New student here. Looking for advice on where to actually start.

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by RedFive, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. RedFive

    RedFive Filing Flight Plan

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    Red Five
    I am finally starting to seriously look at schools for flight training, but there are a lot of different options that seem like good ideas. I was wondering if anyone had opinions or advice on what they think the best education choice is? My main curiosity is: what decisions now will give me better chances with more airlines later on? It is better to go with a smaller flight-specific school, an academy like ATP, or will it be better in the long run to go for an actual degree in aviation or aeronautics? Or does it not matter all that much and is really just personal preference?

    I want to be the best and safest pilot I can possibly be while also making the best decision from a career standpoint, so was hoping to learn a thing or two from people with a ton more experience.

    Thanks so much in advance!
     
  2. kath

    kath Line Up and Wait

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    Hi, @RedFive, welcome to the group!

    This is a tough question, because there are a lot of different ways to get flight training, and people are all different and at different places in life. There's no best way that's best for everyone. Lots of room for personal preferences.

    Are you a young person asking about colleges? Popular advice around here is usually "go to college, but major in something besides aviation, because there's not much of an advantage to a purely aviation degree, and if aviation doesn't work out as a career you have a backup."

    Personally, I think it's a good idea to start by just getting a Private Pilot certificate, because you will learn a *tremendous* amount about flying (and about yourself!) just doing that, and it's the first step in the airline ladder anyway. This can be done in any number of different ways -- It doesn't even need to be from a formal flight school -- and the most important thing about it is to find a CFI that you communicate well with. I would *not* shell out tons of money up front for a program that promises to make you airline-ready, because that seems risky and pricey. My $0.02
     
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  3. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route

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    Where you got your training is of no interest to an airline....just your flight experience and how that experience was gained...1000 hours of flying cross countries or 1000 hours of pattern work. Take kath's advice.

    Bob Gardner
     
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  4. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    You will likely have at least 2 careers in your life time and live to be 100. Technology advancement will reduce the need for pilots, especially 2nd officers. Your income as a pilot is conditioned on your ability to hold a medical certificate. Unexpected health issues can leave you unemployable as a pilot.

    You want a solid science degree that will allow you to move into other carriers. For flight training you want a quality school. That doesn’t mean of has to be famous or well advertised. Like any major purchase you have to be a savvy consumer.
     
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  5. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not sure about that whole two career one pilot bit, for one as it stands now we can make planes that fly themselves, just no one wants to ride in the things, even single pilot aircraft often will be seen with two pilots as it make the pax “feel” safe, even if the other pilot is nothing but a seat warmer and these days it’s all about the feelings and who can best market “safety”
     
  6. EppyGA

    EppyGA Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Freudian slip :D
     
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  7. Collin Kaufman

    Collin Kaufman Pre-Flight

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    I got my private through a 141 school (not sure if you know or not, 141 is a more structured syllabus, 61 is a little more free flowing, one is not better than the other - just different) and now I'm attending Auburn University's flight school, so right now I'm earning all my ratings and also getting a bachelor's degree in Professional Flight. I'm personally not a fan of ATP academy but I do know people that like it. As far as a degree, airlines don't care which degree you have, as long as you have one and can fly a plane. If you don't want to go to the majors, you could even fly for smaller regional airlines without and college degree.

    Where do you live? I might know of some good flight schools near you that I could recommend. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. I was in your shoes 2 years ago and I'm just starting my commercial rating so hopefully I can provide some good insight for you!
     
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  8. Deelee

    Deelee Pre-Flight

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    I have absolutely no interest in switching careers and going to an airline, but do they look at how the flying time is broken down especially in the early stages of flying SEL? I guess airlines probably do want to see more xc than just pattern/short flights, but does it matter if that is just SEL time and not multi? Serious question - I really have no idea since I have no plans to go to an airline.
     
  9. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    not true, what degree you get in college has zero bearing on what job you get/want/do unless going into specialized fields like medicine/ aerospace/ engineering etc. there is always IT and I can guarantee you that no one in real world actually cares about if you are an engineer or doctor or a computer genius (as stated in your college degree) - all I care about is if you know what I am looking for. rest is fluff
     
  10. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

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    +1. Make sure this is something you want to spend your time doing before you get too far into it.

    My wife is an RN, and our youngest daughter wants to go to nursing school, as do thousands of other teenagers. The difference between her and most of the rest of them is that she knows what she's getting into. She's volunteered in a hospital, shadowed her mom at her job, and even has observed surgeries from inside the OR. She is bound and determined to get into nursing school and do what it takes to finish. One of the problems nursing schools face is that many of their applicants have very little idea of what nursing is like, and some of them drop out when they find out. Same is going to be true of flying. There are going to be days when you don't feel your best and your workday is going to consist of slogging through crummy weather from morning until night.

    Before you even go for a lesson, you need to find out if you can pass the FAA First Class medical exam, so you may want to start there. Also, your flying education is expensive so don't spend too much on your college degree.