Pilot

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Pilots fly different types of aircraft including light planes and airline aircraft, depending on the type of aircraft they are licensed to fly. FutureGrowthModerate

They provide a variety of aviation services. For example, a pilot may transport people, cargo or mail, provide surveillance or undertake aerial searches. Pilots may also assist farmers and pastoralists with crop dusting, or work as flight instructors.


ANZSCO description: Flies aeroplanes to transport passengers, mail and freight, or provide agricultural, aerial surveillance or other aviation services (registration or licensing is required).

Alternative names: Aircraft Pilot, Pilot

Specialisations: Aeromedical Pilot, Agricultural Pilot, Airline Pilot, Commercial Pilot, Flying Instructor, Helicopter Pilot, Military Pilot

Aeromedical Pilot
An aeromedical pilot works for organisations such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service or search and rescue helicopter services. They may have some type of medical or rescue training but this is not a requirement.

Agricultural Pilot
An agricultural pilot uses planes for crop dusting and other agricultural work, flying at low levels in rural communities.

Airline Pilot
An airline pilot holds particular certificates that allows for command of a multi-crew airline aircraft to transport passengers and cargo. They can also carry out all the roles of a Commercial Pilot for their appropriate licence status.

Sitting in Cockpit

Commercial Pilot
A commercial pilot flies in command of single pilot aircraft carrying out charter, flying instruction and other types of aerial work, such as surveys and coastal aerial surveillance in the general aviation (light aircraft) sector of the industry. They can also act as the co-pilot of large airline aircraft if they hold both co-pilot endorsement and an instrument rating.

Flying Instructor
A flying instructor teaches others so they may obtain a pilots licence, from private through to commercial levels.

Helicopter Pilot
A helicopter pilot flies helicopters for various purposes ranging from joy rides to emergency rescue operations. With additional licenses and experience, opportunities exist to fly larger twin-engine helicopters, which are commonly used in offshore mining operations.Rescue

Military Pilot
A military pilot is trained to operate a variety of combat and support aircraft. For more information on military pilots and defence force careers, see the entries for Air Force Officer, Army Officer or Navy Officer.

 

 

Pilots' duties vary according to the size and nature of the company they work for.



Knowledge, skills and attributes

Pilots need:

  • a good level of English, mathematics and physics
  • good general health, good eyesight and hearing
  • an ability to make the right decision in complex situations
  • the determination and commitment needed to undertake intense training, and work in a competitive field
  • to be at least 18 years old to attain your Commercial Pilot's Licence and at least 21 years old to attain an Air Transport Pilot Licence
  • to take responsibility for the safety of all passengers and crew.


Duties and Tasks

Pilots may perform the following tasks: Pilot

  • prepare flight plans based on weather forecasts and operational information
  • make sure aircraft are properly loaded for a safe and efficient flight
  • check fuel requirements and fuel quantities prior to flight
  • check on the maintenance status of aircraft prior to flight
  • conduct checks of flight controls, instruments and aircraft engines
  • fly aircraft according to established operating and safety procedures under a range of flight conditions, including extreme weather and emergency situations
  • make sure that passengers are correctly informed of emergency procedures, and maintain care of passengers
  • provide passengers with information and weather details
  • take bookings, load aircraft and generally assist in the promotion and running of the company.

Working conditions

A pilot’s work begins long before take-off. First, they need to plan flight routes, examine weather reports, balance cargo and passenger load, calculate fuel requirements and inspect aircraft in preparation for a flight.

In general, pilots can expect to work both during the day and at night in a variety of weather conditions, climates and security conditions.

Tools and technologies

During the course of their career, aeroplane pilots will typically become familiar with different types of aircraft. Earlier on, they may fly small single-engine aircraft. As they gain more experience and become more qualified, they will have the opportunity to fly more advanced aircraft.


Education and training/entrance requirements

To become an aeroplane pilot, you will require a Commercial Pilot's Licence. To work for a major airline, you will require an Airline Transport Pilot's Licence. It is recommended that you also undertake an aircrew medical assessment to ensure that you qualify for licence issue.

It is possible to work as an aeroplane pilot without formal qualifications. However, you will need to complete flight training and hold an appropriate licence for the class of aircraft you wish to fly.

You can access flight training at private flying schools across Australia. To improve your theoretical knowledge, vocational education and training qualifications in aviation and aeronautics are offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Australia.

You can also study and train to become a pilot with the Australian Defence Force.

Did You Know?


Did you know there’s a world shortage of Airline Pilots?


The 2012 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook projects a need for approximately one million new commercial airline pilots and maintenance technicians by 2031, including 460,000 new commercial airline pilots and 601,000 maintenance technicians.
(Source: Boeing)

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