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Old 07-12-2011, 04:09 PM   #1  
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Default Some questions about training, 121, 61, 141

I'm 38, no wife, no kids.

Have a Ph.D., work at a univ. as a professor. Loved my job for the first few years, but am bored by it now. Very bored.

I am looking for a career change. I've thought deeply, and decided that my next career is going to be something to do with "adventure." I've always wanted to travel extensively, and always wanted to fly planes. Hence, am exploring becoming a professional pilot.

Though it sounds radical, such a decision wouldn't be difficult for me because I have no dependents, no debt, and I've always been a bit of a rootless, free-bird type. I have enough spare cash that I can easily pay an amount like 70k for pilot training without needing a loan.

I've been researching various forums (inluding these) for a while now, and I have some questions. The list of questions is long. Please feel free to answer any part of my questions list, and to ignore the rest. I'll be grateful for part answers, or even for your general opinions.

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Part 1) About impending changes in part 121.

I see 3 major developments about to happen in the near future in the passenger airline industry:
1) Airline new hires will need to have minimum 1,500 hours tt as opposed to 250 tt (I think the switchover date is 2013).
2) Pilots will have a mandated increase in rest time (not sure of switchover date).
3) Pilots who got a reprieve from retirement in 2008 will have to retire in 2013 (the retirement age was raised from 60 to 65).

Here are my questions:
i) If someone were to join a 141 school in 2012 and acquire somewhere around 500 tt hrs during the year, and get hired at an airline before the year is up, then will there be a problem in 2013 because this pilot didn't have 1,500 hrs? Or will this person get grandfathered in?
ii) What is the likelihood that the 1,500 hrs requirement may be delayed by a year or more? Think it's likely?
iii) It looks like a whole bunch of pilots with low hours are going to get stuck in no-man's land even as the airlines are going to be desperate to hire. For people with just around 300 hrs, it'll take a long time to get to 1,500 via the CFI route. What other options can you think of that they could use to get to 1,500?

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Part 2) About international transferability of pilot certifications/licenses

Here are my questions:
i) I live in the U.S. However, I've been researching flight schools in Europe and Australia/NZ, and some of them seem to be very good, with residential programs, and prices comparable to 141 schools in the U.S. Has anyone ever done their training abroad, and then tried to transfer to the U.S. (or vice versa?). What are the advantages or disadvantages of training in the U.S. vs. Europe vs. Australia/NZ?
ii) Like I said earlier, my primary goal is adventure. Something tells me that flying around Europe is going to be more interesting than the U.S. (with the history, old cities, etc.). Any thoughts to share on this? Anyone here who moved from the U.S. to (say) a regional in Europe? What was the change like?
iii) A few years along in one market (say U.S.), how much work is it for a pilot to get equivalent licenses in another market (say Europe, or vice versa)?

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Part 3) About part 61 vs part 141

I live in a part of the country where we unfortunately don't have any flight schools (there used to be one, but it shut down due to the bad economy). I'm in touch with a great instructor, and he's trying to find a plane for me (he sold his). Let's see how that pans out. But even if it does pan out in my favor, I suspect it's going to take me a long time to get my licenses using that route.

I've contacted some 141 schools. So far, ATP has looked the strongest to me. And they're talking a $60,000 fee and 5 months to get --> PPL, IR, CPL, CFI, CFII, MEI. Of course, it'll cost another $15,000 or so for examiners, textbooks, etc.

Anyone got ideas on 141 schools offering a better deal (and that also happen to be better than the best ATP schools)?

Moving is not an issue for me. I'm willing to relocate for the duration of the flight training.

Also, I've been reading here and there about how 61 schools can cost half of 141 schools? Is this true? I need your opinions on this. I'd be happy to join a part 61 school if it can guarantee an accelerated program for me (like a part 141). How do I research part 61 schools? If you know of a suitable part 61 school and don't want to name it here, would you please pm me its name?

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Well, that's all for today folks (whew!). I'm expecting to take a test flight or two in a week or so. That's going to be my clue as to whether this career is suitable for me. I think I'm probably going to enjoy it, given how much I enjoy my FSX. The local instructor (the one without a plane) who is going to fly me out told me about how amazed he was that his last student loaded the maps of our airport on to FSX and used to practice maneuvers and flight plans on FSX before actually flying them on a real plane! Pretty cool way to gain confidence I thought!
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:48 PM   #2  
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Hi Cloudseer,

I'll let some of the guys with more experience answer the other questions.

Regarding Part 3, you can check out www.Skywalkinc.com located at Executive airport in Sacramento . I got my PPL through them. They're great people, part 141, and one of the busier flight schools in Northern California (good if you want to build time as a CFI). Lots of pilots have gone to airlines from Skywalk. It's California so the living expenses are a little higher though. The airport is in a pretty shady part of town but you can get a place within bicycle distance of the airport.

Also, in order to build time, maybe check out getting a 152, 172 or even a Cherokee 140. These can be had for under $30,000 or even $20,000. Then start hitting every airport on the sectional to build some time. Check www.barnstormers.com for an idea.

Have fun!
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:51 PM   #3  
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Cloudseer

Part 1,

The 1,500 hour ATP requirement probably will be "grandfathered" for those employed by an airline, but it will be a requirement to be hired at that point. It might be relaxed by attendance at a qualified school or military training, but bill sponsor, Charles Schumer (D-NY) was very emphatic when the FAA asked about lowering it--"it's 1,500 hours, that's why it is in the law". Remember this law, not FAA regulation, was a Congressional reaction to an accident. Also, it is 1,500 hours and an Airline Transport Pilot license, not just 1,500 hours.

Yes, it will be difficult for many to get the requirments--THAT'S THE POINT!

Part 2,

There is NOWHERE better than the US to learn how to fly--witness the many people on this forum from around the world that came to the US to learn. To work overseas, you will need that country's work permit. Most countries are very protective of their home pilots, especially in today's times. India threw out a shedload of expats that weren't captains. It is possible, but in your situation, difficult. Many foreign airlines that have hired Americans have done so by hiring experienced, retired US airline pilots who took early retirements. 500-hour US pilots don't get jobs in Canada, Australia or in the EU. Exceptions might be parts of Africa like Botswana.

I'd be very surprised if you could get all those licenses and ratings done in 5 months, even doing it full-time. That is very ambitious and likely sales talk.

Getting licenses, outside the US, is very possible and with a US or any ICAO license involved taking the various written exams and a flight test. That still won't get you a work permit, just the legal ability to fly. Not sure about converting a foreign license into an FAA license, but I would ask some pointed questions at an overseas school as to what standards they train to, is it acceptable to the FAA. European, Canadian and Australian schools would be acceptable, but probably very expensive--costs are a good bit higher than the US.

While learning, you will not be employed, so can you afford to live without income? I learned, before the military, by washing, waxing and fueling planes and it still took two years. Then, USAF.

Lastly, professional aviation is NOT an "adventure"; professional flying is about being bored, safe and no surprises for the paying customer. It is no place for adventurers or perceived risk-takers.

Good luck, watch these forums and listen to them

GF
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