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Old 08-12-2017, 04:04 PM   #1
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Hello all,

This is William Smith. Iím currently 16, and live in Charlotte, North Carolina. Iíve been interested in aviation for a long time, my whole life if I recall correctly. I donít remember how I got interested, but Iím thinking about after high school, going strait to the Air National Guard (ANG) in Charlotte, North Carolina. There Iím going to be flying C-17 for cargo missions, all in hope that once my training is done, Iíll be able to go to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and supposedly the ANG will pay for it. I would like to after college, and my service in the ANG, apply for United Airlines. Iím very interested in Boeing planes, I personally think they make the best commercial planes. I researched the popular airlines, and found that United has lots of Boeing planes, including the Boeing 787-10, which I would love to fly one day. I use Flight Simulator X (FSX) as my current flight sim, and have used it for several years now, so Iím very familiar with flying commercial jets. Iíve done flights all over the US with primarily the 737, being the easiest to fly I think. Iím also currently part of Civil Air Patrol (CAP), which is Air Force Auxiliary. This has also helped me in my passion for aviation due to the five free orientation flights. These are hour long flights where you get five free lessons in Cessna 172, and 182, this includes G-1000. Iím getting ready to start my lessons for private pilot. I will be getting it through CAP. Iíve thought about flying for the Air Force as a fighter pilot, but it has gone more toward the ANG due to the benefits they give me to accomplish my goals. Overall, I just canít wait to fly for some airline, thatís my passion, and the main thing I enjoy in life.

Now to get to the question. Iím really wondering at my current position in life, what is the best way to achieve my goal to fly for United, and pilot a Boeing 787-10, as well as the cheapest way to get all the training that needs to be done for a commercial pilot rating?
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Old 08-12-2017, 04:07 PM   #2
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Hello all,

This is William Smith. I’m currently 16, and live in Charlotte, North Carolina. I’ve been interested in aviation for a long time, my whole life if I recall correctly. I don’t remember how I got interested, but I’m thinking about after high school, going strait to the Air National Guard (ANG) in Charlotte, North Carolina. There I’m going to be flying C-17 for cargo missions, all in hope that once my training is done, I’ll be able to go to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and supposedly the ANG will pay for it. I would like to after college, and my service in the ANG, apply for United Airlines. I’m very interested in Boeing planes, I personally think they make the best commercial planes. I researched the popular airlines, and found that United has lots of Boeing planes, including the Boeing 787-10, which I would love to fly one day. I use Flight Simulator X (FSX) as my current flight sim, and have used it for several years now, so I’m very familiar with flying commercial jets. I’ve done flights all over the US with primarily the 737, being the easiest to fly I think. I’m also currently part of Civil Air Patrol (CAP), which is Air Force Auxiliary. This has also helped me in my passion for aviation due to the five free orientation flights. These are hour long flights where you get five free lessons in Cessna 172, and 182, this includes G-1000. I’m getting ready to start my lessons for private pilot. I will be getting it through CAP. I’ve thought about flying for the Air Force as a fighter pilot, but it has gone more toward the ANG due to the benefits they give me to accomplish my goals. Overall, I just can’t wait to fly for some airline, that’s my passion, and the main thing I enjoy in life.

Now to get to the question. I’m really wondering at my current position in life, what is the best way to achieve my goal to fly for United, and pilot a Boeing 787-10, as well as the cheapest way to get all the training that needs to be done for a commercial pilot rating?
College first and some spell check.

Last edited by pilot0987; 08-12-2017 at 04:08 PM. Reason: Uu
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Old 08-12-2017, 04:16 PM   #3
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While I admire your passion for aviation, do not go into the military as a stepping stone for the airlines. If you truly want to serve and are acknowledging the airlines as a silver lining as a military aviator that's one thing. One step at a time!
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:12 PM   #4
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William, Follow your dreams! One point of clarification is needed on the pathway, however. After you graduate from high school, you should go to college and earn a bachelor's degree in any field. I do not believe you can become a military Officer right out of high school and fly C-17's. Some exceptions apply, such as the Army's warrant officer program (if it is still available)?? Others "in the know" can probably give you more accurate info on the warrant officer program if you are interested.

Get good grades, stay out of trouble, play a sport to stay fit and also work in some extra-curricular activities that will look good on your resume. Any type of club or organization that includes community service will be a big boost. The future is yours to have!
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Old 08-13-2017, 04:54 AM   #5
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Ok, so if I were to go the civilian way into commercial aviation, what would be the fastest way, as well as the cheapest way to receive training, and begin flying for the airlines?
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Old 08-13-2017, 05:26 AM   #6
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Flying for the guard straight out of high school is not going to happen because you need a bachelors degree from a college university to be a pilot in the military, including air national guard. Also, joining the North Carolina guard is not going to pay for Embry Riddle because the guard only plays for tuition in the state you are serving in, so you only get tuition assistance for North Carolina State schools.

Follow your dreams, and research the best way to get to your dream. If you plan on going the civilian route, I suggest going to a cheap state school, get your bachelors degree while paying for flight training out of pocket, even if that means working two jobs and staying home with mom and dad for awhile. There really is no cheap way to pay for flight training, I wish there was. If you are looking to just join the guard for a free ride to the airlines, back away now, they see right through that and you wont become a pilot, you have to want to serve your country.
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Old 08-13-2017, 05:35 AM   #7
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Ok, thank you for that, I can understand why going to the Air National Guard for my reason is not a good idea. So in order to become a commercial pilot for the majors, is a degree in aerospace required, and one I were to finish college, what would I do in order to get to the majors?
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Old 08-13-2017, 06:39 AM   #8
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No, a degree in aerospace is not required, it just needs to be a bachelors degree from an ACCREDITED school. I emphasize that because if it is not accredited its value is worthless. As for getting to the majors, get your flight training done, build your time to 1500 hours, get your Airline Transport Pilot License, fly for the regionals and build that jet time and chase the jobs at the majors. It wont happen overnight but with the right persistence you will make it.
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Old 08-13-2017, 06:56 AM   #9
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Ok, do you think you might be able to recommend some aviation colleges in North Carolina?
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Old 08-13-2017, 07:04 AM   #10
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I do not believe you can become a military Officer right out of high school and fly C-17's. Some exceptions apply, such as the Army's warrant officer program (if it is still available)??
Correct, you can fly helos in the army (active, guard, or reserve) as a warrant officer, but I think you need a couple years of college or prior military experience to be competitive for that.

If you go warrant, you'll still need a degree and fixed-wing time for the airlines. So the best bet is this...

Focus on grades, ACTs, sports, extracurricular activities, and girls in HS.

If you get an Academy/ROTC scholarship and can qualify for a flight slot, then college and flight training are "free", although you will of course serve on active duty for about ten years. You can then consider airlines at about age 32.

If you're more focused on airlines, then you can go to college on your own and try for an ANG/USAF Reserve flying slot. Then you can pursue airlines in parallel with part-time military flying. Most of us who have been around a while would recommend this. Also if you do ten years on active-duty you'll probably miss the current hiring wave.

The fastest, but most expensive road would be to attend a four-year university with an aviation program. That way you'd graduate with pilot ratings and likely the flight time you'd need to immediately get a regional airline job and start working your way up.


The path to any major airline is the same, and as far as which airplane you fly, you can choose when you have enough seniority. Almost everybody starts on smaller airplanes due to the seniority system. If you happen start on a large airplane, it's just plain luck.

As others mentioned, don't do the military solely to pay for flight training, you need to want to actually serve in the military. Keep in mind that military flight slots are competitive, you'll need to be a stand-out not just another mediocre slacker. Civilian flight training is more about how much money you have.

Also don't do drugs or get arrested. Those things can haunt you for your entire career.
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