First things to consider PDF Print E-mail
Pilot Education - Prior Starting

First of all you should get a medical check on your health. A pilot has to be fit-for-fight, that is having a normal health. It is allowed to have certain minor deviations, like using glasses to a certain limit, being slightly colorblind etc. and still being able to possess a Class 1 or 2 medical certificate.

The reason to get your medical check first is that if you can not fulfill the requirements for it, you can not become a pilot and therefore there is no need to get into it any further.

Next, you will have to decide whether you want to fly airplanes or helicopters, if not already chosen. And this choice is a personal thing. Do not solely decide that on the opinions of other people. The following pros and cons are some of my personal pros and cons for both possibilities. Maybe you won't see the pros and cons the same way.

Airline Pilot Helicopter Pilot
Pros Cons Pros Cons
Larger job marked in numbers Less versatile, more boring job More versatile, different kind of jobs Smaller job marked in numbers
Less expensive basic education More punching buttons, less flying More flying, less punching buttons More expensive basic education
Work schedules can be better 1. large TypeRating usually self paid Large TypeRatings company paid Work schedules can be worse
Senior salaries usually better Young pilots salaries often smaller Young pilot salaries usually higher Senior salaries usually less



UNIFLY Eurocopter EC-135

After having decided what to fly, you then have to decide the following:

  • Where in the world to take the education, Homeland or Abroad ?
  • Going for FAA or JAA education or both ?
  • If you choose JAA, is it going to be Integrated or Modular ?
  • What school to attend ?


Homeland or Abroad:

There is more to it than just booking a flight ticket and packing a suitcase if you decide to go abroad.

Having spent time both abroad and in my homeland during my pilot education, I found the listed pros and cons shown below to be considered. For me homeland was Denmark , abroad was Spain and USA.

As with the pros and cons considered choosing airplane or Helicopter, you might not see the pros and cons the same way as I do, so again make your own pros and cons for this topic. Some pros and cons can have higher value than others for you, so evaluate for yourself each one from the other.

Abroad Homeland
Pros Cons Pros Cons
International networking Less home networking Possibilities to work & study ATPL Less International networking
Learning other countries procedures Less possibilities to work & study ATPL Education in national language Usually more expensive education
Learning other cultures and people Expenses for traveling Local networking Education in national language
Same education is often cheaper Long distance to family and friends Short distance to family and friends More lim   ited to local knowledge
USA on certain Visa, work poss   ibilities Health insurance needed No need for health insurance Expensive taxes on examinations
Cheaper taxes for examinations Self financed expenses for living Economical living support Smaller job market for low timers
Larger job market for low timers Maybe no economical living support    
Improving ones language skills      



Next issue is to whether it is going to be FAA or JAA.



Class 1: It is a medical certificate from the authorities that states the pilot complies with the medical requirements to exercise a Commercial certificate or less. A less restrictive Class 2 medical certificate exist and is mainly used for Private Pilot, non-commercial flying. That is for JAA, 2 different levels. The American FAA has 3 different levels of medical certificates, where Class 3 is for PPL, Class 2 for CPL and Class 1 for ATPL. A better Class can always be used for a lower ranking certificate, ex. Class 1 can also be used for PPL. Medical: A medical certificate is a written approval from the authorities that states the pilot complies with the medical requirements specified for that level of medical certificate. Each type of pilot certificate, PPL, CPL and ATPL, has a requirement to what medical certificate the pilot must hold in order to exercise that specific pilot certificate. Integrated: Means taking the education from nothing-to-everything. No certificates will be achieved during the education, they are first issued when graduating in the end. The entire education is planned from the flight school
Modular: Means taking the education step-by-step, first Private certificate, then Commercial and somewhere in between and/or after different ratings. The entire education is mainly planned by yourself. ATPL: Airline Transport Pilot License, the certificate for the Captain. The theory for the JAA-ATPL is often taken during the basic JAA Pilot Education where the student obtains the CPL certificate and the theory is what is called frozen until unfrozen when the pilot is nominated as a Captain. The JAA-ATPL theory also covers the JAA-IR (Instrument Rating) theory.