How to become a pilot

teejaayt

New Member
Hey everyone,
I'm sure people have posted this several times, but I'd appreciate anyone who can give me some advice that is more specific to my situation.

Ever since I could remember, my dream was to fly. Not just casually fly, but as my career Now, I'm 18 years old and about to start my second semester of college. When it was time for me to start applying for schools, I never looked into any schools that had aviation programs because of the cost and I thought my parents would want me to get a degree in something more "practical." However, after a few conversations, they seem to be okay with the idea of me getting my ATP rating.
So with that being said, here's my problem:
How do I go about flying as my career? I don't necessarily want to fly commercially... As long as I'm flying something I wouldn't mind. It can be for companies, airlines, delivery (like FedEx), anything really.

So should I stay in school and earn my degree while I start taking private flying lessons at a local airport? And if so, does my major matter at all?
And if I need a degree, does anyone know of any really good schools in Texas that have an aviation program? (Keep in mind that I go to THE University of Texas at Austin so if I'm getting a degree I want it to be from an amazing school)
Or is it possible to become successful in the field if I drop out of school and join a program like ATP? (Also feel free to add your comments and opinions about ATP and its competition)
And what is the job market looking like in this industry?

Any advice that ANYONE can give me will be EXTREMELY appreciated.
Like I said, this has been my dream since I was a kid. And I hope that it can become a reality, I just don't know how about getting there.
 

AAPalmTree

Well-Known Member
You've received good info. First, get a degree in something not aviation related you can fall back on if the industry tanks. Go out and get a first class medical now to make sure you don't have something disqualifying (not likely but good to know before you dump a bunch of money into training).
If money isn't an issue start flying in college at an FBO. Then go finish at a ATP type school. Then do ANYTHING to build time to get to a regional if the airlines are your goal.
The industry is good right now. You'd be hitting this at a good time. We all did what you're doing.
Best of luck!

Also, come back here for future advice when you have a plan. There are some shady schools/people out there in the training world. You'd have a good group of people on here to tell you who to avoid!
 

j4seymor

Well-Known Member
Keeping in mind that you attend THEEEEEE University of Texas at Austin, I'd recommend you try to find an FBO and start working toward your private license. That way you will hopefully reduce the possibility that you switch schools, start flying, and find that you actually like the idea of flying more than actually flying. I had several friends when I was in school, not at THEE UTaA of course, who started out down the path to be a commercial pilot and realized after dumping tens of thousands of dollars into their training that they really wanted to do something else. Good luck! Continue to ask questions, you'll get great answers, and be sure you do all the research you can before you commit to something.
 

hook_dupin

Well-Known Member
NROTC, finish college, get commissioned and fly in the military. Fly Navy. You'll attract more than those Riddle grads. Sorry, I have that recruiter mentality.
A good friend of mine is a UT-A grad. He went AFROTC, became a F-15E pilot, went to Test Pilot School, and now is about to be an O-6.
 

Retired in SAN

Time to return to the saddle..
NROTC, finish college, get commissioned and fly in the military. Fly Navy. You'll attract more than those Riddle grads. Sorry, I have that recruiter mentality.
This..

Unless you are physically incapable of joining the military, do so. Your country and your career will thank you. Fly the coolest stuff and get the better jobs when you retire with your pension. All on the government's dollar. If I knew than what I know now.. 35 years in this business and still concerned where my next paycheck is coming from. Think military..
 

Retired in SAN

Time to return to the saddle..
Going into the military to learn to fly is like spending all your wages on the lottery in hopes of winning the money. You might be one of the lucky, chosen few, or you might end up scrubbing toilets for three years for nothing.

-Fox
See, and I believe you choose your own destiny. I didn't say it would be as easy as getting on with a regional. It actually takes a little more than fogging a mirror.
Have known many people who go into the military to fly and that's what they did. Comparing to the odds of winning the lottery is very much exaggerated.
 

ahsmatt7

Well-Known Member
Since you're in austin, got to KGTU and get as many ratings as you can with your own money. Don't go to ATP and DO NOT DROP OUT OF UT.

As for the military route, do the math, your odds of getting into a military slot are slim. Very very slim. Anyone who says anything different is lying to you.

Go do your cfi and go to a regional airline. Get your ATP paid for and when you have around 1000 in a turbine airplane, start putting your feelers out.

During your learning days and your cfi I days, network network network. Everywhere and with everyone.

My method I just shared with you is the method that is the most tried and most realistic. You may very well get into and military flying slot, get picked up to fly a king air or something like that with 300 hrs total time. However, if you only count on those things, you'll be like so many cfis or commercial pilots with no real plan for success and you will most likely not see any real success because you bet your dreams on hopes and sugar drop candy cane ideas of building experience.


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Retired in SAN

Time to return to the saddle..
I guess the part I missed is that money isn't an issue and he has plenty of it or flying lessons. Then follow the civilian route only. Mom and pops pay for the lessons, blah blah. Only the special few get to fly in the military, but not you. Ever wonder why most of the pilots going to the regionals are civilian and the military ones go to straight to legacies after leaving service? Probably not..
 

DPApilot

GUYSH! GUYSH! GUYSH!
Roger Roger said:
Is that supposed to be "The Gulley"? Autocorrect?
No. He calls me that. I don't know why...

He also says it in this weird voice when I'm just trying to drink at his bar. It seems to be a tone of disapproval.
 

ahsmatt7

Well-Known Member
I guess the part I missed is that money isn't an issue and he has plenty of it or flying lessons. Then follow the civilian route only. Mom and pops pay for the lessons, blah blah. Only the special few get to fly in the military, but not you. Ever wonder why most of the pilots going to the regionals are civilian and the military ones go to straight to legacies after leaving service? Probably not..
Let's hear your theory as to why they go straight to the majors.

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