If you choose the military pathway, you will undergo in-depth screening and background checks as well as assessment evaluations before being accepted into the pilot training program. In addition, you will undergo a disciplined flight training program that is essentially “immersion training,” where you will focus exclusively on flight and academic training for months, or even in excess of a year. Following that, you will gain valuable flight experience, often in high-performance jet aircraft—again in an atmosphere of constant training. Additionally, every military flight involves some element of training or evaluation, even combat flights. Often due to limited military budgets or operational needs, a military pilot may log less flying time than a civilian counterpart.
In order to maintain pilot proficiency with limited flying time, the military provides a significant amount of ground training, which includes formal classroom sessions, structured simulator training, and, equally important, “hangar flying” sessions where pilots undergo mentoring and gain from each other’s knowledge, as well as mistakes. This produces highly competitive candidates for the airlines. Even though fewer actual flight hours may have been gained in the military, the airline industry has found that pilots from such a rigid training program are well prepared to join the ranks of commercial airline pilots. However, even experienced military pilots need extensive training and mentoring to facilitate their transition to being successful commercial airline pilots.
If you are a military pilot who plans to transition to an airline, you must complete a military knowledge test to be issued a commercial pilot certificate. There is no flight test required for the issuance of the commercial pilot certificate, but the commercial pilot certificate is required as a prerequisite for the ATP certificate. (There is no conversion allowance for the ATP.) You must then ensure that you meet the aeronautical flight experience requirements for an ATP or R-ATP, complete the ATP certification training program, and then proceed with the ATP testing process like any other civilian pilot. Path 3: Ab Initio >