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tman41291

Real world pilot advice request

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Any pilots out there, I need some advice. I am separating from the military and unfortunately am unable to snag a UPT slot from the military (Pilot program), as it is quite competitive and there are so few spots each base is allowed to give each year (1-2). I have been looking into how to become a pilot In the civilian world, and reading a lot of these "road to becoming a pilot" guides, but feel like I am in a bit of a pickle. I have bills lol, mainly just my truck payment no other debt but bills none the less as in things I would need to live i.e. food.

 

I have been working on getting my private pilots license so that I will be able to use my GI bill for further ratings (GI bill policy that you have to have PPL in order to use it) The GI bill will only cover school and housing, so the pickle is I am a bit unsure how I could afford my bills AND go to school full time. Looked into going to Embry Riddle, but as I stated it requires you go full time and not too sure how I could afford that.

 

So now that I have talked everyone's ear off, I'm just asking for some guidance maybe from someone who went through something similar, some pilots who might know a better approach I can take at this. Any advice or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

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You might want to go to pprune.com. They have several forums where you can get some help.

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Not a pilot but know some.

They said to me that if I wanted to become commercial pilot u have a few ways of doing so:

 

Something that is a MUST is that You HAVE to have the monetary means of doing so. There is just no way around this issue.
Which brings us down to these two alternatives:

1) Have contacts in some flying firms (which I do not have so I chose alt. 2)
2) Have a university degree (preferably engineering degree of some sort) because it makes you more desirable as a pilot + you can always fall back on your degree in case you get fired.

I chose alternative number two because I do not currently have the means and support for studying for a pilot-license; but I intend to get ATPL as soon as I can after I get my university degree in Master of science in Informatics and design. 

 

whats even more important is that you are not too picky when being offered a job. I am willing to accept jobs in asia and africa in order to gain more flying hours. Being pilot without any inside contacts is pretty darn hard, meaning that you need to take "more risky and less paid" jobs out there ^^. Ask yourself if you are willing to sacrifice all you have for your dream? For myself the answer was yes :)!

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How do you plan on getting your ATPL?

 

Will go to serbia, the country of my origin and study there. A good school with skilful instructors... costs around 50.000 Euros for ATPL. Here is the link: http://www.smatsaaviationacademy.rs/index.php/en/#.WCMNX8mc4kg

 

Whats so good about is that in Serbia the food and everything is pretty cheep and of good quality, so in case you can save up/loan from a bank lets say 60-70k euros, you may live there, pay rent and feed yourself while still paying  full tuition. After I am done, I will search for job wherever I can and grab the first one that pops up, even if it is in Cambodia.

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The military is still the easiest way to earn your ratings and time and get paid for the experience. If you are non competitive for UPT then your choices on the civilian side are expensive.

 

The GI Bill has a site that specifically discusses its use in flight training. http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/flight_training.asp  As you already stated you do need your PPL and a medical before starting training. I would recommend if your location has an aeroclub you utilize that to maximum benefit. Aeroclubs are still about the least expensive way to rent and airplane and hire an instructor. Unfortunately, aeroclubs is one of the military benefits that have been disappearing. 

 

ERAU is a path to earning your pilot certificates, but while it is well known it is also expensive. I would talk to someone at ERAU who is using a 9-11 GI bill for flight training and ask them how it is working. There are other state schools that offer aviation training that are many times less expensive than ERAU. You may want to widen your search. These days employers what to see your ATP or at least you have the hours to start the ATP process. While in a few cases school recognition may help, these days the airlines are not nearly as picky. The pilot shortage means if you have a pulse and an ATP you can get hired.

 

I would not start the path of flight training with debt. You still have a paycheck you need to focus on paying everything off. Being a nontraditional student is hard enough, being a nontraditional student with a ton of debt just makes life many time harder. 

 

Realize with any program you are going to have to make up the difference in the ~240 hours for your Commercial, Instrument and CFI ratings until you have enough for an RATP. That means being a flight instructor for the school you just graduated for the ~750 hours to make minimums. Here a school like ERAU will help with its huge flight training program, or you can try to take advantage of programs like FlightSafety Academy in which you work for a few years with a paycheck and they offer ATPCTP training. Just remember if your GI Bill doesn't cover everything (likely) your student loans will become due after earning your degree. Straight SEL CFIs are the lowest paid CFIs in the business.  

 

Finally, realize that while a few people can help you out here, this is a flight simulation game forum, filled mostly with people who think they know everything about aviation, but have no real experience to back up their claims. You would be much better served going to AOPA forums or PPRUN. Both which are many times more professional in content. If you want more of my advice, PM me. I am on a much different end of the spectrum of flight training then where you are starting, but I can ask around. Despite being retired military I started in a Part 141 Flight Training program at a University.

 

Ken CFI, CFII, MEI. 

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Hi there,

 

im real world airline pilot. I started 20 years ago @ Lufthansa Pilot School after finishing their test programm. The thing is that every airline and/or country follows its own rules however regulations and requirements according to JAR FCL are the same.

 

Check out your federal agency or flight schools or airlines for further infos.

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Hi Tyler,

 

I'd second joining AOPA and posting in that forum - you'll get a great deal more exposure with people who could help you - and many of the guys are x-military - so plenty of that one vet helping out another... Best of luck in pursuit of your dream...

 

Regards,

Scott

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Hi Tyler,

 

It can be done but I also agree that AOPA is a good choice for you. It will be challenging. I remember going to college, flying and holding a job as I worked on my ratings with the GI Bill in the Vietnam era. The advice DragoB gave you of having a degree to fall back on is important. I have used my business degree to my advantage during my lifetime. Chart a realistic plan of action and the financial requirements of your education plus living expenses. Then you can decide if you want to make the personal sacrifices that will be required. I wish you well as you pursue your dream.

 

Greg 

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