What’s an airline pilot’s job?

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Air transport pilots are responsible for the safety of commercial aircraft, cargo, and passengers. They must be at least 23 years old and have a commercial pilot license, as well as extensive training and good physical and moral character. They are responsible for all aircraft operations and may also handle flight planning, navigation, communication, and weight balancing. Costs to obtain certification can vary, with flight time being the most expensive.

An air transport pilot is a person who acts as a pilot in command of a commercial aircraft. Air transport pilot certification is the highest level of certification a pilot can earn, and once this certification is achieved, he or she can operate as a pilot in command of any aircraft that transports cargo or passengers. The pilot is solely responsible for the safety of the aircraft, cargo and passengers on board. To become a pilot, an applicant needs to be at least 23 years of age in most countries – although the age restriction can vary by region – and he or she must first obtain a commercial pilot license.

Extensive training is required for a candidate to become an air transport pilot. Specific requirements may vary by country, but generally, a pilot must spend 500 hours cross-country flying and 1,000 hours night flying. The pilot must also obtain a specific level of instrumentation rating, which again can vary from country to country. This means that the pilot can fly the plane by instrumentation and not by vision. The pilot must also have good physical health and good moral character to become an air transport pilot.

Once fully certified and licensed, the air transport pilot will be responsible for all aircraft operations before, during and immediately after flight. This means pre-flight inspection of the plane, preparing the plane for departure from a gate, preparing the plane for take-off, operating the plane during the flight and troubleshooting any problems that may arise during the flight, landing the plane, taxiing the plane to a gate, and turn off the plane after the flight. The safety of the plane, passengers and cargo is the primary responsibility of the air transport pilot.

Flight planning, navigation, communication, and weight balancing can be other responsibilities of the airlift pilot. If the pilot operates in a specific industry, he or she may also need additional qualifications and take on additional responsibilities as outlined by the airline. If the pilot is a member of the armed forces, he or she will need to complete further training regarding military operations. Costs to obtain the appropriate certifications can vary; Flight time is perhaps the most expensive cost, as a pilot will need to spend a significant amount of time flying an aircraft before it can be considered for an air transport license.

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