Real Answers from Real Pilots

Questions Galore

So I’m considering the Avaiation career but my wife is concerned about it. Due to high cost of the loan and all.
So my questions.

  1. I know airlines are different but Starting as a first Officer how long does it normally take to become a captain.

  2. I’m considering GoJet airlines due to it being in Raleigh which I’m moving to the area. Anyone know about this airline?

  3. How long does it take to pay back the loan? We’ll how long till you started making good money to pay it back.

  4. How’s your home life during this? Like what type of schedules do you have once you start an airline.

  5. You only get paid when you fly, do airlines give you anything at all while grounded?

  6. There will be more as I go on. I just don’t want to put my family on the line just for something I consider as dream.

1 Like

Hello Derek and welcome,

I’ll try and answer these questions as best I can but please understand there are many MANY variables which will effect the answers sooooo…

  1. As you said, all airlines are different and the number of years can vary greatly based on many factors. But the current movement is very good and many of the Regionals are quoting 2-5 yrs for upgrade. Keep in mind that could change tomorrow. If your Regional loses it’s agreement with their Major that could slow things down considerably. Price of oil goes through the roof, a Major incident, all no Bueno.

  2. I don’t know much about GoJets these days? A few years back they were non-union and considered bottom of the barrel (due to their owner Ornstein) but I believe he’s no longer in charge? They’re now union (Teamsters) and are wholly owned by TranStates and from what I hear are ok?

  3. Completely depends on you. Many of the Regionals are offering Tuition Reimbursement that helps considerably but I have no way of knowing what your other expenses are and how much you can allocate to the loan? I also have no idea what you consider “good money”? First year at most Regionals is around $38k, some might consider that “good money”. CA pay is around $65k to start, is that “good money”? Again I believe the answer is dependent on the individual and their living expenses. My son is 23, lives at home, makes $40k and lives like a rich man. I make 3 times that and don’t live as well.

  4. The first 2 years during training and instructing will be tough. Long hours and long days. Once you’re hired at a Regional it won’t be much better until you build some seniority and have more control over your schedule. It will definitely be a sacrifice for you AND your family.

  5. All airlines have a minimum guarantee of 75 hrs which you’ll be paid every month whether you fly 75 hrs or not. Aside from that you’ll receive per diem which is paid when you start a trip till you finish around the clock. Per diem varies from carrier to carrier but it’s usually between $1-3hr so it’s not much but will earn you an extra $4-500 a month.

Probably not the answers you were looking for but I believe it’s important to know what your getting into. Eventually the rewards can be substantial but that comes after some sacrifice.

Adam

Thank you for the reply and thank you for welcoming me!
1.That is what I figured, I mean end goal would be to move up and get the experience to be able to go to a Major.
2. I’ve read a little about them getting better, just didn’t know the true details going in if that makes sense.
3. GoJet does offer the reimbursement and they also having a signing bonus as well for FO. And good money as in enough to pay back my loan quick yet have money to do stuff with and not rely souly on my wife’s income to live.
4. I was reading that it was from like 8am-6pm. Plus all the outside studying. I mean I am used to crap hours. I work in Fire and EMS.
A big thing I am trying to tell my wife and friend who I am using to see if this is a good idea, is that the quicker I start and get my PPL and all. The quicker I will get my seniority to move up on the chain.
5. And thats not bad. I didn’t know it was a 75 hour guarantee.

They are helpful! I am trying to do all of my research and get things in order so I can decide if this is worth the risk or not. I appreciate anything you have to offer and tell me!
Derek

Nothing wrong with doing your research and making a well informed decision.

FYI, free travel always goes over well with the spouse :slight_smile:

Adam

1 Like

That is the truth!! :grinning:

Follow up question. During instructing timeframe, I know often times there is re-imbursement, however is it like a “real job” with paid holidays and benefits?

1 Like

Dusty,

While I don’t know if paid holidays and benefits are the definition of a “real job”? The answer is no there aren’t during the instructor phase. Truth is while there are benefits, there are no paid holidays (or even premium pay) for pilots even when you get to a Major.

Adam

1 Like

Dusty,

By reimbursement do you mean a salary? At ATP instructors are paid a monthly base salary and then incentives on top of that. There are no benefits. Instructors are not required to work weekends, although many chose to and the school is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Chris

1 Like

That makes sense, didn’t think about the holidays. My main concern was the benefits. Thanks!

1 Like

To be clear, ATP does not offer benefits such as health insurance or retirement contributions. An ATP instructor is an independent contractor and is issued a 1099 at the end of the year, not a W-2.

1 Like

Thanks for clearing that up! Makes sense

1 Like

No problem. Feel free to keep asking your questions.

Chris

1 Like