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You guys know. How do I...

Jan 12, 2002
Total Time
Go from a private pilot who has flown nothing larger than a Lance to being a professional corp. pilot. I am 27 years old with a private IFR license. I know that at one time all of you were here too.

Here is the deal. I don't like my job all that much but I do LOVE to fly. I have a 4 year degree and, like I said private, IFR license with about 300 hours. How do I become a professional pilot. What is the path?? Point me in the right direction please!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Thank you all very much!


My Glock is bigger!!!!!
Nov 25, 2001
Total Time
Keep going

Well I think you are correct by saying we all have been there. Keep going get your commercial, Multi, CFI and CFII. Also maybe your MEI if the area you live in there is a big market for Multi students. You can always instruct part-time and still work somewhere else. Unless you can land a CFI job that has a lot students. Whatever you do don't give up.

Good Luck and Hang in there!!!!!


Well-known member
Dec 30, 2001
Total Time
how I did it

I guess that I did it the old fachioned way. I started at my local airport (2600' long in c-152's) and pumped fuel to pay for lessons.
Took 1 year and 10 days from the time I started to get my private.

Went to college for a four year degree in Human Resources adn operations (I planned on getting into corporite aviation). At the end of college I had Comm. Inst Multi. Single and my CFII.

Then I took 1.5 yrs off b/c I couldn't get a Class 2 medical (bad eyes). Thy changed the requirments in '96 and I took a job flight instructing full time. Flew about 800 hours in 1.5 years and had my part 135 min.

Went to Airnet and flew checks for 2 years. Left there as a Lear 25/35 pilot and went into corp. aviation flying a sabre 65. Then went to work for myself as a contract pilot in Citaions, Sabreliners, and Lears.

Know I'm back to flight instructing because it is truly my calling, I love what I do at Flight Safety International. I'm a CE560XL sim instructor.

All I can tell you is keep with it. Aviation is an easy business to get into, it's a hard business to stay in. By the way pump fuel any where you can and be nice to everyone you meet you never know when someone may offer you a chance to fly their aircraft. That's how a got my first contract job in a Citation Ultra.

God Bless


Well-known member
Jan 10, 2002
Total Time
I got in a little differently, I never had a cfi or II, I got my comm and flew a multi for a few hundred hours as a weather research pilot then got hired on with a commuter with only 500TT It was a struggle trying to catch up with everyone but here I am flying 80-100 hours/month flying a turbine for pay...waiting to upgrade to capt and fly another year here and move to a bigger company. After some of the 9'11 stuff eases, the airlines will be hiring again. good luck!


Active member
Jan 30, 2002
Total Time
Hey! If you have the money saved up, look into one of those flight schools down in Florida. Since you have your PVT and Inst. it should not cost as much. If this is not an option, get your Comm. and multi where you are now. Without these, you will not get much further. Instructing was fun for me and you learn more than what you thought you knew with your students.

Bottom line is what somebody else posted to you and that is, keep the dream and never quit. I am currently looking for a full time flight job and its a bit harder now thanks to Osama Bin Ladin. But keep going and never give up!!!!

-Good luck


Active member
Dec 19, 2001
Total Time
My 2 cents:

Work at the airport anyway you can, where you can be exposed to the everyday operations of aviation...even if its part time.

Get all of your ratings through commercial (ATP later)

If you can afford your instructor ratings, get them and keep them current.

Pay attention to your appearence, first impressions go a long way

Be proffesional, polite, and responsive...even in your sleep.

Talk to everyone, its who you know in this business, even people who do not fly may know someone who does. (but be careful who you are associated with....there are some bad seeds out there)

Fly anything and everything you can (keeping safety in mind of course)

Stay up on current events..this sounds stupid, but trust me...its a whole lot easier to spark up conversations with folks when you have something other to say than....."whasup, man"

flying has its ups and downs...learn and retain from both.

Not that this helps, but I got my first job while I was pumping fuel. The pilot of a citation 501 lost his FO to another job. He was using contract guys to fill in. One day while I was finishing up his fuel order, I noticed he was acting a little agitated. He told me his right seater had not shown up yet, nor has he called. I told him to give me a call if it got tight and I would fly with him. He laughed and said, thanks...but he needed someone who was a pilot. (he wasnt being an ass..it just sounds that way) Anyhow, I told him I was, had my ratings, could take off work, and I had a change of clothes in my car (I always kept a crisp change of clothes in my car)...he just raised his eyebrows and said hed let me know.....Well, he didnt call me for that flight..but about a week or so later he came to the FBO and asked if Id go on a maint. flight with him....he wanted to evaluate me, do some touch and go's..etc. Anyhow...he used me after that, back then it was a $100 bones a day. He introduced me to some other folks around the airport and I picked up a bunch of other side flights. Eventually I got a retainer from this dude, which lead to full time employment.....In reality the job sucked, the whole process took 4 years..but 2000 hours later (1200 of it jet) I got the job I have now....which is nice, and been here ever since.

the moral of the story is.....every pilot has one, but the only story that counts is, and will be yours.....So finish your "chapter one" and get going, dont give up and remember that there is ALWAYS a way.

good luck


Well-known member
Feb 10, 2002
Total Time
Private to Pro


Get all your ratings up to ATP!!! If you have the money, it might take you 1-2 years if you work hard at it but it is possible.

Start creating a network of contacts; pilots, FBO managers, line personnel... anyone submerged in the business who can provide information, additional contacts etc... That is one major way that jobs are discovered and obtained in this business. Network, network, network. Once you get your career started, keep your network of contacts alive.

You have a long road ahead but it is worth the effort... believe me, it is worth it.

Good luck.