Real Answers from Real Pilots

Student Advice

Hey,
I was wondering if you could give me advice on if you think my Career plan/schedule sounds good, in your opinion. I currently have my PPL and I am turning 18 next month. I have a semester of college done and I am thinking about transferring to a 2-year community college that is authorized by the FAA for the R-ATP license. They also have transfer agreements to Embry Riddle and a few other big aviation colleges. They have a Part 141 flight program offering me completion of my Instrument, Commercial, and Multi. I plan on attending that college and after graduating, go to American Flyers or some sort of accelerated CFI course to get my CFI. I will be about 19.5 - 20 by the time I get my CFI and then I plan on instructing until I am 21-22 (the age to get my R-ATP at 1,250 flight hours due to only having the 2 years of college done.) After that, I will have over 1,250. flight hours and plan on getting a job at a Regional Airline. While at the Regional Airline, I plan on finishing my Bachelor’s Degree online while working for the Regional and getting flight hours. After about 3-4 years I will have well over 2,000 hours and a Bachelor’s Degree. I then plan on applying for the Major Airlines while still employed by the Regional. Lastly, I would switch to the Major after successful hire, I would be about 26 by then. While I know that what I said above will not be an exact timeline but, it is just a rough estimate. Thanks!

Jagroop,

Sounds like a good plan overall. You don’t mention anything about the cost of piecing it all together, how you’re going to build the required multi-time nor where you plan to instruct after but I’ll assume you have some idea of that? The only thing I’d say is you need to be VERY flexible when it comes to your timeline as it’s pretty optimistic. Building the 1250hrs can take time unless you’re at a very busy flight school so that could easily push you back. Also the Majors want to see some turbine PIC (ie, Capt time) so even if you upgrade in the 3-4yrs (which could easily take longer) you still need to plan on a few years at the Regional as Capt. But again overall not a bad plan.

Adam

Hey Adam,
Thanks for the advice. The cost shouldn’t be a problem because my families being supportive with my passion to become a pilot. I plan on instructing around New York area where I live. From past instructors I’ve had they averaged about a year to get the 1500 hours however, it’s always unpredictable because it all depends on if the school is busy, like you said. I do plan on being flexible I wouldn’t be surprised if my timeline doubled. The only certain part is the 2 year degree and getting my Instrument, Commercial and Multi. CFI is going to be separate from the college so that’s where it may take some time. For now, I just wanted to have a rough idea of what steps I’ll be taking in the near future so I don’t waste valuable time because college is going to be an important step. I just wanted to know if my plan sounded “reasonable.” Again, I thank you for your quick response!

Jagroop,

First and foremost, I never want to sound like a salesman (because I’m honestly not), but as you know this is ATP’s site and the reason I mentor on it is because I’m a huge fan of their program. While your plan sounds good overall, based on the info you provided I want to offer you a possible alternative that may allow you to get a little closer to your time line? You say you have a semester of college done and that’s great. What if you finish the next 2.5 and get your 2 yr degree. Fast track ALL your training in 6mos with ATP’s Airline Career Pilot Program which will include ALL your CFI’s WITHIN the 2yr mark. You then accept your GUARANTEED instructor position with one of the busiest flight schools in the country and go fly for the Regional of your choice. The benefits of this route would be receiving ALL your training (incl CFI, CFII and MEI) with ATP’s program which was designed by airline pilots to train airline pilots and is respected by every airline in the country. Guaranteed instructor position where you will build the time quickly (yes I understand your college program would save you 250hrs TT BUT the hours you’d fly at ATP would more than allow you to finish in your 2yr time frame). 40hrs of multi included which will satisfy most Regional requirements not to mention all the multi-time you’ll build instructing. The opportunity to interview and receive a conditional offer of employment with one of ATP’s Regional partners as early as 300hrs and receive Tuition Reimbursement (if you chose). You could still get full credit for your 2yr degree plus additional credits for your licenses and ratings with Embry Riddle if you wanted to as well.

Truth is it’s not that different from your plan I just think it’s a little more complete and covers a few more bases. As always it’s your call.

Adam

Hey,
That does sound like a good plan as well, thank you for mentioning it. I just had a few questions. If I do my 2-year degree at Vaughn College(FAA approved for the R-ATP 1,250 and 1,000) would it be more beneficial? They provide both an Associates Degree and a Bachelor’s which are both on the FAA authorized institution list. The only reason I bring them up is because their 2-year degree provides the R-ATP letter and also if I do there 2-year Aircraft Operations Degree, they do not provide any flight training because it is not included in their program. It is only provided in there 4 year program. Would that be better because, I would receive the R-ATP and a 2 years degree and then do the ATP Fast Track. I have provided a preview of the 2 year degree at Vaughn if you have a moment to look at it. It’d be much appreciated and I thank you for taking the time to discuss this with me!

There are a total of 34 R-ATP course credits which meets the 30 required for the 250-hour reduction

.08 PM

Jagroop,

Good thought but the problem is in order to receive the hour reduction the degree program must also include flight training.
Section 61.160 prescribes the minimum requirements that a student must complete as part of a degree program with an aviation major to be eligible for a restricted privileges ATP Certificate. The program must include flight and ground training for a commercial pilot certificate in the airplane category and an airplane instrument rating.
Again I wouldn’t be too concerned as the amount of hours you’d get instructing for ATP should easily surpass what you’d build at your local flight school.

Adam

Hey,
I would not be able to work for a regional until the age of 23 correct?

Incorrect. You can work for a Regional at 21. You could not upgrade until 23.

Btw, at 53 I don’t feel the least bit sympathetic :slight_smile:

Adam

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