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3 Answers

Preparing to become a Pliot in High School..? HELP!!!

Asked by: 3332 views , , , , ,
Commercial Pilot, General Aviation, Student Pilot

Hello, my name is Dan Choi.

I am currently a sophomore in highschool and think that my future occupation should be becoming a commercial pilot. I know that becoming a pilot is hard work but I beleive that i am up for the challenge. However, i am stumped when it comes to preparing for the job. I want to be successful so i want to know what classes to take and which courses will overall help me in piloting and help me get into a good school of aviation, such as Phoenix East Aviation. Please help me by telling me a good way to prepare for Aviation college and also which classes to take for college. I know that this question would seem stupid to those of you who are already a pilot and that is why i need your help. Thank You!

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3 Answers

  1. John D. Collins on May 02, 2012

    No question is stupid, answers might be, but that is a different matter.  I would recommend you use any college prep curriculum in high school. The normal math and science you take in high school will be more than adequate. You might check your local community college and see if they have a private pilot ground school available, and if so, it would not be a bad idea to attend. Even attending a local flight school that offers a ground school won’t be prohibitively expensive and would give you a good idea of what is involved.  Becoming a professional pilot is not easy from a financial point of view, particularly obtaining all of your ratings and building the minimum time required to be a hirable candidate, but every person I know of that had the ambition to become a commercial pilot and was willing to “pay their dues” so to speak, has made it. Good luck in your future career, you will be successful if you persevere.

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  2. S. Collins on May 02, 2012

    Dan, one of the things you’ll learn in aviation is that you should always have an “out”, always a Plan B if A is not working out, C, and so on.  There are plenty mroe letters in the alphabet!  Its primarily about being repared, and I commend for for taking charge to get an early start on your career.
    Yes, there are many schools out there, the “Ivy Leaguers” of aviation colleges and others whose names are dropped at every opportunity… University of North Dakota, Purdue, Florida Institute of Technology, Embry Riddle, and I can go on.  At the end of the day, its all about how you apply yourself, the more you put into your endeavor, the more you get out of it. As John C said, its not at all cheap.
    It takes patience, dedication, a lot of money to earn the requisite ratings plus time experience, and you will have to make sacrifices to keep you on financial track, such as living at home a while longer (I doubt your parents/guardians would mind when they see you’re applying yourself), rooming with 4-6 people (depending on where you are) to not have the cost if living exceed the cost of trying to keep flying.  Before you start down that road, you need to be able to pass the flight physical, otherwise it could throw a spanner in the works.  Check out your flight schools at a neighboring airport, visit their facility, get familiar with their airplanes, ask questions, take a discovery flight or two.  A number of ‘Online Ground School’ options (KingSchools, Gleim, Jeppesen etc) are available for getting through most of the bookwork, but its also nice to have the interaction with an instructor.
    While Microsoft Flight SIM is not like the real thing, its very good practice at a very affordable price, and you can fly anything anytime :0

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  3. Jim Foley on May 02, 2012

    I’m currently a senior working on my Professional Pilot B.S. at the University of Central Missouri.  I had my private before I started colege, and I can tell you that really helped.  It was much easier for me to jump right in and resume flying there.  However, look into what schools you are interested in and see what/how many ratings you can already enter with.  I have heard of a few where you must start from privaate in order to get the degree.  Anything you can accomplish ahead of time will pay off later.  If you don’t have the time/money to start on your pricate now, taking a ground school (as John suggested) would really help.  I would ask the school first if it would count towards credit.  (If the ground school is conducted under a part 141 school, it most likely will.)  Even if it won’t transfer, it would still be very helpful.
    As for what courses you need to take, it’s kinda hard to say.  They will all be different, depending on school, state, and accredidation requirements.  My school, UCM, is accredided by AABI (Aviation Accredidation Boar International), and they require a college level physics course, and a college level calculus.  I felt the calculus was the hardest, (and frankly, not used in aviation, unless you’re building aircraft), but I found a community college and took it over the summer, and it wasn’t bad.  Without knowing te specific requirements, just take a bunch of credits that will count for your gen eds, and you can’t go wrong.  I transfered around 24 credits, which took care of pretty much all my gen eds.  This maks for a much less boring college expeirience, because the majority of your classes will be major-related, wich is something you obviously are interested in.
    As a final not, you also can’t go wrong if you are able to set up a meetinig with the aviation acedemic advisor for the university you are looking into, and find out directly from them what they suggest, and what credits will transfer.  Also, if they have aiation expos and fly-ins and such which are hosted by the school, try your best to attend those.  I flew myself to some of them at my school on teh other side of the state, and it was a great chance to meet the professors.  Many of them remembered me a couple years later, when I started school there (including teh cheif CFI, which really helped later on).

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