I want to become a pilot. Where do I start?

You start by doing a bit of research online, which it seems like you’ve already done! Congrats! Next, you’ll want to look into your state age requirements so you can get a good idea of when you can start flying. Finally, you’ll want to find your nearest airport and check out their rates, their history, and talk to someone about what it might take to get your piloting career started!

Ultimately, I want to work for a commercial airline. How do I go about doing this?

You’ll have to acquire lot of hours – many of which need to be of a certain type. For instance, you’ll need to have about 500 hours of cross country time to get that ATP license (Airline Transport Pilot), which is required in order to be a commercial airline pilot. In total, you’ll need about 1500 hours to be considered. There are quite a few requirements you’ll have to meet, so it’s best to meet with someone so they can sit down with you and go over these requirements in a manageable and non-anxiety-inducing way. If you want to schedule something with me to discuss something like this, just contact me and I’ll be happy to help.

What are the best charts to buy?

Personally, I prefer Jeppesen charts; they’re kept updated and feature tons of useful information in a uniform and easily understood way.

Should I keep a physical logbook and/or a digital logbook? Why?

Both. You’ll want a physical logbook because that’s what your instructor is going to sign when you’re done with a lesson; that’s your physical proof of hours. But you also want to keep a digital logbook, so you can keep an up-to-date record of your hours in an easily transferable and easily updated space. Also, your digital logbook is going to be able to keep track of information in a much better and more comprehensive way. It’ll add up your hours automatically, tell you how many are in any specific category, how many are in any specific aircraft or aircraft type. Your digital logbook is a wonderful tool to help you, as a pilot, stay organized and on top of your game.

What Headset should I invest in?

There are several options to consider and not all headsets are created equal. There are three main brands that compete for their share of the market. The best of the best is Bose. Their unparalleled noise cancelling and sound clarity is highly sought after in industry of aviation. The brand of headset next in line is David Clark (DC). I have two DCs headsets still in great condition and both are over 10 years old. DCs are pretty much the standard for good quality for the amount of money spent. David Clark has a life-time guarantee so the 300 dollar headset will last you as long as you need a headset. The last brand, I recommend, is ASA headset; for the price of half of a DC, the ASA head-set is all you need to keep your hearing safety and communicate in the cockpit.

Which aircraft should I use for a cross country trip?

This is entirely dependent upon you for the most part. You’ll want to make sure that your chosen aircraft can carry the amount of weight you’ve calculated for you, your possible passengers and any luggage you might be bringing along with fuel. You should, obviously, consider the distance and take into account how long you’ll be in the air and whether or not you’ll have to stop for fuel. Taking these things into consideration, you should be able to narrow down your aircraft choices to be able to make an informed and safe decision.

Have a question I didn’t answer?

Feel free to submit your question here and I’ll do my best to answer it and feature it here!