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Old 05-16-2019, 02:31 PM   #3  
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Joined APC: Jan 2006
Position: Engines Turn Or People Swim
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Originally Posted by ClassicMan View Post
3.) Will my background in nuclear help me? (not in direct knowledge, but in working style and approach to problem solving and decision making?)
Yes. Whether military or civilian, that background will lend itself well to the technical training, decision making, and regulatory/procedural aspects of aviation. Still have to walk and chew gum though.

Originally Posted by ClassicMan View Post
4.) If I want to go the traditional route of Training->CFI/Time builder job->Regional->Major, is my timeline of 5-7 years to get there reasonable?
Yes, given current and known future industry conditions. Assumes a clean background, good performance in aviation training, and a reasonable college GPA. Otherwise it might take longer to the majors. Also assumes aggressive career progression, ie no kicking back and enjoying your seniority when you're eligible for the next step.

Originally Posted by ClassicMan View Post
5.) What are other considerations that I may not have thought through?
Airline aviation looks pretty rosy for the near future, probably better than any other time in history. But the industry is fragile, so keep in the back of your mind that things could go to hell in a hand basket pretty quickly. Great potential rewards but there is some risk too.

ATP is known to be hard on folks who don't have a lot of initiative and survival instinct. You should be able to handle it but make sure they don't set you up for unnecessary checkride failures.

I would seriously get a private pilot cert before quitting your job and going all in. Make sure you like it and have an aptitude. Get some advice from a younger professional pilot about checkrides, don't want to fail your private at some local yokel FBO because you don't know what you don't know.
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