IAMA guy who quit my IT job to achieve my dream to become a Commercial Pilot.
I posted in this AMA thread earlier today, and since then there was a lot of feedback and questions sent to me asking me for advice and the steps I took to become a Commercial Pilot. About 2 years ago I began the journey to achieve the career of my dreams. I had been thinking about this since I was a child and actively planning it since 2008.
My experience is related to become a Commercial Pilot in the UK (JAA/EASA), whilst there may be geographical differences in doing this around the world, some of the basics will still apply.
There are 2 main (much debated and discussed) ways of becoming a Commercial Pilot. The Integrated route, or the Modular route. One is not better than the other, as everyone's circumstances are different, and which route you choose has to be what is right for you. Integrated is a full time arrangement and this is what I selected to do, because of my age (I'm now 33) I wanted to complete as soon as possible.
The Integrated path to becoming a pilot was basically broken down into 3 stages. 6 months of classroom training and 14 ATPL exams. 3-4 months of good weather flying & progress testing in Florida, followed by the same again finishing off the CPL/IR (Commercial Pilot's License/Instrument Rating) here at home in the UK.
The Modular route, is as is sounds broken up into chunks. Many choose to get a PPL (Private Pilot's License), complete their 14 ATPL exams, then 'hour build' and finally complete a the CPL/IR. The modular route lets to complete the license at your own pace and perhaps suited for those on a budget, or those wanting to fit in the training around work or home commitments. It generally take longer than an Integrated course.
Having been out of education a long time, I had to take on tutors and self-study, just to get my brain in gear to pass the entrance exams for different Integrated flight training schools. I interviewed them and selected a school that had been training future pilots for over 40 years. I did lots of due-diligence before choosing where to invest my money.
Fast forward 26 months, I am two flights away from finishing with an Integrated ATPL (a) with Multi-Engine, Single-Engine (piston) and Instrument Rating endorsements.
If you want to know more about the details, some of the good things, the bad things and where I go from here... AMA... Proof has also been sent to the Mod team.