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Flight Training Conundrum


New member
Nov 30, 2005
Total Time
I am submitting this entry to solicit information and/or advice on how
to continue. My desire is to fly professionally as a pilot. I have
not yet decided into which category of commercial aviation I wish to
follow (airline, corporate or bush pilot). I have attended two schools
since deciding to become a commercial pilot. Unfortunately, I have not
completed a bachelors degree nor the requirements of a commercial pilot
as of yet.
The first school I attended was Salt Lake Community College in Salt
Lake City, Utah. I used this institution as a stepping stone towards
completing my degree at a four year university. At the community
college I enrolled in classes that would fulfill the lower division
requirements at a four year school. This also provided for an economic
way to evaluate if aviation was truly a career I wanted to pursue.
I then went on to attend Westminster College also in Salt Lake City,
Utah. Here I nearly completed the requirements for a Bachelors of
Science Degree in Aviation. My major was Flight Operations Management.
I was in the unique situation of having the option of completing the
flight lab portion of my degree requirements either with Westminster's
instructors and aircraft or to provide my own instructor and renting
airplanes independently. This was due to the fact that Westminster
did not have a operational flight line at my time of enrollment. I
choose the later of the two choices due to expense considerations and
the fact that Westminster's flight line was new to the college. This
included new aircraft, instructors, associated administration and
policies. Understandably there were several "kinks" that needed
working out. Upon completion of my instrument rating and my commercial
certificate I was to present them to the registrar to receive credit
for the degree requirements. These achievements were to be treated
analogous to additional transfer credit.
I completed all of the prerequisites for graduation except for the
above mentioned rating and certificate. I was allowed to participate
in the commencement ceremonies and was even awarded "The most
outstanding student graduating in aviation." by the faculty of the
aviation department at Westminster College. The understanding was that
I would finish the flying portion as soon as possible. All went well
for a time. I was actively flying and working on both the instrument
and commercial portions. I had accumulated approximately 185 hours of
total flight time including simulated instrument, cross country and
P.I.C. time as necessary for the instrument rating. A month and a half
post graduation I was injured in an accident while rock climbing in
Southern Utah. The results were a broken heel and I was unable to
walk, unaided, for nearly four months time. I have since fully
recovered. The accident, along with the regression of skills due to
the absence from the cockpit, prevented me from completing my
obligations for obtaining my degree.
That was four years ago. I have since missed aviation tremendously
but as life goes on and distractions occur one can be distracted from
one's goals. I have realized that I possess a strong desire to finish
what I started and continue along the path to becoming a commercial
pilot. I have researched several of the accelerated pilot training
schools and have considered attending just to expedite the acquiring
my certificates and ratings. (I would like to go as far as CFI, CFII &
MEI). But, I have put so much time, effort and expense into pursuing
a degree I have a hard time justifying taking the accelerated route.
In addition, what if I am unable to fly in the future and a degree
unlocks additional doors to alternate career in aviation?
If you possess any information that may help please reply. Also, any
advice concerning a choice of schools (accelerated flight training or
bachelor degree programs) would be appreciated as well. Financial
assistance will be required as I have exhausted my resources. Does
anyone have information regarding loans, scholarships or grants
pertaining to aviation studies? How much of the total costs (tuition,
flight time, materials, equipment, FAA written exams, check rides,
living expenses, ect.) will financial assistance provide? I'm at a
loss as to how to continue. Please Help.

Lead Sled

Sitt'n on the throne...
Apr 1, 2004
Total Time
> enuf
First of all, don't worry about going the "accelerated route" just go to your local airport and check out the FBOs and get going with one of their programs. The important thing is to get flying and position yourself so that someone starts paying for your flying as soon as you possibly can. For most low-time guys this will mean a stint as a CFI. Again, you can get all of the quality flight instruction that you'll need locally - you just have to look.

All of the above can be done concurrently while finishing up your degree.

While you're doing all of the above you can start to think about which area of aviation strikes your fancy. You've still got plenty of time.



Well-known member
Sep 22, 2003
Total Time
Well, ...I tell you what, js, you sure can write good. I was captured into your perfect structure and form up until the last with too too many questions.

You'd probably make a good Flight Instructor.

Can you just finish up where you left off?

You really can't make any hard decisions about where. in aviation, you wanna go. So many variables concerning personal taste in lifestyle and opportunities.


New member
Nov 30, 2005
Total Time
Thanks for the response. A little clarification here. The main questions are as follows:
1) Do you have any advice towards going the "accelerated" route or completing the degree?
2) Do you have any experience with either type of schools?
3) If "yes" to the above question, What schools would you recommend?


The plane I solo'd in
Mar 31, 2003
Total Time
jszietz said:
Thanks for the response. A little clarification here. The main questions are as follows:
1) Do you have any advice towards going the "accelerated" route or completing the degree?

I think the confusing part is why the degree and the flight ratings have to be mutually exclusive. I understand that you need flight time or whatever to complete a course that is required for you degree, correct?

Goose Egg

Big Jens
Jul 21, 2004
Total Time
jszietz said:
Do you have any advice towards going the "accelerated" route or completing the degree?

Well, if it's a choice between the two I'd get the degree. It doesn't sound like you have that much to do to finish it up. As far as flying goes, I'm sure you could do that just about anywhere--I wouldn't go the "accelerated" route, mainly because it tends to be more expensive than the traditional part 61 route. Also, no matter how reputable the "accelerated" company, I think there's a lot to be said about taking things at your own pace and really absorbing the information. Just as you wouldn't "slap" together a house that you wanted to stand for a long time, you shouldn't do the same with your flying skills. Take your time and do it right. This is too important to take shortcuts.

Remember, the actual school that you train at has little to do with the quality of your instruction; I've recieved some very good training from some very small operations, and some not-so-good instruction from larger ones. The skill of the CFI is the biggest factor. Find a good instructor and a company that you can tolerate working with and you're golden.

Bottom line? If you want to fly, you need the ratings and you ought to have a degree. Both are definitely do-able from where you are now. Figure out a way to make it happen.


P.S. I'm from the SLC area originally. If you have questions about schools let me know, although my information is a few years old.
Last edited:


Well-known member
Apr 13, 2002
Total Time
There is an interesting story here...

We need more information...you broke your heel(sorry to hear, I broke my leg once) and then what happened for the next 4 years?

S P A C E between paragraphs, it helps dummies like me go back and read certain sections, also it might help organize your question.

The best thing you can do right now is go buy flight sim 2004 then go practice shooting aprchs/holds/tracking/etc while you figure out your next move, it will save you some $$ on your instrument comp check/checkride. Check the payscales and make sure you can do this for a living.


Well-known member
Oct 15, 2005
Total Time

Am I correct in assuming that you have not completed the bachelor's degree you were given, contingent upon completion of flight time? If so, then I suggest you go back to that school and speak with them about transferring credits to a traditional university, then check with the traditional university as to how many of your credits they will accept in order to REALLY complete the B.Sc. degree. You have to get that little item off of the screen. If the 4 yr school will issue a B.Sc without the flight time then do that!.

The folks that issue school loans frown on commitments not completed, for which, the original school loans have already been issued. If that is the case then you will need to do what you have to do to pay off outstanding school loans and then get back in there and finish the B.Sc degree.


Well-known member
Feb 14, 2005
Total Time
College is not required! Really it's not!

If you want to fly for a living, you got to start flyin' right away. Get a degree or don't get a degree,(there is actually another thread about that). But, go out to your local airport and get a flight lesson, today. The longer you wait the more you fall behind every other idiot out there tryin' to make a livin' flyin'. Go Fly, Good Luck!

Besides, I think you used enough big words in your post that college might be a waste of your time!