Career/ training question


Executive Freightdawg
Feb 21, 2002
Total Time
I realize that the answer to my question is largely going to involve my personal choice, but I wanted to seek some advice from those who have been around.
I am 32, with my ASEL and am working on my instrument/commercial -- currently have 112 hours. I just got laid off from a technical job and am looking for another. My question is this: Wanting to make aviation a career, would it be wise for me to take this time off I have and see about getting loans to progess in my training as fast as possible? -- i.e. -- do you know of any loans/ grants that are in place for this? Of course I realize that I will need the hours as well as the training to make a career, but I was curious as to if the loan/ school idea would be faster and make more sense than taking the CFI route.
I know this is kind of a general and very subjective question, and there is no easy answer, but any input is welcome.
Also -- I have a big interest in rotary wing -- but its mucho $ -- any ideas here?


Well-known member
Nov 26, 2001
Total Time
Flight Training

Of course, a lot depends on your finances. If you can afford not to work and train full time, that's great. You'll finish your training sooner. There are plenty of loans available to finance flight traing, such as Stafford loans, Pells grants, Sallie Mae, Nellie Mae, etc. Flight schools are equipped to help students obtain loans.

The issue may really be whether it is worth it to train quickly. Pilot hiring is extremely slow right now, even with rumblings that the economy is crawling out of recession. Hiring is inextricably tied to the economy. There are tons upon tons of furloughees awaiting recall and/or looking for other work. You may build enough time to qualify for commuters or freight in a few years, but there may not be any jobs available after the furloughees are recalled.

Another point you must consider is after you finish you will have something like 250 hours. About the only jobs available to 250-hour pilots is instructing. For example, you hear plenty of stories about 250-hour pilots being hired for banner-towing. The reality is there are so many of them available for what are really very few jobs. For that matter, you need to realize that there are really very few pilot jobs. There is NO pilot shortage, despite what you see in ads in Flying or on the internet. The majors always have thousands of resumes on file from qualified pilots. This doesn't mean that you can't be hired, because pilots do get jobs, despite the glut. It means you will have to work hard at getting the job, and chances are the first job will be instructing. There is nothing AT ALL the matter with instructing. You will get paid to fly, and learn. You will have to work hard at getting the next job, and so forth and so on.

Good luck with your plans.
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Well-known member
Nov 27, 2001
Total Time
Right for you

As usual Bobbysamd has good advice.

Your age and lack of time do put you behind the power curve somewhat. If you can get employed in the work you did, I would stay with it and try and get my hours up to where an accelerated program might help. Get your commercial, instrument, and multi in that period. If you can instruct on the side with a CFI do it.

About a year or year in a half, then you might want to look at some of the programs that accelerate the process and are tied into regionals or whatever you think you would ultimately like to do.

Rotor would be great in that there is going to be a shortage. The bad news is it is very difficult to get time except in the military.

Right now as was said, you could go to a school and come out unemployable.