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Howdy guys
Hey guys, I'm 17, and I'm trying to get into a flight school (its tough to find one right now because I go to a Military Academy) I'm really interested in planes, and I play a lot of X-plane 11 (flying Commercials such as 757, MD-80, and 737), because of that, my mother said, "why not be a pilot" I said, "Good Idea!"
Right now I'm aiming to get a job for Delta airlines or American Airlines.
10 Replies
TR Proven
2 Posts

Good advise from the Senior AME.  I was going to say the same....get the medical part squared away before you invest money.  As a former FAA Operations Inspector I have given check rides to "hard of hearing" (and they all passed) but I don't know what changes might have occurred since 1980.  My guys had to wear headsets but that's not a problem in today's world or in the airline cockpit.

ATP etc.
Dave Rice
26 Posts
You don’t need to go to Auburn to fly for Delta. Graduates of several universities get “conditional” offers from Delta as a First Officer pending the accumulation of 1000 hours of turbine time (via the Propel program).  Don’t let anyone tell you that you need to go to a specific university program to get on with the majors. 
Hi Christian,

I came across your post by chance since I don't closely monitor this site.  I share and encourage your enthusiasm for aviation and I don't want to be a "wet blanket", but I feel you should know that, while not impossible, it will be very challenging for you to achieve your stated goals of being an airline pilot due to your congenital deafness / cochlear implant. 

Before you make any significant personal / financial commitments, I would suggest that you study the FAA Medical Standards for pilots (published on the FAA website ... as well as other resources).  

You can follow this link for information straight from the FAA:

The above page even shows a link with more information specifically for deaf pilots.

Next, you should consider scheduling a consultation with an FAA Medical Examiner (AME) ... preferably a "Senior" Medical Examiner because they are the ones you must use for a "Class 1" Medical Certificate required for airline pilots ... although any AME can get you started (e.g. "Class 2" or "Class 3").  The reason I mention a "Senior" AME is that if an airline career is your goal, it is perfectly fine ... and it even makes sense ... for you to find out if you can meet the FAA Medical Standards required ("Class 1") for that position from the beginning.   

For your consultation with the FAA Medical Examiner, you could take 2 approaches:

1.  Schedule a full-fledged FAA Medical Certification physical with an AME (see above).  You don't even need any formal ground or flight training to do this.  Before your appointment, you have to start the FAA medical application process through the following link:  (note:  no www and no "e" between the "d" and "x").  You will answer demographic and historical health questions.  BE HONEST!  You will receive a "MedXpress number".  At your appointment, the AME will then utilize that number to access your application and enter your information into the FAA computer.  Your application will be "deferred" to the FAA and they will subsequently contact you (by "snail mail") with information on additional requirements as determined by them.  The FAA handles special circumstances in various ways, including "Special Issuance" and "Statement of Demonstrated Ability" (SODA) waivers.  There's too much about those to discuss here, but you would definitely be placed on one of these paths, with the final determination made by the FAA ... not even by the Senior AME.  This can take many months, so the earlier you start, the better.

2.  If you don't want to do all of the above, many AMEs will be willing to schedule a simple "consultation" ... not a full-fledged FAA Medical Certification Physical.  You could discuss your situation and the topics I've outlined above in person without involving the FAA at that stage.  If/when you choose to pursue things, you would have to start with the official FAA process I outlined above.

Best wishes to you,
David B. Greer, MD, FAAFP, DABFM, FAA Senior AME  

If you want to become a pilot and you know X-Plane, why not download the Airplane Flying Handbook
Suggest you forget about flying the stuff you're flying and concentrate on a Cessna 172 or some other aircraft that you may be able to afford to fly.
I never heard of getting the ground instruction certificate before PPC. Ill look into that. Im sure not many people have done that, but makes sense.  
You need to go to Auburn University if you want to fly for Delta. Nice small college town with a very good flight school now. Delta just put $9 million into the flight school there complete with an A320 simulator.
They do have an ROTC program at Auburn if you want become a pilot there fly in the military and then work for Delta. 

There are other odd roads to take to become a pilot, however it is not easy and requires a lot of hard living.
Paying for your flight training yourself is a very expensive endeavor. 

The military academies are OK, but don't think just because you are going into the military and already know how to fly that you will fly in the military.
It doesn't work that way. You must have a pilot slot when you sign up and that means you need to already have a degree from a college.
Then there are many other qualifications you must complete long before you touch a plane.
To fly in the military in almost every case a 4 year degree from a college or military academy is required. Army warrant officers can fly helicopters and don't necessarily have to have a degree (almost all do) 

Flying a 737 sim at home when you feel like it is not really the life of a pilot. If you love to fly, don't think that the airlines are the only place you can fly for a living.
You may want to try flying a helicopter, or cooperate jets.