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newbie wanna be - questions; advice

Old 07-29-2005, 11:38 PM
  #1  
DJB23
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Default newbie wanna be - questions; advice

OK,... here is the laydown:
23, Male.
Fiance... one month pregnant.
1 year college so far, general studies.
Live 20 minutes from RDU airport in North Carolina, where they have great schools and fields.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Have always loved airplanes and flying in them. My grandmother got her PPL when i was in grade school and "took me up" all the time. Just me and her. I Loved it. Many years I denied getting my PPL because if I did I thoguht then I should lean towards making a career out of it. Then 9-11 hit, and saw it was a bad time to think about that. Many years passed and here I am, thinking daily and nightly about flying. Not just a PPL license. But for a career. I dont know too much about it, but I am in excellent health, good eyes, smart, etc.
Looked around online for flight shools. Came across many.
My dream is like countless others... to become a Pilot for a Major airline.
After reading many posts, I am starting to feel dissapointed at how that as a career choice is viewed.

I am worried that the job will take away needed family time. My father was never home when iw as a kid and i hated it. Still do. Did lots of damage.

Also, I am afraid that I wont make enough money and I will be living off paycheck to paycheck. I understand pilots CAN make a good living, internet suggests a mean salary of over 90K a year. I am not looking towards a get rich quick illusion. I would like to make enough to pay the bills, and live comfortably.
I also have no idea how long it might take to get this job since aviation deals with seniority and fluctuations in economy.

Does anyone have any advice that may help me understand more about my subject matter? It would be of great help.

Also, one more thing. Does anyone know anything about Phoenix East or ATP Flight Schools? You can go to their websites:
www.atpflightschool.com
w.pea.com
I understand the cost is high, but are they reputable schools? IS this approach worth doing? thank you.
 
Old 07-30-2005, 12:58 PM
  #2  
Do3r17
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Generally speaking, you have to first optain that PPL, then the way you start taking the next license is up to you. I'd recommend the Intrument Rating next. Then go for the Commercial Pilots License, then Airline Transport Pilot, then start obtaining those precious hours. The multiengine is also very important if you want that major airline job.

After all those, you can gain hours many ways. The most popular is the CFII (certified flight instructor). This way, you get paid and build hours at the same time. You can even take it a step farther and get that MEI (Multi engine instrucotr) and build the most precious of all, Multiengine hours. Stay on that until you get about 1000 single engine hours and 100 multiengine hours. Then, apply for a regional airline and build hours through them. Once you have about 2500 hours, apply for those major airlines.

But, before you do all of this, get your 1st class medical to make sure you can become an airline pilot. 3rd class wont cut it, your better off getting the 1st class.

Its hard to determine how long it will take you because it depends on how many hours you fly and how often you fly. Another thing, its highly recommended to have at least a Bachelors degree in "something" to become an airline pilot.
 
Old 07-30-2005, 01:22 PM
  #3  
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[QUOTE=Do3r17]Generally speaking, you have to first optain that PPL, then the way you start taking the next license is up to you. I'd recommend the Intrument Rating next. Then go for the Commercial Pilots License, then Airline Transport Pilot, then start obtaining those precious hours. The multiengine is also very important if you want that major airline job.


His advice is pretty good, however, forget the ATP untill your with an airline. The reason is you need 1500 total hours to get this license. As a CFII I hope your not still teaching with that much time. I got my first 121 job at 800 hours. Hope it helps, good luck!
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Old 04-06-2006, 05:53 PM
  #4  
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All good advise, just a few negatives you need to weight into the equation. Sorry but just the facts. You say your 23 years old and a father and newly wed to be. So first, Congrats on becoming a father, it is by far the greatest joy and challenge of your life. That by the way is your first hurdle to jump in your flying career. There is alot of money in aviation, I know because I've put alot of it there. Flying is very expensive and so are diapers and baby formula. I don't know your particulars nor are they any of my business but don't forget insurance, the birth of a child is very expensive so you best have insurance to help for it or you will be paying for a long time in it. Also don't forget you need a place for your baby to sleep, bathe, and ofcourse clothing. Now back to the flying, your PPL wil cost somewhere in the ball park of $2000 to $4000, COMM, MEL, INST, and basic CFI around 20K to 25K. I haven't taken a flight lesson in a long time but last time I checked it was close to that. If I'm off the mark please let me know. OK so you got all your certificates/ratings, but you only have 250 to 300 hrs. Only job thats going to get you is a CFI in a C-152 , maybe a C-172 heavy. Now you have to teach for 800 or more hours just to get to 1000 hrs. Maybe you find someone to let you fly their light twin with them for a while or you go out and get a multi engine inst. certificate, more money out of your pocket, but ****** the baby needs more formula and and diapers or you need to pay that daycare, not cheap by the way. Well anyway you made it, you got your 1000 hrs. and now you finally get hired by a commuter making 18 to 20K a year. You get a raise the second your though, go up to 21K to 22K. Now you spend 3, 4, maybe even 5 years before you upgrade, one never knows. So how much time has gone by, 6 maybe 7 years before you get that major airline job. Congratulations, you are now making a full 30K a year. By the way, ask around 90K a year will not happen for a long time. With the way the industry is going and all the paycuts and FO at a major will see 90K after around 7 to 8 years.
I started my aviation career a long time ago, back when an hour in a C-152 was only $35, that by the way was a wet rate with a CFI. I have worked for a number of outfits including a major US carrier and been through a few furloughs, I have tons of pic and jet time and consider myself lucky to have a job making just over 50K as a capt on the smallest jet I have ever flown. The future is not looking all that great either, probably get called back to the majors to fly as an FO for another 5 years making 55 to 60K a year. But hey maybe I'll get to upgrade sometime in my last 5 years before I retire. Also I will have spent probably a 1/4 or more time away from my family and shortened my life by a few years because of lack of sleep. I will have slept in over 10,000 different hotel beds and spent 1000's on tips to van drivers and waiters at restaurants. I will also have worn out a few suitcases and flight bags.
Listen if flying is what you really want to do, GO FOR IT, I wish you all the best. But if I had it to do all over again, I would have gone to med school, at least I would make some money and not have to start at the bottom of a seniority list everytime I start at a new office, even better have my own office and be my own boss. Good luck with your new baby and bride, and remember this if nothing else I said, that first toothless smile is going to make you the happiest man alive
 
Old 04-07-2006, 07:49 AM
  #5  
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I was thinking about moving out to North Carolina to attend Duke about 5 years ago. I had no flight experience at that time so I searched the area for flight schools, and I was really out of luck. It seemed like independent contractors instructing in their own 152's on either grass strips or untowered airports was the standard out there.

I remember checking out RDU, but that may be just way too busy to do all of your flight training at. If you fly at an untowered airport, you may get your ratings done slightly cheaper, but you will have no experience at busy airports. If you do your ratings at a busy airport like RDU, it will take you more hours and more money to get the same licenses. I recommend a towered airport that is not a commercial airport. These are generally complex enough, but not too busy that you spend forever waiting for departure, or holding outside the airspace to land.

I would recommend doing your flight training at RDU, but just be aware that it will cost you more money.

Last edited by ryane946; 04-07-2006 at 07:52 AM.
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Old 04-07-2006, 09:52 AM
  #6  
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DJB23:

All of these guys have given you some very good advice. My two cents is as follows based on the info you provided:

- get your AS degree (try grants & scholarships...loans as a last resort)
- start flying @ local FBO & attain PPL (start networking at that point)
- build your flight time (networking may translate into instru, CPL, CFI)

By the time you fulfill the requirements for the AS degree, you should be a CFI and continuing to build your time. Also, as a result of networking, there's no telling whom you will have come in contact with and what assistance these persons may have to offer you. People with experience & money don't mind helping someone who is putting forth honest effort. There are still people like that in this world. As a matter fact, there are a few that participate on these forums. At any rate, you will have continued to build and strengthening your relationship with your family while learning to fly.

Whatever decision you make, I'm sure it'll be the one that's right for you!

Best wishes & blue skies.

Last edited by atpwannabe; 04-07-2006 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 04-07-2006, 11:14 AM
  #7  
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Sorry to hijack the thread, but Do3r17 brought up an interesting point... Is it possible to get an MEI rather than a CFII or must you get a CFII before you can even consider getting an MEI. Logic dictates that you can just build all your instruction flying time on a multi-engine aircraft rather than getting a CFII and then getting an MEI. But I guess it's not that simple?
 
Old 04-07-2006, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Imeneo
Sorry to hijack the thread, but Do3r17 brought up an interesting point... Is it possible to get an MEI rather than a CFII or must you get a CFII before you can even consider getting an MEI. Logic dictates that you can just build all your instruction flying time on a multi-engine aircraft rather than getting a CFII and then getting an MEI. But I guess it's not that simple?
You can get ANY instructor rating first, and get the others in any order. You could get the MEI first. However...some FSDOs get weird about folks who want to get a rating other than CFI (ASE) first. Other FSDOs are fine with it, in fact at some schools it's common to get the CFII first, because the scope is a little narrower and it's more cut and dried.

Unless you have a MEI job lined up, you might find one those hard to come by. It's typical for junior CFI's to do CFI work first, then CFII, then finally advance to MEI near the end of their instructor career. MEI work is inherently hazardous.


Also if you get the CFII first, some schools will use you as a sim instructor first.
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Old 04-10-2006, 12:44 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by DJB23
I am worried that the job will take away needed family time. My father was never home when iw as a kid and i hated it. Still do. Did lots of damage.
You should be worried. It will take you away from your family all the time. If this was such a big deal for you as a kid, why would you want to put your own kids through it?

My son always asks me when I will be done with all my trips. I tell him when he is a daddy. That throws him!
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