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Training Step by Step

The training itself is split into specific sections, which typically run as follows:

■ ATPL ground exams You’ll need to pass 14 exams, covering such subjects as navigation, flight-planning, aviation law and human factors. Full-time packages on either modular or integrated courses will take six to nine months on average, with a busy classroom and independent study schedule.

■ Flight training Practical flight training can be split into further sections, and takes place across single and multi-engine piston aircraft. Much of the early sections of flying training require good weather, so ATOs will likely send you abroad to complete sections.

■ Night Rating Consisting of both solo and instructional flights.

■ Commercial Pilot Licence The CPL is a basic requirement to be allowed to fly for financial reward. This is a major stepping stone. You need a minimum of 150 hours of flight time to get this far, flying complex aircraft with retractable undercarriage and variable-pitch propellers.

■ Multi-engine rating Learning to fly a twin-engine aircraft, and what happens when one engine fails.

■ Instrument Rating Flying solely with reference to the aeroplane’s instruments. This is the essential set of skills allowing a pilot through cloud and other inclement weather, and forms the base of airline flying.

■ Multi-Crew Co-operation Learning to work as a team, a requisite for the majority of professional pilots. 

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