Now is the perfect time for you to learn to fly and to obtain your Private Pilots Licence. Gaining a PPL now will enable you to catch the next big surge of commercial pilot recruitment in the years ahead.
In July 2015 the aerospace giant Boeing predicted that the world would need 558,000 new pilots during the next twenty years. If this forecast for half a million pilots jobs is correct (and they should know, being Boeing) then there has never been a better time to learn to fly.
If you start now and work your way along the path to a career in the airlines then you should be ready to catch this wave of opportunity as it gathers momentum over the next few years.
If you have no flying experience at all then the idea of one day being the pilot of an airliner may seem an impossible dream but like all such ambitions they can be realised with the right amount of concentration, perseverance, money, and sacrifice.
It may seem daunting to consider that one day you’ll be responsible for the safe take-off, flight and landing of a multi million pound aircraft along with its passengers, crew, or cargo. However, twenty-something First Officers fly airliners every day. If they can do it then there’s no reason why you can’t one day wear that uniform.
At the very start of your journey into aviation you’re going to have a lot of fun and excitement as you learn to fly. The milestones are many and come in quick succession; first solo, first solo navigation, first land away etc and within a few months you will become one of the privileged holders of a Private Pilots Licence. This licence will entitle you to fly specific aircraft within the limits of the type of licence you have elected to obtain.
At this point along the path some pilots divert into recreational flying and that journey can last for years. For the lucky few it can last a lifetime and some pilots continue to fly into their eighth and even their ninth decades.
For those whose aspirations are firmly fixed within the world of civil aviation then the achievement of the PPL marks only the end of first stage of training. From there they must move quickly on to twin engine ratings, a Commercial Pilots Licence, an Instrument Rating, and onward towards an ATPL (Air Transport Pilots Licence).
As you can imagine, all this training takes a lot of concentration and application. It also demands a lot of sacrifice. If you take this path you will probably drastically reduce (and perhaps cut out altogether) nights out, holidays, nice cars, new clothes, and all the other things that working people spend their money on.
Obviously, if money is not a problem for you then this won’t be the case, but for most student pilots it is not uncommon for them to reach the end of their training in debt to the tune of tens of thousands of pounds. It is only the promise of a long career in the airlines, with increments of salary as they gain experience and seniority, and ending with a good pension, that gives them the confidence to continue with their goals.
If you’re lucky you might be awarded a bursary or scholarship that pays some of the costs towards a particular milestone. This all depends on your personal circumstances and aptitude for flying and you’ll need to keep a keen eye on what’s available from one season to the next.
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