Can you train to become a pilot in Denmark?
Yes! For many years, it has been a common misconception that you could only train to become a commercial pilot in the US/abroad or in the Danish Defence. This is definitely not correct! The commercial pilot education is an approved education in Denmark.
Basically, there are two types of pilot educations in Europe: a modular education and an integrated education. Both educations are offered by approved ATOs (ATO=Approved Training Organization). In Denmark, the approval is issued by the Danish Transport, Building and Housing Authority on behalf of EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) which is the highest authority on aviation in Europe. There are ATOs at different levels; the most basic schools are called DTOs (Declared Training Organizations). These schools are only allowed to offer the first courses of the modular education. ATOs are allowed to offer the entire modular education, and Complex ATOs are allowed to offer everything, including the integrated education.
The modular education consists of many different courses, often offered by different schools. In Denmark, the modular education is not approved for the State Educational Grant and Loan Scheme (SU). As mentioned above, only Complex ATOs are allowed to offer the integrated education, and in Denmark, this education is approved for State Educational Grant and Loan Scheme (SU).
A number of schools offer the integrated education, so pay attention to what the education contains at each school when choosing where to complete your pilot education. Naturally, all approved schools live up to the minimum requirements, but the quality of the education varies greatly between the different schools. Pay particular attention to the number of hours you will train in a multi-engine airplane. The experience that comes with flying a multi-engine airplane is crucial for your level of education and the key to success during your exam, so it is of the utmost importance that you fly more than the minimum required number of hours. In addition, please pay attention to the simulators used by the school; are they identical to their actual aircraft fleet, or will your virtual training be completely different from your physical training by virtue of the aircraft used? Finally, pay attention to the last part of the education which is an MCC course. During this course, you learn to cooperate in a cockpit, and you acquire the right to work as the captain of an airliner. MMC courses come in different categories: The basic courses that meet the minimum requirements are called MCC courses. The significantly more advanced course is named APS MCC. An MCC course takes 15 hours to complete when it is part of the integrated education; an APS MCC course takes 40 hours. At GreyBird Pilot Academy, we have two types of training airplanes: one-engine and two-engine airplanes. The school has a total of 12 airplanes. For procedure training, GreyBird uses a type of airplane that is identical to the school’s two-engine airplane. GreyBird’s integrated education is concluded with an APS MCC course. You can learn much more about the commercial pilot education on this website.
Does GreyBird require a down payment or installments?
No. We are committed to ensuring that our students get the best education possible as well as the best conditions. A pilot education requires a considerable financial investment, and we strive to provide the students with a clear overview of the amount of money they need to invest.
At GreyBird Pilot Academy, students are invoiced in arrears. That is, our students pay for a service after they have received it. The only exception from this rule is a start-up fee that covers the costs for the iPad, a uniform, various system licenses, etc.
What are the admission requirements?
You must have graduated from what corresponds to the 9th-grade final exam of the Danish municipal primary and lower secondary school, but many of our students have a high-school diploma or similar educational qualifications when they enroll at GreyBird Pilot Academy. Your English skills must be reasonably good. All our education material is in English, and all exams are in English. We speak English in the airplanes, and the international classes are taught in English. Math and physics skills are important too. In addition to the educational requirements, you must acquire a Class 1 Medical from an aeromedical center when you start the education. At GreyBird, we cooperate with a number of centers, and we can help you get in touch with them.
Furthermore, you must pass an entrance exam in order to be admitted into our pilot education program. The exam consists of the following elements:
- A math test
- A logic test
- A profile test
- A personal interview
When you sign up for the entrance exam on our website, we will send you examples of the questions in the test. After the test, we will send you the result. Whether you will get accepted or not is based on an overall evaluation, and we will especially consider your performance during the personal interview.
Is it possible to get a test flight before I start the education?
Yes. At GreyBird, we believe that it is important for students to try out one of our airplanes for themselves so that they know for sure whether they want to pursue a career as a pilot, so we offer future students a test flight. The price for the test flight is 200 EUR which will be deducted from the price for the education if you decide to enroll at GreyBird Pilot Academy afterwards.
Does GreyBird use their own instructors?
Yes. Most of the instructors at GreyBird Pilot Academy are permanently employed and spend all of their working time training pilot students. In addition, we use a number of external freelance instructors who fly for airlines, but visit us to train our student pilots in simulators, airplanes, or in the classroom. At GreyBird, we believe that it is crucial for the quality of the education that the permanently employed instructors perform most of the training. This ensures consistent and standardized training, and you get a stronger relation to your instructors. At the same time, the freelancers give the students valuable input. After almost ten years of experience, we have found the perfect balance between permanently employed and freelance instructors, and we are confident that the quality of our education matches that of the very best institutions in Europe.
How can I prepare for my medical check?
It is not possible to prepare for a medical check. Just make an appointment at an aeromedical center.
Before you start your education at GreyBird Pilot Academy, you need to get a Class 1 Medical. The medical check takes approximately four hours to complete. During the course of the examination, you will be subjected to various tests: an eye test, a hearing test, a breathing test, etc. In addition, you must submit a urine sample and a blood sample. Make sure that you are well-rested before the medical check. However, keep in mind that you don’t have to be able to run a marathon to get a Class 1 Medical.
The price for a Class 1 Medical is approx. 950 – 1,350 EUR and is payable to the medical center in question.
Please feel free to contact GreyBird Pilot Academy if you need help finding a medical center.
How many people choose to obtain a type rating?
This used to vary a lot. These days, no students buy type ratings when they have completed their pilot education. Most of them get the type rating from the airline in which they get a job. In return, they will be committed to that airline for a period of two years, typically.
Previously, GreyBird offered type ratings for both Boeing, Airbus, ATR and CRJ, but we no longer do this, because thankfully, the airlines do not require pilot students to invest in the type rating training themselves. If this ever changes, GreyBird can easily reinstate this training, but for the present, it is not necessary.
Can foreign citizens get a Danish grant and loan scheme when studying in Denmark?
The integrated pilot education is approved for the Danish grant and loan schemes (The Danish State Educational Grant and Loan Scheme (SU)). If you are an EU citizen, you can, as a rule, get the grant and loan scheme when you study in Denmark. You can read about the conditions for it here
. Please feel free to contact us at GreyBird if you have any questions.
Are the landing fees included in the total price?
Yes. As a student, you will not pay for landing at the airports to which we send you. GreyBird Pilot Academy has agreements with almost all Danish airports and pays the landing fees directly to them. In case you are going to land in an airport with which we do not have an agreement – an airport outside of Denmark, for instance – you may have to pay a landing fee, but once the fee has been paid, you can hand over the receipt to the accountant at GreyBird and get a refund. Only in special cases, if student pilots wish to land at an airport with very expensive landing fees, the student pilots have to pay the landing fee themselves. Please note that this is only relevant if you, as a student, choose such an airport yourself. One such airport is Copenhagen Airport in Denmark.
For how long is my Class 1 Medical valid?
A Class 1 Medical has to be renewed every 12 months. Renewal can take place as of the ninth month, enabling you to renew the validity of the medical with up to 12 months from its date of expiry. If you renew your medical before the ninth month, you will renew the validity of your medical with 12 months as of the renewal date. The renewal should be performed by an aeromedical examiner. You can find a list of Danish aeromedical examiners here
. Please note that aeromedical examiners cannot issue the initial medical certificate; they can only renew it. To get a Class 1 Medical, you have to go to an aeromedical center. Please feel free to contact GreyBird Pilot Academy for information about the location of aeromedical centers and where you can get an appointment at short notice.
Please note that the price for a renewal is not the same as for the initial medical check. The price for a renewal is approx. 200 EUR. When you are in employment, your employer usually pays for the renewal.
What happens if I fail a theoretical or practical exam?
Even the best student can fail a test or an exam on a bad day or due to bad luck. Should you fail a theoretical or practical exam, you will, of course, get another try. If you fail an exam, extra training may be required. This depends on how you failed and your history. There is a limit to how many exams you are allowed to fail, but it is extremely uncommon that students get close to this limit. GreyBird Pilot Academy will guide you carefully in how to navigate the deadlines and exam limits.
Am I guaranteed a job after graduation?
No educational institution can guarantee that you will get a job after graduation. If an educational institution promises you that you will get a job, you should make sure to get this in writing with an appertaining legally binding signature. At GreyBird Pilot Academy, we keep our promises, and for that reason we do not promise more than we can keep. Consequently, we cannot guarantee that you will get a job after graduating as a commercial pilot.
The primary motivation for getting a job after graduation should be found within yourself. In other words, job security depends on your performance during your education. At GreyBird Pilot Academy, we work hard from the very first day at school to ensure that our students network with instructors, school management and others who visit the school regularly. It is evident that the students who are well-prepared for classes and do not slack off in the back of the classroom have a better chance of getting a job after graduation.
The aviation industry is relatively small, and airlines pay great attention to the attitudes of the young pilots. It is not difficult to find a pilot who can fly an airplane. It is a much greater challenge to find a pilot who comes to work well-prepared, is on time, is friendly towards the customers of the airlines and who can make good decisions.
Throughout the entire education, we put a lot of work towards influencing our students accordingly. Students will discover that they not only have to learn how to fly, they must also learn to take responsibility and to have a good attitude. We do this with the sole purpose of improving our students’ chances of getting a job as soon as possible after graduation. They may not be guaranteed employment, but they wouldn’t be guaranteed employment after graduating from university after five years either.
How many students start up in a class, and when do you start new classes?
There are typically 10-20 students in our new classes – young people of all genders. We start new classes in January, May and August.
Is it free to become a fighter pilot?
That depends on how you look at it. In Denmark, it does not cost a lot of money to become a fighter pilot, but it requires a very long commitment to the Danish Defence. Breaking that commitment comes at a hefty price; it might even cost millions. When you have completed your military service, you have no civil rights, which means that you cannot fly a civilian airplane. To obtain this right, you have to take a civilian certificate. If you want to work as an airline pilot, you need a commercial certificate which is what you get if you complete the integrated education offered by GreyBird Pilot Academy.
What is a Class 1 Medical?
The Class 1 Medical is a medically approved health certificate. A Class 1 Medical is the highest aeromedical classification and the certificate you need if you are going to fly with passengers. There are no height or weight requirements, and there are no physical fitness or strength requirements either. To get a Class 1 Medical, your eyesight needs to be at a normal level, but if you wear glasses or contact lenses, it doesn’t mean you will not be able to get a Class 1 Medical. Generally, you have to be of good health. Illnesses that prevent you from getting a Class 1 Medical include, but are not limited to, diabetes and epilepsy. In addition, neurodevelopmental disorder can prevent you from getting a Class 1 Medical. Furthermore, you will not be qualified for a class 1 medical if you have certain vision impairments, e.g., double vision or colorblindness.
What does it mean to be an EASA-certified or FAA-certified pilot?
An EASA Certificate is a European certificate. It is the highest ranked certificate in the world and the certificate we issue at GreyBird Pilot Academy. An FAA Certificate is an American certificate. It is somewhat easier to get. For the same reason, the American certificate does not provide qualifications at European educations. All exams and all teaching and training must be completed if you want to convert an FAA Certificate to an EASA Certificate. In comparison, you merely need to pass a flying test to convert an EASA Certificate into an FAA Certificate.
Which level of English do I need to enroll in the international class at GreyBird?
In aviation, English is the primary language. You do not need to speak or write English flawlessly or speak it without an accent, but it is important that you can read English at a reasonably high level and that you understand spoken English at a level that allows you to understand our English-speaking teachers. All exams are in English, and we speak English in the airplanes. For more information about the English requirements from ICAO, please refer to https://language.aero/en/english-exam-rating/icao-level-5
Would you advise me to take a high-school diploma, and which competences are relevant for me to make my pilot dreams come true?
High school is never a bad idea if you feel comfortable in the high-school atmosphere. A high-school education increases your academic level compared to the municipal primary and lower secondary school. If you think that it would be to your advantage to improve your academic level, and if you enjoy school and studying, choosing high school is a very good idea. You do not need a high-school diploma to become a pilot, but some airlines require it. Important academic competences related to becoming a pilot include English, math and physics skills.
Would it be feasible for me to have a student job while studying to become a pilot?
Very few pilot students have the energy for a student job while studying to become a pilot. The pilot education is very expensive, and it is unwise to divert your attention away from your studies to earn a little extra money if it influences your education negatively in any way. That said, there are periods of time during the education when you do not have to study a lot of theory, but the education does require that you are available at all times during the week and during the day, and your flight schedule can be changed with only a few days’ notice. If you were to get a student job, it would have to be unusually flexible. Your pilot education must remain your first priority at all times.
What is the required visual acuity to become a pilot? Can I still become a pilot if I wear glasses?
Wearing glasses is not a problem if you want to become a pilot, although the power of your glasses has to be between -5 and +5 diopters. However, if you have problems with your vision, laser eye surgery can sometimes be the solution that can make your pilot dreams come true. Typically, astigmatism or double vision are more likely to cause problems. Only an aeromedical examiner can help you find out if your vision is good enough.
As a pilot, do you need particularly good math skills?
You will not be able to become a good pilot if you aren’t at least decent at math. That being said, you don’t need to be an expert. Numeracy is important. If you already have a rough idea of what the solution to a math problem will be when you start solving it, you are fine.
Do you need to have a high-school diploma to start the pilot education?
High school is never a bad idea if you feel comfortable in the high-school atmosphere. A high-school education increases your academic level compared to the municipal primary and lower secondary school. If you think that it would be to your advantage to improve your academic level and if you like to go to school, choosing high school is a very good idea. You do not need a high-school diploma to become a pilot, but some airlines require it. Important academic competences related to becoming a pilot are English, math and physics skills.
Is it possible to become a pilot if you are colorblind?
The short answer is no. The long answer is that there are certain types of colorblindness that do not prevent you from becoming a pilot. Thus, it is important that you get an evaluation from an aeromedical examiner in order to establish whether or not your color vision is sufficient.
What is the maximum weight for a pilot student?
There are no height or weight limits for pilot students. That said, you have to be able to sit in the airplane in which you have to train. On the other hand, circulation problems associated with obesity can prevent you from getting a Class 1 Medical.
Why is the pilot education self-financed?
The fact that the pilot education is self-financed is a political decision. The same goes for pilot educations in the rest of the world. The pilot education is one of the few self-financed educations in Denmark.
How much money does a pilot make?
Pilot salaries vary a lot, but the same can be said about many other types of jobs. Generally speaking; the more responsibility is tied to your position, the more time-consuming your job is, and the more high-end the airline is, the higher the salary will be. Typically, a captain makes two to three times more than the first officer, and a first officer usually makes 3,400 EUR per month.
What is the price for renting an airplane?
It depends on the airplane type. The less expensive airplane types can be rented at a price of approx. 150 EUR per hour, including fuel. There is no upper limit, but the price for larger 4-6-person airplanes with a propeller and a piston engine is typically between 340 – 470 EUR per hour. If you want to rent a multi-engine airplane, the price is typically doubled. At GreyBird, you can rent a new Tecnam P2002JF at a price of 190 EUR per hour.
What are airplane flaps?
Flaps are large plates placed on the back of the wing towards the airplane fuselage. Flaps provide the airplane with increased lift and greater resistance, and as a result, you can fly at lower speeds. Thus, flaps are used during take-off and landing.