Hello, I am about to complete High School the following month, I wanted some help on getting started on my pilot career. A few days ago I seem an ad to become a pilot in 7 months and become a first officer at Frontier, sun country, or Avelo. but there are also the options of going through a university and doing a united aviate program by working for a part 135 company, a regional carrier and then united, or just doing my own thing and training when I want to. I just wanted some feedback from the community on the safest way to go, maybe from some people that did it these ways or just someone who is really knowledgeable on this topic of flight training
Wrote down my experiences some time ago - hope it helps!
Take it from a failed hopeful airline pilot, don’t “do your own thing” because you’ll end up like me. If I had to do it over again I would have done the ATP program or something similar. I think they have an age limit but if you really wanna do it go get the best paying job you can find and work as much as possible and save your money and when you get old enough go do it. The university routes are ok but they’re a lot more expensive and a lot of additional stuff. You’ll need a degree of some type to fly long haul carrier stuff but once you start making decent money in the regionals then you can do that online sitting in a hotel. Whatever you do though make sure its a structured program because it is very very very easy to fall short if you just do your own thing
I don’t really think the add is what you think it is. Most airlines still require a college degree, with notable exception, but even in those cases it will still certainly help you stand above other candidates. The closest thing to that ad I can think of is something called ATP flight school. I’ve always been under the impression though that ATP and similar was for people transitioning careers. 7 months 0 to hero sounds borderline impossible. To fly for any of the airlines listed you will need an ATP license which is only possible at 1,500 hours, or as low as 1,000 through some university programs. I don’t think ATP or similar would be eligible for the reduced R-ATP since they aren’t usually university programs, but even if they are that’s about 5 hours a day of flying every day plus classroom training. Additionally you need to be 23 I believe to get an ATP license which if you are just finishing high school this year I presume you are not. I don’t know your situation overall, so I can’t say what your best option is, but I think that ad gave you a false perception of what that program is.
This ad may be misleading, check to see what rating and certifications this program gets you. 7 months from 0hr to an ATP is basically impossible
It is technically possible, ive seen and heard it being done before. However, this requires 24/7 studying and flying which will not be fun whatsoever.
Plus if you are just getting out of HS (18 years old in the US) you may as well go to a Part 141 school, or do college with part 61 training on the side because you have 3 years until you can even get your ATP.
In addition to what @KPIT said about a college degree:
Nearly every mainline carrier wants you to have a 4 year college degree, while regional airlines will most likely want you to have at least a 2 year degree
Some universities offer programs to get your flight training and a 4-year degree, as well as allow you to get an R-ATP at 1000 hours instead of the normal 1500 for an ATP.
While these programs are often expensive, it’s one of the easier ways to get a degree and flight training at the same time.
Have to be careful on that one. You can not transfer any ratings above Private in otherwise you will be subject to the 1500 rule(as far as i know, if im wrong someone feel free to correct me)
If you transfer your private in you will have to take additional credit hours in order to qualify for the R-ATP
Technically is the key word. Flying time alone that’s 7 hours a day every day for 7 months. Assuming no weather cancellations or days off or anything. That is basically impossible by any reasonable standard because you would have ground classes in addition to that.
That is correct, a PPL is the only part 61 training that will transfer to an R-ATP program
I was pretty confident on that, i just wanted to cover myself just in case :)
And anything coming from 141 would have to come from the school you plan to apply for the R-ATP per my understanding. Perhaps except private if you transferred from one 141 program to another but I’ll be honest I’m not 100% sure on a 141 to 141 transfer, just feels like worth mentioning that stuff past private still doesn’t transfer in that case from what I know. Again if anyone knows better please correct me.
So What I’m finding in the program is, ATP flight school is giving you a private pilot, instrument rating, Commercial pilot licenses from the single and multi-engine, and a Flight Instructor Certificate for single and multi-engine. But what they don’t tell you is, this just gets you into these airlines cadet programs which is super misleading
If you want information on 141 to 141 transfer look up in the FAR 141.77 and that will give you more information.
I would attempt to explain it but im no lawyer lol
But usually how many flight hours you can get from a university? Some people don’t have enough hours to apply for a regional carrier when they come out of school
So presumably the plan would be to have you instructing there or elsewhere till you get to 1,500. I still think there are some considerable issues with that plan. Firstly what is ATP’s requirements and do you meet them. Second age may be an issue. I presume you are 18 or close to if you are graduating high school, and I don’t think any of those certificates require more than 18, but it probably isn’t worth a fast tracked program if you still can’t fly as an airline pilot till 23 I believe it is for an ATP. There is also the issue of a college degree. Unless you don’t plan to get all that far in your flying career that is going to be, as things stand now, a significant hindrance likely. Most of the airline pilot candidates even at airlines that don’t have the requirement have a degree so you will be probably pretty low on the list for that reason alone.
Most schools you will probably have to do some hour building after you finish, though not usually for that long, and many programs almost expect their students to work as CFIs when they are at the end of the program the way I understand it.
Depends on how you want to gain hours. Typically after Commercial you have 250 hours total, then you have a few options. I only know of a couple options which are becoming a CFI, and knowing someone to get a flying job at a corporate or private company. If anyone knows more feel free to add on.
Banner-towing, crop dusting, getting hired by a non-121 company, commercial air tours, aerial photography…
See the full list here:
Although I will say this: the quickest way to build time and earn money is by becoming a CFI.
Dependes on a lot of factors