Ever since the first photos of the Wright Brothers’ famous flight were published in newspapers, children across the globe have dreamed of flying. As they get older, they begin to research the steps to become a pilot and look into the tests required to fly commercial planes. One of the most common questions that comes up when researching what to do to become a pilot is, “How good do I need to be at maths and science?”
Science and Math are Important
Anyone who searches, “What do you need to become a pilot?” will quickly see they need their maths and science to be up to snuff. While instruments will do the vast majority of the things you will learn, you will need to know what to do in case they fail. You don’t need to be the next Isaac Newton, but you will need to know how to do things like plot a course from A to B, calculate safe flight weights, and calculate altitude density. Don’t worry if you didn’t learn how to solve for these in math class. You’ll learn these and more as part of your education at flying school.
Attending Flying School
If you want to be the captain of a big jet someday you will need to earn your Airline Transport Pilot’s License (ATPL). There are two parts of flying school: ground school and flight lessons. Ground school is somewhat like traditional school and will teach you the maths and science to fly a plane. Flight school entails actually getting into a plane and flying it. You start out with an instructor in the plane with you, but eventually you will fly on your own with the instructor observing from the ground.
There is also the option of attending a college school instead of a traditional flying school. You will earn an associate’s degree alongside your ATPL as well as a few important ratings like Multi-Engine Rating, Instrument Rating, and Instructor’s Rating. It is more expensive, but you will leave school with more credentials and hours than if you had attended a traditional flying school. This isn’t the last part of a pilot’s training though. You will need years of experience flying under captains and first officers if you want to captain a plane yourself.
The steps to become a pilot aren’t easy by any means, but it’s job that’s quite unlike any other. If you’re still thinking about what do you need to become a pilot, try scheduling a Familiarization Flight. It’s a normal flight lesson offered at a reduced rate you can only take once.