General & Commercial Aviation

Missions 101-301

The largest segment (>80%) of aviation in the United States is General Aviation (GA).  It includes everything (non-military) except the scheduled passenger and cargo airlines.  Gliders, powered parachutes, small planes, home-built aircraft, helicopters, balloons, and business jets are just a few types of GA categories. The number of career pursuits available in General Aviation is astounding – almost endless.  A good overview of GA and a few of the potential careers is available at Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) web site. There are multiple other resources about GA available on the web and we encourage you to do your own research for those areas that interest you.

Commercial aviation is the part of civil aviation (both general aviation and scheduled airline services) that involves operating aircraft for hire to transport passengers or multiple loads of cargo.  American, United, Delta, FedEx, UPS, and Southwest Airlines are just a few examples of Commercial Aviation companies.  Due to an aging pilot population (retirements) and greater demand for passenger and cargo flying – Commercial Aviation is experiencing a record demand for new pilots. Some of these companies have implemented innovative training and job programs to attract new pilots.  Information on Commercial Aviation careers is available at Air Lines Pilot Association (ALPA).

This is only one of many resources available for researching a professional pilot career and we encourage you to visit others. 

If you have an interest in becoming a pilot and want to get that first experience in the science of flying – STEM Flights is right for you.  You’ll begin with a custom on-line pre-flight experience, then meet your Pilot mentor for additional instruction, and finally accomplish a customized flying mission.  


Like all STEM Flight experiences, you must first be recommended by a school counsler (or teacher) and/or your parents (or legal guardian).  Have them note your interest is becoming a General Aviation or Commercial Pilot.  Click here for the student application.


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