Real Answers from Real Pilots

Is starting at a minimally experienced level a deal breaker?

(Krupa Patel) #1

Hi, I’m an 18 year old female and am going to be attending an aviation college. I’ve got my student pilot license and my medical certification required by my college and I’ve taken an intro flight which I absolutely loved. My only concern is not being as experienced as others. My mom works at an airline but her job doesn’t have much to do with piloting. I have flown a lot as a passenger but that’s not the same in my eyes at least. I know in some careers you start at rock bottom but I question if I’m going to be the runt in the group or know way less than the others around me. Is taking the aviation college route going to help me learn more and more or is it going to leave me behind in the dust? I’m a hard worker and work for everything I want but being uneducated in a new field for me is my biggest fear. If anyone has words of advice, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.



You’re 18. I’m not sure that kind of experience you think you should have but you need to moot me so hard on yourself. Trust me, there may be a hand full of students with their Private licenses but I doubt any more than this. I’m a Capt at a Major airline and I didn’t start till I was more than twice your age. Relax, you’ll be fine.


(Danielle Calnin) #3


I remember wayyyy back when I starting at Embry-Riddle at 18, I was so nervous! I knew I was going to be one of hopefully at least two females in my classes and was worried I wouldn’t have anyone connect with. I was also sure all the other students would know everything about airplanes - I remember feeling intimidated because when I looked at a plane I didn’t know the make and model (I still struggle with it even after many years in the industry). Bottom line, this is new for everyone and you won’t be the only person with apprehensions about your knowledge and experience. Always be humble, ask questions, and be willing to listen and learn and you’ll be successful!

(Tory) #4


Everyone has to start somewhere. There’s no need to feel inferior or intimidated. You either want to become a pilot or you don’t. Where you rank doesn’t matter.




I am not a fan of aviation programs, I find them to be very expensive, take too long and not give you any diversity in your education. I say it is best to obtain a degree in something besides aviation that interests you, then go to an accelerated school for your flight training. This way you will have a backup plan just in case something happens to the whole flying thing.


(Krupa Patel) #6

Thank you