another plea for advice

yoman793

Well-Known Member
well.... first off, i am new to JC and i have to say i am impressed with all the knowledge on the site. i have already found answers to alot of questions. especially about flight schools. i am working on my private and look to be done in another 3 weeks or so. i love flying and have been captivated by airplanes since a very young age. i would like to make a career out of flying and am having trouble deciding how to get there.

heres the deal. i ultimately want to be flying in the corporate aviation world. now i just need to figure out how to get there without going into dept up to my eyeballs. i was thinking more around waist height. i have a nice little fbo here in tallahassee and they have the ability to get me through all my ratings but im afraid it would be a timely ordeal. my current plan is to stay with the fbo through comercial and cfi and then procede to instruct for a while in order to get enough time for a 135 job. or maybe the airlines will be hiring by that time. did i mention im living rent free? as long as i can keep a roommate paying rent anyway. that shouldnt be a problem in a college town.

option two is to go to an accelerated career program. i have heard the good and bad about all of them, but they must be considered. the amount of time they save is worth something. but i just cant see taking out a 45-65 thousand dollar loan. even if the airlines are hiring. white air looks enticing as well as atp. if only because of the multi time. and in atps case, the location in S. Fla. (home)

i would like some thoughts on plan one, (local fbo, free rent, get comm, cfi, teach) and the accelerated option. (go to school for a few months, get all my ratings and then well... i guess teach)

any info would be awesome. thanks in advance.

~another confused student pilot
 

ILS37R

Well-Known Member
Take it and gradual. Especially in the current climate, there's no need to get it all done at once. Not having debt is far more valuable than a few extra months of dual-given. Debt can limit your options far more than any other factor.
 

crjsomeday

New Member
The gradual route at this point would be the best bet. I would not even consider a "fast track" program. These will only make you unemployed faster. If you get furloughed with 200 hours of SIC you are not marketable for any other job. Take the time to really sharpen your skills and become a better pilot. Many people try to rush through training, I did, and I regret it. Enjoy your training and network, network, network! The most important thing is staying out of debt, it will really hurt you long term. Good luck!
 

moxiepilot

Well-Known Member
i agree with the local FBO route to save money. There is no reason you couldn't accelerate your FBO program with an aggressive studying and flying schedule.

More importantly, the corporate jobs are a little more difficult to get. Have a solid teaching foundation to 1500 hours or so, then start feeling around for jobs.

With an aggressive schedule, you can have your PVT by July, Instrument by Aug, Commercial by Oct, CFI by Nov and teaching before the years end.

Plan on about a year of being paid to teach as a CFI to build up your time to ~1500.
 

yoman793

Well-Known Member
thanks for the quick response guys. i was really leaning toward the fbo route simply because of the airlines current state. and with 3 similar opinions on the fbo plan, i see that maybe i had the right idea. i went up again today, and im sure to be done with pvt by mid july. i plan on jumping right into my instrument. and then some time building. my fbo is a part 61 and i would need to amass 250 hours for the commercial. should i look into a cfi program at one of the big schools? would this save me some time and or money? or should i go for my comerical at a different school thats part 141 in order to get cfi in less time and then start teaching for a year or so as moxie said? does this make any sense? once again, thanks for the advice everyone.
 

ILS37R

Well-Known Member
should i look into a cfi program at one of the big schools? would this save me some time and or money? or should i go for my comerical at a different school thats part 141 in order to get cfi in less time and then start teaching for a year or so as moxie said? does this make any sense? once again, thanks for the advice everyone.
Time? Maybe. Money? Probably not. If you can fly an aggressive schedule at your Part 61 school, you might even get done faster, as coordinating scheduling at the big schools can sometimes bite you.
 

Cactus_Cutter

Well-Known Member
You would be better off going to your FBO and earning a rating at time even if it was a little more expensive than an accelerated flight school. You would have the flexibility to work part/full time and still be able to earn your rating on the side. This way you could earn at rating at a time and access the industry as you go along. At an accelerated flight school you are committed to the full program with no flexibility. Right now not many are hiring and don’t plan to hire for the rest of the year and into next. Two major regionals are in the cross hairs for bankruptcy and one will turn over and close its doors unleashing over 1,600 employed experienced pilots into the workforce. Several other smaller regionals have already closed their doors this year sending hundreds looking for other pilot jobs. Others are trimming their workforce to accommodate the reductions from the majors. I predict by this time next year about 4,000 regional pilots (about 17%) will be furloughed.
Because of fuel prices the economics of borrowing money to pay for flight training has now become more irrational than ever. Consider this, about 3 years ago pro-programs at competitive accelerated flight schools was about $30,000. Using:

http://www.finaid.org/calculators/loanpayments.phtml

Plug in $30,000 at 7% for 15 years:
Loan Balance: $30,000.00
Adjusted Loan Balance: $30,000.00
Loan Interest Rate: 7.00%
Loan Fees: 0.00%
Loan Term: 15 years
Minimum Payment: $50.00
Monthly Loan Payment: $269.65
Number of Payments: 180
Cumulative Payments: $48,536.52
Total Interest Paid: $18,536.52

Note: The monthly loan payment was calculated at 179 payments of $269.65 plus a final payment of $269.17.

It is estimated that you will need an annual salary of at least $32,358.00 to be able to afford to repay this loan. This estimate assumes that 10% of your gross monthly income will be devoted to repaying your student loans. If you use 15% of your gross monthly income to repay the loan, you will need an annual salary of only $21,572.00, but you may experience some financial difficulty.

First year FO pay at the regionals was about $20 an hour ($20 x 75 x 12 = $18,000 minimum)

Now today’s pro-course programs are around $60,000:
Loan Balance: $60,000.00
Adjusted Loan Balance: $60,000.00
Loan Interest Rate: 7.00%
Loan Fees: 0.00%
Loan Term: 15 years
Minimum Payment: $50.00
Monthly Loan Payment: $539.30
Number of Payments: 180
Cumulative Payments: $97,073.04
Total Interest Paid: $37,073.04

Note: The monthly loan payment was calculated at 179 payments of $539.30 plus a final payment of $538.34.

It is estimated that you will need an annual salary of at least $64,716.00 to be able to afford to repay this loan. This estimate assumes that 10% of your gross monthly income will be devoted to repaying your student loans. If you use 15% of your gross monthly income to repay the loan, you will need an annual salary of only $43,144.00, but you may experience some financial difficulty.

Today, first year FO pay at most regionals average about $23 per hour ($23 x 75 x 12 = $20,700 minimum) + 15% increase in pay. +100% increase in flight training costs.

Of course you will make more adding per diem and any extra flying you get lucky to pick up but my point is looking at the minimum income needed to repay these loans without hardship is a lot higher than any regional first year pay. Most will argue that second year FO pay at most regionals is a lot better than first year so they just stick it out. True, but even at second year FO pay doesn’t compare to the $65,000 in yearly (see above) income needed to adequately pay this loan month after month. Some argue of a quick upgrade to captain will resolve this. Well, this could happen or not. There are many variables in the way of this happening as planned. Keep in mind regionals are now looking for pay concessions from pilot groups to curve costs so adjust accordingly. My point is not to discourage anyone from pursuing their dream to fly for a living but to make them aware of the feasibility of flight training to get there.

Given the current state of the commercial aviation industry and cost associated with flight training I would not borrow more than 40-50% of my flight training costs. Given all the risks associated with today’s industry it would be preferred to pay for all of your flight training in cash without borrowing. I don’t for see commercial aviation magically doubling salary to accommodate high training costs.

I hope this helps out. Good Luck!
 

yoman793

Well-Known Member
when you write out the numbers it really is depressing to see how expensive it is to become a professional pilot. im glad that i love flying so much that i'll go into dept trying to be one. well not 60k worth. i think i'll opt for the slower, cheaper, more time consuming option.

thanks for the reality check cactus. really apreciate the info. how do these brand new FO's coming out places like fight safety or atp stay afloat without the help of a spouse? i am comfortable saying that the fbo route is the path i will take. i've heard alot of folks tell me to take my time getting my ratings. i think i'll take their advice and just enjoy my time building and teaching. at least untill i can get a job flying boxes around or something. then maybe i'll have the time and experience needed to work for a corporate gig.
 
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