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Pilot

Video Transcript

Start your engines and get ready to hop on board this jet with me as I see what being a pilot is all about. So this is it. 

 This is it. Are you ready to go flying? 

 I'm so ready. 

 Let's go. 

[ Music ] 

 Steve Smyth [Assumed spelling] flies private jets as a corporate pilot, and today he's giving me a few lessons. 

 ABCD in there. 

 Okay. 

 There's K. P. 

 As a pilot you can work for a major airline, a private company, or work for yourself like Steve who is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. How many days a week do you fly. 

 It depends. Corporate aviation is different. It's -- I work for families, private families. So when they call me and say Steve, want to leave tomorrow, go to New York, you just go. 

 Most pilots spend a lot of time away from home and may have to deal with overnight flights, jet lag, and sitting through lay overs. Those that work for airlines fly an average of 65 to 75 hours a month. 

 Not much office work involved. If you're just going to be a corporate pilot, you come, you fly your trips, you do your paperwork, probably be done in an hour or two, and then you go home. And then you wait for your next trip. 

 Before each flight a pilot checks the aircraft to make sure the engine, instruments, and controls are working, and then it's off to plan the flight. 

 This is where we come, this is the flight planning room. And we're going to check the weather. 

 Pilots check aviation weather forecasts to decide on the altitude and speed they'll fly to create the most economical route. Now that we've got our flight schedule it's time to hop into the copilot seat. 

 Training for each one of these airplanes is about three to four weeks long. And we go to schools like Simuflight, or Flight Safety are the schools that teach you how to fly these jets. And they teach you every switch, light, and every button that's in the air plane. 

 And what if someone were to take a different route, is it recommended that they go to a specialty like aeronautical school, or could they go -- 

 Well yeah. Depending on what kind of pilot you want to be. If you want to be an airline pilot, I mean, it's pretty much required that you have a four year degree today. 

 Steve says pilots start off paying their dues, but with more flight hours logged comes an increase in pay. 

 In the airlines you typically start out in the low teens or mid teens. Most commuter airlines are starting out between 18 and 22,000. And you probably earn that salary for two to three years, depending on how fast you upgrade to captain. Then you could probably expect anywhere from 50 to $80,000 a year. 

 Organizational skills and attention to detail are key in this highly competitive field. 

 You've really got to make sure the airplane is in perfect shape before you go flying. So it's I guess you could say a lot of guys are anal retentive. But you know, you have to be. You're flying a lot of people and you're responsible for a lot of the airplane itself, you're responsible for your passengers. 

 Just a little bit of pressure. 

 Well, I guess you could say -- some people say it's pressure, but you know, after you do it, I've been doing this for 22 years now, and it's kind of second nature to me. You know? 

 Think you've got what it takes to fly high? Piloting could be the career for you. 

[ Music ] 

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