Aeroplane Pilot Kaiwhakahaere Waka Rererangi

Aeroplane pilots fly aircraft to transport people or goods. Some pilots fly aircraft to aerially spread fertiliser or bait.

Aeroplane pilots may do some or all of the following:

  • prepare or check flight plans
  • do pre-flight checks, including checking weather forecasts, the plane's load, fuel and equipment
  • calculate the amount of fuel needed for flights
  • programme flight management systems
  • liaise with air traffic control
  • navigate and fly the plane to its destination
  • write flight reports and keep a flight log
  • greet passengers, give them assistance if needed, and ensure they are seated.

Agricultural pilots may also:

  • consult with customers about the chemicals or fertiliser to be used and the area to be covered
  • calculate the amount and cost of chemicals or fertiliser required
  • apply chemicals or fertiliser to farm land and keep records.

Physical Requirements

Aeroplane pilots need to have good hearing and eyesight (with or without corrective lenses), and good reflexes and co-ordination.

They must also have a good level of fitness and health. They need to pass a medical exam every year.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for aeroplane pilots includes work:

  • in the aviation industry
  • as an aircraft engineer
  • as a loader/driver
  • with navigational and radio equipment
  • in customer service.

Personal Qualities

Aeroplane pilots need to be:

  • responsible
  • able to lead a team
  • good at planning, thinking logically and following procedures
  • excellent at working under pressure and making quick, sound decisions
  • skilled at communicating and getting along with a wide variety of people
  • resilient
  • good at record-keeping.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for aeroplane pilots includes work:

  • in the aviation industry
  • as an aircraft engineer
  • as a loader/driver
  • with navigational and radio equipment
  • in customer service.

Subject Recommendations

NCEA Level 3 is required to enter tertiary training. This includes 14 credits in English (or an English-rich subject such as history), and 14 credits in a number-oriented subject (such as maths or physics).

Flying experience at aero clubs

If you are between 12 and 18 years old, you can apply to join the Young Eagles flying experience programme, run through local aero clubs.

Related Courses

Aeroplane Pilots can earn around $50K-$190K per year per year.

Aeroplane pilots may progress to operating larger, more complex aircraft. They can also move into the role of flying instructor.

Pilots may also choose to specialise in flying smaller planes.

Agricultural Pilot
Agricultural pilots fly aircraft to apply agricultural chemicals or fertilisers to farmland. They may fly fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters.
Charter Pilot
Charter pilots fly tourist or air ambulance services, or provide services such as aerial photography or land surveying.
Aeroplane Pilot