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For many, the profession of airline pilot is a childhood dream … At the controls of a Boeing or an Airbus, he travels the planet. Fly, hover, take off, take off … But behind this dream job hides a position of great responsibility and great technicality.

How to become an airline pilot? Find here the missions, necessary training, remuneration of this profession.

Mission of the profession: Airline pilot

The pilot’s job does not start at takeoff, but much earlier. Before the trip, he must:
• prepare the flight plan : with the co-pilot, he reviews the route to be made, taking into account the weather conditions, the weight of the aircraft and the distance to be covered.

• calculate the amount of fuel needed for the trip.
• prepare the navigation instruments and enter the data into the on-board computer.

During the flight:

• it remains in permanent contact with the control tower .
• monitors the dashboard .
• ensures the safety of passengers . the pilot has notions of first aid.
• He represents the civil and administrative authority on board, whatever the problem.

Becoming an airline pilot: required qualities

Fluency in English is essential . On the other hand, contrary to what many think, one can very well be an airline pilot without having perfect eyesight: an eye examination is carried out during the entry test, but nothing prevents wearing lenses or glasses.

The airline pilot must show composure in order to react effectively in the event of danger. He must also be able to assume the heavy responsibilities which rest on his shoulders: he has indeed authority in matters of technical flight management. Even if accidents are rare, the risks during a flight are numerous: fog, congested airspace, icy runway … The airline pilot is not entitled to the fault, so he must be in excellent physical shape, have a good nervous balance . He is therefore required to undergo regular medical checks. In case of weakness, we can withdraw his license. In addition, the work of pilot can be physically demanding, because of the long flights, the staggered schedules, which oblige to travel at night, and the jet lag. Finally, piloting an airplane is a team effort: you have to have good interpersonal skills. It is a physically, humanly and intellectually demanding profession. It’s also important to note that during the recuitment process, the airline will conduct background checks. Visit lookupinmate.org to check for criminal records.

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There are three possible routes to become an airline pilot. The royal road is that of the State sector : you can take one of the entrance exams to ENAC (National School of Civil Aviation). There are several, intended either for baccalaureate holders, or for Bac + 2 students having followed a scientific course, or for holders of the professional pilot’s license (CPL) and the theoretical ATPL (Airline Transport Pilote License). Please note, the competition is very selective, and less than thirty candidates are received each year.

Another possibility: the paying sector(This is not cheap: count around 80,000 euros for a complete training). You must have the Bac level. You will then present one of the entry tests in an FTO (Flight training organization).

Finally, it is possible to join the military sector . You must be between 17 and 22 years old, have a bachelor’s degree. You will then be trained to pilot fighter, transport or helicopter planes.

Job situation / context to become an Airline Pilot

Airline pilot remains a dream job, access to a position is not always easy. Recruitment depends largely on the economic context. Most pilots leaving ENAC, however, find employment. However, be aware that hiring has slowed down in recent years , in particular since Air France stopped its recruitment via the “cadet pilot” sector of this school. Those who have taken private training find it even more difficult to find work.