Training to be a Pro
By Vesna Ajic
Much is said about improving the skills of general aviation pilots, but what about those pilots who plan to make a career out of aviation? How can men and women who dream of turning their passion for flight into a life long career improve their skills in a way that is meaningful to potential employers?
While a number of paths to an aviation profession are available, a company named Arizona Type Ratings (ATR) opens the road to jet experience that was once thought to be unaffordable without somehow getting a regional airline or corporation to help by underwriting the cost. Many aspiring professional pilots do not realize that the authorization (FAA certificate) to act as a crewmember aboard a turbojet airplane that requires two pilots can be obtained in as little as one weekend. Referred to as a Second in Command (SIC) Type Rating, ATR combines interactive training with a maximum flying time to make sure that trainees receive “in seat” practical experience that applies to flying a real airplane. In the case of ATR, the Cessna Citation CE 500 and CE 525 are used, two of the most popular light jets flying today. A full Type rating permits the trainee to act as pilot in command and, therefore, requires more training than the SIC. Most Type rating applicants obtain not only their Type rating, but also the Airline Transport Pilot certificate. Full Type and ATP training can take up to five days.
Advanced jet training is not limited to only those aspiring to a professional career. More and more, the industry is seeing private jet owners who might have formerly utilized contract pilots wanting to do the flying themselves. Companies like ATR are now going out of their way to break away from the “one jet serves all” type of training and making arrangements to train in the customer’s airplane, at the customer’s home base. Many owners of business jets are pilots, but have considered the task of becoming qualified in their own airplane to be just a bit daunting. When coupled with a custom training program conducted at their home base, one time bosses can now place themselves on the flying schedule. Many add the multi engine rating to their certificate along with the Type rating.
Whether the reader is a “fly for fun” aviator, aspiring professional or business jet owner, training options are now available that are affordable and fun, with the resulting pilot skilled and safe. Give it some thought.
Vesna Ajic used to work as a lawyer in Yugoslavia. Relocating to the United States, she was introduced to aviation. After earning her pilot certificates, she began flying copilot on the Citation SII in 2004. She received her type ratings in both the 500 and 525 in 2007. Normally, a contract pilot in the Citation 550, Vesna primarily teaches ground school for Arizona Type Rating.