Safety is one of the biggest concerns in aviation and for students when considering becoming an airline pilot. The flight training that you will need to complete to become an airline pilot will require a great number of hours in training aircraft. This fact brings up the issue of safety and the question, how safe is it to become an airline pilot?
Safe Training Aircraft
Finding a school with safe training aircraft will put your mind at ease. Aircraft in use for business purposes must go through many inspections in order to be able to legally fly. FAA certified Part 141 schools are required to keep a higher level of maintenance and records. An aircraft that is used for training must go through inspection every 100 hours of flight time as well as annually. The FAA in order to keep the aircraft in flying condition and to keep you safe mandates these inspections. Often good schools take the extra step of 50 hour inspections. Keep in mind your average training aircraft may be 20 years old, but if maintenance is well done they are safe as brand new bird. Excellent schools will keep their aircraft maintained, up-to-date, and will never let their aircraft fly if there is a safety issue.
Ask your prospective school about their safety record. They should be able to give you a straight answer. Many also offer discovery flights, quick 30min or 1hr flights to see if you like flying. Did you feel safe? Did the aircraft perform well?
Quality instructors will teach you well and will know how to handle any situation that is thrown at them. However they not only provide excellent training, they teach decision-making. At some point you will be flying on your own without an instructor to help make your decisions. You will then rely on what you have been taught in order to make the correct decision whenever you encounter an issue. When starting your flight training you will also be taught how to inspect an aircraft before you fly. This will become routine and is absolutely required before you fly. A pre-flight inspection on the ground will help you keep safe in the air. Finding quality instructors that teach you properly will give you the knowledge to stay safe!
The flight school as a whole should emphasize safety and it should be the school’s number one priority. A school that puts safeguards in place to protect students is one that should be sought after. A school’s safety record can also say a lot about how they provide their flight training and if it is safety oriented. A school with a great record is one that takes safety seriously.
Schools with great training aircraft that are well maintained will not only keep you flying often, but will also keep you safe. Finding yourself a good instructor also goes a long way. In the skies, knowledge is power. A good instructor will teach you the proper ways to react to certain situations. The road to becoming an airline pilot is a relatively safe one. Training aircraft are very stable and they are designed and built specifically for training. School safety must encompass all of the above points as well as any other additional safeguards that they feel must be implemented.
One you start flying commercially there are entire departments and Safety Management Systems to reduce risk and keep the aircraft flying. The National Transportation Safety Board's ( NTSB ) cites commercial aviation as the safest mode of transpiration today. Much safer than driving your car or even riding a bike. Safe training aircraft, qualified instructors, and a great school will keep you safe and let you enjoy your flight training to the fullest!