Fixed Wing Pilot License Training in Grand Rapids, MI
You've made the decision; you want to get your fixed wing pilot license. You know flying is in your future, but now what? How do you get started? What's the next step? The good news is that the road to getting fixed wing pilot license training in Grand Rapids, MI is very defined.
One of the more difficult aspects of learning to fly is picking the right program for you. Some programs could match your goals better than others. Broken down to their most basic form, there are three basic types of fixed wing pilot license training programs: local fixed wing pilot training, professional programs, and degree programs.
The simplest place to look when you want to learn to fly is at your local airport near Grand Rapids, MI. Most airports usually have a collection of part-time or even full-time instructors that are fully qualified to teach you to fly. This type of training tends to be pay-as-you-go and self-paced.
There are also a number of professional programs that offer a more scheduled and condensed way to learn to fly. These programs are typically located at larger facilities with a large staff of instructors. They cater to someone with more time who is looking to obtain several ratings at once. The final type of program is degree programs that are tailored toward someone who wishes to fly for the airlines.
Unfortunately, sometimes the road is a little hard to find. If you're not sure how to become a commercial fixed wing pilot in Grand Rapids, MI, keep reading for an easy five-step 'flight' plan that will see you through to your fixed wing pilot qualifications.
#1: Test The Waters
Don't immediately run out and sign up for the career program of the first school you find. Start with a small step; find a school or independent flight instructor that will take you up for an introductory flight. These are usually pretty inexpensive, maybe $100 to $150 for an hour. The benefit of introductory flights is that you get to experience flight in a small plane with an instructor.
You'll definitely learn a lot in that hour and you should actually get to take the controls. The key takeaway for this exercise is to establish whether you actually like controlling the plane.
#2: Make Sure You're Medically Qualified
Ask any fixed wing pilot in Grand Rapids, MI and they'll tell you that the hardest part of flying isn't actually controlling the aircraft, it's the paperwork. The truth is, there is a lot of paperwork, but no more than any other licensed professional. The paperwork creeps in a little bit early in flight training, but for the most part, it's just you and your instructor and eventually just you flying free.
Now, this may come as a shock, but there is one vital piece of paperwork that should be handled very early, maybe right out of the gate -- the medical certificate. The process isn't terribly different from a typical doctor's visit, but you have to select from a list of specific doctors, known as Aviation Medical Examiners, and you have to fill out a form.
The doctors typically charge a fee for the visit, but they give you a pretty thorough physical and if you pass you'll be issued a student fixed wing pilot medical certificate.
#3: Consider Your Fixed Wing Pilot Training Goals
You need to be honest and ask yourself a few questions. First, what are your goals; what's your plan? Maybe you're looking for a new hobby. Perhaps you're tired of booking airline tickets last minute and you're looking to fly yourself to that next business meeting. Why does this matter? Flight training isn't one-size-fits-all.
The program that is perfect for the twenty-year-old future airline captain isn't necessarily perfect for the fifty-year-old bank CEO. So, as boring as it sounds, take a few minutes and ask yourself what your intentions are.
#4: Find The Right Fixed Wing Pilot Training Program in Grand Rapids, MI
The next step is to find flight schools, whether large or small and contact them. Whether you actually visit the schools or you call or email, you want to get a little bit of information before you commit yourself. You want to talk to them about your goals. You also want to talk to them about their school and staff.
If you're looking for a school that will let you zip through the ratings on your way to a job interview, you want to know how many instructors they have on staff, how many other students they have, and how many aircraft they have available.
All three of those items will directly affect the speed with which you can complete your flight training. You should also ask whether you will have one instructor or several. It may seem strange, but you may have chemistry with a certain instructor that will benefit your learning more than finishing faster.
#5: Enjoy Your Fixed Wing Pilot Training
The final step is to pick a school and have fun. Learning to fly is incredibly rewarding. You will learn a lot about yourself and meet some of the most interesting people. The most important things are that you understand that no one wants to see you fail and remember that any flight school can provide the same result; the difference is in how well it fits you and your goals.
Fixed wing pilot training in Grand Rapids, MI is one of the most exciting and challenging things you will ever do in your life. It is for this reason that it is important to consider every aspect of a training program before you jump in the aircraft for your first lesson.
Traditionally, pilots learn to fly at their local airport, but a growing trend in fixed wing pilot training in Grand Rapids, MI is "Accelerated" fixed wing pilot training. These schools are often an excellent match if you are looking at making a career out of aviation. Accelerated programs can be broken down into three main types: professional programs, airline programs, and university programs.
What is an Accelerated Fixed Wing Pilot Training in Grand Rapids, MI?
By this point, you might be asking, "What is an Accelerated Fixed Wing Pilot Training in Grand Rapids, MI anyway?" Basically, it is a flight school that allows you to earn a certificate (license) or rating in a very short amount of time. To investigate further, accelerated programs are usually structured in a way that has you training eight hours a day five or more days a week.
The goal of these programs is for you to obtain a rating or certificate in a few weeks or months. For example, obtaining a private pilot certificate usually takes about 6 months, but in an accelerated program you could get one in as little as two weeks. That's a pretty significant difference.
Most of these programs are also marketed toward people who are looking for multiple certificates or ratings, so they often structure the programs in cycles. This enables you to walk in off the street with zero flight hours in your logbook and walk out of the school a commercial pilot with 250 hours.
Fun Facts About Flight Dispatchers
Is there are reason Airline Dispatcher Salaries are so low? No, because they are not low. As a matter of fact. According to Glassdoor and Indeed, the average aircraft dispatcher salary is $32,000. However, the Airline Dispatcher Federation suggests the average aircraft dispatcher salary is closer to $40,000.
Helicopter Fun Facts for Grand Rapids, MI
Military Helicopters: Military helicopters made it very easy to maneuver and hold an aircraft in one location. Thus, helicopters were then modeled to help take up reconnaissance missions. These aircraft are now modernized and fitted with infrared cameras as well as low light level television for better observation.