How I became a pilot II

How I became a pilot II
11/10/2016 pilotpatrick
how I became a pilot

In my first part of the blogpost “How I became a pilot” I told you about my way to become a flight student at Intercockpit Pilot Training Network.

How I became a pilot

Another requirement to be accepted as flight student is the initial medical class one examination. This examination is standardized for all pilots and needs to be revalidated every year. For detailed requirements please have a look here) For this examination I went to a special Aviation Doctor at Stuttgart airport. Of course I was a little nervous at this stage, because the outcome will decide about my future career. Not only did I pass it very well, but I also met Fabian, who later became a friend and a fellow flight student.  

Training facility of Lufthansa Flight Training (LFT) in Frankfurt

First day of school

My first day of school at the facilities of Lufthansa flight training was in April 2008. I remember it was a really exciting day, because it meant a new stage of life. The Intercockpit course E308 consisted of 20 guys and one girl. After the introduction of the team we were handed out all the training material, that we would need for our studies. I think it were around ten big binders. At this stage quite intimidating. Additionally we received a black pilot bag. Back then, I was really proud to have it.

Intercockpit course E308 in 2008

Theory classes

For the next two months we attended several theory classes to reach the knowledge of a PPL Pilot (Private Pilot License) to be prepared for the first flight phase in Zadar, Croatia. Additionally we had to pass the AZF (flight radiotelephone operators certificate), which grants the permission to communicate with ATC (Air Traffic Control). Why did the flight training take place in a foreign country? Mainly, because of the weather and the lower operating costs. Especially for VFR (visual flight rules) flights, that require a certain cloud ceiling and visibility, the weather in Croatia was definitely better than in Germany over the year.

First theory part in Frankfurt (8 weeks)

The entire flight training was scheduled to last about 18 months, depending on one’s personal performance. Since the planning was really tight there was only a couple of off days in between. As this was an integrated training you had to learn continuously to be ready for the exams. It sure was a tough time, but it was worth the effort in the end. Time management was super important. I found it helpful to set weekly goals concerning learning to have a good feeling and to monitor my progress.

First time in Zadar

In June it was time to head down to Zadar for the first practical flight phase. Accommodation and transport had to be organized by ourself. Most of the course stayed at the same location of a croatian women, who rented prevailing to flight students from Germany. I shared an apartment with my friend Fabian. The place was not special at all, but it was only a short walk away from the waterfront.

The historic old town of Zadar is really beautiful. It is located right at the Adria, where we enjoyed amazing sunsets. The landscape of Croatia is unique with many small islands (66 inhabited) stretching along the coastline of 1800 kilometer and the high Biokovo mountains in the back. It did not take long until we got to see the beautiful landscape from above. After a couple of days of introduction in a basic fixed simulator the first flight in a DA20 aircraft with a instructor was due.

PA44 flight school aircraft of Intercockpit in Zadar

I was super excited and also a little scared. Not of the flying itself, rather if I really like it and could imagine to do it for the rest of my life. All sorrows were gone, when I lifted off the ground for the first time by myself. I remember, that everything was going so fast. It felt like I was flying a fighter jet. Today I can grin about it, since I take off with the Citation XLS+ at a speed, which is 2,5 times faster.

Structure of the training:

  • 8 weeks of PPL theory classes in Frankfurt
  • 10 weeks of flight training in Zadar, Croatia
  • 30 weeks of ATPL theory classes in Frankfurt  (ATPL = Airline Transport Pilot License)
  • 8 weeks of IFR flight training in Vero Beach, Florida  (IFR = Instrument flight rules)
  • 4 weeks ME IFR flight training in Zadar, Croatia  (ME = Multi Engine)
  • 1 week MCC course in Frankfurt  (MCC = Multi Crew Coordination)

Read in my next part about the rest of the flight training in Zadar, a drink offer after landing in Slovakia and the ATPL theory part back in Germany. I am working on more photos of my flight training.

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  1. Jannick Honold 4 years ago

    Ich find das voll krass! Respekt, dass du das so geschafft hast. Ich möchte auch mal Pilot werden und habe auch ein klares Ziel vor Augen.

  2. Glicinia 4 years ago

    A beautiful story make me happy see someone who fought for his dreams and made it come true I hope you accomplished more beautiful things in life

  3. Arthur Estrada 4 years ago

    I’m interested in what kind of student you were in high school. What did you want to be growing up?

    • Author
      pilotpatrick 4 years ago

      Have a look on my blogpost “my dream to fly + why I fly” to find out. 😉

  4. Author
    pilotpatrick 4 years ago

    Cool thanks a lot! Currently the Lufthansa does not train any flight students to become a commercial pilot. You have to check on their list o requirements but I am pretty sure that you don´t have to be german, but you need to speak and write german fluently. Lufthansa pays for your entire training. Once you start with your cockpit job you have to pay back a loan to Lufthansa. I chose to do my training with Pilot Training Network. It is a company of Lufthansa and you have to pay for the training yourself. They do not offer scholarships. I hope I could help!

  5. Milad 4 years ago

    I have just discovered the Pilot Training Network and if you don’t mind I would like to ask you if you recommend this school and if you and your class mates found your first job in a flight deck easily?
    Is accommodation provided for non german students in Frankfurt?
    Excellent blog by the way!

    • Author
      pilotpatrick 4 years ago

      I can recommend this school. But I can not give you a current feedback since my training is a long time ago. I had to search 10 months for a job. Which was really good. The best students all found a job after their training. But there were quite a few which searched for a long time.

  6. Author
    pilotpatrick 4 years ago

    It is expansive everywhere. Savings is the best. Have a look on my latest blog post!

  7. Author
    pilotpatrick 4 years ago

    Hello Ninda! That is correct. Lufthansa used to pay for your entire training. Once you start to fly for them you get a reduced salary.This way you pay back a certain amount of the cost. As you probably heard Lufthansa changes a lot in their structure and that is why there is no flight school of Lufthansa at the moment. But why should they offer a scholarship when they pay for your training? You are quite young so don not worry things will be sorted out when you are ready for training. 😉

  8. Reshma Nemendu 4 years ago

    sir your full cost was pound 70000 only?
    or more than dat?


  1. […] the next part of “How I became a pilot” I will write about my first theory phase and my first flight as pilot […]

  2. […] my last aviation related blog post “How I became a pilot part II” I told you about my first flight training in beautiful Croatia. Now I want to show you how […]

  3. […] 8 weeks of PPL theory classes in Frankfurt (How I became a pilot II) […]

  4. […] Part II: First theoretical training in Frankfurt (Germany) up to my first flight […]

  5. […] 8 weeks of PPL theory classes in Frankfurt (How I became a pilot II) […]

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