There is a clear route through which one can be a professional such as a teacher, lawyer, doctor, accountant, or a journalist. What is not clear to many parents and students is how to become a pilot. A pilot license in Ghana is awarded to a person who has completed a training course under a reputable school or a Certified Flight Instructor. Therefore, earning a pilot’s license in Ghana follows a specific process. It is the desire of most parents to see their children succeed. As parents. you should help your children to make informed decisions that will shape their future for the better. Below is a step-by-step method through which you can become a pilot.
To become a certified pilot in Ghana, you need to be aware of various facts such as regulations and guidelines. You need to have the right attitude and skills so as to succeed as a pilot. The skills are not limited to good judgment, willingness to learn, self-control, performance under pressure, and careful planning. You should understand that these skills can destroy you or they can help you succeed as a pilot. You should also know the type of aircraft you want to fly. You can choose to train on the helicopter or a fixed wing. The following details will come in handy when understanding the process of becoming a pilot.
How to become a pilot in Ghana
In order to become a pilot, you will need to go through years of education, training, and licensure. You need to prepare early so that you understand what to expect and draw your career map. If you want the best-paying piloting career, you are supposed to have at least ten years of experience to qualify. You need to practise more often and work hard to meet the requirements for your piloting career. You need to follow the process below to become a qualified pilot in Ghana.
First, you should attend a flight training school just like becoming an engineer you need to go to an engineering school. The path that one needs to follow in order to become a pilot in Ghana is not known to many because there are few aviation schools in Ghana. If you are a prospective pilot, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I eligible to get into a flight training school?
- How do I get into a flight training school and where may I find a school?
- What kind of pilot do I want to be? Professional or Private Pilot?
- What stage do I need to start my training and will I get a job when I am done with training?
What is eligibility to become a pilot?
An eligible pilot student is the one who is at least sixteen years of age and knows how to read, write, and speak English. You do not need WASSCE grades, and there is no interview or entrance exams.
Aviation schools in Ghana
Below are the aviation schools in Ghana that offer training for the grant of full commercial pilot license with multi-engine ratings.
- Institute of Aviation and Professional Studies
- Ghana CAA Aviation Training Academy
- APTECH Aviation & Hospitality Academy
- Mish Aviation
School of Aviation Ghana is the most reliable institution offering aviation courses. It was the first institution in Ghana to provide aviation courses. It has knowledgeable teachers, essential learning facilities, and a favourable learning environment.
Second, you should choose the type of aircraft you wish to fly. You can train on the helicopter (H) or a fixed wing (A). There are several pilot licenses available in Ghana which are:
- Student Pilot License (SPL)
- Commercial Pilot License (CPL-A or H)
- Airline Transport pilot license (ATPL- A or H)
- Private Pilot License (PPL- A or H)
- Free Balloon Pilot License, Glider Pilot License
- Multi-Crew Pilot License.
Under the licenses, some specific ratings can be added to the licenses to perform some specific operations. The ratings are such as Night Rating (NR), Instruments Rating and many more.
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How to become a pilot after graduation
To join a flight school in Ghana, you need to have completed your high school education with a pass in English, Mathematics, and Physics. The type of pilot you want to be is primary to the route you will take after graduating from high school. To fly bigger carriers, you are required to have a degree in Aviation, to prove to the airline that you are capable of completing their education program and at the same time boost your capacity for leadership and managerial roles.
In case you want to be a private pilot and fly an aircraft for recreational purposes, it is recommended that you join the University to pursue a formal career and later join flight training school after you have graduated.
If you wish to become an airline pilot, and you have enough resources, then do not waste your time going to the university. Going to the University will be a waste of time because many airlines in Ghana and international airlines prefer to employ younger individuals. They often take younger people, train, and retain them. This is why it is hard to get an older person working as a flight officer (co-pilot). It is believed that most of the cognitive skills are learned and retained for a long time during the teenage years. It is advisable, therefore, to enrol in a flight school of your choice immediately after graduating from high school. Then start a student pilot and work hard to obtain your airline transport pilot license.
Qualifications to become a pilot
A passion for flight is key on a personal level, but you need to balance it with the number of qualities that are demanded by aviation schools. Ambition and motivation, technical aptitude, self-discipline, pressure tolerance, individual awareness, and maturity for your age are all critical attributes if you are to fit the pilot profile.
You should have completed your secondary education with a pass in English, Mathematics, and Physics. Some partnered or airline-sponsored programmes may have more educational requirements.
Before you begin training, you are expected to go through an examination that will test your coordination, eyesight, hearing, and overall health. After completing the test, you will be awarded a Class 1 Medical Certificate. You will be required to have the certificate throughout your flying career.
You are also required to live in Ghana because that is where the training will take place. For more information concerning the specific requirements about the programme, you are advised to contact the individual trainer.
Finally, you need to have passed the assessment test which is conducted to identify individuals that have a high success potential in the pilot training. The assessment process will involve personality questionnaires, aptitude testing, computer-based interviews, and teamwork exercises.
Becoming a commercial pilot
If you want to be a commercial pilot in Ghana, you will be required to have various certificates and ratings which are provided by aviation schools.
- The first and essential thing that you need to have is a private pilot license. The license will allow you to fly on your own, but you will not be paid.
- To be a commercial pilot, you will also be required to have a commercial pilot certificate. The certificate will allow you to receive payment for the flight services that you provide. This certificate is awarded to you after passing commercial pilot ground school and logging more than 250 flight hours with most of the time dedicated to specific manoeuvers and conditions. After logging your hour hours and passing a written ground school test, you will also be required to pass a check-ride. This is just like a driving test that is mandatory to receive a license. If you pass the test, you will be issued with a commercial pilot’s certificate.
- You will also need a multi-engine rating to become a commercial pilot. With this, you will be allowed to fly a plane with multiple engines. Most of the commercial planes have two engines which need some specific skills to operate. To be awarded the rating, you should take some lessons and mass a multi-engine check-ride.
Where to become a helicopter pilot
At the initial state of training, helicopters are very hard to control because they are less stable. However, once you have mastered how to control it, you will control it without almost thinking. With a helicopter license, you will fly any type of helicopter including multi-engine helicopters and turbine (jet) engine-powered helicopters. Anyone can qualify for the training provided you have correctable eyesight, no major health issues, proper motivation, and above average intelligence.
With the helicopter license, you can work for the Law Enforcement (Police), Fire Fighting, Helicopter training, news gathering agencies, traffic reporting, offshore oil rig transport, heavy-lift work, crop spraying, search-and-rescue, air-ambulance, aerial photography & filming, business transportation, and vehicle tracking operations.
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How much does it cost to become a pilot?
Pilot training in Ghana is very expensive. On average, pilot training costs up to $58,995 when you are starting with a private pilot certificate or $75,995 when you have zero experience. To receive a basic commercial pilot license including instrument and multi-engine rating, you will be required to pay up to pay between $85,000- $150,000, depending on the institution the training was conducted.
In addition, other aspects associated with type ratings on various aircraft types and the compulsory Airline Transport Pilot license (ATPL) will require you to pay between $10,000- $45000. When investing in pilot training, you should first understand whether there is any return on investment. Most prospective pilots have shelled out their resources to receive the pilot training.
In order to find yourself in an elaborate flight desk of an airliner, takes a very long time and much dedication. To become a profession and become employed also means meeting all the requirements which may be a very expensive pathway.
How to become a pilot with no money
You can also become a pilot in Ghana if you do not have resources or money. The best option will be joining the Ghana Airforce. The air force will pay for your training outside the country, and you will work in the air force until a time when you want to retire from the air force to join an air carrier.
The advantage of this option is that you do not pay anything towards the training. In addition, most airlines prefer employing pilots with military experience. You should understand that Ghana’s air force does not have fighter aircraft such as Eurofighter lightening 2, F16, and the hawk. The pilots of these aircraft are often the most preferred by commercial air carriers.
The duration of the training depends on the institution. The same applies to the concern of how often you get the chance to fly. On average, the training takes between six months and one year. In relation to jobs, there is a high demand for pilots in emerging markets like China. Five years ago, it was very hard to get a job in the industry, but the trend has changed due to emerging markets.
Becoming a pilot means having a profession that pays well, meaning that you will receive a return on investment within a concise time. How to become a pilot should not be a problem for you anymore because we have provided you with detailed information on how you can become a pilot. The above information will help parents make informed decisions that will shape the future of their children. Remember to share the information with your friends and families to help them understand that to become a pilot is not that hard as they think.