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How many years does it take to become a pilot?

Would it be easier to go tot the army and become a pilot there?

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2 Answers


Jennifer Metelko

As an airline pilot, I can finish the last response. You basically have three options. You can:
1) go to a 4 year college
2) go to a "pilot factory" and complete your training in about a year
3) go to your local airport and learn at your own pace

We are about to face some catastrophic shortages in the next few years and it is my opinion (and only that!) that the 1500 hr limitation imposed after the Colgan crash will have to be modified to keep the US airline industry afloat. Airlines are already finding loopholes.

The major difference between military and civilian training is obviously a financial commitment vs life/time commitment.

(For a more detailed look into what these 3 options entail, see my response to:
"I am interested in becoming a commercial jet pilot, should i go to a national aviation academy type school or should I learn at local airports near me?" under Aerospace and Defense)

Answered 8 years ago

Jennifer Metelko


It depends on the route you take to becoming a pilot. If you want to go into the Army and fly helicopters then you do not have to go through an officer program. You could become a warrant officer. If you want to fly for the Air Force then you need to go through an officer training program such Officer Training School (OTS), ROTC or the Air Force Academy. Getting chosen for pilot training in the Air Force is very competitive. You need to need to have a high GPA, and near perfect health. Once chosen for pilot school in the Air Force, your time from start of training until flying operationally, is basically 2 years. You will go through ground training, then basic Undergraduate Pilot Training before getting chosen for the fighter plane track, or heavies.

The other option is going into the commercial aviation world. The good news is that the US will face a shortage of airline pilots in the next several years. The bad news is that requirements for the number of hours before flying commercially have increased. You could fund your own pilot training but it is very expensive.

Answered 9 years ago