Training at an aviation university versus private training
Training at an aviation college
In the case that you still have the choice of college ahead of you, check whether the institution you want to apply at will cover the cost of flight training for your commercial pilot licence and all the ratings or whether you’ll have to pursue it with your own means. The choice seems obvious – it’s better to attend a course at an aviation college and not to bear the expenses related to ratings. However, getting to an aviation college is not that easy. Usually, applicants are required to have a good knowledge of further mathematics and physics, as well as some aviation experience, for instance, a glider pilot licence (GPL) and a private pilot licence PPL(A).
You should be aware, however, that even though getting to an aviation college is a great success, it’s not the end goal. Oftentimes, pilot training doesn’t begin until college students are shortlisted for a specific course. In practice, this means that over the first stage at college you’re studying and obtaining marks, and then only top students get qualified for pilot training based on their marks, aviation knowledge, and flight experience (on gliders and airplanes). Due to a limited number of places, the number of shortlisted individuals constitutes a small percentage of all students trying to get themselves listed for the so-called pilotage. Hence, it is likely that though you’ll get to an aviation college, you won’t qualify for free training and will have to cover the costs of subsequent licences and ratings from your own pocket.
Importantly, aviation college graduates may be regarded by airlines as more attractive candidates than people who didn’t obtain an aviation degree.
If you don’t succeed in getting to an aviation college and not get listed for your dream course that involves flight training, it’s not the end of the world. You can do the training on your own account (including, unfortunately, also the financial aspect) with the prospect of becoming an airline transport pilot still ahead of you.
Flight training abroad
If you decide on getting all the licences and rating on your own, you’ll obviously seek the least expensive solutions. When considering various options, it’s worth to take into account doing flight training and possibly also building hours abroad. When estimating the costs of fliht training abroad, be sure to include all additional costs you’ll have to bear apart from the training course price, as ultimately flight training in your home country may prove to be the cheapest option.
When considering going abroad for flight training, learn the regulations according to which the flight training will be conducted, as well as the procedure used for converting the licence issued to a licence valid in this country. It is not out of the question that in order to convert the licence, you’ll have to complete a brief practical flight training to make adjustment for differences in the flight training programme binding abroad and in your country, and successfully pass practical exams.