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Old 06-13-2018, 12:21 AM   #1  
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Default Flight School - Canada vs. US

Greetings everyone!

After graduating from university and spending some time in the corporate world, Iíve decided to consider pursuing my childhood dream to become a pilot. The office view seems a lot nicer at 35,000 feet!

After spending the past couple months researching everything I possibly could about flight school and the process of becoming a pilot, Iím at a loss as to whether I should do my flight training in Canada or the US. I am from a small city in Canada and plan to start my flight training next year. While I will do my private pilotís license in the hometown to save money, I will have to move away for my commercial and ATP licenses.

My main priorities in choosing a flight school include:
-Quality of instruction
-Time: As I already have a degree and will be 24 next year, I would like to get flying as quickly as possible
-Connections with regional carriers.

The latter is most important to me. The way I see it, thereís no sense in spending an enormous sum of money on flight school if itís not going to help me get employed. Iíd much rather spend more up front if it will lead to a better chance of getting hired.

Now, on to my dilemma of Canada vs the US. After researching flight schools, hereís a summary of what Iíve found:

Reasons to stay in Canada: Flight schools are slightly less expensive, no need to secure student and work visas, a few schools have connections with the regional airlines (Jazz, Air Georgian, PorterÖ.)

Reasons to choose the US: Better weather = I could complete my training and build the necessary minimum hours faster, more schools with connections to the regionals, and a seemingly higher demand for pilots (although I could be wrong on that one). A few schools had even mentioned that some of the regionals offer tuition reimbursement. This would be huge for me as the cost of flight school was the main reason I didnít originally pursue a career in aviation and is still the biggest roadblock for me.

At the moment, Iím leaning strongly towards doing my training in the US, however, my main concern is employment eligibility after graduation. As a foreign citizen, is it even possible for me to obtain work authorization in the US? If not, then the obvious choice for me would be to stay in Canada.

If youíve made it this far, thank you very much for your patience! Iím completely new to all this so my apologies if some of my questions seem silly. Thank you in advance for your help. It is very much appreciated!

-Wes
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Old 06-13-2018, 05:30 AM   #2  
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Bottom line...

IF you can get right to work in the US, the airline employment opportunities here will far exceed those in Canada for someone of your age. Even if you like living in Canada, you still do that and commute to work at any of a number of northern US pilot bases.

In the US, in the current hiring climate (which should last 10-15+ years), you do not need any relationship with a regional, you essentially get to pick the one you work, except that ones owned by AA which offer flow to AA are a little more picky.

I would think that the first thing you need to do is decide where you want to live and work long-term, and then select a school accordingly.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:30 AM   #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
Bottom line...

IF you can get right to work in the US, the airline employment opportunities here will far exceed those in Canada for someone of your age. Even if you like living in Canada, you still do that and commute to work at any of a number of northern US pilot bases.

In the US, in the current hiring climate (which should last 10-15+ years), you do not need any relationship with a regional, you essentially get to pick the one you work, except that ones owned by AA which offer flow to AA are a little more picky.

I would think that the first thing you need to do is decide where you want to live and work long-term, and then select a school accordingly.
Yes, all the above is true. At NetJets I flew with quite a few pilots from other countries, including one who flew Mig-21's for the Yugoslav Air Force which I thought was very cool. Also at NetJets we have a pilot with dual Canadian-US citizenship. He lives in a ski town in the Canadian Rockies and drives 4 hours to Spokane, WA to catch his airline to work. I'm pretty sure we have others than live in Toronto and commute to Buffalo. So I would not sweat getting the right to work in the USA and eventual citizenship if you want it.

I'm surprised you said it's cheaper to take flying lessons in Canada? I was under the impression fuel is more expensive up there? There's also the exchange rate that favors the US dollar.
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Old 06-17-2018, 05:33 AM   #4  
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My vote is for you to come on down.
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