Airline Pilot Interview Example Questions

Pilot Interview Example Questions

A comprehensive database with example competency, motivational and technical airline pilot interview questions designed to help you prepare for your airline assessment

Pilot Interview Example Questions

Join the hundreds of pilots that have downloaded the airline interview question database to help prepare for their upcoming pilot interview. The database consists of over 350 example questions (with suggested answers) that are regularly asked at flight crew interviews.

Unlock the key to acing your airline pilot interview with our comprehensive database of interview questions. From situational to technical, we’ve got you covered with the insider knowledge you need to soar high above the competition. Prepare for success and secure your dream job in the skies with our invaluable resource. Our database has been created by pilot recruiters, a technical chief pilot, and management pilots to ensure it is representative of airline interview questions asked across the globe.

It is suitable for the following candidates:

  • Direct Entry First Officers
  • Low Hour First Officers
  • Direct Entry Captains
  • Cadet Pilot Programs
  • Flight School Entrance Interviews

It is split into the following sections:

  • General interview preparation advice and successful interview techniques
  • Example competency / motivational questions and answers
  • Example aircraft / aviation technical questions and answers

Be Prepared for your Pilot Interview…

With intense competition for each position, which has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s vital that you thoroughly prepare for your airline interview in order to place yourself ahead of the competition. Our interview question database is a fantastic tool to help you prepare for your upcoming airline assessment, regardless of your experience level. You can study it in your own time, on any device. We firmly believe that if you can answer the questions in our database, you’ll be thoroughly prepared for your interview! 

Over 350 Pilot Interview Questions

Our pilot interview question bank consists of over 175 personal, competency and motivational based example interview questions (typically referred to as HR “give us an example of…” questions) and over 175 technical questions. We update the database on a regular basis based on feedback from pilots attending assessments and new questions that we come across.

Delivery Instructions

The PDF document will be emailed to you shortly after purchase.

Example Pilot Interview Questions

Here’s a small selection of the type of pilot interview questions that are included in our Airline Interview Question Database – both Competency / Motivational based and Technical Questions:

  • Tell me about the typical day of a pilot?
  • What makes a good first officer?
  • What challenges does the company face over the next 10 years?
  • Tell us about a time you’ve fallen short at something?
  • Explain Dutch Roll?
  • How do you calculate the required sweep of the wings?

All of these questions come with appropriate answers.

FDF Airline Interview Question Database – Competency, Motivational and Technical Example Interview Questions with Answers

£39.99 – Instant PDF Download

What is included in our pilot interview question database?

  • Reviewed in April 2024
  • Emailed to you in PDF format shortly after purchase
  • 350+ interview questions and answers
  • 101-page document consisting of over 33,500 words

Pilot Application Support Package

We also offer our Airline Interview Question Database as part of a pilot application support package which includes our example Cover Letters and CV templates. Individually, these items are priced at £94.97, however when purchased as a package you receive a 37% discount, costing £59.99. You can find out more about our pilot application support package here.

Our interview question database for pilot assessments

For any further queries about our pilot interview question database, please contact us via email at: [email protected]

Easy Mental Arithmetic for Pilots

Easy Mental Arithmetic for Pilots

How to quickly and accurately do maths as a pilot

Easy Mental Arithmetic for Pilots

When flying an aircraft, whether it’s a Cessna 152 or an A380, pilots need to be able to do fairly basic but quite quick mental arithmetic. Of course, there are occasions where complete accuracy is critical, but the vast majority of the time, you don’t need to be ‘bang on’, but rather work to rough ‘ballpark’ figures. Whether it be calculating required descent rates or speed/distance/time calculations, general rules of thumb can help you make these calculations quickly and reasonably accurately.

These rules of thumb also work very well when completing pilot numerical reasoning aptitude tests as part of airline pilot assessments. Such tests often require you to work quickly, but with a number of multiple-choice answers, you often just need to reach a rough figure rather than an exact one. Quickly being able to calculate a good estimate in test conditions can prove to be invaluable in passing an airline pilot selection process.

Some of the most important rules of thumb involve using the 3 times table, the 1 in 60 rule and being able to divide or multiply by 10. Let’s have a look at some examples:

Distance Required to Descend for Aircraft Calculations

Most aircraft plan to descend at an angle of approximately 3 degrees. To calculate how much distance an aircraft needs to fly to achieve a given reduction in altitude, based on a 3-degree angle of descent, a basic rule of thumb can be used:

Distance Required to Reduce Altitude = Total Altitude to Lose / 1,000 x 3.

For example, if you are at 40,000ft and you need to be at 10,000ft at 30NM before the airfield, you need to lose a total of 30,000ft. Divide 30,000ft by 1,000 (simply take away the last 3 numbers when dividing by 1,000), which gives you 30 and multiply this by 3 gives you 90. It will therefore take you about 90NM to reduce altitude by 30,000ft. If you need to be at 10,000ft by 30NM before the airfield, then add this to the 90NM which gives you a start of descent point of 120NM.

This assumes still air conditions at a constant speed. Whilst it depends on aircraft types, for commercial aircraft, adding an extra mile for every 10kts of airspeed you need to lose is a good ballpark figure. So, in the above example, if you start the descent at 300kts IAS, and need to be at 200kts IAS by the time you reach 10,000ft, you would add 10NM to the distance required to lose the altitude (so 90NM becomes 100NM).

Having a headwind or tailwind also needs to be factored when calculating the distance required to descend. As a rough guide, add 1 NM to the distance required to descend for every 10kts of tailwind and reduce the distance by 1 NM for every 10kts of headwind.

Descent Rate Required to Achieve a 3 Degree Descent Angle when Flying

So, you’ve calculated the distance required to descend to a given altitude using the above method. Using the above example, you will be descending at a 3-degree angle over 90NM. But if you are descending at 3 degrees, what descent rate do you need to achieve? An easy way to calculate this is using this basic formula.

3 Degree Descent Rate = 5 x Ground Speed

For example, if you are flying at a ground speed of 300kts, multiply 300 by 5 and this tells you that you would need to descend at 1,500fpm to achieve a 3-degree descent profile. Some people prefer to multiply the ground speed by 10 then divide by 2. Clearly your ground speed will change with altitude as the True Airspeed and Head/Tailwind changes so you will need to periodically review your rate of descent throughout the manoeuvre.

Descend to an Altitude within a Fixed Time Period

ATC will sometimes require an aircraft to descend to a given altitude within a specific time period. For example, “FDF123 descend to Flight Level 320 to be level within 4 minutes”. In this type of scenario, you need to calculate how many feet per minute you need to descend in order to achieve this restriction. This can be calculated using the following method:

Feet Per Minute Required = Total Altitude to Lose / Number of Minutes

For example, if flight FDF123 is maintaining FL360 (36,000ft) and has been told to descend to FL320 (32,000ft) within 4 minutes, the total altitude required to lose is 4,000ft. 4,000 divided by 4 is 1,000, so the aircraft needs to descend at 1,000ft per minute to meet the restriction.

In such a scenario, you don’t necessarily need to be exact, sometimes you can simplify and be conservative with your calculations since the request is usually ‘within 4 minutes’ not ‘exactly 4 minutes’. For example, if you are flying at 25,000ft and are told to descent to 17,000ft to be level within 9 minutes, we know the calculation is 8,000 / 9 (which equals 888 fpm). However, we can turn these into round numbers to make the calculations easier, just remember to do it in a conservative way to ensure the restriction can be made. For example, we can hopefully quite quickly work out that if we descended at 1,000 fpm, we would descend 8,000ft in 8 minutes. Yes, we’d be levelling off one minute earlier than the restriction required, but we have achieved ATCs request.

Speed, Distance and Time Calculations for Pilots

We are probably all aware of the relationship between variables from school and have heard of the Speed, Distance & Time triangle. When flying, we should always be aware of our speed so calculating distance and time is more relevant.

There is a ‘magic triangle’ which can help us quickly remember how to calculate speed, distance, and time. You simply cover up the entity you are trying to find and the reveals how to calculate it. For example, if you cover the ‘S’ you can see that the calculation for speed is distance divided by time.

  • Speed = Distance / Time
  • Distance = Speed x Time
  • Time = Distance / Speed

How to calculate speed distance and time for pilots

Easy Speed / Distance / Time Calculations for Pilots

Speed is the distance you travel over a specific time period, so they are intrinsically related. It’s worth understanding some rules of thumb which can help you make quick calculations about distance and time calculations.

  • 30kts = 0.5NM per minute
  • 60kts = 1NM per minute
  • 120kts = 2NM per minute
  • 180kts = 3NM per minute
  • 240kts = 4NM per minute
  • 300kts = 5NM per minute
  • 480kts = 8NM per minute
  • 540kts = 9NM per minute
  • 600kts = 10NM per minute

Remember that there are 60 minutes in an hour. Well therefore, if we divide any speed by 10, this will tell us what distance the aircraft is travelling in 6 minutes at its current speed.

For example, if an aircraft is flying at 150kts, this tells us that it is travelling 15NMs every 6 minutes (150 divided by 10 = 15). Another example is that if the aircraft is travelling at 370kts it is covering 37NM every 6 minutes. You could then halve this number to see how far the aircraft travel in 3 minutes, 1.5 minutes etc.

Put another way, if asked ‘how many miles will you travel in 20 minutes at a speed of 180kts?’. 180 divided by 10 is 18, so 18 miles every 6 minutes. So, if we multiply this number by 3, we know how many miles are covered in 18 minutes (3 x 18 miles = 54NMs). If we cover 18 miles every 6 minutes, we know we cover 9 miles every 3 minutes (it’s then easy to see that it’s actually a mile a minute in this example!). So therefore, we are covering 63 miles every 21 minutes. Knock 3 miles off and we get to 60 NM.

Example Distance to Descend Questions for Pilots

Here’s a few example questions. We’ve got lots more pilot numerical reasoning test example questions over on our dedicated page. The BBC GCSE Bitesize website is also a great resource to help you practice your mental arithmetic.

If an aircraft is flying at an intermediate altitude of 25,000ft and is instructed by ATC to achieve an altitude of 13,000ft by a fix on the arrival, what distance before the fix should the pilots initiate the descent, assuming a planned 3-degree descent profile at a constant speed and still wind?

  • A) 40 NM
  • B) 38 NM
  • C) 36 NM
  • D) 28 NM

25,000ft minus 13,000ft = 12,000ft to lose. 12,000 divided by 1000 = 12, multiplied by 3 = 36.

ATC have told you to self-position to a 10NM extended centreline from the landing runway. There are no restrictions other than needing to achieve an altitude of 3,000ft and at a speed of 180kts at the 10NM point. You are currently level at 8,000ft at 250kts and anticipate an average tailwind of 10kts. In order to achieve the restriction, at what point before the 10NM fix should you commence the descent?

  • A) 23 NM
  • B) 15 NM
  • C) 22NM
  • D) 16NM

8,000ft – 3,000ft = 5,000ft. 5,000 divided by 1,000 = 5, multiplied by 3 = 15 NM. 250kts – 180kts = 70kts = add on an extra 7NM (1NM per 10kts of airspeed to lose). Add 1NM per knot of tailwind. 15 NM (distance required) + 7 NM (to account for deceleration) + 1 NM (to allow for tailwind) = 23NM.

Example Descent Rate Required Questions

With a 280kts ground speed, what rate of descent do you need to achieve in order to maintain a 3-degree descent angle?

  • A) 2,800 fpm
  • B) 1,400 fpm
  • C) 700 fpm
  • D) 2,000 fpm

5 x 280 = 1,400. Or 280 x 10 = 2,800 / 10 = 1,400.

With a 420kts ground speed, what rate of descent do you need to achieve in order to maintain a 3-degree descent angle?

  • A) 2,000 fpm
  • B) 1,800 fpm
  • C) 2,800 fpm
  • D) 2,100 fpm

5 x 420 = 2,100 fpm. Or 420 x 10 = 4,200 / 10 = 2,100.

Descend to an Altitude within a Fixed Time Period Questions

If an aircraft is maintaining 27,000ft and has been told by ATC to descend to 13,000ft within 10 minutes, what rate of descent is required?

  • A) 1,400 fpm
  • B) 1,200 fpm
  • C) 1,300 fpm
  • D) 1,500 fpm

27,000 – 13,000 = 14,000. 14,000 divided by 10 minutes = 1,400 fpm

If an aircraft is maintaining 35,000ft and has been told by ATC to descend to 30,000ft within 3 minutes, what rate of descent is required to the nearest 100fpm?

  • A) 1,600 fpm
  • B) 1,700 fpm
  • C) 1,500 fpm
  • D) 1,800 fpm

35,000 – 30,000 = 5,000 fpm divided by 3 minutes = 1,666 fpm.

TUI Fully Funded Cadet Pilot Programme

TUI Cadet Pilot Programme Launch

TUI Fully Funded Cadet Pilot Programme

TUI UK have launched a fully funded cadet pilot programme. This is an exceptional opportunity to complete your commercial pilot training and going onto join the airline as a First Officer without the huge financial outlay that is usually required. The following information has been taken from the TUI Careers website.

The Program

Embarking upon the 19 month TUI Airline Multi-Crew Pilot Licence (MPL) Cadet Programme is an exciting opportunity for those with little, or no, flying experience. You’ll complete your training and eventually join TUI as a Cadet Pilot flying the Boeing 737. We’re looking for candidates to be committed, resilient and hard-working, and will be rewarded with a dynamic and exciting career where each day is different. Together with your colleagues, you’ll make sure that TUI customers have the best experience whilst travelling to and from their holiday helping them to ‘Live Happy’.

We’re looking for people with great communication and leadership skills, the ability to remain calm under pressure, resilience to work hard throughout a challenging course, motivation to learn and ultimately develop into highly skilled professional pilots.


In order to apply for our MPL Cadet Programme, there are a few requirements that need to be met:

• Be at least 18 years of age on or before 1st September 2023
• Have at least five GCSEs including Maths, English and a Science at grade C/4 or above
• Be fluent in English (verbal and written) with ICAO Level 4
• Be eligible to live and work indefinitely in the UK without additional approvals
• Hold a valid passport which permits unrestricted worldwide travel
• Be at least 1.58cm (5ft 2in) tall
• Able to swim 25m
• Able to obtain a CAA issued Class 1 medical prior to commencing training (at your own cost) – click here for more information
• Before commencing training, complete referencing and pre-employment checks


The MPL Cadet Programme includes the following:

• All course and training costs
• All training and licence fees
• Accommodation from phase 2 onwards
• Uniform
• ATPL theory exam fees
• All required equipment such as manuals, iPad etc.

Cadets will be liable for:

• Initial Class 1 medical and subsequent renewals
• Personal travel
• Food and personal living expenses

Upon completion of training and joining TUI as a Cadet Pilot, you’ll be paid a Cadet Pilot salary for four years, which will include repayment of training costs to TUI via salary sacrifice. This salary is currently £32,867 (post deduction) and will increase in line with pilot pay scheduling agreements.

LEA Fully Sponsored Flight Training

LEA’s Fully Sponsored Integrated Flight Training

Leading Edge Aviation Opens Fully Funded Integrated Flight Training

Please note: We have no affiliation with Leading Edge Aviation. We are reporting on the opening of their fully sponsored LEAP & FI Course. Details have been taken from the Leading Edge Aviation website.

Leading Edge Aviation (LEA), a leading UK based Flight Training Organisation, have opened a remarkable opportunity for 6 FULLY FUNDED full frozen ATPL and Flight Instructor courses to commence in 2023. LEA will fully find all of your integrated commercial flight training and the flight instructor rating. In return you will be bonded to the company as flight instructor for 2 years after completing your training. In total this is worth £115,000 per successful student.

We believe this is a remarkable opportunity and commend Leading Edge Aviation for providing a fully funded flight training program. This opens up flight training for people who many not otherwise have the resources to fund their training. It is extremely refreshing to see a Flight Training Organisation leading the way in rolling out such an opportunity, and we hope to see airlines follow suit.

Minimum Requirements

To be considered for Leading Edge Aviation’s LEAP & FI fully sponsored program you need to meet the following entry requirements:

  • Relevant Class 1 UK CAA & EASA medical
  • 5 GCSEs* grade 6+ (including English Language, Maths & Science)
  • Valid DBS criminal records check & GSAT
  • Aged 18 at the start of training


Applications close on the 4th December. You are also required to submit a CV and Covering Letter. Here at we are able to support you in putting together a standout application through our tailoring services. Have a look at what we can offer. If you are successful in passing the initial application screening and invited to the next stage of assessment, the cost is £50.

Full details of this program can be found on the Leading Edge Aviation’s website.

We’ve put together an example Covering Letter specific for this position. It has been designed to demonstrate, based on our experience and expertise, how we would compose the Cover Letter for the application. It can be used to give you some inspiration if you are struggling for ideas. Needless to say, you should not use this letter to form part of your application.

Pilot CV Example Templates

Pilot CV Example Templates

Check out our free CV templates

Free Pilot CV Example Templates

Designing a pilot CV can be tedious and time-consuming, so we’ve got some free pilot CV example templates to give you inspiration. Professionally tailored flight crew CVs might be outside your budget, but you can copy our designs without spending any money.

Our example pilot resumes have been designed to be very clear and concise, making sure all the vital information is included whilst making it easy for the recruiter to find what they need. Recruiters may spend as little as 15 seconds reviewing your CV, so it is vital that all the information they need to see is spelt out clearly. It’s also becoming more and more common for the initial screening to be completed by an automated ‘ATS’ system, so we’ve laid them out into specific sections to ensure they are professionally structured whilst ensuring they are ATS friendly.

If you don’t have time to create your own CV based on our designs, then you can download our CV templates in Microsoft Word format, which you can then customise yourself. They are priced at £7.99 to £9.99 each or you can buy the entire bundle for £29.99 (saving well over 90%!).

When you edit these CVs, we recommend you do it in conjunction with our CV Design Guide.

Please note that has no affiliation with any airline.

Example Pilot CV Templates
An example airline pilot CV template
Free Pilot CV Template
CV Template for Wizz Air Pilots, First Officers
Jet2 pilot example CV template
easyJet Pilot Example CV Template

Pilot CV Templdate Example 1
Generic Pilot CV 3
Example CV template for someone applying to Wizz Air as a pilot
Legacy Airline Pilot Example CV

Download Our Example CV Templates

Our Pilot CV Template Package contains 13 Microsoft Word documents. The package includes 6 generic pilot CV templates and 7 airline specific templates for pilots which can be manually adjusted to an airline of your choosing.

The documents have been designed in Microsoft Word for Mac version 16. The CVs have been designed for low hour pilots but can be customised for pilots of any experience levels.

Once payment has been completed via our Sellfy store, we will email shortly after with the .ZIP file containing the 11 Microsoft .docx files.

There are 7 specific airline CV designs with 6 generic designs. The airline designs are:

  • Legacy Airline
  • DHL / EAT
  • easyJet
  • Low Cost Airline
  • Wizz Air (x2)

CV Template Combo Package

  • Download all 12 Pilot CV Templates (pictured above)
  • 7 Airline Specific CV Templates
  • 6 Generic Pilot CV Templates
  • All Fully Customisable

CV & Cover Letter Template Combo Package

  • 13 Pilot CV Templates
  • All Our Example Pilot Covering Letters
  • Total Cost of £70+ if purchased individually

Pilot Application Support Package

  • 13 Pilot CV Templates
  • All Our Example Pilot Cover Letters
  • Airline Interview Question Database
  • Total Cost of £100+ if purchased individually

Professionally Tailored CV

  • Professionally Tailored CV
  • Bespoke Document
  • Clear & Concise
  • Contains all Critical Information

Professionally Tailored CV & Cover Letter Combo Package

  • Professionally Tailored Documents
  • High quality, clear & concise
  • Bespoke Pilot CV
  • Airline specific, unique Covering Letter
  • Professionally written documents

Professional Pilot CV Design

Want to use our Professional CV design service? Our team have experience in designing selection processes, screening CVs and selecting candidates for airlines. Visit our Professional CV Tailoring page or email us to see how we can help support your airline application.


Pilot Application Support Package

Pilot Application Support Pack

Get your application rolling…

Pilot Application Support Package

We know that applying to airlines for a flight crew position can be daunting, so we’ve put together a package to help you get started. Our package has been designed to help get your career moving. It offers a selection of pilot CV and Cover Letter examples and our airline interview question database with a 37% discount, reduced from £94.97 to £59.99.

What’s Included in the Support Package?

The following products are included in the pilot support package. A more detailed description of each product is listed below.

  • Airline Interview Question Database
  • Pilot CV Example Templates
  • Pilot Cover Letter Examples

Airline Interview Question Database

Stand alone price £39.99.

Our airline interview question database is our best-selling product. It has helped hundreds of pilots pass their airline interview. It contains the following.

  • General interview preparation advice and successful interview techniques
  • 175+ Example competency / motivational questions and answers
  • 175+ Example aircraft / aviation technical questions and answers

It is a 101 page, 33,000+ word document in PDF format. The package will be emailed to you shortly after purchase.

Pilot Cover Letter Examples

Stand alone price £39.99.

Our pilot example covering letter package includes the covering letters for the following airlines. They are suitable for low hour and direct entry First Officers (unless otherwise stated). Each Pilot Cover Letter, other than the generic one, considers the airline’s type of operation, fleet, ethos and history.

  • Legacy Airline
  • Emirates Accelerated Command Program (x2, A380 & B777)
  • Flybe (the new airline)
  • Generic Cover Letter (suitable for all airlines)
  • Pilot Apprentice Program
  • LEA Fully Funded Commercial Flight Training Course (Cadet Pilot)
  • Low Cost Airline
  • TUI (x2, Both Rated & Non-Rated)
  • Wizz Air

The letters are all between approximately 400 – 500 words and a single page document.

Pilot CV Example Templates

Stand alone price £29.99.

Our Pilot CV Template Package contains 12 Microsoft Word documents. There are 5 generic CV templates and 7 airline specific templates which can be manually adjusted to an airline of your choosing by amending the colour scheme.

The documents were designed in Microsoft Word for Mac version 16. The CVs have been designed for low hour pilots but can be customised for pilots of any experience levels.

The 7 specific airline CV designs are for the following airlines:

  • Wizz Air (x2)
  • easyJet
  • Low Cost Airline
  • Legacy Airline
  • DHL / EAT

More information on this specific product can be found here.

Buy the Pilot Application Support Package

If purchased individually, this package would cost £109.97. However, we offer these products as a package with a £39.98 discount, at price of £49.98.

Please note, payment is made through our Sellfy store.

Buy Now / £59.99

Pilot Cover Letter Examples

Example Cover Letters for Pilots

Don’t let a poorly written Cover Letter hold back your application!

Example Pilot Cover Letters

When applying to an airline for a pilot position, you need to ensure your application contains a well written, highly specific Covering Letter that addresses the airline’s ethos and operation, matching them with your skills and attributes.

Whilst we offer a full Professional Pilot Cover Letter tailoring service, we appreciate this isn’t within everyone’s budget. Therefore, we have put together a set of example pilot cover letters for specific airlines which you can edit yourself. These Pilot Covering Letters have been specifically designed for both Low Hour and experienced First Officers to help increase the chances of your application being advanced to the next stage of selection.

Written By Experts

All the Cover Letters have been written by a current airline pilot with previous airline pilot recruitment experience and holds qualifications which specifically cover airline pilot recruitment.

Each Pilot Cover Letter (other than the generic one) considers the airline’s type of operation, fleet, ethos and history. This attention to detail demonstrates a few highly desirable attributes to a prospective employer such as:

  • You are highly motivated
  • You understand the airline’s operation
  • You have spent time researching the job you are applying for
  • You are prepared to invest time and energy into a high-quality application

“An investment in a high-quality Pilot Cover Letter is an investment in your future”

Discounted Pilot Application Support Package

As well as the options below, you can purchase all of our example Covering Letters as a bundle with our example pilot CV templates and our Airline Interview Question Database with Answers. This package has been designed to help get you started with your pilot applications. Individually, these items are priced at a total of £109.97, however when purchased as a package you receive a significant discount, costing just £59.99. You can find out more about our pilot application support package here.

*Important* – The example pilot cover letters are intended be used as a guide to demonstrate how to customise your cover letter professionally and the type of content to include. You should take the time to amend your cover letter to ensure it is unique and genuinely reflects your application. You should not submit the cover letter as part of the application without amending it to reflect your own beliefs and personal circumstances.

Please note that you will be given the option to automatically download a receipt after purchase. The actual document will be manually emailed to you shortly afterwards. This is usually quite quick but may on occasions take up to 24 hours depending on our flying schedule. This is to ensure taxation compliance in various countries.

Cover Letter Bundle

Includes example Cover Letters for the following airlines:

  • Legacy Airline First Officer
  • Emirates B777 & A380 Accelerated Command
  • Flybe First Officer
  • Generic First Officer (for all airlines)
  • First Officer
  • Pilot Apprentice
  • LEA Fully Funded Cadet Pilot Course
  • Low Cost First Officer
  • TUI UK First Officer
  • Wizz Air First Officer

CV & Cover Letter Bundle

Save £19.99 by purchasing our CV and CL bundle. Includes all the documents contained within the Cover Letter bundle, as well as example CV templates for the following airlines:

  • 5 x Generic Pilot CVs
  • Legacy Airline
  • easyJet
  • Low Cost
  • Wizz Air (x2)

Pilot Application Support Package

Save £49.98 by purchasing our CV & CL bundle alongside our famous Airline Interview Question Database. The package includes the following:

  • All example Covering Letters listed on this page (£39.99)
  • 12 x CV Templates (see CV package for details – £29.99)
  • Airine Interview Question Database (with suggested answers – £39.99)

Legacy Airline Cover Letter

Written in September 2022, this is a 473 word, single page example covering letter for a Legacy Airline. It is suitable for Low Hour Pilots & First Officers.

Extract from the Legacy Airline Cover Letter:

“As the national airline of [country] and the country’s only [insert appropriate like ‘flag carrier’], [airline name] is held in very high regard around the world. Since the company was first registered in [date], it has gone onto develop a rich history, spanning over eighty-five years, whilst building a reputation for safety, comfort and reliability.”

Emirates Accelerated Command Cover Letter

Written in November 2022, this is a 527 word, single page example covering letter for pilots applying for the A380/B777 Accelerated Command Program. The product consists of 2 covering letters, one for the B777 and one for the A320. The assumes:

  • Currently operating as a Captain
  • You have command experience on either Boeing or Airbus aircraft types
  • Prepared to relocate to Dubai

Extract from the Emirates Cover Letter:

From day one of joining Emirates, I would embrace the training and my subsequent flying experience with a view of it forming a pivotal part of my command development.

Emirates Pilot Recruitment

Flybe Pilot Cover Letter

This Covering Letter was written in November 2022 to reflect the restablishment of Flybe Ltd. It is suitable for Low Hour Pilots & First Officers.

Extract from the Flybe Pilot Cover Letter:

Whilst the new reincarnation of Flybe (as Flybe Limited) has only been operating since spring 2022, through its rich heritage and strong brand image, the airline is held in very high regard by the travelling public of the United Kingdom.

Flybe Pilot Recruitment

Fully Funded LEAP & FI Course Example Cover Letter

This product is a 513-word example Covering Letter, delivered in PDF format for the Fully Funded LEAP & FI Course. It is designed for people applying for the fully funded commercial flight training course and assumes no previous flying experience or qualifications.

Extract from the Cover Letter:

“Having thoroughly researched the various stages of the LEA integrated flight training course, I understand that it requires an exceptionally high level of commitment and dedication in order to be successful.”

An example covering letter for people applying for a cadet pilot course

Generic First Officer Cover Letter

This letter has been written from a low hour pilots perspective and is not airline specific. Reviewed December 2021.

Extract from the Generic Pilot Cover Letter:

I make decisions in a reasoned and analytical manner, taking into account a range of options and including all team members in the option generation process. I believe this allows me to make well-thought-out decisions, and support others to do so, which is absolutely vital when operating a commercial aircraft.

An example covering letter for low hour first officers Cover Letter

Reviewed December 2021. Suitable for Low Hour Pilots & First Officers.

Extract from the Cover Letter: has built up an excellent reputation for the level of customer service it delivers, which is supported by the fact that won the TripAdvisor Travellers Choice award in 2019. Simulator Assessment Preparation Pilot Apprentice Cover Letter

Reviewed December 2021. Suitable for applicants for the Pilot Apprentice Program.

Extract from the Pilot Apprentice Cover Letter: already has a reputation for delivering friendly low fares, but I believe the Pilot Apprentice Program can play its part in supporting the airline to maintain a commercial advantage over its competitors through…

Jet2 Non Rated First Officer Recruitment

Low Cost Pilot Cover Letter

Suitable for Low Hour Pilots & First Officers. Reviewed October 2022.

TUI UK Pilot Cover Letter

Includes 2 x Cover Letters for B737 Rated First Officers and Low Hour Non-Rated First Officers.

Example extract from the Cover Letter:

“These values are a fantastic bedrock on which to base an operation as it reflects both the continuous effort to achieve the highest safety standards whilst providing an exemplary level of service and experience to the company’s passengers.”

Example cover letter for First Officers applying to TUI

Wizz Air Pilot Cover Letter

Suitable for Low Hour Pilots, First Officers & Captains. Updated January 2021 to reflect the Covid-19 pandemic.

Example extract from the Cover Letter:

“With a fleet of over one hundred aircraft, and in excess of two hundred aircraft on order, including the next generation Airbus 321neo, it is clear to me that Wizz Air is an exciting place to be working.”

A comprehensive guide to the Wizz Air Pilot Selection Assessment

How to Pass a Group Exercise

How to Pass a Group Exercise at Pilot Selection

A look at how to excel in a group exercise scenario

How do I pass a Group Exercise at an airline pilot assessment?

In short, a group exercise is about moderation. Don’t engage too much or too little. Make sure your contributions are valuable, clear and concise. Don’t be too overbearing yet don’t be too passive. Involve others, listen and provide feedback. If you’re able to follow this simple advice, you will have a good chance of passing a group exercise at an airline pilot or flight school assessment.

What is the Purpose of a Group Exercise?

A group exercise is used to reveal how you interact with others as part of a team in a pressurized environment. Generally speaking, people find it harder to act and hide personality traits when under pressure so a group exercise is an effective way in which the assessors can reveal an individual’s personality and behavioural characteristics. Revealing these traits is important as it allows the assessors to predict how you are likely to behave in the workplace (i.e. as an airline pilot on the flight deck) in the future. There will likely be between about 6 to 12 people taking part and you can expect these individuals to have range of personalities and characters. Having a dynamic group reflects the make-up of real-life teams.

The environment can feel a bit ‘false’ and clearly some people don’t always take well to being observed. You are being put under the microscope with multiple assessors located round the room, furiously scribbling down information on your every word or move – it’s difficult to be completely natural!


Have a think about who you will need to interact with on a daily basis as a pilot…

  • The Captain or First Officer
  • Cabin Crew
  • Engineers
  • Operations Control
  • Crew Control
  • Dispatcher
  • Air Traffic Control
  • Passengers
  • Cleaners
  • Caterers
  • Fuellers
  • Security
  • Border Control

In order to get the aircraft from A to B safely, a pilot has to interact with many groups of people, all with different personalities, backgrounds and priorities. How do you think you should interact with any of the above groups? Hopefully you will have said professionally, clearly, concisely and courteously. This is in essence, how you should come across in a group exercise.

The Standard Group Exercise

A typical group exercise lasts around 15 – 30 minutes. You’ll be led into a room and sat round a table with a number of assessors strategically located around the room. Usually there is one assessor who will be tasked with taking notes on you and one or two others within your group.

You will be given a task which needs to be analysed by the group. A decision will need to be made or a problem solved within a set time period. Finally, you will probably be required to report your solution to the task to the assessors.

Check what information you’ve all been given…

Some members of the group may be given different pieces of information regarding the task which isn’t always initially obvious. After everyone has taken the time to review the information in front of them, it can be a good strategy to check what information has been given to everyone and see if it differs between individuals. It might be that most of the information you’ve all been given is very similar, but there might be a small amount, but important differences to figures and facts. Don’t get halfway through the group exercise and realise that you are all working on different information!

The right answer…?

In a group exercise, there is no right or wrong answer. The assessors are interested in your individual contribution to the team rather than the specific team result. If you feel the team has ended up making the wrong decision, don’t worry it’s what you did to get there that counts! You may have excelled even if the team didn’t reach a conclusion or ended up making a decision which you felt was wrong.

Starting the Group Exercise

When seated, note the time the group exercise has started. Someone within the group should volunteer as the time keeper and provide the group with updates regarding how long is left. Pointing out the half way point, 10 minutes, 5 minutes and 1 minute to go can be helpful to ensure the group is on track to finish on time.

Each candidate is typically provided with an information card or piece of paper with detail about the scenario. You will usually start by reading through this. Initially you should aim to establish that all candidates have received the same pieces of information. Note that sometimes the information cards may initially appear to provide the same information, but are in fact subtly different. For example, a single sentence may differ between the information provided which can add or clarify important details. If only one information card is provided, someone should volunteer to read it clearly so all group members can hear.

Finishing the Group Exercise

Whilst the final decision of the group is very unlikely to actually be factored into your overall score, how you get to the result is very important. As you approach the end of the exercise, with a few minutes to go, if the group isn’t already in the process of finalising the decision then tactfully direct the group to do so. You can suggest that as the end of the exercise is approaching, the group should start to finalise the plan. Once the group has made a decision or has produced a solution to the problem, then in the last minute or two, offer to provide a summary of what the group has decided to ensure everyone is on the same wavelength.

What are the assessors looking for in a group exercise?

  • Your ability to relate to others
  • How you interact and work with an unfamiliar team
  • Teamwork and Co-operation skills
  • What leadership qualities you might have
  • Initiative
  • Time Management
  • Your communication skills
  • Listening / Verbal Communication / Body Language
  • Your ability to make decisions as a group

How should I approach a group exercise?

  • When speaking to other members, try to address them by their name. It’s not only polite but is an attention getter and shows you have an eye for detail.
  • If you don’t interact you can’t be assessed! You can only be assessed on what the assessors see. If you don’t engage and don’t say what you’re thinking, you won’t pass. Be conscious of how much you are talking and what your input have been and ensure there is a good balance between making valued contributions and either talking too much or too little.
  • Making valuable, useful and helpful contributions is one of the most important factors in a group exercise, i.e. ensuring quality over substance. There is no point doing a lot of talking if the points you are making are irrelevant.
  • Whilst it’s important to get involved, it’s equally important not to be too overbearing and take control of the group. It’s possible to be too dominant, which as on the flight deck, is not a good attribute. Listen to what others have to say without interrupting.
  • Volunteer to be one of the time keepers, note keepers, summarisers etc. Perhaps even volunteer for more than one of these tasks if needed, however, don’t volunteer for lots of roles the expense of others not being given a chance to have the opportunity to do so. Be inclusive but not authoritarian.
  • Involve others. If someone is quiet or hasn’t had the chance to say anything, invite them to participate. Perhaps saying something like ‘What do you think about this idea Barry?’.
  • Try to keep the group on track. If the group starts to go off on a tangent, try to subtly restate what the purpose of the exercise is in order to redirect the discussion.
  • Don’t dismiss other people’s ideas (not matter how silly they are). Listen to what others have to say and support their participation. If you disagree with an idea or suggestion, highlight why you’re not comfortable with it, but try to extract some positives from it. “I can see why you’d want to take the matches Tim, it’s important to be able to light a fire, but do you think taking water should be a higher priority?”
  • Ask open ended questions. What have we missed? What does everyone think of this?
  • Advocate your position with clear and concise reasoning.
  • Offer to monitor the time limit. If there isn’t a clock in the room, you could put your watch in the middle of the table for everyone to see the time. Keep your eye on the time, and provide updates to the others in the group. For example, “that’s 10 minutes gone so we’re half way through” or “we’ve got five minutes left so shall we think about finalising our decision?”.
  • Be polite and courteous at all times. Even if someone is being very overbearing and annoying, keep your cool and stay respectful.
  • Offer to conclude or summarise what the group has decided near the end of the exercise. For example, “we have one-minute left, shall we just run through our decision to ensure we are all happy and understand what we’ve selected”.
  • Risk shift is a factor to consider. You’re more likely to agree to a riskier decision as a group than an individual as the responsibility and consequences of the decision are spread across the group.

If you found this article helpful, take a look at our ‘How to Pass an Airline Interview‘ page.

Pilot Job Online Application Guide

Pilot Job – Initial Online Application Guide

Tips and guidance on the initial online application phase for a pilot job

A Guide to Filling in an Online Application for a Pilot Job

The vast majority of airlines now use online applications as their primary method of inviting prospective candidates to apply for a role. This often means that a CV or Cover Letter is exchanged for a series of “personal example” or “HR competency” based questions and questionnaires.

These applications are typically manually reviewed by a real person who assesses your motivation, skills and past experience to see if they believe you would be a good initial fit for the position.

Some recruitment software packages may use an automated system to assess your applicaiton. The systems will score points for your application based on what it believes is the quality of your answer including the use of key words and phrases.

As this is typically the first stage of the application process you will be up against hundreds if not thousands of candidates. The online application questions provide an opportunity for you to sell yourself to the airline and make you stand out from the crowd.

Typical Application Questions

Typical questions that might be included in such an online application include:

  • What skills can you bring to this airline?
  • Why do you want to joing airways?
  • Give an example of when you’ve shown good leadership skills
  • Give an example of when you have had to take initiative in a

Example Answer to a Motivational Question

Question: As a commercial pilot with SkyAirways, how could you contribute towards helping the airline become one of the regions preferred airlines? (300 words)

In my experience, there are three key areas that passengers particularly value when travelling with an airline. These are safety, punctuality and customer service. I believe that I can help contribute to all three areas as a pilot with SkyAirways in order to help the airline cement it’s positions as the regions preferred airline.

By setting very high professional standards, demonstrating sound non-technical skills and operating the aircraft inline with the company’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), I can effectively support the Captain, ensuring the aircraft is operated safely and efficiently.

Demonstrating sound planning, time management and leadership skills can help promote punctuality through driving the turnaround in order to ensure an on-time departure where possible. Flight Crew can be proactive in anticipating problems to ensure flights don’t incur any unnecessary delays. These are skills I posses and look forward to utilising on a daily basis to enhance the customer experience.

Passengers particularly value a high standard of customer service. Whilst all staff have a responsibility to ensure this is delivered, pilots can directly contribute towards this. I believe ensuring clear, timely and enthusiastic communication with the passengers is a particularly important asset for the flight crew to demonstrate, especially in times of disruption.

Passengers value being given up-to-date and accurate information about the status of the flight, and if there is a problem, what is being done to resolve it. Face to face interaction with the passengers is also something that can be utilised to demonstrate that the pilots care about the passenger experience, which can be achieved during disembarkation if one of the pilots is available to say goodbye to the passengers. As someone with strong communication skills I look forward to positive interaction with the passengers to enhance their perception of SkyAirways.

Tips for answering online application questions . . .

Most of it is common sense but when answering such questions; keep a few points in mind:

  • Don’t rush. Take your time giving an answer you’re completely happy with. When you’ve written out your answer don’t submit it straight away, have a look at it again the following day which may help to give a fresh prospective or spot any errors.
  • Does the question have a word or character limit? You should typically aim to use the maximum words or characters allowed – tweak your answer to achieve this.
  • Think about the airline you are applying for. What is the airline culture, are they scheduled or charter based operations, is it a large or small carrier? These factors may influence the content of your answer, requiring subtle or significant differences depending on the airline you are applying to.
  • Proof read the answer. Ask yourself, does my answer address the question? Check for grammatical and spelling errors, you need to demonstrate your attention to detail.
  • Ask someone to proof read it. The person doesn’t necessarily need to have an aviation back ground, it’s to get a second opinion on the fluidity, construction and grammar of the answer.

The answer to the question . . .

A question which has been used in the applcation process before is:

“How can you as a First Officer improve customer service?”

This is a fairly straight forward question to tackle, and a number of good points could have been made.

The airline in question is a charter airline and therefore the customers flying with the airline are typically flying for leisure on holiday. The overall flight experience offered to the passengers is therefore of critical importance to the airline. Here are some of the points that could have been made when answering the question:

  • Operating the aircraft with safety at the forefront of all decisions is indirectly the biggest contribution you can make to passenger safety.
  • Positive interaction with the passengers such as informative and friendly PA’s.
  • Keeping passengers informed of any delays or technical issues in a timely manner.
  • Maintain a professional image at all times by acting in a professional manner and maintaining a high uniform standard.
  • Meet and greet passengers embarking or disembarking where time permits.
  • Consider passenger comfort at all times. This can begin at the pre-flight planning stage where flight conditions can be assessed and re-routing considered if areas of turbulence are anticipated.
  • In flight requests for turbulence reports from air traffic control can be made requesting higher or lower cruise altitudes or re-routing as appropriate.
  • Requesting direct routings from air traffic control in order to improve on time performance.
  • Low drag and continuous descent approaches can be conducted to reduce the company’s operating costs and therefore pass lower fares onto passengers.

How to Design a Professional Pilot CV

How to Design a Professional Pilot CV

Guidance on what to include in your airline pilot CV and how to present it…

How to Design a CV for an Airline Pilot

This guide can help you to create a stand-out CV that includes all the vital information a pilot recruiter wants to see, in a clear, concise and industry accepted format. If you follow the steps in this guide, you will be much more likely to be invited for an interview compared to trying to create a CV with no knowledge of how to do it properly. Keep in mind that pilot CVs are unique and a CV used for other ground-based jobs won’t be suitable.

Who wrote this guide? This Pilot CV design guide has been written by a professional pilot who has been part of an airline recruitment team, contributed to the design of pilot selection processes, screened pilot CVs and took part in the assessment and selection of candidates. The author also has a distinction in a Masters Degree in an aviation based subject which covers the pilot selection design process.

The advice on this page is relevant to all levels of applications, whether that be for a Pilot Cadet Program, Low Hour Pilot or an experienced Captain.

Note: Some areas might not be applicable for certain job applications, for example, details on flying experience probably won’t be relevant if you are applying for an airline cadet program.

Why is your CV so important?

You should not underestimate the importance of your CV in the airline application process. Recruiters may only spend a few seconds reviewing your CV before deciding whether it’s worth looking at in more detail or putting it in the ‘no thanks’ pile.

Having a well-constructed CV that includes all the essential information is vital. This may well be the only document they review to consider your pilot job application so you must quickly sell yourself and convince the recruiter that you are the right person for the job.

Your CV can say a lot about you as a person. If your CV is poorly constructed with spelling and grammatical errors it could suggest that you don’t have a good attention to detail or your command of English language is poor. If you leave gaps or give generic dates (rather than specific months & years), it might demonstrate you aren’t well organised or have gaps that are unaccounted for which could create security referencing problems.

Design Overview

Your CV is there to showcase your skills and experience whilst demonstrating that you are a well-suited candidate for the role. You need to do this in a well-structured, clear and concise way. There’s a fine line between overcrowding / cluttering a CV and including a good amount of quality information.

Keep it to a single page wherever possible. You can adjust the size of the text to help you achieve this.

Consider including the airline’s colours (for the airline you are applying to) in the document, for example in the heading bars. This shows attention to detail and that you’ve taken the time to personalise your application specifically to an individual airline. These little additional touches can make a big difference when it comes to first impressions.

Font & Colour

Keep the font and text colours conservative. Don’t use unusual/outlandish fonts or colours that are difficult to see. The contrast ratio between the text and its background should be high enough for the text to be very clear.

Organising your content can be achieved by ensuring each section is given a clear heading. This allows the recruiter to quickly see the context of the section they are reading. Some suggestions as to how to split the sections are included in the content section below.

Many people make the mistake of not using the documents vertical space in an efficient way. There are different ways in which you can ensure the documents horizontal space is utilised in an effective way through columns and reducing the margin sizes.

Keep in mind that if the recruiter can’t find some essential information that they require (for example a 5-year checkable history), most aren’t going to take the time to get in touch with you to find that information out (particularly with low experience levels).

Why would they when the next CV in the pile (and probably hundreds more) might have all the information they need to progress their application to the next stage? That’s why you need to make sure that all the essential details are included, without fail. What might be a minor piece of information to you (like your notice/availability period), could be a make or break item for the airline.

Making your CV Relevant

Consider who you are sending your CV to and try and assess your CV from their perspective. If you are from France and sending your CV to a British or Irish airline, don’t use abbreviations the recruiter won’t understand. Write it so it’s understandable for all nationalities. For example, some countries have compulsory military service. State it was compulsory, not every recruiter will know it was.

Explain your education in an understandable format and give it context. Highlight the equivalent level of education for the country in which the airline you are applying to are based. For example, if it’s the equivalent of high school or secondary education, point this out. Don’t just put down ambiguous grades or marks without context. If you scored 7.5 in English language, state what this 7.5 was out of i.e. 7.5/10.

Consider the Type of Airline…

Consider the type of airline you are applying to. A large low-cost carrier will probably want to see you are focussed on threat and error management and non-technical skills. A legacy carrier may be more focussed on customer service and operational considerations. This might affect what skills you focus on highlighting in the document.

A Single Page

For most applications, and particularly for low hour and inexperienced flight crew your CV should normally consist of a single page. This is the standard industry format. Keep in mind that most recruiters will only get a very short period of time to evaluate your CV and therefore it should be kept clear, concise and to the point. If you’ve gone onto a second page, you’ve probably either included too much information or haven’t been very space efficient with your design.

Only extend it past a single page if you have very good reason such as an extensive career history before flying. For example, an experienced Captain might have reason to do this if you have held a number of positions, but then in this case you could probably leave out all your academic history except for the highest level of qualification you achieved, as you’ve been operating as a pilot for some time.

The longer you’ve been operating, the less important you career prior to flying and your academic qualifications are. However these details are critical if you are a low hour pilot as the airlines need something to differentiate you from all the other low hour applications they receive.

It should never exceed 2 pages. If you’re struggling for space, have a look at our example CV’s to see how you can be space efficient.

How to keep the document to a single page

Some tips to keep the document to a single page if you’re struggling:

  • Reduce the margin sizes. This will allow you to fit more information in on all 4 sides of the document.
  • Pick a space efficient font. Some fonts have bigger spaces between the letters than others. Experiment with some different fonts to see what works for your documents.
  • Consider using a smaller font size, perhaps only for certain areas of the document, but ensure it is still clear enough to read
  • Reduce the space between each line. Both Microsoft Word and Apple Pages will allow you to reduce the standard spacing between lines

Your personal details should be at the top of the CV and easy to locate. If any of these details are invalid, the recruiter might not be able to get hold of you. Pay particular attention to your mobile phone number and email address being correct.

Personal Details Layout

  • Full Name – As stated on your passport.
  • Address – Make sure you include the country and province.
  • Mobile – and home phone number INCLUDING country code. If an international company wants to get hold of you, don’t expect them to work out what the country’s dialling code us. Double and triple check that you have put down the right number.
  • Email Address – As above, double and triple check it’s accurate. Make sure you email address is sensible and professional.

The Less Obvious…

  • Notice / Availability Period – Be specific, don’t say ‘approximately’.
  • Willingness to relocate – State whether this is globally, across the continent or nationally.
  • Able to fund a type rating? If an airline is specifying that you must be able to self-fund a type rating, specifically highlight that you are able to do this.
  • Nationality – This is different to hold a passport as you might hold nationality somewhere but not a passport. If you hold a nationality it would demonstrate eligibility to hold a passport for that country.
  • Passport(s) – List which countries passport(s) you hold.
  • Driving Licence – Full and clean if applicable. Many airlines state in their flight crews’ contracts, that they must hold a full driving licence. You need to make sure you tick all the minimum requirement boxes.
  • Date of Birth – Some people leave their DoB out, especially if they are above 30 and applying for their first flying position. Our recommendation is to always include it as it’s a vital piece of information for the recruiter. It helps contextualise the rest of the CV.
    • If you don’t include it, it could be interpreted as saying that you feel your age may negatively impact your application. Different airlines will have different views on age. There are age discrimination laws in place within Europe, so it shouldn’t really matter but unfortunately the reality seems to sometimes be different.

Flying Experience & Qualifications

The recruiter must verify that you meet the minimum flying qualifications for the role and therefore setting out your flying credentials clearly is essential. There are people out there who apply for flight crew positions who don’t even hold a licence and plenty more who apply for the position without meeting the minimum requirements. It’s therefore important that this section is prioritised towards the top of the document and we would suggest it immediately precedes your personal details.

Other details to include…

  • The licences you hold (for example frozen ATPL – CPL, ME/IR, MCC)
  • Which state your licence was issued by?
  • Your flight crew licence number
  • Total flight hours. Your total flight time should NOT include simulator time – list this separately. Simulator time is less important if you are an established F/O or Captain.
  • Flight hours broken up into time on type (if you’ve done more flying than the minimum required for licence issues and particularly if you’ve been rated on multiple aircraft types), multi-engine time and Pilot in Command (PIC) time.
  • What type ratings you hold and if you aren’t currently in employment, when they will expire.
  • Any other endorsements or courses like a JOC or tail-dragger course.
  • State you hold a Class One Medical certificate, including any restrictions, which state it was issued by and when it expires.
  • Your English Language Proficiency (ELP) level (e.g. ICAO ELP 4).

Education & Academic History

  • If you haven’t got a great deal of work experience or have recently graduated from flight training, we’d recommend including this before your employment history. If you are a currently pilot in employment then we’d suggest placing this section after your career history.
  • List events in reverse chronological order with the months included for all start and finish dates to demonstrate a five-year checkable history. Do not just put the years.

Flight Training History

  • Your flight training should be listed either under this section order under Flying Experience & Qualifications. We would recommend grouping it under Education and Academic history as it’s easier for a recruiter to follow your chronological history. They want to see a consistent 5-year checkable history for security clearance purposes.
  • Your flight training history should detail where you completed your ATPL Theoretical Exams and the fact they were first time passes (leave out if not) and what your average ATPL Theory grade was. You may need to have obtained an 85% average pass mark for some airlines.
  • Your flight training history should include where you completed your hour building, CPL, and Multi Engine Instrument Rating. Also include which aircraft you have operated. If you completed a full-time integrated course all your flight training can be listed under one-time bracket and one flight school.
  • Details of your MCC should include where you completed it, on what type of simulator (B737/A320?), and how many hours it consisted of.

Secondary Education

  • Low Hour Pilots should include all education from Secondary School (College) / Higher Education onwards. For each academic institution attended include when you attended, it’s name, where it’s located and the grades / certificates / qualifications achieved. Detail supplementary information such as notable achievements (such as captain of the rugby team or achievement awards).
  • If you’ve achieved a GCSE level of education and acquired reasonable grades (C and above), it’s probably worth highlighting how many subjects you passed and what the mark was in each subject, particularly Maths, English and Science. Again, with A-Levels, University Degrees, Diplomas etc, include the grades in each subject if they are reasonable. If they are poor grades, it might be best of leave them out.
  • You should check the minimum requirements for the job and ensure that the academic qualification section specifically demonstrates you meet the requirements. For example, if it states you require 5 GCSEs with grades A-C, make sure this is clearly visible.
  • Established pilots should include their highest level of academic achievement, including the details as set out in the two bullet points above.

Work Employment & History

  • Place this section above your education history if you’ve recently graduated from your commercial flight training.
  • Start and finish dates should include months as well as years.
  • State your role and which company you worked for.
  • Where was the role located (City and Country)?
  • What did your role entail? Try and link some of the key skills and attributes required to that of a First Officer (for low hour pilots). Examples include communication, decision making, planning, situational awareness, working under time pressure, prioritising, leadership, team work.
  • If it was a flying job, highlight a bit of information about the type of operation considering the type of operation of the airline you are applying for.
  • State if the role was part time and the fact you were working whilst in education if applicable.
  • If you were working to fund your flight training, state it. It shows a high degree of determination and perseverance.


References can take up unnecessary space in a CV and space is at a premium. At the point of scanning through your CV, a recruiter is not going to contact any references you list. References will usually only be contacted if you are successful and you are provisionally given an offer of employment. It’s at this point the company will check your references. Save the space for something more relevant.

Hobbies & Interest

Recruiters and particularly fellow flight crew want to see that you’re (hopefully) a well-rounded and interesting person and listing your interests and hobbies can be an effective way of achieving this. Examples might include detailing any sports you play or some sort of club membership or association.

The recruiters can sometimes find something here that they find interesting or perhaps having something in common and this can be a good way for them to kick off the interview. For example, they might say ‘David, I see you like to sail, what sort of boat do you sail?’. This can result in a relaxed opening to the interview, setting the tone and putting you at ease.

Needless to say, you shouldn’t make anything up here as you can quickly become unstuck if one of the recruiters shares a similar interest and questions you on it.


You might also include achievements that aren’t appropriate to be listed under your education or employment history. For example, highlight your participation in the Air Cadets or completing the Duke of Edinburgh award.

If you are going to spend most of the day locked in a small compartment with one other person, you probably want to be with someone who has a bit of character and outside interests.

Multilingual skills can be a useful commodity for flight crew. It opens up potential job opportunities across the world which might not otherwise be available. It’s also potentially useful to better engage with passengers if you are flying internationally to some destinations. Include details about the level of language skills you have if applicable, for example, native, fluent, advanced, conversational. If it’s very basic, it’s probably not worth listing.

General Advice & Tips

  • Double check the minimum requirements set out by the airline. Make sure every single one of these minimum requirements is addressed in the CV. For example, if the job advert says you require ICAO ELP 5 or above, make sure this is specifically included this.
  • Think about the type of operation and the ethos of the airline you are applying to. Consider the skills you have developed in your previous career and tie this into the airline’s operation to which you are applying.
  • If you’ve got large gaps (more than a couple of months) in your CV within the last 5 years, you need to justify it. If a recruiter sees a significant gap which is unaccounted for, it leaves many question marks as to what you were doing, your work ethos and ability to attain a 5-year reference. If you travelled for 6 months, include this in your career or education history. If you were looking for employment, state this in the document. If your CV has any gaps, pre-empt how the recruiter will interpret these and what questions they might have. You can then include answers to these points in your document.
  • Ask a friend, colleague or family member to double check it for you to highlight any spelling or grammatical errors.
  • Double and triple check all contact information.

A Photo or Not?

It depends which airline you are applying to. Generally speaking, we wouldn’t suggest excluding it for applications to Western European airlines, but include it for everywhere else like Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the US.

Some Western European airlines aren’t always keen on you including them because your appearance isn’t important and there are possible discrimination law implications if the applicant isn’t selected for the role.

Sending the Document

  • Your CV should be saved with a sensible and concise name such as ‘John Tods Curriculum Vitae’ (not something like ‘JT CV 2’). This signifies attention to detail, professionalism and makes it easier for the recruiter to search for it if required.
  • Send or upload your CV in PDF format. Sending it in Microsoft Word or Apples Page’s may result in formatting issues depending on what software is used to open the document. For example, the fonts may look different or boxes could overlap, turning a well-structured document to a misaligned mess. The PDF file type standardises the format, ensuring it is viewed in the same consistent way regardless of operating system or software.
  • You can save the document as a PDF file using both the latest versions of Microsoft Word and Apple Pages. Always check the PDF has formatted correctly once it’s been converted. Ensure that the images have been converted to a reasonable level of quality.

Cover Letter

  • If you’re emailing your CV it should be accompanied with an airline specific Cover Letter, more details of which can be found in our Covering Letter section. We would suggest including the Cover Letter in the body of the email as well as attaching it in a PDF format.
  • Include a sensible subject line in the email such as ‘Blue Air First Officer Application’. This avoids it being filtered as spam and can be quickly directed to the right person or recruitment department.

Want to use our Professional CV design service? Our team have experience in designing selection processes, screening CVs and selecting candidates for airlines. Visit our Professional CV Tailoring page or email us to see how we can help support your airline application.


Check out our example CV that has been designed specifically for the role of an airline pilot. You can see that we’ve matched the colour scheme to the airline and that everything is presented in a clear and concise way.

For more free design examples, check out our page dedicate to example Pilot CVs.


Free Pilot CV Template