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-   -   My dream - advice please (collective thread) (https://www.pprune.org/professional-pilot-training-includes-ground-studies/521590-my-dream-advice-please-collective-thread.html)

artie711 23rd Jun 2013 22:09

My dream - advice please (collective thread)
Hello everyone! Ever since I was little, I've wanted to become an airline pilot. Now i'm 15 and started my PPL training earlier this year and it's been going very well. I live in France but I was born in the USA and lived there for 14 years and I am fluent in both languages. I finish high school in 2 years so I started looking at some flight schools or colleges. I am most likely not going to stay in France or Europe because I won't be able to get a EASA class 1 medical but I will be able to pass a FAA. Basically, I don't know which path to take to become a pilot... At first I wanted to join a professional pilot program here in Europe which includes all licenses and many ratings as well as some ATP training. But I wont be able to attend because of the class 1 medical problem. So now i'm focused on going back to the United States.

I was thinking of joining a flight school (no college) such as Pan Am academy or Phoenix East Aviation, get my licenses and ratings, however, training only takes 8-12 months and I would be under 23 years of age so I wouldn't even be close to having my ATPL (hours and age requirements) so job wise I would have some trouble, and the fact that I wouldn't have a degree.

Another option is going to a college such as ERAU which looks very nice, plus they have a huge number of different courses. Only problem with a college is that it's very expensive in the USA (I know flight training cost a lot). The advantage with this option is that I would have a degree.

I also have another question: What kind of jobs can "new pilots" (23 years and younger) get? Assuming that they have PPL, IR/ME, and CPL but no ATPL. Do they work for charter airlines? Because last I checked most of them require the ATP written.

Well thats my question :p. Hope some of you can give my some advice on what I should do. Also, is a degree REALLY preferred in aviation, or is it experience? Because who is most likely to get hired? A 25 year old with a degree and 2000 hours or a 40 year old with 25,000+ hours and no degree...


Selfmade92 24th Jun 2013 15:38

all im gonna say is, don't go to aviation colleges/universities. waste of money.

to build hours, you can do flight instructing, banner towing, all that kind of stuff. preferrably live in california or florida. To fly for the Airlines you'll need to be 23 and have an ATPL.

Good luck.

edit: regarding the degree, Delta and the big players in the US require a Bachelor degree, few regionals now put down for preferred minimums associates degree.

IXUXU 24th Jun 2013 16:54

Advice on becoming a pilot?


Don´t do it.:=

artie711 24th Jun 2013 17:24

Why do you say that?

paco 25th Jun 2013 05:39

Because economically, it's a non-starter.

You often spend a lot of money to get a job that pays very little in most cases ($20 000 p.a. as an F/O in the US), is no longer a career but a series of short jobs, mostly subject to poor management.

Some would say that if you had £100K burning a hole in your pocket it would be better spent starting another business.

I say that if it is genuinely your ambition, go for it, because life should be spent doing what you love (otherwise why bother?) but you should at least have your eyes open to reality.

If you are not sure, don't do it.

OK, back to some of your questions. A degree is not required to do the job, but some customers list it as a preferred option because of its perceived value (same as listing an IR for a VFR job).

I wouldn't restrict your thinking to airlines - there are plenty of other jobs that are rewarding - for example, if you got a float rating and built up some time (they like at least 500 hours) you could end up flying fire bombers.

It's good that you are bilingual - it's a good upgrade for a low time pilot.

And good luck!

artie711 25th Jun 2013 09:00

I am aware that the job pays very poorly at first (10-15yrs) and that it's very expensive. Everyone talks about those two topics. But I know this is what I want to do later on. I have an appointment with an AME in Paris who will tell be whether I can get an FAA or EASA class 1 medical. It would be a lot easier for me to stay in Europe (financially speaking) and because there are some great flight schools here with Modular or Integrated flight training.

One more question: Lets say I go to the USA and join a flight school (Pan Am academy for example). I start at 18 and finish before my 19th birthday. I will have my PPL, IR/ME, and CPL. Considering I have only that, what kind of jobs are open to me besides flight instructor? Oh and we know a pilot who owns his own corporate/charter company so maybe networking and asking around there might be the way to go!

darkroomsource 25th Jun 2013 12:28

what kind of jobs are open to me besides flight instructor?
Honestly? not many.
To find out, why not spend some time researching the job market, looking for actual jobs that you could do with those qualifications (as a minimum).
you'll find that there aren't many.

Then, do a bit of research as to how many people go through the training to get the same level of qualifications...

What you will find is that the odds are not in your favour.

Only you can decide if you have the tenacity to actually get a job flying. You will not find it easy, or even hard, or even very hard, you will find it close to impossible. That doesn't mean you won't get a job, but it means you will work harder to get that first job than you can possibly imagine at this point.

You say you have a friend who flies, and might be able to network, why not talk to them about your chances of working for/with them with minimal qualifications. Maybe they can give you some encouragement.

My advice, is to fly for fun, get your PPL, get a nice job doing something you like to do, and fly on the weekends. Then flying will never be a chore, but only a pleasure.

pull-up-terrain 25th Jun 2013 13:00

My advice is to have a career/other qualifications to fall back on before you go down the pilot route.

paco 25th Jun 2013 13:53

If it's really what you want to do, go for it, as I mentioned before. Otherwise you will always be wondering. But networking is a major ploy in getting a job. Use all your friends!

artie711 25th Jun 2013 14:45

Thanks a lot guys! I will see weather I can do my training in Europe since i'm more interested in the flight schools here. Just need to get my eyes checked out from an AME

cosmick251 25th Jun 2013 18:34

Personaly, I think a ft-programm in association with a major airline is the only reasonable way ... at least for me it was. No cost risk + a secure job afterwards.
Well , I don t know, if there is an Air France FT-programm - check it out,mate!

artie711 26th Jun 2013 10:33

Yes i'm going to try and do an airline based training program (Oxford, Belgian Flight School...). Air France has one, however it requires a selection process at L'ENAC which only takes a small number of candidates who apply, so for me it's a bit of a wast e of time...

maxed-out 26th Jun 2013 11:49


You are 15 years old. If you think embarkingon a selection process like Enac is a waste of your precious time, then you have an attitude problem.

artie711 26th Jun 2013 12:23

And why would you say that? Besides i'm just saying to apply for a cadet program for Air France requires 2 extra years of "classe preparatoire" which is a preparation for engineering schools. Then you have to participate in a "concours" or a competition where there is a huge number of people who apply and only a few are accepted. So I don't think it's an "attitude problem", but i'm just being realistic and I don't want to take 2-3 years after secondary school just to be rejected at the last step.

darkroomsource 26th Jun 2013 12:53

I think that says it right there.
If you're not willing to do 2 years in the HOPE of getting accepted, then you're in for a shock, a big one.
You will spend a long time and lots of money getting the 'ratings' and 'certificates', only to find that you can expect to spend years looking for that first job, or working grunt jobs, or instructing, hoping, year after year, for the opportunity that you seem to think will be easy to get.

Talk to your friend who has that company and see if he'll hire you with just a CPL? or what it would take for you to be qualified, and how long and how much that will take...

artie711 26th Jun 2013 13:05

I understand what your trying to say, but I think your understanding it wrong. I mean I don't want to do those 2 extra years because I am fairly certain I wont be able to get accepted into the program, however, I know that getting accepted into a flight school in Europe is hard work but that is something I KNOW I can achieve, so that's what i'm going for. And I know I will spend time getting my ratings and certificates but in the end I know I will have them.

cosmick251 8th Jul 2013 11:01

I am not sure, if you can say, that the selection process is hard work.
If you have the required ability, you will succeed.

If you don t succeed, especially to take the last hurdle, where is checked, if you fullfill the airlines specific profile... this has something to mean .. in my opinion at least.

I do know some guys, that failed to take this and not just with one airline... went to flight school, spend a load of money to get ther licence.. and then, when it s about finding a job, they face same hurdle again... unfortunately they never made it to a major airline.

So, the risk is very high, to end with debts and no work...

Ben-Stoke 16th Aug 2013 21:20

My dream - advice please ( collective thread )
I'm new to posting on this forum, but I'm 16 (2 months of being 17), I'm going to College to study - Maths, Physics, I.T and Accounting. However I have dreams and ambitions to be a Commercial Airline Pilot. I have wanted to do this for quite some time, since I was around the age of 10.

What I want opinions for off of you guys on here who will know a considerable amount more than me is:
If I were to do my Private Pilots License now, what would be a route after I were to finish at College (age 18)? - I have seen someone who has done their PPL and gone onto doing their ATPL at Bristol GS
After I finish College, I would be thinking of going to either OAA or CTC, would you recommend?

Buggington 16th Aug 2013 22:41


I'm someone who's a couple of years further down the line from you - I'm eighteen and making the decision on whether or not to become a pilot. I've been looking into it and researching it for over two years.

I don't know how much you know, but there are two main ways of training - integrated and modular. A quick search on this forum will reveal that the advantages and disadvantages of each have been discussed again and again and again.

This person you're talking about has done it (or at least started doing it) through the modular route, meaning that they can do things in stages, stopping and starting and paying as they go. This is cheaper, but airlines don't like it as much because the training normally hasn't been done in one hit.

CTC and OAA tend to do Integrated courses - in other words, nought to pilot in eighteen months. All the training done in one hit, costing about £20k more. Airlines tend to prefer this route.

Doing your PPL and then going through to CTC or OAA would be kind of like mixing these two up. That being said, CTC offer a discount for those who have a PPL already, so it might be helpful. Note that the National Private Pilot's Licence (NPPL) doesn't count towards it, and you may make use of it on your own.

That being said, there is no way that having a PPL could be a disadvantage, assuming you have the money for it.

While you're thinking about becoming a pilot, look into the costs of training (it's not cheap, but in the last month there has been a change to the system which means you can put up to £42k on the student loans system - this is just over half the cost of the basic training - a CTC Wings Integrated course will set you back £69,000) and the starting salaries of pilots.

Hope this helps - sorry for the essay :)

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