Real Answers from Real Pilots

Financial/Airforce

Im 17 and I am currently looking into a career as a pilot. I’ve seen that getting a pilot licence and overall process is expensive. I was wondering where I should start. Would joining the Airforce be a good option as they might take care of the cost?

1 Like

Steven,

Flying is indeed expensive. The AirForce can be a great option but it’s a HUGE life commitment and entails much more than just flying airplanes. Regardless, whether you fly in the military or train on you’re own you will need a college degree so I recommend you continue your education, talk to a recruiter and get as much information as you can.

Adam

Steven,

Joining the Airforce because you want to serve your country is a good idea.
Joining the Airforce for free flight training is a bad idea.

I know at your age $80k is a lot of money. But not all debt is bad debt.
Investing in your career will pay for itself in more ways than one.

Tory

Don’t forget if you’re doing any flying for the Air Force you need a 4 year degree first anyways. However, their flight training is top notch and I’ve flown with a LOT of people who build hours and walk straight over to major airlines. Keep in mind we’re talking about a ~10 year timeline here with your college degree, mandatory service time as a pilot, etc. It’s a great route but who knows what the industry will be like in 10 years and to reiterate Tory, the Air Force is amazing for many reasons but make sure you join it for the right ones.

If you want to be a pilot, go to flight school. If you want to serve your country, join the Air Force. I was in your shoes and I chose to join the Air Force. I don’t regret my decision for one second but it did nothing to help me become a pilot. It did give me the opportunity to receive a free education that I failed to take advantage of. Joining for any other reason than to serve your country will likely lead to a road of regret. I served with many people that did it for other reasons and lots of them hated it and some even got discharged. It is what you make of it but if being a pilot is what you want to do then go for it. Your so young, bust out the degree and go on to flight school and you’ll be way ahead of the game.