Becoming a pilot

mrdion

Member
Jan 24, 2003
17
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I am interested in becoming a commercial airline pilot, and have started to take classes at a college and I am almost to my private license. However it is very costly and I dont know if I am going about it the wrong way. I already have a bachelors degree from a 4yr university so financial aid is $0
Any ideas would be appreciated.. Thank you
David
 

ONTHESTREET

Advanced
Aug 20, 2002
198
0
[blockquote]
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On 1/24/2003 9:04:23 PM mrdion wrote:

I am interested in becoming a commercial airline pilot, and have started to take classes at a college and I am almost to my private license. However it is very costly and I dont know if I am going about it the wrong way. I already have a bachelors degree from a 4yr university so financial aid is $0

Any ideas would be appreciated.. Thank you

David
----------------
[/blockquote]

There are several institutions that loan money for flight training. Pilot Finance is one. Their rates are not the best but better than using credit cards.

Since you alrerady have a degree you can probably expect to spend 40,000 to 50,000 to obtain all your certificates and ratings. Flight instructor is a must have. There is no way to skip this step in todays market, Too many high time pilots out there right now.

If you are serious about becoming an airline pilot with a Major Carrier you must be prepared for about a 10 year road to that goal. Be prepared for close to poverty wages for at least five of those ten years. As a flight instructor you can expect $12000 to $15000 a year (a little more with a university job), Next step is commonly freight pilot or similar, Pay at a decent part 135 charter outfit will be in the range of $15000 to $22000 a year.

Once you have gained experience with these you should be able to catch a commuter job. However first year right seat pay in a regional will probably be a pay cut from freight flying. Depending on how the market is by then you could expect Captain upgrade in 3 or 4 years. (As little as 1 year if the majors are hiring in large numbers) Regionals tend to top out at about $60,000 after 12 years.

If you have made it this far, congrats....you now have the time for a major. First year pay at the majors range from about $25,000 to $36,000.

It takes a huge commitment to make it all the way. There were times that I questioned if it was worth it, but my love of flying kept me motivated.

If you are in it for the money, don't bother. I have never met a pilot that only does it for the money....those types never last long enough in the business to see any real money.

You must have an understanding family for the airline pilot profession. Count on being 6 states away from your family for all holidays, birthdays and such.

I am currently furloughed from a major, and am currently flying corporate, but I would not trade it for anything. It is nothing like the movies or what you read in the newspaper. If you fly for a living you WILL have emergencies and scare the C&^%p out of your self from time to time, but that becomes part of the job. About the only time a passenger will say anything nice to you is after you landed them safely following an engine fire or other problem. The rest of the time they think you are an overpaid bus driver (remember the movies?) but it is worth it.

Plus its the best office view anywhere around!!!

I instructed at an Aviation University many years ago and have several of the people that I trained flying at Majors now. I would say that about 1/2 of the really serious pilots make it to the "Big Show" If you really want to do it you MUST have the mindset that you are going to be the best, and never lose the drive.

Good luck to you, Hopefully I will have you as a right seater sometime!!! (If I ever get recalled!!!!!)
 

flaptrack

Advanced
Aug 20, 2002
141
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www.usaviation.com
David, have you considered having Uncle Sam foot the bill?


Prerequisites for Naval Officers:

BA/BS from an accredited university
19-34 years old
Pass a physical exam and be in good shape
Attend Officer Candidate School


Signing bonuses for college credits and degrees
Advanced training with full pay and allowances
Use of Officers' Clubs around the world
Career and promotion opportunities
30 days paid vacation per year
Benefits to help Secure your Future
Opportunities to Experience the World
Money to Continue your Education or Pay Off Student Loans
Incentives to earn Advanced Degrees

Go to www.navy.com

Good Luck!
 

tiger7612

Newbie
Mar 22, 2003
2
0
I am a CFI,I and have recently gone through what you are going through right now. Most colleges offer good programs but in my opinion it''s not as cost effective as some other programs. The best way to do this is get it done as quickly as possible. Invest all the time money and effort you can in about a 6 month period and get it done. Its kinda like taking off a bandaid, its a hell of alot less painful just ripping it off in one quick motion. If you do your training over a 2 year period which is how most colleges do it you wasting time and money. When I did this i needed to get done so I could get a job as quickly as possible. Compare your estimated cost for the program you are at now to some other programs then look at the time expectancy to complete the program. You also want to make sure you are employable after you finish so make sure your get your instructor certificates.

I work at a flight school called US Flight Academy just outside of Dallas. We do offer a professional pilot program that can be completed in a matter of a few months, based on your dedication. We also fly all new equipment all of our airplanes have IFR GPS''s in them Garmin 430''s. Check out our website www.usflightacademy.com

GOOD LUCK !!!!!!!!!
 

Tanker

Advanced
Aug 20, 2002
112
0
There is a school in Nashua, NH called Key Flite. They have a commercial pilot program & they do offer financial aid. They are strictly a flight school & not part of Daniel Webster College.
 

cirrus

Member
Jan 27, 2004
31
0
Visit site
Also, check out this site - http://www.allatps.com

I am acquainted with two of their students and they were pleased with their training four years ago. They are currently with regionals flying CJR/ERJ. The comments about the low starting pay are accurate. They were pleased with training mostly in twins and getting a lot of X-country (Texas to California). They trained at the Arlington TX site. Good luck (that's where opportunity meets preparation)
 

Captain Ed

Member
Oct 11, 2003
98
0
Brick NJ
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Depending on your age, health, etc.., you may qualify for an Air Force or Navy Commission which COULD lead you to free training, with pay.

Have you ever considered this?

I think most of the majors see ex-military jocks as the most desireable new hires.
 

Captain Ed

Member
Oct 11, 2003
98
0
Brick NJ
Visit site
http://tinyurl.com/266v2

I spent 3 years instructing in the T-34, and never considered it a WARBIRD,
but it's a nice shot.

Ed Toner

Back to the subject, I would suggest the USNA or USAFA, or a sleeper, my Alma Mater, USMMA.
http://www.usmma.edu/

I graduated in 1953 (shot my way out, actually), accepted a USNR ENS. Commission, optional BTW, and got orders to Pensacola, and got my training with pay, the whole time.

There is no better way to begin an airline career that I know of, IF you qualify, and complete the course. 50% make it.

The Academy's pay a small salary.
 

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