Real Answers from Real Pilots

Other Routes

What are some other suggested routes to take to become an airline pilot, if for some reason you can’t attend ATP? Attend local flight school… or?

Earv,

There are many. Obviously as you mentioned is the local flight school route. There are pilots who’ve come this way. It can be expensive and generally takes considerably more time. What makes it attractive is there’s no BIG price tag looming since you pay as you go. In reality it generally will cost more in the end but since there’s no Grand Total posted and no commitment it can seem more palatable. There are also aviation universities and colleges that combine getting your degree with the flying. Again can take a while and can be expensive but not a bad route. Finally there’s the military. No question exceptional training in some VERY cool equipment. The price is unbeatable BUT pilot slots are not the easiest to get and there’s usually a min 8 yr commitment. While there’s nothing wrong with serving your country it’s not for everybody.

Adam

Yeah I see! Thanks Adam!! In the case I’m not approved for financing for ATP, I plan on going the local flight school route…This is one of the schools I’ve been looking at…

http://www.sterling-flight.com/flighttraining/domestic/private/

Let me know what you think please, I do understand they don’t have any ME also lol :frowning:

My best bet is just hope to get approved for financing by myself to attend ATP :slight_smile:

Earv,

There are many fine local flight schools out there. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what I think what matters is what YOU think. I took a quick look at their website and it seems fairly generic (not a bad thing). No ME is definitely a problem and something you will need to address at some point. What does bother me is they quote the prices for training a) using the minimums, which is not the average, but more concerning is b) the price is for training in the C152 and they only have one of those. Things like that are what drive the cost up and slow your progress. If you can only fly say on Weds and there’s another guy who reserved the plane for Weds you’re out of luck. Or do they put you in a C172 which costs more and has a different panel? Chris put together a great list of questions for choosing a flight school. While they don’t all always apply it’s a good guide Questions For Any Prospective Flight School , take a look.

Earv hoping you get approved really is what’s best. I hate sounding like a salesman but the reality is in the end it will save you a fair amount of time and money.

Adam

Earv,
I just took a quick look at he website and they do have a beech duchess for rental. Also, the instructors qualifications say they are MEI’s. Maybe try to call and see what they say, but I’m assuming they do offer ME training.

Where are you located Earv? I was actually just working for about 6hr at Buchanan today on RWY 14L/32R… I will say, one thing that annoys me about many FBO websites: “We have found that, on average, it takes a student 65 hours of flying in order to obtain their license.” but then in the cost section they quote only 40hr in the smallest cheapest plane they have, saying that it is “approximate”.

Having watched them train today, I didn’t see any 150/152’s being used, looked like all of their students and training flights coming from their FBO location were in 172’s, I’m guessing they steer people that way but it will be more expensive (I personally enjoy the 172 and not the 152, but if cost is a concern).

Having been through my PPL somewhat in the area, I know a bit about some of the schools. Also, KCCR Ops told me today that Pacific States Aviation which is also in Concord is merging with Sterling so that could leave them a bit disorganized for a while (or not, who knows).

James

I actually live in the east bay! That’s cool, you were there. My only problem is how longh will it take for me to complete getting the rattings there if I work a 9-5. Verses ATP I wouldn’t mind leaving my 9-5.

Well ATP will absolutely be faster. I fly at Cal Aggie Flyers out of KEDU, took about 1.5 years (not counting a year off in the middle) while working full time but still flying 2x per week on average, and that was just for the PPL only!

My office is near Coast Guard Island in Oakland.

James