Real Answers from Real Pilots

Need help formulating a plan and achieving an impossible goal!

Hi, I’m trying to get into your program hopefully by April and have some questions. First of all my name is Brad, I’ll be 54 in January and this will be the craziest thing anyone has probably ever done :drooling_face: I’ve been talking to Kirk in finance asking him too many questions and he told me to contact you in this forum.
I’ve been working on getting financed for 2 years now. I gave up on the idea of being a pilot because of the age restriction. But just a few months ago I found out that if I can get into cargo flying, there is no age limit. I’m in good shape and if this all works out, I plan on flying til I’m 75 and can keep passing the first class medical. I know I can never fly in the majors, but thought this still could work for me. What I’m confused about is where can I train and find a cargo job where I’m living? I live in Colorado, moved 3 years ago in Vegas, and want to go back and live and train there because the cost of living here has skyrocketed! Only problem is I don’t see hardly any cargo jobs out there especially in Vegas. I know Key Lime airways is in centennial but I don’t think I can afford the rent here my first couple of years while trying to make captain? Does anyone have any idea of what city I can move to and have an affordable COL like Vegas, train there then hopefully get hired flying cargo or do I need to start regional then go to cargo with more experience?
I used to fly with my step dad as a kid
and have always dreamed of being a pilot but never got the opportunity and I thought you had to have military flying experience back then when they were taking all the pilot jobs… I wish I knew about ATP 20 years ago or at least 10, I had no idea there was a fast track program out there like yours until I started using the internet more when I realized that I wanted a job and career that I loved… all my life I’ve been miserable in lousy jobs making little money!
I have no experience and have been studying DVD ASA ground school for months, I want to be prepared and needed to use my brain again after trucking for 10 years doing a job that a monkey can do not having to think much at all.
I really could use some help with formulating a plan and being fully prepared to start my new dream career. Kirk tells me this is still possible even at my age and I’m focused and determined to make it happen! I’ve been paying off thousands in last year and plan to get my credit score to at least 750 which should get me financed, no one will cosign so I’m going solo. I’m probably the oldest, newest graduate that ATP has ever had and I know I’m crazy and risking a lot, but there’s nothing else out there that’s exciting and a huge life challenge to achieve my mid-life, (crisis :rofl:) dream goals! Thanks for your time.

Brad

1 Like

Hey Brad,

Just pick an ATP location that’s most convenient for you. All of the
training is standardized. After training I would recommend teaching as it
gives you a good foundation of knowledge and skills. I’m not well versed in
Cargo aside from Ameriflight since I almost took a job with them. I would
check out this website: www.airlinepilotcentral.com. There you will be able
to see which cargo companies operate out of or near Colorado.

Tory

Hey thanks Tory for the quick reply! Yeah I plan on being a CFI after graduating, heard it’s a great way to get experience while working towards your 1500 hours and be more qualified… I read that Key Lime really likes the CFI experience ATP offers.
I’ll probably just stay in Colorado and live in Centennial while in school if it doesn’t make a difference in getting hired afterwards. Key Lime sounds like a good career and better money sooner flying their planes solo as captain. Doesn’t sound like anyone likes cargo flying, the pilots all fly for the majors, but this is the only option I have at my age.
Thanks again.
Btad

Yeah I get that vibe about cargo flying too. I think it’s mainly the
schedule that turns most pilots away. I know not all cargo flying is done
late at night through the early morning, but I imagine that most of it is.

Glad I could help, Brad

Tory

Bradley,

I know plenty of pilots who enjoy flying cargo. While the schedule is often backside of the clock, there’s much less passenger and cabin crew related issues. To each their own.

Adam

Thanks Adam, hey you guys rock! Been reading a lot of your replies, so detailed, honest and great professional advice; you’re living the dream and it’s very nice to have you share your wisdom and experience with us :wink::flight_departure:
I used to drive truck late nights and those were 10-11 hours drive time, working 14 hour, grueling shifts. So flying crazy hours shouldn’t be a problem, looking forward to less hours per day too. Of course I guess I’ll have to put in long hours working as a CFI, but I work 50 hour weeks now still driving and delivering big heavy auto parts in 3 states and willing to put in time to make it as a pilot. This job keeps me in good shape so that should help getting my first class medical.
I was looking at airline pilot central, the link Tory gave me, and it looks like a lot of cargo companies are hiring now, hopefully that’ll still be the same in 2 years when I’m ready. Of course I still have to get financed and I’m forced to go solo too, no one is crazy enough to cosign for me at my age !:rofl::drooling_face:I make 55k/year now and only have car payment, so income to debt ratio is good, just have to pay down 8k on 2 of my credit cards, to have all my accounts under 30% and 10k to completely pay them off. My goal is April to have all this paid and hopefully get approved I’m paying $1000 off a month plus have tax money and bonus to pay rest.
I just wish I heard about ATP and this program 20 years ago, you guys sound very happy and have achieved great things in the airline industry… I envy you I missed out bigtime!:beers::flight_departure:
Thanks again for your time, this is a great forum and outstanding mentorship!

Just read your story Adam, very inspirational, you’ve come a long way… congrats!

Thank you Bradley.

Adam