Aeroplane Pilot Kaiwhakahaere Waka Rererangi

Aeroplane pilots fly planes that transport people and goods, or spread fertiliser or bait.

Aeroplane pilots may do some or all of the following:

  • prepare or check flight plans
  • do pre-flight checks of weather forecasts and the plane's load, fuel and equipment
  • calculate the amount of fuel needed for flights
  • programme flight management systems
  • liaise with air traffic control
  • navigate and fly the plane to its destination
  • write flight reports and keep a flight log
  • greet passengers and assist them if necessary.

Agricultural pilots may also:

  • consult with customers about chemicals and fertiliser¬†
  • calculate the amount and cost of chemicals or fertiliser
  • apply chemicals or fertiliser to farm land and keep records.

 To become an aircraft captain of a plane that needs a co-pilot, you must also have an Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL).

Physical Requirements

Aeroplane pilots need to have:

  • good hearing and eyesight (with or without corrective lenses)
  • good reflexes and co-ordination
  • a good level of fitness and health, as they must pass a medical exam every year.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for aeroplane pilots includes:

  • aviation industry work
  • aircraft engineer work
  • loader/driver work
  • work with navigational and radio equipment
  • customer service.

Personal Qualities

Aeroplane pilots need to be:

  • responsible
  • good at planning, thinking logically and following procedures
  • excellent at working under pressure
  • able to make quick, sound decisions
  • good leaders
  • skilled communicators
  • able to relate to people from a range of cultures and backgrounds
  • resilient
  • good at record-keeping.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for aeroplane pilots includes:

  • aviation industry work
  • aircraft engineer work
  • loader/driver work
  • work with navigational and radio equipment
  • customer service.

Subject Recommendations

NCEA Level 3 is required to enter tertiary training. Useful subjects include English, maths and physics.

Flying experience at aero clubs

If you are between 12 and 18 years old, you can apply for the Young Eagles flying experience programme, run through local aero clubs.

Aeroplane Pilots can earn around $50K-$150K per year per year.

Newly qualified aeroplane pilots often complete further training to work as flying instructors. This means they can build up enough flying hours to apply for work at an airline.

Aeroplane pilots can specialise in a number of roles, including:

Agricultural Pilot
Agricultural pilots fly aircraft to apply chemicals or fertiliser to farmland. They may fly fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters.
Charter Pilot
Charter pilots fly tourist or air ambulance services, or provide services such as aerial photography or land surveying.
Aeroplane Pilot

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