Pilots Physics

  • Thread starter Alan Do
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Good Day Everybody,

I would like to know what physics (topics) to study to become a sucessful pilot
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Well physics won't make you a successful pilot.

From my research previously into the topic, you need maths and physics to be a pilot. Although I'm not sure how much they demand.

Studying physics (or any subject) specifically to help be a pilot is a waste and won't really help. When I started my degree in Aerospace Engineering my lecturer asked "how many of you are doing this course to be a pilot?" and when people raised their hands she laughed and said "good luck with that" - and that's with the most relevant topic applicable to pilots (I didn't by the way, I gave up a while back).

I'd also consider how you're going to fund this and whether or not you can guarantee a job at the end of the training.

I was considering this career path myself only a few years back and can give you some good advice and answer you questions relating to the current situation (from the UK). But relating to the specifics of subjects, all I know is they wanted and A level in Maths and Physics to get on the training programme.
 
  • #3
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so im only young and just wanted to start studying physics early (since im from australia we start the subject physics in grade 11).

so in financial wise im doing fine but in physics i don't know where to start?

and can you give me advice on becoming a pilot (commercial)

thanks
 
  • #4
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so im only young and just wanted to start studying physics early (since im from australia we start the subject physics in grade 11).

so in financial wise im doing fine but in physics i don't know where to start?

and can you give me advice on becoming a pilot (commercial)
I'm not sure what grade 11 is but in the UK we start physics at age 11.

I wouldn't worry about specific topics, it's generally just a good understanding of maths and physics that is required (this meant an A level in each in the UK) combined with at least 5 GCSE's in other subjects. I'd check this with the school you intend to use for training though.

Cost wise, it was starting at £60,000 in the UK and that has no guarantee of a job at the end of it. I'm not sure what it is in Australia, but I doubt it would be far off.

You need to be physically fit and capable of passing a Class 1 medical examination.

Note, I'm quoting CAA requirements for the UK but they are generally accepted all over the world. I know a lot of people in the UK use the US and Australia for pilot training so the requirements are fairly similar.

The best thing I can advise you at the moment is to keep an eye on the job situation and work hard at school. Perhaps get on to the pilot training schools for better, more relevant advice on the matter.

I always wanted to be a pilot, but once the September 11th terrorist attacks happened it virtually wiped out any sponsored pilot training that would have allowed me to do so (I was never interested in the military) so that dream died pretty quickly.
 
  • #5
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Wow! age 11? im age 14 now and havnt even started physics yet.... but does science count cause right now im in the top class. (hope so)
 
  • #6
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Wow! age 11? im age 14 now and havnt even started physics yet.... but does science count cause right now im in the top class. (hope so)
Physics is science.

I'll be honest, in the UK we sit GCSE's at 16 and then if we want can stay on to do A Levels (the equivalent of going to college). Until the GCSE's, nothing you do in school matters to those outside of the school environment. In the case of flight school in the UK, without an A Level in Maths and one in Physics along with 5 GCSE's, you wouldn't even be considered at the time I wanted to do it.
 
  • #7
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i appreciate your help, thank you
 
  • #8
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If you have general questions about the training, feel free to pitch them here and I'll do my best to respond.

So far as specific advice goes, you're better off looking at and visiting specific schools where ever you plan to train. Giving a course outline and requirements is something I'd advise you go to them for.
 
  • #9
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Hi,

do you think i will pass the CASA medical fit class one?
my eyesight on both eyes a -1 degrees (shortsighted) from studying at night.

but im very fit (beep test 11.2)

and what option do you think is recommend:
Cadet Pilot (SAAB 340) - 6 months contract with gurantee job as a junior FO. $94,000
or
Jetstar Cadet Program (A320)- when completing the job , they will offer a FO position if they have positions.
or
The Traditional way - get PPL,CPL,ATPL,?

PS: i only can afford: $150,000 max in total
and i live in aus
Alan.
 
  • #10
2,685
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OK, in the same way people on PF can't diagnose you of an illness, we can't tell you whether or not you'll pass a medical.

However, if you can meet the requirements outlined in my link below, you should be ok and pass it. (Again it's for the UK CAA but the requirements are virtually identical all over.) But this is all determined by you on the day of the test.

http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=49&pagetype=68&gid=211

Now, I'd recommend against the traditional way. Avoid it like the plague.

The other two both seem good, the first is the best as you are guaranteed a job. However, if you want to end up in airliners it may be better to opt for the second one. It puts you ready for an A320 which is a very popular aircraft so even though you may not get a job with them it will give you plenty of options with other airlines - plus the A320 isn't too far off a 737. A damn site closer than the 340.
Overall, I'd say both one and two are good options. Personally I'd go for the second for the reason outlined above, but the solid choice would be the first - because of the job aspect. However, if you do want to end up with the airliners it may hinder you due to having to convert from a prop to a jet.

I would keep your options open for now, don't focus on one too much as it may not be around by the time you get to the required age for it.
 
  • #11
K^2
Science Advisor
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Studying physics (or any subject) specifically to help be a pilot is a waste and won't really help.
That's not true. Good intuitive understanding of physics can help you make right decisions in a tight spot. Understanding the reasons why certain limitations are in place is also a good thing.

Granted, it's far from the most important thing for a pilot, but it helps. Being a physicist meant that passing theoretical was just a matter of memorizing regs. Making all necessary computations and learning the systems was a snap. I still don't have the hours for a license, but I have flown, and it was a lot easier for me to get used to flying than it is for most people.

And as I said, it's not the most important thing, but if you are in school, and looking for something to focus in, physics is going to be by far the most helpful subject.

In the States, your best options are either FAA certified school or military. All of the other certification programs will limit your career options later on. But I can see already that it differs widely from how it is in UK, so I'm guessing it might be different in Australia as well. You really should talk to people who fly in Australia.
 
  • #12
2,685
20
That's not true. Good intuitive understanding of physics can help you make right decisions in a tight spot. Understanding the reasons why certain limitations are in place is also a good thing.

Granted, it's far from the most important thing for a pilot, but it helps. Being a physicist meant that passing theoretical was just a matter of memorizing regs. Making all necessary computations and learning the systems was a snap. I still don't have the hours for a license, but I have flown, and it was a lot easier for me to get used to flying than it is for most people.
When I said "Studying physics (or any subject) specifically to help be a pilot is a waste and won't really help" I meant doing a degree in said subject to use to become a pilot (as you will note from the rest of that paragraph). A degree doesn't make much difference when trying to become a commercial pilot. The training schools told me this along with my lecturers. Degrees are simply too detailed to be of much value.

Certainly, in school focus on maths and physics (as I've also indicated when explaining requirements).

I gained my PPL in 2006. I've been flying since I was 8.

I wouldn't put the fact you find it easier down to your knowledge in maths / physics. In fact, I find it hard to believe it can make that much difference given that the basics of flying are essentially learning a serious of tasks - which are akin to driving a car, just a bit more involved.
 
  • #13
K^2
Science Advisor
2,469
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I find it helps with driving, as well. Basically, it lets you "experience" a maneuver on the ground before actually trying it. You go through it in your head, gauge the forces, see what sort of input you need to get the result you want, then go and execute on a real machine. You usually get something different than what expected, but it's thinking about these differences that gets you to learning how to do it right a lot faster.
 

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