How to Become a Pilot in the Philippines?

Do you wanna be a pilot? What are the requirements? Make your dreams come true. Soar higher. Become a licensed pilot in the Philippines. A pilot job is one of the most rewarding aviation careers and professions in the world. There are different ways on how become a licensed and registered pilot in the country and I’m gonna lay out the ways in this page.

Due to insistent public demand and lots of inquiries from my Best Flight Schools in the Philippines article, I’m here to discuss the ways on how to become a pilot in the Philippines. Many are still asking me questions like, what course should I take to be a pilot? How can I become a pilot in the Philippines? Do I need a degree to be working as a pilot? And many more related questions. So here are the ways:

How to Become a Pilot in the Philippines

To become a pilot and to work as a pilot, one must have a license and certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and pass the Aviation Training Organization (ATO) requirements to hold a certificate. Either you want to become a licensed Private Pilot or a licensed Commercial Pilot.

how to become pilot in the philippines

Private Pilot vs Commercial Pilot – What’s the Difference?

Private Pilot – if you are a licensed private pilot, you are allowed to operate and fly an aircraft for private and enjoyment purposes. You may carry passengers or rent an aircraft, a private plane but you may not be compensated for the services as a pilot. There are limitations though compared when you are a commercial pilot. In short, a private pilot cannot really work for hire.

Commercial Pilot – you can’t become a licensed commercial pilot unless you are a licensed private pilot. Once you’re a commercial pilot, you are allowed to be paid for flying an aircraft to carry cargo and passengers. You can become a flight instructor, charter pilot or cargo pilot, too. This is the start for a real career in aviation. You’ll have more potential to work in a big airline company once you have gone for Multi-Engine Ratings, other modern flight instruments and equipments and have gained longer hours of flights.

How to become a Private Pilot? What are the requirements?

To become a licensed private pilot and have all the benefits of being one, you must undergo and pass the Private Pilot Training Course also known as, PPL course which is usually up to six months. In order to have a license you must become certified as a fully-fledged Private Pilot by the ATO. The requirements for having the license are listed below. You must successfully complete and pass the general exam and actual flight exam/ checkride.

  • Minimum of 17 years of age
  • Fluent in English, oral and written
  • Hold at least a current 3rd Class Medical Certificate
  • Pass the ATO Knowledge (General) Test
  • Pass the ATO Practical Flight Test and Oral Examination (Checkride)

From the PPL training, there are also some documents required from its flight school. Usually, they are the same as those that are required from entering secondary schooling. The PPL course usually covers subjects such as theory of flight, civil air regulations, basic aircraft instrument and power plant, air traffic control and communications, basic aircraft performance, basic weight and balance, basic meteorology, aviation physiology, basic air navigation, basic radio navigation and basic flight planning.

You must also complete the required flight training time which is a minimum of 40 hours of widespread flight training which includes dual and solo instruction for basic airman-ship, cross-country navigation, and emergency procedures. This 40 hours of flight time consists of at least 20 hours of Dual flight instruction, at least 10 hours of Solo flight ( 5 hours of Solo local flight and 5 hours of Solo cross-country), and 10 hours of which can be Solo flights or Dual.

How to become a Commercial Pilot? What are the requirements?

As I mentioned, an important requirement to become a licensed commercial pilot is a private pilot certificate. Meaning, you can’t become a Commercial Pilot if you don’t have a Private Pilot license. Just like the requirements in the PPL, you must pass a general knowledge exam and actual flight exam in order to become a commercial pilot and enjoy the benefits and compensations you can have in the aviation profession.

A commercial pilot training course CPL course can prepare and help you pass the test. To sum up the requirements, here they are:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Hold a Private Pilot Certificate or meet requirements
  • Fluent in English both oral and written
  • Must hold a valid 1 st Class Medical Certificate
  • Pass the ATO Knowledge (General) Test
  • Pass the ATO Practical Flight Test and Oral Examination (Check ride)

You have to undergo a CPL course to prepare you to excel and pass the CPL requirements. It’s also usually in a period of 6 months. Flight schools cover the course to advanced subjects mentioned in the PPL training. In addition, you must complete a minimum of 150 logged hours of flight time which includes advanced commercial maneuvers and emergency procedure.

Bachelors Degree in Aviation Major in Flying

This is another option to become a licensed pilot in the Philippines. It’s a four-year-degree-course that covers aviation curriculum and covers both PPL course and CPL course. It will really prepare you to your dream aviation and pilot career.

A Bachelors Degree would be more impressive to airline companies and employers though expertise is always the most priority. There are another aviation degrees that could make you a pilot, you just have to choose what suits your major and preference.

Related article:

Interview with an Aeronautic Engineer

About Fehl Dungo

Licensed Career Service Professional, trusted Fund Manager, Founder of Philpad and published author of poetry book at Barnes&Noble.

754 thoughts on “How to Become a Pilot in the Philippines?”

    • Dear Jagm,

      You will not find in the government regulations any stipulation for height requirements for a commercial pilot (or any kind of pilot, for that matter).

      Some airline companies may list a minimum height requirement, but I know of many pilots who are just 5 feet tall. And the military has even more stringent body dimensions
      for their fighter aircraft pilot-trainees, but that has more to do with the cramped space inside those cockpits.

      As for the commercial airlines, I guess because tall people in uniform simply look better?

      But to reiterate, there is no minimum height requirement for pilots. In fact, astronauts (who start out as pilots) have to be of small stature due to medical requirements and weight constraints.

      Reply
  1. Hi Cap! How are you doing?

    Due to the current pandemic, most colleges/universities are not opening yet and we’ve been getting so much free time. And it doesn’t look like they are opening or holding physical classes anytime soon.

    So I thought, why not take advantage of all this free time to start my journey in flying little by little?

    So this is my situation:
    (I hope you don’t mind a long story)

    I’m a fresh graduate of Senior High.

    I’m planning to take BS Comp Sci in a really good university in Metro Manila. But the school has mentioned that due to the current events, it is very unlikely that the school will open its classroom doors for a while this year. Thus, we will have online classes from wherever we are in the country. (I am from Iloilo City)

    I messaged my local flying school and surprisingly they are still open. So I thought it would be a good idea to take my PPL course in my city while waiting for college, and continue on to CPL and instrument ratings in another flying school, in another time, and in another city where my university is located. Would this be a good idea? And is it okay to get a PPL in one school and the rest from another school?

    Also, additional question: I’ve been told that a PPL is valid for 24 months (2 years). If I can’t get my CPL within that 24 months, what is the process of renewing my PPL? Do I have to pay the giant fees again for renewal?

    Any questions, clarifications, suggestions, or violent reactions? I’m open to all. Thank you in advance!

    Reply
    • Dear Daniel,

      Getting a pilot’s license during this period is the best time since there’s really nothing else to do! Lots of days to fly and gain the needed flight time for each license.

      As to getting a PPL from one school then the CPL from another school, that’s up to you. Don’t be pressured to finish getting a CPL just so you could start applying for the pilot job you’re hoping for. Everything comes in its own time. Enjoy flying first, then when you have enough skill and experience, go for the CPL. It’s like going to college, except a lot harder.

      You’ll also have to take written and practical exams with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to get your PPL. When you pass, then you can start working on getting your CPL, which means ground instruction again, flight instruction again, simulator training, actual flight time for the CPL requirement, etc. then exams with CAAP again.

      When your PPL expires, just get it renewed. Get the medical requirements, then get checked by the Aviation Medical Examiner of CAAP, then pay the fees for renewal. Reminder: flight time requirements also have to be met prior to license renewal.

      Giant fees for renewal? I don’t understand. Renewal fees are minimal. Flight time may be expensive, maybe that’s what they’re talking about. You need a certain number of flight hours prior to license renewal, to make sure you still remember how to fly airplanes.

      I hope this clarifies some issues. Question? Do you plan to become an airline pilot? Clarification? You plan to take up BS CompSci for the documentary requirement for airline pilots or as a back-up in case you can’t become a pilot? Suggestion? Love flying. Enjoy it. Don’t focus too much on fulfilling requirements to become an airline pilot to get the salary to get back the investment you paid for learning to fly.

      Violent reaction? Don’t become a pilot if your goal is to make money! Flying is a profession and a responsibility. You should make sure you return the plane in good condition after take-off. Your passengers will appreciate it.

      Reply
      • Thank you so much for your insights sir. I will do my best!

        Also, do you have the pdf list of all the CAAP registered flight schools in the country? I’ve looked around their website but I believe they might have deleted it recently.

        Reply
        • Dear Daniel,

          When you view the CAAP website, scroll down to find tab that says AMOs, Flying and Maintenance Schools, AMT/AMS Skill Test Facility, Maintenance Examiner, AOC, RPAS, and ATOs.

          Right below is a clickable link that says List of Flying Maintenance Schools as of Dec. 13, 2019. It is a pdf file which you have to download and can view online with an online pdf viewer. And remember, red is dead. If the flight school listed is red in color, it’s not advisable to learn flying from them since they have no CAAP accreditation.

          You can also check out the website aviationfly.com which has different filters to help you narrow your search for flight schools based on location, courses offered, costs of flight lessons, etc.

          Reply
          • Hi, I’ve graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing Management and I am currently 21 yrs old and wanted to be a Commercial Pilot someday. What steps can you suggest, for me to pursue this?

            Do I need to take the 4-year course in BS Aviation or are there other courses to be offered for me to learn more about flying. Also, If I’ll be taking the 4-year course in aviation, will some of the courses/subjects that I took for my bachelor’s degree be credited? If there would be like same subjects.

            I’m hoping to be more enlightened about this since I really wanted to be a Pilot. Thank you and stay safe, Capt.!

  2. Hello Capts.!

    I am a graduate of the STEM Strand at Senior High School. I currently am planning to take BS in Aviation Major in Flying at ALIAC (Which is at Manila, while I live in Pampanga). I would like to ask whether it is worth it or not (considering the distance, the expenses and etc.). Is taking a flight school near me (which is at Clark) but does not have BS degree be worth it? What do you suggest, Capt.?

    Will taking BSAF give me a better standing compared to the other applicants of a major airline? Will I be able to become a pilot that flies for a company already? Do I have to still build my flight hours after taking BSAF? If yes, how? (considering that I can no longer pay for additional flight hours) After BSAF, will I be able to apply as an entry-level pilot for a company already?
    Will the investment be worth it? Will I be able to return my investment after a few years as an airline pilot for a major airline (estimated, how many years?)?

    I apologize for having a handful of questions. 😀

    Deeply, thank you, thank you, very much!

    Reply
    • Dear Rik,

      I can see from your questions that you are at a crossroads of a major decision. And if I can’t answer carefully, you’ll be left with even more confusing choices. Thereby I will endeavor to clear the confusion in your mind regarding the options available to you in your present predicament, and hopefully provide a clearer understanding of the necessary path to achieve your goals.

      The airlines are mandated by government to accept applicants who have a Bachelor’s degree in ANY course, be it Nursing, Engineering, Biology, Architecture, Fine Arts, etc.

      BS Aviation major in Flying is also a baccalaureate degree, but will you be able to have the minimum number of flight hours for a Commercial Pilot License upon graduation, or will you still have to fly the hours after getting your degree? Ask the school about this.

      Take into account the expense of travel or renting an apartment, daily meals, laundry services, other additional unforeseen expenses, and then consider the intangibles: being away from home for long periods, missing important family events (birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, weddings, funerals, etc.), having to care for yourself if you get sick (headache, stomach aches, colds, coughs, fever, etc.), and not seeing your family for long periods of time (especially difficult for the parents). And then consider the current pandemic. Can you survive being alone and restricted from travel, or worse, being a carrier of the disease?

      When you get your Commercial Pilot License, you are now legally qualified to apply as an entry-level pilot for flight schools, or a cargo company, or for the airlines but fly countrywide only, as First Officer. Sadly, having a BSAF does not make you any better qualified than other applicants. It probably limits your options since you have no fallback course to rely on for a job, but then again, it means you will work your ass off to become a pilot, which means a good return on investment.

      To get the really good airline pilot salaries, you have to be flying the international routes, and foreign companies have better pay. And not just because of the exchange rate; they have higher pay and better benefits because the pilots and/or the government demands it. But you will be living in a foreign land away from your family, with the same issues as taking a course in Manila instead of Clark. Working locally means you will take a longer time to get your money back, but think about the emotional returns also. When was the last time you saw a happy OFW working abroad? OFW is different from migrant Filipinos, mind you.

      Actually, if you work with dedication regarding anything, you will become a success. Period.

      To recap:
      Where to go to school? Go where you can get a Commercial Pilot License.
      Do you need a bachelor’s degree for the airlines? Yes.
      Will it give me an advantage? No.
      Can I work for money as a pilot? Only with a CPL.
      How do I get my CPL? Pass the written and practical exams given by the Civil Aviation Authority.
      What is the process of becoming a pilot-for-hire? Get a Student Pilot License and Class 2 Medical Certificate, fly the plane for many hours, pass the Private Pilot License exam, fly many hours, get an Instrument Rating from a flight school, pass the Commercial Pilot License exam.
      How do I pay for my flight hours? With hard-earned money, whether your own or somebody else’s.

      Will the investment be worth it? Yes, because not many people can fly airplanes. Most drive cars or boats only. The money spent is money well-invested. I’m a dentist by profession, and fly on occasion. It is worth it.

      Reply
  3. Hi capt, is having a college degree really required to become an airline pilot? I want to become an airline pilot, but i am currently studying as an amt, which is a 2 year course. My school offers a 1 year avionic course (which was a 2 year course) to those who finished their AMT course.
    Will adding my 2 year amt with another 1 year of avionics help me to be “qualified”? If not, what should I do?

    Reply
    • Dear Lanz,

      You most likely will still not be qualified to be an airline pilot as it is documentary requirement to have a bachelor’s degree.

      However, it does not mean you cannot be a commercial pilot! In fact, you have better chances of getting hired as you will also have an AMT license aside from your CPL. Meaning, you can fix the plane you fly, which in my opinion is the safest plane around. My wife often says that the mechanic should fly with the pilot to make sure the pilot comes home safely.

      Of course, getting an AMT license does not mean you can now fly planes. You still have to go through Pilot Ground School, Pilot Flight School, and accumulate the needed hours for the Private Pilot License, then get an Instrument Rating, then work on getting your Commercial Pilot License. If you already have your Aviation Maintenance Technician License then you already know how the exams work.

      And when you get your CPL, you can then start working for a flight school, maybe become an instructor, or work for a cargo company. Sure, not as big a salary as airline pilots, but less risk of killing passengers also.

      Think about it.

      Reply
  4. Hi, I’m an incoming grade 12 student and I’m considering taking BS Air Transportation in PhilSCA. I’ve read that the BSAT program offers free flying in 3rd yr and 4th yr college, they guarantee 200 flying hours (if there are any PhilSCAns here, is this true and did you really complete 200 hrs of flight?). Upon graduation, they said that you will be receiving the PPL and CPL. But, if you’re an aspiring airline pilot where they accept CPL holders with instrument and multi-engine ratings, IR and ME isn’t covered in the BSAT program in PhilSCA. Well, this is what I’ve read so far. So my question is, where can I get my IR & ME if I want to fly an airbus or any other passenger aircraft? How much money will I spend if I am to get the IR & ME. Thank you very much!! :))

    Reply
    • Dear DAN,

      Get your Instrument Rating and Multi-Engine Rating from a flight school. Along with the requisite 1,500 flight hours to get your Airline Transport Pilot License, which is what you will need to apply for with the airlines. Some local airlines will most likely in all probability accept an applicant with a CPL and IR/ME ratings, since more pilots are needed as more air routes are opened up, thanks to new airports being developed.

      Let’s say you already have a CPL and need money. Work as an instructor in the flight school where you’re getting your IR/ME. Be a good instructor, and it will help you when you apply for the airlines. The money you spend is an investment for your future, and not a gift to yourself. Meaning, spend money now while learning, and earn it back when working! Good luck, my young padawan.

      Reply
    • Hello captain!
      Is it necessary to have a college to become a pilot? Is it ok if take Avionics or a 2-year-course?
      What is the best flight school in the philippines you can suggest for me?

      Reply
      • Dear Jomon,

        You don’t need a college degree to become a pilot. You just have to be at least 16 years old. A bachelor’s degree (any at least 4-year course) is required to become an airline pilot.

        And the best flight school in the Philippines is………..

        the one closest to your residence. Because if you have to rent an apartment to be near the flight school, then that is just added expenses, aside from meals, laundry, etc. All flight schools that are accredited by the Civil Aviation Authority are good enough. It depends on how comfortable you feel with your flight instructor, really. If you feel terrified by your instructor, then you won’t learn a thing because trying to fly the plane is terrifying already for a first-time aviator.

        Eventually you will understand the process of safe manipulation of the aircraft and you begin to enjoy flying at the controls, or your whole dream of being a pilot will come crashing down and that will be the end of that.

        Keep going, young padawan.

        Reply
    • Hi, a student from BSAT here which you mentioned, I can guarantee that what you said is officially true and proved by the board of the school. Along with it, your claim on IR and ME not being included in the package is, somehow, not true. Our program has IR and ME included in it. I am a student myself in the said course (BSAT) and I am currently in the 3rd year as of enrollment this coming school year 2020-2021. To give you another more information, We will be taking up the flight training during the introduction of our 3rd year Second sem up to the year we are able to finish the said flight training. This is now free because of the law passed during the start of Duterte’s administration. It roughly needed 2 to 3 years to complete the said training. Hope you would do well in the next moment!

      Reply
      • Dear Niño,

        Thank you for the clarification! I stand corrected.

        So you see, dear readers, information changes so stay updated by actually asking questions from the agencies or flight schools concerned. Don’t give too much credence to information retrieved from the internet, as that info can be outdated, misspelled, mistaken or downright wrong.

        Then again, info found on the internet points you in the right direction, but you have to travel the journey yourself. And if other students from other courses have experience or information that is different from what they read, I highly encourage them to share what they know.

        Doveryai, no proveryai. – Russian proverb

        p.s. Niño, always remember that the 3 most useless things to a pilot are:

        Altitude above you, runway behind you, and fuel in the truck. See you in the skies!

        Reply
    • Dear Rist,

      Only an Aviation Medical Examiner can determine if you are not qualified to be a pilot because of your mild hearing loss. Then again, as the name suggests, MILD. Meaning not serious, not severe, not harsh.

      I’m an old person. I need reading glasses, and have mild hearing loss (too much loud music in my teens) but I’m also a pilot. I can still hear clearly radio communications between pilots and airport towers, so no problems there. The cockpit instruments are still visible, albeit a little fuzzy without the glasses, but then again, most of the time is spent looking at the actual horizon instead of the artificial horizon anyway, and looking out for other aircraft, so I’m good there. I’m farsighted, so that is a bonus.

      So what does it all mean? Get checked out by the AME. Worst thing that could happen is another medical condition will kill your dream to be an aviator. Poor eyesight and being slightly deaf are not big hindrances. High blood pressure, neurological conditions, bad lungs, those will definitely keep you on the ground.

      Physical requirements for pilots these days are more strict with regards to those issues since the industry has noticed that pilots who are close to retirement age are more fit than pilots who are new hires, with heart attack being a number one reason for grounding a new pilot. Ironic, considering new airline pilots are around 25 to 30 years old, whereas soon-to-retire pilots are 67!

      Exercise and proper diet, avoid drinking to excess and no smoking!

      Reply
      • Good day, Captain! I would just like to ask if there is a height requirement to be an airline pilot? I am only 5 ft tall female and I’m thinking of going to flying school but I’m afraid that I will just waste money because I won’t get a job in the end. Hoping for you response. Thank you, Captain!

        Reply
        • Dear Alyssa,

          Nowhere in the government regulations will you find a height requirement for pilots, male or female. None.

          However, you will find that a lot of airline companies require their pilot-applicants to be at least 5’4″ to 6’4″ in height. And they have to have a “pleasing personality,” which is a euphemism for good-looking. Now, if you were good-looking and with that height, why would you want to be a pilot? It seems strange, doesn’t it? I would be a model and making money already!

          Anyway, just to be clear, the worst that an airline company can do is reject you for another applicant. Doesn’t mean the end of the world, there are other airline companies, or cargo companies, and other jobs for pilots, such as flight instructors, tour flights, search-and-rescue, etc.

          The real issue here is reach. Are you sitting tall enough in the seat that you can see over the instrument panel and look at the actual horizon outside the window? Are your legs long enough to fully deflect the rudder pedals? Can you reach all the buttons, levers, switches, and knobs from your seated position? If so, then you’ll get hired.

          I’ve met short pilots, and I’ve met short, ugly-looking pilots. In fact, I’m one of those, except I’m tall.

          Reply
          • Hi Capt

            I’m a a grade 12 graduate and will be taking BS mechanical engineering as my course in college. I would like to ask if it is possible to become a pilot after finish my BS mech eng and if it is possible, may I know the procedure?

            I don’t know how to view my comment and replies cause im new here so I would really appreciate if you email me at my back up gmail thank you

    • Dear Renan,

      Philippine State College of Aeronautics is funded by the Philippine government and as such, offers scholarships for those aspiring to be pilots. I honestly don’t know if this is a full or partial scholarship, never having gone to this school. I do hope one of our contributors can reply regarding this datum?

      At any rate, you can inquire directly from the school, or go to aviationfly.com to search for a pilot school near your location.

      On a side note, ladies and gentlemen, learning to fly is not that expensive! The high cost comes from renting the airplane to gain the needed flight hours for upgrading your license.

      However, according to a relative who has a friend whose child took up aviation and is now flying for one of the local airline companies, their return-on-investment took only a year. Meaning, a large initial cash outlay will be recovered within a limited time frame.

      In plain English, your total annual salary will be enough to pay for whatever you spent to get hired by the airlines. In plainer English: Borrow money. Fly. Get hired. Pay loan, one year only. Simple!

      “Aviation is proof that given the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.” – Edward Vernon Rickenbacker

      Reply
  5. hi. i have a friend who want to be a pilot but he doesnt know what courses to take in college. care to suggest??and what school have aviation courses? Thank you

    Reply
    • Dear Cindy,

      There is no specific course to take up in college to become a pilot. It’s similar to learning to drive a car: the student learns the fundamentals in a lecture (with the requisite exams to determine understanding of the subject discussed) and the practical instruction where the student sits in the vehicle and demonstrates the proper control of said vehicle.

      However, if your friend’s goal is to achieve the Airline Transport Pilot License (where a 4-year bachelor’s degree in any college course is required) and he wants to put all his eggs in one basket, then taking up Bachelor of Science in Aviation major in flying is the way to go. Your friend will get to spend a lot of money, time and effort in eventually getting the chance to become an airline pilot.

      Or

      Your friend could take up any other course in college that is at least 4 years long, graduate, and then maybe get a part-time job and then take up flying during his free time or the weekends. Learning to fly does not have to adhere to a strict schedule. You can make arrangements with the instructors and the flight school or Fixed Base Operator regarding scheduling of classes and flight lessons. Most aero schools actually don’t offer flying, but instead, aviation-related courses! True flight schools usually can be found at the airports, on the civil aviation side, not the regular airport side of the runway. Most folks are aware of the regular airport side, and just wonder about the small airplanes parked nearby or across the runway. That’s the civil aviation area. Now you know. Tell your friend good luck!

      Reply
      • May I ask what school in the Philippines offers Bachelor of Science in Aviation major in flying thanks and what bs should I take in college to be a pilot.

        Reply
        • Dear Julian,

          Any at least 4-year college degree is acceptable for the airlines if you want to eventually become an airline pilot. But becoming a pilot does not require a degree, just lots of time and money and determination.

          It’s not easy to become an aviator. And you’ll only understand once you are one yourself.

          Reply
      • Hi Capt. I’m going to be a first year college this school year and I’m taking BS mechanical engineering. May I ask if I can become a pilot after completing my 4 year course and what is the procedure to become one? If possible, how will it take me to get my PPL and CPL?

        Reply
    • To my knowledge, most likely the possible answer is a relatively definite maybe not.

      Aeronautical engineers deal with aircraft design, or the performance of the aircraft in flight. They do not actually fly the aircraft. The Ishihara Eye Test is needed to determine a person’s ability to discern a pattern in differently colored dots, ergo you are not color-blind, since glass cockpits tend to cram so much information into a small video display by using different colors and symbols, and that data has to be processed in seconds by the pilot flying.

      Reply
      • thank you for answering captain, does that mean even a person with color deficiency can become an aeronautical engineer?…if so, why are some Aeronautical schools like Philsca also need the ishihara test results(negative of Colorblind) for students who will take Aeronautical Engineering?

        Reply
        • Dear axel,

          Why do some aeronautical schools require a negative colorblind test result for aeronautical engineers?

          I don’t want to make assumptions, because assumption is the mother of all fuckups, so I will simply offer my opinion of what I have understood from careful analysis of many years of experience.

          Because that’s the way the government works. Simple red tape. Bureaucracy. Why? Because nobody told the ones making the regulations that this simple test procedure is not necessary since aeronautical engineers do not fly airplanes; they design them. But since the colorblindness test is aviation-related, and aero engineering is aviation-related, ergo this test must be necessary also for aero engineers!

          If you wish to have this exam removed from the aeronautical engineering admission requirements, kindly file a protest, long bond paper, single spaced, three copies each page, have it notarized, file it with the Department of Education, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, the Office of the Ombudsman, the Office of the President, the Philippine Information Agency, the Department of Transportation, the…… (Get the point?)

          Let’s say you failed the colorblind test. Ask the school’s dean if that prevents you from becoming an aeronautical engineer, or can you be excused. Worse that could happen is they will refuse to enroll you. Make a good argument for your position, as some pilots may be colorblind due to advancing age, but depending on the severity of the disability, are still allowed to fly commercial. I don’t think failing this exam is an automatic barrier to being accepted as a student. Even asthmatics can be athletes. Just try and find out. If at first you don’t succeed, find another way. Never give up the dream till the last breath and the last drop of blood.

          Reply
    • Hi Captain, i’m just wondering that if becoming a pilot requires not being colorblind, does that also apply for Aeronautical Engineer?

      Reply
      • Dear Axel,

        I checked the CAAP Licensing Regulations, and I cannot find anything that deals with Aeronautical Engineers.

        As a matter of practicality, are you really colorblind? I mean have you been medically examined and legally declared to be color vision deficient?

        So you can’t differentiate certain colors from each other under normal lighting conditions. Just means you cannot be a pilot, firefighter, automobile driver, electrician, painter, doctor, flower arranger, landscape artist, fashion designer, photographer, astronaut, air traffic controller, web designer, graphic artist, chemical engineer….

        I don’t know if being an aeronautical engineer requires the ability to see clearly different colors. But to the limited scope of my knowledge and experience, I can only say, ask the other aeronautical engineers. They’re the persons best able to answer your question since they have actual real-world experience. Hope this clarifies the issue for you.

        Reply
  6. Hi, I’m a 16 year old Senior High School student and I’m planning to continue my dream of becoming a pilot. My one problem is my eyesight. I’ve read that people with astigmatism could still go on to become pilots but in the worst case, I’m planning to get eye surgery to fix my eyesight as I do not know if I do meet the minimum requirements. Could I still go on to become a pilot after the surgery? I would really love to know what are my possible options. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Dear Jymjy,

      Let’s break this down. You have a dream to be a pilot. You have astigmatism. You have read that people with astigmatism can still become pilots. What was the problem again?

      If you were already planning to undergo surgery to fix your eyesight, then have the procedure done. If you haven’t decided on the operation and was just worried if you’d fail the medical exam, then get checked out by the Aviation Medical Examiner first. No, this is not the same as an optometrist or even an ophthalmologist. The AME specializes on aviation-related medical matters. The AME will approve or disapprove your application for a Medical Certificate for eligibility to become a pilot. If you pass all the medical requirements, then your only hindrance to becoming a pilot will be financial.

      Regarding financial difficulties, potential pilots must realize that there is no rush to finish your flight instruction. If you don’t have the money to complete your flight hours in the shortest possible time, then take your time! Save your allowance, or work part time, or sell something you no longer use, need or want, or ask an adult to take out a loan for you. If there’s a will, there’s a way. If you graduate and find a job before finishing your flight training, save your salary. If it takes you a few years to become a captain, so be it. It took me 30 years, but I am now a pilot. As I said, financial difficulties. I thought that dream had died, until I realized that I now had the money, the maturity, and the time to pursue my desire to become a pilot, so I went for it and grabbed the chance. Bucket list item checked off!

      Nothing should prevent you from becoming one of the awesome.

      Reply
      • Hi captain!

        I’m an 18 year old senior high school student who wants to become a pilot. I would just like to know if it is required to be a graduate from a “pre-course” (let’s say aero engineering) to be able to take BS Aviation Major in Flying? Or can I take BS Aviation Major in Flying right after senior high school?

        Reply
        • Dear Darryl,

          No pre-course is needed to become a pilot. As long as you are at least 16 years old, you can begin learning to become an aviator.

          If your ultimate goal is to apply for the airlines, then getting a BS Av Major in Flying can serve as hitting two birds with one stone, in that you get the needed 4-year degree AND become a pilot at the same time, minimizing the amount of time and expense required, since you’re still in senior high.

          However, to clarify, for those already in other courses and wishing to become pilots, any 4-year bachelor’s degree will do. You’ll just have to study flying either during weekends, semestral break, Christmas break or upon graduation. Learning to fly can be done on an individual basis, depending on your free time and clear weather availability.

          Reply
  7. Hi Captain!

    Licensed Mech Engg na ako and want to become a pilot. Kakatapos lang nung study now pay later ng Cebu Pac late ko na rin nalaman. Are there other options similar sa gantong program na pwede ko itry?

    Reply
    • Dear Bly,

      Apply in any nearby flight school! Better if you pay your own way to becoming a pilot so that as soon as you get your Commercial Pilot License, you can then apply for any entry-level pilot job. Don’t let the salary fool you; airline pilots are paid a lot because they carry a lot of responsibilities and duties. Other pilot jobs may not pay the high salary, but you also have a lot of free time to pursue other things, like time with your family.

      Reply
    • You know, a Ceb Pac captain once said that their cadet program is a scam.. maybe because of the 10yr contract with cadets to recover costs of training. As aspirant in my late 30s i applied from batch 1-8 and was rejected in my true information. To test the waters, batch 6 and 7, i applied using false information like 24 as my age, Ateneo as my school and 98-99-99 for my grades in math, physics and English respectively and i received a CALL from FTA.

      Now, can anyone here tell me about their opinion on how CEB/FTA conduct their screening process?

      Siguro much better if they are specific in the requirements right?

      I hope Air Asia Philippines will do their screening on a fair and transparent manner. How could they able to do such monkey survey to eliminate the applicants? that’s funny!

      Reply
      • I guess my gut feeling was right. They filter out “overaged” or “not so intelligent” aspirants LOL~
        Early 30s here, and also applied for the 5J FTA thing.

        Although I’m still waiting for the Air Asia guidelines, somehow I’m no longer hopeful for that one too.

        I guess I’ll just follow Capt. Enrique’s advice and fund my own Flying Lessons.
        Afterwards, apply to the local airlines without those legal mumbo jumbos if ever.
        The problem is no funds, so it may just be a pipe dream for me.

        Although yeah, I’m curious as to how the cadet program is a scam?

        Reply
        • Dear aviadorkly,

          I guess applicants are disappointed that the dream that was within reach has become just a dream again because they appear to be disqualified. But that is not the end, ladies and gentlemen. Funds a problem? Take out a loan, or work and save your salary, or sell something you own, like a kidney. Just kidding about the kidney.

          Don’t be pressured to finish your flight training in the shortest possible amount of time. So you’re no longer 25. How much time do you think you’ll need to recover the investment? 50 years? Don’t focus on the salary; look at the benefits. Living out your dream of flying an airplane is priceless. And if you enjoy your job, then you’ll never work a day in your life.

          Besides, according to the regulations, Student Pilots should be at least 16 years old, and the mandatory retirement age for pilots is 67, meaning after this birthday, your license reverts back to a Private Pilot License, able to fly but not paid to fly. Never give up your dream just because somebody else says you can’t.

          “Always with you what cannot be done. Hear you nothing that I say?…You must unlearn what you have learned…Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda

          Reply
      • Dear Marco (and everyone else who reads these comments, and shout out to babe Fehl D. for making this website),

        As a contributor to this site, I must warn everyone that I can only comment based on my personal experiences, anecdotes, fellow pilot stories, internet research and observations. If you find them informative, my job is done. If I made mistakes, then mea maxima culpa.

        The best piece of advice I could give those aspiring to become airline pilots is caveat emptor. Buyer beware. Read the fine print. If it seems to good to be true, it usually is. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it must be a duck. You get what you pay for, and always be wary of anything given for free, including advice!

        Now, Marco, you have to remember, if they do a monkey survey, they must be looking for monkeys, right? Just kidding. If Ceb Pac does things that way, it may be shrewd business practice, or they could be pushing an unfair disadvantage on an unsuspecting applicant. Either way, if you don’t like it, don’t buy it, right? There are always other options.

        Being an airline pilot is the Holy Grail for aviators since they command the highest salaries. What most people don’t realize is the responsibility and the hardships that these professionals face. Airline pilots have to do their best to get their passengers to their destinations safely and on time, ever mindful that weather, equipment failure, congested runways, and screaming passengers can cause costly delays. In any controlled-flight-into-terrain incident, the pilot is always blamed. It doesn’t matter if it was equipment failure, or an explosion destroyed the aircraft, or the weather, at the end of the day, it was the Captain’s fault. They have to blame somebody, and dead people can’t complain.

        That’s the responsibility, while the hardship is having an irregular work schedule, missing important family events such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, baptisms, burials, reunions, etc. because of work. You will learn to appreciate quality time since you have no quantity time. Vacations can be cut short since the other pilot fell ill and you’re the only other one available. If you fly international, it’s worse. You will never know what time it is. You’ll measure time by the length of the flight, and it will be boring. But then again, for pilots, boring flights are always better than an exciting flight.

        You can always live your dream of becoming a pilot without having to fly for the airlines. When you find a pilot job, then you can start earning money to get back your investment in learning to fly. Agricultural spray pilots may earn on average 500,000 pesos annually. It’s not as high an airline pilot’s salary which is on average 700,000 pesos a year. Is the salary difference worth it? Think it through. There are other pilot jobs available. And they all pay a good salary. Find the balance. Don’t limit your options. Patience you must have, my young padawan.

        Reply
    • Dear Rico,

      As long as you are not certified to be legally blind, you still have the opportunity to become a pilot.

      Actually, people in general will experience some vision loss upon reaching 40 years of age. It’s called presbyopia, and it will happen no matter what you do to avoid it. Part of aging. So airline pilots will require eyeglasses, contact lenses or corrective eye surgery long before they retire at 67.

      In your case, your Medical Certificate will probably read “Needs corrective lenses” which means you wear eyeglasses while flying. If you finally get to your training flights, I suggest getting eyeglasses that are photochromic or light-adaptive or variable tint, and non-polarized. You’ll be spending a lot of time in sunlight, and the light reflection from clouds or glare from the sea is intense, while polarized lenses will block your view of the glass cockpit’s instrument readings, which can become a dangerous situation. Aviator sunglasses are always non-polarized.

      Or, inquire about corrective eye surgery. It’s one eye, and eyeglasses are a hassle. My niece who works for Air Traffic Control had it done, on the defective eye, and she said it was worth it. Her vision is now 20/20 from 20/50. Something to consider.

      Reply
      • Hi Captain! I’m already 31 y/o and I’ve thought a lot about it and decided that becoming a pilot may be the profession for me and I’m really interested in attending a flight school. Is there any age limit in joining a flight training course? Also, is there a possibility of any school offering a scholarship program to help me with the tuition funds?

        Reply
        • Dear Jamie,

          There is no age limit for attending a flight school. I started flight school at the tender age of 47.

          However, according to the Civil Aviation Regulations, no pilot can serve as pilot-in-command or as co-pilot on a Philippine-registered civil aircraft engaged in international commercial air transport if that person has reached 65 years of age, nor may they serve as same on Philippine-registered civil aircraft engaged in domestic commercial air transport if that person has reached 67 years of age. However, you are still allowed to fly small aircraft for private use.

          As for flight scholarship programs, try inquiring with Airworks Aviation Academy. Or if that school isn’t available in your location, try searching online with Aviationfly, an aviation school search engine website.

          Or you could save as much of your salary as you can and fund your own flight training so you don’t owe anyone anything, and they can’t tell you that you’re just wasting your time and money.

          “Your wings already exist; all you have to do is fly.” – Unknown

          Reply
  8. Hi, I am an incoming college student planning to take up computer science. I plan on going to flight school after college but I have an autoimmune disease called SLE & psoriasis. My question is, will my illness hinder me from passing the physical examination to become a pilot?

    Reply
    • Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations

      Part 2 Personnel Licensing

      2.10.2 Medical Requirements

      2.10.2.1 Requirements for Medical Certificates

      2.10.2.1.1 General

      An applicant for a Medical Certificate issued in accordance with this Part, shall undergo a medical examination based on the following requirements:

      (a) physical and mental;
      (b) visual and color perception; and
      (c) hearing.

      2.10.2.1.2 Physical and Mental Requirements:

      An applicant for any class of Medical Assessment shall be required to be free from:

      (a) any abnormality, congenital or acquired; or
      (b) any active, latent, or chronic disability; or
      (c) any wound, injury or sequelae from operation; or
      (d) any effect or side-effect of any prescribed or non-prescribed therapeutic medication taken; such as would entail a degree of functional incapacity which is likely to interfere with the safe operation of the aircraft or with the safe performance of duties.

      Since I’m a dentist who is learning to fly, I cannot determine whether you are or are not qualified to become a pilot. However, I am of the belief that you won’t be allowed to fly since you have SLE. Pilots are advised to fly using fingers only on the controls, relying on tactile and visual feedback to maneuver the airplane safely. Can you guarantee that your condition will not affect your tactile sense? More to the point, will you risk your life, along with those of your passengers?

      Then again, maybe if you only get a Private Pilot License, and ALWAYS fly with a safety pilot beside you, MAYBE the CAAP will allow you to become a pilot! You have to talk this over with the Aviation Medical Examiner to be sure.

      There is a rule for everything, and there is always an exception to the rule.

      Reply
    • Dear JAA,

      Your condition is an immediate hindrance to your passing the medical exam. You might experience stiffness in your limbs, hindering manipulation of the flight controls.Sudden shortness of breath and chest pain when added to the the high-stress environment of landing might be dangerous. And pilots are exposed to sunlight A LOT! Your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight might be a factor to consider. And if you experience headaches, confusion and memory loss while in the cockpit, what then?

      However, all of these things are just my opinion based on the information I have. The final authority to clear your medical condition is the Aviation Medical Examiner of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines. Maybe if you only flew as a Private Pilot, with a safety pilot onboard, then you might be allowed to fly the aircraft.

      There’s a rule for everything, and there’s always an exception the to the rule.

      Reply
  9. Good day capt.
    I am an incoming college student and planning to take bsat major in flying. Will this course really help me pursue my dream to become a pilot? or take another non-aviation related courses and then pursue my dream to become a pilot? How about the expenses? Which is expensive to enroll in an aviation school or just go to normal school?

    Reply
    • Dear Marie,

      You don’t realize how difficult it is to answer your questions.

      Not because the answers are complicated; more of, does she have the aptitude and fortitude to pursue this dream in spite of all the hardships and challenges? And even if she does, is she medically qualified? Taking all that into consideration, here’s the answer tailored specifically to your situation:

      Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

      It is not a requirement that pilots take up aviation-related courses. Learning to fly is simply that, learning to fly, in much the same way as learning to drive a car. You don’t need a college degree in flying to do it; you just do it.

      The Ground Lessons are fairly simple, straightforward, and absolutely difficult to comprehend completely since you haven’t started flying yet. Once those lessons are done and you’ve passed the exams for each subject, you’ll be checked out by the Aviation Medical Examiner for your Student Pilot License and Class 2 Medical Certificate. When those two cards arrive you begin Flight Lessons. It will be exciting and equally terrifying when you begin flying. And when you get comfortable enough handling the flight controls with your Flight Instructor seated beside you, you’ll be given your Pre-Solo Exam and you’ll be scheduled for your Solo Flight, with the FI just waiting on the runway as you do one take-off and landing all by yourself.

      All this can be easily achieved in a few weeks or a few years, depending on your budget and time and the weather.

      Whereas, if you took up some aviation-related course and later found out you are not medically qualified to fly airplanes, what then? Crash and burn.

      Get a college degree in a course which you feel you might be competent in, and take up flying during semester breaks or vacation periods. It’s not going to go anywhere; aviation will still be there when you graduate from college, and if you wish to become an airline pilot, a job will be waiting for you, since airline travel is here to stay, with supply unable to keep up with demand. And if you are medically disqualified, then you continue in the degree you’ve chosen.

      Everything is expensive if you look at it from a point of negativity, but neither is it a good idea to be haphazard with your finances! Choose carefully, and pursue the dream. I became a dentist because I couldn’t afford flight school back then. I have the money now, ergo I am learning to fly.

      “If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing.” – Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel, French fashion designer and businesswoman

      Reply
  10. Good day Captains!

    Becoming a plane pilot is one of my dreams that I need to pursue. Im now 22 years old, with a Business Degree and now planning to go and take Aeronautics Engineering. We didn’t really have enough resources back then. I can now work on my finances to support my dreams. Can you give me an advise, what course do I need to take and what school? I prefer somewhere in Cavite and Pasay area. I would love to communicate with you via email. Thank you

    Reply
    • Dear Aljason,

      First we have to define what you mean by “plane pilot.” Do you wish to fly as a hobby, enjoying the view and having breakfast in one island then flying home for dinner? Or do you wish to get paid to fly passengers and cargo? Is your aim the highest civilian pilot license? You now have a Business Degree, so you are qualified for the Airline Transport Pilot License.

      Ok, straight advice: No need to take up another course. Go directly to the flight school in your preferred area and ask for details as to charges and availability of instructors and aircraft. What is going to be really expensive is gaining the needed flight hours for each license upgrade. But take heart, there is no time limit to getting a license, but it’s a hassle getting the Medical Certificate renewed.

      Anyway, here’s the email address: fernandodentalclinic@yahoo.com, because, as Master Yoda said, “Always pass on what you have learned.”

      Reply
    • Dear Jameson,

      Corrective lenses are allowed. All pilots have to be healthy both physically and mentally, not drug addicts, and not convicted of crimes. Seems easy enough, right?

      Reply
  11. Hello Captain!

    I am currently an upcoming Grade 12 student and applying to enter colleges. As I like anything about computers and technology, that makes me want to take a BS in IT or Computer Science.

    I want to ask if It is required and preferred to have an aviation-related course in becoming a pilot? Also can I attend a flight school simultaneously as I am studying grade 12 or is it preferable that I do it after college?

    Reply
    • Dear Alex,

      If your ultimate goal is to become an airline pilot, remember that the airline companies require their applicants to be college graduates of any (minimum) 4-year course. Aviation-related courses are not special nor required.

      And you can attend flight school simultaneously with Grade 12 or college. You can attend Ground School during weekends and fly during weekends also. There is no rush to finish, just limitations due to funding. And if you start flying, my suggestion is do it during semester breaks or summer, because you might encounter a very prominent fact of a pilot’s life called Remain Over Night, which means you cannot return to your home airport because the weather just closed the runway to Visual Flight Rule aircraft.

      Reply
  12. Good day captain, how much will be the cost of my whole training in a flight school? Is there any fly now pay later here in the Philippines? Can you please recommend some thing that has a less cost?

    Reply
    • Dear snah,

      It depends on what you mean by “whole training,” as different licenses require different flight hours. The accumulation of flight hours for each license is where the bulk of the cost will be.

      You see, to go from a Student Pilot License to a Private Pilot License you need at least 40 flight hours. From PPL to Commercial Pilot License, it’s 200 hours. From CPL to Airline Transport Pilot License, the requirement is 1,500 flight hours.

      As soon as you get a CPL, you are now legally allowed to receive compensation for flying people and/or cargo around, so you can start recovering your investment.

      Flight hours are anywhere around 8,000 to 12,000 pesos per hour, depending on type of airplane. And unfortunately, the flight hours are not cumulative, meaning when you get a new license, you start at zero flight hours for the next license. Ergo, if you met only the minimum requirement for each license, you would have flown a total of 1, 740 flight hours.

      Cebu Pacific has a Cadet Pilot Program where you get hired by the company and sign a 10-year contract with them, so that you eventually pay off your flight training costs.

      It doesn’t come any cheaper. The cost of airplanes and aviation fuel is basically the same all over the country, so flight hours cost about the same for all flight schools. You just have to save money and fly when you have the funds and the weather is clear. There is no rush to become a pilot anyway.

      “Focus on the journey, not arriving at a certain destination.” – Chris Hadfield, retired austronaut, engineer, RCAF fighter pilot, musician

      Reply
  13. Hi Captain! Right now, I am about to graduate Grade 12 and enter college. I’m planning to take either Aeronautical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering because I simply love machines and tech. Then after I graduate with that, I will proceed to take flight school training to become an airline pilot, which was always my dream.

    I wanted to ask you, will it be easier for me in flight school after all of my experiences in the Engineering course? Like, will things be easier for me to understand and familiarize considering I graduated from Engineering?

    Reply
    • Dear Renz,

      How are things there in Iloilo? I guess you really are good in Math, hence the choice to take up Engineering courses.

      If you take up an Engineering course prior to becoming a pilot, it would be like becoming an auto mechanic before learning how to drive a car. It helps but it’s not the whole process. Some areas will be easier to understand while other areas will not be related to Engineering, such as the weather, and radio communications.

      An Engineering course will aid in understanding the airplane’s characteristics in flight and the function of the cockpit instruments, among other things, but that doesn’t mean it will be difficult for those who took up other courses. Take me, for example. I’m a dentist, nothing in my college courses remotely related to flight, but I am also a pilot! It’s easy enough when you slow down to absorb everything the instructors teach you.

      The main reason the airlines requires their applicants to be baccalaureate holders is it’s a sure sign of maturity and perseverance, since the person underwent four years of hardship to attain the degree, ergo you won’t quit your pilot job after the airlines spent a lot in training you to join their fleet.

      Reply
      • Thank you so much for all of that info!

        And things are doing really well here. Ever since I last asked you, I was able to visit several aviation schools both here in Visayas and in Manila. Then after some careful decision making, I’ve chosen Manila, because I think the facilities and quality might be better and for some other personal reasons as well.

        And well, ever since last time, I’ve managed to get slightly better in Math and will hopefully continue to do so. Either way, I will push through it!

        (And plus, I get grossed out by blood and innards, so the medical field is a no go for me)

        Also, if I may ask, it’s pretty unrelated but do you have any tips for someone who is moving to Manila alone to study?

        Reply
        • Dear Renz,

          Sorry for the late reply, just saw this today.

          Tips:

          Don’t eat in carenderias. It’s cheaper in fast-food chains.

          Don’t walk with your head down. Look at people’s eyes. Pickpockets and other bad guys look for targets who always look at their feet when walking.

          Wear tight jeans. Wallets are more difficult to grab if your pants are tight.

          Don’t text while driving. Manila traffic requires 360 degree vigilance. Period.

          Don’t text while walking. Snatchers are still around.

          Don’t wear jewelry. See above.

          Grab and Uber are slightly safer than taxis unless you know the route you need to take. And whenever you ride a passenger utility car, pretend to call someone and let the driver hear you telling that nonexistent person that you have given the vehicle’s license plate and that you’re heading there already.

          Pray for safety before leaving your residence.

          Always wear sunblock.

          Good luck!

          Reply
  14. *Dear Ms. Fehl, I have accidentally posted the comment below as a reply to a very old enquiry in this thread. Please allow me to repost so Capt. Enrique can easily see it. Thank you.*

    Hello Capt. Enrique,

    I wasn’t able to finish college, as I really needed to start working (I accomplished up to 2nd year as an engineering student). Years have passed; I am now 31 with a family of my own and was able to grow in my career. With my current professional standing, I believe I can support pilot training with help from family and friends. This is my dream ever since I was young.

    The goal is to become an airline pilot, but my concern is this: will it eventually become impossible for me to work for an airline because I didn’t get to finish my 4-year college course? Is the only option to go back to school first before I do my pilot training? I have tried to do it once when I was in mid-20s, and I have passed CAAP’s medical exam. I got started with ground school, but as hard as I’ve tried back then, my career wasn’t rewarding enough to support training all the way to become a private pilot. What I did then was to focus on my work for promotions and higher pay.

    Now that I have a real shot to fund pilot training, I am concerned if I should postpone it again and just go get a degree first. With a family to support, I cannot go to school full-time. This means it will take multiple years again to finish my course, and I may need to start as a freshman again because of curriculum changes.

    Will I still have a chance to work for an airline if I become a cargo or corporate pilot and accrue enough experience and flight time, get an airline transport license, and apply? I have done extensive research, and even for pilots in other countries, the general consensus seems to be that flying experience counts the most. But then again, if I go straight to training, I’m afraid that maybe airline companies will not take me in later on because I’m not a degree holder, even if I have an ATP license and sufficient flight hours.

    Your input about this situation would be greatly appreciated, Captain. Apologies for the lengthy post. I just needed to provide context. Thanks and have a great day.

    Reply
    • Dear AL,

      Ah! Now everything is much clearer as context has been provided. So, let’s break it down.

      Question 1: Will be impossible for you to become an airline pilot without a college degree? No, but there will be hundreds of baccalaureate holders applying for limited positions.

      Question 2: Will flight experience be enough without a college degree? Yes, but there will be hundreds of baccalaureate…. Get the point?

      Sorry to play devil’s advocate, but we have to face reality, boys and girls. Even applicants with the best qualifications are competing with other applicants, and airline companies can take the pick of the litter. Experience matters most, but those who meet ALL the requirements AND have experience are also vying for the same position.

      Does that mean you give up your dream of becoming a pilot? Only if you’re negative and defeatist. Can you still pursue a 4-year degree while learning to fly? Absolutely! Mandatory retirement age for airline pilots is 67. And airline companies are willing to accept pilots with CPL plus the Instrument Rating, Multi-Engine Rating and at least 200 hours flight time, as First Officers.

      If you can manage to earn a degree while gaining flight hours while raising a family, go for it!

      As Henry Ford said, “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

      p.s. Let me remind everyone of the reality of being an airline pilot. What is your reason for wanting to be one? If it’s monetary, I assure you, you will earn every penny of that salary, because it’s not an easy profession. If you’re single, it would be easier, since you’ll be spending days away from family. Try not to have any vacation plans, because vacations can be cut short because the airline can call you up at any time in case they need a replacement pilot. Airline pilots don’t really have a steady flight schedule, meaning you can be working for two days straight, then a break of a day or two, and then another day of flying, then another rest day, and…..etc. You will miss birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc. because of your job. You will spend hours staring at an instrument panel and nothing else. You can’t read a book or play with your mobile device because distractions are dangerous as lives of hundreds of people are literally in your hands. You’d have to be ready to handle emergencies, as human error causes lots of airplane incidents, whether pilot error, mechanic error, or someone else’s error. Health is also a major consideration so you cannot afford to be sedentary. Exercise and healthy living is a major requirement. You’ll need a Class 1 Medical Certificate as an airline pilot, and the medical standard for that is stringent!

      Like the joke goes, “My grandfather was a great pilot, and I want to die like he did, peacefully in his sleep, and not screaming like his passengers.”

      p.s. to p.s. Does that mean you give up becoming a pilot? NO! Airline pilots are the highest paid, but that isn’t the only pilot job available. When you get a Commercial Pilot License, you can get paid to fly as a corporate pilot, cargo plane pilot, agricultural spray pilot, sightseeing tour pilot, flight instructor, etc. The pay isn’t as high, but the balance also is the time for your family. My friend who flies for Cebu Pacific says that is what he misses most. Weigh everything carefully.

      Addendum: A Private Pilot License requires at least 40 flight hours, and a Commercial Pilot License needs a minimum of 200 flight hours, while the Airline Transport Pilot License has a requirement of 1,500 flight hours. This is not cumulative, which means to reach the ATPL, you must have logged at least 1,740 flight hours. Flight time costs anywhere from 8,000 to 12,000 pesos. 1,740 x 8,000 = 13,920,000 pesos, while 240 x 8,000 = 1,920,000. This is one of the reasons pilots take a long time to accumulate flight time, aside from bad weather, of course.

      Reply
      • Great insights, Cap. I am truly blessed because my family supports me all the way, and they are ready to make sacrifices as much as I am. As for being a pilot, this is really a matter of chasing a lifelong dream and living it. I have always imagined myself as either a pilot or an astronaut. And realistically speaking, the latter will likely remain a pipe dream [ for now 😉 ]. Life doesn’t always go the way you want it to, so I wasn’t able to do pilot training at a younger age. But now here I am, and the goal of taking to the skies has become less blurry.

        I’d also like to share with you a quote that I love:

        “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” – Maya Angelou

        Here’s to getting our own wings!

        Reply
        • Dear AL,

          After your Flight Instructor notices that you are comfortable with flying the aircraft, you will be given a pre-solo-flight written exam which you will promptly pass, because you were listening carefully to the lectures given during your flights instead of looking outside the window at the view, right?

          Don’t worry, you’ll pass. After that, you’ll be scheduled for your solo flight. You’ll be required to do a take off, fly a traffic pattern around the runway, and land, all by yourself since your FI will be on the ground, listening to you as you talk with the Air Traffic Controller in the tower. And when you’re not looking, your FI will be kneeling on the runway, praying that the student pilot will be able to land safely. The student pilot will be excited and terrified beyond belief, but you know you can do it, so you do it. And when you land, you’ll be strutting like a peacock since you achieved something not many people are capable of doing: Flying an airplane!

          All pilots get their wings after their graduation, which is the solo flight. Go get yours and let’s fly in formation!

          “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

          Reply
      • Hi Capt. I’m a College student right now and i want to ask if is it possible to become an Airline Pilot even I took a BSTM (Tourism Management) course in college? How can i become an airline pilot after 4 years in BSTM?

        Reply
        • Dear Ry,

          Enroll in a flight school!

          Airline companies require their pilot-applicants to have a degree from ANY 4-YEAR COURSE. Of course, you’d still need an Airline Transport Pilot License with a Multi-Engine Rating, an Instrument Rating, a Class 1 Medical Certificate, etc.

          Or achieve a Commercial Pilot License with Multi-Engine Rating, Instrument Rating, Class 1 Medical Certificate, etc. and apply with the airlines as a First Officer.

          Steps to becoming an airline pilot:
          1. Enroll in flight school.
          2. Get Student Pilot License.
          3. Fly.
          4. Get Private Pilot License.
          5. Fly.
          6. Get Commercial Pilot License.
          7. Fly or apply at airline company.
          8. Get Airline Transport License.
          9. Apply at airline company.
          10. Save salary to recover cost of flying prior to employment.

          The advantage of having a college degree is just in case you won’t make it as a pilot, then you apply for a job in your course.

          I must warn everyone reading that wanting to become an airline pilot should not be about the money. Realize that you have a responsibility to your passengers and also to the company that took a chance on you. And you’ll be sacrificing a lot! It’s tedious sitting in a cockpit staring at clouds for long periods, your social life will remain online since you’ll either be too tired or have to get up early again the next day, birthdays and anniversaries and other family events will be missed because you were ten kilometers or so in the air, or stuck in a hotel room unable to fly home in time because of bad weather, and all other difficulties which accompany the airline pilot’s job, hence the high salary.

          Hard work bears good fruit.

          Reply
      • Capt! Thank you for such valuable insights. I’m a degree holder. Major in marketing management.. And now i really want to proceed in becoming a pilot. I understand the risks and the costs.

        1st question..

        Can i immediately take the hourly flight sessions when i have the funds? Or do i really
        have to undergo another 2 to 4 year course related to aviation?

        2nd question.

        Would there be lesser chance of hiring a business graduate like me compared to other aviation graduates? Because then i might be wasting millions of flight training cost.

        3rd question.

        When i am holding already a CPL and when i get hired in an airline company, what position would i be holding? Do I instatnly become 1st officer?

        Really hoping you would notice my message and give some favourable insights capt!

        Thanks..

        Ramil ibanez
        Davao

        Reply
        • Dear Ramil,

          1st answer.

          No, you may not immediately take the hourly flight instruction when you have the funds. You must first undergo Ground School, where the basics of aviation will be taught to student pilots and the knowledge imparted will be measured in exams, just like in regular school. And no, you do NOT need to undergo a 2 or 4 year aviation-related course, as you are already a degree holder. My Ground Instruction took about two months, with two-hour sessions every other day, since I was also working as a dentist. That’s how short it can be.

          2nd answer.

          A business graduate has as good a chance as an aviation graduate, or an engineering graduate or a nursing graduate or a flight attendant! The airlines prefer individuals who are driven, intuitive, relatively fearless, and compassionate. Of course you will be competing with other applicants, as with any other job, and the best rise to the top. If you don’t make it to the airlines, other pilot jobs are available! Millions not wasted.

          3rd answer.

          Holding a Commercial Pilot License means that you can now get paid as a pilot, earning or charging fees for flying. If accepted by the airlines, your rank is either Second Officer (in cabins with three people) or First Officer, or the lowest man on the totem pole, the slave, the new guy, the greenie, the kid, the neophyte, the initiate, the plebe, the guy with the most work and the least pay. That’s life as an employee. As time goes by and others retire, you move up and get to beat up the new hire. Figuratively speaking, of course. Pilots are professionals.

          Since you’re in Davao, might I suggest Mactan Aviation Technology Center Inc.? It’s where I got my pilot training. They’re not expensive, and the instructors are chill.

          Reply
  15. Addemdum: Hmm. I think there is another way, Capt. I can do the pilot training now, all the way to CPL. And then while working and accummulating flight hours for the ATPL, I can take college classes at the side and finish my degree at the same time. Perseverance is the key.

    Reply
    • Correct!

      Actually, the minimum age for a Student Pilot License is 16 years old, while applicants for Private Pilot Licenses have to be at least 17, and Commercial Pilot License applicants are 18 years of age, whereas the Airline Transport Pilot License requires the pilot to be at least 21.

      Meaning, if you have the money, you can start learning to fly at the same time you enter senior high.

      Ground Lessons (where the theory of flight and its attendant topics are discussed by your Ground Instructor) can be conducted in a classroom setup or one-on-one instruction, usually in two-hour sessions. After all topics have been covered, the student applies for the Student Pilot License from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines. The flight school usually assists with the paperwork and other incidentals, and the student has to gather the needed documentary requirements and medical exam results prior to a physical exam conducted by the Aviation Medical Examiner. After processing by the CAAP, the Student Pilot License and Class 2 Medical Certificate arrives, and the student then coordinates with the school regarding his/her schedule for Flight Instruction (the really fun part) and meeting your Flight Instructor to schedule your Orientation Flight, and you are on your way!

      All of these can be done on weekends or during summer/semester breaks.

      If you don’t have the money yet, get a job, save your salary and then all these can be done on your days off! Flight schools can also do Sunday or holiday sessions, depending on your schedule.

      “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

      Reply
      • Much appreciated, Cap. This is really helpful. And I must say, I never imagined that such a short sentence with seven words can be so powerful. Thanks for sharing that quote from Teddy. Just added it to my phone’s wallpaper so I can be reminded everyday. Cheers!

        Reply
        • I’m a pilot. To save time, let’s just assume I’m never wrong.

          Funny aviation quote. When you join the ranks of the awesome, you’ll hear a lot of stuff like this. Have a great day!

          Reply
  16. Hi! I really wanted to be a pilot, I am a high school student right now, and a year ago or two when i started loving to become a pilot. I want to experience the feeling of flying in the sky, the happiness of manipulating the controllers. But then, there’s a lot of articles (and amm one of my teachers too) told me that its expensive, and we definitely cant afford it. I really want to be a pilot so bad, but Im also scared at the same time if I can really do it. And really feel like crying thinking that I might not achieve this dream. Im so confuse about pursuing this or not… But if I’ll pursue this how? what school? what about the expenses? Can someone help me to think about this stuffs?

    Reply
    • Dear Denka,

      You’ve come to the right place to ask those questions. Kudos to simple babe Fehl D. for making this site!

      If you only think of the negative, you’ll never get to your destination. There will always be another barrier, another obstacle, another hindrance in your way. You can choose to be part of the problem or part of the solution.

      They say learning to fly costs a lot. So does learning to become a doctor, or a nurse, or an engineer, or an architect, etc. Maybe you want to fly as a hobby or a passion and others will tell you it’s an expensive hobby! Some people do gardening, collect stamps, do photography, go mountain biking, buy cars, etc.

      Everything is expensive for those who are not interested in your passion, but achievable for those who desire it.

      As a high school student, you have an allowance. My suggestion is to make a list of all your expenses, no matter how small, and keep a daily record. After a week or a month, add everything up and see how much money you’ve spent. Find what expense you can do without, and save your allowance. During summer, find a summer job in a fast-food store and save your salary. When you have enough, then you can start learning to fly airplanes.

      Here’s a quote from Charles Augustus Lindbergh: “Sometimes flying feels to godlike to be attained by man. Sometimes, the world from above seems too beautiful, too wonderful, too distant for human eyes to see.”

      And another: “Success is not measured by what a man accomplishes, but by the opposition he has encountered and the courage with which he has maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.”

      Reply
    • Dear Therese,

      Try checking with the Philippine State College of Aeronautics if they offer a full scholarship. But even if you have to pay for your flight education, it’s worth it.

      The task seems insurmountable only if all you do is stare at the problem.

      Reply
  17. Hi Captain,

    How do you see the future of flying? We now have self-driving cars, do you think there will still be pilots after 20 years?

    I have a 3-year old child and it would be great if he can fulfill my childhood dream of becoming a pilot.

    Joseph

    Reply
    • Dear Joseph,

      Yes, we do have self-driving cars since 2013. And since March 2018 to April 2019, we’ve had two pedestrian- and four driver-fatalities from self-driven car accidents. I do believe that the future of aviation will always have a human at the controls.

      I am certain your child can fulfill his dreams, as I am certain you can fulfill your dream of becoming a pilot. It’s too late only when we are dead.

      My rich friend became a pilot when we were still in Grade 6, back before K-12 was even being considered. He’d invite me to go flying with him, and it scared me to get inside an aircraft with room smaller than a toilet stall. It was made of aluminum tubing and canvass for the sides and wings. Pilot sat in front and passenger sat directly behind. Being used to flying in airliners, I thought that was the ultimate level of stupidity, so I politely declined. Years later I asked him how much it cost to get a private pilot’s license and back then it cost about 2 million pesos.

      Fast forward to the present, I’m a 50 year old dentist, he’s now flying international for Cebu Pacific, and I finally have enough money to pursue the idea of becoming awesome. The plane I fly is no bigger than that first one years ago, the skin is now aluminum, but not much has changed except I now realize I should have shut up and taken him up on that invitation years ago.

      Flying a small plane is infinitely better than an airliner, personally speaking. But then again, it’s not my job, but the fulfillment of a dream. I strongly encourage everyone to make their dreams come true. Not everyone will be able to realize their desires, but the journey will have been worth it!

      Reply
  18. Dear Captain,

    What are your thoughts about WCC’s bachelor in science in aviation major in commercial flying the price is 2.9M for the 4 year course that includes CPL, PPL, IR, MER.

    Reply
    • Dear JohnMichael,

      WCC Aviation Company is currently registered as an active flight school, and has a reputation to uphold.

      2,900,000 pesos for the Commercial Pilot License with Multi-Engine and Instrument Rating Training Program which includes the PPL/CPL/IR/ME courses, simulator training and actual flight hours, with dormitory stay, uniform, the wings and epaulettes, pilot’s hat, reflectorized vest, aviation headset, Medical Certificates 2 and 1, CAAP Licensing and Exam fees, NBI Clearance, NTC Radio Telephony Exam, English Language Proficiency Exam, Checkride Fees, Admin Fees, Study Materials, Student Insurance, Internet Card? And it takes four years! That takes care of the airline requirement for a baccalaureate degree.

      That amount seems very reasonable, considering. It might even be a bargain deal! Different schools, different styles. But the end result is the same: becoming a professional pilot.

      Yes, learning to fly is expensive, aside from being terrifying at times. Can’t become one of the awesome if this was easy. And thanks for the information. At least this answers the question of Sikretong Malupet as to the cost.

      However, playing devil’s advocate here, I suggest that you get it in writing, and preferably notarized by a lawyer. In effect, that this amount covers all of those items. Caveat emptor.

      Reply
    • Dear JohnMichael,

      Addendum: Flight schools can only assist a student pilot in getting a license, but only the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines issues Medical Certificates and Pilot Licenses, after passing examinations with that government agency.

      Reply
      • so are you saying na if i finish bs aviation major in commercial flying, i can take the test for ppl and cpl so that i can get my license?

        Reply
        • Dear Malupet,

          Yes.

          Taking up BS Aviation, Major in Commercial Flying, which is a 4-year course, means your documentary requirement for an airline job is now covered.

          I just don’t know if you can take the exams for PPL and CPL at the same time, since all the pilots I’ve met so far went to flight school after graduating college, taking up other courses before deciding on becoming a pilot, ergo they took the PPL exams, then flew a few hours, often becoming Flight Instructors to gain the needed flight time while earning, and then took the CPL exam.

          Just ask the admin of the flight school if that’s how it’s going to happen, since they’d have the pertinent info regarding that particular situation.

          Reply
  19. if I finish BS Aviation Major in Commercial Flying in WCC, will i receive a private pilot license and commercial pilot license? Also, how much does the course cost yearly?

    Reply
    • Dear Malupet,

      If you finish BS Aviation, Major in Commercial Flying with WCC Aviation Company, you will not receive a Private Pilot License nor a Commercial Pilot License. You will most likely receive a certificate that says you have completed the required Ground Instruction and requisite number of Flight Hours to be eligible for the Civil Aviation Authority’s Private Pilot License Exam. After you pass the exam and get your PPL, you can enroll again and take up the Commercial Pilot Course and fly the required number of hours, AND THEN take another exam for your Commercial Pilot License.

      As to the cost, you’ll have to ask them yourself. Different flying schools have different course rates. Some schools offer separate Ground Lesson courses from Flight Lesson courses, while others offer a complete package from start to finish, which could also include assistance in getting your PPL. You have to ask around, and find which suits you best. Weigh the cost-to-benefit ratio if it’s feasible.

      Reply
      • Sir, you’ll recieve CPL, PPL, SPL, and four ratings for 2.9M in WWC’S BS Aviation major in commercial flying, is it worth it? And you’ll have 16 hours of A320 sim training. Hoping for a reply because i’m deciding for my course to take in college

        Reply
        • Dear JohnMichael,

          According to my computation, that amount is similar to what I would spend if I were to pursue the same licenses and ratings. Plus, you get all those other incidentals such as the uniforms, the hat, the dorm stay, etc. Plus the A320 sim training is invaluable.

          Simply put, it’s worth it. It’s a large initial cash outlay, but the return on investment is reasonable. Assuming your aim is the airlines, the tuition fee can be recovered later. Go for it if you can afford it! Good luck, and hope to fly with you someday.

          Reply
      • Dear Captain,
        I want to be a commercial pilot.
        Pls help me😉
        If you have an idea about the examination given by Cebu Pacific for their Cadet Pilot’s Program.
        I’ll be taking the exam next month and I want to prepare for it.
        Thank you so much.

        Reply
        • Dear Marj,

          That exam is a pre-screening exam, so it’s similar to the aptitude tests we all take prior to entering school, even kindergarten. Qualified applicants have to be Filipino citizens proficient in English and hold a college/university degree. If you’ve entered college, this is no different from the college entrance exam you took years ago.

          Additional tips: Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day, take your vitamins, eat your vegetables, sleep with no distractions (noise, lights, electronic devices, etc.), eat lean meat and fish, exercise regularly, and relax! This is a simple exam similar to dozens you’ve taken before and most likely easier than a few you experienced in school. You can do this if you believe in yourself. Good luck!

          Reply
  20. Good Day Captain! I decided to take up dentistry first before pursuing Aviation, thanks to your advice it cleared up my mind on what path should I take first, It really helped me a lot. I am now a freshman dentistry student in University of the East. Dentistry seems to interest me also since I love studying any scope of sciences than solving mathematical problems. Being a dentist, can you give any advices or tips on being a freshman student of dentistry?

    Reply
    • Dear Trisha,

      So, you decided on the Grab/Uber option of getting to your destination! Kinda expensive, but it’s worth it, believe me.

      Tips for freshmen? This applies to all freshmen reading this blog, no matter what course you’re currently taking up and even beyond, to the time you’ll be learning to fly an airplane, so stop reading by closing your mouths and listen carefully to what I’m writing down. 😉

      As a newbie, you’ll find that everything is overwhelming and seems insurmountable! That’s normal; it’s new, it’s complicated, and it’s designed to weed out those who are unable to continue to graduation. Be it Dentistry, Accounting, Medicine, Engineering, Biology, Commerce, Computer Science, Astrophysics, or Aviation.

      So you just have to accept that fact and try to comprehend the immense volume of new information that is being imparted to you by your professors, teachers, instructors, mentors, and experienced people.

      There will be times wherein the pressure would seem to be extremely difficult to manage, and you’d feel like surrendering is the easier option. Failure is not an option. If you give up when life gives you a hard time, you’ll never get to your destination.

      Patience, perseverance, dedication to duty and professionalism are necessary traits in any endeavour. Remember, other people have passed your way and also found the same difficulties you are going through, but they held on to the end and accomplished the task and defeated the obstacles placed before them. Do you really think they were better than you? I don’t think so. All men are created equal. It’s surpassing the challenges that determine greatness or mediocrity.

      Reply
  21. Hello captain,
    Does the Commercial airlines required height? If i apply because my concern is my height is only 4’11 is this qualified if i apply work as pilot in the future???

    Thanks for answer

    Reply
    • Dear Dindin,

      Yes, there is a height requirement for Airline pilots but there is no height requirement for pilots. it’s more an issue of reach, i.e. can you see out the cockpit window, can your feet step on the brakes, etc.

      But due to the scarcity of new pilots and increasing flight volume, the height requirement seems to be bent as long as the pilot-applicant can actually reach all the buttons, levers, switches, knobs, and most importantly, the pedals.

      If you can get inside an airline flight simulator, have a go and see. If you can reach everything, then by all means, pursue an aviation career and be one of the awesome!

      Reply
      • Thank you! Your comment was very insightful. Im 5’0 and i badly want to become a pilot. I tried the flight sim of aag to which i think im fine to.reach the controls but i have to tiptoe for a full rudder deflection. I really dont know if this is enough for me to land a job in an airline due to my height.

        Reply
        • Dear Apaul,

          So wear platform shoes! Just kidding, of course.

          Did you move the seat to its full forward position? I can’t believe that automobile seats are better than cockpit seats, since most cockpit seats are fully adjustable in the XYZ axes. Granted, I’m a tall guy, and I have to push back on the seat so my knees don’t hit me in the face. But I am just flying a Cessna and not a Boeing nor Airbus product. Cessna seats are similar to car seats in that they move forward and backward only, and recline very minimally.

          And besides, with the rapidly expanding airport network in our country, the need for more pilots is becoming more evident, and height requirements might be disregarded completely. Remember, it’s easier to push on the seat than to pull it forward, even in a car. Maybe you should try the simulator again, and this time, ask. Don’t be embarrassed to ask questions, or for help. You’ll be surprised to find out that pilots are a very nice, cool, down-to-earth bunch of awesome people, always willing to assist. Have a pilot push on the seat so you can see if you still need to tiptoe for full-rudder deflection. He/she will be glad to check.

          If at first you don’t succeed, find another way!

          Reply
          • I would wear those shoes if I have to Lol 🙂 thanks, Capt.!

            The flight sim of AAG that I tried is A320 full flight sim and mechanically adjustable (XYZ). I just dont know if the dimensions are very similar with the real A320. Seat was full forward and full upward position and I could reach the top controls but still the rudder pedals is the problem since i have to tiptoe. Regarding on the cessna planes I just dont know if could reach the pedals or controls considering the adjustment limitations. Maybe I could use a cushion pillow ;).

            Thanks a lot Capt. now Ive been wanting even more to pursue my dream.

    • Dear Chai,

      It’s only too late if you’re dead and gone on to heaven.

      Do you desire to be a pilot to fulfill a childhood dream or as a change in careers? If you plan to fly for the airlines, you’ll have to consider carefully the cost and time involved in getting the needed flight hours to apply for an entry-level airline job, and the return-on-investment equation. Airline pilots’ mandatory retirement age is 67. Do you think you have enough time to recover the amount you’ll spend getting at least a Commercial Pilot License?

      Of course if that is not really the main consideration for becoming a pilot, i.e., your wish to become a pilot is fueled by the desire to become one of the awesome, then by all means, go for it!

      Never let age or negative comments or detractors tell you that you’re too old. Age is just a number, and if you are mentally, emotionally and physically fit, then you can do anything if you put your mind to it!

      “Aviation is proof that given the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.”

      – Quote by Edward Vernon Rickenbacker (October 8, 1890 – July 23, 1973), World War 1 fighter ace pilot, Medal of Honor recipient, race car driver, automotive designer, government consultant on military matters and pioneer in air transportation.

      Reply
  22. Good day Captain!

    I’m 17 years old and will be taking my college entrance exams this year. My plan was to take up BS Computer Science but lately I’ve been thinking of wanting to be a pilot. I read that you can take up any 4 year course, but is it cheaper if I take something related to flying? Like Air Transportation?

    Also, how do you get flight hours? And is it different flying a smaller plane from the bigger ones like in airlines?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Dear Sarah,

      Congratulations on wanting to become one of the awesome! (I’m talking about pilots, not computer geeks. No offense to the geeks.)

      It’s not cheaper to take up an aviation-related course because you’re either a pilot or not. An Air Transportation makes you eligible for further training as a pilot, or you can start working as an airport manager, or a flight attendant, or ground crew/ticket counter staff, etc.

      Learning to fly is expensive because of the flight hours’ charges. It varies from type of aircraft, and a two-seater airplane is cheaper to rent than a four-seater. But the minimum number of flight hours needed for a particular license is fixed by the government, so that requirement has to be met whichever type of airplane you train in.

      Flight hours are recorded in your pilot’s logbook, and begins from the time you start the aircraft’s engine to the time you shut it down and remove the key. You can find pilot logbooks in National Bookstore if you wish to see what they look like. As a student pilot your logbook will be countersigned by your flight instructor to prove you actually flew.

      Flying a smaller plane is no different from flying the big ones, in that the basics are the same. Sure, the big ones are a lot more complicated, and have a gazillion more buttons and switches and levers and displays and lighted panels and L.E.D. screens, but the basic elements are the same. You still have a throttle, a control yoke, rudder pedals, wings, engine(s), ailerons, flaps, rudder, tail, landing gear, navigational lights, rotating beacons, landing lights, etc. The main difference is in a small plane the lavatory is on the ground.

      Reply
  23. Are we guaranteed to have a job after finishing the course and ppl and cpl? And if we met the requirements? Also sir does the flight school you go to affects the probability of getting hired as a com pilot in an airline?

    Reply
    • Dear Kyle,

      There are no guarantees in life aside from death and taxes.

      First things first. Get a pilot license. It’s a process with no shortcuts because it teaches you discipline and perseverance. While getting a Commercial Pilot License you can also finish a college degree, and vice versa. Having a CPL means you get paid to fly passengers and/or cargo, while the Private Pilot License means you don’t get paid.

      The flight school you learned from DOES NOT MATTER to the airline companies. A pilot is a pilot is a pilot. As long as you have the necessary licenses, certificates, ratings and qualifications, you’re a possible hire.

      Can you get a job if you have finished the course and gotten the licenses and are qualified? Absolutely. Will you get the job you want in the company you applied with? Only if you’re the only applicant. Remember, you’ll be competing with others who have the same dreams and same or better qualifications. But as my late father-in-law used to say, “There’s always room for the good.”

      Reply
  24. Do I really need to go to college/university to work in airlines?

    Can I go to college/university (not related to aviation) while training flights?

    Reply
    • Dear Lawrence,

      The airlines require their pilot-applicants to have a bachelor’s degree, so you do need to go to college/university.

      Take note that any baccalaureate degree is acceptable.

      However, learning to fly does not require a bachelor’s degree. Student pilots can be as young as 16. The required minimum number of flight hours for the Airline Transport Pilot License is 1,500 hours as pilot-in-command, and this takes a long time to achieve. Starting early means that you’ll be ready by the time you graduate from college.

      Reply
  25. Hi!
    anyone here who can help me choose which of these flying schools should i pick for my PPL, CPL & IR?
    Leading edge international aviation academy or masters flying school?
    I am really having a hard time in choosing which one is the best school.

    thank you!

    Reply
    • Dear Lunax,

      Have you talked to any of the pilots who went to, are planning to, or are going to that school? Or have you talked to the admin people from either school?

      According to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines website, both schools are currently registered and active as flight schools, meaning they are legally allowed to provide flight instruction to aspiring pilots.

      Beyond that, there is no such thing as the best school. It would be better to do a lot of research or ask a lot of questions and find the school that makes you feel comfortable with.

      You won’t learn if you don’t feel comfortable, and with flying, mistakes could be fatal. Besides, getting your PPL is simply step one. You can always get your other licenses and ratings from other schools.fer

      Reply
    • Dear Jexh,

      As a dentist and a pilot, this is what I have to say:

      Having a good smile imparts confidence in your passengers, since people judge others by their smiles with missing teeth instead of missing eyebrows. As long as you can distinguish different colors (especially red and green, because anti-collision lights are red and green), can breathe normally (because air gets thinner at higher altitudes), have never had recent dizziness nor fainting spells (because the passengers might not know how to land), are not deaf (because if you can’t hear the Tower, you won’t be cleared for take off), then your teeth don’t have to be a toothpaste-model’s smile.

      Most pilots start out having perfect teeth, but due to miscalculations or poor pre-flight checks, they lose their teeth in a sudden, uncontrolled, non-fatal emergency descent and impact with terrain. Then they’ll need dentures or bridges made by a dentist.

      “A good landing is one you walk away from. The best landing is when you can use the aircraft again.”

      Reply
        • Dear Rist,

          On your favorite search engine type “how to join philippine air force” and click on philpad.com/how-to-join-the-philippine-air-force-…..

          The website contains a lot of important and pertinent information for the topic you’re interested in.

          A word of caution: If you’re joining the PAF, be sure that you’re joining out of a sense of patriotism for our country, and not as a stepping stone to becoming an airline pilot because I don’t think your flight time in the service will count towards the requirements for the Airline Transport Pilot License.

          A long time ago that was the practice, that aspiring airline pilots would join the PAF to be taught to fly for free, and then when achieving the requisite training and flight hours, they would resign their commission and apply with the airlines. The government is smarter now, and that shortcut is now blocked.

          But if you desire to serve the country, look for the “How to Join the Philippine Air Force – AFP Transparency Seal” and open the page. It even has a downloadable application form.

          Reply
          • Dear Capt,

            Can you tell me about your step-by-step process or experience before you become a pilot? I badly wanna know so that I will have more knowledge about aviation industry especially in becoming an airline pilot.

  26. Dear Duke,

    Have you tried asking the airline’s medical examiner if you failed the hearing requirements?

    Don’t give up on your dream to be a pilot just because you might fail. The only thing that should stop you from trying is a fatal impact with terrain from altitude.

    Most people who read this thread think that becoming a pilot means flying a passenger airliner, because that is what most people are exposed to when they think of pilots. There are other types of pilots. Flying agricultural spray planes also has a high salary. If you get hired by a corporation, that also has a high pay grade. If your passion is flying, then you can become a Flight Instructor and teach what you know to a new batch of aviators. Pilot jobs are not limited to the airlines; it’s just the most easily recognized one.

    What do you mean by mild hearing loss? And exposed to loud environments? Do you listen to rock or heavy metal music with headphones and volume at maximum? Do you work with loud machinery with no hearing protectors? Do you get constant ear infections? Have your eardrums been punctured?

    Aviation headsets have volume controls, and I can always ask tower control to repeat instructions for clarity. Airliners have lots of soundproofing, and a REALLY good (which usually means expensive) aviation headset has excellent sound quality. So unless you’re completely deaf, or clinically deaf, I don’t believe that your chances of becoming an airline pilot (assuming that IS your dream; becoming a pilot is already awesome in and of itself) are impossible to achieve.

    “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzi

    Reply
    • Dear Captain,

      I am 15 years old and am currently 5.25 ft. in height. Do you think that I can be a future airline pilot with the requirements being 5.4ft?

      I am also planning to finish a degree in engineering in one of the Big 4 universities in the Philippines. After college, I plan to be a pilot…do you think I should start my pilot lessons after college or during?

      Thank you so much for your insights, and I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you

      Reply
      • Dear Bea,

        At your age, you’re probably still growing. Besides, it’s an issue or reach, not height per se. As in, can you reach all the buttons and switches and levers and rudder pedals from your pilot’s seat?

        As to getting a pilot’s license, you can do it after college graduation, or during your college years. Or if you want, wait until your 16th birthday then enroll in a flight school near you. The academic portion of flight instruction can be done in about a month, with two hours per session, then the practical portion where you sit in an airplane with an instructor beside you, and that’s a maximum of two hours flying, for safety.

        Flight hours are expensive, but necessary, if you want to upgrade your license from Student Pilot to Airline Transport Pilot. No shortcuts.

        The big issue is really flight time. You can only fly in clear daytime weather to gain the needed flight hours, and 1,500 flight hours is not easy to achieve. And expensive, so think of it as an investment. Which explains why pilots are paid good salaries: They had to work very hard and spent a LOT to get there.

        Reply
  27. Are there any height requirements to become a pilot, specifically for women? If so, what is the minimum height requirement?

    Reply
    • Dear Cie,

      There is no height requirement to become a pilot. Airline companies seem to require their pilots to be a at least 5 feet tall, but the rules change all the time. It used to be that airline pilots’ mandatory retirement age was 65. It is now 67 years old.

      Reply
      • Got it po, Capt. Also, what courses do you recommend po to take for aspiring pilots? Preferably and if possible, something that’s not deeply related to engineering. My mom told me that any bs course would do, but I’m trying to look for something connected to aviation as much as possible.

        Reply
        • Dear Cie,

          If your goal is to become an airline pilot, you have to finish a baccalaureate course prior to applying with the airline company. And the airlines will accept a degree from ANY course, not necessarily related to engineering. If you’re applying as an airline mechanic or aeronautical engineer, then naturally an aviation engineering course is required. But we don’t fix airplanes; we fly them!

          For aspiring pilots, here’s what you should do:

          1.) Enroll in a flight school and get a Student Pilot License.
          2.) After your Solo Flight (i.e. Graduation!), get an NTC Radio Operator’s License.
          3.) Get a Private Pilot License.
          4.) Get additional training for different ratings for your Commercial Pilot License.
          5.) Try becoming a Flight Instructor to gain the needed hours and get paid for it.
          6.) Try applying with the airlines and see if they’ll accept you, or keep flying until you can get your Airline Transport Pilot License.

          Along the way, finish college and get a Bachelor of Science degree. We fly the aircraft, and leave the aviation courses to other folks who wish to work on or design airplanes. Having a degree will serve as a fallback just in case you don’t get hired by an airline company. Hasn’t happened yet, to my knowledge, since the airlines desperately need more pilots, especially with the industry trend of opening more flight routes and more runways being built, even in our own country.

          Reply
      • Hi, capt. Have you heard about Pilot Cadet Program of Cebu Pacific? Do you think the contract will be rewarding? Thank you!

        Reply
        • Dear Rolando,

          CebPac allots 5 million pesos per student pilot applicant for training, and successful cadet pilots will have tenure with the company for 10 years to pay off the debt with salary deductions. That’s 42,000 pesos deducted from your salary monthly for 120 months.

          The training is done in Australia and the students will return to the Philippines to complete type rating (additional training to be allowed to fly turbojet aircraft and planes weighing more than 5,700 kgs. or 12,500 lbs.) and licensing requirements for Commercial Pilot Licenses.

          This is the reality of Philippine aviation programs. Other countries provide full scholarships (not a student loan), offer better pay, and a full Airline Transport Pilot License upon completion, but competition is stiff.

          How much does it cost to learn to fly anyway? (Rough estimates only) Tuition fee, books and other study materials, headset, NTC license, other miscellaneous fees – 100,000 pesos. Flight training hours for PPL (approx. 8,000 pesos per hour x 40 hours) – 320,000 pesos. Flight hours for CPL (200 hours) – 1,600,000 pesos. And the Holy Grail for pilots, the ATPL (1,500 hours minimum!) – a cool 12,000,000.

          Let’s call it around 12,500,000 pesos from enrollment to gaining the Airline Transport Pilot License, including all needed ratings and additional training and medical exams and other incidental fees.

          Can’t afford to learn on your own? Well, I’ve had this desire to become a pilot since the early 80’s, and now just started learning. Besides, there is no rush to learning to fly. It’s not a scheduled, structured thing that has to be accomplished in a certain amount of time. It’s more like growing a tree from a seed.

          Reply
          • Dear Capt,

            Since you mentioned it already the amount of money that will be deducted in the salary of the successful pilot during the cadet pilot program in Cebupac, may I know how much is the monthly salary for the First Officer and Captain?

  28. Hi capt, ive been following this thread for years. Because of this thread i made a decision to pursue my life long dream. Now i already have the money, choice of school and had may class ii medical certificate.

    Unfortunately the dr said the i might gping to have some difficulties in applying in airline because i have mild hearing loss. And it might worsen while im studying because im going to be expose in loud environment.

    Caap approve only the minimal requirements in medical but in airlines they’re more strict than caap.

    Should i continue or it is going to be waste of time and money if in the end i will not get the job that i dreamed for.

    Reply
    • Dear Duke,

      The decision to continue or quit is up to you. If the physician said you might have difficulty applying with the airlines because of your mild hearing loss, then buy a very nice pair of aviation headsets! Actually, you will always have difficulty applying with the airlines because of stiff competition from other applicants, and limited slots available.

      And if you don’t get that airline job, then go for cargo pilot, or agri pilot, or sightseeing tour pilot or flight instructor, or skydive pilot, or….. Get the point? Just because not everyone can be an airline transport pilot, that doesn’t mean the end! As long as you get paid to fly by getting a Commercial Pilot License, then your investment will be recovered.

      Never give up just because some difficulty is blocking your path. As legendary pilot Bob Hoover said, “If you’re faced with a forced landing, fly the thing as far into the crash as possible.”

      Reply
  29. Dear Dan,

    If you have the money, you can start already even before graduating from college. Enroll in a flight school near you, then fly on weekends until you have the necessary ratings and licenses and other stuff.

    If you don’t have the money to go to college AND learn to fly, then save as much of your daily allowance as you can, and/or get a summer job, and/or work in the course you graduated, then pay for your own flight lessons.

    What’s really important is getting your Commercial Pilot License, if you want to fly for a living. When you get that, then the options are diverse and a lot more accessible.

    Reply
      • Dear Dan,

        I checked again, and not only for our country’s airline companies but worldwide. The requirement is that pilot-applicants must be at least a college graduate from any college course.

        Let me clarify. First of all, learning to fly airplanes does not necessarily mean becoming an airline pilot. An Airline Transport Pilot License is simply the highest civilian license, allowing a pilot to fly passenger airliners.

        The second highest is the Commercial Pilot License, which means you can charge passengers a fee to fly them or their cargo. Having a CPL means you can start applying and getting a job as a pilot, either for private individuals, corporations or the government.

        Next lower down is the Private Pilot License, where you can fly passengers and packages but don’t get paid to fly. It is similar to driving your own car, in that you can give family and friends a ride to the beach or the mall, while the CPL is being like a taxi driver.

        And the Student Pilot License is the one you get when you begin learning to fly, where a Flight Instructor will sit beside you as you take off from the runway and go up into the air at the controls of a small trainer aircraft.

        Reply
        • I want to be an airline pilot. So capt. How will i get that Airline Transport license? Do i need to go in big college school for the educational background in the future?

          Reply
          • Dear Dan,

            1. Finish a four-year college degree.
            2. Learn to fly.
            3. Get the Airline Transport Pilot License.
            4. Apply with an airline company.

            Type this up on a piece of paper, put it in a frame, and stick the frame on your bedroom wall. This is your life plan. Make it so!

            There are no shortcuts to life. Before we run, we must learn to walk. Before we walk, we must learn to stand up. Before we stand up, we must learn to crawl. Do the best in everything, even if it is just crawling.

          • Any 4 year course will do right? Does the airline company in our country are accepting even though it is non-aviation related course?

  30. Hello Capt.,

    I have a question. My brother-in-law didn’t complete his 10-year course in seminary. He dreams to be a pilot and is now considering aviation school. My question is – it is mandatory to complete a bachelor degree to become a pilot – even prior to aviation school?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Dear MG Seg,

      It is not necessary to have a bachelor’s degree to become a pilot! You can start getting a Student Pilot License at the age of 16, in fact.

      As for those aspiring to be Airline Transport Pilots (the highest civilian pilot license available), there is a requirement that airline companies stipulate a bachelor’s degree in any course, and not necessarily aviation-related. My understanding of this, according to my research, is that getting a degree demonstrates a sense of maturity and levelheadedness which would (hopefully) prepare an airliner pilot to handle difficult situations in the air and on the runway.

      Regarding your brother-in-law, I guess that would fall in the category of a special case. But before we can run marathons, we must learn to stand on our own two feet. He still has to become a Student Pilot, then gain enough hours to qualify for a Private Pilot License, then if he so desires, get additional training and even more flight hours to become a Commercial Pilot. When he gets his CPL, then he can decide if he would pursue the airliner job, or fly for private corporations, or do agricultural spraying work, or do sky tours, etc.

      Can he fly for the airlines even without a bachelor’s degree? Probably. He’s an ex-seminarian, so one might say it’s a different breed of people. The worst that could happen is that the airlines would reject his application. It doesn’t mean that he loses his pilot license. He can always go down another path, such as corporate pilot. The sky’s the limit. 😉

      Reply
  31. Good day! I was wondering if I can already undergo a medical exam specialized for pilots (or future pilots hehe) before starting to learn how to fly. It will be a waste of time and money if I already learned how to fly then get rejected afterward because of my medical exam results. Also, what flight school do you recommend?

    Reply
    • Dear Regie,

      To be 100% certain, go to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines head office and get checked out by one of the Aviation Medical Examiners.

      However, generally speaking, pilots should be free from physical infirmities, no heart problems, have good blood pressure, no hearing problems, have healthy lungs, no illegal drug use, able to discern different colors, not an alcoholic, mentally stable, no nervous system issues, not insulin dependent if diabetic, no history of epilepsy, nor recent fainting spells, no recurrent headaches, eyesight less than 20/20 should wear eyeglasses, no recurrent infections, no arthritis, osteoporosis, or other joint disorders, not HIV positive, etc. An NBI clearance is required also.

      Simply put, if you’re not healthy, don’t become a pilot. It’s an issue of safety. You might be carrying passengers one day, and if you’re not healthy enough to safely fly the airplane, you could take other lives with you. And that isn’t a good idea.

      If you enroll in a flight school, they’ll get you checked out for a Student Pilot License even before you are accepted for Ground School or Ground Instruction, the academic aspect of flight, or learning the Basics of Aerodynamics, Weather, Aircraft Parts, Radio Communication, etc.

      As to what flight school, it’s simple. Find one where you feel comfortable. The office staff should be friendly and knowledgeable. The equipment should be well-maintained. Remember, if the plane breaks down, you can’t just stop, get out and look under the hood. When you meet the instructors, you should feel at ease being around them.

      Pilots belong to a fraternity, and as such, are consummate professionals when it comes to their duty because safety is our primary concern. We gladly welcome new members.

      Reply
  32. Good evening Captain!

    I was planning to join to an “Ab-Initio Pilot Training Program” of PAL Aviation School, but based on one of there minimum requirements, one must have a clear 20/20 eye vision but I always wear eyeglasses. Will they still accept trainees like me who always wear eyeglasses?

    Thank you very much for your information.

    Reply
    • Dear Kyle,

      Yes, I read that also on PAL’s list of requirements, along with a minimum height requirement. Government regulations have no such height requirement, and poor eyesight corrected with eyeglasses is allowed. The worst PAL can do is reject your application. Never have a defeatist attitude; the world is difficult enough as it is. Patience, perseverance and dedication helps us achieve all our goals.

      I’ve seen short pilots, and pilots wearing eyeglasses. I’ve met a few pilots who were short and wore eyeglasses. They don’t all work for PAL, but they do fly airliners and company jets. What should concern you and other pilot-applicants is your cardiac and respiratory health instead. If you have heart or lung problems, you don’t get to fly. Period.

      “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”- Henry Ford

      Reply
  33. Hello captain, I am a graduating shs student and I have no idea on what to take in college. I’m wondering if i should do a double degree or not since I want to be an airline pilot. I took a test at Air link International College and I passed BS aviation major in flying and I don’t know if I should take up this course instantly without having a 4 year degree. On the other hand I have my other back-up courses like dentistry.

    Reply
    • Dear Trisha,

      There are some issues regarding Airlink International Aviation College. Not good reviews. Caveat emptor.

      As to whether a Senior High graduating student should take up an aviation-related course if their goal is to become an airline pilot, my answer is, “It’s not necessary.” Flying for the airlines does not require an aviation degree.

      Consider: Whether you take public transportation, a Grab/Uber vehicle or a private car to your destination, the bottom line is you reach the destination, correct? Let’s say you took up Aviation, which in this case is similar to taking your own car. If the car breaks down on the way, you’re stuck. If you take public transport and that breaks down, you just get off and take another vehicle to continue your trip.

      The airlines (worldwide, mind you) requires their pilot-applicants to have a baccalaureate degree, meaning having graduated from ANY four-year course. Of course, if your course takes 5 or 6 years to finish, that’s still fine. What’s critical is the training you received and the experience you gained as a pilot. Let’s suppose you took up some other course not related to aviation. You could still learn to fly during weekends or summer vacation between school years. Learning to fly doesn’t take a long time. Gaining the necessary flight time does.

      Don’t limit your options by taking up Aviation. What if later you find out you’re medically disqualified to be a pilot? Your car just came to a screeching halt. Let’s say you took up BS Accounting, and flew around on weekends and holidays. By the time you graduate, you would probably have accumulated enough flight time to meet the requirements for the Airline Transport Pilot License (1,500 hours flight time). Maybe you would have been able to squeeze in time for additional training and ratings. If you aim for the airlines, it’s going to be expensive. But then again, what worthy endeavor isn’t?

      Being a dentist myself, I would highly recommend taking up Dentistry! Why? Because if you’re really good at it, you’ll make a lot of money for your flight time and additional training! A win-win situation. And even if you don’t get to fly for the airlines, becoming a pilot, in and of itself, is awesome!

      Taking up Dentistry is the Grab/Uber option, in case anybody is wondering. 😉

      Reply
      • Hi capt! 🙂 i’m very curious of this thing. Is it really not required to take an aviation course or related course to become a pilot? Even i take a nursing,business,or IT course? I can still be a pilot after i finish my bachelor’s degree of any of that?

        I’m SHS graduating students too.

        Reply
        • Dear Dan,

          It is not required to take an aviation related course just to become a pilot.

          To become a pilot, the minimum requirements are that the applicant for a Student Pilot Authorization is at least 16 years, can read, speak and understand English, and must hold a current Class 2 Medical Certificate.

          There is no stipulation in the Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations requiring those who wish to become pilots needing to take up an aviation related course before, during or after getting your pilot license.

          If you want to be an airline pilot someday, then getting a bachelor’s degree is one of their requirements for their applicants. You can graduate as a nurse, an accountant, an IT specialist, a computer programmer/engineer, a physical therapist, a lawyer, psychologist or even a forester, as long as you have the appropriate pilot license and flight time.

          Reply
  34. Hi Captain!

    I just wanna ask if which course would be very convenient and would really be helpful when I want to be a pilot. Should I pursue BS Air Transportation or BS Aviation Technology Major in Flying? What advantages and disadvantages do they have? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Dear Marie,

      It depends on the school offering the said courses. The Philippine State College of Aeronautics offers Bachelor of Science in Air Transportation (I think) as a pilot-producing course. Other schools offer it as an airport operations management course only, and nothing to do with flying an aircraft. Best to inquire with the school if the course is pilot-oriented or management-oriented.

      There are hybrid courses which offer Majors in Flying, geared to producing pilots for the airlines, or you can pursue a non-aviation related course and STILL study to become a pilot!

      The airlines requires their pilot-applicants to be bachelor’s degree holders of any 4-year course, be it Engineering, Nursing, Accounting, Business Management, etc. aside from the other requirements, of course.

      Whatever way you choose to eventually end up flying a passenger plane, always remember that it takes dedication, perseverance, patience and skill to get there. It will be worth it in the end.

      Reply
      • Good Day Captain,

        Airlink Offers a 3 Year Course in
        BS Aviaton/Flying
        I was just wondering if that 3 year course is enough because in all the previous comments I’ve read it said it was required to finish a 4 year course.

        Thank you in Advance for your Reply!

        Reply
        • Dear Raphael Ian,

          On this particular rule, I believe it is non-negotiable. I checked, and airline companies worldwide have the same rule, in that applicants have to have a FOUR-year degree under their belts. I believe it has to do with maturity and intellect of the individual. They want pilots who can handle difficult situations in a professional manner, who can make snap decisions to prevent the loss of life, and are stable enough to avoid flying the aircraft into the side of a mountain because of depression (Andreas Gunter Lubitz, Germanwings Flight 9525).

          Even the Air Force accepts applicants who are at least 21 years old to begin the process of eventually flying fighter aircraft, although I hear that those guys are already 25 by the time they start getting in the pilot seat of a trainer aircraft.

          It doesn’t have to be aviation related! As long as you graduate from any four-year course, you qualify to apply to fly for the airlines. You can even start learning to fly WHILE taking up a baccalaureate degree! Remember, experience counts a lot more than academics. You can fly on weekends or holidays or in between school years. 1,500 flight hours is not easy to achieve, even if you have your own airplane.

          By the way, Airlink International Aviation College doesn’t have good reviews as a school. There is even an article about some issues regarding graduation expenses. I suggest checking it out.

          Reply
  35. Good day Captain!

    I’m a graduating student and still don’t know what major to take up in college. I’ve always dreamed of becoming a pilot but the problem is I lack in height (5’0) and I’m a girl that’s why I’m hesitating to study aviation. I’d like to get a degree in engineering course first before proceeding to study in a flight school to ensure that I’d get a job after. Is it okay to do that? Also, what are the two engineering courses that will be best for me to take up — which is also related in aviation and have a higher chance to be an engineer in an airline. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Dear Ashly,

      I just want to ask: Have you ever asked a pilot if being a girl who is 5 feet tall is a hindrance to becoming a pilot? As I understand it, those requirements are not set in stone (the height issue), and the problem is actually REACH, or being able to reach all the switches, knobs, buttons and levers. There are a lot of short pilots, and cockpit seats are already adjustable anyway. Don’t give up the dream just because it seems impossible to achieve.

      I’m terrible at mathematics, so I despise Engineering. The airlines accept applicants who graduated from ANY 4-year course, and have at least a Commercial Pilot License. Age should be around 25. Nothing about being a girl. Sure, there seems to be a height limitation, but I don’t think that is still current. For fighter pilots, yes, it is critical, along with other body measurements, but for airliners, I don’t believe it is.

      To be sure, the next time you ride an airliner, ask the flight attendant if the captain will allow you to sit in the cockpit to see if you can reach the controls, because you also want to fly airliners. They don’t allow passengers to enter the cockpit for security reasons, but if you show them your Student Pilot License, then they’ll be happy to show you around!

      Reply
  36. Good day Captain!
    I’m planning to take BS in aviation major in Flying this school year which covers both ppl and cpl. I want to be an airline pilot, to be an airline pilot what are the licenses required/ I need to have? and what are your school recommendation for getting those other licenses? hope you can answer this! Thanks and Godbless

    Reply
    • Dear ema,

      Check out Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines website and find the RPAS, ATO and AOC Holders List. Under that is an updated List of Flying and Maintenance Schools as of (month) 2019. If the school you want to attend is on that list, then it’s accredited by the government.

      I hear Boeing has a course for those wanting to become airline pilots. The course costs 5 million pesos and you’ll be qualified to fly Boeing aircraft upon course completion.

      Reply
    • Good Day Captain!

      I’m an upcoming Grade 12 STEM student, I’m currently having problems regarding my future since there’s only a few time left for making decisions about it. Being a pilot has always been my dream but I realized that I won’t be able to pursue it because of the requirements needed. I’m only 4’9 and I have poor eyesight so I feel like these qualities hindrances me from becoming a pilot. I was wondering if despite having those qualities mentioned, I still have a chance in pursuing my dreams. Plus if I’m going to take a 4 year course, which is a also a requirement, what course is the best fit or like something that I can use or utilize while being a pilot. Also do you know any amazing flight schools here in the Philippines that have a reasonable price since money might also be a problem. And if those flight schools accept me despite being short and having poor eyesight. Also do you have any tips that I should know before taking the risk to become a pilot? Thank you so much 🙂

      Reply
      • Dear Danica,

        To become a pilot is an awesome job. And most people think that pilots only fly airliners. Sure, our exposure to pilots are when we take a plane ride somewhere, but if you enter the world of aviation, you’ll realize that not all pilots fly for the airline companies!

        Some pilots are flight instructors, others fly corporate aircraft, or cargo planes, or air taxis, or sky tours, etc. Flying for the airlines is actually quite boring. You fly up way above the ground where you can’t see details until you begin landing. And then the next time you fly, it’s the same procedure all over again.

        However, the airlines doesn’t really enforce the height requirement; it’s more a question of reach, or being able to manipulate all the buttons, levers, switches, and pedals. And eyeglasses are allowed. The baccalaureate degree is needed, though. Any course will do, be it Engineering, Nursing, Accounting, Psychology, Business Administration, Physical Therapy, etc. But if you want to fly as a pilot but not for the airlines, then the degree is no longer an issue. It would be nice to have a back-up, of course.

        Now, as to amazing flight schools in the Philippines. Try asking around. Any good flight school understands that some student pilots may have other obligations or are still going to school (since the student pilot’s minimum age requirement is 16) and may not be able to attend a structured classroom setup, so they offer special classes or one-on-one instruction.

        What is really expensive would be the flight hours that a pilot has to achieve to gain a new license. This cost depends on the type of aircraft used, and two-seaters are cheaper than four-seaters, single-engine planes are cheaper than twin-engines, and so on and so forth. You’ll be paying for the rental, and fuel used, and flight instructor’s salary, all of which is computed per hour. To pay for this, you could save your allowance, or ask help from relatives, or take out a loan, or work and use your salary.

        Learning to fly is an investment, as with all things worthwhile. It’s a financial struggle until you get your Commercial Pilot License, because then you can now charge passengers for flying them around.

        Tips: Never give up the dream. Learn as much as you can, especially on YouTube. Don’t be ashamed to ask questions. Save money, but don’t despair if the cost seems immense. You will find a way. Persevere.

        Reply
  37. Good day Captain!
    I’m just curious since I’m going to college this school year and I’m going to take Aviation Major in Flying which covers both PPL and CPL, what are the other licenses required to be an airline pilot?

    Reply
    • Dear Ema,

      Airline Transport Pilot License would be the last one you’d need. Plus you’ll need ratings in the type of aircraft, depending on it’s Maximum Take Off Weight, and Multi-Engine Rating, etc. etc. It’s going to cost a lot, but it’s worth it.

      Daunting? Not really. Tedious, though. But if you persevere, then the rewards will be great!

      Reply
  38. Good Day Captain,

    Im a Grade 11 STEM Student and i was wondering if i should take the specialized course of Engineering and Physics? Because i dont know if going through the hassle of doing engineering and physics and just using minimal knowledge i gained from that strand when i pursue aviation.
    also, does wearing eyeglasses hinder me from becoming a pilot or are people just trying to scare me? HAHAHA

    Thanks in Advance po

    Reply
    • Dear Raphael Ian,

      If you want to become a Philippine Air Force fighter pilot, then courses in Engineering and Physics are PREFERRED, but NOT REQUIRED.

      I’m a dentist, and I am also learning to fly planes. Always been in the back of my mind, and now I can afford it. I don’t plan to fly for the airlines, nor become a Commercial Pilot. Becoming a Private Pilot is good enough for me. Also, being over 40, I wear reading glasses. Corrective lenses are allowed for civilian pilots.

      Engineering and Physics are critical if you intend to pursue a career as an aircraft designer. You can either design planes, or fix them, or fly them. Rarely have I ever heard of an aeronautical engineer who fixes the planes he flies. Maybe there are, but what for? There are pilots and aircraft mechanics already, so focus on your job and let others do theirs.

      Reply
  39. Hello Capt! Im 13 yrs old and i want to become a military pilot someday. May i ask you captain? Is Bs in Aeronautical Sciemce is related for being a pilot? And what does that mean? Pasensya na po kase bata po ako kaya na cucurious po ako at nagtatanong tanong po hehhe. Salamat po!

    Reply
    • Dear Averine,

      Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Science means that those who have this degree study the science of flight, and are involved with designing and developing aircraft. You can become a pilot, a flight engineer, an airplane technician, air traffic controller or a non-jet military pilot.

      But if you want to be a military pilot, wait until you are at least 17 years old then enter the Philippine Military Academy with Air Force as your branch of service. Or you can graduate from any 4-year course (although courses in physics, chemistry, computer science or engineering are preferred) and apply with the Philippine Air Force Officer Candidate School. By the way, the minimum age for Student Pilots is 16 years old.

      Never be afraid to ask questions, because knowledge happens only when your questions are answered.

      Reply
  40. Good Day Captain!

    I would like to ask if there are any scholarship programs for people like me who wants to be a pilot but doesn’t really have enough money to pay for pilot trainings or any scholarship programs that support students who would take up Aviation?  Are there any scholarship programs that you can suggest? Thank you Captain, I would really appreciate it!

    Reply
    • Dear Isha,

      The Philippine State College of Aeronautics offers free college education, since it is a government school. Cebu Pacific has a scholarship program for those willing to work for them.

      And globally, many air carriers are offering lower rates for their pilot training programs because the industry has realized that the problem is in the cost of training, and not in the lack of trainees. A lot of kids want to be pilots but are daunted by the cost, so airline companies worldwide are now offering scholarship programs and even sign-up bonuses for flight instructors. Try applying online and have your passport ready. It won’t be easy, but remember, planes fly INTO the wind!

      Reply
      • Captain,

        how often are you away from home? ive always wondered what life would be like as a pilot.
        because i’d be missing my family alot if i were to be gone for long periods of time every week or so.

        thank you in advance captain!

        Reply
        • Dear Raphael Ian,

          As a Student Pilot, I am rarely away from home! But if you fly far away enough, you’ll be introduced to the Pilot’s Life: Remain Over Night!

          This means you’ll be stuck somewhere because the weather in your home airport, or mechanical problems, prevent you from flying back home and you’ll have to overnight where you landed. Doesn’t matter if you’re a Student Pilot, Private Pilot, Commercial Pilot, Airline Pilot or Military Pilot.

          It would be advisable to carry a spare set of clothes, fully charged battery packs, toothbrush and toothpaste, and cash. Begin doing this when you start Flight Instruction so it would become second nature when you fly for the airlines. It’s happened to me, and I was unprepared. Good thing I had cash on hand. Had to stay in a beach resort and buy a t-shirt.The next morning, my instructor and I flew back to our home airport and I had a new experience to add to my collection. You learn from your mistakes, and learn from others also.

          Reply
      • Hi capt. I would like to ask if pag graduate po ba ng BSTM (Tourism management) pwede mag direct training for pilot or need muna maging Flight attendant before pilot? Thanks in advance capt.

        Reply
        • Dear Daniel Barry,

          You can even start learning to fly while taking up Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management. And since that’s a 4-year course, you are eligible to apply for the airlines as a pilot instead of cabin crew only. Assuming that’s your ultimate goal: To fly in front, instead of sit in the back with the rest of the passengers.

          Reply
    • Hello Capt. Good day.
      I’m 16 years old . I’ve always wanted to become a Pilot.Now that I’m about to go to Senior high,I don’t really know what to do and where to go. I am still undecided on what strand should i take.Also,my height is only 4’11.
      Am i still qualified to become a pilot even if my height is only 4’ll?. Thanks Captain.
      Have a good day

      Reply
      • Dear Ella,

        As to what strand you’ll take, it depends on what you wish to pursue in college. As to what course to pursue in college, with regards to what the airlines require, it’s any four-year course.

        As to height, it is not as important as reach. If you can reach all the switches and lever and buttons and pedals, then you can become a pilot! If you want, find a flight school that has a simulator and ask if you can try it just to see if you can reach everything.

        And since you’re already 16, you can start learning to fly! Student Pilots should be at least 16, and if your dream is to fly for the airlines, you can start getting your flight experience as early as now. It will be expensive, tiring, tedious and exciting.

        Reply
  41. Good Day Captain!

    I’m planning to pursue BS Aviation Technology in college, however I’m quite unsure to take a risk especially with money since as we all know pursuing a pilot position cost a lot, so I would like to ask you Captain if what are the chances for me that I can get a job as an airline pilot after passing all the requirements and getting myself the licenses needed? Will it be easy for a woman like me to get a job instantly or will it take awhile? I would also like to ask Captain if how much would it cost to get ATPL?

    Reply
    • Dear Alisha,

      I suggest taking up BS in Air Transportation, which is geared to producing pilots. In reality, you just need a bachelor’s degree in ANY (minimum 4-year) course, and learn flying during weekends or summer, then go through the process of getting your flight hours and licenses.

      And to everyone reading this comment, close your mouths and listen carefully;-):

      The chances of your getting a job as a pilot are very good. Air travel is increasing, and airline companies are shifting to smaller planes, since the jumbo jets are difficult to fill up with passengers. It’s similar to a bus line, in that the bus, to be economically viable, has to travel with all seats filled up. Making that happen takes time, but the other passengers cannot wait for too long and might want the bus to leave so as to make their appointments also, so the company has to get smaller buses which fill up quickly and leave the terminal faster. So instead of one large bus that seats about 400 people, the company gets two buses that seat 200 each, doubling their fleet but maintaining efficiency.

      Same thing with the airlines. Smaller planes also mean more pilots, since each aircraft needs at least two pilots, and since pilots’ mandatory retirement age is 67, it opens up opportunities for new pilots. New hires get to fly entry-level positions, usually First Officers for the regional turboprop aircraft, also known as puddle jumpers. As you progress, and more pilots retire, you get bumped up the ladder until one day you’ll be flying international.

      And passengers don’t care if their driver is a man or a woman. That being said, you have to remember that you’re competing with other applicants for the same position. That is reality.

      Getting an Airline Transport Pilot License will cost around 5 million pesos and a minimum of 1,500 flight hours. However, there are many ways to get hired for the airlines. Some airlines accept pilots who only have a Commercial Pilot License with Instrument and Multi-Engine Rating. And there are many other flight jobs out there aside from being an airline pilot. You can start recovering expenses as soon as you get your CPL. You can fly sky tours, or for private companies, for the government, and for agricultural spraying, to name a few.

      Reply
    • Dear Paul,

      To fly the wide-bodies, a pilot must have an Airline Transport Pilot License and a Class 1 Medical Certificate. To apply for the Civil Aviation Authority’s (or Federal Aviation Authority if in the US) exam for the license, the applicant needs to have at least 1,500 hours flight time.

      Sadly, this is not cumulative. Simply put, you should have flown that amount of time counted from the moment you received your Commercial Pilot License. To get the CPL, you have to have 250 hours flying around with your Private Pilot License. To get that, you need 50 hours flying as a Student Pilot.

      However, if you do have the money, and are diligent, you can go from zero to hero in 3 to 4 years. But you also have to factor in the fact that the airlines requires that pilot-applicants must be baccalaureate degree holders (from any course, and not necessarily aviation-related). You’ll see that it could take from 5 to 6 years to get the ATPL.

      But if I’m not mistaken, the airlines are relaxing the rules a bit, hiring First Officers who just have about 250 hours flight time, although they only fly the turboprop aircraft. It’s a step in the right direction, sort of an entry-level position where you work your way up to the big leagues. It shouldn’t take too long. Pilots’ mandatory retirement age is 67, and as the airline companies are getting more planes, they need lots more pilots.

      In a nutshell, this means that in a year, if you already are a degree holder, you could start flying for the airlines! This is extremely simplified, since there are a lot of other things (Multi-Engine Rating, Instrument Rating, experience in jet engine aircraft, getting the Class1 Medical, etc. etc. etc.) but it answers your question, hopefully adding to your knowledge and challenging you to pursue a career in flight.

      Life is simple. Eat. Sleep. Fly.

      Reply
      • Good evening Captain! I am currently 16 yrs old and going Grade 11. I am undecided if I should go STEM or ABM. My dream job is really to become a commercial pilot, but I know it is very expensive. Can you give me suggestion on what I take or what I can do? What is the cheapest way to get into a commercial airline? What are the right steps? Thanks

        Reply
        • Dear Anton,

          To apply for the airlines, you’ll need to have a baccalaureate or bachelor’s degree in ANY 4-year course. I have to emphasize that and make it as clear as a cloudless sky.

          For example, PAL requires its applicants to be:
          1. A Filipino citizen.
          2. 5’4″ in height, although shorter pilots do exist, since it’s a matter of being able to reach all the buttons and switches in the cockpit.
          3. Good eyesight is required, although eyeglasses are allowed.
          4. Must be a college graduate
          5. You must be proficient in English because: a.) There’s a lot of paperwork you need to fill up before each flight, and b.) English is the language of international aviation, and communication is key to safety.
          6. The applicant also needs to already have Radiotelephone Operator Certificate.
          7. And have a Commercial Pilot License with an Instrument Rating, with 500 flying hours under your belt.

          As with all worthwhile endeavors, dedication, perseverance and patience are necessary to achieve your dreams and make them reality. Financially, everything is a challenge, but somehow we do find the means to finish the task.

          And now, here are the steps to achieving your goal of becoming one of the awesome:

          At 16,you are now qualified to apply for flight training. Search for a flight school (preferably one close to your home and/or the airport) and inquire what are the things you need to get a Student Pilot License. Mind you, becoming a pilot does not mean you have to take up an AVIATION-related course! You can go for the structured classroom setup or have a qualified pilot instructor teach you on a one-on-one basis, depending on which method is most convenient.

          See if you can afford the Ground Lessons, and get started on them. Pretty soon you’ll be gathering your requirements for your Student Pilot License application, and within a month or so, you’ll receive the SPL and now you start your Flight Lessons. And the rest, as they say, is history.

          Just get started, and don’t think of the total expenses. Just try to find what you can afford now, and start working on it NOW. There will be times that obstacles will seem just impossible to surmount, but when you do, and look back, you’ll realize those hindrances weren’t so huge after all.

          “A mile of highway will take you a mile. A mile of runway will take you anywhere.” – Author unknown

          P.S. Two miles of runway is even better! You’ll get this joke when you start flying. 😉

          Reply
          • Thank you for the answer! May I ask what school is preferred, especially if I want to work on an international airline? Thanks

        • Dear Anton,

          Just realized you asked another question but wasn’t able to see it.

          Anyway, if you get an Airline Transport Pilot License in the Philippines, then you can apply in other countries’ airline companies since the regulations are similar from one country to another, as long as the country is a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization, an agency of the United Nations dealing with international air travel.

          Reply
      • great read capt. may i also ask if you have knowledge how military pilots transition to commercial pilots? does it follow the same requirements and steps of getting ppl and cpl?

        Reply
        • Dear Borsky,

          Military pilots can transition to commercial pilots if they quit their commissions. In effect, resigning from the military and becoming a civilian. Military pilots can apply with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to have their military pilot licenses converted to Commercial Pilot Licenses. with the applicable instrument rating and category and class rating for the aircraft that the military pilot flew while in the service.

          Reply
  42. Good day Captain! do you have any suggestions / tips on how to gain flight hours quickly? I want to be a pilot in PAL soon, but I don’t know how to have enough flight hours to be able to work there. Thankyou!

    Reply
    • Dear Em,

      Buy your own airplane.

      Wait, scratch that. Even if you had your own airplane, you’d be limited to a maximum of 4 hours fuel time anyway. If your plane had more than that, it would be a multi-crew aircraft, and you won’t be allowed by law to fly more than a certain number of hours a month.

      Anyway, going back to your particular problem, my only suggestion is fly as often as the weather allows. If you have a Commercial Pilot License already, try applying with the airlines. There aren’t enough pilots to fly the aircraft they’ve bought, and the government has mandatory crew rest period requirements, so airline pilots don’t get too tired and risk destroying the aircraft, to say nothing of the passengers.

      With a minimum of 250 flight hours, you can be eligible for First Officer position in the puddle jumpers, or the island-hopping turbo propeller aircraft that Cebu Pac and PAL have. From there, it’s all a matter of seniority. What’s important is getting your foot in the door, and flying safely. Speaking of flying safely, try getting some Upset Prevention and Recovery Training, which is NOT aerobatic training, and someday might save your life and maybe even mine!

      The biggest problem with airliners nowadays is Controlled Flight Into Terrain, or plainly said, crashing. UPRT could help condition you to the stress of an unusual attitude, and muscle memory could save the aircraft.

      Reply
    • Hi Capt, is it too late for a person on his early 40s to start flight training? I know I am joining the game late, I don’t have the resources when I was in my 20s, my work is related to airline operations though, I am based in ME and working in 1 of the big 3 carriers, I have save enough for my flight training and would not want to have regrets later on my life that I didn’t do anything to fulfill the dream.
      Is it doable for a person on my age and is it still possible to captain that big shiny jets, thanks

      Reply
      • Dear Ruddervator78,

        I started learning to fly at age 47. What was your question again? 😉

        We who dream to be awesome rarely have the funding needed to make our ambitions happen at an early age. However, with age comes wisdom and courage, aside from resources to make the impossible achievable.

        My suggestion for a person of your age? Get checked out by an Aviation Medical Examiner before applying to be a Student Pilot. The AME is the person best qualified to determine if you’re qualified to fly an aircraft.

        Mandatory retirement age for pilots is 67 years. So if you pass the medical exams, and get enough flight hours to qualify to be a First Officer, then you have a better chance than the new kids, since you are already working for the airlines. However, even if you don’t get to fly an airliner, flying the smaller aircraft is really a big deal.

        “Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time.” – Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., statesman, sportsman, conservationist, writer, and 26th President of the United States

        Reply
      • I’m a 32 year old, female nurse. I want to change career paths to become a pilot. Nursing was my parents choice but I am an introvert and I hate dealing with sick and sometimes irate patients, watchers and doctors. Honestly, I like handling machines than dealing with people. I love travelling. I am working here in Ireland and has current application as nurse to US but in the back of my mind, I still want to be a pilot. Studying to be a pilot might be very expensive in the US/Ireland. I want to save money and pursue this in the Philippines. I just hope that an aviation school will accept me.

        Reply
        • Dear Sheba,

          Have you tried inquiring about flight training in Ireland? The minimum age for student pilots is 16. And no flight school refuses money! Learning to fly can be expensive, since you’re paying your share for the maintenance of the aircraft, the fuel consumed, the government taxes, landing fees (yes, you have to pay a fee to land on a runway, just like a parking fee) and salaries of the people involved (ground/flight instructors, mechanics, office staff) aside from the minimal profit expected by the fixed-base operator/flight school.

          Granted, if you’ve saved enough euros, then you’ll be well able to afford flight training in the Philippines. And once you gain your Commercial Pilot License, you can offer flight tours and get paid! Nursing is one of those professions where the professional’s patience will really be stretched to the limits, and sometimes, beyond. And if you don’t enjoy what you do, there really is no point doing it. But once you experience flight, you’ll always be looking toward the sky.

          At the end of the day, some might ask: Is it worth it?

          A patient, finding out that I took up flight training, asked me where the best view was. I replied, “From up there.”

          Reply
  43. Good day captain, I just want to ask if after i get my degree in aviation, can i now become an airline pilot? or i still need to take exams like for PPL and CPL?

    Reply
    • Dear aj,

      Most disasters begin with “I know a shortcut….”

      Getting a degree in aviation (presumably a baccalaureate degree, which is what the airlines require) only means that you now have a degree in aviation. You still have to take and pass the Civil Aviation authority of the Philippines exams for your Private Pilot License, accumulate the needed flight hours and additional instruction for the Commercial Pilot License, then once more fly often enough to get the minimum required flight time, critical training and pass the Airline Transport Pilot License exams AND the Class 1 Medical Certificate requirements, otherwise your dream of flying for PAL or Cebu Pac or JAL or Singapore Airlines or Delta or Northwest or CAL or Aeroflot or KLM or Tiger Air or Virgin or Braniff will be just that: a dream.

      Staggering? Maybe. But remember this quote from World War 1 flying ace, Captain Edward Vernon Rickenbacker: “Aviation is proof that, given the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.”

      Reply
      • Hi Captain!! I just completed my senior high school days with IT (Information technology) behind my back,So this is the case.I been wanting to be pilot since the time i started HS.How to achieve this dream?I am lacking of information on how to be a pilot?

        Reply
        • Dear Cemz,

          First of all, find a flight school nearby, and inquire. Ask about tuition costs, and availability of flight instructors.

          If you can afford the cost of Ground Instruction, then enroll. Flight schools are flexible; they can offer one-on-one instruction even for Ground School, where you learn the academic aspect of flight. It took me about a month, with tw0-hour sessions every other day.

          Afterwards, I began Flight Instruction, so I had to apply for a Student Pilot License, which involves getting an NBI clearance, lab test results, drug test result, chest x-ray, cardio result with strip, hearing exam result, eye exam result, and the requisite 2 pcs. 1×1 ID picture. There might be other requirements, but those are what I remember having to get.

          You’ll have to be examined personally by the Aviation Medical Examiner, and then your SPL application will be processed. As soon as that arrives, schedule your Orientation Flight with the school, and get to know your Flight Instructor and your trainer aircraft.

          “Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Laozi (Lao Tzu/Lao-Tze), ancient Chinese philosopher and writer

          Reply
  44. hi Captain! I really really realllyyy love to be a pilot. I’m actually a graduating student and this coming June, I’ll be a college student. I’ve done a lot of research and I saw Airlink offering aviation major in flying. I’m considering taking that course since I took their entrance exam and I passed! Is taking Aviation major in flying in Airlink a good choice if I want to be an airline pilot? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Dear Art,

      It limits your options in case you find out later on that you get airsick, or have poor eyesight, or have lung problems or a heart condition, or have fainting spells, or have poor English skills, or something else that will eventually prevent you from achieving your goal of becoming an Airline Transport Pilot.

      Word of advice? Inquire from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines if you are medically qualified to become a pilot. Learning to fly is just a short course, and can be done fairly quickly and student pilots do not need to take up aviation courses even if they wish to aim for the airlines. What is expensive is the needed flight hours (1,500 minimum) to qualify for the airline pilot license. There are ways around it, of course. You can apply with Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific directly, or take up a fallback baccalaureate degree and learn to fly during the summer and get the flying hours when you’re not going to classes.

      As for Airlink International Aviation School, there is some controversy regarding graduation expenses. You might want to check it out, and if uncomfortable with it, there is always the Philippine State College of Aviation. Don’t limit your options to just one; seek out alternatives.

      Go to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines’ website, and go down and click the tab with RPAS, ATO and AOC Holders List, then click on the List of Flying and Maintenance Schools as of February 2019 link and view it to see which schools are government accredited, and ask questions regarding tuition and aircraft availability, and training schedules.

      “The engine is the heart of an airplane, but the pilot is its soul.” – Walter Alexander Raleigh

      Reply
  45. Hi Captain!

    Does being a pilot requires one to be good in math and science specifically? I on the other hand isn’t really fond of the two subjects however, I really want to be a pilot. Any advice you can give Captain? I’d really appreciate it. Thank you 🙂

    Reply
    • Dear Alisha,

      Only if you want to be a military pilot. Otherwise, a basic understanding of the principles of math and science would be enough. I’ve never excelled in either subject either.

      Advice? Never give up your dream to be awesome.

      There will be lots of hurdles to overcome, especially financial. Yes, getting flight time is expensive, since you’ll be renting an airplane and fuel to fly. Plus your rental fee also contributes to the mechanic who maintains the aircraft for safe flight, and to the runway fee because each time you land, the airport operator charges for it, and the security guard’s salary also has to be paid since he logs the aircraft number for each aircraft that lands and takes off from the small runway in whatever island you practice your landings on, and the flight instructor who helped you gain the confidence to fly solo, who stood on the runway while you started your solo flight, praying desperately that he taught you well enough that you won’t crash.

      Aside from that, other obstacles would be the weather and time. You can’t fly in bad weather, and it would be hard to find time to enjoy flying since other things would be keeping you on the ground, unless you’re lucky enough to find a job as a commercial pilot, then you’ll be flying all the time.

      Exercise regularly, maintain a low weight, and if you have the money and the time, take up Upset Prevention and Recovery Training to avoid destroying the airplane. Eat carrots for good eyesight, don’t smoke, you can’t drink alcoholic beverages at least 8 hours before any flight, and don’t do drugs. You’ll get a natural high from flying high. When the wheels leave the ground……. you’ll understand when you start flying. 😉

      I don’t know who said this quote, but “Most people only dream of what pilots have seen.”

      Reply
  46. Hi Capt,

    I am medical doctor but I am planning to enroll in fly school near my place this year. It would mean doing a major career shift in my part. Well, I don’t mind leaving the medical profession at least in the hospital setting. I know I can always apply the ‘doctor skills’ whenever necessary. I am curious though if there are doctor pilots you know out there? At least for the sake of sharing sentiments. LOL. Medical profession is rewarding but this pilot thing keeps on tugging. And it gets stronger as years pile up to my age. I’m in my early 30’s by the way. Thanks Capt.

    Reply
    • Dear Dr. Ngo,

      You’re asking if there are any doctor pilots?

      The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, the Flying Physicians Association in the United States of America, the AMREF Flying Doctors in Africa, the United States Air Force Pilot Physician Program, and the Aviation Medical Examiners are often physicians who are also aviators.

      I’ve always wanted to fly planes since I was young. As of this writing, I am a Student Pilot with a Class 2 Medical Certificate and less than 50 hours flight time. I’m also a 50-year-old dentist. 🙂

      “The way I see it, you can either work for a living or you can fly airplanes. Me, I’d rather fly.” – Albert George Leonard Morgan, American aviator, writer, publisher, entrepreneur, photogrammetrist and investor.

      Reply
      • Dear Judith,

        Yes. Next question?

        Just kidding. The Philippines State College of Aviation accepts candidates from all walks of life, being a government-supported school offering free education to Filipinos.

        PhilSCA has campuses in Pasay City, Floridablanca in Pampanga, another in Lipa City, Batangas, one in Lapu-lapu City, Cebu and Lingayen in Pangasinan.

        The appear to be planning to build two additional campuses, in Guimaras and another one in Medellin, Cebu.

        Remember that only the tuition fee for the course is free, and there are a lot of applicants. But hard work always pays off, and if you enjoy flying, you’ll want to give up walking. 😉

        Reply
        • I just want to clarify sir that Philippine State College of Aeronautics does not have a campus in Lingayen, Pangasinan. Fly Fast Aviation School, flying school tied-up to PhilSCA, is the one operating there.

          I’ll take this opportunity sir to ask a question. I stopped flying 2 years ago and want to go back this year. What are the requirements for me to get back to flying? Do you think the Cadet Pilot Program offered by Ceb Pac will be a good choice?

          Thank you and Godbless!

          Reply
          • Dear Jean,

            Thank you for the clarification re PhilSCA’s tie-up with Fly Fast. Wasn’t aware of that, although it’s understandable because the government has to coordinate with other flying schools for the Flight Instruction Phase of learning aviation, because aircraft are expensive to maintain and state colleges must use their budget for many courses.

            As to your question, what expired pilot license do you currently hold?

            Checking with CAAP rules, if your license is more than 24 months expired, you’ll have to go through Ground and Flight Instruction AGAIN, and take the Practical exam AGAIN and pass the Medical Exam to renew your medical certificate.

            As to the Cadet Pilot Program offered by Cebu Pacific, I can only comment insofar as the feedback I’ve heard from friends who underwent the program, ok?

            According to my friend, if you don’t have money for expenses, it will be tough. Ceb Pac is supposed to give their cadet pilots an allowance for food, but the entire allowance was given at the end of the training only. Plus you’ll be tied up with Ceb Pac for 10 years.

            It really depends on how you see your career as an aviator. If you can take it, well and good. If not, then you’ll have to spend for it yourself, and when you get your Airline Transport Pilot License, you can apply with any airline worldwide. Good luck, Captain Jean!

          • Good evening Doc/Capt! I was supposed to take my IR Checkride last 2 years but I stopped. I am currently a CPL holder. I renewed my medical license and NTC license last year hoping I can get back to flying.

            Thank you for your informations captain about the Cadet Training Program. I applied twice but still having doubts about the said program.

            May I ask where are you currently flying?

            Thank you and Godbless!

  47. Hi sir. I am the one that ask a question about BSAT. Can you clarify which course is the best course for me to become a commerical pilot? They said I need a Bachelor’s Degree to become an airline pilot. So taking 6 months pilot training is not an option for me.

    Also, If I successfully graduated and have my commercial license a year after. Then I got a job and fly an agricultural plane. Would I need additional training if I decided to work on a passenger plane?

    Lastly, how much does an agricultural spray pilot make compare to those private pilot and airline pilot?

    Thanks Captain!

    Reply
    • Dear FuturePilot,

      Let’s clarify the requirements, shall we?

      You need to become a Student Pilot and then a Private Pilot before becoming a Commercial Pilot, then you can get a job as a pilot. If you want to become an Airline Transport Pilot, you need to graduate from any 4-year course. If you can become a Commercial Pilot in 6 months, while taking up a Bachelor’s Degree, well and good! When you graduate, you can then apply with the airlines.

      If you already have a CPL and flew agri planes, you’ll need additional training to fly jet engine aircraft. But agri flying only happens in the early hours of the morning, and you get paid, whereas airline pilots are required to fly during different hours of the day, and sometimes remain overnight in the destination. You get paid a lot, but the airlines will squeeze every single centavo out of you also, working you like a carabao.

      Private pilots don’t earn anything. They are not allowed to charge anything for flying. All their flying is free, gratis, charity, libre, walang bayad. Passengers can share for the fuel, but that’s all.

      But remember, if the salary is big, the company will also demand a lot from you.

      “Flying is more than a sport and more than a job; flying is pure passion and desire, which fill a lifteime.” – Adolf Galland, German Luftwaffe General and flying ace

      Reply
  48. Good Day Captain. I am currently working as a Nurse for two years now but the dream has always been to become a Pilot. So my main concern here Cap is, can I still become a commercial Pilot? How long will it take me to become one?

    Reply
    • Dear Pauline,

      Yes, you can still become a Commercial Pilot! As long as you pass the medical requirements and the government exams, you can still live the dream of being one of the awesome!

      Flight schools are generally flexible. Ground Instruction can be accomplished on your days off, or on weekends, or whenever you have about two hours available. Afterwards, it gets a bit more difficult, because flight training only happens during daytime hours, in clear weather (Trust me, nobody wants to learn flying at night during a storm.). Accumulate enough flight experience as a Student Pilot and then take the Civil Aviation Authority’s written and practical exams, then wait for your Private Pilot License (Yes, everybody passes. If you were able to take the exams, it means you’re competent enough to fly.), get additional training and then fly at least 200 hours or so, then exams again for your Commercial Pilot License, then voila! you’re now able to charge passengers for flying them around.

      Never give up your dreams, because if you enjoy what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life!

      Reply
        • Dear Pauline,

          “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, from March 4, 1933 to April 12, 1945

          Reply
      • Good day capt. I’m gr.9 student po and our teacher po gave us a activity that we are going to make a resume and having job interview this coming Friday.I wanna ask lang po if how long years I’m gonna take in college and in others to become a air force pilot po thank you

        Reply
        • Dear Michaella,

          According to my research, these are the requirements for those wishing to become a Philippine Air Force pilot:

          If you’re between 17 to 21 years old, enter the Philippine Military Academy with Air Force as your branch of service. Upon graduation, you’ll receive the rank of Second Lieutenant in the PAF.

          If you’re already 21 to 29 years of age, and holder of a Baccalaureate Degree from any course (although scientific courses such as Engineering, Physics, Computer Science, Chemistry, etc. are preferred), you can enter the Philippine Air Force Officer Candidate School.

          If you already have at least a Private Pilot License, then your chances of entering the Philippine Air Force Flight School to get Military Pilot Training is even better. Candidates who are between 21 to 26 with a rank of 2Lt. are ideal.

          Candidates must have their Commander’s Letter of Recommendation to enter the PAFFS, where successful applicants have to pass the Military Pilot Aptitude Test, be at least 5’4″ to 6’5″ and not overweight. Seated height must be between 34 and 40 inches tall, have 20/20 vision, and not color-blind.

          You will be disqualified if you have problems with depth perception, have had laser eye surgery, have asthmatic or hay fever attacks or allergic episodes after age 12.

          So, that means you have to finish 4 years in the PMA or 4-5 years in college, then apply with the PAFFS, or get a Private Pilot License while you are going to college.

          Good luck on your activity! I hope i was able to be of assistance.

          Reply
    • Dear Marionjoseph,

      None whatsoever!

      If you want to be a pilot, start learning as soon as you are 16 years old, the minimum age allowed. Private pilots should be at least 17 years of age.

      If you want to become an airline pilot, you need to have a Bachelor’s Degree. From any course. That’s a documentary requirement from the airlines, along with your pilot’s logbook showing that you’ve got a large number of flight hours experience, and your Class 1 Medical Certificate, plus your Pilot’s License which shows the needed type ratings, prior to application with the airline company.

      But if you become a Commercial Pilot, you can stop there and start applying with companies as a corporate pilot, or agricultural spray pilot, or air charter, air taxi, cargo pilot, etc. and start earning back the money you spent learning to fly.

      Reply
  49. Hello, Captain! May I ask if someone could become a pilot even if he/she has eye problems (such as myopia)?
    Also, is pilot training rigorous?

    Reply
    • Dear Marionjoseph,

      I am a student pilot beyond 40 years old, and I suffer from presyopia, or the loss of near focusing ability of the eye that normally occurs with age. I wear reading glasses when doing aviation paperwork, or using checklists during preflight.

      Myopia, or near-sightedness, needs corrective lenses. As long as you get cleared by the Aviation Medical Examiner, then you can still become a pilot.

      Question number 2: Is pilot training rigorous? Rigorous means extremely careful and thorough. Think about it for a while.

      Flying airplanes involves a certain risk, known as “Controlled Flight Into Terrain,” or colloquially, crashing. Training naturally has to be rigorous. But your fear of CFIT will make you precise and attentive in your flight training.

      In aviation, you’ll hear a lot of quotes, like:

      Safety means the number of takeoffs equal the number of landings.

      The are old pilots, and there are bold pilots. But there are no old, bold pilots.

      A good landing is one you walk away from. A great landing is when you can use the airplane again. 😉

      Reply
  50. Hi Sir. I am about to take BS in Air Transportation in PhilSCA, and as per the law that was sponsored by Bam Aquino, all state university will now be free. My question is, is BSAT the fastest way to become a pilot with bachelor’s degree? If I’m not mistaken, according to their curriculum, the student will take basic ground course, etc. on theit 4th year. Also, how much do you think will be the remaining cost that I need to become a commercial pilot?

    Reply
    • Dear FuturePilot,

      I checked the facts, and it was Senator Ralph Recto who was the author of the bill providing for free college education in the country, and Senators Bam Aquino and Chiz Escudero co-sponsored it on the Senate floor, or only presented it to the Senate. Let us give credit to where credit is due.

      Philippine State College of Aeronautics also offers the Private Pilot Basic Ground Course and Flight Training, Commercial Pilot Advanced Ground Course and Flight Training, Instrument Training and Multi-Engine Training. This would assist you greatly if you aspire for the Airline Transport Pilot License.

      Is this the fastest way? No. You can always learn to fly during the summer, and weather permitting, accomplish everything within a six-month period, all the way to the Multi-Engine Rating.

      The airline companies worldwide require their pilot-applicants to have a 4-year degree in ANY course, and aside from the requisite ratings (Instrument Rating, Multi-Engine Rating, etc.), the most flight experience. Simply put, you could be an engineer, a nurse, an accountant, a pre-med student and still apply for the airlines. You don’t have to take up BS Aviation.

      As to cost, how much do you want to be a pilot? That is exactly how much it will cost. 🙂

      Reply
  51. Good day Captain!

    I would like to know if it is necessary to get an ATPL if you want to become a pilot? Can one initially proceed to being a captain in command without becoming a first officer or a co-pilot? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Dear Snow,

      Here’s the chronological order of pilot licenses:

      1. Student Pilot License
      2. Private Pilot License
      3. Commercial Pilot License
      4. Airline Transport Pilot License

      You get number 1 when you finish Ground Instruction and pass a medical exam. It is needed, along with your Class 2 Medical Certificate, when you start Flight Instruction. And when your flight instructor says that you are finally ready to fly solo, you are now pilot-in-command. You will never forget your solo flight.

      The second license (no, I won’t call it “Number 2”) is given to the student pilot after accomplishing the needed flight hours and passing government exams and getting all the other needed documents. This gives you the freedom to fly any airplane that you have been rated to fly. As a pilot, your passengers now call you “Captain.”

      License 3 allows you to get paid to fly. You can now apply for any job that involves flying and receive a salary or compensation to do so. This opens up your horizons and starts helping you realize your dream of getting back all the money you spent on flight hours.

      And finally, the license that most pilots aspire to! As the name suggests, you are now qualified to fly a very large number of passengers on a fairly regular basis and be paid a lot of money for each flight hour of travel between runways. Sitting inside the airliner while doing the preflight does not count toward your salary.

      So, to answer your question directly, it is not necessary to get an ATPL to become a pilot, and you become captain when you start flying, even as a student pilot, and after your solo, you are now in command of the aircraft, and decisions and consequences are resting squarely on your shoulders, so I suggest gaining as much flight-hour experience and training as you can afford to be able to fly safely.

      Flying is not dangerous; crashing is! Cheers!

      Reply
  52. would it be hard if i take (BSAMT) bachelor in science aircraft maintenance and pursue to become a pilot after?what would be it’s process?

    Reply
    • Dear Dre,

      It really depends on your reason for becoming a pilot. What would be your ultimate goal? Do you wish to fly for profit or just for recreation?

      Learning to fly is easy, if you have the right stuff: Money, time, physical fitness and English proficiency. Money because flight hours are expensive; Time, because the weather is a fickle thing and flying in foul weather is downright life-threatening, unless you’re a storm chaser working for the meteorological services. Physical fitness is important because a pilot cannot fly without a license AND a medical certificate; and English proficiency is critical because communicating on aircraft radios requires speaking and understanding English.

      Taking up Bachelor of Science in Aircraft Maintenance Technology will make you a proficient aircraft mechanic, and not a pilot. Mechanics repair planes while pilot fly planes. Pilots are not allowed to repair nor replace any aircraft parts, other than to do minor adjustments to cockpit instruments and to check fluid levels.

      You may take up BSAMT if it’s a four-year course, to satisfy the documentary requirement for airline pilot applicants. Of course, you still need to become a pilot by first enrolling in a flight school, attending Ground Instruction, applying for a Student Pilot License, getting your Medical Certificate (which is renewed on a regular basis), flying with a Flight Instructor for your flight training, graduating by flying solo, then practice flying to gain the minimum required flight hours before the next step: the Private Pilot License. At that point, you’ll know what you need to do next.

      “Blessed are the aircraft mechanics! The dirty, tired, and bloody. For they are the ones which air travel depends on.” – aviation quote

      Reply
    • Dear Dre,

      It really depends on what kind of pilot you want to be afterwards: working or recreational?

      If you’re aiming to make it a career and wish to fly for the airlines, make sure that the course is four years long, because it’s a documentary requirement for the airline pilots: graduate of ANY four-year course.

      If you don’t aspire for the airlines but still aspire for a flying career, then being able to fix the airplane is an advantage. It’s sort of like knowing how to check your car’s engine so you won’t have to see a mechanic each time your car makes funny noises under the hood. As soon as you get a Commercial Pilot License you can be paid to fly, and if you also have an Aviation Maintenance Technician License, you’ll be able to get a job fairly quickly, as you’ll be able to offer potential employers a bargain deal. Having an airplane mechanic who actually flies the airplane he fixes is a very good confidence builder.

      If you have the money and the time, do both at the same time. BS-AMT is usually a classroom-type course with a regular schedule, while learning to fly could be done one-on-one during weekends or whenever you have free time. Just set it up with your Ground School Instructor.

      And when you graduate as an Aviation Maintenance Technician, you can even apply for on-the-job training with the flight school where you’re learning to fly! A win-win situation, giving back to those who helped you.

      Reply
  53. Good Day Captian.

    I’m interested to know how much does it cost to get a PPL and CPL at any flying schools here in Philippines. Thank you 🙂

    Reply
    • Dear Lisha,

      Rough estimate? About 2,100,000 pesos.

      The large amount would be due to the minimum number of flight hours needed for each license category. Private Pilot License requires 50 hours and Commercial Pilot License requires 200 hours. Although I would suggest getting more hours for each license category, and if you can, get basic aerobatic or emergency maneuvers training just so you can get out of unusual flight attitudes.

      Airplanes don’t care about flight attitude; pilots do. Did you know airplanes will fly inverted? Given enough airspeed, airplanes will keep going straight and level, although the pilot may feel lightheaded after a while.

      “I’m a pilot. To save time, let’s just assume I’m never wrong.” 😉

      Reply
        • Dear Mhenard,

          I had to stop and think for a while regarding your question. I think I comprehend the situation.

          I guess this confuses a lot of potential student pilots because they are thinking that flight school is like going to high school or college, in that you attend classes according to the schedule of the school and if you miss a class, you’re marked absent and it reflects on your final grade as your conduct, and will determine whether you graduate or are expelled.

          That is not the way flight schools operate. It’s more of learn-at-your-own-speed, or individualized instruction. Yes, most schools do a classroom setup to accommodate more students under one instructor, but it doesn’t mean you have to graduate with your classmates. Some will get the hang of flying faster than others and will solo earlier, while others may take years to fully comprehend flight instruction and finally fly solo. It doesn’t make you any less of a pilot.

          Getting a Private Pilot License means you’ve met the minimum flight time, gotten the National Telecommunication Commission’s Radio Operator License-Aircraft I.D., and passed the Civil Aviation Authority’s exams.

          Regarding the 6-month PPL, let me explain: Ground Instruction, which on average takes about two hours a day, can be accomplished in about a month. After that comes Flight Instruction. As a PPL needs a minimum of 40 hours, and flights have a safety rule of maximum two hours flying around for training, and if a student pilot flies daily, he can meet the minimum in about 20 days.

          So, you can go from an SPL to a PPL in about two months! This can be done with any flight school accredited by the government. But if you want to take 6 months to get your PPL, it’s fine. You can take as long as you need. Then again, the weather, your finances and your own free time will determine how long it will take you to get your PPL.

          I hope this clarifies a lot of questions about flight school schedules. But if it doesn’t, I’ll try to answer even more clearly (I hope).

          Reply
  54. Hello, I’m currently 15 years old and wish to become a pilot when I finish College, is there anything that I should study while studying in school or any courses that I have to take?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Dear Kurt,

      If you search on the internet, you’ll find that you have to be good in this subject and that subject. In my opinion, those answers were written by people who aren’t pilots.

      If you are lousy at Mathematics, or Physics, or Electronics, or Social Studies, or whatever else, it doesn’t matter. You must excel at English. Be able to read, speak and comprehend it.

      if you’re aiming for the airlines, a degree from any four-year course is one of their documentary requirements, but experience still counts a lot more.

      But as a practical matter, all you need to know about flying will be taught to you during Ground School/Instruction before you step into an airplane for Flight School/Instruction, and there will be instructors at each phase.

      When you get to fly solo, that means that your Flight Instructor has seen that you are capable of flying the airplane competently enough not to damage the airplane, nor kill yourself in the process.

      Reply
  55. Hello Capt.

    Can you get a CPL and PPL license without that 4 year course and what are the chances that can still get a job as an commercial pilot?

    Just a little confuse..

    Reply
    • Dear Kristian,

      Yes. Anything else you need to know?

      Just kidding.

      It all starts with a desire to be awesome, realizing that the path is steep (You’re aiming for the sky, after all. Double entendre joke.) and still deciding to pursue that dream, no matter what obstacles are placed in your way.

      From a practical point of view, you have to have funding, good health, 360 degree situational awareness, and meticulous attention to detail.

      As for the 4-year course, in my opinion the airlines just want their pilot-applicants to be of a certain age and psychological state, i.e. 25 years old and able to handle problems in a mature way.

      Student pilots age requirement is 16 years old, minimum.You get an SPL (Student Pilot License), learn the basics of flight, then start training with an instructor, learn to operate the airplane safely, pass the government exams, get your PPL (Private Pilot License), and if you wish to make flying a career, get an Instrument Rating, maybe also a Multi-Engine Rating, gain the needed flight time, take the government exams again, get your CPL (Commercial Pilot License) then apply for a pilot job and finally get paid to fly.

      Reply
  56. Can I be a pilot even if my height is only 5’3 because I’m a little worried that I cannot become a pilot if my height is short

    Reply
    • Dear Niclaus,

      And for all others worried about the inability to become a pilot because of their lack of height, here’s the requirements:

      Philippine Airlines: minimum 162 cm.
      Cathay Pacific – 163 cm.
      Singapore Airlines – 165 cm.
      British Airways – 157 to 190 cm.
      Lufthansa – 165 to 198 cm.

      Satisfied?

      But what does it really mean? Simple. These airlines want their pilots to look good! Sort of like models who represent the company, getting admiring stares from passengers as the pilots walk along the terminal on the way to the aircraft..

      You will not find any civil aviation requirement anywhere in the world that has a height requirement for pilots. The US Navy Fighter Pilot is an exception. More on that later.

      Get your Commercial Pilot License, apply, and see if they reject you because of your height. Tendency is your flight experience will matter more than height or looks. Let’s say the airlines won’t accept you because of your height. Fine. Apply with cargo companies. FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc. Or become a corporate jet pilot. Or agricultural spraying pilot. Or traffic info pilot. Or….

      Flying an airliner is not the only pilot job out there; it just appears to be the most glamorous. But not everybody can be the star. Others have to be the villain, the love interest, the supporting cast, etc. There’s a job for you out there. Don’t give up hope because you’re short.

      Actually, being too tall could present more of a problem, since airplane cockpits tend to be cramped. In airliners, it’s more a question of reach. Can your hands reach all the buttons and switches? Can you see over the dashboard? Can you step on the rudders and brakes effectively? If you have doubts, step into an airplane cockpit and see for yourself.

      Right, you’re not yet a pilot, so this might be an issue. But take heart! Modern aircraft have adjustable seats! If they can put those things in cars, they definitely placed those in airplanes also. Height is no longer a practical issue.

      But, if there is a rule for everything, there must always be an exception to the rule. That exception being military pilots. The Luftwaffe requires a minimum height of 155 cm. or 5 feet tall. A US Navy pilot candidate must be at least 5’2″ and not taller than 6’5″, and can’t weigh more than 245 lbs., nor less than 103 lbs. Once that candidate is accepted, more measurements are taken, such as sitting height, buttock to knee length, thumb-tip reach, stature, etc.. From those measurements the pilot is assigned a code number that corresponds directly to the type of aircraft that pilot may fly!

      For example, a pilot with Code 4 (141 lbs., sitting-eye height 27.5 in., thumb-tip reach 27.5 in., butt to knee length 22.5 in., and sitting height 34.1 inches) may safely fly a T-6A or T-36C, but not a T-45A/C.

      So take heart, pilots come in all shapes and sizes, genders and age. As long as you are physically fit, speak English and have a desire to be awesome, you can become a pilot.

      Reply
  57. Good Day Captains

    How do I even start?

    I don’t know of any pilots or someone within the aviation field.

    I’m not really poor but I can’t afford enrolling to flying schools.
    I have a job, but even if I don’t eat 3 meals a day, not go out on weekends nor buy anything, I probably can’t save enough for flying..

    I’m at loss on how I can become a pilot. I dunno who to approach.

    Thank you for any responses.

    Reply
    • Dear ArmchairPilot,

      How do you know you can’t save enough for flying?

      Ah, you are looking at the bottom line, the sum total cost for learning to fly, the incredibly large number at the end, the staggering amount of the billing statement.

      This must be what made you think that you can’t save enough to learn to fly. Would it surprise you to know that even rich people find that amount significant? But they learn to fly anyway. Why? It’s not because they can afford it; it’s because they look at it as an investment.

      Some learn to fly to better themselves, some do it to eventually land a job, and some are just bored with travel on sea and land. But it IS an investment that requires patience, dedication and perseverance. Pilots find it is a worthy investment.

      If you really do wish to become one of the awesome, follow these tips:

      1. Find a flight school near your place of residence. If there is an airport, there’s a flight school. Call them up, and ask how much Ground Instruction costs. And if they offer Fly-now, pay-later financing. If they don’t, get a loan from relatives or a financial institution or your employer.

      2. If you are working, what hours do you work? Flight schools are flexible. Instructors can teach you evening, weekends, holidays, etc. depending on your schedule and your budget. Same goes for students in high school or senior high. Minimum age for student pilots is 16 years old.

      3. Do you speak English? Do you understand spoken English? Answer “No,” and you can kiss becoming a pilot goodbye. I won’t assume that just because you’re reading this, it also means you are proficient in speaking and understanding English. Radio calls are vital in aviation, and the language of international aviation is English.

      4. Are you physically fit? I’m not talking about height or such. Are you color-blind? Have high blood pressure? Got any debilitating diseases? Fainting spells? Hacking coughs? Remember, something happens to you while flying, you could die. And if it’s from a heart attack, it just means you die ahead of your passengers. Eyeglasses are allowed.

      5. You need an NBI clearance and pass a drug test. You’ll need these for your Student Pilot License application. With the requisite I.D. pictures, of course.

      Not so daunting anymore, correct? Broken down into smaller, more manageable pieces, learning to fly seems much easier to achieve.

      Live a life fulfilled.

      Reply
      • Thank you sir, at least I now have a process to follow.

        Although No.1 might be my problem since I live far from the airport.

        Manila Airport is the nearest to us (which is still far from us as I don’t live in Manila)

        Reply
        • Dear ArmchairPilot,

          I suggest finding another airport nearby. Manila International Airport is very busy, and you will not be able to fly as often as you want, because of runway traffic. Trainer aircraft have the lowest priority for runway use.

          Try searching for a flight school nearby, and then inquire where they have their students get flight training.

          It will be difficult for you to get a map of all the airports in the country because there are aerodromes that are not classified as airports, but do support flight schools. I know, I tried.

          Reply
  58. Hi capt
    Is there any schools offer scholarship (fly now pay later)in 2019? I really want to become a pilot but it’s too expensive.. I am planning now if I will sell my organs or not to pursue my dream just kidding hahahah

    Reply
    • Dear Mark,

      Try asking the flight schools near your area of residence. There has to be some method of fly now, pay later available, probably with some form of collateral or post-dated checks. Some banks seem to offer loans, and maybe relatives can also help out. You could also get a job and save money, just to show your parents or financiers that you are serious about pursuing the flying career/job/profession/hobby. Most schools are now getting into the scholarship program since the airline industry realizes that aspiring pilots can’t afford the expensive flight hours needed for the licenses and experience.

      Dedication and perseverance is key. if you want to succeed as a pilot, or anything else for that matter, you shouldn’t give up. Life will throw hardships your way, and you should overcome each obstacle. Period. It’s too expensive if you think so, and no longer that expensive when you start flying!

      Just keep trying to get into a flight school. You won’t regret it. Besides, i don’t think you have enough organs to sell. LOL!

      Reply
  59. Sir, I would like to ask the disadvantages of Study now, pay later’ as Cebu Pacific offer to become a Cadet Pilot. There is a possibility to become a commercial pilot to other airline after rendering 10 years from Cebu Pacific?

    Reply
    • Dear Marj,

      The disadvantage is you’ll be in Adelaide, Australia for the whole duration of your training. I don’t know if the tuition fee includes the housing and food, so you’ll have to ask them about that.

      You’ll be stuck with Cebu Pacific since you’ll sign a contract with them (10 years, right?) and some foreign pilots complain about the salary, the administrative side, etc. But I don’t hear many complaints from locals, so I guess it’s a cultural thing. Then again, you’re guaranteed a job for the next 10 years! When your contract expires, you’ll be eligible to work for another airline company, with 10 years experience.

      So other than that, I don’t see it as a disadvantage. It really depends on your disposition: Is the glass half-empty or half-full? You still have to pass their online screening, so it’s not a guarantee. Good luck!

      Reply
    • Dear Yvonne,

      Around 5 million pesos to get a Private Pilot License. That’s about what I have to pay (still need a few more hours to complete the required minimum 50 hours, plus the cost of exams for Radio Operator’s License, and the CAAP exams for Private Pilot License) but the estimate is close to the actual cost.

      Does it seem like a lot of money? Definitely, yes! However, this represents the sum TOTAL expense. Mind you, I didn’t pay this amount up front. I started with about 60,000 pesos for the flight school tuition fee, then about 30,000 pesos for the aviation books and then additional fees for medical exams and NBI clearance for the Class 2 Medical Certificate and processing fee for the Student Pilot License, after which you start paying for flight hour fees, which should include the rental fee for the airplane and the flight instructor’s fee. A Cessna 152 rental costs about 8,000 pesos per hour, and this is where the bulk of that very large figure can be found.

      But don’t be daunted by the cost! Try asking your parents how much your tuition cost, from kindergarten all the way through college. Then the figure show above would seem like peanuts.

      You don’t have to have that sort of money lying around, of course. You can get a job, and save for it. Or better yet, get your parents/relatives/godparents to pay for your Ground Instruction, then work and save money for the Flight Instruction. It would give you an additional sense of accomplishment, paying for your flight time on your own.

      There will always be a need for pilots, and not enough applicants. Too many people are afraid of flying, but they fly anyway. So there will always be a job for pilots, even if it takes them five years to become an airline pilot.

      I started learning to fly 3 years ago, and I’m still a Student Pilot. If I eventually get a Commercial Pilot License, I can become a Flight Instructor! And maybe I can start earning back the money I spent learning.

      The future belongs to those who look forward.

      Reply
      • Correction, 5 million (roughly, estimated, around, close to that amount, more or less) to get an Airline Transport Pilot License.

        p.s. If you get a Commercial Pilot License, you can start earning money for flying. Airline pilots make a lot of money, but it needs a lot of flight time. Just suggesting options.

        Reply
  60. HI CAPTAIN I AM TAKING AAET OR AVIONICS IN PHILIPPINE STATE COLLEGE OF AERONAUTICS IN PAMPANGA CAN I BECOME A PILOT IN THE FUTURE WITH6 MY AVIONICS COURSE AND HOW WILL I BECOME A PILOT

    Reply
    • Dear John France,

      Being an avionics tech means that you’ll be able to manage the cockpit instruments, i.e. fixing and maintaining the transponder, radio, GPS, electronic flight display (glass cockpit), etc.

      Doesn’t mean you’ll be able to fly an airplane. Doesn’t mean you CAN’T learn to fly an airplane, either.

      After graduating, or even while taking up the course, I suggest getting some ground lessons during weekends. Eventually you’ll also be able to get flight lessons. The main advantage of becoming an Associate in Aviation Electronics Technology is that you can pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation Electronics Technology and finish in just two years instead of four years required by the course (since you already spent two years getting the Associate degree anyway!).

      AAET or BSAET makes you eligible to apply for an electronics repairman position in any airline company. Consider it a fallback, not a step in the path to becoming a flyer. In much the same way that knowing how to fix a computer doesn’t make you a programmer.

      Kids, the path to becoming a pilot is: Expensive, difficult, tedious and extremely rewarding. There are no shortcuts. Hard work is required, and will be rewarded. Being an airline pilot is not as glamorous as you think, nor does it pay as well as you hope. Pilots get paid the big bucks for the amount of work they put in, meaning the harder you work, the higher the pay. Cargo pilots probably get paid better, and corporate pilots probably best of all. Then again, agricultural pilots get paid a lot for working only a few hours each morning. Confusing? Maybe. But life is all about choices and making mistakes and learning from them. So make choices, accept the mistakes and try not to kill yourself in the process.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  61. Hi Captain! I just would like to ask these questions because I have no idea in aviation because I am only in Grade 11

    A. When you are in flight school taking up a 4-year course, do you gain flight hours as you’re studying there? Like, when you graduate, do you start with 0?

    B. How do you gain flight hours before and after graduating? Do you only gain hours by flying a small plane around everyday to get the minimum?

    C. Do you have any tips for someone who is about to go to flight school? Say, study tips or courses/paths to take, and etc.

    Reply
    • Dear Kevin,

      to my knowledge, BS Aviation Major in Flying will get you the needed flight hours for a Private Pilot License, the most basic license in this profession. The government requirement is a minimum of about 40 or so flight hours, before you take the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines written and practical exam prior to getting your PPL. This will allow you to fly aircraft that you are rated for, and to bring passengers along. For free.

      To get paid to fly, you need a Commercial Pilot License, which is an upgrade to your PPL.This requires a minimum of about 100 or so hours, which you gain by flying around in a small plane as often as the weather allows and as long as your bank account still contains funds.

      Tips? Study the lessons in your aviation books, fly a flight simulator that is realistically set up (this is expensive, whether you do it yourself or just pay the flight school for use of theirs), always LOOK OUTSIDE the airplane and just GLANCE INSIDE at the flight instruments, work hard, enjoy flying a small plane, and RIGHT RUDDER!

      Hope this helps!

      p.s. Most important piece of advice: Don’t fly into clouds. Small planes don’t have collision avoidance radar, and if you can’t see the other plane, how would you know who has the right of way?

      Reply
      • Hi captain, money is my issue to become a pilot and i’m not rich like anyone who can afford enrolling in any flying school. Can you suggest any aviation course to me captain, to start my career? thank you!

        Reply
        • Dear Eric,

          I am not a fan of aviation courses because there is no guarantee that you can apply to become an airline pilot. At most, you’ll graduate with a Private Pilot License. Some schools offer a more intensive course outline until becoming a Commercial Pilot, but that’s where they stop. You still need to make the necessary flight time.

          The only real hindrance to gaining the minimum required flight hours is the weather. If a student pilot has the stamina, he can fly in the morning and in the afternoon for about two hours each time. A Private Pilot License needs about 50 flight hours, after which a Commercial Pilot License needs about 250 hours, for a total of 300 hours prior to applying with the airlines. Flying a Cessna 152 two-seater trainer aircraft costs on average 8,000 pesos an hour, so this would come out to 2,4 million. That’s a lot of money just for flight time!

          On average, First Officers earn 150,000 pesos a month, and Captains earn 500,000 pesos a month.

          Regarding your specific problem, Eric, consider taking out a loan, or working part-time, or full-time and fly when you’ve saved enough money. Or inquire about fly-now, pay-later programs. Reputable flight schools are flexible. And who knows, you might even end up becoming a flight instructor for the flight school itself!

          Don’t be discouraged by the TOTAL cost. Try asking your parents how much your tuition cost when you first started Kindergarten until you graduated High School. It’s all a matter of perspective. Any undertaking worth doing seems like a mountain, until you move the first pebble and don’t stop until you’ve created a flat field. Looking back, you’d wonder how you made it!

          Reply
  62. Hello Captain! Currently a Senior High School student in STEM. I just wanted to ask, which way of becoming a pilot is better?

    A. Through the Air Force in PMA, or,
    B. Enroll in a flight school

    And what are the pros and cons of each?

    Reply
    • Dear Daniel,

      The better way of becoming a pilot depends on what your goal is.

      Becoming an Philippine Air Force pilot is nice because the government takes care of your bills. Flying is expensive! If you choose the Air Force, you get to do things a little differently from civilian pilots. You get to fly into combat zones, fly close to the ground at high speed, live out your dreams as a fighter pilot in real life instead of a computer screen, get to shoot at things from an airplane, etc.

      And have the opportunity to get shot down, explode in mid-air from missiles, get killed saving soldiers on the ground.

      Going to flight school means it will cost a lot of money, but you can start right now! And if you persevere, you’ll eventually get a Commercial Pilot License and begin looking for a job flying planes. You can even become a Flight Instructor and teach others and pass on your knowledge.

      “Patience you must have, my young padawan.” – Yoda

      Reply
      • But sir, what about becoming an airline pilot? Would joining the air force and transferring to become an airline pilot after the air force is better? Or enroll to an aviation course in a flight school? Or apply in a cadetship program such as the one Cebu Pacific has? Which would be a better, faster, and more efficient way of becoming an airline pilot?

        Also, thank you for your reply Captain!

        Reply
        • Dear Daniel,

          Joining the Philippine Air Force just to get training and later moving on to the airlines is no longer viable since flight time as an Air Force officer is no longer credited to civilian pilot flight time. Even if you have 3,000 flight hours flying military aircraft, when you resign your commission, your flight time is back to zero.

          If you want to fly airlines, go to a flight school. You can try CebPac’s Cadet Pilot Program, but you still have to pay for every cent they spent on your flight training, via monthly salary deduction, for 10 years. If you can apply with other airline companies abroad, you’ll find a better setup because they offer full scholarships and employment tie-ups of only about 5 years or so.

          There are no shortcuts. It’s like growing a tree from a seed. Takes time, patience, and perseverance. And a lot of money. But then, if you want to become one of the awesome, it’s worth it!

          Reply
  63. Sir,

    I have nephew wanted to be a pilot but he has lung scar due to previous tuberculosis, he is now totally cured. Is there a chance he can be a commercial pilot? thanks ahead

    Reply
    • Dear Marj,

      To paraphrase Star Trek -The Original Series’ Dr. Leonard McCoy, I’m a dentist, not a physician. Only the Aviation Medical Examiner can make that determination.

      However, every cloud has a silver lining! I get my Class 2 Medical Certificate renewed annually, so I get checked out by the AME each year. Along with me is several other pilots, some younger, some older than I, and the AME always reminds them to get their blood pressure down, or get new eyeglasses, or lower their blood sugar levels, etc. And some of these guys are Flight Instructors! So I do believe your nephew has a very good chance to become a commercial pilot.

      Basically, the AME will check the chest x-ray and reading from the pulmonologist (lung doctor), aside from the electrocardiogram strip and reading from the cardiologist (heart doctor), the eye exam result from the optometrist (eye doctor), the hearing test results from the audiometrist (ear doctor), the drug test result, the urinalysis result, and dental certificate.

      Student pilot applicants also need a copy of their NSO birth certificate and NBI clearance. Plus 2 copies of 1×1 ID picture.

      Reply
      • Dear Capt. Enrique:

        Could you advise me on the colour vision requirements in Philippines? Is there any test that can be taken beside Ishihara Test? And also, could you share with me any information on the AME that I can get in touch with. Really appreciate it.

        Thank you.

        Regards.

        Reply
        • Dear Afs,

          The color blindness test is one of the medical exams that a potential pilot must NOT fail. We should be able to discern red and green, because wingtip lights are red on the left and green on the right, to help determine right-of-way.

          Additionally, the info on an electronic flight display are differently colored for ease of viewing. And if you can’t differentiate the colors on the heads-up display, you will miss a lot of critical info which would jeopardize safe flight.

          It’s for this very same reason pilots must not use polarized sunglasses: the colors would be blocked.

          The Aviation Medical Exam can be done in the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines head office in Metro Manila. I think you can get a schedule online.

          You can get your Medical Certificate even before you enroll in a flight school! This way, if you pass the medical requirements, then you can continue investing in learning to fly.

          Reply
    • Dear Erwin,

      Yes. According to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines website, Fastlink Aviation Training Center in Lingayen, Pangasinan is having their accreditation currently on process, as of November 2018.

      To verify if your chosen flight school is accredited, go to CAAP site, and on the right side of the page, select the blue plus symbol beside Philippine civil Aviation Regulations, and select CAR Aerodromes. When that page opens, select RPAS, ATO and AOC Holders List, and you’ll find the List of Flying and Maintenance Schools pdf. Find your school and if it’s name is listed in red, then find a new school and enroll there. Good luck!

      Reply
  64. Hello Captain! I’m currently a Grade 11 STEM student from Iloilo, and I was planning to go to PATTS in Manila for aviation when I graduate high school because I always dreamed of becoming an airline pilot. Is BS Aviation Major in Flying the best and the most relevent course of becoming a pilot? And is PATTS a good choice for that? And some bonus question for my worried self, do you have to be good in Math to become a pilot? Haha! Thanks!

    Reply
    • Dear Renz Daniel,

      First of all, make sure there are no flight schools near where you live. According to the map, Fast Aviation Academy is in Iloilo City.

      Ladies and gentlemen, future pilots of the Philippines, try to find a government-accredited flight school near your residence or domicile because:

      1. Costs will be similar anyway. Competitive pricing keeps costs equal. And government regulations keeps maintenance requirements and schedules the same. Flight costs per hour are similar.

      2. Weather is a major consideration. If it takes you about two hours to get to your flight school, the weather could change drastically, cancelling the flight for that day, and you’d have spent too much time going to the airport for nothing.

      3. Do you really need to add to the expense of learning to fly? It’s expensive enough without the added burden of board and lodging.

      As for the course to take, the airlines requires pilot cadets/applicants to be a graduate of any four-year course. And to demystify the whole flight education thing, let me give you the rules on learning to fly, as per the government regulations:

      1.The applicant for a student pilot authorization shall not be less than 16 years old. For airline pilots, retirement is at 67 years of age.

      2. Can read, speak and understand English. This is the language of international aviation. If you can’t speak it, don’t fly.

      3. Must hold a Class 2 Medical Certificate (for Student Pilots, Private Pilots, Flight Operations Officers, Glider Pilots and Free Balloon Pilots) which states, to wit:

      a. The applicant shall not suffer from any disease or disability which could render that applicant to be suddenly unable either to operate an aircraft safely or to perform assigned duties safely.

      Plainly said, it means:

      Must not be blind. Can see different colors correctly. Can see small objects in the distance, which might actually be an airplane approaching you at high speed. Eyeglasses and contact lenses are allowed.

      Must be healthy. Can breathe normally in high altitudes. No heart conditions can can result in a heart attack when you begin take-off and see the ground dropping fast. Mustn’t suffer from acrophobia. No drug use. Not an alcoholic.Driving drunk is bad enough.

      Nowhere does it say pilots have to hold a degree. Airline companies require this, for reasons I cannot fathom, unless as a fall back option in case the pilot applicant/cadet fails to make the cut. But pilots are in critical demand, so if you’ve graduated from a two-year course and have at least 200 flight hours already, try applying.

      Do excellent grades in Math matter? I flunked all versions of Math in school. Had to have tutors each grade just to graduate. Analog flight computers are available and are easy to use once you learn.

      Good luck, everyone!

      Reply
  65. HI! I’m only 5 ft in height and I was wondering if airline transport companies here in the PH accept airline pilots of that height? If so, what would those airlines be? I’ve learned that PAL puts a 5’4 height requirement on their airline pilots.

    Reply
    • Dear Vanessa,

      The height requirement is not present in the Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations. Only the airlines seem to have decided to impose that requirement.

      Why? Not sure. My research into the subject seems to indicate that this height requirement is necessary so that your feet can reach the rudder pedals while still being able to see over the instrument panel. But the seats in airline cockpits are adjustable for 3 dimensions: up-down, front-back, and tilt.

      Word of advice? Apply. Worst thing the airline company can do is ignore your application. You can always apply elsewhere, even abroad. Can’t find work as an airline pilot? Fly corporate aircraft. Be an instructor. Do agricultural spraying. Work for skydiving outfits.

      When I first started flying, I found out I needed reading glasses. This made me depressed, since I believed that pilots need perfect vision since they need to see small objects in the distance. Guess what? Many pilots wear glasses. Some are retiring already. But until they reach 67 years of age, they are legally allowed to fly airliners.

      The point I am making is, never give up on your dreams.

      You must know the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, correct? They flew the Wright Flyer on December 17, 1903, and became famous for it. Did you know they started researching flight control in July 1899, years before actually testing their design? A short time in retrospect, yes, but they didn’t know that in about four years time they would have a working model, did they? They simply persevered. Good luck.

      Reply
      • Thanks for the encouraging words, Captain! I wear corrective glasses too. So that plus my short height gave me a lot of doubts before pursuing flying. But little by little I’m starting to build up the courage to pursue it. Thanks again, Cap!

        Reply
        • Dear Vanessa,

          “We who fly do so for the love of flying. We are alive in the air, with this miracle that lies in our hands and beneath our feet.” – Cecil Day Lewis (1904-1972), Anglo-Irish poet, critic & educator, Poet Laureate in 1968.

          On a personal note, as of this writing, I will be 50 years old next year, still only a Student Pilot (Airline pilots mandatory retirement age is 67), the weather, depleted funds and the lack of free time preventing me from making my minimum number of flight hours for the Private Pilot exam application, still haven’t gotten a Radio Operator’s Certificate since I only have time to take the annual regional license exam, need reading glasses to see the numbers on the trainer aircraft’s instrument panel, and need to stay in shape for the annual medical check up (for pilots above the age of 40). I have no intention of stopping, so why should you?

          p.s. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

          Reply
  66. Hi Capt. Enrique

    I am planning on enrolling in an aviation school (probably Omni) early next year in order for me to pursue my dream of working as a pilot in PAL or Cebu Pacific. I just want to ask which is a better route to take in order to be hired by PAL or CebPac faster as a pilot.

    A) After getting a commercial pilot license, become a flight instructor in order to accumulate flight time to meet the PAL/ cebpac flight time minimum requirements

    or

    B) After getting a commercial pilot license, undergo a first officer training program

    Thank you Captain Enrique

    Reply
    • Dear Mark,

      If I’m not mistaken, both Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific offer First Officer Cadet training programs. Often with a large financial outlay, meaning large amount of money up front.

      Or, if you prefer to go (relatively) easy on the expenses, get your Commercial Pilot License, work, beg, borrow or steal money from somewhere and get the flight hours needed to get an Airline Transport Pilot License.

      However, there is a third option, and it involves…..muuurrrrrddderrrr! (Kidding! You guys are so serious! Chill!)

      It’s really simple supply and demand: Get a CPL, get paid to fly, gain some experience, then apply with the airlines. There are so many routes being developed and so many passengers that the airlines are having a hard time coping with the demand for pilots, and the international flights are getting the most senior people, so the inter-island flights are losing pilots as everyone gets moved up the hierarchy. So the airlines are always hiring pilots.

      When I started, my fellow pilots were either into flight instruction, or actually doing some flying as whatever, and applying at the same time with the airlines. Sooner or later I hear somebody got hired even on a Commercial Pilot License with the minimum number of hours for the license, not even close to the 1,500 flight hours needed for the Airline Transport Pilot License.

      So to all you aspiring pilots out there reading these comments, there is hope! As flight becomes the preferred mode of travel, surpassing the maritime industry by a long shot, jobs will be waiting for you.

      Work hard, study hard, never give up hope, just fly the plane! Did you know airplanes will fly inverted?

      Reply
        • Dear Mark,

          I am glad to be of service.

          Oh, by the way, if you have money and most importantly, the time, I suggest taking up aerobatic training, or more specifically, emergency maneuver training. There is a course available from Camiguin Aviation called How to Recover training..

          A pilot never stops learning, and I’ve been viewing air crash investigations, and the common denominator there is pilot error. Doesn’t necessarily mean it’s correct, but if you have undergone emergency maneuver training, then you’ll be better prepared if untoward incidents do happen.

          Reply
  67. Hi capt. I inquire last sunday at one of the top school in the phil. And they offered jet orientation. Do i really need that course to qualify for commercial airline?

    Reply
    • Dear Duke,

      Learning to fly jet engine aircraft is necessary if you plan on flying for the airlines. Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific are also offering that for pilot-applicants who pass the screening process.

      Undergoing the Jet Orientation Course helps the pilot-applicant qualify for flying (but not necessarily RIGHT NOW) the airline companies’ Airbus A3** or Boeing 7** products.

      As the most junior pilot around, newbies get to fly the smaller, regional turboprops as a First Officer- lowest man on the totem pole. Entry-level position: most of the work, least of the pay. That’s where you’ll stay until you gain more experience, or some senior Captain retires, or some pilots leave the company to work for international airlines. Welcome to the real world.

      However, patience and perseverance pays off. If you can afford the course, go for it. Maybe you can apply abroad, and the pay grade is better, so it’s a faster return-on-investment, relatively speaking. If you earn dollars, you also spend dollars.

      “This is the most important aviation development since Lindbergh’s flight. In one fell swoop, we have shrunken the earth.”
      – Juan Trippe, Pan Am, on jets

      Reply
  68. Hi capt. I always dream about being a Pilot tried to enroll in PHILSCA this year but they told me my strand in K12 is not fit for the course that i am enrolling , sir my question is currently i am now studying BSIT first year if ever i graduate as an IT am i still eligible for applying or taking a flying school or its much better to shift in any Aeronautics BS Degree for me to pursue my dream to be like you sir someday? what courses if ever in the field of Aeronautics you can recommend sir

    Reply
    • Dear Jhong Prince,

      Let me demystify the aviation industry for you, and all others viewing this comment.

      Airline pilots are paid per actual flight hour. This means that if the aircraft landing gear is still sitting on the ground, you’re not getting money. So senior Captains always choose the international flight routes, which take longer to fly, thus more money. To become the senior Captain, you first have to be a First Officer, which means you’re at the entry-level position. As a FO, you get all the work with the least pay. As soon as the senior retires or leaves the company, the FO with the most experience becomes senior Captain. You first apply as a lowly FO with an airline company. The airlines prefer applicants with a lot of flying experience, i.e. the most flight hours logged prior to application with the company.

      To get those needed flight hours, you should have the needed licenses with the appropriate type and class ratings on your license. You have to have, at the very least, a Commercial Pilot License with an Instrument Rating. With this, you can begin training with an airline company to become an FO.

      Before you get your Commercial Pilot License, you’ve got to complete the requirements and pass the government exams after getting flight experience as a Private Pilot. Getting this is easy, right after you finish Flight Instruction and fly the minimum number of hours for your PPL (Private Pilot License). Naturally, since you need to learn to crawl before you can walk, you have to have gotten a Student Pilot License before starting Flight Instruction. And this is Step One for you, Jhong.

      The government requirement for a Student Pilot License applicant is: not less than 16 years old, can read, speak, and understand English, and must hold a current Class 2 Medical Certificate (mentally and physically fit, can read in close proximity and see clearly objects in the far distance, even if contact lenses or eyeglasses are needed, AND drug-free).

      PhiLSCA says you’re not eligible. Okay, find some other way. Let some other poor unfortunate soul take your place in their tuition-free educational system. Means you’ll have to pay your own way to becoming a pilot. Sure, it’s expensive to learn to fly. Why? Because flight is only for those who are willing to sacrifice, persevere, continue, follow through, keep at it, be tenacious, struggle on, carry on, my wayward son!

      If your aim is to be an airline pilot, remember, you hold the lives of your cabin crew and passengers in your hands. Aviation mechanics will screw up. The weather will try to kill your airplane. An aircraft will have critical equipment failure. And all these factors will happen at the exact moment that you are over a large body of water with no runway in sight. So ask yourself: Do I really want to die doing this? If your answer is yes, stick with paper airplanes.

      P.S. Taking a degree in Aeronautics will not give you an advantage over a nursing graduate or an IT graduate for that matter. Experience counts above all else..

      Reply
    • Dear Ericson,

      Define failing grades. If you graduated from senior high, then you must have passed!

      Still, do try to inquire from Philippine State College of Aeronautics regarding their requirements regarding your particular case. If your grades aren’t good enough for PhilSCA, then you have no choice but to enroll somewhere else.

      But to clarify, learning to fly does not require going to a university. If you have the time and the money, you can get your Airline Transport Pilot License within a few months (depending on the weather) from any accredited flight school. After which, you apply with the airlines. Doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a job, but it can be done.

      One of the documentary requirements for the airlines is applicants hold a degree from any four-year course. But I am not certain if this is a hard rule, since experience is very important and if you have the experience and can demonstrate the necessary skill. Simply put, just try and don’t give up!

      “There’s simply no substitute for experience in terms of aviation safety.” – Chesley Sullenberger

      Reply
      • Hello. Capt. Enrique. I’m planning to enroll in a flight school here in the Philippines (probably omni).. I just want to ask which is a better route to take in order to be hired by a major airline such ah PAL or Cebu Pacific faster… is it A) be a flight instructor after getting CPL and accumulate those flight hours required by the airline companies or B) undergo a First Officer Training. Thank you Captain.

        Reply
        • Dear Mark,

          Getting a CPL is step one to applying with either PAL or CebPac. Additional training will be required by either company for you to be able to fly jet aircraft. This is when they’ll train you, if they accept you as a FO.

          Some pilots become Flight Instructors just to make the flight hours, but for me, that is not fair to the students. If you want to fly for the airlines, that should be your goal, and do everything to reach that goal. If you want to share your experiences, become an instructor. There are no shortcuts, unfortunately.

          Reply
  69. Hi Captain! Is there any flight school within Luzon/NCR that offers scholarship or sponsorship for the fees during your study in a flight school up until you have your dream job like for example, to be a commercial pilot? I’m an honor student and i’m thinking if i could use my grades to lessen the fees my family have to pay for my flight school after i graduate in Senior High school in 2020.

    Reply
    • Dear Daniel,

      Philippine School of Aeronautics! Try scrolling down among the comments and look for Ba Tak An’s comments (August 9, 2018) regarding Philsca.

      Your being an honor student is an advantage in getting free flight education in that government-run school. I would advise getting emergency maneuvers training after finishing with Philsca.

      You might have to search for a school that offers this, in the Philippines, but as an aviator, safety is the primary concern. Try to die as an old person in bed, not a young person at the controls of an airplane.

      Reply
    • Dear Joshua,

      As I understand it, the airline companies have it as a document requirement, in that one of the requirements for First Officer applicants is holding a degree in ANY four-year course.

      However, analyzing the requirement (degree in ANY), it seems to be more geared towards the age of the applicant more than anything else. Most First Officer applicants seem to be in the 25 year old range, But no matter what, experience still counts. You should focus more on getting emergency maneuvers training than worrying about your chosen course. It will help save your life someday.

      Reply
  70. Hi, I am a STEM Grade 11 student, I was wondering captain if there is a need for me to have a college degree to become a pilot. I was hoping that after I graduated from Senior high I could then proceed to take the Private Pilot course.

    Hoping you would reply.

    Thank you and God bless.

    Reply
    • Dear Kevin,

      There is no need for you to have a college degree to become a pilot. If your schedule, your mind, your body and your finances can handle it, you can take the Private Pilot course while you are a Grade 11 student.

      Getting a private pilot’s license is, for all intents and purposes, similar to getting a private driver’s license. You apply for it, get a medical clearance, pass the government exams, then get your license.

      The main difference is that ALL pilots are professionals. We all underwent Ground School Instruction and received Medical Certificates clearing us to fly aircraft, taken exams to allow us to receive our Student Pilot’s License prior to undergoing Flight School Training, which involves actual flight.

      If you wish to pursue an Airline Transport Pilot’s License, and apply with the major airlines as a First Officer, then a college degree is a documentary requirement.

      Being a pilot doesn’t make you cool. But if you’re cool, you’re probably a pilot.

      Reply
        • Dear Bryan,

          Everybody wants to be cool. Only a few are able to pull it off. They worked very hard and never gave up. They proved themselves worthy to the most critical taskmaster: their own selves. Are you up to the challenge?

          Reply
  71. Capt. Im about to take a flight course ACPT which said can make me qualified as an first officer on a a320 plane. Also it only has 200 hours flight time. Can you help me out. Can i guarantee a job on airlines after this course?

    Reply
    • Dear Michael Angelo,

      I don’t know what ACPT means, but from your description, you might be talking about the Multi-crew Pilot License, which requires less than 1,500 hours flight time. Having an MPL allows you to fly an airplane which requires two pilots in the cockpit.

      The Airbus A320 is a very popular model of passenger/cargo aircraft, and since the airlines are opening up more flights and flight routes, plus airline captains are retiring every year, there’s a very good chance you can quickly find a job. But don’t limit your application to the airlines. Corporate jets also require two pilots, and cargo companies’ airplanes also require two pilots. Or you can do agricultural flying, spraying fields with fertilizer or pesticides. There’s always a job waiting for qualified applicants who are willing to work hard. Good luck, Mike!

      Reply
  72. Hello Capt. Enrique;

    I was curious about study now pay later program, is it you will pay your debt after you graduated the program? or it is a partnership with airlines company?

    Your article is very informative i like it so much, since i was a kid a always want to be a pilot. Even now a days i always have this dream, Thanks a lot hope to hear you soon.

    Reply
    • Dear Noel,

      Yes. Next question?

      Just kidding. Some flight schools are in partnership with local banks where the student pilot can get a loan under the Study Now, Pay Later Student Loan Program. And Cebu Pacific has their Cadet Pilot program, where the airline finances your flight training and after gaining employment with the airline, a salary deduction (over a maximum period of 10 years) is done to pay your incurred training costs.

      Ba tak An says that the Philippine State College of Aeronautics offer no-tuition fee training, being a government educational institution, with the caveat that as a scholar, high grades MUST be maintained.

      “Never quit. Never give up. Fly it to the end.” – Charles Aaron, call sign “Malibu”

      Reply
  73. Hi Captain,

    How long would it take for a college graduate to become a licensed pilot? Are there flying schools that offers student loans? I really want to become like you sir.

    Reply
    • Dear Rain,

      A college graduate can become a licensed pilot as soon as he receives his Private Pilot License after passing (70% minimum for 10 subjects) the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines licensing exams, passing the National Telecommunications Commission’s Restricted Radio Operator’s License-Aircraft licensing exam, and passing the English Language Proficiency exam, since all pilots must be able to speak and understand English at a high-level of proficiency, for safety and understanding in radio communication.

      Learning to fly procedure:
      Ground School – On average, two hours of instruction each time. Subjects are intensive and the mind can only absorb and comprehend so much information until meltdown. But it can be done in about one to two months. Exams have to be passed for each subject before moving to the next topic of instruction.

      Flight School – Needs a Medical Certificate. Pilots have to have good eyesight, good health, psychologically stable, and no criminal record. The Civil Aviation Authority’s Aviation Medical Examiner will do an exam and issue a Medical Certificate Class 2 or Class 1. When you receive your Student Pilot’s License and Class 2 Medical Certificate, you begin flying lessons and accumulate the needed flight instruction and hours to proceed to the next license, the Private Pilot License.

      Some flight schools do offer fly now, pay later programs. Use your favorite search engine or go to Aviationfly.com and select the filters that fit your needs.

      “Flying is more than a sport and more than a job; flying is pure passion and desire, which fill a lifetime.” – Adolph Joseph Ferdinand Galland

      Reply
  74. Hi! I am planning to take up computer science for college but it has always been my dream to become a pilot. Any suggestions on what im supposed to do? Im kinda lost om what the steps i should take after i graduate. Or should i just enroll directly to philsca?

    Reply
    • Dear Chlarizza,

      First step is to find a school near your residence. Learning to fly can be done in a few weeks to a few years.

      Once you’ve located a Civil Aviation Authority accredited school, inquire as to the cost and schedule of the Private Pilot License Course. Most schools offer classroom-style instruction, and may also offer special, according-to-the-student’s-availability instruction, although a bit more expensive. This works for those who are already working and/or are taking up a four-year course to meet the requirements for Airline Transport Pilot Licensing.

      Once you’ve contacted a school, contact a second school, and then compare. What will really consume your money is flight hours, but I think it all balances out: Some schools offer cheaper course fees but higher airplane rental costs, while other charge slightly less for flight hours but course instruction is expensive.

      Some schools offer fly now, pay later; others offer scholarships; still others require large cash outlay, but the course fee covers everything from initial enrollment to achieving a Commercial or Airline Transport Pilot’s License. Explore your choices.

      “Aviation is proof that given the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.” – Edward Vernon Rickenbacker

      Reply
  75. Hi Sir! At first, I really didn’t know what I want to become, but I want is that it has something to do with an aeroplane and later on i realized I want to become a pilot. I am not REALLY good in math as I neglected my studies way back in hs and I’m not also good in drawing that’s why I didn’t pursue Aeronautical Engineering in my current school because i was preceded by my fear of failing grades because the tuition fee is kinda expensive, I don’t want to disappoint my parents. So, I took up BS Tourism, I can’t feel the happiness and contentment in my heart while I am in BsTourism and now I’m having a regret i didn’t push aeronautics. I have decided to shift in aero on 2nd semester. But I’m still worried and frightened. But as I read your comments and advices, I got inspired and motivated and I know I can do this! There is still room for learning, there is our God to guide me and bless me with knowledge and wisdom, my family and friends to give me strength. Thank you, you are an inspiration. Goodluck Sir to your journey! God Bless you ??

    Reply
    • Dear Joanie,

      I’m not good at mathematics either, which is one of the reasons why I became a dentist: No math!

      And when you start flying, there will be times when you will have to trust in God. Especially when the engine stops running before you’ve landed. 😉

      “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.” – Amelia Earhart

      Reply
    • Dear Alyannah,

      No height requirements at all. In fact, being shorter is actually an advantage because airplane cockpits can become very cramped, and walking under a high-wing airplane like a Cessna means you’ll hit your head on the wing and climbing into a low-wing aircraft like a Piper means you’ll have to bend your knees deep just to squeeze your legs in.

      Military pilots have height and weight maximum requirements, though. Shorter and lighter is ideal.

      Reply
  76. Hi.
    I am planning to take BS in aviation major in flying and I just want to ask if I would have the PPL and CPL automatically after I graduated?

    Reply
    • Dear Chris,

      No. Graduating as a Bachelor of Science in Aviation, Major in Flying only means you now have the requisite skills (and probably necessary flight hours) to APPLY for the Private Pilot License and later, Commercial Pilot License. You still have to take the exams for both licenses AND pass the medical minimums for the certificate needed for each license.

      It’s sort of like being a dentist. I studied it for 6 years, graduated as a Doctor of Dental Medicine and had to take the Professional Regulation Commission exams before I became legally allowed to practice dentistry.

      Here is a super-simplified flowchart to becoming a pilot:

      1. Graduate from high school at around 16 years of age.
      2. Enroll in a flight school for learning how to fly.
      3. Apply for a Student Pilot License and pass the medical exam given by the Flight Surgeon.
      4. Gain flying hours.
      5. Pass the written exam for Radio Operator Certificate – Aircraft.
      6. Pass the English Language Proficiency exam.
      7. Pass the written and practical exam for a Private Pilot License.

      And for a Commercial Pilot License,
      8. Enroll in an Instrument Rating course.
      9. Enroll in a Multi-Engine Rating course.
      10. Gain flying hours.
      11. Pass the medical requirements for the Class 1 medical certificate.
      12. Pass the written and practical exam for a Commercial Pilot License.

      For the Airline Transport Pilot License:
      13. Pass the medical requirements for the Class 1 medical certificate.
      14. Gain flying hours.
      15. Pass the written and practical exam for an Airline Transport Pilot License.

      In essence, Chris, when you graduate, you are a Student Pilot ready for upgrading your license.

      Reply
      • Thank you capt.

        In other words, taking up BSAF is such a waste of time and money?! If I can go directly into a flight school and it only take months.

        So the only advantage of taking that course is….
        “A Bachelors Degree would be more impressive to airline companies and employers”?

        Reply
        • Dear Chris,

          Taking up BS Aviation – Flying is not necessarily a waste of time and money. If the school offers it as a four-year course, then you’re golden!

          A four-year bachelor’s degree is not “impressive” to the airlines. It’s one of the documentary requirements.

          Reply
  77. Hello po. I really want to be a pilot but my main concern is my eye grade, it already reached 400. Is it really impossible to be a commercial pilot already? 🙁 Thank you.

    Reply
    • Dear Nerea,

      Did anybody tell you that it is impossible to become a commercial pilot if your eyesight is of that grade? If your answer is yes, was it an Aviation Medical Examiner who said so?

      Pilots are allowed to wear corrective lenses while flying. As pilots age, we have difficulty reading charts and maps and instrument panels. So we have to wear eyeglasses. And are required by law to carry a spare set of eyeglasses in the cockpit.

      So if you can see clearly with eyeglasses, or can get eye surgery done, continue pursuing the dream to be a pilot. You would need a Medical Certificate to fly anyway, so your eyesight will be tested by the Flight Surgeon anyway, and that is the final authority who will determine if you get to fly an actual airplane or just a paper airplane.

      Possibility and impossibility are only states of mind. If you can dream it, you can achieve it!

      Reply
  78. Hi Captain,

    I am a College Graduate but had some difficulties in study during my 1st college years (you know, not focused om schooling yet). Would it reflect on my application on Flying School? And which school would you recommend?. I found Omni Avation and Alpha Aviation offering Ab-initio Program, what are your thoughts on this? I know you have a busy schedule and I want to thank you for making time to respond on this inquiry.

    Reply
    • Dear DJ,

      If you are concerned about your previous difficulties regarding your early college life, think about this: You graduated! If it was a major thing, I don’t think the school would have let you attend the graduation ceremony. It shouldn’t matter on your application to a flying school. Don’t include it, but if they ask, answer honestly. Usually they won’t care to ask. And if you tell them they still won’t care. It’s not important, since it had nothing to do with them nor flying.

      I would recommend any school near where you live (because the weather will prevent you from flying everyday and staying in the hangar the whole day gets boring), offers financing (unless you have money growing out of the ground), and most importantly, is accredited by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

      The ab Initio pilot training program means the student is trained from having little or no knowledge about aviation to being able to fly either the Airbus or Boeing aircraft upon graduation. You can then apply as an entry-level pilot for any airliner who uses Airbus or Boeing planes for cargo and/or passenger transport.

      My passion is flying, and my profession is dentistry. I always have time for my passion.

      “To most people the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home.”

      Reply
  79. Hi Capt,

    I am planning to switch my career I am currently working as an IT and I would like to know if it is possible to be student Pilot while I am working as a regular employee? This is in order for me to finance the tuition and license fees. And is their any Aviation School that accept fly now pay later program?

    Thank you,

    Reply
    • Dear Julius,

      As of this writing, I am a 49 year old dentist and I learned flying whenever I had time to attend Ground School. I attend Flight School, or in effect, fly the airplane on Sundays and holidays.

      Having a source of funds, either inherited, financed or earned, is always a good idea when learning to fly since it is expensive. From initial enrollment to purchasing the books and equipment needed and paying for flight time, then upgrading your license by taking further course instruction and additional flight time requirements, the cost builds up. But you can start earning as a pilot when you get a Commercial Pilot License.

      Life is simple. Eat, sleep, fly.

      Reply
    • Hello Capt. Enrique,

      I wasn’t able to finish college, as I really needed to start working (I accomplished up to 2nd year as an engineering student). Years have passed; I am now 31 with a family of my own and was able to grow in my career. With my current professional standing, I believe I can support pilot training with help from family and friends. This is my dream ever since I was young.

      The goal is to become an airline pilot, but my concern is this: will it eventually become impossible for me to work for an airline because I didn’t get to finish my 4-year college course? Is the only option to go back to school first before I do my pilot training? I have tried to do it once when I was in mid-20s, and I have passed CAAP’s medical exam. I got started with ground school, but as hard as I’ve tried back then, my career wasn’t rewarding enough to support training all the way to become a private pilot. What I did then was to focus on my work for promotions and higher pay.

      Now that I have a real shot to fund pilot training, I am concerned if I should postpone it again and just go get a degree first. With a family to support, I cannot go to school full-time. This means it will take multiple years again to finish my course, and I may need to start as a freshman again because of curriculum changes.

      Will I still have a chance to work for an airline if I become a cargo or corporate pilot and accrue enough experience and flight time, get an airline transport license, and apply? I have done extensive research, and even for pilots in other countries, the general consensus seems to be that flying experience counts the most. But then again, if I go straight to training, I’m afraid that maybe airline companies will not take me in later on because I’m not a degree holder, even if I have an ATP license and sufficient flight hours.

      Your input about this situation would be greatly appreciated, Captain. Apologies for the lengthy post. I just needed to provide context. Thanks and have a great day.

      Reply
  80. Hi

    I’ve pretty much got the gist of the flight training required to be a pilot, but I’ve been wondering, after flight school what’s next?

    Reply
    • Dear Dave,

      After making the minimum number of flight hours, you begin the process of getting your Pilot License.

      For Private Pilot License, get 40 hours, then take the National Telecommunication Commission exam for Radio Operator Certificate – Aircraft, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines exams for these subjects: Air Law, Aircraft General Knowledge, Meteorology, Flight Planning and Performance, Navigation, Principles of Flight, Radiotelephony, Equipment Qualification Course, Human Performance, and Operation Procedure. The English Language Proficiency exam is also taken at the CAAP head office.

      Applicants for PPL are allowed to take a maximum of two to three subjects each time. And there is no rush to take the exams: You can take one exam a week if you so wish. And don’t worry, you’ll pass the exams.

      “It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill.” – Wilbur Wright

      Reply
  81. should i go to omni aviation or wcc in binalonan?

    what do you think is the cheapest and fastest way to gain flying hours? should i buy an aircraft and do any job or be a flight instructor?

    Reply
    • Dear Janssen,

      Omni Aviation in Clark and WCC Aviation in Binalonan are both currently accredited with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, so either one is good. Find the flight school that offers better weather conditions.

      The fastest way to gain flying hours is to buy an aircraft and just fly around when the weather is clear. The cheapest way does not exist. (Laughter is heard from everyone who has started learning to fly.)

      As a flight instructor, you’ll get paid to instruct others on the skill of safe aircraft manipulation. Of course, you’ll need to get a Flight Instructor License. To get this, you’ll also need to get a Commercial Pilot License. To get that, one begins with a Private Pilot License. Which comes after receiving Ground Instruction and Flight Instruction with a Student Pilot License. From SPL to FI, the steps are similar and expensive due to course costs. Each step has corresponding ground lessons and flight requirements.

      Having the capacity to buy an airplane (You’d be surprised at how inexpensive second-hand planes can be! But the hangar rental and maintenance costs are prohibitive.) does not guarantee that you’ll be hired by the airlines. Experience counts a lot. Flying many hours in a single-engine airplane only means that you’ve accumulated the license requirement, but not necessarily the experience required.

      To fly for the airlines, even with 250 hours, means that you’ll start off as copilot for the turboprop island-hopping aircraft. As older pilots retire and others replace them, you’ll move up the hierarchy until eventually, you’ll be flying as Captain for international flights on the Airbus or Boeing! The Holy Grail for airline pilots!

      And you’ll look back to the days you started flying with single-engine two-seater planes and wish you were doing that again. Most likely you’d have sold off your airplane because you can no longer afford to keep it, or you no longer have time to fly it.

      In essence, just learn to fly and enjoy the trip working towards becoming an airline pilot. All in good time.

      Reply
    • Dear Janssen,

      Both Omni Aviation and WCC Aviation are accredited by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, so either school is good.

      The fastest way to gain flying hours is to buy an aircraft (A second-hand single-engine two-seater airplane is not as expensive as you think, although you have to factor in hangar, registration and maintenance fees) and fly as often as the weather is clear.

      I have a friend who now flies internationally for Cebu Pacific and he started flying in high school, eventually bought his own Cessna 182, became a Flight Instructor and was encouraged to apply for Cebu Pac. He sold off his airplane because he no longer had a chance to fly it again and hangar parking costs became expensive.

      Nothing is cheap in learning to fly. But then again, the view from up there is priceless.

      Reply
  82. Hi, im a SH student and i want to know if the fee for becoming a pilot is per sem and how much it will cost if it’s per sem?
    Also the flight training fee, Will it be per hour?

    Reply
    • Dear Normanjirus,

      I’ll comment based on my experience only, so here goes.

      Ground School – 60,000 pesos. Books, pilot logbook, flight computer, navigational plotter, flight bag (came with the books) – 30k. Aviation headset (cheap imitation that clamps the head, has a lot of static, wire coating fell apart after a few months) – 5,000. World Aeronautical Charts (not really needed, but nice to have for navigational plotting from home) – 3,000 for the 3 regions set.

      Flight hours cost per hour depends on aircraft type whether 2-seater (8,500 pesos per hour) or 4-seater (12,500 per hour). This includes fuel and flight instructor fee, but the hour begins the moment the propeller starts turning until you pull the mixture control to stop the propeller’s rotation.

      To get a Private Pilot License you need a minimum of 40 hours.

      I heard that Boeing requires 5 million pesos tuition fee, but you’d graduate as a Boeing pilot ready to apply for the airlines. Do more research, and ask around. Pilots and student pilots just love talking about their experiences!

      Reply
  83. hi. im a senior high school graduate and im aiming to be a airline pilot.. i was planning to get a 2 year aircraft maintenance course in order to save money to pursue my dream.. so can you tell me what things should i do?.. FROM aircraft maintenance to becoming an airline pilot..

    Reply
    • Dear Prince Britain,

      It is not unheard of to pursue a flying career by first learning how to fix the planes you’ll be flying later on. You’ll just be prolonging the process.

      Learning to fly is expensive. You start with Ground Lessons, and you can buy or borrow books, get a Flight Computer and also a Plotter, then when you start Flight Lessons, you’d need an aviation headset and Pilot’s Logbook. Finish your minimum number of flight hours in a trainer aircraft, take the exam to get your Private Pilot License, English Language Proficiency Certificate and National Telecommunication Commission License for Radio Operator-Aircraft. Then more lessons for Commercial Pilot License, Instrument Rating, Multiple-Engine Rating, then accomplish the minimum required flight hours, then exams again for Airline Transport Pilot License.

      On top of this, when you increase ratings and type of airplane you have learned to fly, you pay again to have it recorded on your license. And passing the medical exams for your Medical Certificate which is good for two years, until you reach age 40 when it is renewed every year thereafter, assuming you pass the medical.

      A requirement for pilots applying for the major airlines is holding a degree in any 4-year course. If you wish to add on a 2-year aviation mechanic’s course to your educational attainment, it’s fine. Good things take time to happen or mature, like wine and cheese. I’ve heard some schools will sponsor your learning for free if you work for them as a mechanic for a period of time, Explore this option.

      Should you wish to forgo the aviation mechanic’s course, it’s still fine. Save your money from your allowance, work a summer job, avoid eating out or going to the movies, buying expensive stuff, etc. Do whatever you can to make and save money for flight hours. You won’t become an airline pilot instantly. It takes time, dedication, funds and hard work. Even if you’ve accomplished everything, including getting an Airline Transport Pilot License, there is no guarantee you’ll be hired by the first airline company you applied with. Just like any other job-seeker, there are others vying for the position, others who graduated ahead of you, or have better credentials, or more experience. But don’t worry! You will find a place for yourself. Remember, you worked hard to reach the level you’ve attained, so a little more hard work won’t kill you.

      Live the dream!

      Reply
  84. Do we really need 1500 hours to join an airline in the philippines? Because there are alot of filipino pilots i saw in social media that have flying experience below 1500 hours. Some became first officer in airasia/cebupac while second officer in PR.

    Reply
    • Dear William,

      Not necessary. Logging 1,500 flight hours means you are now eligible to get an Airline Transport Pilot License, which means you are now in command of the aircraft you’re flying, as the Captain. Those with fewer hours can get a Multi-Crew Pilot License, or essentially a Commercial Pilot License with an additional rating to fly aircraft which require more than one person at the flight controls.

      These pilots are often hired by the major airlines as First Officers or the one who flies the plane and does all the work while the Captain sits back and relaxes like a passenger. 🙂

      Reply
  85. For anyone commenting here on different alternatives on becoming a pilot, which school is fit for pursuing pilot, what or how to become a pilot if financially short. Here is what I think I can give to you.

    This is not to advertise this school but to help my fellow aviators who wish to become a Pilot as I know what you are feeling in terms of becoming what you wanted for your entire life, to become a Pilot.

    PhilSCA, located in Pasay City, is a school that makes pilot-graduate students with private and commercial pilot licenses that enable fresh graduates to have a direct opportunities on piloting an aircraft and direct opportunities of becoming hired by an airline companies.

    You have got no expenses throughout your journey from first year, as a student, to 4th year as a student pilot. Schooling is free due to the free-tuition implemented by our current govnmt that just lately this year. Now, no one becomes a pilot until he undergo flight training. I am happy to announce that this flight training which costs more than 2 million, is also made free. Again, this was due to the free tuition that was made by our own government. Now everyone can be a pilot if he/she is really determined.

    Now, this school dont offer free study and coverage of flight training as much easy as we think. To avail this FREE tuition and flight training, everyone must garnered a GWA or general weighted average, of atleast 90. With no failing grades on any subjects. This is for just entrance exam, if you are qualified or in the required GWA, they will schedule you for a test and must have it passed to fully become their student. The journey of achieving FREE doesnt end here, the Flight training which will happen at the 3rd year level, will only be free if you maintained your grades to the required grade given by the school institution. Meaning to say, you still have to maintain a good grade from 1st year of being student to 3rd year before you take your flight training. And if ever you maintained your grade good, then you are eligible to graduate BS in Air Transportation Major in Flying with no expense.

    Now, you can see that your dream of becoming a Pilot is not as far as you think it will go. It is only in the grasp of your hand and the will of becoming a Pilot. Also pray and ask for guidance.
    Im a student of PhilSCA enrolled in BS in Air Transportation. Wish me Luck as much as I wish to all my colleagues in aviation!.
    God Bless

    Reply
    • Also I’d like to commend what Capt. Enrique is doing here. Sir, your unending support for the questions of people here is really a big help for them and for me as I continue to learn more about aviation. Continue inspiring and aspire many people. I’d also like to be taught by you in some aviation quests. Looking forward captain!

      Reply
      • Dear Ba tak An,

        Thank you for expressing the desire to be taught by me. I am delighted that you find me inspiring. I do hope to live up to your expectations, though I am simply an individual who never gave up the wish to take to the skies. As of this writing, I am 49 years old, and when my schedule allows, I intend to take the examinations for my Private Pilot License.

        As an aviator, I have learned that there are many aspects of flying that are unknown or uncommon to most people, and as knowledge is power and one should never stop learning, my hope is to educate as many aspiring pilots as I can. Ask as many questions as you wish, as often as possible (even if those same questions were already answered many comments down), and I’ll answer according to the best.of my knowledge, experience and research.

        “A true aviator really sees aviation as a whole, constantly improving but while still being humble, and realizing you can never know everything there is to know.” – Patty Wagstaff

        Reply
    • Many thanks to Ba tak An for this comment! This helps to clarify the conditions necessary for availing free flight training. In essence, the student is a scholar who has to maintain high grades and work hard at it. Remember, nothing’s free in this world, and payment is done in one way or another.

      Good luck, Ba tak An! Hope to see you in the skies soon! May you always encounter calm winds and clear weather.

      Reply
    • Dear Tops,

      The best school for flying is the one closest to your home. I am not making a snide remark here, mind you. As long as the flight school is accredited by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, it’s fine. What I meant by the school being close to your home is the weather can change quickly here in the islands.

      Let’s say you chose a school that is on another island or about four hours drive from your home. You’ve done Ground School and are now starting Flight School. You see the weather is blue skies, no clouds, moderately warm, no winds. You drive/take a ferry to the island, only to discover that by the time you get to the airport, the weather has become overcast, with gusting winds, and rain on the way. Ergo, flight training cancelled.

      if you have no other choice, I suggest renting a room near the airport. Fly as often as you can, depending on the weather and your funds, and get your Commercial Pilot License as quickly as possible so you can start looking for a pilot job and start earning back little by little every centavo you spent learning to live your passion for flying.

      As with any job anywhere in the world, you start with low pay and long hours, but hard work pays off eventually. Just keep at it and enjoy flying!

      Reply
    • If you are finding a school which has no tuition fee i’d prefer you to go to PhilSCA. This government school do not impose a tuition fee nor flying fee for your flight training if you ever decided to become a pilot. On the other hand, there’s Airlink Aviation School located at the same place as PhilSCA in Pasay. This school has a fare amount of tuition fee of its own.
      But as anyone wants, we all want to study for free. Try PhilSCA. Study for free. Flight training for free!

      Reply
    • Hi Julie, you can go for pilot training! There is a big push by the airline industry to get more female pilots into aviation (right now only 5% of pilots worldwide are woman)

      Reply
    • Dear Julie,

      Michael is right. The airline industry is no longer male-dominated. Women can be baggage handlers, ticketing agents, aviation mechanics, airport managers, air traffic management officers, flight surgeons, aviation security personnel, and pilots. The world’s Air Forces even have female military pilots!

      Never let gender be a hindrance to achieving your dreams, as long as it is physically possible. Live your dreams!

      Reply
  86. Good eve! Hi, I am a 16 year old Grade 10 student who is dreaming of becoming a pilot one day. I am planning to take STEM in PATTS next year. I have problems though after SHS. My parents told me that we may not be able to afford the fees for me to become a pilot. That is why I am planning to take aircraft maintenance then be a pilot later on. Is this a good path for me who has financial problems ? Can you suggest more ideas ?

    I saw that I can try the PAF Flight School but it states there that I need to undergo military training and I wont be able to leave after a x amount of years. Plus I don’t have natural 20/20 vision. I am wearing corrective glasses which has a grade of 300 on both eyes. I am not color blind though. I don’t even know if my dream is possible despite of my eye problems. I have no problems seeing with glasses or contact lenses on though. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Dear Lance,

      The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines certifies the Philippine Air Transport and Training Services as an Aircraft Maintenance school. If you wish to become an airline pilot, you’ll have to take their Four-Year Aeronautical Engineering Course to qualify. You must remember, though, that this has nothing to do with being an airline pilot. Designing aircraft or fixing aircraft is not the same thing as flying that aircraft.

      The subjects may be similar, but at some point they diverge from the path you wish to take: becoming a pilot. If you will be satisfied with a Commercial Pilot’s License, then there is no need to have graduated from a four-year course. If you are aiming for the Holy Grail of Pilots, the Airline Transport Pilot’s License, then it is a requirement.

      Financial difficulties? Work in a fast-food chain during summer and save money. Borrow from rich relatives (if any). Loan from a bank. Sell a kidney (Just kidding! Smile!). Find a way to pay for your all-important (and expensive) flight hours. Even if it takes years before you can finally fly solo.

      Philippine Air Force Flight School is no longer feasible because before becoming a pilot you have to become an officer first.

      Corrective lenses are allowed by the Flight Surgeon, since the vision requirement is the ability to distinguish colors. In a glass cockpit-equipped aircraft, if you cannot distinguish one color from another, there will be trouble.

      Possibility and impossibility are only states of mind.

      Reply
      • Dear Niclaus,

        According to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines the applicant for a student pilot authorization shall be not less than 16 years old.

        As long as you have the money (Most important!) Flight hours can be expensive. But remember, you don’t have to finish all your flight training tomorrow. Or next week. Or next month…. Get the point?

        Don’t be in a hurry to be a pilot. Enjoy your flying, take your time, make money while waiting for the weather to clear. Piloting jobs will always be here. Old pilots will retire, new pilots take their place, and even if you don’t want to work for the airlines, there are other piloting jobs available. Or, as a private pilot, you can take your family on scenic flights over the islands! Enjoy!

        Reply
  87. Good day sir! Are commercial pilots in demand now compared to other jobs? what is the ratio? Just asking because my son wanted to become a pilot. He is still in his Grade 12. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Dear Ferdinand,

      To differentiate, airline pilots fly for an airline company transporting passengers and cargo from one place to another, while commercial pilots are involved in flying planes for charter/air taxi, aerial photography, sightseeing tours, rescue operations, firefighting (although not in the Philippines), geographical mapping, crop dusting, etc. Everyone is so focused on the airline job and ignoring the less(?) glamorous job of commercial flying. As I understand it, agricultural piloting jobs offer about 50,000 pesos monthly for about 2 to 4 hours work each morning. Salary rates vary per company and position, of course, but that is the general rate.

      Encourage your son to pursue that dream. There is always room for the good ones.

      Reply
      • Hi Capt.,

        I am Eman I am a nurse, I always wanted to become an airline pilot. I have no idea about the aviation industry. My question is, should I still enrol in a 4-year aviation related courses or I will only get some units in aviation subjects then Ill proceed to completion of 250 hours flying.

        Thanks.

        Reply
        • Dear Eman,

          The qualifications for airline pilots include graduating from ANY four-year course, so you’re already good. Next step for you is finding an accredited flight school close to your location. Enroll as a student pilot, finish Ground School, then proceed to Flight School then start learning everything you need to know to safely transport passengers and cargo from point A to point B. Your salary would help you pay for your flight hours, which can be expensive, depending on the type of plane you will learn to fly with.

          It’s never too late to live your dreams!

          Reply
    • Dear Keane Aldrich,

      I would like to suggest, but I have no idea where you are located, so I’ll do the next best thing: Guide you through the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines website.

      Search for the CAAP website on your favorite search engine, then click on the site. Select the “Citizen’s Charter” tab, then the “Flight Standards Inspectorate Service” from the drop down list, then move to the right and select “Approved Training Organizations Certification and Inspection Division” which will open to a new page. Locate the tab that shows a small silhouette of an airline and “RPAS, ATO and AOC Holders List.”

      When you click that, you’ll find the “List of Flying and Maintenance Schools as of July 2018” highlighted and download that as a PDF. From that list, choose the school closest to your location, and call them up. Ask as many questions as you can think of, and see if they’re willing to entertain you properly. If they’re professional with their answers, then you know you’ll be happy going there.

      “When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the Earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” – misattributed to Leonardo da Vinci. Cool as it sounds, Leo never experienced flight, ergo he can’t have said that quote.

      Reply
  88. Hello everyone!

    Just wanted to clarify a point about flight simulator games or flight training simulator programs.

    If you want to experience even a small amount of the joy of flying but have neither the desire nor the funds to actually become a pilot, then go for it! Flight sims are fun!

    However, if you wish to be a pilot, then I STRONGLY DISCOURAGE using flight sim programs until you have started flying with an instructor. Current video games, no matter how realistic, will never be able to accurately portray real life. Flight sims are good as an added training device to gauge your abilities in a life-threatening situation while being done in a safe environment. But without a qualified instructor present, you might pick up some bad habits like focusing on the flight instruments instead of looking outside the airplane to reference what the aircraft is doing. It’s similar to driving while looking at your speedometer, mileage counter, temperature gauge and fuel gauge only!

    True, when getting an Instrument Rating on your pilot license you’re supposed to be staring at your instruments the whole time since it replicates a flying situation wherein you have no visual reference to the horizon, but you would have learned how to fly the airplane visually already, and gotten a feel for the aircraft and how it moves as you manipulate the controls. Your muscle memory has been ingrained so if it “feels” wrong, you’d know. But flying on a computer doesn’t have the “feel” so you’d be more focused on flying strictly “by the numbers” based on your instrument readings. And this is a bad habit to get into.

    My flight instructors repeatedly tell me: “Look outside, glance inside. You’re still learning to fly VFR (Visual Flight Rules), so look at the horizon and around you for other airplanes. Fly the airplane, then verify with your instruments if your control inputs are correct.”

    So get inside an actual airplane, fly while listening to your instructor, then practice what you learned on the flight sim at home. Remember, correct practice makes perfect!

    May all your flights be in calm weather and clear skies!

    Reply
  89. In addition to my earlier comment, sir I am planning to study in PHILSCA after I finish my SHS program. I am not yet sure If I will take Air Transportation or Aircraft Maintanance. If I choose Aircraft Maintainance is it still possible to take the student’s pilot examination or will I just simply pick the Air Transportation course? Thank you sir and have a good day.

    Reply