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Old 04-01-2019, 10:25 AM   #1  
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Default Zero to Hero or University (Veteran)

Hello,

Not raise a beaten horse from the dead, but I'm seeking advice on Flight school options considering the current climate of the aviation industry.

Background on me: I'm 27 years old, spent 6 years in the Navy as a Rotary CC. Moved back to Florida originally with the mindset on going to UF but then was persuaded by multiple people to pursue flying.

I was given the advice from a family friend that flys at a major airline to go to a school like ATP to get my certs ASAP to get ahead of the wave that currently is/will be coming due to the need of pilots. This advice came from a respected person whose children went Uni (eldest) and then ATP (youngest).

My question: Is going through an accelerated course like ATP really that big of an advantage over going to school for aeronautics and checking off the Bachelor degree for your resume? Yes you start building your hours sooner but will I be limited in my job opportunities and ability to make captain in the future?

I am skeptical on taking a 80-90 thousand dollar loan out with an interest rate that WF has on their educational loans. How do the recruitment programs offset this massive loan for the people that go private??

Respectfully,

BG
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Old 04-01-2019, 11:15 AM   #2  
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Also information on utilizing the GI bill while going to an Aviation University would be great help.

ERAU has the Yellow-Ribbon program but I am unsure this helps with your flight training or just increased costs of tuition.
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Old 04-01-2019, 01:06 PM   #3  
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Generally....

You will have no problems getting hired at a regional airline without a degree. Once hired, upgrade to CA is based only on seniority, and being able to pass the training (most do). A degree would not be relevant.

But compared to the best majors, a career regional pilot will work twice as much for about 1/3 of the pay. That's not an exaggeration at all (I've done both).

It's very rare for a pilot to get hired off the street by one of the top majors without a degree. The ONLY reliable path to that (in the US) is to take a job with a regional owned by American Airlines... they will have a flow program which allows senior regional pilots to transfer to mainline after a certain amount of years and experience (also requires job openings at AA). This will typically take longer than applying to majors off the street, but it looks to be fairly reliable and predictable for the next 10-15 years due to retirements at AA. Bear in mind that flow programs can change, and have failed dramatically in the past.

Also worth noting that the pilot group culture at most majors is pretty white-collar, ie wardroom not goat-locker.

In your shoes (GI Bill) I'd probably do a university flight program with R-ATP mins.

Worth noting that it would be possible to get an online degree while working at a regional if you're dedicated, although if you have a family that would be rough for a few years.
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Old 04-01-2019, 03:52 PM   #4  
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RickAir7777,

Thank you for your insight.

I do not have children yet and will not for the next 4-5 years, I was as you mentioned planning on if I did the ATP route to then finish my Bachelors while at a regional to make myself look more attractive to the Majors.

Do you have any posts off hand that go over university flight programs or recommend any literature about them?

As for the Ward room v. Goat Locker. I totally understand this however us SAR Crewmen had a very close relationship with the Wardroom (at least at my command). I do not think it will be much different then what I've experienced and how my family has said their Wardrooms were.
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Old 04-02-2019, 05:25 AM   #5  
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I'd recommend looking into Liberty University if you have the GI Bill and need a degree. They have a flight affiliate program (online degree, local FBO flight training) which qualifies for one of the restricted ATPs, 1,250 hour I believe. Quite a few locations in Florida so you might not have to move.

The GI bill has an annual limit of ~$37k that can be spent at a private school (Liberty is private), so your training would be slower than a zero-to-hero program, but you'll be able to knock out your degree and save a few months with the Restricted. Even if you find a way to fast-track your flight training and pay for some out of pocket at Liberty to speed it along...thus reaching 1,500 ATP mins before your degree is completed, you can easily complete the degree while working at your regional and come out ahead financially compared to the ATP school option. ATP flight school is not qualified to accept your GI bill last I checked, unless you cash out your GI bill via the Montgomery option which is not a smart usage of your benefits.

There are many threads on here re:Liberty in the Flight Schools and Training category where others and myself have provided some more detailed info. I recommend searching keywords Liberty or Liberty University to see if that might be an option for you, but if you have any questions feel free to PM me and I'll try to help.
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Old 04-02-2019, 06:19 AM   #6  
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Stoked27,

Thanks for the reply! Ill look those schools up and let you know if i need any help with them.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:21 AM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BerserkingGator View Post
Hello,

Not raise a beaten horse from the dead, but I'm seeking advice on Flight school options considering the current climate of the aviation industry.

Background on me: I'm 27 years old, spent 6 years in the Navy as a Rotary CC. Moved back to Florida originally with the mindset on going to UF but then was persuaded by multiple people to pursue flying.

I was given the advice from a family friend that flys at a major airline to go to a school like ATP to get my certs ASAP to get ahead of the wave that currently is/will be coming due to the need of pilots. This advice came from a respected person whose children went Uni (eldest) and then ATP (youngest).

My question: Is going through an accelerated course like ATP really that big of an advantage over going to school for aeronautics and checking off the Bachelor degree for your resume? Yes you start building your hours sooner but will I be limited in my job opportunities and ability to make captain in the future?

I am skeptical on taking a 80-90 thousand dollar loan out with an interest rate that WF has on their educational loans. How do the recruitment programs offset this massive loan for the people that go private??

Respectfully,

BG
I got out of the Marine Corps after my 2 year enlistment was over. I was 20 years old, Vietnam Vet and a burning desire to fly for a Major Airline with no clue were to proceed. There was no internet and only a reference Book in the library about Job information of every career in the USA. The book contained 2 paragraphs about airline pilots. Fast-Forward 46 years and I retired from a Major Airline after a 32 year career capping off my career flying left-seat on Boeing 747-400. My recommendation is get your degree - in anything; just get it. Take your flying lessons while going thru College (This is what I did). I also worked a full-time job to pay for flight training. This was how I did it but If you are disciplined enough, then your best shot is sign up at ATP, and in less than a year, you could be earning a living as a flight instructor THEN go to college. Airlines hire in Cycles, don't miss this cycle. Chasing an airline career is expensive but not impossible. Best of luck in whatever career you chose. Thanks for your service
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Old 04-04-2019, 08:21 AM   #8  
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If you go the ATP route with that massive loan you could consider using your GI bill for an online degree (in anything) and use your BAH to pay down the loan quicker. Granted, if you didn’t have the loan you could use that BAH to help you funnel more money into your 401K or IRA while you live off your CFI wages (which is powerful even at age 27 due to compounding). Not to take the conversation off topic, but you stand a decent chance of exceeding the income limits to contribute to your IRA later in this career field, especially if your spouse will be working, so if you can sock away money in it early you will thank yourself later. Strapping yourself with a huge loan like that in a career field with no guarantees, which catches a cold every time the economy sneezes, could set you back financially more than you comprehend right now.

Whichever route you take, do plenty of research from sources that don’t have a vested interest in you choosing one over the other.
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:45 AM   #9  
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Don’t waste your money going to a private school like ERAU/Liberty. There are plenty of public schools with aviation programs where you will spend a fraction of what they will cost...and get a better education.

If you want zero to hero, avoid ATP. Your GI bill CANNOT be used at ATP for flight training.
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:01 AM   #10  
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Another ++ on degree above flying. Lots of opinion on aviation degree vs something else. If you are good or interested in “something else” than do it, otherwise why not an aviation degree with the focus on flight and the ATP with less hours. Lack of a degree is your biggest stumbling block. Forget the accelerated plan with the plan (hope) that you get a 4 year degree while working.
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