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.




TKOwnedU5
05-24-2015, 08:39 AM
Hello everyone, first post here. I've been browsing this site for a couple of days now and have found some great information. I have a tough decision to make. I know two pilots in the industry right now. Both of them are very successful. One of them went through the ATP flight school program and enjoyed it very much. The one thing that bothers me the most is the costs. I can't afford ATP and a bachelors degree. That'll almost cost me 100k after it's all said and done. He says its great if you want to fly ASAP, but if your looking to fly commercial I'm going to need a bachelors degree also. I'm only 20 years old and almost have an Associates degree. I have no licenses.

The second pilot I spoke to told me if I want to save a lot of money I could try the Air National Guard or Reserves. They could pay for my schooling and my flight training. I don't know what route to take. Would it be worth spending all this money at ATP to get all my licenses and hours quickly? Or spend some time in the military?

Sorry if this posts is all over the place, I'm just really eager to start flying and hopefully one day be a professional pilot.


FLTLVL410
05-24-2015, 09:29 AM
Hello TKOwnedU5,

As some one who went through the ATP flight school program I can tell you it is not a bad program to go through. You do definitely have to be on the top of your game since so much is begin squeezed in such a short time.But like anything worth while you have to be fully dedicated to it. I feel it has prepared me well for an airline career. Since day one of training you are in a fast moving high pressure environment and this equates well to the what you will experience in an airline. Not saying ATP does not have its negatives but the positives out way the negatives. As for the National Guard pilot training I could not tell you about that. Hope some of this information helps you. Regards

UAL T38 Phlyer
05-24-2015, 12:02 PM
If you don't get a 4-year degree, your chances of getting a major airline job are almost zero.

If you are phyically qualified to be a military pilot, I would talk to your friend about getting your degree and flying training through the military.


TKOwnedU5
05-24-2015, 01:27 PM
Does anyone know if it would be difficult to get 1500+ hours through the Air National Guard?

EvilMonkey
05-24-2015, 04:27 PM
Does anyone know if it would be difficult to get 1500+ hours through the Air National Guard?

It depends greatly on the equipment you are assigned to.

UAL T38 Phlyer
05-24-2015, 05:05 PM
The unstated part of that quetion is: "In how many years?"

Fighter guy, 20 years? Yes. 10? Doubtful, in this day and age....more like 1200-1500. (Some would, some wouldn't).

Airlift guy? Yes, in 10. Really, in about 4-5 years.

Helo? Maybe in 20, but not very marketable.

galaxy flyer
05-24-2015, 05:42 PM
Depends on events, too. Guys in my old C-5 unit got 1,500 hours in two years, were then A/Cs, IPs with 3,000 hours in three years--post-9/11. Strat airlifters build time quickly.

GF

threeighteen
05-24-2015, 11:24 PM
Get the 4 year, go ANG or AF Reserve.

BOGSAT
05-25-2015, 03:43 AM
Great salary, great part time job, great networking, serve your Country, no debt = Guard or Reserve. No salary, no job, overwhelming debt witch leads to 20K/yr job where you struggle to pay bills for years = ATP.

OldWeasel
05-25-2015, 04:22 AM
Ok guys, it sounds great. But no one had stated the cons of part time military service. Without stating the cons we lack validity and credibility. Are you near a fighter or airlift unit? If you get a flying job, will home job and unit be conveniently located or a giant triangle?

TKOwnedU5
05-25-2015, 03:07 PM
Thanks for all your input. So going through the Air national guard to obtain my bachelors would be a wise decision? Also does anyone know if the Air national guard would pay for a flight school (ATP)?

blastoff
05-25-2015, 03:56 PM
You need the degree to even apply to be a pilot in the Guard/Reserves. You said you couldn't afford both so I think people are assuming you can pay for school and then apply to a UPT board.

If you are looking to enlist into a non-pilot job to pay for school, then try to go for a pilot slot that is a possible path too, however much longer and equally competitive. The Post 9/11 GI Bill will pay for your flight training costs at a civilian school after you get your Private License, along with your 4-year degree, it's not "the Guard" paying for it.

sailingfun
05-25-2015, 04:58 PM
Thanks for all your input. So going through the Air national guard to obtain my bachelors would be a wise decision? Also does anyone know if the Air national guard would pay for a flight school (ATP)?

The guard will send you to Air Force flight training. They do not take or train pilots through civilian pipelines. You will also have to go to 10 weeks of OCS and a month of survival training. It takes close to two years to complete the process. Once in a guard unit you will need to get your total time up to 750 hours and you can then apply to a regional airline to build time at a faster rate.
The testing and qualifications to get a guard or reserve slot are pretty tough and AF flight training has a attrition rate that scares some away.

fiveninerzero
05-25-2015, 06:37 PM
The biggest plus of military flight training vs ATP flight school in my opinion: you only need 750 hours to get your restricted ME ATP cert.

Of course, being debt free is icing on the cake. Even though the helicopter time isn't looked at too greatly by 121 hiring depts, the Army Warrant Officer program will get you through the pipe right now without a degree and its flight school counts towards the 750 hour requirement. You can finish college using their tuition assistance benefits, and the GI Bill will pay for your fixed wing transition.

Oh. PS. A lot of States have programs where they will sponsor you through their state college so you don't have to dip into your GI Bill if you're a national guardsman. You might be lucky enough to be from one of these states.

ASaintBernard
05-25-2015, 07:22 PM
The biggest plus of military flight training vs ATP flight school in my opinion: you only need 750 hours to get your restricted ME ATP cert.

Of course, being debt free is icing on the cake. Even though the helicopter time isn't looked at too greatly by 121 hiring depts, the Army Warrant Officer program will get you through the pipe right now without a degree and its flight school counts towards the 750 hour requirement. You can finish college using their tuition assistance benefits, and the GI Bill will pay for your fixed wing transition.

Oh. PS. A lot of States have programs where they will sponsor you through their state college so you don't have to dip into your GI Bill if you're a national guardsman. You might be lucky enough to be from one of these states.

Close, being debt free is king and the 750hr ATP is icing on the cake. There is not much better than being debt free.

jimf15e
05-26-2015, 05:58 AM
As a 19-year military pilot, and fighter squadron director of operations and commander with service in both the RegAF and AF Reserve I hope I may provide some assistance with this question.

First and foremost, it's important to remember that one should never join any branch of the armed services unless you're 100% willing to serve your Country (and State for the ANG). Always remember that serving your country could mean dying for it as well - which is why we have a Memorial Day. It can also mean dealing with a lot of hardships - time away from home, long work hours, difficult work conditions, etc, even for part time personnel. While the services all offer some benefits, that's all that they are... benefits to help defray the challenges of dedicating yourself to service.

Are your friends in the industry that you referred to a bit older? If so they may be thinking of an earlier time when the military liked to advertise it's ability to help pay for college and technical training. In this day and age of frequent deployments, tragic losses, and demanding jobs, it's no wonder the rhetoric of free college educations and free technical training has been SIGNIFICANTLY toned down. Always keep in mind that at any time, including the day after you join a Guard or Reserve unit that unit can be "activated". When a unit is activated your part time duty has just become, very likely, a mandatory, full time job with an overseas commitment. No more college classes or cush day job! But that's okay, right? Because you joined because you wanted to SERVE, not because you wanted the benefits...

As to some more specifics. I'm less familiar with ANG requirements, but in order to be a pilot in the Air Force you need go to Air Force pilot training - a 2 year process for most weapons systems (undergraduate entry through Mission Ready status). To go to pilot training you need to be a commissioned officer. To be a commissioned officer you need to have a bachelor's degree and complete a commissioning program. To get sent to a commissioning program then to pilot training you have to find a unit that will hire you. Once they do, they'll put you on full-time orders for likely 2-3 years (training plus seasoning). Once that's done, unless you secure a full time job you go back to part-time drill status. That means you need a full time job to pay the bills. And a part time status means a very slow accumulation of hours. As stated before, to get to 750 can take quite a while for a full time dude. Part time - even longer.

Right now you don't have a bachelors degree. That means you need to need to enlist. In the RegAF and Reserves you aren't eligible for GI Bill education benefits until you have at least 90 days of active duty. Deployments can change this. But once you have benefits you can start getting your degree. Because remember, you need a degree before you can go to pilot training.

So great, you have a degree. But guess what - you're still in your old enlisted position. So now you have to get a commission... and an officer billet. A lot of units will help out with this process, but it's not a given. The Guard is definitely better than the other services. Now you have your officer billet - hopefully it's a pilot position, if so then you're off to pilot training. And now we're back to my first paragraph.

But remember this issue as well - Guard and Reserve units can (and have quite often) change missions. Sometimes it's from fighters to heavies. Sometimes it's from manned aircraft to RPA's. Changing to an RPA won't exactly work wonders for a future airline career.

I'm not trying to discourage the OP at all, just trying to throw some facts and reality at him. Please don't be uninformed - friends are great references, as is this website, but take everything you hear with a grain of salt. There is no magic solution - everything has positives and negatives. Be careful with military recruiters as well, they'll often tell you whatever they think you want to hear to get you to sign up with them.

But most important, please, please, please join the Armed Services for the right reasons - service to your country, state, and people. NOT as a flight school or college financing program. Even the services themselves no longer use this as a primary part of their recruiting campaign. Please PM me if you want if you have any other questions on active duty or reserve service.

UAL T38 Phlyer
05-26-2015, 08:52 AM
^^Superb post....covers everything.

jimf15e
05-26-2015, 09:00 AM
Thanks. Hopefully I help the OP as well as any others. I've never been a big fan of those who aren't in the Guard or Reserve trying to teach those new to the industry about how they're such a great way to pay for flying training, college, etc. Those new folks trying to make big career decisions need ALL the info.

tall guy
05-26-2015, 10:48 AM
I was in the Navy enlisted and was offered a program for me to go get my degree and come back as an officer. I was in a fighter squadron based in Oceana VA. After I completed my degree I had to pay the Navy back with 8 years of service not to mention I had already done 4 years already. I wanted to fly in the Navy but I didn't want to go back on another 6 month deployment and spent 3-4 months on "workups" prior to going out on cruise again. I would have been gone a full year from home. I was single and I could imagine what it was like for the guys that had kids. I decided to decline the Navy's offer and got my degree and my pilot certificates. This is all before the 1500 hour rule. After I declined and enrolled in college "BOOM"!!!! 9/11 hit. I could have been immediately reactivated but I had no call. The only call I got was from my legal officer asking me to update my recall information as I was on reserve status. The Military is NO JOKE!!!! The commercials are great but please join for the right reasons. It will take time to get to were you wanna be but you will get there. I'm not at 1500 yet so I have to flight instruct a little while but I'm getting there and you will too.

Tweetdrvr
05-26-2015, 01:30 PM
Right now you don't have a bachelors degree. That means you need to need to enlist. In the RegAF and Reserves you aren't eligible for GI Bill education benefits until you have at least 90 days of active duty. Deployments can change this. But once you have benefits you can start getting your degree. Because remember, you need a degree before you can go to pilot training.

Most states offer free in state tuition and books at in state schools to their enlisted members of the ANG/NG and some offer it to officers. This is on top of GI Bill benefits. The reserve recruiters don't like to talk about that. Several of our active duty SARM/HARM folks at DLF have recently gone to the ANG for that very reason. Free education (assuming "voluntary" deployments allow the time to do it), weekend drill pay and a few extra days of active duty or some Annual Tour days to pay from room and board, and they can hold back the Post 9/11 GI Bill to transfer to spouses/kids later. I have also seen quite a few prior enlisted ANG students at UPT who used those benefits to get a degree to earn a commission and are still holding on to their Post 9/11 GI Bill. One more reason to Go Guard!!

RazzorAPC
05-26-2015, 04:04 PM
Get the 4 year, go ANG or AF Reserve.

yep!!! thats the first choice. You will be very glad you did.

OldWeasel
05-26-2015, 11:29 PM
Objectively, I gathered you want to join the military to subsidize your flying career. The ATP tuition loan is a big nut to crack. You're young enough to have a long career which will make it a distant memory. There are no guarantees in the military. Mission needs are always first. Right now time is your friend. The wrong path for the wrong reason can change that.

Jimf15e really gave the best picture.

TheWeatherman
05-27-2015, 06:55 PM
But most important, please, please, please join the Armed Services for the right reasons - service to your country, state, and people. NOT as a flight school or college financing program. Even the services themselves no longer use this as a primary part of their recruiting campaign. Please PM me if you want if you have any other questions on active duty or reserve service.

Thank you thank you thank you for posting this. As a 16 year veteran who just took early retirement (TERA) and spent 3.5 years of those 16 years living in either Iraq or Afghanistan, it annoys the heck out of me when joining the military to get your ratings is thrown out there as just another "option" on these boards. Joining the military is a huge life changing decision that shouldn't be taken lightly.

Like you, I don't want someone in my military that is there just to get their ratings and punch out.

TankerDriver
06-09-2015, 05:38 PM
The military needs people who want to fly airplanes and "punch out" and people want to go all the way and make a career out of it. Not everyone is going to be a lifer. Not everyone is going to want to live with 20 years of **** sandwiches and having to check all the boxes to pin on O-6+. People have choices.

I don't fault anyone for wanting to serve their minimum commitment and decide to move on to "bigger and better" things after the military paid for a bunch of their training as long as they give it 110% while they're beside me.

As others have said, being in the military involves a lot more than just flying. I know aircrew who got tasked to man homeless shelters for 1-2 weeks on end during "Super-Storm Sandy" a few years ago cleaning up ****, ****, puke... you name it. "For State and Country". There will definitely be some things you end up doing in the military that you never thought you'd be doing when you swore in, but that's the job.

RazzorAPC
06-10-2015, 04:02 PM
ATP, Air National Guard, or Reserves?

One of these things is nothing like the other. That alone should make it an obvious choice. If you qualify and can get a guard/reserve pilot slot(not easy to do btw), why in the world would go to ATP and "Pay" , when you can GET paid for going to USAF flight school and come back HOME 12 months later with an FAA commercial ticket automatically. Then get paid to go train on an advance aircraft.

krudawg
06-10-2015, 04:19 PM
Get the 4 year, go ANG or AF Reserve.

100% agree. I think ANG slots or AF Reserves might be hard to come by because most career airline oriented people want to go that route as well.

TKOwnedU5
06-11-2015, 01:17 PM
Would getting all my certifications and add ons (private, instrument, mulit, and commercial) through the civilian world first increase my chances of getting a pilot slot through the military? Also would I be able to skip through any flight training through the military considering I would have some licenses already?

RazzorAPC
06-11-2015, 04:01 PM
Would getting all my certifications and add ons (private, instrument, mulit, and commercial) through the civilian world first increase my chances of getting a pilot slot through the military? Also would I be able to skip through any flight training through the military considering I would have some licenses already?

...........Yes.
........No.

Sledge Hammer
06-16-2015, 07:44 AM
You will skip IFS if you have your PPL.