How to get flight hours as a pilot?
You have just earned your commercial pilot license and want to build 1500 flight hours as a pilot quicker.
You can get plenty of flight hours to apply for an airline job in several ways.
Usually, airlines recruit commercial pilots with experience of 500 hours to 1500 hours of flying time, depending on the country.
Working for small charter companies can reach from 200 hours to 1500 hours.
If you are lucky, you can fly for free to gain the required flying experience, further explained in this article.
Ways to get flight hours sooner, but you have to pay initially.
Becoming a pilot is a journey. It is neither easy to log 1500 hours nor tricky if you are smart.
The fastest and most straightforward way to add flying hours to your pilot’s logbook is by:
1. Becoming a flight instructor.
A flight instructor teaches students to fly an airplane and gets paid simultaneously.
Once you have received your commercial pilot license, you can pay a little more for a few additional hours and acquire your flight instructor’s license.
You must take the Civil Aviation Authority exams and get approval from Check pilot to get your flight instructor’s license.
Once you get your flight instructor’s license, you can apply as a flight instructor in flight schools.
The flight training school you trained to become a pilot will usually hire you as a flight instructor.
If your flight school does not accept your application, do not hesitate to apply to other flying schools.
There are plenty of flight schools always looking for flight instructors.
While you are a flight instructor in a school, getting hours as a pilot will make it easier.
You will fly with the students, and students will pay for the flight while learning how to maneuver an airplane.
The more you fly with your students, the faster you build your flight hours.
2. Flight time-building program.
Many flying clubs offer flight time-building programs.
Different companies commonly offer this program for newbie pilots to experience flying hours as the second in command.
Fish cargo companies in the Philippines offer that kind of flight program.
Fish cargo companies in the Philippines will ask for a minimum of a one-time payment and hire you as a company pilot.
This program happens because they will allow you to fly as a safety pilot in their multi-engine aircraft after the payment is complete.
The contract you sign with them will specify how long you will fly as a second in command and how many hours you will get until the contract expires.
Nevertheless, always be aware of scammers. Many companies never operate, but they promise to give pilots flying hours.
3. Start flying for charter companies.
Many charter companies hire newbie pilots.
You are a fresh commercial pilot licensee with an instrument rating. You can start looking for jobs at charter companies at your nearest hanger.
If jobs are not available at your nearest hangar, look online, contact your foreign pilot friends, and ask whether they can help you find a job in their home country.
But often, getting hired by a charter company is not for free.
Why am I saying you need money to get your charter pilot’s job?
Once a charter company or any private airplane owner shows interest in hiring you, they may want you to train in their particular aircraft.
Specialized training for any particular aircraft type is known as a type rating.
They will ask you to pay for the type rating to work in the company’s airplane.
The company will find the right training institute to complete your type rating and get used to the new aircraft type.
However, the company will not pay for your type rating and will promise you a job; on the contrary, they will request you to bear the type rating cost.
Being a charter pilot is a fun and effortless job. A pilot does not have to maintain strict regulations like airlines, and there will be no tight flight schedules.
Flight time will be more flexible. Unlike a flight instructor or a flight time-building program, you cannot build flying hours quickly.
Charter companies fly less often, yet the pay will be serviceable, and the job is more relaxing.
What are the possible ways to get flight hours without spending a dime?
I will not make false promises.
There are indeed several ways to get flight hours for free. However, it is not as common as many other website claims.
It is also not practical to say that you will get flying hours by sitting and hanging out in the airport.
Nevertheless, I can share some TIPS that may help you gain flying experience.
Join the military to build a free flight experience.
I believe this is one of the most practical ways to build flight experience as a pilot.
If you are eligible to apply for the air force of your country, then go for it.
Your dream is to make a living by flying an airplane and serving in your country’s military.
Serving in the air force is the only way to gain flight hours faster. Similarly, get paid for your service.
You can fly military jets for free; otherwise, do not expect your training to be as easy as general aviation.
You must abide by strict rules and several restrictions to become a pilot in the military.
YES, you will fly for free, though it will not be simple. And it is not impossible either.
Join a flight club and make friends in aviation.
Joining a flight club will open new doors for you. A pilot always loves flying an airplane, so why not join a flight club?
Joining a flight club will allow you to make more friends in aviation. Talk to people who are pilots too.
You will always learn new things by sharing your stories and listening to their experiences as a pilot.
Make a couple of friends, and some pilot friends may even take you to their flight as their co-pilot.
You can log those hours in your pilot’s logbook as a co-pilot. It will be a lengthy process, but you may get free-flying experience and hours for your logbook.
Being part of a flight club will give you access to several other benefits, such as a discount on aircraft rental and discounts on fuel.
Spend a lot of time around the airport.
I have seen on several websites that hanging around in the airport will help you get your flight hours.
This is one of the most unrealistic things to say to newbie pilots.
No one will give you the to fly an airplane just for hanging around in the airport with your commercial pilot’s license.
Even if someone wants to give you some flight hours, highly likely, there is already someone waiting to fly with more priority.
The best thing to do while hanging out at the airport is to make new friends.
Go to the airport, talk to all the pilots, and make more friends.
Making more friends and sharing knowledge will help you grow and learn more.
An intelligent pilot is always learning.
Go hang out with the flight instructors. Learn from them. Flight instructors are always happy to share their knowledge.
I must say that do not just hang around at the airport. Make friends in aviation and go out with them once in a while.
Opportunities may show up sooner than you expect.
Fly as a safety pilot.
Being a safety pilot is more practical to say that once you surround yourself with people from aviation, some pilots may prefer to take you on their flight as a safety pilot.
A safety pilot is a co-pilot or second in command. You will observe your friend flying the airplane and aid him in case of urgent situations.
After each flight, discuss all the mistakes with your pilot in command.
This way, your knowledge about flying will grow, and you can log the flight hours as dual.
Very nice article. It is a known fact that due to the high cost of learning in the Aviation Industry, one must have ways and means to earn for the payment of the tuition fees and Fish trips of Pilots is one of the ways for pilots to earn.
In ATP’s fast track, Airline Career Pilot Program, gain the flight training you need for your private pilot license and become a pilot in as little as 3 months. In the next 6 months, you will earn your commercial pilot certificate and flight instructor certificate making you ready to start a career flying as a commercial pilot.
Once you ve moved past an entry-level job you ll be able to choose from many different industries. Pilots are needed in almost every industry, including agriculture, law enforcement, entertainment, medical, utility, corporate and more. Once you ve taken a job in one of these industries, there will be opportunities for advancement and possibly management opportunities as well. If you get into one industry and decide you want to do something different, it won t be difficult to switch career paths and enter another industry as a pilot. Not many careers have this much flexibility and opportunity for change, and I think that s one of the reasons why being a pilot is such a cool career. Not only does being a pilot give you such a flexible career, but it also comes with amazing benefits. Namely, a great salary. As you continue to build flight hours you ll become more experienced and will qualify for an ever-increasing salary.