airline transport pilot certificate

What does an airline pilot do?

“Without the pilot, there is no flying from one place to another.”Lailah Gifty Akita.

Airline pilots operate large, multi-engine aircraft. They are skilled in managing complex situations with many factors at play. This job also involves a lot of responsibility as the safety and well-being of aircraft, and its passengers depend on the pilot’s ability to think quickly and make important decisions on time that could impact lives as an airline career pilot or airline pilot career. The ATP must also ensure flight safety by communicating with air traffic control towers, operating radar systems, and understanding the weather patterns that may ultimately affect their flight path to reach their destination on time.

What are the requirements for getting an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) Certificate?

Before you can get a certified rating as an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP), you must be at least 23 years old. As for the flight hours, you must have accrued a minimum of 1500 hours, which includes 500 hours of cross-country flight time, 100 hours of night time, and 75 hours of instrument flight time for the certificate.

Also, you must have completed an FAA-approved certification program that includes ATP ground school and simulator training. Lastly, you must pass the written knowledge and practical-flight exams for the airline transport pilot certificate.

You must note that there are incidences in which a commercial pilot’s flight hours might lessen, but do not worry because each rating validates the certificate. Some military pilots may have fewer hours than required, and commercial airline pilots who graduated from qualified bachelor’s degree aviation programs have a minimum of 1,000 hours on their records.

The Federal Aviation Administration has recently raised the bar on ATP hiring requirements, according to a bill passed by Congress in 2010 following the Colgan Flight 3407 crash. As a result, American Airlines and JetBlue have already started to ramp up their pilot-teacher rating programs so that they can find and recruit qualified co-pilots before the new rule takes effect.

  • At least 23 years old by your “FAA Checkride.”
  • Be able to read, speak, write and understand English
  • Hold at least a Private Pilot Certificate
  • Must have logged at least 1,500 hours of total flight time as a pilot, consisting of at least:
    • 500 hours of cross-country flight time
    • 100 hours of night flight time
    • 50 hours of flight time in the class of airplane for the rating sought
  • Exams Required for Certification
    • Knowledge Test
      • Multiple choice exam administered by FAA-authorized facility
    • FAA Checkride
      • Oral Exam
      • Flight/Practical Exam
  • See Current FAR/AIM part 61.151 – 61.159 for further requirements details.

Steps to earn an Airline Transport Pilot Certification

To earn your airline transport pilot certificate and become an airline pilot, you need to follow these steps as part of the application process for the certification:

1. Attend an FAA-Approved Flight School

FAA-approved colleges and educational institutions often have all sorts of valuable resources available to students, such as ATP flight simulators, computer software for flight planning, and dedicated facilities for conducting tests outside on aircraft runways for certificates that enrolling in one of these programs can provide. If you want to become an airline pilot, you need to start by attending one of these FAA-approved schools as soon as possible. Most schools offer ATP flight training as part of their program as per law. This way, students can begin learning and honing their skills while earning a degree in aerospace science or engineering from their aviation program.

2. Earn a private pilot certification. 

Obtain your pilot’s license by learning basic flight methods, aircraft maneuvers, navigation, and emergency training. By earning this certification, you can legally fly a plane on your own and will have mastered the ability to do so safely with precision and move on to getting your instrument and ATP.

3. Get your instrument rating

Being a pilot for an airline usually involves flying through different kinds of weather conditions and traveling to other areas at varying heights. Once you’ve earned a basic pilot certificate, you can begin your Instrument training. Pilots need to use sophisticated instruments that help guide them through adverse conditions. State-operated air traffic control oversees the airspace, which serves its citizens by providing runway and taxiway guidance and clearance, instrument flight rules control, and landing facilities to pilots within the state-controlled airspace.

4. Get your Commercial Pilot License

A commercial pilot license allows pilots to earn money by flying goods or people at various companies. Once a pilot has this license, they can take jobs in several categories: search and rescue, ATP, passenger flights, and cargo deliveries. Under this category, a pilot often earns more money but must undergo additional training to learn how to fly a giant commuter airplane. In turn, they get the valuable experience needed for their dream of flying larger passenger planes.

5. Get a flight instructor certificate to gain experience and flight hours

Working as a flight instructor is a common way for pilots to get their hours in. Many pilots choose to do this because it pays well, and they can log flight hours simultaneously, preparing them for the day that they finally decide to apply and take the first step toward fulfilling their dream of working as a pilot for an airline.

6. Get a multi-engine rating

A multi-engine rating is required to fly a commercial airplane containing more than one engine. The training for this consists of learning how to handle planes with multiple engines, which is necessary for your ATP certificate. The student learns how to respond in the event of a single-engine failure appropriately.

7. Log a lot of hours in the air

You’ll spend many hours in the air to get all the experience you need to become an experienced pilot. You can add some hours to your total by taking classes, training, and working as a commercial pilot while completing your education.

8. Get your Airline Transport Pilot Certification

When it comes to being an airline transport pilot, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) highly regulates everything from who gets to fly airplanes and in what capacity to how much experience is needed to do so safely. First and foremost, before becoming a licensed airline transport pilot, prospective pilots must be able to achieve a certain number of hours of flight time and practical experience. Additionally, future pilots must also meet age requirements and fulfill physical requirements by passing required medical examinations and commercial pilot certificates as commercial airlines pilots, including ones for night flying or cross-country work – another part of what makes becoming a qualified airplane pilot such a complex process.

FAQs about Airline Transport Pilots

“Flying is more than a sport and more than a job; flying is pure passion and desire, which fill a lifetime.” General Adolf Galland

How much do airline pilots make as airline career pilot?

Airplane pilots earn between $27 and $100 per hour, depending on the size of the company they are employed by, the type of aircraft they fly and their seniority. Airline pilots are eligible to earn up to 1,000 hours of flight time per year which includes flying time, ground instruction and testing for annual recertification for airline transport pilot. Hourly rate is a determining factor in calculating how much an airplane pilot makes with career pilot program.

The national average salary of a first officer, or commercial pilot in the United States, is $53,325 per year. The base pay for a captain can start around $55,362 per year you can also check airline transport pilot salary and then compare. Also you can check online for airline pilot hiring and your private pilot license.

What is the difference between Airline pilots and commercial pilots?

Typically, airline pilots earn their licenses and commercial pilot certificate by becoming commercial pilots. The main difference between a commercial pilot and an airline pilot is that commercial pilots fly passengers and cargo, while airlines pilots are employed by regional airlines to fulfill certain roles flying passengers and cargo with commercial pilot certificate. To continue ascending the career ladder, airline pilots must receive the proper training, accrue more hours of flight time and meet other requirements in order to become certified as an airline transport pilot.

Do you need perfect vision to become an airline pilot?

In the United States, you must have 20/20 vision (or better) to fly an airplane. The Federal Aviation Administration prohibits pilots from flying if they have uncorrected vision of less than 20/40 in either eye or a corrected vision of less than 20/40. It has nothing to do with safety or commercial pilot certificate; it is a requirement of the FAA.

Earn your Airline Transport Pilot Certificate as Career Pilot Program with the help of Santa Monica Flyers!

Santa Monica Flyers is here to assist you in your endeavor to harness the power of the skies. We’re currently offering an Airline Transport Pilot  Certification Training program to train you in everything you need to know about flying a plane! You’ll learn about everything from navigation, to safety, to physical fitness. Once you complete your training, you’ll be prepared to take the FAA knowledge test and pilot flight test! Contact us and schedule your lesson today!


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