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Old 01-17-2006, 08:49 PM   #1  
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Default Advice please, am I to old? (schools, visa and age?) Where I go from now?

I am from the UK, and just turned 36 few months ago. Have been self employed for the last 15 years, but not within the aviation business.

This is my first post on this, so sorry if I this topic already has been written about before, I have not been able to check all posts.

But this was always my dream from I was 14 years old, when I was 18 I had my PPL, soloed when 17, and logged approx. 150 hours before I had to stop for financial reasons.
In 91 I was supposed to go to USA to make flight school, but I just could not get the money together that time, so I "delayed" the dream. I ended up playing and "training with tigers" instead, sorry but this not a joke.

One of my best friends did go (from Norway) and is now flying with Cathay for the last 8 years, and at 36 is checked out as Captain.

Finally after many years of hard work, I have managed to save up the money with my business, and I can afford the training, but the million dollar questions that always pop up are, how, where and what are my prospects!

I know the road is long, point is that this is what I have always wanted to do all my life. But I thought I would never be able arrive in the position that I could be able to do this. First the schools, there are so many, and many with promises, and after much year in business I am not to naive anymore, however I am highly motivated, more then most I would believe.

One of the schools I have had intrest in is Phoenix East Aviation, also because they have JAA theory, and this is something I would need with my school.

Anybody have any recommandations of other schools of good quality?

Secondly they also have the J-1 visa program, to be able to work as flight instructor, however what are the odds for this happening, that one get employed as flight instructor at the school to be able to build time / hours?

Now another aspect is that I would be willing to take "any" job anywhere in the world, to be able to build hours and work as a pilot. Why? Because this is my dream, I could continue with my current business for the next 30 years, which is operating my own commerical website, but I find this a bore that makes me mad, even though it makes me good money.
The fortunate thing I have is that the business I have can run still, but on a very reduced scale even if I started pilot training.

Now one of my other major questions is, what are the chances to get work as instructor, and being able to get work on instructor multi engine and IFR?
Still another question is since I need both FAA and JAA license when I go to school in the USA, is there any chance that an airline in the USA can hire me without visa?
The law as I understand is that if you have an employer, they can apply as sponsor for work Visa, however does anybody know if this at all possible for NON US residents.

I know I cant get a Visa without an employer.
I have British passport, and I am afraid the Visa lottery is to much of a lottery, tried it few times, but I dont believe in luck, prefer hard work, gives me better odds!

The reason I ask this is that I would like to build up more flight time, and I think there might be more jobs available in the US region then in Europe.
However as mentioned I would be prepared to go anywhere a plane can humanly fly if I could make my dream come true.

Now my most important question, is my age, I am 36, and will not be able to start flight training for another 4 - 6 months, so I will be close to 37, what are the chances that I can get a "proper decent" job starting at this age?
As I see it, I will need at least 2 years school and instructor time, this will maybe give me 1000 hours TT, but no proper job experience.
Any advice what be the better direction for me to take?

One school I contacted in Sweden said to be competitive at my age, I would need to make the school and take a type rating on the 737 or similar, still I think that sounds "crazy", that after approx.250 - 300 hours, then to spend approx.$35000 on a typerating, I personally cant see how that would be able to tempt any airline.

What advice would you give me? Is it to late to start now all over again?
Please I need some objective advice, because my head is spinning seriously on this "crazy" dream!

If not what would be the advisable directon to get started to give myself the best odds for success. And yes I know I must fasttrack my education, because I dont have time to spend 5 - 6 years to build up time to get a job.

I personally think I could have enough hours probably with 7 - 8 years to be considerd as FO in a european airline, by that time I will be approx. 43 - 44, this would give me another 16 - 17 years to live my dream. This is much time to be bored in another business.

But how do I get there, how can I get the hours I need at my age. And as said before, any job anywhere! Advise please!