I always wanted to fly, but sadly, never went down that path. I am thinking that now at my age, it is time to do it or it will be too late forever. Nay to that I say… so I’m excited!
However, at the same time, I’m anxious about it. Is it worth it? It certainly seems like it would be, but man, the more I read about it, the more I am uncertain as to whether or not it might be too late for me. So even though I think it’s not too late, I don’t want to be naive and end up wasting money I don’t have…or waste time that I could have focused elsewhere… so I must weigh this decision carefully. I turn to you for advice, oh captains my captains.
I’m about to turn 35. I have only a few college credits and no degree. I have been at the same job for 10 years at a M-F 9-5 full-time job. I am unmarried but live with my girlfriend of 7 years and her two teenagers, so basically I have a family.
Commercial airline pilot vs. corporate jet pilot… Most of what I have looked up appears more directed for a major airline pilot career. What is the different level of training programs and requirements between the two when looking for a career? How are the job outlooks between the two in the coming years? I like the idea of flying private jets but I also hear that it’s more of an aviation field that requires you to have great connections in order to get a job… is this true?
The military is out of the question now… so does that leave me with full-time flight schools like ATP vs. independent flight training, such as Fly Carolina in Concord? Are there other options?
I am aware that schools like ATP put you on a fast track, but even if it takes a little longer, would the instruction received elsewhere look just as good on an application? Is the price about the same? This may be the toughest decision I make as I would have to quit my job to make the time for it, I guess, or if I chose the pay as you go method, It would take longer as I’d only have weekends available. I am hoping that someone could tell me what would be better at my age, or if there is even another option that would make more sense for me. Knowing what you know now, what would be smarter at my age?
Will I need to re-learn math before schooling or is it not necessary… as in will the math I need be taught to me?
If I chose to pursue being an airline pilot, I’m aware that I’ll likely need a four year degree. Is this to be a PIC or can I do this while working as a co-pilot? Should I just get loans for both flight instruction AND college all right now? Are degrees required for other aviation fields, such as the aforementioned corporate pilot (I assume it depends)?
In conclusion, I need to make a decision and don’t want to make the wrong one. I would love to hear the advice of experienced pilots, especially those that came into later in their lives compared to most. What would you do if you were me?