As summer comes to an end and school starts back up, you may be signing up for your high school classes as they pertain to your future career or college goals. For those that aspire to become a pilot, there are several courses you should focus on throughout high school that will help put you on the right path for an exciting career in aviation.
Here are some high school classes you should consider taking that will help you prepare for a future as a pilot.
It can’t be overstated how important a good background in math is for someone wanting to join the world of aviation. Pilots use math on a daily basis, from basic arithmetic to algebra and calculus to geometry. Measuring take-off and landing distances, understanding topical geography, and calculating weight and balance are just some of the things that pilots do regularly. While you shouldn’t just take high-level math courses just to satisfy requirements–it’s important to keep your GPA up–the more you can learn in high school, the lower the learning curve will be once you enter flight school.
Another crucial aspect of learning to fly is based in the sciences. For example, meteorology gives students the knowledge of how to understand and predict weather patterns. Physics lets students learn about the laws of motion, inertia, aerodynamics and pressure, among other things. While physiology teaches aspiring pilots how to spot physical problems with themselves, crew-members or passengers. Taking a wide variety of science courses will help you become a more proficient aviator down the road.
Learning a foreign language is particularly important for those that want to achieve their Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) license. Those working for the major airlines may be assigned routes to and from every corner of the world. Working with a multilingual crew and/or passengers and communicating with foreign traffic controllers will be easier if you’re fluent in another language. Plus, it always looks good on college and job applications. On the flip side, foreign students in the United States that don’t know english will need to become fluent — the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires all pilots to be able to speak, read and write in English at a professional level.
While there may not be strict physical requirements to become a pilot, beyond passing certain medical requirements like good eyesight and low blood pressure, it still helps to stay in good shape. Exercise and a good diet has been proven to keep your mind sharper and gives you the ability to better able to handle stress, which are essential attributes of a top-performing pilot.
If your high school offers a psychology class, it may be wise to sign up. Being a pilot and working in a multi-crew environment requires strong interpersonal and communication skills. Understanding human behavior is essential to leading teams and working with others, especially when cultural and linguistic barriers are introduced.
Pilots need to be well versed in geographical locations throughout the country and possibly the world. Not only from a physical standpoint, but from a social and political point of view, as well. While flying, pilots need to have knowledge of the terrain around them, from major bodies of water to high mountains to urban environments and beyond. They should also learn about various cultures, laws and political situations if they wish to fly internationally. For airline pilots, this is especially important because the pilot needs to know countries that are hostile or unstable, and which are safe to land in.
Honors & AP Classes
Honors and advanced placement classes, or any other classes that count as college credits will go a long way in lightening the load for a flight school university. If you’re planning on getting an aviation degree at a college, you’ll be thankful to already have some credits applied to your graduation requirements. Especially when you start scheduling training flights around your academic and extracurricular activities.
Attend a Private Flight School
Just because you’re in high school doesn’t mean you can’t get started with flight training. Students as young as 16 can work toward their private pilot license, which gets them one step closer to whichever career path in aviation they wish. Even if you’re younger than 16, you can start working toward a certificate by attending ground school, which has no age limit.
Inflight Pilot Training Will Get You Off The Ground
If you’re an aspiring pilot currently in high school, we can help put you on the right path to make your dream of flying come true. Whether you want to work toward a simple private pilot license or have bigger goals of becoming a commercial or airline pilot in the future, our reputable team of certified flight instructors will help you succeed in the world of aviation.
Ready to take flight? Learn more about Inflight training programs by contacting us today or calling (952) 698-3000.