Steps To Become A Ferry Pilot: A Quick Guide

Last Update: June 15, 2024 / 06:53:03 GMT/Zulu time

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Steps To Become A Ferry Pilot: A Quick Guide


For those who have a desire to work in aviation, the process of becoming a ferry pilot might be very challenging, yet fascinating at the same time. Ferry pilots are required to transport aircrafts from one place to another, usually across long distances. All over the globe, there are many exciting and high paying jobs for a ferry pilot, which turn it into an attractive career prospect for some.

For those who might be interested in a ferry pilot career, we have teamed up with experts from job aggregator Jooble, to provide you this quick guide on how to become one.

Step 1: Get the required certifications and licenses

  • Private Pilot License (PPL) 

To actually fly a ferry, the first thing that one has to do is get the Private Pilot License (PPL). This license allows you to operate single engine planes that are used for recreation, and not for commercial use. You have to log a minimum of 40 flight hours in order to get your PPL: this includes total flying hours and instruction flying hours. This lasts about six to eight weeks and during this time you will also have to pass a written test and a test flying the plane.

  • Instrument Rating (IR) 

Ferry pilots must also have an Instrument Rating (IR), since they are required to fly in marginal weather and hence have to rely on their instruments. To get an IR, the candidate is required to accumulate more flight hours, some of which will be in simulated conditions, and to pass a flight test as well.

  • Commercial Pilot License (CPL) 

The next progression is about getting a Commercial Pilot License (CPL). This license enables you to be paid for the specific flying services that you are providing. This requires you to have 250 hours of flight hours and pass both a written test of your knowledge and practical flight examination. 

  • Multi-Engine Rating (MER) 

Since most ferry flights involve the use of multi-engine aircraft, getting a Multi-Engine Rating (MER) is very valuable. This rating entails some extra hours and checks, to make sure that you can fly airplanes with more than one engine. 

  • Ferry Permit and Endorsements 

You may also need specific authorizations and additional endorsements to be able to legally ferry airplanes across the borders of certain countries or for certain types of airplanes. 

Step 2: Gain Relevant Experience 

  • Build Flight Hours 

Experience is an extremely important factor to consider when recruiting employees for an aviation company. Gather as many flight hours as possible, focusing on flying in various weather conditions. This will enable you to be a competent pilot and at the same time improve your job prospects among employers. 

  • Log International Flight Experience 

Many ferry flights entail cross-border execution. Thus, each flight over an international border requires knowledge about different air traffic control and airspace.

  • Gather Exposure to Various Aircraft

General knowledge about the spectrum of airplanes is extremely useful. Take every chance to fly single engine and multi engine aircrafts, from different companies and manufacturers. Through this experience, you will be able to be more versatile and competent as a ferry pilot. 

Step 3: Educate and Cultivate Basic Competencies 

  • Navigation and Flight Planning

Ferry pilots require exceptional skills of managing the aircraft’s movement and planning the flight. It means that the pilot must be able to draw routes, estimate the amount of necessary fuel and select suitable airports in case of emergencies. 

  • Weather Analysis

A ferry pilot must be able to understand weather patterns and to forecast from meteorological report bulletins. Since you will be flying a ferry, you are likely to find yourself flying in varying weather.

  • Mechanical Knowledge 

You must also be acquainted with the various mechanical systems of the aircraft. It is important to understand how the mechanical structures in an aircraft operate, to enable you to fix small issues that may occur and to be able to relay your message effectively to maintenance personnel.

  • Communication Skills 

Communication with air traffic control, ground crews and clients are a vital key success factor. These skills facilitate flight efficiency as well as reduce any risk of possible mishaps.

Step 4: Find Ferry Pilot Opportunities 

  • Networking in the Aviation Industry 

Networking is extremely helpful when searching for ferry pilot positions. Go to aviation exhibitions, become a member of pilot associations, and get acquainted with professionals operating in the industry. 

  • Join Ferry Pilot Organizations

Since ferry pilots are a specific breed of aviators, there are organizations that cater to their needs by providing information, employment opportunities, and contacts. Membership in these organizations offers a lot of support and helps in promoting your career.

  • Apply to Ferry Pilot Companies

There are companies that focus solely on the transportation of aircrafts for their clients. It is a good idea to research them, to understand their needs and demands, then to apply. Ensure you modify your CV to put emphasis on areas relevant to the job.

  • Consider Freelance Opportunities 

It is also possible to work as a contract operator, either independently or in a specific company. Establish a professional-looking webpage or a LinkedIn account, attend events, and introduce yourself as a freelancer by posting on aviation-related websites.

Step 5: Keep Education and Certifications Updated

  • Stay Current with Certifications 

We have already mentioned that certifications and licenses are important, so it is highly recommended to renew and update on a regular basis. Being up to date with regulations also helps you remain legally eligible to do ferry flights. 

  • Pursue Additional Training 

When it comes to flying, it is very important to have a constant self-improvement process all the time. It may make sense to get more ratings like seaplane rating, or specific ratings related to different aircraft models. On the same note, training increases your proficiency level and brings new employment opportunities. 

  • Attend Safety and Professional Development Courses 

Take relevant safety courses and professional development programs provided by the industry’s associations. Promoting the exchange of ideas, practices, rules or any new development or gadget in the industry, they will make you a more competent ferry pilot. 

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