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Old 03-17-2019, 08:47 AM   #1  
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Default Opinions on flight school for a career change

Greeting all. Like many, I've been bitten by the aviation bug a little later in life and I'd like some opinions if you all don't mind. I know there are a lot of threads on this subject but everybody's circumstances are a little different.

I'm currently 34 and a career employee for the United States Postal Service. It's not a bad career, I have solid benefits, middle class income and an alright pension. I work in transportation, though, and the USPS is dead set on contracting all our jobs away so I worry for the future sometimes. Now due to Union rules, they have to offer us another job if they eliminate ours but who knows what they'll offer you. With that how the way, on to what I'm thinking.

I've wanted to become a pilot for a long time but the costs of training have always been a bit of a barrier as my wife and I opted to have her stay home with my boys until they became school age. Well that time has come so I'm seriously considering it.

I'm in Indianapolis so I was excited to see Lift Academy open up but was quickly disappointed to find out they have a height limit of 6'3" and I'm 6'6". I believe my best option is my states community college system. They started a flight program a few years ago that is based out of an airport 30 miles from my house. For $48,000 you get private, instrument, commercial and an associates degree. I feel that it is a pretty good deal as you can take low interest student loans opposed to the high interest loans most flight schools offer.

The company that handles the flight aspects of the program also says they will hire graduates on as instructors which is a big perk as the other airport this school operates out of is 5 minutes from my house. My craft within the USPS is 24/7 so I can presumably do this program and work at the same time. One good thing about work is I can be extremely flexible and I have lots of leave available as well.

So what do you think? Would this be a viable plan and is this an ok time to enter the industry even at my age? Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:28 PM   #2  
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Joined APC: Jan 2015
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If you start today, it will take at least 10 years to break even considering your current job. That would require the best opportunities landing in your lap as needed. Pay as you go and you may be able yo turn pro after your kids are grown.
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:08 AM   #3  
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How about ‘splitting the baby’, so to speak?

Don’t commit to the whole ball of wax off the get-go. Put yourself on the ‘fast track’ to private pilot, start now. That won’t hamper any longer term plans, but it’s easier to fit in right away.

Once done with private any the goals are the same, look for right time for the next step.

Try to schedule a family trip to Oshkosh in July for Airventure too.
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Old 03-18-2019, 04:45 AM   #4  
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I think you should get your PPL before you make any decision to 'make this your career'. You can knock this out while still going to work. Once that's done, consider popping the instrument and multiengine certs in quick succession.

If all goes well and the wife is onboard to work and finds something steady that can pay the bills, then go full bore into commercial, CFI and knocking out the 1500 hours as quickly as you can. At this point the sole focus needs to be getting on with a regional.
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