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Home > Becoming a Pilot > How many hours is required to be a captain of an airliner?
How many hours is required to be a captain of an airliner?
Pilot Career - Becoming a Pilot
Friday, 03 March 2006 04:50

Hi Captain Lim,

I love your site! Good work and I*m glad that you can help others. Well, I got a couple of questions:

1. When you work for an airline, do you fly one type of aircraft all the time - in your example, the 777, or can you fly more than one? If you can only fly one, who determines which one you fly?

2. Do you fly when you have a cold? How many days can you be absent from work?

3. Do you have to be a 747-rated captain to be a 777 captain, how does this work?

4. Do high school grades have a big impact if you want to become an airline pilot?

5. Can a landing be so hard that it causes damage/injury to passengers?

6. How many hours do you need to become a captain of an airliner?

7. Do you have to have a US passport to be a pilot or can you do it with any other country*s passport. Also, can you fly for a US airline if you don*t have a US passport, but have a greencard?

Thank you very much, and happy landings!

Ene

Hi Ene,


1. A pilot is generally certified to fly only one type aircraft at any one time. He normally progresses from a smaller aircraft type before he is promoted to the biggest plane in the company.

2. A pilot should not fly if he has a cold that he thinks would interfere with his work. He should not be *absent* from his work but he has generous number of leave days a year. This depends on his seniority, position and the airlines, but it ranges from 30 to 42 days.

3. Depending on the airlines, you can be a Boeing 747, Airbus 330/340-rated or any wide body aircraft rated-pilot to be promoted to a Boeing 777 captain.

4. Yes, amongst other criteria, your high school grades must also be good, or at least satisfy the minimum requirements laid down by the airlines.

5. Please read a previous FAQ on the same subject. (Please Use Search in Main Menu).


6. There is no fixed number of hours for a pilot to become a captain as it varies from airlines to airlines. For instance, one airline may require a pilot to have at least a total of 5000 hours to be promoted to a Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 captain whereas another one may reduce it to 4000 when it is expanding and do not have enough pilots to fill the vacancies.

7. I am not clear on the US immigration regarding Greencard. Generally, you have to be an American citizen to fly as an airline pilot in the USA (in addition to having a FAA ATP/ME/IR).

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Comments (4)

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Choosing my plane
Hi Captain Lim,
Lets say i want to fly for British Airways do I get say which aircraft I want to fly like the 777-200?
Jayden , 08 Jul, 2013
same problem
i hv the same problem plz... send me the answer on same website i am waiting for ur answer
samreen sadiya , 14 Jul, 2013
Degree
Would a BS in Aeronautics help you in anyway obtain a job?
Desmond , 20 Jul, 2014
Answer
No you do not have a say the airline decides which aircraft they'll assign you to.
Manuel , 11 May, 2016

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