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Learn to Fly - Become a Pilot

Step 1: Pilot Positions

There are two-three types of pilot positions with any pilot job:

Captain (Pilot)
The Captain is in command of the plane and is responsible for the safety of the aircraft, its passengers, crew and cargo. Other responsibilities includes, not limited to interacting with the airline’s flight dispatcher and mechanic, checking fuel supply, monitoring weather at the departure, destination, and alternate airports and enroute, supervising the crewmembers, and making all the final decisions with assistance from the flight crewmember(s).
First Officer (Co-pilot aka F.O.)
The first officer assists the captain by monitoring the flight instruments, handling radio communications, watching for air traffic, and taking over the flight controls when directed by the captain. The co-pilot will eventually upgrade to captain according to his/her seniority. For the major/national airlines, it typically takes several years (5 years or more) to upgrade to Captain and the top salary level.
Flight Engineer (Second Officer aka F.E.)
Flight Engineer positions exist only on some of the older, large jet planes. Newer airplanes have only a two-person flight crew, consisting of the Captain and First Officer. The FE assists the captain, inspects the aircraft for pre- and post-flight, oversees fueling operations, and monitors the performance of the engines, pressurization, hydraulics, electrical, air conditioning, and other systems. The flight engineer also troubleshoots any abnormal or emergency problems occurring with the aircraft systems, check and maintain aircraft log books, and other duties. The FE will eventually upgrade to a First Officer position and then Captain, according to his/her seniority. However, there are some professional flight engineers that remain in their position for their entire careers. For the major/national airlines, Flight Engineers may advance to a First Officer position within a few years, but it may take several years to become a Captain, which is dependent on the size of the airline and his/her seniority.

What's next? >>
Step 2: Flight School Options

Written by: Sedgwick Hines Copyright 2004-2011 AvScholars Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.




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Learn to Fly: Become a Pilot is your one-stop source to information on flight training, flying lessons, flight schools, and helicopter schools. Learn about the entire flight training process to help you earn your pilot certificates or ratings such as student pilot certificate, commercial pilot certificate, instrument rating, and others.

Copyright © 2003 - 2011 AvScholars Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.