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Hirgab

Too late for a career in aviation? Perhaps a part-time career?

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Flying is my calling. I knew it since I was a kid, but my life took a different direction. I would really love to pursue a career in aviation but I'm afraid it's too late. I say it's too late because I'm 25 and have a Bachelor and a Master's in structural engineering, and have been in the practise for 4 years. I went through a lot to just stop in my tracks and jump on a different career path, which would require many more years of schooling. I know that the career path that I chose will be the one that I will be on for the rest of my life, designing structures, day in day out. I have to accept this fact. But I'm not completely content. While I take pride in my line of work, I feel that there is something missing. While I'm sitting at my cubicle everyday I think to myself that I could have been up in the sky, travelling, exploring the world. Perhaps this is a bit of romanticism on my part, but I'm sure that without any exaggeration, a career in aviation would be a whole lot better than number crunching at my cubicle. I'm not the one to not go after my dreams, but I'm also not one who is unrealistic in my goals and ambitions. Which leads me to this question, can I ever have any sort of a career as a pilot while working a 40 hour a week desk job? I understand that I'll never, ever be in the pilot seat of a large commercial plane, but is there a role out there for part-time pilots who work 9 to 5 desk jobs? Perhaps delivering mail / cargo? Do you know anyone that has been able to balance the two? Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.

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Become a part time flight instructor and fly during the weekends. That would work in the US... but if you're from Italy I wouldn't know as each country has a different culture/ethic/mentality when it comes to the fuel to noise convertors.

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You are nowhere near to old, get a PPL, get some hours in, then get a volunteer job doing aerotowing at a big gliding club (trust me, they'll rip your hand off if you volunteer to do it). That'll get you bumping into all kinds of flyers, and that's a good way to network and find job opportunities, it also means you'll get to fly some interesting single engine aircraft such as the DH Chipmunk and M-18, and get your hours in for free. Al

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Chock,s advise is right on target..I work part time at an airport with 2 skydive operations and see lots of young pilots building hours in Twotters,Caravans and King Airs flying jumpers...Been building a few hours myself...Lou

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I'd have thought flying long-haul flights in modern jets is pretty much of a desk job these days (unless something goes wrong obviously Praying.gif ). Chock's idea sounds like a winner, assuming you can afford to get that PPL.

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Wow, didn't think it'd be that easy. I might follow up on Alan's advice. Thanks!

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One of my friends grandfather started his career in aviation after he retired at the age of 60. He started by volunteering at his local air field and worked his way up. Later he managed some of the day to day operations at the airport and this gave him a lot of opportunity to fly with some of the mates he got to know in the community. I would say it is never too late.

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I started flying (again) at 65,got my PPL SEL last December.I didn,t think it was to late....Had a guy pass his Instrument oral and practical yesterday..He is 72..

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I understand that I'll never, ever be in the pilot seat of a large commercial plane, but is there a role out there for part-time pilots who work 9 to 5 desk jobs? Perhaps delivering mail / cargo? Do you know anyone that has been able to balance the two? Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.
At 25, you could go as far as taking out a loan and going through a program like ATP's 141 training. Private through ATP rating. I know quite a few "second career" airline pilots. The point is it's definitely not too late for you to get involved in "flying for hire". You could pursue your ratings (fly twice a week at least) while working. Around here, what most guys do at your point is get the initial CFI and instruct on the weekends/evenings. Personally I'd hate that, but many do it.
While I'm sitting at my cubicle everyday I think to myself that I could have been up in the sky, travelling, exploring the world.
I thought the opposite while on pipeline patrol today. "I could be stuck in a cubicle instead of up here in the sky today". Unfortunately just about anything can become monotonous.

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It's only to late if you are dead. I started young when I was 14. I didn't finish my last ratings until I was 24 though because I was racing cars. Now airplanes are the majority of my income but don't count on it being a huge income if you are moving from your current practice. I started my company in 2008 and am now grossing ~$50,000 from it doing instruction, ferry and contract services. Because of this I still have other small jobs like working at an FBO on Saturday's and I just worked 3 weeks driving a combine at my wife's families ranch to keep the head above water. I'm lucky and didn't build any debt during my flight training but mine in total cost me ~$30,000 from 0 time to CFI instructing at a college here. If your position is good in your current industry I would stay there and then buy an airplane to travel around in and have fun with. Many of my clients are in the construction business and do this same thing. Seems like a way people stay in the money but can also quench their thirst for a passion.

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You should stay away from all rating mills (ATP, et-al). To put it simply, if you go to an FBO you'll most likely pay less for the same training, while getting it done in the same amount of time.

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while getting it done in the same amount of time.
Have to disagree with you there... Since when? Besides, I doubt they're a choice for a full time working 25 year old anyway.

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You don't think that you could get it done at an FBO as quickly as ATP? Why is that? FBO's are just as capable of being a 141 school. Hell, many have a similar program setup, only without the $65,000 price...and without the $2,500-5,000 optional "Regional Jet Training" that you will get for free once you get to your respective airline.

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You don't think that you could get it done at an FBO as quickly as ATP? Why is that? FBO's are just as capable of being a 141 school. Hell, many have a similar program setup, only without the $65,000 price...and without the $2,500-5,000 optional "Regional Jet Training" that you will get for free once you get to your respective airline.
I fear we're getting OT, but I'll bite. *Please keep in mind all of my training to this point was done at an FBO (a part 141 school at that)*. Around here, the part 141 FBO schools aren't as regimented as places like ATP and the now closed Conway flight school. That's why. I still appreciate more the wealth of experience and information my old FBO instructor had, not the ability to bang out check rides left and right. He was retired, not going to the airlines, and had all the time in the world to devote to my certificates and ratings. This was the reason I chose the "mom and pop" flight school over somewhere in Florida or Atlanta. ATP offers a 3 day multi-engine program for $3,500 at the nearby RDU and JQF. That price is on par for any FBO multi-commercial add on and promised in 3 days... For ratings like that, I find ATP and the like to be completely affordable. That is to say once you've reached a certain point in your flight training, ATP is a viable and even wise choice (Beyond the commercial certificate, I'd say). They're CFI program is great.

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