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LiVe2FlY 09-05-2005 09:47 PM

for love of flying
I agree with HIREME, I use to think that getting into the aviation world was a sure future of big homes and nice cars. After being in the industry for a few short years I still consider myself a "rookie" by all means, but when I can wake up in the morning without dreading the day(instructing) I can't complain about that at all. I guess that is when you know you are doing what you love. I still believe that it only gets better from here by flying jets, the pay is nothing but a bonus to me. I hope that belief stays with me forever.The pay right now is peanuts, but being young and getting into the food chain as soon as possible is key.

SkyHigh 09-06-2005 04:24 AM

Student Loans
I know a few guys who are in their 40's and still owe 80K plus on their student loans. In college I was an Aviation and Business major and the numbers just don't work out. The average student is graduating over 100K in debt and will not be able to pay it off and have a normal life in the process unless they get on with a very good company while they are still young, and even that is no garuntee. Flying is fun and addictive but so is crack. At least crack kills you in the end. A modern carrer in aviation can leave you beyond broke and perfectly healthy. At some point we all need to earn a living at this. The math dosen't work out for most. It is a working hobby. You can earn some money but are loosing over time. We all have permanant smiles on our face in our 20's but that truns into concern in your 30's and panic in your 40's. It OK to be poor when you are young but it is devastating as you get older. It is wise to have an out stragety.

iflyjets4food 09-06-2005 08:10 AM

Crack does kill
Hey, maybe I should start crack instead of continuing to try to beat my head against this wall we call flying. Seems to me pilots used to get paid a lot more to do a lot less. I definitely didn't get into this for the money, but geez, I see other people that I graduated high school with who are now managers at Burger King and making more than a first year right seater. That sucks! Maybe I should get out and begin a career at Burger King while taking out student loans to finance a crack habit.

SkyHigh 09-06-2005 05:24 PM

Crack Kills
If you do the math it makes more sense. In my town firefighters, police and school teachers start at around 35K and get a full retirement after 20 years. By the time most of us make it to a major they are only a few years from retirement. Crazy Huh !

Flying Ninja 02-20-2006 10:36 AM

Originally Posted by WatchThis!
Can anyone tell me what would cause a person to spend about $75,000 to get a job that pays $24/hour? Unreal.

Now that I've gone through the CAPT program and graduated, I can answer your question.

Was it unreal? Yep.

What would cause someone to do it? They want to fly for the airlines and circumvent the CFI route a.k.a. Fast-Track.

Now, this is what I can add:

Was it worth it? No.
Why? Keep reading.

Delays in training - very costly to cadets.

I bought into the advertisement of 10-12 months of flight training, which ended up being 18 months for me. I bought into the "elite training" advertisement. I bought into the Embry-Riddle name. I bought into 250 hours to an airline job (even though you really only get 225 actual flight time). I bought into the lofty statements like:

"pilot monitoring time is being considered by the FAA and it's a near done deal, and it will revolutionize the industry and the airlines will accept that time as part of your total time" (right...)

"7-9 guaranteed interviews after graduation" (at the time of graduation, there were 3 available only -- and it wasn't all guaranteed)

"FCI (fighter combat instruction) training included" -- which, they put a stop to and never took it out of the tuition...we were supposed to get hyperbaric chamber training too and they stopped offering it and it was never taken out of our tuition either. Since their job placement guy left, my class had the pleasure of not having an interview prep course that everyone ahead of us had. Again, it was not reimbursed out of the tuition.

Things made less and less sense as I got closer and closer to graduation. CAPT invited airlines to look at the program and they flat out told us our flight time at graduation are too low compared to their minimums. I always wondered why CAPT would bring in airlines to tell us that? A simple phone call would have saved a LOT of money catering to these events. And they attacked airlines one at a time. My suggestion to contact all the regional airlines at the same time was ignored. But it's funny how they started doing that toward the end of their business life cycle.

Ah...sim training. Was it fun? Hell yeah! And if you got the 3:00am slot with no sim techs around to get her started it's even better. But the sim training certainly didn't make me feel like I was some "elite" pilot. Quite the opposite. The "fire hose" they tout is just that. They dump a bunch of information at you that I have pretty much lost due to non-use. Important stuff like 121 regulations were hardly appied in the sim training. They do give you more sim sessions than what an airline would give but that, in no way, means you're getting any better. Don't get me wrong. The instructors were great people. The only thing that sim training was for is to prove to the airlines that you are trainable, not so that you can go on IOE flying the real thing. Hell, no one ever taught me to land that thing during my sim training. I had to figure it out for myself.

I was short 0.4 of an hour to get my 100 multi-engine hours to qualify for some of these other airlines they brought in. Did they help? No. I had to go out to another FBO to get that time. You'd think they'd work to get me the time so I can be an easier sell to the airlines. It took over 5 weeks to get our resume done...on our own too. We got a nifty template and little answers to the questions I had about it. That's just unacceptable. Job placement was never taken seriously by CAPT. They got lucky with the people they were able to get placed.

On the up side, graduates of the program have gotten hired by the airlines...if you have the money to support yourself with the regionals' low pay scale. I unfortunately came into CAPT with only a dream...they just didn't tell me that I needed a boat load of money above and beyond tuition to do this career. When I made my decision, I wasn't aware of sites like or If I did, I would have NEVER in a billion years done CAPT or any other low time, fast paced program. The program is not for everyone.

In a nutshell, I paid for the most expensive vacation I have ever taken, and it'll take me many, many years to pay off. My dream turned into a nightmare. Made some cool friends in the process though. Otherwise, hind sight...20/20.

I hope this answers your question.

LAfrequentflyer 02-20-2006 11:32 AM

Thanks for sharing your experience. Its a shame you didn't get the mentorship you needed before being sucked into ERAU.

Who do you work for now?


de727ups 02-20-2006 11:49 AM

Why do you think Riddle dropped CAPT?

Flying Ninja 02-20-2006 12:10 PM

LAfrequentflyer, mentorship was difficult to get my hands on. But my CFI for my PVT told me it wasn't a great idea. The flying club I was running at the time, its members didn't exactly think it sounded quite right. I just figured it was innovative and that because it's Embry-Riddle, they must know what they're doing otherwise they would never risk this kind of venture. Yep, I was wrong.

de727ups, I wasn't there for the announcement but apparently ERAU's business plan didn't think CAPT was in alignment with their flight training business strategies. And I heard that the interim President wanted to do away with flight training altogether. But then they announced their glass Cessnas they just purchased so it seems to me like they just wanted to get CAPT off their name brand. Main campus students didn't like us, the CFIs at main campus didn't like us. It's all speculation at this point. But after going through the program, I can say that management was a problem. And their flight ops policies had a "sky's the limit" on spending policies that I saw. I just assumed they had a lot of venture capital along with our high tuition money. I ran a flying club so I knew how much flight ops cost. I was surprised at how they ran the operation. If it was up to me, I could have trimmed a lot of fat out of their operations.

freezingflyboy 02-20-2006 06:44 PM

Originally Posted by LAfrequentflyer
I'll be in the same boat as you when i retire and go into aviation as my second career...Actually, I'll be 41 when i start my second career in aviation. I'm not worried about it at all...I've worked hard , have served my country, i'll have a retirement so making ends meet won't be an issue...Like you I'm not interested in the $250K per year captain job...I'll be happy working at a regional...

I'm set on going thru All ATPs - on this board and thru others i've heard a lot of good things about them...

Its nice to see another person jumping into aviation after retirement...

Cajuns Fan...

Sounds like its not the young bucks fresh out of high school with 300 hours under their belts we need to be worried about, its the 40-somethings who want a neat "hobby" that pays a little something on the side....:rolleyes:

LAfrequentflyer 02-21-2006 03:18 AM



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