Real Answers from Real Pilots

Guidance Needed

This is an email from the local flight instructor. There’s a new program at my local community college to receive a 2 year degree and flight hours and everything certification except ATP. Of course we all know we need that and also a 4 year degree for a major airline. So my question is should I roll with this option or ATP? I can still transfer to a bachloars program later and get my 4 year degree, but the ATP rating is still needed, so would it just be better to get all my certifications at ATP flight school or get what I need from my community college and then transfer over to only get my last rating?

I was also wondering if I should get my associates degree then go to atp and get all my ratings and certificates then finally do 2 years in a 4 year university to finish get my bachelor degree then gain my flight hours. Or should I just get my bachelor degree first and then go flight school?

For both of you,

I strongly recommend getting a four year degree, then going to ATP to get your ratings. I know that everybody wants to get into the sky as soon as possible, but we have found time after time that the best path to the airlines is degree first, then flight training. Transferring credits is not always as easy as it sounds and sometimes people have a hard time restarting school. Not to mention that there is a maturity that comes with a few more years of age and education that we find benefits people in flight school.

Chris

Dakota,

You’re slightly confused. You can’t get your ATP LICENSE (It’s not a rating) until you have the required time and then the airline that hires you will get that as part of your training.

Now here’s my problem with aviation degree programs. First you’re putting all your eggs in the aviation basket. If for some reason things don’t work out (you lose interest, medical out, have an accident or incident, etc) then what will you do with that degree? You can be an airline pilot with a degree in accounting but you can’t be an accountant with an aviation degree. Second how are you going to build time? Will the college hire you? Do they hire all their students? I’m thinking that’s not possible? Where you going to build the required multi engine time? You going to rent a twin for $300hr and fly 50hrs? Just some things to think about.

Adam

Wow. Never thought of it that way…so the best thing to do is get a four year degree ( in something that you can fall back on in case of problems) and then go flight school? Sounds good?

Taj,

IMHO yes.

Adam

Kk