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Old 01-17-2006, 08:49 PM   #1  
tigermagicjohn
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Default Advice please, am I to old? (schools, visa and age?) Where I go from now?

I am from the UK, and just turned 36 few months ago. Have been self employed for the last 15 years, but not within the aviation business.

This is my first post on this, so sorry if I this topic already has been written about before, I have not been able to check all posts.

But this was always my dream from I was 14 years old, when I was 18 I had my PPL, soloed when 17, and logged approx. 150 hours before I had to stop for financial reasons.
In 91 I was supposed to go to USA to make flight school, but I just could not get the money together that time, so I "delayed" the dream. I ended up playing and "training with tigers" instead, sorry but this not a joke.

One of my best friends did go (from Norway) and is now flying with Cathay for the last 8 years, and at 36 is checked out as Captain.

Finally after many years of hard work, I have managed to save up the money with my business, and I can afford the training, but the million dollar questions that always pop up are, how, where and what are my prospects!

I know the road is long, point is that this is what I have always wanted to do all my life. But I thought I would never be able arrive in the position that I could be able to do this. First the schools, there are so many, and many with promises, and after much year in business I am not to naive anymore, however I am highly motivated, more then most I would believe.

One of the schools I have had intrest in is Phoenix East Aviation, also because they have JAA theory, and this is something I would need with my school.

Anybody have any recommandations of other schools of good quality?

Secondly they also have the J-1 visa program, to be able to work as flight instructor, however what are the odds for this happening, that one get employed as flight instructor at the school to be able to build time / hours?

Now another aspect is that I would be willing to take "any" job anywhere in the world, to be able to build hours and work as a pilot. Why? Because this is my dream, I could continue with my current business for the next 30 years, which is operating my own commerical website, but I find this a bore that makes me mad, even though it makes me good money.
The fortunate thing I have is that the business I have can run still, but on a very reduced scale even if I started pilot training.

Now one of my other major questions is, what are the chances to get work as instructor, and being able to get work on instructor multi engine and IFR?
Still another question is since I need both FAA and JAA license when I go to school in the USA, is there any chance that an airline in the USA can hire me without visa?
The law as I understand is that if you have an employer, they can apply as sponsor for work Visa, however does anybody know if this at all possible for NON US residents.

I know I cant get a Visa without an employer.
I have British passport, and I am afraid the Visa lottery is to much of a lottery, tried it few times, but I dont believe in luck, prefer hard work, gives me better odds!

The reason I ask this is that I would like to build up more flight time, and I think there might be more jobs available in the US region then in Europe.
However as mentioned I would be prepared to go anywhere a plane can humanly fly if I could make my dream come true.

Now my most important question, is my age, I am 36, and will not be able to start flight training for another 4 - 6 months, so I will be close to 37, what are the chances that I can get a "proper decent" job starting at this age?
As I see it, I will need at least 2 years school and instructor time, this will maybe give me 1000 hours TT, but no proper job experience.
Any advice what be the better direction for me to take?

One school I contacted in Sweden said to be competitive at my age, I would need to make the school and take a type rating on the 737 or similar, still I think that sounds "crazy", that after approx.250 - 300 hours, then to spend approx.$35000 on a typerating, I personally cant see how that would be able to tempt any airline.

What advice would you give me? Is it to late to start now all over again?
Please I need some objective advice, because my head is spinning seriously on this "crazy" dream!

If not what would be the advisable directon to get started to give myself the best odds for success. And yes I know I must fasttrack my education, because I dont have time to spend 5 - 6 years to build up time to get a job.

I personally think I could have enough hours probably with 7 - 8 years to be considerd as FO in a european airline, by that time I will be approx. 43 - 44, this would give me another 16 - 17 years to live my dream. This is much time to be bored in another business.

But how do I get there, how can I get the hours I need at my age. And as said before, any job anywhere! Advise please!
 
Old 01-18-2006, 10:06 PM   #2  
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I say go for it! You will always regret it if you donít.

Some of your questions I donít have answers for, but Iíll answer the ones I can.

First you might try to post this on pprune.com you will find this forum has a little more of an international flavor, if you will.

I wouldnít worry about your age, unless you expect to fly 747ís for BA. Thatís probably a little unrealistic . However this is a strange industry and it changes so fast.
Start networking, and spend some considerable time on this, it WILL get you a job.

Here is a freight company in Sweden. Their minimums for an FO is total time 500 hrs with 200 ME.
http://www.westair.se/

As far as the US goes Iím almost certain flight schools is the only place you will be able to work. Most other employers have a fairly large pool of pilots who want to fly for a living so no one is going to be willing to sponsor you for a temporary work visa (and yes you WILL need one to work). And donít forget most schools will tailor your training for your needs (as long as you have the $ ). With you PPL you can get your US commercial instrument in a twin.

So unless you get married to a US citizen I donít think you will find any time builders that will pay you (Besides instructing with a J-1), however there are some pay for training programs that you can look into. I do not know if it would require certain type of visa, but Iím sure they can enlighten you on that.
Here is one,
http://www.skymates.com/time-building.shtml

The single best advice I can give you is to network! Search the web, E-mail, call and nock on some door if you have to. If you are persistent it will pay off!

Iím sorry I canít give more info or better answers.

I wish you the best and hope you endure. Although this industry can be ugly, I love my profession and my job!
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Old 01-19-2006, 06:31 AM   #3  
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Hi,

I can't answer all your questions.... but I can tell you that if you want to train in the US I have been told by several from the UK its much cheaper. At your age I would go to a flight academy where you can build time as a CFI. It would be quicker that way. Also I am a CFI and I have been working with someday from the UK who has their JAA PPL. He needs to transition to a US license. He has a visa too. He had to go through the TSA on a new rule they have for security before I could start flight training with him. He needed to get finger printed and it was quite a process. I will try to get you a link to the web site were you register later today.

Chris
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Old 01-19-2006, 07:16 AM   #4  
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This is a coincidence I have been mulling this over for a few months and was considering selling my house to use as $$$$$$$ to fund my training in the US I am 39 from the UK is this too old? I am looking forward to reading this thread, I would be starting from scratch.

Good luck
 
Old 01-19-2006, 11:03 AM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scolley
This is a coincidence I have been mulling this over for a few months and was considering selling my house to use as $$$$$$$ to fund my training in the US I am 39 from the UK is this too old? I am looking forward to reading this thread, I would be starting from scratch.

Good luck
DO NOT SELL YOUR HOUSE TO LEARN TO FLY Ok, I wanted to make sure your heard that. That said, check out this website:


http://www.pprune.org/forums/index.php?

Its an avweb forum with more euro info.

If you do come to the US to learn to fly, you probably do want to use one of the "expidited" methods of getting your training, just............ (see above)
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Old 01-19-2006, 11:32 AM   #6  
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Lightbulb More free advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigermagicjohn
I am from the UK, and just turned 36 few months ago. Have been self employed for the last 15 years, but not within the aviation business.
First off, read post above.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tigermagicjohn
Finally after many years of hard work, I have managed to save up the money with my business, and I can afford the training, but the million dollar questions that always pop up are, how, where and what are my prospects!

Not going to answer because plenty of better sources on this net. Rough estimate, form 0 to job, $50,000 to $80,000. Pay to start (flying) is a big set back. Do your homework on this and other sites. Keep in mind, if you were sucessful enough to afford to learn to fly, you may be put off the pay and conditions will will likely experence on the job, beware!



Quote:
Originally Posted by tigermagicjohn
Secondly they also have the J-1 visa program, to be able to work as flight instructor, however what are the odds for this happening, that one get employed as flight instructor at the school to be able to build time / hours?

I know I cant get a Visa without an employer.
I have British passport, and I am afraid the Visa lottery is to much of a lottery, tried it few times, but I dont believe in luck, prefer hard work, gives me better odds!

The reason I ask this is that I would like to build up more flight time, and I think there might be more jobs available in the US region then in Europe.
However as mentioned I would be prepared to go anywhere a plane can humanly fly if I could make my dream come true.

Good question. Email the flight schools you are looking at and ask. If your single you could get a visa the way my wife did, marry an American.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigermagicjohn
Now my most important question, is my age, I am 36, and will not be able to start flight training for another 4 - 6 months, so I will be close to 37, what are the chances that I can get a "proper decent" job starting at this age?
As I see it, I will need at least 2 years school and instructor time, this will maybe give me 1000 hours TT, but no proper job experience.
Any advice what be the better direction for me to take?


I personally think I could have enough hours probably with 7 - 8 years to be considerd as FO in a european airline, by that time I will be approx. 43 - 44, this would give me another 16 - 17 years to live my dream. This is much time to be bored in another business.

But how do I get there, how can I get the hours I need at my age. And as said before, any job anywhere! Advise please!
This a tough one. reading varous threads on this forum will give conflicting advise. All said, if its really what you want to do, than do it. Just keep in mind the sacrifce you and your family will have to make, and it may be considerable. Do your homework, make a decision, than get on with it quick if you decide to fly. Good luck!!
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Old 01-19-2006, 04:01 PM   #7  
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Never to old to fly bud. Never
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Old 01-21-2006, 02:31 PM   #8  
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Here is the link to TSA registration of a foreign student if you would like to check it out....

www.flightschoolcanidates.gov/fsindex.html
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Old 01-22-2006, 10:43 AM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scolley
This is a coincidence I have been mulling this over for a few months and was considering selling my house to use as $$$$$$$ to fund my training in the US I am 39 from the UK is this too old? I am looking forward to reading this thread, I would be starting from scratch.

Good luck
I don't know if I would sell my house! I'm at 32 and I have started thinking about life after aviation.

Is renting it out an option?
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Old 01-23-2006, 09:44 AM   #10  
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Default Response to tigermajicjohn

I say go for your dreams just as one of the previous comments suggested. Although I am 44 years old, I'm going to do everything in my power to become a commercial airline pilot...it's something I've always wanted to do. When I get to the point where I can apply to the majors and cargo outfits...I will. I couldn't care if I only flew with them for ten years; it'll be the BEST TEN YEARS OF MY LIFE. So, don't listen to the naysayers. So what if we, like others, suffer from SJS. I going for my dream. I wish you all the best.
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