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Another Firefighter to Pilot Career AdviceReq

Old 08-08-2017, 10:35 AM
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Default Another Firefighter to Pilot Career AdviceReq

I will try to spare the long story so here it goes. I am starting at zero and am estimating it will take about 5 years to be certified and working at a regional or mainline carrier.

I am 32 and working as a career firefighter in Southern Nevada. I have about 5 years on, am about to get promoted to engineer, and love my job. I have a wife and kid and have a defined benefit pension. I plan on retiring from here when I am 53 and should have a pretty comfortable retirement built up by then.

I have always wanted to be a pilot, but I wanted to be a firefighter more. Now I figure that I can probably do both

My employer has tuition reimbursement for certain degrees including electives. So I found that I can use the Liberty University Flight Training affiliate program to get me started and have it cost me nothing out of pocket for a while. I would be training through IflyElite out of North Las Vegas airport.

If anyone on here has trained through this program or through IflyElite please let me know

I think the order of certifications will go like this

1.Private Pilot License
2. Instrumentation
3. Commercial
4. CFI

I think there are some multi engine and jet ratings I will also need to get.

6. ATP

Please correct me if I have anything wrong here up to this point.

I am not going to give up my fire dept job with all its benefits to start at zero and be a pilot at this age. That would be CRAZY.

Now I am looking for the advice on if I should do this.

I work 10-12 days a month at the fire dept with no overtime. If there is overtime available I work a total of 15 days a month.

When I retire from the fire dept at age 53 I t want to be a full time pilot. I would like to work reserve for a mainline carrier before then. At age 52-53, retire from my first career and start my second career. I will have at least 12 years of work before I am forced to retire for good.

Can I work reserve/part time for a regional (or mainline) only wanting to have 5-8 or so flight days a month?

Would it be advantageous for me to get the training done at no cost to me and just get enough hours over the years to make myself marketable when I retire from my current career?

I work part time for DGS right now cleaning cabin's a few nights a month for the non-rev benefits. My family loves the travel benefits and I think that is one of the main reasons for doing this also, just being able to hop on a flight anywhere in the world is a great feeling. I have always wanted to fly, but I have also noticed that pilots work the fewest days per month and get the most non-rev travel benefits that I would definitely take advantage of using.

I have always wanted to fly, but starting at zero, this is a pretty big hill to climb, and if it was going to put me into some serious debt I would not even be considering it.

Thanks for the advice
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Old 08-08-2017, 12:31 PM
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Much of your desires are possible, no guarantee going long. The positive 'kicker' is the mostly free flight training, while keeping your 'day job'.

In the near years if it culminates with $100 burger runs with the wife, still a great return. Beyond that, much is possible.

With many of these inquisitive postings, an unknown can be the motivation level of the OP. There are those that will walk the bed of coals to get to the goal, the next prefers to be spoon fed. That's often the difference between is it possible or not.

Regardless of the final score, there are still some positive Mid goals along the way. My advice is to go for it.
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Old 08-08-2017, 02:19 PM
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I appreciate the advice. Any career as a pilot is going to take a lot of hard work to get to. I worked really hard (years of school, certifications, and public sector testing) to earn my current job and I expect to do the same for the second career. However at this point it is not just about me anymore as I have a family now so I won't be able to put in the same effort as a 22 year old with no mortgage and responsibilities. That is why I am figuring in more time.

I am 95% sure of going for it.

Do I have the steps to get there in the correct order? I have not found the "Step by step directions to be a commercial airline pilot in 5 years" PDF anywhere in my research.
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