New pilot eager for advice!!!!

D

dream2fly2007

HI Everyone!I'm an eager new student pilot, well, soon to be full time student pilot in Florida. I'm in high school, graduating in 2007, and have recently started taking flight lessons out of KHWO. I've realized that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life and can't wait to get started in it career wise!!

Can anyone give me any pointers into how I can make my dreams to obtain the world's best job a reality, in the shortest time? I've looked at some posts and found some useful information, but can't find anything that would give a good breakdown of the route it takes to get to a commercial airline job.
 

Goose Egg

Big Jens
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Posts
1,719
Total Time
3k-ish
Words of advice:

1. Get a college degree. You may not need it for your flying career (although you probably will), but you definitely need it for life. College "rounds you out." Knowledge is power. I think it is totally up to you what kind of college degree you get. Personally, aviation was the only thing that I could maintain enough interest in put in the time to study, so I ended up getting an aviation degree, and I really enjoyed my time doing it. I'm also going to be starting an MBA here in about a week, and I think this combo will work out well.

note: I'm not doing the MBA with any career goal in mind. It is free for me and I wish to broaden my horizons and learn more about the world. I'll also continue to flight instruct full time. I could be interested in the management aspect of aviation sometime down the road. We'll see what happens.

2. If you do decide to get an aviation degree, make sure you go to a state school with their own flight department. I spent about 1/8 of the total amount that the students I currently instruct will spend by doing this.

3. Don't be in a hurry. I've been accused of being a killjoy for saying things like this, but flying is something that will take however amount of time it will take. By putting yourself under time pressure, you'll be doing yourself a disservice and shortchanging the learning process. Take the time you need to learn it right, and that time is different for everyone.

4. Don't focus on one type of flying job. There are other options if only you will open your eyes to them. Tunnel vision is the enemy of rational decision making.

I'll post more if I can think of them...

Good luck,
Goose
 

pilotyip

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
13,629
Total Time
14000
If you want to be a pilot skip college and start flying airplanes, you will be logging TJ PIC long before the guy who goes to college and be in the front of the line when looking for a career job. Do college degree on the side if a degree is really important to you, you can fly full time and do college on the side. You can not build meaningful flight time while going to college full time. 10 yrs after your first 135/121 job you will be making close to $100K/yr
 

mar

Remember this one?
Joined
Nov 27, 2001
Posts
1,929
Total Time
9500
Right

Goose Egg said:
3. Don't be in a hurry.

Exactly. There are no shortcuts.

If you see someone take a shortcut they usually end up paying for it somewhere along the line. Sometimes with their (and others) lives.

Be methodical and complete every step. They're there for a reason.

Good luck.
 

Flyeys

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 28, 2004
Posts
96
Total Time
mins
I agree 100% about the college route with their own flight department.Get the degree, learn how to fly, and for goodness sake meet as many chicks as possible.
 

Lead Sled

Sitt'n on the throne...
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Posts
2,066
Total Time
> enuf
Get a degree "just in case". Get your ratings. Get a job. Not necessarily in that order. Oh, by the way, take most of what you hear on these forums with a very large grain of salt.

'Sled
 

FL000

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
1,577
Total Time
1500
Go to a college with a good aviation program (i.e. Auburn, Western Michigan, etc.). Don't buy into the "academy mentality."

If you don't get your aviation certificates in college, go to work for an FBO that has a charter department, get your ratings, and then work for them. You'll save a ton and learn a lot more real-world aviation knowledge.
 

BushwickBill

Registered Abuser
Joined
Jul 13, 2005
Posts
822
Total Time
more
I went to flight school with a bunch of guys that had never been to college. They never really knew when to have a good time and when to study. After all flight school isn't for partying. It cost way too much money to be foggy during a class or a flight.

College is a time to figure out how to study. You'll ace your flight school classes if you know how to focus. Also its a time to learn about being a person that people want to spend time with. Living in dorms and hanging out with lots of different people is going to help. I got a great job because I'm the kind of person that people dont mind spending time with. Flying an airplane is flying an airplane but you have to be able to get along with the people your sharing a very small space with for long periods of time, day after day.

College is a time to party. I dont know how you feel about drugs and everyone seems super conservative on this board but its best to experiment with drugs when your not in flight school. Lots of flight schools test. So that harmless bowl you smoked during the 3 day weekend you were at home visiting your buddys might get you in big trouble. In college it would be no big deal.
 

414Flyer

Down with Chemtrails!
Joined
Jan 20, 2002
Posts
4,948
Total Time
4200
Go Air Traffic Control. Then you can buy a plane and fly for the fun of it, you can buy a house, and eat things other than beans and ramen.

Some things, like flying and sex, can be more fun when you are doing it on your own terms instead of trying to pay the bills by doing it.
 

ferlo

Banned
mohammed is the BOMB!!!!
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Posts
539
Total Time
8000
If you must fly go ahead. Personally, I don't recommend it as a profession, but to each his own. The main thing that I would like to convey to you is this: Get a degree in something other than aviation. If the bottom ever falls out, which it has done on me three times, then you have an out. A good pilot always has an out, just in case things don't progess as planned. Don't forget to do this in your professional life. Good Luck to you.
 

Onlyflyfreight

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Posts
104
Total Time
6000
Personally, I don't recommend it as a profession
I disagree, but it can be a tough profession.

Somtimes it seems luck, or whatever you want to call it, has more to do with getting a great job than anything else.

The best advice I can give you is to Network, Network, Network and Network. Get to know as many pilots/people inside this industry as possible and stay in touch.

Keep your positive outlook (it can be tough sometimes) and your joy of flying, it will take you places.

Get that degree (it WILL make more employable) and keep and open mind. This industry changes FAST. The jobs that were well paid and sought after just five years ago are now threatend by bankrupcy.

Most importantly, make sure that what you do is fun. Some people are can't deal with freight at night and others can't stand dealing with passengers and the TSA.
 

Almerick07

Professional Surf Bum
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Posts
407
Total Time
.02
College is so much fun I dont know why anyone would want to miss out on it. There are tons of universities that have aviation programs and the like. I got my CFI in the first 2 years of college and am flight instructing until I graduate. 4 years from high school to a "real" flying job is not that long. I'll have my degree, know I had a good time, met many ladies and will get a job in time to build some decent seniority. I say this buzzing and just getting home from one kick azz party, college is great....why rush out into the real world so soon out of high school???
 

Uncle Sparky

Beano Tester
Joined
Sep 12, 2004
Posts
247
Total Time
4,800
Goose Egg said:
Words of advice:

3. Don't be in a hurry........

I'll third that advice. To be more specific and provide a little more insight, the most common point of "impatience" usually arrives between the time you receive your commercial license and the time you've worked as an instructor for a little while. Most people feel that "I'm qualified; it's time to move on!" You'll find that, when you are more experienced and are able to look back on this period, that you weren't as "capable" as you assumed yourself to be.

You'll hit many "plateaus" during training and progression through the ranks. Take your time and make the best of your surroundings.

On that same subject; "make the best of your surroundings", don't waste time. I've heard it too many times, "I can't do anything because I'm all out of money!"

To be blunt, if your "out of money", that only means you can't go down to the airport and fly an airplane and that's all. It doesn't stop you from studying textbooks, charts and approach plates or practicing approaches on your PC. During this downtime you can still hang out at the airport and look for work or just talk to people to learn more or make contacts.

It's funny that you mention North Perry. I used to hang out there at the northwest T-hangars and help the old guys work on their experimental airplanes. On occasion I would score a free ride and at the very least, learn something new about airplanes.

As far as the college degree, I would highly recommend it. You need to have a backup plan that is not connected to the aviation profession. I can tell you many stories of guys that were making $150,000/yr one day and looking for a new job the next. The aviation profession can be a roller coaster ride, to say the least!

Good Luck
 

Phoenix45

Saving the world.....
Joined
Oct 11, 2004
Posts
71
Total Time
????
One word: Military

I am not a recruiter, nor a professional pilot. But seeing all the out of work pilots I would not plan on flying as a career. Especially starting out with only civilian hours. I know former military pilots with close to 8000 hrs, former airline pilots, who cannot find a pilot job. I would recommend checking out any of the services, let them pay for your training and hours.

Good luck...
 

pilotyip

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
13,629
Total Time
14000
Lots of jobs

Funny all of our pilots looking for a job can find one. 9 pilots in two months have found other jobs, Kalitta, Atlas, ATI, AirWisc, Champion, Flex Jets, to name a few. I know other pilots have turned down jobs waiting for other jobs. Looks like the 2007 hiring boom is on track.
 
Last edited:
D

dream2fly2007

Thanks for all the replies and sorry it took a while to respond.

There seems to be a lot of opinions on how to do this. I have my heart set on a flight academy. Two of my top picks right now are: Delta Airlines Academy and Flight Safety. Does anyone have any experiences with these places? Or any other suggestions?
 

mayday1

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 10, 2004
Posts
315
Total Time
>1
dream2fly2007 said:
I have my heart set on a flight academy. Two of my top picks right now are: Delta Airlines Academy and Flight Safety. Does anyone have any experiences with these places? Or any other suggestions?

so you have your heart set on spending 2-3x the amount it would cost for the same or better quality training at a local FBO.. not to mention your living expenses that you might not have if you could live at home??

DCA has nice flashy ads, hoping to draw in people like yourself.. this board is full of experience pilots who will tell you that you're wasting your money. Do board seaches on DCA.. there have been people who have spent $80-$100k at that place, only not to be "hired" by DCA... Good God!! But go tour DCA and see their "multi-million dollar facility" and then tell us what you think.
 

414Flyer

Down with Chemtrails!
Joined
Jan 20, 2002
Posts
4,948
Total Time
4200
Dont go into this with your "heart" use your head.

Nothing wrong with going pt 61 though, and paying as you go. You will probably actually have fun sometimes, as opposed to being in a regimented program, and you can pay as you go, compared to some of these "academies" or schools where you pay everything up front.

If you are dead set on going to an academy, then at least get your private first at a local operation, so you arent laying out a huge sum of money first, without knowing whether it will be for you, since a lot of these places absolutely do not like to give refunds.

Investigate if there is a way to do all locally still. It can save you a ton of money, since you can still work, and not have to pick up and move somewhere else.

These flight academies will tell you all kinds of things to get you to come over and hand over a buttload of cash. Take anything they say with the proverbial grain of salt.

MANY students have gotten burned financially by doing the large flashy academy route, by unscrupulous operators or places that went bust. Look at the airman flight school story, or TAB express, and see what can happen.
 
Top