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Professional Pilot USA vs EU

Old 13th Apr 2023, 09:18
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Originally Posted by bafanguy
Michael,

Tried sending you a PM but it wouldn't go through. Something about your inbox being full ?
Hi, yeah I am having trouble with the limits. I cleared everything. Could you perhaps try it again? If it doesn't work out, feel free to share your thoughts in the thread if it is fine for you.
Regards,
Michael.
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Old 13th Apr 2023, 09:35
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Michael,

Other posters have pretty much said what I would've said in a PM.

As for the college degree, though, I'd think that in the long run having one is better than not having one. Getting one somewhere, somehow is likely easier now when you're young, footloose and have the energy to tackle the task (going to school while working can be done but seems much more difficult and complicated). While airlines seem to have dropped the degree requirement that may be temporary. They have long demonstrated they prefer candidates have one. So when hiring inevitably slows down due to any number of economic events, if there's any hiring going on, requirements will go up again leaving the non-degree people at the back of the line. The big problem is we just don't know when that'll happen.

Getting an aviation degree just lets you combine the degree with the flying. I don't know that airlines prefer that one to others.

Conventional wisdom usually says to get a non-aviation degree in a field that might allow you to work if/when the aviation career gets interrupted or ends. While this has an element of truth to it, I'm not sure I agree with that 100% of the time.

Wish I had better advice but it's all very complicated and requires the ability to foretell the future. I'm pretty bad at that.

Good luck and let us know what you decided.
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Old 13th Apr 2023, 13:39
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As stated above, having a degree is better than not having one. However you don't need a degree and they are very expensive. You will spend half the money and get an airline job quicker without one. Time and money are usually the biggest factors. Your goal should be to get into the RHS as quick as possible. The first job isn't going to be a Major, it'll be a commuter airline: you'll need to turn up with an ATP and a pulse. You can always get a Degree part-time later on if you want to go for the Majors and still think you need one.

Some reading for you:

Part 61: Pilot certification.
Part 141: Pilot schools.

You can get your certificates under either Part 61 or 141, kind of like modular vs integrated. Kind of.

Airline jobs are flown under the rules of Part 135: Commuter and Part 121: Scheduled.
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Old 13th Apr 2023, 17:14
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Originally Posted by rudestuff
...you don't need a degree and they are very expensive. You will spend half the money and get an airline job quicker without one. Time and money are usually the biggest factors. Your goal should be to get into the RHS as quick as possible. The first job isn't going to be a Major, it'll be a commuter airline: you'll need to turn up with an ATP and a pulse. You can always get a Degree part-time later on if you want to go for the Majors and still think you need one..
rudestuff,

Certainly no disputing what you said. It points out the reality of getting launched in an airline career these days.

Since Michael is new to this game and might be leaning toward a degree, I wanted to point out some angles he may not have considered.

If he can fly and get a degree on the side while doing it, he's a better man than I. The thought of that makes me want to go lie down on the couch.
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Old 13th Apr 2023, 18:21
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Originally Posted by bafanguy
If he can fly and get a degree on the side while doing it, he's a better man than I. The thought of that makes me want to go lie down on the couch.
No doubt, I didn't say I could do it either!
I guess the middle ground would be an Associate degree? That would give 3 years to get a 2 year degree and 1250 hours and still hit the target of R-ATP by age 21. 2 years away from a Batchelors.
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Old 14th Apr 2023, 11:45
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Originally Posted by rudestuff
No doubt, I didn't say I could do it either!
I guess the middle ground would be an Associate degree? That would give 3 years to get a 2 year degree and 1250 hours and still hit the target of R-ATP by age 21. 2 years away from a Batchelors.
Originally Posted by bafanguy
rudestuff,

Certainly no disputing what you said. It points out the reality of getting launched in an airline career these days.

Since Michael is new to this game and might be leaning toward a degree, I wanted to point out some angles he may not have considered.

If he can fly and get a degree on the side while doing it, he's a better man than I. The thought of that makes me want to go lie down on the couch.
One more question. Let's say, I did the aviation school which is 2 years long here. And I also had the greencard and was able to "pause" it. After my Frozen ATPL licence here, with a greencard, do you think, US Airlines would hire me? I know that they do not hire just foreign pilots without the legal right to live and work. But if I was a european pilot with a greencard? And would they be ok that I didn't have a university degree, since I am already a step further though? How are my chances?
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Old 14th Apr 2023, 16:36
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Originally Posted by Michimax17
After my Frozen ATPL licence here, with a greencard, do you think, US Airlines would hire me? I know that they do not hire just foreign pilots without the legal right to live and work. But if I was a european pilot with a greencard? And would they be ok that I didn't have a university degree...
Michael,

I can't answer all your questions. But I can say that US airlines certainly hire green card holders. You'd need an FAA ATPL in every case at an FAR Part 121 carrier. Some regionals have provided that for foreign nationals in the past but I don't know if they''re doing that now (I suspect not). Otherwise you'd have to get one on your own...a bit expensive. And you'd need the 1500 hours total time except for those universities offering reduced hour requirements for their graduates to get a restricted-ATPL. And the r-ATPL raises the question of whether airlines hire those with only a r-ATPL. Maybe some do but I don't know for sure.

The tricky part is that these parameters/requirements can change in short order so it's hard to give a solid answer that'll stand the test of time. Wish I knew more.
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Old 14th Apr 2023, 21:02
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Originally Posted by bafanguy
Michael,

I can't answer all your questions. But I can say that US airlines certainly hire green card holders. You'd need an FAA ATPL in every case at an FAR Part 121 carrier. Some regionals have provided that for foreign nationals in the past but I don't know if they''re doing that now (I suspect not). Otherwise you'd have to get one on your own...a bit expensive. And you'd need the 1500 hours total time except for those universities offering reduced hour requirements for their graduates to get a restricted-ATPL. And the r-ATPL raises the question of whether airlines hire those with only a r-ATPL. Maybe some do but I don't know for sure.

The tricky part is that these parameters/requirements can change in short order so it's hard to give a solid answer that'll stand the test of time. Wish I knew more.
Thanks for your help. So in other words you say I could. But do you think I need to do a 4 year degree or should I just change EASA to FAA and start at a regional? If you can't answer that it is fine. I suspect that it would be "recommended" though not essential, right now at least. Would be a pretty big waste of money to do the 110000 Euro flight school and then a university degree over the pond... And this gets me back to the idea to just go to the US from the beginning...
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Old 14th Apr 2023, 22:53
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Originally Posted by Michimax17
One more question. Let's say, I did the aviation school which is 2 years long here. And I also had the greencard and was able to "pause" it. After my Frozen ATPL licence here, with a greencard, do you think, US Airlines would hire me? I know that they do not hire just foreign pilots without the legal right to live and work. But if I was a european pilot with a greencard? And would they be ok that I didn't have a university degree, since I am already a step further though? How are my chances?
What do you mean by 'aviation school' - if you mean learning to fly then that takes as long as you want it to take - anything from 6 months to never.
There us no such thing as a Frozen ATPL in the US. You're either a CPL or an ATP. fATPL is a European term meaning CPL/IR who's passed the ATPL exams (which require 6-12 months of study and are a big deal). The ATP exam in the US is one test which you can pass with a few days of study so its not such a big deal. A typical fATPL holder can be flying jets in Europe with 200 hours, but in the US before you can even touch a big jet you'll need an 'actual' ATP. That means 1500 hours which you'll need to get, most likely as a flight instructor. So no - you won't get hired straight out of flight school like you could in Europe. But unlike Europe, where you'll be getting rejection letter after rejection letter, possibly for years - in the US you'll be swallowed up into a well oiled machine. You'll do 2-3 years a a flight instructor, get your 1500 hours be almost guaranteed a spot at a commuter airline, maybe even better. Europe could get you into a Jet sooner, but possibly not at all because the entry jobs are so few and far between. The US definitely won't see you flying anything too exciting for the first 1500hrs, but you will be flying, and after 1500 hours there are infinitely more possibilities. Airlines are hiring greencard holders right now. All they care about is that you're legal and can fly. Plus of course, learning to fly in the US is 1/4 the price as you only need 50 hours in an airplane to get a CPL.
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Old 15th Apr 2023, 11:40
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Originally Posted by rudestuff
What do you mean by 'aviation school' - if you mean learning to fly then that takes as long as you want it to take - anything from 6 months to never.
There us no such thing as a Frozen ATPL in the US. You're either a CPL or an ATP. fATPL is a European term meaning CPL/IR who's passed the ATPL exams (which require 6-12 months of study and are a big deal). The ATP exam in the US is one test which you can pass with a few days of study so its not such a big deal. A typical fATPL holder can be flying jets in Europe with 200 hours, but in the US before you can even touch a big jet you'll need an 'actual' ATP. That means 1500 hours which you'll need to get, most likely as a flight instructor. So no - you won't get hired straight out of flight school like you could in Europe. But unlike Europe, where you'll be getting rejection letter after rejection letter, possibly for years - in the US you'll be swallowed up into a well oiled machine. You'll do 2-3 years a a flight instructor, get your 1500 hours be almost guaranteed a spot at a commuter airline, maybe even better. Europe could get you into a Jet sooner, but possibly not at all because the entry jobs are so few and far between. The US definitely won't see you flying anything too exciting for the first 1500hrs, but you will be flying, and after 1500 hours there are infinitely more possibilities. Airlines are hiring greencard holders right now. All they care about is that you're legal and can fly. Plus of course, learning to fly in the US is 1/4 the price as you only need 50 hours in an airplane to get a CPL.
Thanks for your detailed question. So after receiving the fATPL in Europe and do all the necessary stuff in America (CPL etc), I assume I have to convert my licence into the FAA one? And as long as I get 1500 hours, you do not think that no university degree will be a problem (as it is now at least)?
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Old 15th Apr 2023, 17:24
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Originally Posted by Michimax17
So in other words you say I could. But do you think I need to do a 4 year degree or should I just change EASA to FAA and start at a regional? If you can't answer that it is fine. I suspect that it would be "recommended" though not essential, right now at least.
Michael,

Yes, at the moment with a green card and 1500 hours, a regional would certainly be likely for you. A college degree is not currently mandatory in the USA.

Three years from now when you'd theoretically have 1500 hours, there's no one who can tell what the hiring environment will be. But, that's the roll of the dice for anyone starting to work toward an airline job.

As to whether you should start your career journey here or in the EU, I'd hesitate to definitively say. But I will opine that it sounds like you'd be on the road to a job faster (and cheaper) here vs the EU.

It's a tough decision, I realize. rudestuff laid it out very well.
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Old 15th Apr 2023, 20:18
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Originally Posted by Michimax17
Thanks for your detailed question. So after receiving the fATPL in Europe and do all the necessary stuff in America (CPL etc), I assume I have to convert my licence into the FAA one? And as long as I get 1500 hours, you do not think that no university degree will be a problem (as it is now at least)?
Read it again. I'm not saying you should get an EASA fATPL AND an FAA cert. And certainly not spending 110k Euros! I'm saying only get your FAA certificates. Spend $30k instead of €110k. You'll have loads of time to study the EASA exams later if you want to convert. Once you have 500 hours in a multi crew airplane the conversion is one flight in a Sim. That's it. Frankly someone who has the right to live and work in the US and is considering flight training in Europe needs their head examined.

As for what I or anyone else thinks: it's your decision to make. You clearly dont realise how privileged you are, you're in the top 1% opportunity wise so to me its a no-brainer. Things can and do change in aviation but right now the biggest aviation market in the world is booming. Just do it.
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Old 16th Apr 2023, 01:05
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Originally Posted by rudestuff
Read it again. I'm not saying you should get an EASA fATPL AND an FAA cert. And certainly not spending 110k Euros! I'm saying only get your FAA certificates. Spend $30k instead of €110k. You'll have loads of time to study the EASA exams later if you want to convert. Once you have 500 hours in a multi crew airplane the conversion is one flight in a Sim. That's it. Frankly someone who has the right to live and work in the US and is considering flight training in Europe needs their head examined.

As for what I or anyone else thinks: it's your decision to make. You clearly dont realise how privileged you are, you're in the top 1% opportunity wise so to me its a no-brainer. Things can and do change in aviation but right now the biggest aviation market in the world is booming. Just do it.
Hmm agreed. So you would also say rather directly just spending 30k on flight school without "aviation college in University"? Regards.
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Old 22nd Apr 2023, 14:23
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Colleges with ‘Aviation degrees’ in the USA are very expensive.
You need a Plan B for a different career path of aviation doesn’t work out for you for any one of many reasons.
Get your PPL in the USA, convert to EASA so you can continue building hours slowly while going to university in Germany.
Also join a segelflug verein as for later when you go for your FAA CPL you can use as much as 50 hrs of glider time.
Cone to the US for a month once a year and you’ll have your CPL Multi engine and Instructor ratings and a European degree.
Now go to the US for an entry level job that allows you to build to 1500 hrs to get to the airlines.
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Old 22nd Apr 2023, 20:25
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Originally Posted by B2N2
Also join a segelflug verein as for later when you go for your FAA CPL you can use as much as 50 hrs of glider time.
You only need 100 hours in powered aircraft, so you could actually credit 150 hours of glider time!
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Old 23rd Apr 2023, 18:35
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Originally Posted by rudestuff
You only need 100 hours in powered aircraft, so you could actually credit 150 hours of glider time!
Correct, however it’s difficult to meet all the other (training) requirements such as XC and night etc etc etc
PPL 50 hrs
IR 50 hrs
CPL SE/ME 50 hrs
Give or take 50 hrs of solo XC time building for some night and IFR time.
Realistically you can use about 50hrs glider time.
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Old 24th Apr 2023, 06:53
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The FAA system is so much easier for cross-crediting. If I had to do it all again, instead of flying in circles I'd do 50 hours each in ASEL, ASES and Helicopter and tick off both the CPL(A) and CPL(H) boxes AND get enough float time to actually be employable...
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Old 24th Apr 2023, 11:22
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Originally Posted by rudestuff
The FAA system is so much easier for cross-crediting. If I had to do it all again, instead of flying in circles I'd do 50 hours each in ASEL, ASES and Helicopter and tick off both the CPL(A) and CPL(H) boxes AND get enough float time to actually be employable...
Originally Posted by B2N2
Correct, however it’s difficult to meet all the other (training) requirements such as XC and night etc etc etc
PPL 50 hrs
IR 50 hrs
CPL SE/ME 50 hrs
Give or take 50 hrs of solo XC time building for some night and IFR time.
Realistically you can use about 50hrs glider time.

Thanks for your help guys. Unfortunately I was told, when my brother started the greencard process, that even though I am minor, the processing time until getting a greencard is around 15 years. I'll definately need a plan B therefore. Should I take a visa all the time and randomly take flight hours and PPL exams a month a year in the US? Probably not. My other option would be, after I finish the 2 year EASA ATPL school from Lufthansa, to get towards America (hopefully with a greencard by then). I know I am asking a lot, but how can I imagine that? I'll do all the necessary pilot education here in Germany, fly around a bit until I am eligeble for any American airline and then move to the US? Would I need to convert to FAA Airline Licence or could I use my EASA one? I think that might be an idea too. And I know we cant fortell the future whether I'll need any degrees then (maybe there are some online schools that offer that?), but do you think it would be easy to convert all that and start a new pilot life in America?
Regards
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Old 24th Apr 2023, 20:48
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Originally Posted by Michimax17
the processing time until getting a greencard is around 15 years.
Originally Posted by Michimax17
I am a German citizen with the ability to get a greencard due to my family.
This whole thing is a fantasy. I'm out.
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Old 24th Apr 2023, 20:59
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I've also come across the option to study at a U.S. ATP CPL Flight School as an International student. For that I'll need an F1 or M1 visa. However, let's say I finish flight school and possibly even obtain a degree through a partner university, wouldn't I need a Greencard to be able to start working at a regional airline? Or to ask better, how can I get a greencard whilst being a student / graduant from the flight school with all necessary licences except a Greencard? Obviously, my brother's sponsored greencard won't be ready until 2037 probably.
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