How much does it cost to become a pilot? What items and equipment do students need for commercial pilot training? Here at FlyBy we make sure our all inclusive ATPL is transparent and tells you the costs upfront. You won’t have any nasty surprises later in your training.
Various expenses need to be considered when choosing flight school. A lot of the time pilot training providers will try to entice you into their school with the lowest prices, only for you to arrive there and find a lot of hidden costs. Starting out on a path towards becoming a professional pilot can be confusing and you may not know what you require. In this article we will lay out the key equipment you are going to need for your training and what it is going to cost you.
Equipment you are going to need
In aviation, situational awareness is extremely important. We must be aware of what is going on around us and have clear channels of communication between all involved. Sitting in a small cockpit greatly restricts our communication channels. In normal circumstances we rely a lot on body language to get our message across. As a pilot, we need to ensure our vocal communication is concise and clear.
The flight deck of an aircraft can be a noisy place! It is vital that we can communicate clearly with our fellow pilots, Instructor and of course Air Traffic Control. Being situationally aware is vital to the continued safety of the aviation industry. The price of a headset varies significantly. Personally I use the Bose Proflight headset however I did not upgrade to this until I had secured my job as a first officer for Ryanair. Prior to that I used the headset provided to me by the school which was perfectly adequate. During training it is not common to be flying for particularly long whereas a full day of commercial flying can be strenuous on the neck if you have a heavy headset.
We are training the next generation of commercial pilots and we expect our students to adhere to the same high levels of professionalism that you see on the flight deck of the world’s leading airlines like Iberia, Qatar and Emirates.
Pilots and student pilots alike will wear a uniform and represent their Aviation Academy or Airline every time they are seen in public or on social media wearing it. This is important to note as many airlines have strict policies and will often check your public social media profiles when they are considering hiring you. Always be careful what you post in a public forum. Our all inclusive ATPL provides students with a uniform that they will wear during both ground school and practical flight training.
You will need to bring a pair of smart black shoes with you to finish off the look. Try to get a pair that is sturdy but comfy as you might be wearing them for +8 hours a day.
When walking through the airport it is common to see pilots pulling along small cases on wheels. We refer to these as our “flight bag” and we use them to carry the essential equipment required to carry out our flights. There are of course weight limits, especially when we are flying the smaller aircraft during our training, which is why we try to keep it to the essentials.
During training you won’t need as much as you will when you eventually join an airline to work as a commercial pilot with an airline. For this reason, some students choose to just use a standard backpack and then upgrade to a larger and more professional one when they get a professional contract.
As a pilot we need to pass annual medical examinations therefore have to look after our health, including our eyesight. For more details on the Medical requirements please see our page detailing The Requirements to Become a Pilot. As we are lucky to have such great weather in Spain sunglasses are even more important here. We have over 300 flying days every year and make the most of them with our large fleet of modern aircraft. Importantly, pilots should not buy polarised sunglasses. The lens of polarised sunglasses may not allow the pilot to see the anti-glare screens installed on some equipment. Make sure you have some high quality, non-polarised sunglasses to protect your eyes when high up above the clouds. For those who require corrective lenses (Glasses/Contact Lenses) for their vision it is mandatory that pilots carry a spare pair of glasses.
During training we will often need to take notes. Perhaps things our instructor has said, key operational requirements or communications from Air Traffic Control. As you can imagine, there often isn’t much room available in training aircraft and this is the case for the fleet we use here at FlyBy. A kneeboard is a very useful, solid surface often strapped onto the upper leg which allows us to hold our charts or paper readily accessible and tidy.
We utilise technology wherever we can in aviation to improve the safety of the industry. A tablet of some description is used by commercial pilots for many things
including flight planning, performance calculations and to have a “paperless flight deck”. In the old days pilots had to carry around a lot of documents and charts. We use the iPad’s throughout our training and to assist us with studying. I spent many hours each day going through practice exams and reading study material. It’s important to remember to get some fresh air though otherwise you might burn out! There are many apps that we can use to assist us when preparing for examinations or making notes.
We must keep a detailed record of all of our flying experiences. It is used to record information about flight hours, aircraft types, airports flown to and other details about licences and exams. The logbook is used by the authority when they issue a licence and also by airlines when they are looking to hire you. It is a document that you will take with you throughout your career and be used as you move between companies or get promoted. For this reason it’s good to get into the habit of correctly recording the details of your flights, keeping it up to date and making sure it is neat. Rewriting 20 pages worth of flights when you want to apply for a job is not a fun task at all!
During your training you will need various charts depending on which phase you are in. Initially you will need to use VFR (Visual Flight Rules) charts which detail the terrain and features of the surrounding area. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings and recognise where you are by using the chart so that you always know how to get back to the airport.
Hopefully you now have a better idea of what you need to buy for pilot training. Here’s the best part – our course is all inclusive! You don’t need to worry about any hidden costs here at FlyBy Aviation Academy. We will make sure you have the equipment that you need as you start your journey towards becoming a commercial pilot. There are some things mentioned above which are not included as part of the course. You have the freedom to choose certain things like your sunglasses and smart black shoes. For a comprehensive list of everything included in our Integrated ATPL course please take a look on the following page of our website – FlyBy Aviation Academy (All Inclusive) Integrated ATPL.