Help: Civilian Pilot Training
In order to gain a civilian pilot's licence an individual must go through a specific and relatively expensive process. Like getting a private pilot's licence in aviation today, it is a course where you must prove understanding and skill and rack up time and experience to prove ability, rather than a university-style curriculum where you take an exam to pass or fail.
While not expensive enough to be exclusive to only the rich, it does cost a lot of money, though it is not necessarily paid in one lump sum. As such if you specify being poor, your character will need to easily be able to explain how they afforded the training as there is no such thing as a pilot training scholarship.
The most expensive training would be found on the alliance homeworlds (Old Earth, New Earth and Chetumal) while smaller colonies would most likely charge less for the training. Companies, training facilities or other locations would charge more the closer to the primary spaceport of a world they were, while the farther from the spaceport they are the cheaper they would tend to be. Even the cheapest training would still be a not insignificant amount, however.
Training would be split into two areas, Knowledge and Skills.
Knowledge training is what you would expect, giving the cadets the relevant information on how to request launch or landing clearance, how to read the various consoles and what they should be seeing, etc.
Skill training is how to actually use the consoles, how to dock at a space station or land on a planetary spaceport and how to fly the ship, make basic repairs or operate the weapons systems.
Most training will start with basic knowledge alongside simulated flights in a flitter, moving to actual flights with an instructor with dual-control scout class-ships within the atmosphere.
Once the cadet has proven they can actually fly, they will fly with an instructor into space with flitters, scouts and a larger ship, eventually being able to fly solo. A cadet must have a set amount of flight hours both solo and with an instructor as well as being part of a crew in a larger ship before they can gain their licence.
Instructors are not civilian pilots, they cannot own a starship and are not separated from the rest of society. While they can fly a starship, they are strictly limited in how they can do this, only flying as part of a training course. A retired civilian pilot may become an instructor, as may naval pilots, but this is rare. Most instructors are people who are trained specifically for the purpose of teaching civilian pilots how to fly.
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