Real Answers from Real Pilots

Transitioning military

Hello,

I’m currently active duty in the Navy working a job in intelligence and I’m currently set to transition out after 8 years in July 2018 and I’m looking for new and exciting career paths. I had a fellow Sailor I served with recommend flying and I started looking at ATP Flight School.

So a couple quick questions:

  1. I couldn’t find if ATP accepts the GI Bill and was wondering if they do?
  2. Also was wondering if there are any disqualifications based on eyesight or wearing glasses/contacts?
  3. After completing training are you definitely able to stay in the area in which you just trained whether as CFI or being placed with a regional airline.
  4. After working for a regional for the appropriate amount of time before being considered for a major would it look bad if I didn’t have a degree? (I joined the Navy at 17 and I’m more interested in flying or diving immediately than going to college for 3 years and not working)
  5. And are there any items for consideration or tips for someone looking to make this a new career?

Sorry if some of these are repeat questions and I appreciate your help. Cheers!

Chris,

First as always thank you for your service. Good questions so let’s get you some answers:

  1. ATP does not accept the GI Bill. The bennies can only be used for Part 141 schools which ATP is not (ATP could not offer it’s accelerated training program under Part 141). Your benefits can be used for checkride fees (approx. $7-8,000).

  2. As long as you vision is correctable to 20/20 with glasses/contacts you’re fine.

  3. Definitely? No. After you complete your training ATP will give you a list of available locations. Hopefully one will be near you. If not you can either take another location and hope the one you want becomes available or you can always look for an instructor position at a local flight school. As for the Regionals if the Regional that hires you has a base near your home you’ll be fine, if not you can commute (which many pilots do).

  4. While it’s not impossible to get hired by a Major without a 4yr degree, you’re significantly reducing your odds. The Majors like degrees and they’re simply going to grab pilots with degrees before they take those without. On a side note you could always use your VA benefits to get a degree online while working at a Major to make yourself more competitive.

  5. Do what you’re doing. Read through this forum, ask questions, talk to pilots when you’re in the airport. Get as much info as you can to make the best informed decision you can.

Adam

Thanks Adam and appreciate the response at such a horrible time. Love working nights at my current station.

Interesting. So I just did some quick searching on 141 vs 61 and I’ll have to look into it further but paying for ATP seems like the smarter choice to get out of the way first and then using my GI Bill to get a degree while waiting my time at a Regional.

Ok that makes sense. I’d just like to try to stay in a generalized area for more than a few years. Especially getting out of the service and trying to get housing and everything settled. Definitely not opposed to commuting though. Driving an hour to and from work now.

Definitely going to be doing a lot more research into everything and asking any questions I can think of on the forums.