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14 Ways You Should Prepare For Airline Training

If day one of airline training is right around the corner, here's what you should do to prepare.

Every airline is a little different in terms of what training materials they'll provide you before class starts. Work with what you've got and follow some of our tips below!

1) Complete As Much Pre-Training As Possible Before Day 1

Your airline probably sent you some pre-training courses to complete before, or during, initial indoctrination training (indoc). Get those computer-based courses knocked out as soon as possible. It'll make your life a LOT easier when you show up on day one and don't have extra work to complete every night.


2) Tab Completed ATP Requirements In Your Logbooks

Whether or not your airline requires it, it's a good idea to tab out the various ATP flight experience requirements you've met. Mark the date at which you completed each requirement and checkride.

It will impress your examiner and instructors! For a full list of ATP experience requirements, click here.


3) Don't Forget ANY Paperwork!

Airlines are very specific about what paperwork they want you to bring. For instance, you may need to bring an original transcript and completion certificate if you graduated from a Part 141 collegiate training program and plan to use Restricted-ATP minimums for your ATP pilot certificate.

Forgetting to bring the required paperwork is a good way to get bumped out of a training class.


4) Expect Your Schedule To Be Owned By The Airline During Training

Airlines are on a tight schedule to get pilots through training. Expect there to be last-minute schedule changes and some uncertainty as you get started.

If you show up with the attitude that you'll be training for a solid 2-3 months, you'll be pleasantly surprised when breaks pop up in your schedule!


5) Start Reading Company Policies And Procedures

If your airline provides you with policies and procedures before you show up to class, get to know them well. You'll likely be tested on the policies during initial training.

Live from the Flight Deck

6) Review Part 121 Regulations And Instrument Procedures

You're probably new to the Part 121 airline world, and airlines follow a whole new set of complex federal regulations. If you start learning some of the basic regulations, you'll stand out from the rest of your classmates on day one. You don't need to know it all, but having a basic grasp of the content is great.

The single biggest problem every airline has mentioned is a lack of instrument procedure knowledge in many new hires. One airline mentioned that they hadn't seen a 100% on their multiple choice ATP test in months. Missed questions usually dealt with simple instrument approaches and holding. Review those instrument procedures by taking some of our IFR quizzes and reading our IFR articles!

7) Review Turbine Engine Systems

It's finally time to fly jets! The engines are big, loud, powerful, and totally different than the pistons you're used to. Here's a few pages for you to study:


8) Review High Speed, High Altitude Swept-Wing Aerodynamics

Flying faster and higher in a swept wing airplane brings forth a whole new set of aerodynamics you should know. Check out these links to get started...


9) Memorize Aircraft Limitations

If you know what airplane you'll be flying already, see if there are any resources you can use to begin learning aircraft limitations. There are usually hundreds of them, and it's best to get started on those as soon as possible.


10) Learn The Cockpit + Memorize Company Flow Patterns

Airlines develop flow patterns for certain aircraft-specific checklists. A flow pattern is essentially a checklist that you memorize, complete, and verify afterwards with a paper checklist. Before you can do that, you should start learning the locations of every switch and panel in the cockpit.

Each airline uses flow patterns a little differently, but you'll likely find them for: after engine start, taxi, before takeoff, after takeoff, after landing, shutdown, and parking.

Live from the Flight Deck

11) Learn Your Emergency Procedure Memory Items

Most aircraft have a few emergency procedures with memory items, which you need to know verbatim. Fortunately, they aren't usually more than a few items long.

Live from the Flight Deck

12) Learn How To Read Jeppesen Charts

Most students and instructors use FAA instrument charts. But most airlines use Jeppesen charts. This is consistent problem for new hires coming into the airlines. While the front of the charts are similar, notes and other information found on Jeppesen airport pages are a common point of confusion. The solution? Study the Jeppesen chart glossary and legend. It's a free, simple way to get ready to read Jepp charts for your interview, and your training.


13) Consider Purchasing A Pocket-Folder For Documents

If there's one thing you'll learn from the new hire process, it's that there's endless paperwork fill out. Keep yourself organized early-on with a document folder for important contracts, notes, handouts, and study materials.

Swayne Martin

14) Ask Your Connections What To Bring With You

Reach out to friends who recently went through training and find out what they recommend you bring on day one. They'll help you get ideas on what clothes to pack and what would've made their training experience easier.

Live from the Flight Deck

Before You Know It You'll Be Ready For This...

Training happens quickly, and before you know it, you'll be ready for this...

What would your recommend a new hire do to prepare for airline training? Tell us in the comments below.

Swayne Martin

Swayne Martin

Swayne is an editor at Boldmethod, certified flight instructor, and a First Officer on the Boeing 757/767 for a Major US Carrier. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota in 2018, holds a PIC Type Rating for Cessna Citation Jets (CE-525), is a former pilot for Mokulele Airlines, and flew Embraer 145s at the beginning of his airline career. Swayne is an author of articles, quizzes and lists on Boldmethod every week. You can reach Swayne at, and follow his flying adventures on his YouTube Channel.

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