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Home > Becoming a Pilot > A Flight Attendant wishes to change her career to become a pilot.
A Flight Attendant wishes to change her career to become a pilot.
Pilot Career - Becoming a Pilot
Saturday, 30 January 2010 04:35

Dear Capt Lim,

I am a 32 years old Chinese female Fight Attendant flying with Qatar Airways for many years now. I am planning to switch my career to become a pilot to fulfill my childhood dream and also to pursue a better future.

I have consulted our Chief Pilot here. He told me that there is a Second Officer program here and the requirement is JAA CPL + IR + FROZEN JAA ATPL + BELOW 28 years old. So it means that I am not able to meet this requirement.

The First Officer needs the same qualification but FULL ATPL with 1500 hours and below 45 years old. How do I get these hours and how long will it takes?

Some of my friends have gone to get their licenses in South Africa. It has one of the cheapest flying school where one can get the ICAO licenses. Some say, Cebu Flying School in the Philippine is good too. Malaysia is too expensive to get the above mentioned licenses. It is said that some Asian countries will require many pilots, especially in the Chinese Mainland.

Do you think I can find a Second Officer position in these Asian airlines if I am in possession of JAA CPL + IR + FROZEN JAA ATPL? How can I complete 1500 hours in a shortest time? Do you think I have chance to become a Cadet Pilot in a year or two?

Thank you for your time.

Best Regards.

Yours sincerely,


Hi Helena,

I have known of quite a number of Flight Attendants who became pilots in the airlines. It all depends on the opportunities available at the time of your application. Again, age is a factor. Some airlines would only sponsor pilots who have met their entry requirements.

Since you are 32 years old, just like your friends, you may have to seek your own funding to acquire your licenses, namely the JAA CPL + IR + FROZEN JAA ATPL.

To get 1500 flying hours, generally, you have to be with an airline. It is almost like a Catch-22 situation where you have to be in an airline to build up the hours first and yet it is not possible to join them unless you have the hours!

Alternatively, you may have to fly with a charter company or flying club to build up your 1500 hours (may take from 2 to 4 years depending on whether you are with an airline – low cost, full service or a charter company, etc) before some airlines would consider your application.

Yes, with the proper flying licenses, you can become a pilot. To become a pilot in an established airline, it would be a long and winding route. It all depends on your capability and some element of luck at the time of your graduation. The pilot career can be one of uncertainty in time of financial downturn considering the amount of investment one has to put up with.

I wish you all the best. alt


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Should I study oversea or in Malaysia?
Dear Capt Lim,

I'm Henry, 18 years old who wish to become a pilot. Last year December after SPM, I started search all kind of flying school in Malaysia and also oversea like Canada, USA & Australia. Until now I have no idea where should I go for study this course as well. Did study oversea & in local have the difference? I asked DCA, he told me that when you study oversea, I need to take a test again. Is that true? So, whice should I choose for? I get a school today at newspaper whice the school at Australia ( Australian Aviation Training College), the school said it passed by DCA, but I can not understand that. Because it already oversea, but DCA told me that not acceptable oversea license and need to convert it. What the meaning of it? Beside, whice airlines should I go for work after graduated is better?

Thank you for your time

Henry , 10 Mar, 2010
"Australian Aviation Training College."
Ummm...do NOT go anywhere near this school. Open Google and search for Sydney Flight Training Centre. This guy will take your money. you will NOT fly....
Ripped Off Pilot , 05 May, 2010
Help us.
Dear capt.Lim,
Could please tell us what are the advantages of studying in Canada or Australia instead of Malaysia ?
I'll start cpl course in Malaysia but I am not well aware about here.
Ali , 21 Jun, 2010
flight attendant to pilot
hi capt.Lim,

i am planning to join the SAA as a air steward is it possible for me to switch career to become a pilot what are the steps that i need to take and i am 22 yrs old with a degree
john , 15 Feb, 2013

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