Making the decision to become a pilot with L3Harris is a life-changing step towards an exciting and rewarding career. Flying passengers around the globe in an office above the clouds with spectacular views is a job that’s hard to beat! Here at L3Harris we are dedicated to helping our cadets secure their dream role as a Co-Pilot with a commercial airline.
The aviation courses we offer at our global airline academies are all slightly different. This page will provide an overview on how to become an Airline Pilot in the United Kingdom and Europe. This means you will undertake an EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) pilot training programme.
The journey to becoming an EASA certified Airline Pilot is both an exciting and challenging one. It takes an average of 18 months to 2 years to complete your flight school training, giving the aviation industry time to recover from recent global events, before cadets embark on their rewarding careers.
The type of training programme you choose to undertake will depend on your ultimate career goal. Many of our cadets do not like the idea of being tied to one particular airline and so choose to take an L3Harris Programme such as our Integrated ATPL programme, meaning they can select which airline they apply to at the end of training. This particular course is designed for cadets with little to no flying experience and also offers cadets the opportunity to combine an industry-endorsed degree with their professional pilot training and learn other aspects of aviation aside from becoming a pilot.
Other cadets prefer greater flexibility and apply for our Modular ATPL training programme allowing them to train as a co-pilot at their own pace by completing course modules individually. Via the modular route, cadets can also obtain a recognised BSc (Hons) Professional Aviation Pilot Practice degree at Middlesex University and qualify for a ‘frozen’ Airline Pilot License (fATPL).
What can you expect to do as a pilot?
As a commercial pilot, you’ll be flying and navigating airplanes transporting people and cargo across the globe using a combination of manual operations and computer-controlled flying systems.
You’ll also be responsible for creating a flight plan that outlines the route based on weather reports & air traffic control, altitude and fuel requirements for your journey and recording your flight and technical problems or incidents that occur along the way.
You’ll perform regular checks such as ensuring you have the appropriate passenger information, that technical systems, safety systems and navigation systems are working correctly and monitor weather reports before take off, during the flight and after landing.
Why become a commercial pilot?
Becoming a pilot is a highly rewarding and satisfying career with an abundance of benefits. You’ll feel a great sense of achievement working in a highly qualified environment with great career prospects.
Although pilot training is a huge investment, you can expect to enjoy financial benefits as commercial pilots earn significantly above the average salary.
What’s more, with a commercial pilot license you’ll get to see views like no other, travelling the globe whilst sharing experiences with a fantastic crew.
At L3Harris Airline Academy, we have long-lasting airline relationships and a pilot placement team dedicated to finding you opportunities at some of the world’s best known airlines including British Airways, Turkish Airlines and Ryanair.
Your journey to become a pilot
Discover the journey you will take to become an EASA certified pilot at our UK & European Academies.
Nothing comes close to the exhilaration of airline flying and the views from what could possibly be the best office in the world. We look forward to welcoming you to L3Harris and helping you to launch your Airline Pilot career.Enquire now
Modular ATPL now available!
We now offer a modular pilot training route, created for aspiring pilots who want the flexibility to learn in their own time and pay as they train.
The modular course includes everything required to become a commercial pilot in manageable chunks, from Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) onwards.Find out more
Stage 1: Research Pilot Training Programmes
With so many routes to becoming a pilot in the U.K. and Europe, it can feel difficult to know where to start researching. From integrated and modular training courses to structured programmes specific to major airlines, there are plenty of pilot training programmes to choose from.
Many of our trainee pilots say the blog posts from current and alumni cadets helped them get a feel for L3Harris Airline Academy, as well as attending our events where you have the opportunity to speak with our careers advice team and professional pilots.
Our L3Harris Airline Academy is renowned for the quality of its pilot training. What sets us apart is our state-of-the-art training facilities, modern aircraft with the latest aviation flight deck technology and our team of Flight Instructors and Theoretical Knowledge instructors with thousands of hours flying experience between them. .
Stage 2: Application
After researching pilot training programmes and selecting the suitable route for you, we advise all prospective pilots to take their time, read the Application & Selection documents carefully and check that they meet the entry criteria before submitting their application. Your application will be screened by our selection team and, if successful, we will invite you to attend a selection day.Ready to enrol? Apply online today
Stage 3: Pilot Cadet Selection
We won’t sugar coat it, our selection days to become a pilot are challenging but as long as you are prepared for the day there is no need to be nervous. We will only accept applicants onto our pilot training programmes who have the potential to take command of a passenger aircraft and we will assess you on both the technical and non-technical skills required to become a commercial pilot.
You can find further information on our selection process and how to prepare below.Find out more
Stage 4-7: Pilot Training
Stage 4: Ground school
Once through selection you will embark on the initial phase of flight training known as Ground School. You will meet your fellow course mates at one of our approved training locations and complete your classroom and computer-based theoretical knowledge training as part of your training to become a pilot.
Stage 5: Foundation flight training
Often the most exciting stage of the course, you will take to the skies, learning to fly single engine piston aircraft at one of our global training centers. The exact aircraft, location and duration of this phase will depend on your programme.
Stage 6: Commercial and instrument flight training
The content of this training will depend on the course you have chosen, but will involve single and multi-engine aircraft and assessments in our Full Flight Simulators.
Stage 7: Intermediate flight training
If you are on a Multi-Pilot License (MPL) route, this will involve aircraft type-specific training on the plane you will be flying with that particular airline. On our Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) route you will take our world-renowned Airline Qualification Course (AQC), which includes Multi-Crew Cooperation (MCC), Crew Resource Management (CRM) and Jet Orientation Training (JOT).
Stage 8-10: Airline Phases
Stage 8: (ATPL students only) Airline Placement
Eligible students will be placed in our graduate placement pool where our dedicated team will work to secure you employment as a Co-Pilot with a global airline.
Stage 9: Advanced pilot training
You will undertake aircraft type-specific training to prepare you to fly for your airline. You will also complete Line Orientated Experience (LOE) and line check with your airline employer as well as safety, emergency and procedures training.
Stage 10: Junior Co-Pilot
Congratulations! You are now employed as a Junior Co-Pilot, sitting in the right hand seat of the flight deck flying passengers on commercial aircraft. L3Harris can provide all the further training you need to progress your career up to the rank of Captain as well as other airline training courses.
Where you will train to become a pilot
If you are successfully selected to become a pilot in the U.K. or wider Europe your training could take place at one or more of EASA approved L3Harris flight schools in the U.K., Portugal and New Zealand. You may be based in one location for the duration of your training but it is likely you will be required to travel between locations as you progress through your pilot training course. The cost of travelling between L3Harris' global academies will be covered as part of your training fee.
Theoretical Knowledge training (Ground School) is in the UK, either in Coventry or our London Training Centre near Gatwick. Flight training is in Bournemouth, Cranfield here in the United Kingdom, Ponte de Sor and Cascais in Portugal and Hamilton in New Zealand (subject to capacity and scheduling).Explore our approved flight schools
Pilot training courses
Becoming a pilot in the U.K. or Europe means your pilot training will be regulated by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and your training will be tailored to meet EASA requirements. The other main regulatory body is the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) which governs flight training in the U.S.A.Discover our pilot training courses
Your future pilot career
Most British or European applicants who apply to become a pilot with L3Harris aspire to fly for a commercial airline such as British Airways, easyJet or Ryanair.
We have relationships with airlines across the globe and eligible students graduate from their flight training programme into our airline placement pool where our dedicated team will work to find you a Co-Pilot role with an airline.Career prospects
What are the entry requirements to become a pilot?
The following entry criteria applies to applicants applying to become a pilot through L3Harris Airline Academy’s Integrated ATPL career programme. Airline multi-pilot license (MPL) routes vary so please check before you apply.
- A passion for aviation
- Demonstrate spatial awareness
- Excellent verbal communication skills
- Problem solving skills
- Aptitude for number and data analysis
- An eye for attention to detail
AGE AND HEIGHT
Be at least 17 years of age to submit an application.
Be at least 18 years of age to commence commercial pilot training (programme dependent).
Minimum height 5 ft. 2 in. (157 cm), maximum height 6 ft. 3 in. (191 cm).i
EDUCATION AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Hold a minimum of 5 GCSEs (or equivalenti) in different subjects at grade C or above, which must include Mathematics, Science and English language.
Be able to demonstrate that you have successfully completed secondary or high school education (or equivalent).
Be fluent in English (verbal and written).i
Be able to obtain an EASA Class 1 Medical without restrictions.
CRIMINAL RECORD CHECK
Produce a criminal record check (CRC) basic disclosure certificate before training can commence.
Have the unrestricted right to live and work in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
Pass an application and selection process which includes:
- Computer-based aptitude testing
- Personality questionnaires
- Teamwork exercises
- Competency-based interviews
Get in touch today
It is time to start your airline pilot journey. Request info or speak to the team.Enquire now
Important changes to Selection process during the Coronavirus
Due to recent global events we’ve made some temporary changes to our Selection process. The changes come into effect from Monday 23 March 2020 with the health and well-being of candidates, customers and staff as our number one priority.
Starting 23 March 2020 - until further notice - the Selection process will be as follows:
- You will be required to sit an online assessment at a cost of £40.00.
- Once you successfully pass the online assessment will then sit Cut-e – online aptitude testing.
- Once you successfully pass Cut-e testing will be invited to attend a video call for a half hour interview to help us better understand you, your experiences and your motivations.
- During this period, the Selection fee will be reduced from £255.00 to £125.00.
If you have any questions regarding Selection please contact one of the team at:
+44 (0)2380 748085
Why L3Harris Airline Academy?
29 years heritage in pilot training
7 global Academy locations
Dedicated graduate placement team to secure your pilot role
95% of our 2019 graduates already working as Co-Pilots for 22 commercial airlines
- 1. How long does it take to become a pilot?
On average, it will take between 18 months to 2 years to complete your pilot training and qualify as a First Officer.
For example, our Integrated ATPL pilot training programme lasts for a duration of 18-24 months, subject to scheduling. On the other hand, our Modular ATPL pilot training programme enables you to train to become a pilot in your own time at your own pace.
- 2. How much can I expect to earn as a pilot?
As a commercial pilot you can expect to receive high earnings well above the average.
The starting salary for a newly qualified commercial pilot could range from approximately £22,000 to £28,000 depending on the size of the airline.
For more experienced commercial pilots, salaries could be anywhere between £54,000 to over £140,000, again depending on the size of the airline.
For more information, please visit Aviation Job Search.
- 3. What would my day look like as a pilot?
As a pilot working for a commercial airline you can expect to work weekdays, evenings, weekends and bank holidays on shifts completing between 39 to 41 hours a week.
You’ll take it in turns with your co-pilot to communicate with air traffic control to identify any potential obstructions and complete paperwork, this usually involves creating a flight plan and recording your flight.
What’s more, you’ll also be required to perform pre-and post-flight inspections and checks during your journey such as checking weather reports and ensuring all instruments, engines, fuel and safety systems are performing correctly.
You will also need to brief cabin crew and provide passengers and crew with regular updates regarding the journey progress.
- 4. How can I prepare myself for becoming a pilot in school?
If you’re passionate about becoming a pilot you will be required to have completed secondary education, achieving grades A - C in at least 5 GCSEs including English, Mathematics and Science.
Pilot training FAQs
Upcoming pilot career events
BSc (Hons) Professional Aviation Pilot Practice Webinar: Online - July 29, 2020
Pilot training news & updates
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