When pursuing a career in aviation, especially as an airline pilot, it is great to have a somewhat connection with the aviation world. Knowledge is the key. Having a wide background will open your opportunities towards the aviation job market and also in your future career.
Are you interested to learn more about how you can get into aviation? Here you have a list with a few easy ways on how you can engage with the aviation industry. Enjoy!
Inside Cessna 172
1. Plane spotting
Plane spotting is a great way to get engaged with aviation! Plane spotters tend to watch and often photograph the planes landing or taking off. Many spotters also run different social media accounts, why not start a plane spotting Instagram account like many others? You can show off your cool pictures and get the opportunity to get connected to other spotters, flight crew and airlines in the world.
Plane spotting is truly a great hobby and regardless if you are a professional spotter, a beginner or wanting to start spotting in the future, I highly recommend it. It is fun and trust me, you will probably get a lot of #avgeek friends along the way!
2. Join an aviation organization
In many countries there are tons of aviation organizations, some fully government sponsored and others with a small fee. Many of them make visits to local airports, museums, flight schools and much more awesome stuff! Some of them even have flying-camps that you can join for free. These organizations are sometimes military oriented as a volunteer, but there are also lots of them that are civilian!
OSM Aviation Academy Students
3. Getting a glider license
Maybe our advises above did not suite you? Or you just want to engage even more! Well then, our next advice is to take a look into getting a glider license!
Gliding is a great way of flying. Soaring the skies to a fairly cheap cost and you can in most countries get a license when you are as young as 15 years old. Gliding is good since you learn to respect the airspeed and altitude that you have. Gliding is also a sport which means that you can compete in it if you want.
The best part of gliding is that you will never be alone, you will have lots of like-minded around you. Whether it is about picking you up after an outfield landing or just holding your wing when starting, you will be needing your team, and as you know, teamwork makes the dream work.
Thereby gliding will not only make you a great pilot, but it will teach you a lot about teamwork and as everything else in aviation, along the way you will make a lot of friends!
4. Join a local flight club
Well… you got your gliding license? Or you might just want to do even more... Joining a local flight club is something we really recommend you! If you do not have a certificate then it is something that you can do at most clubs. At flight clubs, a variety of people with different ages, experiences and certificates all gather together.
This will give you tons of new experience and of course great stories. If you are lucky you can maybe ride along as a passenger from time to time. At flight clubs you can volunteer and learn about maintenance, navigation and flight theory. Especially theory is something that most clubs in Europe are teaching out for free, giving you a lot of knowledge about aviation.
5. Work at an airport
Working at an airport will not only give you a lot of experiences and the opportunity to see all the beautiful airplanes... it will also make you more stress tolerant, service minded and at the same time it will pay you a salary, win-win!
Airport ground workers
Why not take on the challenge and work at an airport for a summer? Working at an airport will give you a good insight on how an airport is operated and trust me airports are bigger than you think.
If you want to read more about how airports operate, check out this blog post about how to make sure an aircraft gets airborne on time: Departing on time – a logistical masterpiece
6. Volunteer at a flight museum
There are plenty of flight museums around the world. Most of them survive by contributions from enthusiasts, but to make museums stay open they obviously need staff which at most places happens to be volunteers.
Volunteering at a museum is fun and you will learn something new every day. Museums often have a great amount of old aircraft with unique history. You will probably learn a thing or two about how it was flying back in the days and the way they used to be constructed.
7. Fly flight simulators and get engaged with simulator associations
The last suggestion on our list is getting into flight simulation! Joining a flight simulator association will teach you more about checklists and preparation and will give you a feeling of how it is to fly an aircraft like a Cessna 172. Different equipment in your personal simulator will make it even more realistic.
Some flight simulator associations are located at museums and smaller airports where a lot of effort have been put into them, making them reliable and professional.
There is also plenty of home-built cockpits, basically cut- of noses of aircraft equipped with software similar to the professional ones. At some spots, you can even work as a simulator instructor on different events.
Here you can see a video of our Boeing 737NG Simulator at OSM Aviation Academy.
Psst! Did you know that on our Pilot Open Days in Västerås, Sweden, you can book an introduction flight in our Boeing 737 simulator together with one of our instructors? This will give you a perspective of how simulators can help you decide if a professional pilot career is something for you.
What is the next step for you?
If you have scrolled through the list and hopefully tried out all or a few of our suggestions and you just cannot get enough of aviation? Then maybe commercial flying is something for you!
On our Pilot Open Days, you will receive valuable information about flight training, meet our students and staff and get to know more about the airline market. Our instructors will coach you and give you advises on how you can pursue your goal to become a professional pilot!