t and you somehow got into the webinar without it, of course, you can go backwards and go to our website and download that as well.

And you’re attending the webinar now, so I’m really glad that you’re here. And Dave talked about getting your customized APG flightplan and mentor. And of course, Dave is one of our mentors. And all of our mentors are airline pilots or have worked as airline pilots, so they have that qualification.

But, and Dave I think you really love working with individuals and really helping them succeed. And that’s part of the reason that we really like working with you, because you love seeing those lights come on, right?

David Santo: I sure do, and Paula I don’t know if you see it, I see on my board there, there’s a few questions here that have been fielded.

Should I go ahead and try to answer those now?

Paula Williams: Yeah, I guess, I think we’ve answered most of them going through. There’s one, how long does it take to start making money? That one I don’t think we ever did answer directly.

David Santo: And I think that’s a very good question, by the way, because depending on how you fill out your flight plan, our typical structure is to get you done within a 12 month period.

However, we have accelerated programs. So we have programs that can get you to where you can start making money as a flight instructor within about six months. That’s provided upon whether and things beyond, everything goes correctly, some of which is beyond our control, but we have programs that are designed like that.

But you’re looking at about 12 months, 6 to 12 months to flight instruct and you are going to get a job, there’s a huge shortage of flight instructors, start making money that way.

Paula Williams: Right.

David Santo: Up to 12 months to get to a type rate program, 6 to 12 months to get through a type rate program.

To get you offshore and applying to the airlines over in the Pacific Rim. And those airlines, how quickly it takes to make money with them depends on how long their program is. So, they put you back through training from scratch, for this specific aircraft. So on the Airbus for example, they put you through up to six months worth of training on the Airbus.

And you’re not going to make money probably while you’re in training. It just depends on the airline. So I’m going to say anywhere from six months to a year and a half, somewhere in that time frame, to start making money.

Paula Williams: Excellent. One other question. If I was the director for a foreign airline and wanted to send our cadets to APG, why would I go through a middle man instead of going right to the flight school?

David Santo:So, that’s also a very good question and one of the difficulties, and you know Paula, I’ve been an airline chief pilot and I’ve held a number of leadership roles at airlines. The airlines are faced with are a little bit different set of challenges. But one of the challenge is how do we get our pilots trained correctly?

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

David Santo: How do we get pilots that have the missing ingredient to already baked into their training, from the beginning. You know when we talk about the learning process we talk about the law premises. If you don’t learn it right the first time, it’s really hard to unlearn the wrong stuff.

So an airline pilot gateway does several things for an airline. Number one, we’re going to bake in the missing ingredients the emphasis items to create professional airline pilot ready flight deck officers. Second, we’re not limited by brick and mortar, so right now so many airlines are out there looking for somebody that can help them do 20 cadets today but 500 cadets in June.

Paula Williams: Right.

David Santo: And although there might be plenty of schools that can do 20 cadets today, they can’t accommodate the 500 cadets in June. We can.

Paula Williams: Right.

David Santo: We can accommodate 1, 500 back to 1. We can flex with the demands of the airline. So I think APG is unique in that, and really, we can provide services that the airlines have been needing but they just couldn’t get before, and that’s what the APG program was really designed to help with.

Paula Williams: Fantastic, yeah, those airlines are all managing risk and cost, and we’ve really helped them with that, as well. Wait, so, the next step in the program of course is the flight plan. And if you’re ready to get started with the flight plan, you can go straight there, airlinepilotgateway.com/flightplan.

Fill out a little form there, we’ll charge you a $179. And when we do that, we will send the questionnaire, that in depth, somewhat painful questionnaire that Dave was talking about. It’s certainly not a trivial thing, and it’s something that we want you to put a lot of thought into because the more thought and care that you put into your answers, the better your flight plan will be.

Like sending you the questionnaire, getting you matched up with a mentor, and getting you started with answering those very specific questions that you have and getting you on the [INAUDIBLE]. So any last words Dave before we wrap this up.

David Santo: No, Paula, thanks so much for having me, and to those of you that are thinking about this career field, all I can tell you is, if you have a passion for aviation, it is such a fabulous time to become an airline pilot, you can do it, and we can help you.

Paula Williams: Fantastic. Well, have a great afternoon. And if you do want to make the investment in a flight plan, we look forward to working with you. And if you’re not ready yet, that is just fine, as well. We will be having these sessions every once in a while. Hang in there, and stay tuned to our social media and our website.

And we’ll see you soon.

2017-09-28T02:44:24+00:00

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