Commercial Pilots are highly skilled, highly trained, and highly paid professionals (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2008 a commercial pilot earned on average $111,680.00 per year). The BLS also predicted that job demand for professional airplane and helicopter pilots would remain steady. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) maintains strict eligibility requirements for commercial pilots. According to FAA guidelines, they must be at least 23 years old and have completed a minimum of 1,500 hours of flight training. The highest-rated commercial pilot schools, including the three discussed in this article, are both FAA and Joint Aviation Authority (JAA) approved.
Pan Am Academy
Pan Am International Flight Academy, founded in 1980 by Pan Am's president, Vito Cutrone, is the only surviving division of Pan American Airlines. The school offers its students thorough training in flight instruction. Students receive aircraft-specific instruction for planes built by Boeing, Air Bus, McDonnell Douglas, Canadair, Embraer, and Saaband Cessna. Students also receive special instruction for all airlines in regards to crew management, aviation terminology and emergency procedures. Pan Am Academy is both FAA and JAA approved and has locations throughout the United States.
Pan Am International Flight Academy 5000 NW 36th Street Miami, Florida 33122 305-874-6000 panamacademy.com
Delta Connection Academy
The Delta Connection Academy Flight School, an FAA and JAA approved school of aviation, is a division of Delta Air Lines, which has successfully operated the school since 1989. Delta Connection Academy also works in coalition with Jacksonville University, Broward College, and San Jacinto College to offer two-year associate's degrees and a four-year bachelor's degree in aviation for those who are also attending traditional college classes but who wish to major in aviation. The accelerated commercial pilot's program can be completed within 24 months.
Delta Connection Academy Inc. 2700 Flightline Ave Sanford, FL 32773 407-330-7020 deltaconnectionacademy.com
Airline Transport Professionals (ATP) Flight School
According to its website, the ATP Flight School offers almost every possible combination of multi-engine FAA pilot certification, ranging from Private Multi-Engine ratings to Multi-Engine Instrument Instructor ratings to Airline Transport Pilot certificates. Students of ATP Flight School will receive over 165 hours of multi-engine experience and fly a multi-engine aircraft coast-to-coast on a fixed schedule, using airline-standard, designated flight patterns. ATP Flight school is both FAA and JAA approved with locations available throughout the United States.
Airline Transport Professionals PO Box 1784 Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32004 800-255-2877 atpflightschool.com
- airplane image by Clarence Alford from Fotolia.com