If you want to become a pilot and are wondering how long it will take, we will give you a fairly precise estimate that isn’t just a guess. Additionally, it won’t change unless unforeseen circumstances arise (which is more of an exception than a rule). And, contrary to popular belief, you won’t be stuck with your academic studies for years, like most medical students are, even though doctors and pilots have comparable levels of responsibility.
So, let’s review how much time you should allow to become a private or a commercial pilot with BAA Training.
How long does it take to get a private pilot license?
It doesn’t take long to become a private pilot since a private pilot license (PPL) is your first step on the ladder of aviation training. We offer two study modes: in-class and remote, both followed by flying training in Spain. Depending on the chosen mode, you will spend 3–4 learning theory (4 if you attend real-time online classes). Regardless of where you’ve done your ground school, you will then proceed to 3 months of flying. As a result, in 6–7 months, you will become a private pilot (license PPL), free to fly solo or with a couple of passengers!
You might wonder why you will spend more time learning in a virtual classroom than in a traditional one. The answer is fewer daily training hours (3–4 hours versus 5–6 hours when physically present in the academy). This gives you more spare time for your personal errands, hobbies, family time, and socializing—not to mention financial savings!
How long does it take to become a pilot (commercial operations)?
First of all, there are various paths one might take to obtain a commercial pilot license to fly professionally. For example, you could enroll in an airline cadet program, for instance, or go the ATPL Integrated or CPL modular path. Although the programs differ in form, they all have the same objective—getting certified to fly commercial aircraft so you can eventually join a regional or a major airline.
Nonetheless, regardless of which training program you ultimately decide on, you will typically be busy training for two years, which is, let’s be fair, not too long! Remember that the turnaround is significantly less than that if we examine each training program independently!
ATPL Integrated: How long does it take?
The intense ATPL Integrated will assist you in quickly and effectively achieving your goal of becoming an airline pilot. There are three approaches you can take at BAA Training:
· ATPL Integrated Split: Theory in our Spanish academy, then flight training there (16 months)
· ATPL Integrated: Theory in our academy in Lithuania or Spain, followed by flight training in Spain (18 months)
· ATPL Virtual: Online theory classes with an instructor, then flying training in Spain (20 months)
The ATPL Integrated Split is a fast track to a First Officer’s seat since a part of its theory is completed in parallel with flight instruction. It enables students to keep up with the curriculum and prevents the waste of time when you can’t fly due to bad weather because the flying classes can be switched out for theory. As a result, you can obtain your commercial pilot license in just 16 months on average! On the other hand, the process for ATPL Integrated students lasts about 18 months because they complete all of their theory modules before beginning flight school and practical tests. Finally, those who connect to their theory sessions virtually usually train a little longer (around 20 months) because the amount of daily training is lower (4 hours compared to 6–8 for those training in person).
Hopefully, now it’s clearer why we have made several versions of the same program. Each student has unique requirements, considerations, and tastes. For some people, time is money, so they want programs that require less time investment (without sacrificing quality!). Others choose the virtual alternative because they highly value learning from home.
Please keep in mind that after getting a pilot license, commercial pilots are not yet ready to operate a commercial jet, and the next stage is to earn a Type Rating for a specific aircraft type, such as A320 or B737 (or other aircraft). It is another 2 months of additional training on top of the initial course. It is obligatory for everyone who wants to pursue an airline pilot career and fly a large airplane with more than one engine.
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How long does an airline cadet program take?
The fundamental difference between a cadet program and ATPL Integrated training is in their concepts. As a cadet, you are committed to one specific airline from the start of your training. Your education is heavily tailored to prepare you to work for that company after graduation. In contrast, you can apply to any airline of your choice after graduating from ATPL Integrated and similar training programs. Different flight schools offer various cadet programs. Currently running cadet programs at BAA Training are:
· BAA Training Cadet Program (20 months if theory in-person and 22 months if theory online with an instructor)
· Avion Express cadet program (20 months if theory in-person and 22 months if theory online with an instructor)
· Vueling cadet program (18 months if theory in-person and 22 months if theory online with an instructor)
Please keep in mind that the times listed above already account for the time required for Type Rating and base training. As you may have already guessed, Vueling is a ‘records man’ timewise (if the theory is in-class) since cadets follow the ATPL Integrated Split’s curriculum here, where ground school and flight training are done in parallel with each other.
How long does CPL Modular take?
Despite being the longest program out of all those offered (about 27 months), it has a big advantage! Between modules, students can take breaks to work and earn money to move forward with training, rest, or cater to other personal requirements. CPL Modular students who already have a private pilot license, are eligible for a discount and a reduction of the Visual Flight Rules (VFR) flight time on a small airplane!
In conclusion, pilot training does not last for ages but does demand a lot of dedication and focus. Before selecting a training choice, carefully consider your priorities and remember there should be other considerations besides duration! Nevertheless, the ATPL Integrated Split and Vueling cadet programs can take you from zero hours to a career as a flying airline pilot almost in an eye blink! That is why many of our student pilots choose precisely one of these programs. And what about you? Have you already set a goal to receive a pilot’s license, obtain an ATP certificate, and become an airline transport pilot one day? Alternatively, you can get a flight instructor certificate and become a certified flight instructor if you already have some aviation experience. Contact us, and we will help you reach your professional aviation goals!