Questions & Answers - part 2 - Dutch Pilot Girl

Questions & Answers – Part 2

I thought it was time for another Q&A article.. 🙂 So this time I answered some of the most frequently asked questions from my Youtube Channel followers. Questions & Answers – part 2 consists of the following subjects; Why I was wearing epaulettes during training. When you are too old to become a pilot and some questions regarding financial topics. Be sure to ask me questions of your own and your question might be answered in the next Q&A article 😉

 

⇒ Why are you wearing epaulettes during training?

As part of an integrated pilot training course it is mandatory to wear the full uniform. The full uniform includes stripes after the 70 hours check (PPL check). Before the checkride you have to wear the blue epaulettes without any stripe. After the checkride it is mandatory to wear epaulletes with 1 golden stripe. You can see that in this video.


 Am I too old to become an airline pilot?

In my opinion you are never too old to become a pilot. If money isn’t a problem, there is only one thing which is limiting and that is the medical. To give you an example, my grandfather gained his PPL (Private Pilot License) when he was 74 years old! Can you imagine? As long as you are healthy and fit you can become a pilot.

It is a different story when you want to become an airline pilot since you have to be hired by a company. Most companies look for employees that will stay with them for their entire (or a big part of) their career. This has to do with the investment a company has to make in order to train its pilots. Besides, a company is looking for pilots that will be able to fulfill the role of Captain at a certain point. That is why most airlines don’t hire ab initio’s (pilots that just finished their education) after the age of 31. I’ve heard of exceptions though. It is not uncommon for older pilots to find a commercial job within business aviation so that might be something to look into when you are looking for a career change at a later stage of your life. 


 How expensive is it to become an airline pilot?

Just recently I published an article about this subject. It’s called The Real Deal: the price to become an airline pilot! It contains everything you need to know about the financial aspect of being a pilot and how much you need to spend to keep the license after you obtained it. Besides this article I created a video to shed some more light on the income of a pilot. You can watch it by clicking here.


How did you finance the pilot training?

I took a loan to finance the training. It’s actually the most common way to finance an integrated pilot training course. Pilots that just fly for there enjoyment (private pilot license holders) often pay the training without a loan. A private pilot license is a lot cheaper than a commercial pilot license. In the article The Real Deal you can find more detailed information about the loan.


That’s it for now 🙂 I will answer more questions later on.

In case you have anything to add, please don’t hesitate to write a comment… And if you have a question of your own, use the contact form and perhaps it will be your question that is answered in the next Q&A article 😉

2 thoughts on “Questions & Answers – Part 2

  1. Hello, Michelle. Just read Parts 1 and 2 on training costs. Nice breakdown of what to expect. Here in the U.S., costs are similar, but with the recent addition of the number of total turbine hours one must have prior to even being considered for the interview. So flying in regional turboprops is the best way to build hours after instructing. This is often called “freight-dogs,” where one flies freight in a local area simply to build time and experience. Oddly, money-wise, one can find themselves in serious debt if they pursue a Masters Degree in Science. And you may not even find a suitable job. It can be very frustrating, because after all the college work, you now might have $200,000 in debt and wind up living back home with your parents. Not a great start – aviation requires money to make money and not everyone has that ability. I would say you were lucky time wise, but, too, the years of minimal employment would kind of make you wonder about your career goal. All good things, Michelle – wear those stripes with pride !

    1. Hi again Dennis! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Lately I am learning more and more about the differences between the United States and Europe. Seems aviation works in similar ways but there are some major differences. I guess experience is much less important in Europe. Pilots can work for major airlines with as little as 200 flight hours. I was told the theoretical part of the education is much harder though. I will look into this and perhaps I can make a video or article about this as well. Would be interesting to get to the bottom of this. Would you be willing to provide me with more details when the time comes? Have a nice day!

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