Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

Career Start Professional Training How to Prepare Selection Process Application Education and Fitness Financing Additional Info

Career Start

Professional Training

How to Prepare

Selection Process

Application

Education and Fitness

Financing

Additional Info

What will my salary be as a professional pilot?

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It depends on the job. Different airlines pay at different levels, also depending on the position of the pilot. In general, however, it can be said that the profession of the pilot still achieves a comparably good and secure income - comparable to positions with academic education.

The ATPL course is associated with high cost. Do you offer financing options?

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Financing this training is an important subject. There are many options, your personal solution should be adapted to your personal situation and your needs. Please contact us and we can discuss with you how to find the best way.

What about food during the course?

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We do not provide meals. Drinks and snacks can be bought through vending machines on the premises. There are nice restaurants right around the corner of the facility where the theoretical training is conducted. At the aerodrome of Ponte de Sor there are less but good food options available as well.

Can I get a job as pilot worldwide with the license I will obtain?

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Overall the aviation world is divided into several regulatory areas mutually recognizing pilot licenses in principle. You will receive a license under EASA standards. The high level of training under EASA rules is known worldwide. But still, such a license needs validation in other areas of the world. For example in the US you would need to seek validation by the FAA aviation authority. The mutual recognition of licenses between all areas is well regulated and validation is normally quite simple to obtain.

How does the day-to-day work of a typical pilot look like?

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This depends on the type of employment - whether passengers or cargo is flown or whether short-, medium-, or long-haul destinations are served. Typical are service and standby times in blocks of around ten days followed by the appropriate number of days off. Additionally, there are maximum duty times per day, month and year, required by regulation.

What about accommodation during the course? Do you provide housing?

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We do not provide accommodation. For the duration of the theory course in the Lisbon area, it will probably not be that difficult to find one. We are also happy to help, as we have contacts into the accommodation industry. For the practical training in Ponte de Sor and surroundings we can offer you rooms in a hotel on favorable terms.

What additional expenses come on top the cost for the course?

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The course will cover all costs of the training, including flight training and training materials of all kind.

Of course, if extra exams and additional personal support or coaching are needed, this will raise extra costs.

As a matter of course, in addition to the course costs the living expenses like accommodation, meals and transport have to be paid by yourself.

I have a private pilot license and would like to become a professional pilot. Do I get credits in the training?

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Yes, what can be credited, is regulated by EASA. After a check flight with our flight instructor, we decide on any individual case.

Flying in small planes causes me nausea. Can I still become a pilot?

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Yes, you can. You are not the first one suffering from a problem that will go away with appropriate training. The cause is in most cases an outstandingly delicate physiological balance system situated in your inner ear, which actually is beneficial if you want to become a good pilot as it fosters your sense of orientation. One of the world's best combat and test pilots, Bob Hover, suffered from extreme nausea at the beginning of his career - it's worth reading his biography.

Can I train as a non-EU citizen? Can you help me with the necessary administrative processes?

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Yes, of course the training at our school is also available to non-EU citizens. Talk to us, we like to support you. It comes down to each individual case, so we need details.

What is the age limit for professional pilots?

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As with careers in any other profession, it is best to start as early as possible with pilot training. Nowadays, the lack of pilots is so big, that even pilots in their 40s are employed by airlines. Currently professional pilots are allowed to fly commercially until the age of 65, provided they are medically fit.

Beyond this age trained pilots can still work as instructors and examiners.

What requirements do I have to bring to become a pilot?

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Overall, a pilot needs good health. But you do not have to be a competitive athlete. For professional pilots, a class 1 aero-medical exam must be passed at a specially qualified medical facility authorised by any national aviation authority belonging to EASA. We can suggest one of the facilities we cooperate with. The medical checks are comprehensive, with cardiovascular and lung function analysed among other medical parameters and a blood test being conducted. Important to know: Eyeglasses are no longer a general obstacle today.

The pilot training builds on knowledge levels comparable to a high school / secondary education degree. A mental skill and psychological test as well as an interview form part of the entry exam for our courses. Additionally knowledge in mathematics, physics and English are tested, but nothing seriously challenging for anybody who passed a high school degree. Knowledge and understanding of mathematics and physics are essential for the courses as well as for the active pilot.

English is the common aviation language in the Western world. Accordingly, fluent communication in English should not be a problem. The aviation-specific English can be learned in our courses. An exam in English must be filed with the authority for the license later.

The minimum age to obtain the pilot license is set at 18 years by law. At the beginning of the course, in our school you must be at least 18 years old.

How can I increase my chances of hiring an airline after training?

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The first and probably most important step to a successful career is to choose the right flight school. Training subjects are probably taught well in most flight schools. But it takes more to be a good pilot than just passing a license exam. That is at least how most airlines see it. And that is why they will only hire pilots that have trained with extraordinary effort and can display that at the controls. Entry tests at airlines therefore comprise knowledge checks but also tests on personality, behavior and skills. We prepare you for this by providing an uncompromising aviation attitude. We do not just teach aviation, we also live aviation in order to give our absolvents the highest aviation culture. This is most easily achieved at young age. Our students go through a rigorous training to get them to a professional maturity that is demanded by the highest standards in the aviation job market.

How can I prepare for the selection tests for professional pilots?

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We offer the applicants appropriate courses before the entry exam dates. Of course, everyone can also prepare individually.

Can I book an individual meeting with the school instead of attending at the monthly Open Days?

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Yes, of course, you are welcome anytime during our office opening hours, but better ask for an appointment, so that we have enough time for you. However, it would be of your advantage to attend our Open Days, where we offer you an extensive program including an exciting and informative presentation and you can get in contact with people of all departments, everybody available for your questions.

What happens if I fail an exam at the aviation authorities?

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Exams can be repeated, but not as often as you like. In order to avoid the unpleasant and also chargeable experience of an exam repetition, we not only conduct internal interim examinations, but also monitor the progress of our students on an ongoing basis. In case we recognize a need for support, we offer this to the students, and we may also contact parents or other funding parties of the training to inform them and jointly find a way forward.

How long does the course take?

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The integrated training for professional pilots takes regularly 20 months. In special circumstances, it can be extended. The training time may not take longer than 36 months by law. During this period, all courses and exams must be successfully passed at the authority. The minimum time of the course is set by law to 12 months.

Where can i get more information?

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If you didn't find the answers for the questions you were looking for contact us using:

info@gfs.pt or +351 934 791 234 

How many students are in a course - how big is the school?

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There will be no more than 20 students per class. Our intention is to carry out about four courses per year. Our target to be one of the best schools implicates that we give care, attention and a high amount of personal support to our students. We are convinced that this is only possible in a medium size school - big enough to afford a high standard of equipment and infrastructure and not too big to ensure that structure and administration are not blown up, so that a responsible accomplishment and good personal relationships are supported.

Can I work with an airline in the cockpit immediately after receiving the license?

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Yes! With our course you will have an ATPL (frozen) license with Single Engine, Multiengine, Instrument Rating and MCC after completing the training.

Why do we put so much effort in the development of the personality?

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To be successful in the job of a pilot it requires more than just the technical skills for operating an aircraft and the associated procedures. The so-called soft skills are at least of the same importance for the career and basically even for a safe operation of an aircraft. Amongst them are communication and analyzing aptitude, management of workload and self-awareness, responsibility- and decision-taking, working in the team as well as independently and of course a high level of multi-tasking.

These capacities can be developed - especially at a young age. We are proud to offer the suitable professional environment that will provide positive effects on the personality development. Additionally a coaching accompanies the entire training with us. Last but not least, we offer special preparatory courses for airline job applications upon request after receiving the license and can also accompany individually, but the basis for success is built ahead.

Can I repeat the entry test?

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Yes, and if necessary, we also assist in the preparation of a repeated entry test. Of course, that includes that we analyze with you what the root causes of a failure were. If we have any fundamental concerns about your overall suitability for training, you can count on us to discuss this honestly with you. It would not help if somebody took a wrong route, given the high costs involved.

Do you have cooperations with airlines, so that the career entry is easier after training?

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Yes, that is standard for flight schools of high training ambitions. We make recommendations for our students with certain airlines and we are constantly expanding our relationships with existing and new airline partners.

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