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How to become a professional pilot

Find out what being a commercial pilot is like, and get the essential knowledge you’ll need before beginning a professional training programme with the Padpilot Foundation Course for aspiring pilots. 

Book 1: You, Yourself and Aviation

Are you thinking about a becoming an airline pilot, or perhaps a military pilot? Book 1 of the Foundation series gives you an overview of the aviation industry, the flying careers on offer, and an explanation of the different training courses and costs.

Covering a range of topics from the history of aviation to a typical ‘day in the life’ of a pilot, Book 1 gives aspiring aviators inspiration and information about the career options available and the skills, personality traits and training required to achieve them.

You, Yourself and Aviation is available from the Apple Books store


Book 2: STEM-A

To become a pilot you won’t need extensive science qualifications, but you will need a solid understanding of basic science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) in preparation for your professional training.

Book 2 of the Foundation series gives you a thorough grounding in the STEM subject knowledge you’ll need for the beginning of commercial training. With interactive content and quizzes to test yourself, the STEM knowledge in this book will underpin all your future aviation studies and will help you understand the more complex concepts in the commercial ATPL theory course.

Download STEM-A from the Apple Books store.


Book 3: Basic Aviation Theory

If you want to be completely prepared for ATPL ground school, Book 3 will give you an invaluable pre-course introduction that you can study at your own pace. It builds on the knowledge in the STEM-A book and introduces you to the main concepts from the ATPL syllabus to to give you a head start on the ground school phase of commercial pilot training courses.

Basic Aviation Theory is available from the Apple Books store

Introducing Padpilot Foundation Books

  • Foundation knowledge for aspiring pilots   
  • Suitable from 14+
  • Careers advice in Book 1
  • Aviation STEM knowledge in Book 2
  • ATPL theory preparation in Book 3
  • No previous knowledge required
  • Easy to read text 
  • Hundreds of images, animations and videos
  • Study aids included
  • Interactive quizzes in STEM-A 
  • Download just one or all 3
  • Download direct or through some partner schools


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Foundation Studies for ATOs

We created the Foundation Course to help aspiring pilots find out more about aviation careers and to help them acquire essential pre-course knowledge.

Some ATOs are now offering short, pre-ATPL Foundation courses as a stepping stone into modular or integrated pilot training courses. Instructors tell us that students benefit greatly from a having a solid foundation of background knowledge already in place before ATPL theory studies. And, as a result of pre-course studies, find the pace and rigour of ATPL ground school more manageable.

Being able to introduce some of the basic concepts of ATPL theory earlier, at a slower pace, and then revisiting it fully during ground school can yield significantly better understanding and memory retention – and consequently, improved exam results.

Talk to our friendly team about a Foundation Course for your school.


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Books in the Foundation Course