Real Answers from Real Pilots

Quetions before plunging in at ATP

Hi everyone,

My name is Kyle, I am new here as well as to the whole airline pilot venture. I will try and make this as brief yet concise as possible

To give a quick background, I am 27, have a four-year business law degree, I have owned 2 businesses over the past 4 years; one of which I still operate from home and plan to do so while in flight school.

I have learned recently that being a full-time entrepreneur is really just not for me. While I enjoy the products I make/weld, I find I am just not happy doing it for a living but I am grateful to have had the opportunity to do so and discover this about myself.

So, over the past 4 weeks, I realized I can ACTUALLY BE a pilot! It was something I wanted to do as a kid but my dad turned me away from that mentioning being away from home is just awful. But, now that I am older and with knowing I will never have kids, the idea of traveling and lifestyle of a pilot seems great to me.

So to the questions:

1. How would I (or anyone) know that they will love being a pilot for potentially the rest of their life? What if 5-10 years down the road I just get fed up with it? Has anyone known pilots like this?

2. Does flying REALLY become as natural and comfortable as driving a car? I do not mean complacent, just confident and comfortable enough with the physical feelings of flying.
(I took my intro flight and had a lot of fun but was pretty anxious most of the time - Though I had control of the plane for quite a lot of the flight including several 25-30 degree turns. I don’t have a FEAR of flying I suppose but that little plane was a whole new game)

3. With ATP, is the CFI instructor job REALLY guaranteed? How can they do that? There has to be enough students to “go around” right? Is it possible to go through the schooling, become a CFI and not get any flight hours because there are no students to teach?

4. Do you need a deep passion for flying early-on in order to enjoy the career for life? Is it possible to grow a passion for it?

I did not grow up with a passion for flying though it has always fascinated me. Everything I do or have done I have had a PASSION for and basically obsession with. Recently, I have become obsessed with the idea of becoming a pilot but I feel like people that started young and “knew they wanted to do this early on” have a huge advantage or likelihood they will do this for the rest of their lives.

Before I sink myself into a huge long-term, life changing event and getting a fat loan, I want to make sure I am doing the right thing. Unfortunately, it seems like in my position, I won’t know until AFTER I have already taken the plunge.

THANK YOU all for your time in reading this and answering my questions!!

Hi Kyle,

  1. With all due respect how could I (or anyone else) know the answer to that question? Particularly if you don’t know yourself. There are pilots who have a passion for flying, love their jobs and couldn’t conceive of doing anything else (like myself) and those who don’t. Sure I know pilots who lost their love for it and I know many who haven’t. Of those who have some leave and pursue other endeavors and others suck it up and are generally unpleasant to fly with.

  2. I can only speak for myself but after years of sitting in the cockpit I have gotten pretty comfy. Perhaps not as comfy as driving, but pretty close. If perhaps I flew the same airplane the entire time I it might be the same?

  3. Yes it is, with some caveats. Most notably no more than 2 checkride busts. ATP has 42 locations across the country and everyone is staffed based on that locations needs. That’s why while ATP will guarantee you a job they will not guarantee you a location. They will only offer you a location that has students in the pipeline.

  4. Absolutely. While I was always “curious” about flying, growing up in the Bronx I didn’t think flying was a reality. I didn’t develop my passion till I was actually doing it and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Fact is you’re right, you may not know for certain until you try.

Adam

Adam,

I truly appreciate your responses! They are very helpful. I’m in the Phoenix/Mesa Arizona area so hopefully it’s a busy enough location that I will stay here. If not, I’ll do what I gotta do!

Thanks again Adam!