Real Answers from Real Pilots

Some help please

Hi! I’ve been trying to be a pilot for the longest of time. I was accepted to many schools. I was given a very good scholarship to Embry-Riddle. I was supposed to pay only 14K out of my own pocket a year, which is nothing for me. Now I’m not rich. I’m just an average person. I have completed many successful flights and landings on the simulator (even the most proficient airplanes that actually work). I know how to read instruments (i.e. PFD, N/D, EICAS, FMC, and etc.) I passed my first class medical exam without a problem. But later on as I moved on, they added my flight fees, and I couldn’t get my student loan covered. I might have two more chances of going into the air force or Western Michigan (I got a good fee from them, but the aviation fee is expensive as well). Now I did have a huge passion for it. I feel now as if it’s gone, but I still hurt more than I originally do when letting go of something. I still love the pilot life, and I regret. I got interested in a new career field, but I still somehow can’t let go. Is it really worth being a pilot? How does it feel after flying a while (for an airline)? Now I can still get passionate about it, but it’ll be hard. Can I please get some help and advice. I know it’s a personal issue. But this can save my life. Thank you.

Patryk,

I’ll just cut right to the chase. Don’t join the Air Force unless you have
a strong desire to serve your country. Even if you joined, the flight
training is very competitive. Plus, from what I’ve been told, that would be
at least a 20 year commitment. Don’t quote me on that, but nonetheless, you
could get to a major airline much more efficiently by attending an
accelerated flight training program.

It sounds like a lack of funds is preventing you from fulfilling your dream
to become a pilot. You also seem to be focused on aviation colleges.
Scholarships are great, but aviation colleges are notorious for being
expensive. IMHO, community college and in-state tuition is a no brainer. I
would re-evaluate your situation and go with the most affordable option. A
degree is a degree in the aviation world. It doesn’t matter what school you
attended. Just get that piece of paper that says “I’m teachable.”

You don’t have to go to ATP. There lots of different options out there.
Some also with accelerated programs, but ATP does work with Sallie Mae and
Wells Fargo to help finance the program.

I don’t recommend doing college and an accelerated flight training program
simultaneously.

I’ve only been flying for 3.5 years. I’ve been flying for a regional for 8
months. I still love my job and the lifestyle that comes with it.

Tory

Thank you for your response. Although I would go to the ATP school, but it’s also not affordable for me. But is it easier to get a loan for them than college? (I do not have a credit history just yet).

As long as you have a co-signer you should be fine. About 90% of the loan applicants require a co-signer.

Tory

Patryk,

Totally agree with Tory. The Air Force flight training is very competitive. However, flight selection is also very competitive. If you join the Air Force and weren’t selected to fly, now you have to spend your 4 to 6 years not flying and losing the seniority with the airlines.

Patryk,

I’ve been an airline pilot for 13yrs now and I believe I have the greatest job on Earth. But, I fly with pilots all the job that hate what they do and wish they made a different career choice. It’s really about perspective, what’s best for you and what you think will make you happy. Totally your decision.

Adam