Fly­ing high:

IT IS A LONG HAUL BE­FORE YOU GET THE PRIME PO­SI­TION IN THE COCK­PIT OF A PAS­SEN­GER PLANE

China Daily - - WEEKEND LIFE - Pho­tos by LYU JIA | For China Daily

When you travel by air, you see pi­lots in uni­form rush­ing into and out of the ter­mi­nals. But to be­come a pi­lot, one must pay a high cost, and un­dergo a long train­ing.

When you travel by air, you of­ten see pi­lots in uni­form rush­ing into

and out of the air­port ter­mi­nals. But to be­come a pi­lot, one must pay a high cost, and un­dergo a long train­ing. In China, 90 per­cent of the coun­try’s air­line pi­lots are trained at the same school, which is the world’s largest civil avi­a­tion in­sti­tu­tion — the Civil Avi­a­tion Flight Uni­ver­sity of China. Af­ter grad­u­a­tion, the pi­lots from the civil avi­a­tion uni­ver­sity have to first get fa­mil­iar with Air­bus, Boe­ing planes be­fore they can work as co-pi­lots. If one wants to be­come the cap­tain, it takes a long time. For ex­am­ple, in Air China, a pi­lot needs more than 3,000 hours of flight time to fly a Boe­ing 737, and for Boe­ing 767, it is 4,000 hours. In ad­di­tion to four years of school, one needs at least five years of fly­ing, dur­ing which pe­riod there is more train­ing, strict as­sess­ment and a bru­tal elim­i­na­tion process.

Pi­lots from the Civil Avi­a­tion Flight Uni­ver­sity of China have to first get fa­mil­iar with Air­bus, Boe­ing planes be­fore they can work as co-pi­lots.

From left: A group of stu­dents wait for board­ing the plane; 21-year-old stu­dent Wang Zhenni is the only fe­male stu­dent in her grade.

From left: A ju­nior pi­lot prac­tices stalls; de­pend­ing on age, a male pi­lot can­not have more than 20 to 24 per­cent body fat.

From left: A pi­lot checks jet fuel be­fore his plane takes off; a dozen train­ing planes on the run­way at the Civil Avi­a­tion Flight Uni­ver­sity of China; trainees lis­ten at­ten­tively to an in­struc­tor.

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