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Old 08-11-2012, 12:33 PM   #1  
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Exclamation I would love to be a pilot.

I know you guys get lots of stuff like this but I'm going into the 8th grade and have loved aircraft and flying all of my life. It hit me that why don't I become a pilot! I would get paid to do one of the things i love. I have some questions and would greatly appreciate it if some of you could answer it.
1. I'm already serious about good grades but which subjects should i work extra hard in?
2. What is the best route to take after getting my high school diploma and what to major in. Aviation science in college? Or major in anything and go to flight school after? Or apply for Air Force and get everything at once?
3. What are some of your favorite things of the job?
4. Do you get healthcare benefits and discounts on flying?
5. What is your personal favorite airline to work for?
6. Is it a really stressful job?
7. About how much do you invest in becoming a pilot?
8. Do you get to spend time with family and doing other hobbies?
I'm sorry I asked so many questions, but I would love for some answers. Thank you.
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Old 08-11-2012, 12:52 PM   #2  
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You will get different responses from different pilots based on:
1. Family dynamics (married, children, etc)
2. Living where you work or commuting.
3. Having been furloughed before.
4. Regional, Corporate, Charter or Mainline/Major airline pilot.
5. Personal attitude (glass is 1/2 full or 1/2 empty).

At the end of the day, take the best of each response and see how it fits into your own plans, desires and ambitions. Good luck!

1. I'm already serious about good grades but which subjects should i work extra hard in?
Math, Engrish*, Science, Computers.....just get good grades.
2. What is the best route to take after getting my high school diploma and what to major in. Aviation science in college? Or major in anything and go to flight school after? Or apply for Air Force and get everything at once?
Major in something NONAviation related (back up plan). Get a degree, then go to flight school.
3. What are some of your favorite things of the job?
Traveling, meeting people, flying.
4. Do you get healthcare benefits and discounts on flying?
Yes, different companies have different healthcare plans. Jumpseating, so yes.
5. What is your personal favorite airline to work for?
********
6. Is it a really stressful job?
At times it can be, but mostly no.
7. About how much do you invest in becoming a pilot?
$55,000.
8. Do you get to spend time with family and doing other hobbies?
Yes. It comes down to time management. Sometimes its tough.
I'm sorry I asked so many questions, but I would love for some answers. Thank you.
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Old 08-11-2012, 01:26 PM   #3  
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1. I'm already serious about good grades but which subjects should i work extra hard in?
Do well in math. Stay above a 3.0 GPA.

2. What is the best route to take after getting my high school diploma and what to major in. Aviation science in college? Or major in anything and go to flight school after? Or apply for Air Force and get everything at once?
I paid for all of my flight training out of pocket. Came out to around $60,000. My biggest recommendation is to get your training and get it in such a way that leaves you with little to no debt. I would also think about keeping those grades high and start learning about how to go to the USAF Academy or the Naval Academy. The military will pay for you to get a top-notch education and you can have the opportunity to get in an airplane and have your training paid for

3. What are some of your favorite things of the job?
I love to travel. I started touring in bands from the age of 16, worked a job that allowed me to work in different locations around the country from the age of 19 until about a year ago, and now I get to travel occasionally minus all the driving. I'm a vagabond at heart I guess. I also love meeting and interacting with new people. Fresh faces every day keep things interesting. And this is the first career I've found where I can be around other highly-motivated goal-oriented people like myself. It is refreshing.

4. Do you get healthcare benefits and discounts on flying?
I don't have healthcare but I don't work for an airline or a full-time charter job. There are many rewarding facets to aviation besides airlines and charter.

5. What is your personal favorite airline to work for?
see above

6. Is it a really stressful job?
It can be. But flying makes it all worth it. You get to see and experience things others can only dream about

7. About how much do you invest in becoming a pilot?
$60,000

8. Do you get to spend time with family and doing other hobbies?
Yes. But as has been stated before, time management is key. It isn't always easy if you want to have a family. It is up to you to decide where your priorities lie.
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Old 08-11-2012, 04:34 PM   #4  
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1. I'm already serious about good grades but which subjects should i work extra hard in?
Common theme, but I'll repeat- good grades are what's important. Really working hard and earning scholarships to go to college will go a long way for you.

2. What is the best route to take after getting my high school diploma and what to major in. Aviation science in college? Or major in anything and go to flight school after? Or apply for Air Force and get everything at once?
I personally enrolled in UVU online and got a bachelor of science in aviation. Military is an option, but I have met people who enlisted to fly only to be placed in the drone program, so just make sure you choose a path that will have you flying airplanes. I am glad that I got my degree in aviation, it worked quite well for me. Some will say get a degree in anything buy aviation so that you have a plan b. I get the idea, if I lost my medical tomorrow I'd have no clue what I could do for a career, but to spend 4 years working toward a degree you don't want to use seems like a waste to me. see also my post in: http://www.airlinepilotforums.com/ca...al-advice.html

3. What are some of your favorite things of the job?
Landings, I do enjoy landing an airplane every day.. Even if it's a Cessna or a jet.. Always fun.

4. Do you get healthcare benefits and discounts on flying?
I do get healthcare at my regional. But like the rest of the nation, who knows where healthcare will go in this industry. I get to fly for free anywhere for my flight benefits, my parents get big discounts when they fly. Flight benefits are probably the biggest perk to being a regional pilot.

5. What is your personal favorite airline to work for?
The one who signs my paycheck... Just kidding. I know we all got into this industry planning to work for one airline or another, but the scene here always changes. Anything that is the best to work for today might be bankrupt by the time you graduate. So just go into this adventure with a very open mind and take the best offers that come your way.

6. Is it a really stressful job?
I've worked for worse.. It's not the Hollywood style fight to stay alive every day, but the job has its moments. Really the paperwork and making sure everything is legal to fly always seems like more work than the actual flying itself.

7. About how much do you invest in becoming a pilot?
College degree and training, out about $75,000...

8. Do you get to spend time with family and doing other hobbies?
Well, I live in Las Vegas and my pilot base is in North Dakota so though every weekend is a 3 day weekend, I spend two of them getting to and fro.. But I'm working toward getting a better lifestyle. And hobbies, I get to golf and stuff occasionally, but nothing too much...

It is good you're planning early and aviation sure has a lot to offer. But stick to it and work hard and before you know it you could be working as a first officer for a regional airline in no time.
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Old 08-11-2012, 05:46 PM   #5  
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First important lesson, it's a journey. I didn't have anything like the career I dreamed of, but I like the one I had, unexpected it was.

If you are lucky, join the Guard or Reserves and let them send you to UPT. Make smart, conservative decisions--save money where you can, don't make hasty, emotional moves and hope for the best. Get a good quality physical first and look at your parents physical history (regrettably, that's your future), health is one of the hidden deciders in this business ANG every six months a FAA medical is part of life.

Enjoy every minute of it.

GF
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:08 PM   #6  
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The best, the absolute best in my opinion, is to become an Aeronautical Engineer. People do double majors or minors in flight and get all of their pilot ratings at the same time. I wouldn't recommend this in terms of cost unless you are just rich, because "charging" it with loans is a dumb idea and it ends up costing a LOT more than it would otherwise in the end. Just remember that the cost of aircraft rental and instruction is up significantly from all the people that will post in this thread that trained 20 years ago. Remember that it will cost you MORE due to inflation and the price of some things going up much faster than inflation (gas, etc). 80K is probably more realistic with the multi-time that you'll need and a CFI certificate (this is a very good idea if you plan to be flying, it can possibly be used to "fall back on" or to "build hours", both of which are important). Go find a loan program and plug that in with a reasonable interest rate over 15 years and see how much it ACTUALLY costs to get some idea of how this industry and the training work.

By getting the Aeronautical Engineering degree, you open up a WORLD of possibilities. Things aren't great for pilots these days, many people will never make it to their dream job of flying an 747 across the ocean. The opportunities just don't exist. You "might" make it to a major, but you have to realize that may mean year after year of regional flying or being furloughed, etc. With the Engineering degree, you could work as an Engineer while getting additional ratings, getting work experience, actually learning about airplanes/aeronautical in ways that won't be possible in school, and then maybe down the road you can be a test pilot, because an Aeronautical Engineering degree is pretty much required for that, but if the pilot thing doesn't work out completely (as has been the case with so many pilots these days), you would have the ability to stay in aviation and do something related to airplanes with that Aeronautical Engineering degree. That is worth gold IMO, whereas some degrees aren't worth the paper they are printed on. It's only what you make out of it and the effort you put into it, but on the other hand, you would end up with far more opportunity than a pilot.
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:29 PM   #7  
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You're 13 or 14 now, let's assume you won't b "hireable" for say 10-15 years. Take a look at the next 10-15 years of retirements--very high, but you will toward the back half of them. Lots will happen in the meantime, just keep working t it.

GF
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:40 PM   #8  
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Like the others have said: Answers will vary wildly based on the person, what their particular path was, what their desired path was, and what they want out of their career. Your mileage may vary, no warranty expressed or implied.

I was a 135 pilot, then 121 FO, now 91 corporate.


1. I'm already serious about good grades but which subjects should i work extra hard in?
Math and science, but realize that generic flying (i.e. airlines) requires little mental effort in terms of direct math-type stuff. It's a lot more situational awareness, critical thinking, and staying ahead of a multiple-ton, multiple-hundred-mph metal tube.


2. What is the best route to take after getting my high school diploma and what to major in. Aviation science in college? Or major in anything and go to flight school after? Or apply for Air Force and get everything at once?
Do not major in aviation. I did, now I'm about to start my last semester of my second bachelors degree. Realize that if something happens to you during your aviation career that ends up with you losing your job or being stuck outside of aviation - an aviation degree will help you basically nil.


3. What are some of your favorite things of the job?
Cliche - but flying airplanes is a blast. The people for the most part are good (I said most part). My particular job, as a part 91 corporate single pilot, is even more fun to me because I am in charge of everything. I fly the airplane, manage the airplane, take care of everything on the road, and generally make the show happen. I get all the risks and all the rewards.


4. Do you get healthcare benefits and discounts on flying?
I get full benefits, medical/vision/dental/retirement along with plenty of other random little perks (fuel bennies, gym membership, use of the airplane, lots of time off). At the airline I had considerably worse tangible benefits, but I also had access to non-rev travel, and jumpseating, both of which are huge perks and the things I do miss.


5. What is your personal favorite airline to work for?
I worked for a crappy 121 regional, so my opinion here is worthless. My favorite airline to work for is not an airline at all.


6. Is it a really stressful job?
Depends how you define stress. In terms of low-stress, day to day operations, yes there is a lot. Making the flights work, dealing with the headaches of passengers, ATC, ground crews, etc. can be stressful if you let it be. Once you realize that a lot of it is outside of your control, and all you can do is be the best pilot for your respective company, it really lowers your workload.


7. About how much do you invest in becoming a pilot?
Plan $65-75k to get yourself going (to the point of being a flight instructor). You'll have to build time up to at least 1200 hours to get a part 135 job (cargo, etc.). This is just flying expenses, and will vary depending on where you go.


8. Do you get to spend time with family and doing other hobbies?
I know my schedule far in advance, typically at minimum two weeks. I am away from home at most two to three nights a month. If I take people on anything longer than a three day trip, I'll either airline home or bring the plane back. I've only been called out twice for a trip, and both times it was something I had at least a little notice about.
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:49 PM   #9  
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3. What are some of your favorite things of the job?
Can't say I'm a fan of airline flying (repetitive routes, same type of aircraft the entire time with same qualities and characteristics, usually fairly fixed weather patterns even depending on if you stay in a certain region. I'm more a fan of the stuff I did outside of that, such as landing on snow and ice more than a few times (preceded by the "low pass" to inspect the surface). The aerobatic flying I do (hopefully I get to continue this). Ferrying new aircraft on VFR flight plans through mountainous terrain (planning, more planning, contingency planning, and executing a well-thought-out plan). Using one aircraft to ferry aircraft parts to another aircraft and having to figure out how to make said aircraft parts barely-fit into the larger aircraft. Making short field landing approaches in high headwind conditions where you touch down at a walking-(ground)speed. Having a check pilot tell you "nice landing" (passengers have no idea what a nice landing is).

4. Do you get healthcare benefits and discounts on flying?
Yes and yes, but the flying benefits are usually better than the healthcare ones. Realize that there are a lot of married airline pilots trying to make it work at the regional level, they are earning 25-35K and are essentially not the main income provider for their family, so while this "works" for them, be careful about the benefits, because if you don't have anything else, it could be bad.

5. What is your personal favorite airline to work for?
Problem is most of us have only worked for one, a few older pilots have made it to the "big airlines", in which case they feel their sacrifices justified. If you do get to the big airlines and get a few years in, quality of life can be decent. It's a long way's to get there, and per my previous post, a lot of pilots are never getting there these days. There are a few regionals that are "acceptable" in this sense, but they are few and far between. They also usually require a complete commitment, otherwise you always "start over" from day one whenever you change airlines, so you have to go through the process again of being a first officer, then a captain, or possibly moving to a different type of airplane, etc. The seniority always resets are zero, that's important to remember. Can you get your "dream job" with your "dream airline" right off the bat?

6. Is it a really stressful job?
I like the poster that said after a while you realize what you can't and can control. You do your best in that area you have responsibility over. If you are the type of person that can complete projects requiring intense focus, then you are probably fine. Pilot training tends to push people in this direction the entire time. Realize there may be stress factors like making bills, commuting (from where you live to your airline's base), rest cycles, and other issues that make it stressful, but again it comes down to the person and their situation.

7. About how much do you invest in becoming a pilot?
It depends on if you are including a degree in there or not, also if you are including interest paid on loans (most people aren't including this, but it's not uncommon for an 75,000 loan to cost 125,000 in the end).

8. Do you get to spend time with family and doing other hobbies?
Money is the limiting factor, you get a fair amount of time off, but with nonrev travel you can go places as long as you can keep it cheap and the space is available. That's a nice perk. It's not like you are in the military and working all the time (but in the military they were pretty good about giving us most every weekend off, with the requisite 4-day holiday weekends and making up for "extra duty time" with other days off at times). It's best when you are off reserve and ave a line, then you know what is going on a lot better and have bigger amounts of time that you can plan to do other stuff in.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:50 AM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishinandFlyin View Post
I know you guys get lots of stuff like this but I'm going into the 8th grade and have loved aircraft and flying all of my life. It hit me that why don't I become a pilot! I would get paid to do one of the things i love. I have some questions and would greatly appreciate it if some of you could answer it.
1. I'm already serious about good grades but which subjects should i work extra hard in?
2. What is the best route to take after getting my high school diploma and what to major in. Aviation science in college? Or major in anything and go to flight school after? Or apply for Air Force and get everything at once?
3. What are some of your favorite things of the job?
4. Do you get healthcare benefits and discounts on flying?
5. What is your personal favorite airline to work for?
6. Is it a really stressful job?
7. About how much do you invest in becoming a pilot?
8. Do you get to spend time with family and doing other hobbies?
I'm sorry I asked so many questions, but I would love for some answers. Thank you.
FishinandFlying:

Although I'm not a licensed pilot yet....I couldn't help but offer you some advice. I can remember being at the age you are now and had some of the same questions.

1. Just as someone else mentioned, as far as academics go, do well in Math, Physics, and English.

2. Try to be and stay in reasonably good health.

3. Don't get full of pride, among other things...LOL...thinking you're God's gift to aviation. You may not fully understand what I'm saying now, however you seem to be a pretty bright young man. Understanding will come. Oh, and btw, stay outta trouble and avoid brushes with the law. They can come back to haunt you.

4. Major in something other than aviation. My reason for saying that is because although I attended & finished from ERAU. I'm glad that I had the opportunity to go. I finished in 1987. The entire cost of my college education (BS Aeronautical Studies w/AOC in Air Transportation Mgmt) was less than $25K. That included tuition, books, and room & board. The same degree program with room & board will cost you 165K. So give some thought to accounting, finance, hospitality mgmt, engineering, etc.

5. Research, research, research. Did I mention to do your research on the company (Part 91, 121, 135) that you wish to work for.

6. Network, network, network. Did I mention that you should network as much as you can. "Thousand mile journey start with first step". It's never to early.

7. Enjoy the journey!


Hope this helps. All the best.



atp
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