Changing career and few questions

adreamer

Well-Known Member
Hello to everyone on this board:

Well, I am 35 and thinking about changing career to airline pilot or freight pilot. After long discussion(about a year), my wife suggested that I should try out at local FBO wether I like to fly or not - working on my PPL. After 15 hours in a small 152, I found myself speeding when I am going to my lessons. My wife found out I have a lot more smile on my face after 2 hours of lesson plus an hour drive from FBO. Now, my wife is standing behind me on the decision of changing my career. It is a great FBO club for me - saving my tons of money(hour rate are 152, 32 dollars wet, club member, 43 dollars for 172, 149 for piper scenca V)

At the same time, I have few questions. Does airline look at your resume and said "they don't like pilots from accelerated program/academy"? Does where do you train matter to airline career? I also would like to hear people's suggestions about ATP and FSI. These are 2 schools I preferred to go in the near future.

Thanks in advance


adreamer
 

Junfan

New Member
Hey adreamer my knowledge base isnt as great as most of the guys here, but I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability
..so here goes question # 1

---> Does airline look at your resume and said "they don't like pilots from accelerated program/academy"?

As far as I know, I believe the answer is No. However I may be wrong about that. The reason I say No is b/c by the time you meet the minimums for a job, most of your flight time will be done after you have finished with flight school...for ex. Flight instrucing.

-->"Does where do you train matter to airline career"?

Again in my opinion the answer here is No as well. People take different paths in getting to the airlines. Some take the FBO route, some take the accelerated route, some take the military route. The place where you train could have an influence in getting you an interview maybe, but then again an interview doesnt guarantee a job offer. For ex. Mesa and Comair guarantee interviews, but according to my knowledge not everyone who completes their programs and gets an interview will be offered a job.

-->"I also would like to hear people's suggestions about ATP and FSI."

I havent been to either school, however one of the flight instructors at my FBO went to ATP and he never said anything negative about it. The main differences between the two would be the multi time you get from ATP, total cost, and length of time. I cant speak about the instruction since I havent been there, but hopefully someone who has will respond to your questions. I hope this helps
 

Soonermurph

New Member
I did the same thing you are doing. I was 35 when I quit my law practice and started flight training at ATP. I haven't regreted my decision once. Lets face it, at our age it doesn't pay to string out your training. I went from private pilot to multi-rated, instrument, multi-commercial, CFI, CFII, MEI in 90 days. Now I am gaining about 90 multi-hours a month instructing for ATP.

As I meet flight instructors from all parts of the country one thing remains a constant; all are short on multi-time except for ATP instructors. When I finish here (in about six-months), I will have 1200 total 1050 multi. Numbers like that stand out to airlines. Something to think about.
 

aviator

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
As I meet flight instructors from all parts of the country one thing remains a constant; all are short on multi-time except for ATP instructors

[/ QUOTE ]

I have never met an ATP instructor
but I do work at FSI and my times are around 900TT 550 multi. Not really that short......
 

Mr. Irrelevant

New Member
adreamer,


I'd agree with soonermurph that most instructors are short on multi-time when they start looking to do something other than a CFI gig. I'd also agree that it doesn't matter where you do your training, at least to the airlines or corporations you could fly for. What does matter is that you get quality training. If you're thinking of going full-time, your FBO may very well have the excellent flight instruction you'll need. Plus, it will be one hell of alot cheaper. Probably tens of thousands of dollars cheaper.

Another issue very rarely mentioned is weather. If you take a bit more time, 2-3 years, you'll have a much better understanding of weather from a pilot's perspective than you would going to a school in a warm weather climate that churns you out in a half year. You'll definitely never look at weather the same as you progress thru training. More experience with it the better. Might be easier on your family to take go through the local Mom and Pop place too...Just some thoughts.


Mr. I.
 

socal

New Member
I'm currently in ground school for the RJ at Chautauqua Airlines and just had to get a Jet Careers fix. After reading the post, I thought I might have a viewpoint to add.

After completing my private at a local FBO, I went to ATP and subsequently instructed there for one year. I chose ATP because of their accelerated program, the twin time, the quality of instruction and the clearly defined price. ATP delivered everything they promised and more. The end result is that I finished all of my ratings (ME, INST, MULTI COMM. SINGLE COMM., CFI, MEI, MEII) in 59 days, and then just 1 year after starting there as an instructor, I was hired to fly a jet for a well-established regional.

Contrast my story to another guy in my class who has been flying for years to get to the same spot. Am I a better pilot than him because I was able to do it quicker? Absolutely not. The big difference comes down to price -- and specifically what time is worth to each individual person. While I paid close to $40,000 for all of my ratings (private at the FBO and then ATP's Career Pilot Program), the guy in my class paid $8,000 for all of the same ratings. He did it by working at the FBO, ferrying planes to build time, etc. To him, time was not as much an issue as money. To his credit he managed to do what costs most people at least $30-40,000 (and at some academies even more), for a fraction of the cost.

Like you I was in my mid thirties when I made the career change. After researching the industry (a lot of that by lurking on this website) I felt that I needed an accelerated program to play "catch up" given the fact that there is a finite career span (60 and you're out). Given that information, I was more willing to give up money than time when it came to choosing a flight school. I also found it reassuring to sign up for a flight school where I knew exactly how much my training would cost -- no secret expenses or added charges.

I believe that both my and my classmate's respective choices have paid off quite well -- he has gotten to the right seat for less than most people spend, and I have gotten there faster than most people are able to.

I hope that this helps in some way...
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
$8000? As Michael Waltrip says, "Let's do the Math Darrel ..."

Someone with an MEI from a part 91 FBO will have about 300 hrs minimum.

Even at $25/hr that's $7500. Gee who paid for check rides? Charts? Headset? most important, the CFI?

And where do you find aircraft for $25/hr? Especially multi engine? If this person truly claims to have all the ratings you do?

Someone is telling you stories.

Back in 1987-1990 it cost me almost $25k to get all the way to MEI and I was stingy.
 

sbe

Well-Known Member
John, I think socal was talking about the fact that his friend worked at the FBO, ferried planes, etc to pay for his training - therefore, he only had to pay an extra $8k out of pocket beyond that. Not that his training in total was $8k.
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
Still impossible if you ask me. You have to have so much time solo for example. Also, no one I know would let anyone ferry an airplane until they have a commercial license. Well at least not a low time private pilot by any means.

He had to pay a CFI for at least 50 hrs somewhere - 20 pvt, 20 IFR and 10 Comm/CFI - not to mention the Multi stuff.

I don't believe anyone can get those rating for $8000 - unless someone else paid for some of the training.
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
Anyone think that $8000 might have been a type-o?? Maybe... maybe not.

Perhaps some fortunate soul out there was able to swing a sweet deal with his/her FBO.

Just because WE'VE never seen it - doesn't mean it's not true.

Afterall - nobody living today has never seen Jesus......


Just MHO

R2F
 

sbe

Well-Known Member
I don't think you understood what I was trying to explain, but I'll try to do a little better job.

socal's friend worked at the FBO and ferried planes specifically to pay for flight training. After you apply all the money he made doing the above (which ferrying planes very easily could have been done while he was working on CMEL, CFI/II/MEI ratings), he only had to kick in an extra $8k to pay for his ratings. He's not saying he paid $8k in total.

In essence, he still paid say $25k or whatever his ratings cost, but the jobs he acquired in order to pay for it meant he only needed $8k extra to cover it.
 

stuckingfk

Well-Known Member
I agree with Sarah here. It can be possible if he only paid an extra $8,000 out of his pocket. But I'll try to give some reasons why it could be that only that price.

Working at an FBO gives this guy several advantages. Maybe he got free instruction and a huge discount on the aircraft.

40 hours fixed gear X $40 (estimate) = $1600
10 hours complex for COM X $60 (estimate) = $600
10 hours multi time for Multi X $100 (estimate) = $1000
10 hours for CFI/CFII X $40 (estimate) = $400
10 hours multi time for MEI X $100 (estimate) = $1000
7 Checkrides X $300 (estimate) = $2100

Total = $4600

Say he bought 85 hours and ferried aircraft for customers for the extra 85 hours he needed to be take the Commercial. That would bring the total to $8000. It could be done, but it would be hard to believe. I know I have left out other stuff like checkride costs (plane costs). So maybe he ferried for more hours to compensate for that. If this is true, this guy was dedicated and highly motivated to spend as little as possible.
 

secretapproach

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
I did the same thing you are doing. I was 35 when I quit my law practice and started flight training at ATP. I haven't regreted my decision once. Lets face it, at our age it doesn't pay to string out your training. I went from private pilot to multi-rated, instrument, multi-commercial, CFI, CFII, MEI in 90 days. Now I am gaining about 90 multi-hours a month instructing for ATP.

[/ QUOTE ]

Soonermurph, your story gives me hope. I turn 30 early next year and haven't decided whether to quit the office world to fly but I have to admit that I think of it every day. And I'm one of the lucky ones in the world of office work. I have a good job at a large fractional provider (hmmmm....) surrounded day in, day out by aviation and people who know what they are doing - dispatchers, specialists in international flight planning, etc. Not a day goes by that I don't learn something useful. I thought that working a desk job in the aviation world would bring me back down to earth so to speak but it hasn't. Now I'm fighting with the thought that I could probably make a pretty good living working at this company, taking on new responsibilities that I find very interesting. But ironically I almost never go flying because I'm stuck in my fun aviation job! Now don't get me wrong because I really do like my job and the people I work with are great. My boss is a pilot and is great to work for. But when I leave work at the end of the day I can't help thinking that the only time I saw daylight was when I went for a ten minute walk after lunch!

I have realized the reality that aviation is an expensive, time consuming hobby and, although it is well worth it to spend the time, I can see why so many people get their private license and then let it lapse. I don't want to tell my girlfriend every weekend that I can't do anything with her because I'm going flying. I've come to understand that flying is not everyone's first priority.


So it's good to hear stories from other people who have given up the cushy salaries of office work (at least compared to being a flight instructor) to pursue a dream. Maybe someday soon I'll join you (and ATP is my first choice!).

sa
 

socal

New Member
Yep...what I should have written is that he did it for $8000 out of pocket. The rest of the time was worked off at the school in some way or another.
 

cyruseh

New Member
I think Im going to show my newbie-ness here, but I am really at a loss. You guys are talking about going to ATP. What do you mean by that? I thought ATP stood for Airline Transport Pilot, like it was a certification of some sort. But it sounds like you are talking about a physical place. Can someone explain?

Thanks!
 

sixpack

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
I have never met an ATP instructor
but I do work at FSI and my times are around 900TT 550 multi. Not really that short......


[/ QUOTE ]

I never met an FSI instructor, but I did once stay at a Holiday Inn Express.
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
... and I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance!


(I really hate those commercials, by the way)
 

FL270

New Member
GEICO is evil ... the Anti-Christ of auto insurers. I'd rather sever my own fingers with a dull soup spoon than ever do business with them ... they ripped me off big time ... serious fraud. Stay away ... stay far, far away ... and yeah, their commercials do suck.

</rant>
</7500>

FL270
 
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