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The Dangers and Risks of Becoming an Airline Pilot

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Aviation has had a great impact on the world as a whole. Aviation has impacted transportation greatly, making it the most efficient and least time-consuming way to get across the world. Although it is fairly new, advancements that have been made in the past 100 years are absolutely insane. From the first flight, in 1903, the Wright Brothers, flying for 59 seconds. To military planes such as the SR-71 that cruise at about 2,100 mph. Piloting is a very rewarding and addicting experience, that will be a great career for anyone interested.

Becoming an airline pilot is no easy task. Although there are many different routes you can take to become an airline pilot. The route I will be focusing on is, becoming an airline pilot as a civilian, and not having to join the military or do anything military-related. The first step to becoming an airline pilot is to get your private pilot’s license. After you get your private, you can start working towards getting your instrument rating, which allows you to fly in bad weather. After you get your instrument rating, you can work on getting your commercial pilot’s license. Once you receive your commercial license, you can work towards getting your CFI, or a certified flight instructors rating, this will allow you to train students. The whole reason you need to get your CFI is to build flight time. In order to become an airline pilot, you must have a minimum of 1,500 hours of flight time. When you get your CFI, you will be at around 500 hours of flight time. Once you get that rating you will get paid to train students, and get valuable flight time, towards those 1,500 hours. Along with 1,500 hours of flight time, you also need a bachelor’s degree, in whatever field you desire. Once you meet these requirements you can apply to become an airline pilot at a smaller regional company that will get you flying at one of the larger airlines such as United, Delta, etc. in about a year or so.

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Before explaining the great rewards of aviation and flying. You have to understand how aviation has developed. In 1903, the first flight with Orville and Wilbur Wright, for 59 seconds. Just 11 years after the first powered flight, the first scheduled passenger air service began in Florida. World War 1, brought some advancement to aviation, with the development of more powerful engines that enabled aircraft to reach higher speeds. In 1917, the government sent congress $100,000 in order to establish a mair carrier that would use aircraft in order to get mail around faster. In 1926, the Air Commerce Act was established, which developed rules and licenses, and ratings to get to certify that the pilots are capable of doing the proper tasks. You can’t talk about the history of aviation without mentioning Charles Lindbergh, he made the first transatlantic flight across the Atlantic ocean. As most people during the 1930’s and times prior were scared of flying because of all the crashes but in the late 1930s, there were great advancements that were made to aircraft that made them a lot safer and made the aircraft faster. Another thing that made flying safer was the advancement of radio technology, which made it possible for pilots to get weather information and communicate with other pilots. With the advancement of radio and aircraft systems, people were less skeptical about flying on commercial airliners. That is why Boeing developed what is considered the first modern passenger airliner, the Boeing 247. The plane could hold 10 passengers and would cruise at about 155 mph. The airline company that took off during this time was United which bought 60 of the Boeing 247’s. But as always someone bettered Boeings design and along came the DC-1, which had used some of Boeing’s ideas and improved them. The DC-1 was a much easier plane to fly than the 247 because it had autopilot and was the first airplane equipped with it. The DC-3 was the plane that really changed the world though, the DC-3 which was a traveler’s dream, it could hold 21 people and only cost 10% more than the DC-2. Although the DC-3 and Boeing 247 and similar aircraft, had marked some significant advancements in technology they were still limited because they could fly no higher than 10,000, due to the reduced oxygen at higher altitudes. Along came the B-17 bomber which featured a pressurized cabin, this plane was first flown by TWA. The pressurized cabin allowed the B-17 to go as high as 20,000 feet and get up to speeds of 200 mph. In 1938, the CAA was formed and was made in order to regulate the flying industry and everything to do with flying. Aviation was extremely important in World War II, going into the war there were less than 300 air transport aircraft in the US, at the end of the war aircraft producers were making upwards of 50,000 planes a year. Great advancements were made to the design of the aircraft during the war which made them more maneuverable, faster, higher, and farther than ever before. A new technology that greatly affected aviation is radar which made it possible for aircraft to be tracked in the air. After the war marked the beginning of jet aircraft with the first passenger jet being the Boeing 707, with 4 engines, the aircraft could carry up to 181 people and cruised at speeds of 550 miles per hour. The Federal Aviation Act of 1958, created the FAA or Federal Aviation Administration, the administration was in charge of establishing and running a broad air traffic control system, to help commercial aircraft stay clear of each other during flight. In 1969, the iconic Boeing 747 was made, holding 450 passengers. As of now, not much has changed in aviation, a few new aircrafts here and there but other than that we are kind of stuck at this point.

Aviation can be an extremely rewarding career field. As represented by my dad. My dad has been an airline pilot for going on 25 years. He has seen it all, from a blown engine right before takeoff, or flying the Astros. What inspired me to write about my dad is how well respected he is in the company he works for, and is authorized to give check rides to other airline pilots, which means he tests other airline pilots on their proficiency as a pilot. Another thing that is rewarding as a pilot is the pilot shortage which makes pay for airline pilots increase.

Although flying can be difficult it is something I enjoy greatly. In the early forms of aviation, I still respect greatly. I look forward to seeing the advancement that are made in the next 50 years. The opportunities are endless. Even though some of the work is tedious and very time consuming I always think about the bigger picture. That gets me excited about my future and excited to become an airline pilot.

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