Airline Pilot Forums

Airline Pilot Forums was designed to be a community where working airline pilots can share ideas and information about the aviation field. In the forum you will find information about major and regional airline carriers, career training, interview and job seeker help, finance, and living the airline pilot lifestyle.




RedHeadBirdie
04-12-2008, 01:44 PM
I'm 20yo female highly interested in enrolling into a aviation school. I've done my homework and have thought about this for 2 years now. However, am still unsure if I'm making the right move. Seems to me, most of you enjoy what you do. I'm 99% sure I'll enjoy it too, but then again, it's not like I have any experiance in the field either.

So my question to all pilots,

If there is something you could warn me of, or inform me of, or just something I need to know... BEFORE going to school.... please tell me. :o
Like, if there is one thing you could tell a wanna be pilot... what would it be???


rickair7777
04-12-2008, 02:18 PM
Very good question...many folks get into flying based on what they think they know, only to find that the reality doesn't match their expectations. Of course by the time they realize this they have invested years and tens of thousands of dollars.

The best answer is to get into recreational flying first. Stay in school or keep your current job and earn a private pilot's license on the side. Then enjoying fun-flying while you make up your mind on a career.

This will allow you to find out how much you like flying, as well as meet some other pilots, some of whom will probably be professionals. Since you need the private pilot license before you can work on a commercial anyway, you're not wasting any money.

There are many good resources o the internet, including this forum. Do your homework and be warned that flight schools are often dishonest...you can learn about that online too.

RedHeadBirdie
04-12-2008, 02:26 PM
Wow... thank you! That makes a lot of since.


ILS37R
04-12-2008, 04:12 PM
To echo some of what rickair said: get your private first and re-assess at that time.

A big question that will come up will be school vs. FBO. There are pros and cons to each, but most people I know come down on the side of getting training at the local airport FBO--it's (usually) cheaper and with more varied flying experience. Another option which may be available to you is a college with an aviation program (e.g. Purdue, UND, Lewis, etc. etc.). Could be a good fit.

Lastly, aviation training is expensive; no way around that. As a woman you may have access to some grants through Women in Aviation. They certainly won't cover everything and (I think) require you to have your private first, but, if you do decide to become a pilot for a career, you want to start out with as little debt as possible.

FlyJSH
04-12-2008, 05:41 PM
I suggest getting a degree in anything OTHER than aviation so you have an alternative to flying.

If you haven't gotten a medical yet, find an AME (Aviation Medical Examiner) and get an exam. Ask him/her if you would QUALIFY for a 1st (required for part 121 PIC), 2nd (required for other commercial operations), or 3rd (required for private )class medical -- DO NOT go there SEEKING a medical. The reason for NOT getting the FAA medical immediately is if you have some fairly minor medical issue, you could get it resolved PRIOR to taking an FAA medical exam. Otherwise, you could get into an FAA exam, find out about the medical issue, and spend weeks or months submitting the appropriate paperwork to clear it up.

Avoid taking out student loans. Find a way to pay for your tickets out of pocket rather than taking on debt. Finding folks with $100,000 in student loans isn't hard.... and most of them start out making $20,000 per year.

RedHeadBirdie
04-12-2008, 05:44 PM
Very helpful... love this site

wrxsteve
04-13-2008, 04:03 PM
warning : the future for upcomming pilots are going to have major problems in their career... its declining one day at a time... 30-40 years from now we might not even have any airlines left in this country. Our pay and benefits are going to decrease more and more as oil prices rise.

FlyJSH
04-13-2008, 04:19 PM
thanks for that ray of sunshine

freezingflyboy
04-13-2008, 06:04 PM
warning : the future for upcomming pilots are going to have major problems in their career... its declining one day at a time... 30-40 years from now we might not even have any airlines left in this country. Our pay and benefits are going to decrease more and more as oil prices rise.

Wow...too much Half Life my friend. I think you need to step away from computer and the turtle wax for a little while. Until they invent a safe, reliable, efficient means of instant teleportation (ala Star Trek) there will ALWAYS be airlines, in this country and abroad. People will always want to go on vacation, see friends and family and attend meetings and conferences in person. Period. Are the airlines experiencing a rough patch? Yeah, its tough right now. Are the airlines going anywhere? Nope.

I'm 20yo female highly interested in enrolling into a aviation school. I've done my homework and have thought about this for 2 years now. However, am still unsure if I'm making the right move. Seems to me, most of you enjoy what you do. I'm 99% sure I'll enjoy it too, but then again, it's not like I have any experiance in the field either.

So my question to all pilots,

If there is something you could warn me of, or inform me of, or just something I need to know... BEFORE going to school.... please tell me.
Like, if there is one thing you could tell a wanna be pilot... what would it be???

In response to the original poster and to second some of the other posters here, I would recommend finding a small FBO at your local airport and start working on your private pilot certificate. Getting your feet wet before committing to a long term and potentially expensive program is a good way to decide if you like aviation, if you can really afford it or if you have the aptitude for it (some people just weren't meant to be pilots) and you just might have a little fun flying friends and family around (something you don't really get to do at most "pilot factories"). If you decide its something you want to pursue further you could look at university programs (if you don't already have a 4 year degree) or continue your training locally. The biggest piece of advice I could give you or anyone else thinking about getting into aviation is: MAKE SURE YOU ARE PREPARED TO PAY FOR IT. What I mean by that is make sure you have a plan in place for how to finance your training so that you don't get interrupted by financial speed bumps. I would also recommend avoiding debt as much as possible. You're young so if it takes you a few months longer because you have to work to pay for your training, it is worth it. I know several people at my current airline and friends around the industry as well as numerous jumpseaters that I've talked to that are trying to figure out how to eek by on first year FO pay (roughly $1200-1400/mo) after they take out their $800/mo student loan payment.

Personally, I got my private at a local FBO then went to a large university (UND) for my degree and the rest of my ratings through MEI then worked as an instructor at both a small FBO and back at UND. I avoided debt as much as possible by waiting tables and bar tending and a few bail outs from the parents. Feel free to PM me with any questions.



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