Path to the airlines advice


New Member
I'm sure that similar situations have been addressed on this forum before and I've read through quite a bit of them. My specific situation is that I'm 29 years old and looking at a career transition to do what I've always wanted to do, FLY. I've been a weather forecaster in the USAF for over 9 years now. My question is what is the suggested path I should take. I'm eligible for 100% of the new gi bill which will pay for all of my degree. Currently I would have about 2-2.5 years to finishi off my bachelors degree. I've appled to Embry Riddle university as an aeronautical science major and am waiting approval. Here is something I'm thinking about. Should I get my ratings before attending embry riddle or just attend Embry Riddle and complete their entire flight training program. The biggest issue I have right now is that I have a wife and 7 year old daughter and while I understand learning to fly is not a race, the sooner I can get back into the work force the better. One path I'm considering at the moment is to knock out my private pilots license and accumulate 80 hours of flight time and then attend ATP flight academy's 100 day fast track program with 100 hours multi. That would get me all of my ratings and then transferring to Embry Riddle in the Spring semester. Thoughts on this? I appreciate the input!


Well-Known Member
Nine years enlisted in the Air Force? Find a guard unit that's short on pilots and will work with you on an age waiver. Odds are pretty slim but may be worth looking at. I've got a buddy that just made it to UPT at 35 years old. He was prior enlisted (MSgt) and I'm sure that helped with his waiver, which made it to a 3 star level.


Well-Known Member
Another thing to consider is the new proposed revisions to the post 9/11 GI BILL. Im currently 100% and at UND and they are starting to makes changes, so I would be sure you research every school you can and ask them what they know about HR 476. Also, consider going to a large school that represents the Veterans. UND is leading this battle against the VA, our Director of Flight Ops is on the phone with the VA every week. If you have any questions for me feel free to ask. Im doing the commercial aviation program!


Well-Known Member
Is a transfer within the USAF a possibility? If it's even remotely possible, I'd focus all my efforts on doing that.


Professional GTA V Pilot
Riddle is extremely expensive. I'd try to look at other options. I loved Riddle (both campuses) when I toured and got accepted but wasn't worth the price at the end of the day in my mind. Especially the way they run their flight program. Go somewhere you can fly your ass off and get the certs/ratings fast and quick and start building time if that's your goal.

As far as schools to look at...this was how I chose my schools to apply too. Ended up liking my choice because I got to graduate a year early because I stayed over summers and flew my ass off so that I could keep taking more credits.

Also if you're gonna do an aviation sci degree make sure the program has approval for a rATP certificate (1000 or 1250 hour rule) so you can get on with a regional faster. If you take this route then they will prep you great for a professional pilot career. I loved my degree but many here will tell you to stray away from the aviation degrees. Study what interests you, if it's aviation then do it. If it isn't then fly on the side and get a degree in what you want to learn. I'm sure you already know that though.

Good luck! I just graduated from Rocky Mountain College (on that website of accredited schools) so if you're thinking of coming to Montana I'll try to answer any questions you have via PM. Knew a few guys that came to our school around your age frame using the G.I. Bill. Unfortunately though, I don't really have any information on that. I do know that it was paying for their flight labs though since it was "school".