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Gone from pilot to controller?

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Thought about it at one time, but I'm too old and I'm only 32. (Freekin Government)
Its funny how there are strict laws against age discrimination except when the feds don't feel like following them.
OCP said:
I'm looking for info on this. Anyone who's done this want to share some info?

my name is with the FAA for about a year and a half ...so if they dont cal me by May 2006 I would have to retrain at one of the CTI schools. If you are under 25..go look up a cti school...go to class..pass all the classes and when you do that your name gets sent in to the FAA and the have 2 years to call you. I say under 25 because it takes about 1 year to finish the school once your name is submitted to FAA 2 year so that puts you at 28...The age limit they prefer is 28 unless ur former military controller. If you military you can go thru the Pheonix program (i think).

When they do call me I plan to see where I am at the regional level (upgrade time) and see where they want to send me for my first three years with them. No matter where I get sent it would be a pay raise.
I'm just about to turn 28 and know the cut off is 30 so I'm trying to look into it while I still have at least a little time.
What is a CTI school?


I went through this program back in 2002. You still have time to make the cutoff if most everything is "in order."

Give it a try...it worked especially well for me since I was able to continue flying part-time and attend the program.

Best of luck...
OCP said:
I'm just about to turn 28 and know the cut off is 30 so I'm trying to look into it while I still have at least a little time.
What is a CTI school?

CTI is a school seperate from ATC.. There are around 15 of them nation wide. They prepare you for OKC city..


go here for more infomation...good luck...
I've had three friends that have left the airlines for spots with ATC...it's tough to pass up when you make 100,000 + third year in the system as a controller, plus the gov. benefits package. Dohhh...If only I wasn't afraid of the dark...
I attempted the ATC thing after my second airline bankruptcy, and ended up going to another airline after a few months getting my feet wet at a CTI school.

There are two ways to become an FAA ATC:

1) Military and then "convert"

2) CTI school

There are several schools across the country where you must attend (regardless of your previous education) and receive at least an Associate's degree (sometimes a bachelor's). Once you pass their courses sucessfully and also pass the AT-SAT (a test given at these schools to determine your aptitude) you are then put on the FAA list.

If you are willing to sit through the classes and be commited you will eventually get hired (my friends have). However, it can take up to one year for the FAA to get to your name. You get to pick the geographic region where you want to work, but not the city (for example, Northeast may mean Boston, Cleveland, New York or Washington Center, etc.). Also, you must be HIRED and WORKING for the FAA by the time you reach your 31st birthday. If you are in your upper 20s you would need to find a school fast and probably have an agreement with them about how many credits you can receive for previous work experience (i.e. being a commercial pilot).

In my case, I went to a CTI school for several months and then went back to an airline. Do I like punishment, you ask? Some would say yes. However, I just couldn't validate not getting a paycheck for up to 2 years while I wait for the FAA to call me.

I also found controlling to be significantly more stressful than being a pilot. The controllers I know would say it isn't stressful, but I think it takes a certain type of person to be a (good) controller.

I respect controllers greatly and I think the work they do is far more artisic and skillful than what pilots do, especially in the busy terminals. The job is stable and the pay is right up there with what airline pilots make (in some cases more, thanks to ALPA). However, there is also a lot of politics and procedures that I noticed don't make a whole lot of sense.

All I'm saying is while controlling is a good career the grass may not be greener...

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