Flight School in NJ: Is the Career of a Test Pilot Right for You?
Being a test pilot is one of the most rewarding careers in the industry, and it’s not difficult to see why! Your job is to fly and evaluate new or modified aircraft, either for the Federal Aviation Authority or the military, often putting you at the forefront of aviation technology. So, how do you know if this career is the right fit for you?
How to Become an Aircraft Test Pilot
Step One – Basic requirements: You’ll have to meet certain training requirements in addition to your pilot’s license and medical health requirements. This includes a certain amount of flight experience, and a Bachelor’s Degree in math, physics, engineering or a related field. You will also have to possess flight clearance through the Office of Personnel Management and be a US citizen.
Step Two – Serving in the military: Few pilots become test pilots without serving as military pilots in the US Air Force or Navy as pilots, flight officers or engineers. After completing your military service, you can apply for civilian or government agency test pilot positions.
Step Three – Pass Test Pilot School: Training for test pilots is intensive and focusses on learning how to evaluate aircraft performance. These courses last around 48-50 weeks and are offered by military schools as well as private facilities. Here, you’ll learn on a wide range of subjects, including flight preparation, report writing and data collection as well as aero and thermodynamics, control systems and statistics.
Types of Roles Filled by Test Pilots
Test pilots work in a wide range of roles, including:
- Maintenance test pilots – Checking the performance of aircraft and parts to ensure they are in proper working condition after maintenance.
- Acceptance test pilots – Checking the performance of newly purchased aircraft or upgraded aircraft before they are put into service.
- Experimental test pilots – Checking the performance of an aircraft under new conditions in which the outcomes are not known (for example, first flights, envelope expansion and initial performance testing).
- Developmental test pilots – Checking the flight performance of an aircraft to investigate the effects of engineering or design changes (for example, new systems and structural changes).
As you can see, this is an incredibly intense, exciting and challenging career path – so you need a flight school who can start you out on the right foot.
Start Your Journey into the Aviation Industry at Our Flight School in New Jersey
When it comes to choosing from the best flight schools in New Jersey, experience is everything. Our flight school has over 20 years of pilot training experience in training professional and amateur pilots in a range of 10 different aircraft, as well as logging over 68,000 flight instruction and rental hours.
We have our own FAA certified A&P/IA on premises and our location outside of the crowded New York area airspace designations means that you get to enjoy scenic open skies as you learn to fly.