Real Answers from Real Pilots

My Plan

(Tucker Tomek) #1

Hello Again!

I just wanted to run my plan by you guys and get some input on it. I am currently 19 and have my PPL. I am in my second year of college as a full time student and will be graduating with a 2 year degree in the spring. I also currently work full time. After getting my 2 year it is a waiting game to pay of my college loans before taking on the loan to go on to ATP. I will be starting with credit for my PPL and the 80 hour requirement is not a problem. Realistically im looking at starting between fall 2017, and summer 2018, most likely closer to summer. After completing my 2 years at ATP and getting settled into a job with a regional I will go back to school to finish up my 4 year degree and then be ready to move to a Major when that opurtunity comes later. I was just wondering if you guys had any additional input as I have planned this mostly through research and reading other posts on here.

My other question is regarding ATPs intro flight. I live about 6 hours away from the closest location, I will be in the Tampa FL area in January and was wondering if that is too far out to do an intro flight or if it does not matter. Also, what is included in that, I know you get the actual flight, but do they also do a tour of the location or go more in depth about their program?

Thank you for your input!



Hi Tucker,

That actually sounds like a solid plan. My only caveat is keep in mind it can be very challenging to return to school after being away. Factor in you’ll be flying all over the country for a Regional having a grand time. It requires a fair amount of discipline. If you feel confident and keep a solid focus on your ultimate goal I think you’ll be fine and I say do it.

As for the Intro flight yes they’ll give you the tour and it also gives you a good opportunity to get your questions answered. If you’re really looking at starting summer '18 I’d say January is a little early but if that’s the only opportunity you have then by all means. Odds are it’ll light the fire and get you itching to start even sooner.




Have you given any thought to finishing your four year degree now? Adam is completely right in that it can sometimes be hard for people to return to college, especially once they are so out of the college mindset.


(Tucker Tomek) #4

I had given thought to it. You will have to take my word for it but I am very goal oriented and self motivated. I got my PPL while being a full time college student as well as working 40 hours per week, I am still currently full time in both aspects. The biggest thing is seniority and I figure getting into the game 2 years early could make a difference. I have talked to my counsular at school who has showed me a few online 4 year programs I could transfer into. I just figure with all the time I will have away from home I could easily get that 4 year done before qualifying for a major.

But still, nothing is set in stone and I still have more thinking and weighing the pros and cons. But you guys are awesome. Your insight is amazing and is very helpful for us who are just trying to get our feet in the door! Thank you for your time and all the effort you put into this!




I’d definitely take you’re word on it! Really not trying to dissuade you in any way, we just want you to be fully aware of what lies ahead. Like I said I have seen people successful and I have no reason to think you wouldn’t be one of them.




I completely agree with Adam on this one. If you can truly stick to your plan than it sounds like a pretty darn good one. Keep us up to date, please. We always like hearing updates.



Hey Tucker,

I just recently got hired at SkyWest after instructing at ATP-PHX for a year. While instructing, I signed up at Embry-Riddle for online classes and have been working towards an Aeronautical Science degree alongside flight instruction. It has been very convenient for me since I was essentially knocking out two birds with one stone. Also, I was credited 34 credits for the pilot/instructor ratings that I had already gotten through ATP so that pretty much shaved off a whole year from the 4 year degree. I know that there are a few options other than ERAU that you have online so you can choose.
Anyway I do want to suggest that you get the 4 year degree as soon as possible and not wait until you are hired at a regional since it seems like the majors have begun hiring straight from the right seat and soon you might loose the edge if you have to devote 2 whole years to finishing up the bachelors after being hired at a regional.

(Tucker Tomek) #8

What were those credits given for? Im curious if I have a 2 year degree and was to transfer to a program like that would I be able to get as much credit as you did and therefore only have about a year of school? Or because I have my generals done would they not do anything for me?



I am not entirely sure of the specific courses that were credited against the ratings, but because this is a professional aviation program, part of the requirements are obtaining pilot ratings and it is categorized as “Professional Development Electives”. I do not want to give you incorrect information so I suggest that you contact an academic advisor and discuss your specific situation, and they will be able to give you the most accurate estimate of what to expect.


(Tucker Tomek) #10

Thank you! I will try to find contact information for one soon :slight_smile: !! Thank you for your input! It means a lot :slight_smile: