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.

11-26-2006, 06:11 PM
Hello all, I am a 16 year old student and currently I have great interest in becoming a commerical airline pilot and choosing it as my career. However I have virtually no real flying experience, nor the resources to find out about what life is like as a pilot. So I was hoping that you, the more seasoned veterans, could possibly share your experiences as a pilot. I am primarily interested in how you were able to reach the career (qualifications,competition,education,etc) and just how does the daily life of a pilot works (social life, financial status, connection with family, frustration, stress, etc) Anything else signficant would be appreciated as well (like for example a term in the air force or other branch of the military, or a time of hardship [so long as I am not invading your privacy or comfort space]) Thank you.


11-28-2006, 10:50 PM
My apologies everyone, it was irresponsible of me not to do a search for any similar topics. And i just read the sticky. Sorry for spamming the forum. Have a nice day everyone.

11-28-2006, 11:08 PM
No problem, but yes, those questions you have asked, have previously been answered, and answered once again.

Just make sure you take everything with a grain of salt. Many pilots and former pilots who post in this forum are very pessimistic.

Pilots like CalCapt, Ottopilot, FreightPuppy, and many more can actually give you a reasonable response of what it is like to be a pilot, without focusing only on the good or bad sides.

SkyHigh can give you the perspective of what happens when everything goes wrong in your aviation career.

Most importantly always focus on what you want, and make your own decisions; don't let anyone make them for you. If you want to become an airline pilot, go ahead, give it your all, and become an airline pilot. Good Luck.

11-28-2006, 11:50 PM
I can give you a rundown on the military:

All branches:

Good: Money for College :D Just make sure you are adamant about ROTC (scholarship) and NOT enlisting with the recruiters. "we" military types on the board can probably hook you up with the appropriate folks. If you get picked to fly, it and the first 2000+ hrs (at least) are on the gov'ts dime. Also having wings from the military usually means you are trainable. If you want 4 years of pain and no social life go to an Academy.
Bad: You can get shot at/down/and other various nasty stuff. Although what you fly is supposedly based on your performance during your first 100hrs, it's still a mystery and you may have to detour through helos (like me) which stalls you out for a couple years as most of the majors don't count helo time. Nothing you can not work around. The big bad is you may not get to fly, and all the branches have different roads to get there.

Air National Guard: Enlist in a unit, go to one of the colleges that that state has a deal with (most will pick up some level of tuition at a state school), then pledge for a UPT slot.... great deal, as you know what you'll fly when you start. Hard to get, and you will almost always need the enlisted time to prove your worthiness. Also, you may find out the unit is full of a$$clowns that you don't want to be around. After you get picked for UPT, you'll be active duty for a while to train and build time.

3 more observations: 1. The military is great for networking towards a commercial job. Networking is key to getting in the door for an interview at a major. 2. Don't join planning to use the military as a stepping stone to commercial. Join because you want to serve, lead the best people on the planet and enjoy the best flying out there. However, 55% of your life will be consumed with non-flying stuff (85% in the Navy...flying is a collateral duty from my day job!), you'll be grumpy, you'll suck at work, which ****es the folks off you are counting on to be your network. Then when your commitment is up weigh your options. 3. If you get out and go commercial, affiliating with a reserve/guard unit is a great way to double you're first year income!
John, I would definitely pursue the military option, and when it gets to decision time if your heart isn't up for it, no harm no foul. But, I've done some great things, had alot of fun and not only no regrets whatsoever, but I'm a much better person all around.

Good Luck, PM me if you have specific questions.
Don (aka Spongebob)

11-29-2006, 09:30 AM
Check out the home page of

The guy the started that site does a great job of answering these sort of questions.