Real Answers from Real Pilots

Starting flight training with a family

(Stephan Erickson) #1

Hello everyone. I’m 33 and have always had a desire to be a pilot. It’s been a dream since I was 5 years old. I started flight training after high school but could not finish my private. I am not married with three kids. I currently going back to school for ministry, but still have a burn to be a pilot. What would you say to someone who is A.) going back to school or is currently in school? and B.) someone who is looking into flight training and being an airline pilot but has a family? Thanks.


Hi Stephan and Welcome!

Not trying to call you out, but I am curious? If you decided to go back to school AND you’ve “always had a desire to be a pilot”, why you didn’t go to flight school?

Which also leads us to your first question. Are you talking about flight training while you’re studying for ministry? If that’s the case not sure how well you multi-task, but I have to say flight training, school for ministry and 3 kids sounds like a pretty full plate. In that case you’re obviously not talking about flight training full time. Now plenty of people do train part time but it can be somewhat inefficient depending on how often you fly. Again it begs the question IF you really want to be a pilot why not devote your time, attention and money to that?

Ideally the best way to train is full time (that’s why both the airlines and the military do). That’s not always possible in which case the key is to be as consistent as possible. Flight training does require a fair amount of time and money. Additionally your first couple of years building time as an instructor, and then at a Regional will be a little lean not to mention your schedule won’t be the best family wise. You may find yourself away from home a fair amount of time and possibly not even based close to your home so a commute is involved. Not trying to paint a dark picture, but it’s important you know what your getting yourself into. You say you’re not married but do you have help with the kids and how much? Not my business but these are all things to consider.


(Stephan Erickson) #3

Hey Adam,

Fair questions! I’m researching now for when I am done with school. I put a typo in the previous text. I am married with 3 kids. I was typing to fast and didn’t catch it. I’ve looked into continuing my flight training before but it didn’t seem like the right time



If I could jump in here. I have three kids of my own and am 35. It can be a challenge balancing family life with work life, but I feel like I have been able to strike a good balance. Sure, I am not home for every event, but I usually manage to hit the important ones. I am gone from home about 16 days per month, but the time that I am home is exclusively my time. I would highly recommend that if you become and airline pilot that you move to wherever you are based instead of commuting, this will provide a lot more time at home.

I am not sure what your goals for the ministry are, if you desire to be a full time preacher and an airline pilot I think you would be overwhelmed. If your goal is to provide ministry as a side job then you might just be a flying Francis Asbury.

Keep your questions coming. I look forward to helping you in any way I can.




Typo aside I stand by my original answers. Flight training and starting a career in aviation requires a fair amount of sacrifice both financially and time/energy wise. Only you and your wife can say whether now is “right” time.