The sport of flying can be a tough one to break into, and with the demand for new pilots increasing year after year, it’s no surprise that there are many openings that aren’t being filled.
For those looking to make the jump into the airline industry, you’ll need to put some thought into your career path.
And to do that, you need to look at the careers of some of the most successful and accomplished pilots.
In this guide, we’ll explore the top flight pilots, how they were recruited, how their careers have developed, and what they have to say about the sport.
Chris AndersonChris Anderson is a long-time Australian pilot, who has been flying since he was in his teens.
Chris has flown hundreds of hours, including solo missions, and he knows how to navigate the air, too.
He has flown for nearly 30 years, with the most recent flights being in 2015, which was his first time in the cockpit.
Chris started flying in 1997, and has flown over 20,000 hours.
He flew the same aircraft that has made him famous, the Boeing 777.
In the past decade, he has also piloted the 747, the Airbus A330, and the Boeing 737 MAX.
Andrew WhiteAndrew White, also known as “Blue Ace”, was born in Melbourne, Australia, but now lives in Sydney.
His father, a pilot, flew the 737 MAX and 747.
After graduating from Melbourne’s Flying Academy in 2001, he was accepted into the Queensland Flying Academy and started flying for the ABC in 2003.
He was also a member of the National Flying School and was accepted to the ATC Academy in 2012.
He went on to fly for Airliners.com in 2013 and has been a member there ever since.
James KelleherJames Kellehter was born and raised in Melbourne.
James has been in the aviation industry for almost 20 years, first flying as a youth, before going into aviation training at 18 years old.
James was the first Australian to fly solo in the US, and was able to fly around the country in a Cessna 172 for about 3 months before making the jump to the United States in 2012 with a charter.
He began flying at 19 years old, and is currently flying for Aviosport in New Zealand.
John TaylorJohn Taylor is a pilot who is considered one of the greatest of the modern era, and also a legendary pilot.
John started flying as an apprentice pilot at 16 years old and has logged over 400 hours in the sport of commercial air travel.
He joined the ABC at 22 years old as an instructor and has since flown as an examiner.
He is the current instructor at the New Zealand National Flying Academy.
David PughDavid Pugh is a professional pilot who has flown thousands of hours of flight time, and earned the nickname “The Flying Pope”.
He is a former CEO of the New South Wales Department of Transport, and now lives and works in the Gold Coast.
Pugh started flying with his parents in 1991, and since then he has flown around the world in a variety of aircraft.
He started flying from age 16 years and he is currently the longest serving soloist in the world, and remains the longest-serving soloist on record.
Peter TaylorPeter Taylor has been an aviation enthusiast since childhood.
Peter is a retired commercial pilot, and flew for several airlines before being introduced to the sport by his father, who was a pilot himself.
After retiring from the airline world, Peter took a look into the sport and became an instructor for Airliner.com.
David ScottDavid Scott has been the head instructor at Airliner for a decade, and recently retired as the head of training at Airliners Academy in Brisbane.
David has been training pilots for the past 25 years, and currently holds the record for the longest solo flight, flying around the globe from Perth to Johannesburg.
David WilsonDavid Wilson is a man of many talents.
He’s a former commercial pilot and an experienced pilot, with over 40 years of flying experience.
He graduated from the Queensland Aviation College in 1995, and began flying in the commercial air service when he was 16 years of age.
He now teaches pilot education at Airlining.com, and works closely with his students to help them get through the rigorous flight and flying course.
Michael ScottMichael Scott is a respected and accomplished Australian pilot who’s been flying for over 25 years.
Michael has been teaching pilots for 25 years and has taught pilots for almost 50 years.
He holds the Guinness World Record for the largest solo flight of a commercial aircraft.
Michael currently teaches pilot training at Aviosports, and maintains his position as the longest living instructor on record, with a total of 1,936 hours flying.
Robert CoadyRobert Coad of the Flying Eagles, and his father Peter Coad, were the founders of Airliners and are still active in the business today. Peter Cood