Pilot Retirement

Pilot Retirement and Next Career Steps.

When the Clock Stops: Embracing the Journey from Active Pilot to Retirement Some pilots are ready to retire when the time comes. Others already have their eye on a second career. When the time comes, whether by choice or another reason, such as medical, have a plan. No matter your age, all pilots should think about what comes next when their flying career ends. Approximately 2,500 pilots retire each year in the U.S. The Unspoken Question: “What is Happening to My Flying Skills?” While cleaning the aircraft in the hangar, a pilot reflects on a recent landing. “What was that?” The question is not just about the landing but a deeper search into the changes they’re experiencing. Years of flying … Read more

How to Become a Commercial Pilot in 2023: The 7-Step Guide

How to Become a Commercial Pilot

So, what are the 7 steps? If you’ve always wondered how to become a pilot, this 7-step guide is for you. Perhaps you’ve thought about this as a hobby, but becoming a commercial pilot is actually a great career choice. What exactly defines a commercial pilot? Simply put, a commercial pilot is someone who has been approved by the FAA to charge for pilot services. Check Your Pilot Training Eligibility! What types of commercial pilots are there? While most people immediately think of commercial airline pilots flying passengers, the most common example of a commercial pilot, there are other possible careers in this field. There are even some that are a bit unusual. For instance, cargo pilots, such as those … Read more

Airline Pilot Salary: Comprehensive Breakdown & Industry Comparison

Commercial Airline Pilot Salary

Epic Flight Academy students put in a lot of effort to become airline pilots. They make connections while at flight school that will stay with them throughout their careers. But the real question is… how much will they earn? How much is an airline pilot’s salary? Pilot pay varies for many reasons, such as the airline and years of service, with the average salary over $200,000 in 2023. People choose an airline pilot career for a variety of reasons, first and foremost being their love of flying. However, with the growing demand for commercial airline pilots worldwide, airline pilots’ salaries are an excellent reason to consider an aviation career. Have you have been thinking about becoming a pilot, but you’re … Read more

NOTAMs

Decoding NOTAMs

Decoding NOTAMs: Hanoi to Hong Kong Captain Judy’s Corner The Citation jet was ready for departure at Hanoi, Vietnam (VVNB) with a destination Hong Kong (VHHH). Weather was agreeable along our entire route. The NOTAMs were an issue. Acquiring the most current weather and NOTAMs can be challenging when flying international. For example, each country will have a different responsible agency to contact for this information. Once the pilot locates the agency, they must often pay a fee and apply for ramp access to the facility. Airlines provide this information to the crew. General aviation pilots can pre-purchase this information through a commercial contractor or locate the agency on their own. During our 2015 World Flight, we pre-purchased these services. … Read more

Future Flying Forecast

Article: Future Flying Forecast

Captain Judy’s Corner The future flying forecast may have seemed bleak one year ago, but fluctuations and furloughs are not forever. Bloomberg News, September 2001: “Thousands of workers losing their jobs at American Airlines. United Airlines reports the gravest times in its history. Eight of the largest airlines in the United States have implemented over 78,000 furloughs since the terrorist attacks. Prior to these massive furloughs, the airlines were reporting record employment.” Furloughs in aviation are nothing new. One of the earliest sequences of layoffs occurred during World War I (1914–1918). At the beginning and during the war, the demand for pilots far exceeded the training capabilities. Production of pilots and aircraft could not happen fast enough. After the war, … Read more

Pilots as Mechanics

Pilots as A&P Mechanics

Should You Become Both? Becoming an aircraft mechanic is a rewarding career. So is becoming a pilot. So, why would anyone go to the trouble of becoming both? After all, you’ll likely choose one or the other for a career. There are many good reasons why people choose to train in both fields. For example, a professional pilot who has become trained as an aircraft mechanic is more likely to notice if something seems ‘off’ during flight. This is a safety issue. Just as an auto mechanic would notice a problem while driving, an A&P would notice a problem with flying. Likewise, a professional mechanic who is also a pilot knows exactly how the controls should feel or how the … Read more

Aeronautical Decision-making

Aeronautical Decision-Making at Epic

Captain Judy’s Corner Early in 2020, our lives changed when the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Governors and state agencies issued emergency orders for the temporary closures of businesses and organizations in an effort to reduce the spread of this virus. All segments of the aviation industry have felt the impact. Transportation was listed as one of the l0 essential services permitted to continue operations, which included flight training. The principles of aeronautical decision-making can be applied to this and other situations. Epic Flight Academy took immediate and proactive action to ensure all operations continued without interruption. Epic leadership went beyond the recommended advice provided by the Centers for Disease Control. (Note: The photo above was taken prior to … Read more

The Need for Speed

Citation Mustang flown by Captain Judy Rice

Above: Captain Judy Rice stands next to the Citation Mustang in which she broke a world speed record. Captain Judy’s Corner: The Need for Speed Going for a world record! An aircraft speed record is no small thing. As the Citation approached Kangerlussuaq, Greenland (BGSF), I queried the Air Traffic Controller about their readiness as officiators for my Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), National Aeronautic Association (NAA) World Record Attempt. The controller responded, “Affirmative.” After landing, two airport officials assured the jet was fueled before giving a friendly wave as I taxied to the runway hold lines. After that, ATC cleared us direct to Reykjavik. In a heavy Danish accent, the air traffic controller remarked, “The clock is ready for your record-breaker, N178SF!” Kangerlussuaq, … Read more

This Is Your Captain Speaking

This is your Captain Speaking

This is your Captain speaking… Captain Judy’s Corner: The Importance of Understanding the Ignition System You have envisioned sitting in the left seat announcing to the passengers, “This is your Captain speaking, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.” Awaking from your dream, you look over at the mounds of study material open on the desk. What do I need to know to become a pilot? Nothing as an Earthling prepares a student for the amount of what seems like alien knowledge and skills required to become a pilot. A few examples of this knowledge required to earn a certificate are the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) comparable to studying a legal document; then understanding weather as an amateur meteorologist; and, … Read more

What is IACRA?

What is IACRA

What is IACRA, and why is it important to pilots? IACRA stands for: Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application. The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) in in charge of pilot license applications and oversees the process. This is to make sure pilots meet all requirements. It is a web-based system where pilots can apply, monitor, and obtain their certifications and ratings. Pilot training is more than flying. Pilots also have to learn the rules, regulations, and procedures that govern flight and pilot credentials. How does IACRA work? IACRA FAA offers a progression of pilot certificates or licenses. They begin with the student pilot and including subsequent licenses and ratings. For example, they include private pilot license and commercial pilot license. Each … Read more

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