Real Answers from Real Pilots

Optimistic but worried

(cameron) #21

How has the programme been going for you?

(Sergey Kireyev) #22

Got my ASEL PPL on the 9th. Instrument checkride is tentatively penciled in for the third week in December (or earlier if I can get ready for my oral exam more efficiently). About 5 weeks ahead of schedule at the moment but that’s always fluid and subject to change. Thanks for checking!

(cameron) #23

Congrats! I got mine on the 6th, but wow!!! That’s fast. Sounds too fast how are you coping and do you like your instructor?



I have to say, being five weeks ahead of schedule is impressive. Keep up the good work.


(Sergey Kireyev) #25

It did come pretty quick, and honestly even as quick as it did there were a handful of days when we were grounded. I credit the progress to my instructor and sheer luck. We flew almost daily (had a few maintenance delays and some weather), and I studied my behind off. My instructor is absolutely fantastic! He is the location’s stands instructor so while I get the perk of having the most senior instructor here, I do have to “share him” for evaluations/mock checkrides with all other students, which take priority over regular lessons. That being said, it’s helpful to be near or at the training center during the day because if one of those gets cancelled, we may get to fly instead.
He also pushed me and helped me find my own personal minimums in a safe training environment, so we got to fly sometimes when other instructors may have sat their students out due to higher winds. (“You get air sick? -Nope! - Alright, send it!”). In the end, I also got lucky with weather. For solo XCs ATP minimums are pretty tight. I got to finish my XCs back to back in two days, where some of my fellow students that were only a week or so behind on schedule had weather delays and waited an additional 2 weeks to be able to knock that phase out.
Instrument phase is coming pretty easy to me mostly because I’ve dealt with all matters related to IAPs and overall terminal procedures for a living for more than 10 years of my life, so my learning curve was a lot less steep. And I LOVE not having to wait for clouds to clear before we can go and fly now. :blush:

(Sergey Kireyev) #26

Thanks, Chris! I just followed good advice from this forum and keep my eye on the prize. Thank you for all of your encouragement and leadership!

(Andrew Wells) #27


Hi, it sounds like the schooling is going well for you, congrats. I’m looking into school currently, and most likely have to go to a local school. When you say going to a local school takes much longer, approx how much longer does it take to get through to cfi? Thanks.


(Tory) #28


Accelerated flight schools all have a training syllabus and are designed to be get a pilot through each phase of training in an expeditious manner. However, self-paced programs are self-paced. Student performance and commitment (and their instructor’s approval) will determine how quickly a student advances. So, theoretically a student could never complete a self-paced program. It’s actually not an uncommon event. Students in self-paced programs need to be careful not to let life get in the way. That’s the advantage of accelerated programs. The accelerated syllabus leaves no room for anything else outside of training.


(Sergey Kireyev) #29

Andy, it is a complete WAG as to how long it will take. It depends on so many factors that you can or cannot control that even giving you an ballpark would be unfair. In my personal experience, when I started training at a local school back in 2008 and aimed at an average of 2-3 lessons a week (each lesson was also between 0.7 and 0.9 hours on average) it took me a bit over 5 months to get to 43 hours. My first school closed midway through my training so I had to switch schools, planes and instructors which also caused a delay. At ATP, I am around 145 hours TT now (plus about 20 AATD hours). So it took me less than 3 months to get over a 120 hours of instruction in aircraft and sim. Your mileage may vary…



There is literally no way of knowing how long it will take training on your own. How often will you train, how available are instructors and airplanes, how’s the weather, how much energy and time are you willing to commit vs life. It could take a few years or as Tory said it could be never.




At the local flight school that I started at, it was going to take absolutely years to get my ratings. They were very unorganized, tis seems to be the case at many flight schools.


(Chris) #32


Since you’re a “fighter” and it looks like you want stability…the Air Force is always hiring, as long as you their meet criteria. Matter of fact, many Guard units are hiring this year, for fighter pilots. Flight school is paid for, and you make a pretty good income. As an O1E, I will be making $1383 (Tax-Free BAH), $254.93 (Tax-Free BAS), and $4234.84 (Taxed Base Pay) every month. Plus, you get to serve your country part-time once training is over, and then you can apply for Legacy Airlines or whatever suits you.

If you don’t meet that criteria or have no desire to serve, ATP is a great program if you’re trying to get to the airlines fast. But, it looks like stability is what is holding you back, so I recommend a Part 61 school. It takes a longer time to complete, but I had a great experience. It worked for my active duty military years between training, work, deployments, and frequent TDYs. Continuity is important, so allocate a certain amount of time towards getting as many hours as possible. For example, like I did, I took a month of leave to fly.

At the end of the day, the decision is on you. From what I’m reading, it doesn’t look like flying is for you. It’s professional and it involves risk. Anyways, best of luck!






A few things. First I don’t know your experience or who you’re flying for but a few clarifications.

While I never served I don’t know a single military pilot (and I know MANY) who would recommend someone enlisting simply to become a pilot. It’s a huge commitment, there are no guaranteed flying slots (“meeting the criteria” is no small thing) and as many people always manage to leave out of the conversation, you could actually get sent to war. I have nothing but respect for our military and those who serve and if someone wishes to serve I support them fully but free flight training isn’t the reason. Further MANY military pilots still have to fly for Regionals before making it to the Majors.

Finally ATP is a Part 61 school so I’m not sure what you mean there?


(Chris) #34


Thanks for the comment. Sorry, I should have been more specific. First off, before I answer or give verifications, I did not state he had to enlist, so I’m confused as to why you stated that…

Next, I do not fly for an airline. I’m doing the Air Guard route, as a fighter pilot first. Then, hopefully, I’m going to fly for airlines after. I just gave that recommendation to Jordan because he is a “fighter”. And we love professional, Alpha attitudes in the military. And trust me, I understand the commitment. It’s not an easy one, and it is not for everyone. It was a recommendation/alternative.

Also, Adam - where did you get your MANY military pilot stat from? I’m interested. Personally, not derived from a stat, I know six guys, from the Montgomery unit, who work and went straight to Legacy and places like FedEx. And, my mentor, who is a Captain at Delta, who used to fly F-15s when they were in Georgia, went straight to the airlines. Now, I’m not saying it’s a guarantee, but it is possible. Demeanor, work ethic, and current economy definitely play a role in it. Plus, Jordan just wants to fly, supposedly.

And for the Part 61 comment, my bad - I meant to put *another Part 61 school. Jordan, for your clarification, a smaller “mom/pop shop”.

I hope this made the water a little clearer.

Again, thank for the comment, Adam!





I got my “MANY” stat simply from the fact I fly for Hawaiian Airlines and approx. 25% of our pilots are former military. Simply by flying with them the last few years and my union involvement I’ve had the opportunity (and pleasure) to speak with MANY. Yes sure the 20yr guys (with the hours) can go straight to a Major but that’s a very inefficient route if your goal is simply to fly for an airline.


(Chris) #36

Hooyah, Adam! Thanks for the verification. It really just depends on current situations and some other variables. I know guys, who are barely Captains (Military: Four to Nine years), that fly for a Legacy. But, I’m tired of the who we know game. Jordan, the decision is up to you. If you decide to go the military route, Guard or Reserve, you can be at an airline, Regional or Legacy, within three years. It’s a commitment, bigger than yourself.

Adam, I hope all is well and that we cross paths one day.

Unit then, cheers!


(Caleb Shearer) #37


The requirements for flying at a Regional vs Legacy are very different even for military pilots. To get your R-ATP for the Regional you would need 750 TT and usually 250 fixed-wing PIC (Special conversion rig available per sortie for rotor pilots). The Legacy’s require over 1000 (Alaska for instance requires 1200). You’ll get out of UPT with about as much if not a little more than the amount of hours as you would after completing ATP’s program (and that is in 9 months vs year for UPT). I know this is for active but those guys depending on air frame can rack up 1000 hours in their first assignment, but they’re also stuck in a 10 year commitment. If you have a specialized mission or are not getting a ton of sorties its going to be a blow to your total flight hours.

Now for the Guard it’s really going to depend on Unit hours and Mission type. If you have a specialized mission they aren’t going to task you for sorties compared to some heavy squadron flying tanker missions. There are some looking at doing well in their guard units, but racking up 750 hours just to get the restricted ATP could certainly be a chore. Getting to a Legacy from the Guard route in 3 years is not feasible in the slightest due to the math unfortunately. They have a pool of separating junior majors from active duty and a host of civ only pilots from the Regionals to choose from.

As it stands ATP can get you to a regional from zero time in about two years and some change pretty reliably. That’s pretty unbeatable. Since seniority is everything it really comes down to personal priorities. If serving is one, then certainly go down that route but don’t be surprised if flying is a route you aren’t able to take. I am not sure the Guard’s process for rated slot candidates but for active duty taking your AFOQT and TBAS to get your PCSM score carries a ton of weight in terms of your personal competitiveness. Also, since being a pilot means you MUST be an officer, you have to already have a Bachelor’s degree (if going through OTS route, if going through AFA or ROTC then you’re still looking at a 3-4 year commitment just to get your degree) and I didn’t see anything Jordan wrote being about his educational background, so it could be a toss up.

As an aside Larry, how far into the training pipeline are you?



(Chris) #38


Thanks for the comment and for adding information. I understand the requirements for going Guard. I was just giving Jordan another option. His post said he is a “fighter”. Currently, I only have 62 hours in the air, so I’m not too experienced. My hours helped with my PCSM score. But, I am experienced on the military route. I just got slotted for F-35s, so I’m just waiting for an OTS date. What about you, Caleb? Are you at a unit? Also, I have five and a half years active completed, so I just have to wait after my six to Palace Front. So, I should be out the door by October.

If you have any more questions, I can give you my email.




I fly with a lot of new hires, both civilian and military. I do not know a single military pilot that has made it to a major airline in three years. I would say that ten years is much closer to the norm.


(Cody Jacob Jake Moore) #40

Hey Chris you are a really good person and I can’t believe that you did that. That is really amazing. :sunglasses::sunglasses::sunglasses: