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Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?  
User currently offlineFastFlyer From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 8 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 4166 times:

Hello. Im 17 years old and a senior in high school. My dream job is to be an airline pilot, so I figured I'd register and ask the pros themselves. What steps should I take? Im just wondering what a good way to go throught training is. I like the way Embry-Riddle looks, but the cost and requirements maybe to high. So anyway, just wondering what I should do.

33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePilothighflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 220 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 4101 times:

I am also 17 and share your dream of being an airline pilot. The advice that I have been given was the to fly as much as possible and get a 4 year degree. I am planning on going to Riddle next year, it hopefully will give me an edge in today’s tough economy, but you don't need a degree involving aviation to be a professional pilot. So my advice would be to fly, get as many hours as you can and build your ratings, you will also need a 4 year degree, so get one of them.


~Robert


User currently offlineM717 From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 608 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4088 times:

My advice, from someone who has seen a career's worth of up and down cycles, furloughs and hiring booms, is to get you degree in anything BUT aviation, so that you will have something to fall back on during the inevitable down cycles that you will encounter during your career.

As Pilothighflyer mentioned, you do not need an aviation degree to be a professional airline pilot. Any 4-year degree will do. The airlines only want to see that you have one. They do not care what it is in.


User currently offlineFlightSimFreak From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4084 times:

UND is a great alternitive to Riddle. We have new airplanes, a good reputation, the best campus with the most technology, and most of all, we have girls... Lots of girls.

User currently offlineFastFlyer From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 8 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4075 times:

Thanks for the advice! Im also looking at UND...just afraid that the cold weather will turn a Texan like me into an ice cube  Smile

User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4070 times:

I am following the path described by M717...I am currently a freshman in college and my major is geography, yet I want to be a professional pilot of some form...when searching for colleges I originally considered ERAU, UND, Purdue, etc. but after talking with many pilots about it they all offered similar advice to M717's and in thinking about it, that advice makes a ton of sense, since its impossible to predict the future...

Greg



Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlinePilottim747 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1607 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 3998 times:

Nice thing about UND is that it's a public university so tuition isn't terrible, although you still have to contend with flying expenses. ERAU is $21,000 in tuition and fees while UND is $4,950 (for a non-resident). Flight costs between the two are comparable.

pilottim747



Aviation Photographers & Enthusiasts--Coordinate your life.
User currently offlineSkyguy11 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3986 times:

My 'advice' - if you can call it that:
There are two ways to do it:
-Expensive
-Really Expensive

EXPENSIVE:
Either get a job or get your parents to give you $$$. Go to whatever college you choose, and flight train at a local airport. Get a non-aviation degree and end up with all your ratings, a possible instructing job, and a good fall-back degree to boot.

REALLY EXPENSIVE:
Go to Embry Riddle or other Aviation school. Guaranteed to get the ratings and fly while you're there, guaranteed to be buried in debt after it's all over.


End result for both is a college degree and a bunch of certificates of equal value no matter where you got them from.

[Edited 2003-09-01 09:44:27]

User currently offlineSkyguy11 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3986 times:

Actually, after reading what I just wrote, that's extremely misleading.

You can't do it 'CHEAP' as I said.... I should have written 'EXPENSIVE' and 'REALLY EXPENSIVE', respectively!

edit<--- I guess that's what the 'EDIT' button's for!

[Edited 2003-09-01 09:45:03]

User currently offlineModesto2 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2819 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3957 times:

I agree with all those who posted about a non-aviation degree - that's the advice I'm following. I'm entering my fourth year at UCLA, studying mechanical engineering. It's a substantial degree that will present me with job opportunities, but I've always had my eyes on an airline pilot career. But you can't do anything without an education! Once I graduate, I'll start flight school. Good luck to everyone!

User currently offlineSllevin From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 3376 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3940 times:

I'll argue the other way.

A 4 year degree in anything is useless other than for those folks who "just want to see you have one" in which case they don't care what it's in. At least, for working in a profession paying real money.

Go to Riddle. You'll get your ratings and a lot of insight into how to fly the right way. Sure, you might be fortunate enough to get great CFI's at the local airport (I consider myself quite fortunate) but you might not. From Riddle you'll get a uniform quality level of instruction.

Steve


User currently offlineB747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3938 times:

... and as usual I will throw in my 5 centavos here... I still believe that, in USA, the best way to get pilot training is AF or NAVY... They pay you for it, they feed you, and I believe a T-38 is a little more of a trainer than a C-172.
xxx
Many of you say "hate the military"... well, I hate them too, except that when you are a pilot, you forget about "the military" end of it. I had 5 years of active duty in the Air Force, flying KC-135, after which I transfered to the Air Force Reserve... and Reserves flying was great... I did 20 years there...
xxx
My Air Force KC-135 experience gave me a "red carpet" treatment when I got hired by PanAm... and yes, I had downturns and furloughs... but I went back for temporary active duty with the USAFR during these periods...
xxx
If you go Air Force or Navy, dont be a fighter jockey, but instead, try to get an assignment on "heavies"... C-9s (DC-9), or KC-10 (DC-10)... these are... airliners, you will fly worldwide... when you will be hired by an airline at a later time, you will be a step ahead from those ATP pilots with C-172 ratings...
xxx
Feel free to disagree with me, but think about it...!  Big grin
Happy contrails -
(s) Skipper


User currently offlineM717 From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 608 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3929 times:

I'll agree 100% with B747skipper on that. That is the BEST way to go.

However, for those going the civilian route and paying for it themselves, I'll say it over and over and over again. Going to someplace like ERAU will not get you to the airlines any quicker, nor do the airlines look at those graduates with an "aviation" degree any differently than they do those with a degree in forestry.

Get a good education in something that might prove useful one day, and find the best flight instruction you can find otherwise. Universities like UND or WMU or Purdue all are excellent universities where one can get a conventional 4-year degree and get quality flight training.


User currently offlineFastFlyer From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 8 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3914 times:

Thanks for the great information guys. Really helpful. I think ERAU is just way too expensive. I've been thinking about the Air Force, but Im afraid the athletic requirements would be too high, as I am not a very athletic person.

User currently offlineJjbiv From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1226 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3902 times:

How I wish the Air Force would consider us mortals with (much) less than perfect vision...

joe


User currently offlineSkyguy11 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3877 times:

^touche

too short as usual - not anymore


User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 52
Reply 16, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3850 times:

Agreed jjbiv...I originally wanted to go into the USAF and fly there but then my vision took a nosedive...now its the civilian route for me...

Greg



Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineI LOVE EWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 852 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3824 times:

Great topic, I to am following the advice of M717 and plan to get dual degrees in Political Science/History.

The Military is the best way to go though.

BTW does having a Master's Degree help you out in the airline hiring pool?


User currently offlineFutureualpilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2608 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3786 times:

Thanks for the posts, I too am a senior in h.s. hoping to fly with the pro's someday. I am hoping to go through the Navy as well...but I do hope to fly fighters. Will this impede me any?
Thanks, hopefully someday I'll be flying the heavies with you guys!



Life is better when you surf.
User currently offlinePilothighflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 220 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3781 times:

"Thanks for the posts, I too am a senior in h.s. hoping to fly with the pro's someday. I am hoping to go through the Navy as well...but I do hope to fly fighters. Will this impede me any?"

This Won't impede you, but it won't be as helpful when trying to find a job as having tons of heavy jet time. That heavy jet times is very similar to fly a large airliner instead of flying a rocket with a seat.
But the rocket with a seat sounds like more fun!

~Robert


User currently offlineB747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3782 times:

Dear Erik...
No, flying fighters is (super) fine... you make me smile...
What I said above is that I recommend to fly a type of aircraft that has a civilian equivalent, i.e. C-9 for the Navy, since it is a DC9.
xxx
That type of experience makes your transition into the airline world much more easy. Navy or AF pilots who join airlines with such a background have basically a no failure record... Fighter pilots are outstanding pilots (probably "better" flyers) but their transition into transport planes used by airlines may occasionally be somewhat more difficult.
xxx
I remember having helped pilots who were flying F/A-18s in the Navy or Marines, they were outstanding pilots, but when I assisted them to pass the simulator "screening" for hire with Fedex (in a 747 simulator), they had, i.e. no concept of the use of the trim... But I believe all of them got hired.
xxx
What is more difficult, is the transition from a lightplane - flown solo - into airline turbojet equipment. Two months of initial training for new hires with a general aviation background is a tough cookie to bite. With my air carrier, getting an interview gives you a 20% chance to be selected... and if you are selected as a new hire, you have a 50% chance to fail initial training...
xxx
Sad fact... Having an ATP license, passing an interview, is NOT necessarily an open door to an airline cockpit... you have to be able to complete the training first, sometimes a little bit of luck as well, all it takes is a nasty idiot as an instructor, and... you're out.
xxx
My best wishes to you, Erik, happy contrails  Smile
(s) Skipper


User currently offlineLaddb From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 222 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 3718 times:

I'll throw my late 2 cents in. I went to ERAU and got an Engineering degree, so I'm prejudiced. But I can tell you I DO think the airlines value an aviation degree more than other degrees. If you and another applicant have the same flight time, level, experience, etc., but you have an aviation degree from Riddle and he/she has a business degree from the local college, you'll have the edge.

If you're grades are high, you can get some scholarships to help defray the costs. The thing I liked best about ERAU is the atmosphere. Everyone there is into aviation or related. You won't find liberal art students.

OK - so there are very few girls, but that's what Stetson down the road is for. At least that's where I picked up my wife.


User currently offlineBio15 From Colombia, joined Mar 2001, 1089 posts, RR: 7
Reply 22, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3718 times:

The thing I liked best about ERAU is the atmosphere. Everyone there is into aviation or related. You won't find liberal art students.

Should I assume you like this?

I am an aviation freak as well as many people here. I also plan to become an ATP someday, but currently I am studying Mechanical Engineering. One of the things I will always remember fondly of my university is cultural and intelectual exchange with students from other faculties. And that's something I hope to live all my lifetime! It's just my opínion though, but I believe the more beautiful things of life shouldn't be opaqued by the aviation dream.

-Alfredo


User currently offlineM717 From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 608 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3716 times:

"I went to ERAU and got an Engineering degree, so I'm prejudiced. But I can tell you I DO think the airlines value an aviation degree more than other degrees."

And I can state unequivocally, having been involved with the airlines for more than 25 years as a pilot and pilot instructor/check airman, that if your goal is a pilot position, they DO NOT value one degree over another. Absolutely, positively NOT. That is pure ERAU (and other "aviation academies") propaganda.


User currently offlinePilothighflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 220 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3698 times:

"they DO NOT value one degree over another. Absolutely, positively NOT"

I am only 17 and have no experience with airline or their hiring polices but I find this hard to believe. An ERAU degree says a lot about a pilot and their commitment to aviation, one would think that this would have some weight in the process of employment.

"If you and another applicant have the same flight time, level, experience, etc., but you have an aviation degree from Riddle and he/she has a business degree from the local college, you'll have the edge." ~Laddb

That just makes sense, two people of equal qualifications but with differing degrees, the person with the aviation degree would be the logical choice.

If you disagree an explanation would be appreciated!.

~Robert


25 M717 : "If you disagree an explanation would be appreciated!." How many different ways do I need to say it? You can choose to believe it or not. Whether you
26 Futureualpilot : Hey thanksd for your advice skipper! It means a lot! See you in the sky, Erik p.s.- How did you know my name!? (Just curious!)
27 Woodreau : Well you can click on the username and find out your name... This thread's been running a while, so I'm a bit late jumping in here... If y'all do deci
28 Post contains images B747skipper : Friends - there is not a single possible answer about getting hired... xxx As many of you know, I often sit on the selection board of new hire pilots
29 M717 : Two clarifications. One, I was speaking of how things are done in the US, and those remain the facts. Two, I was also speaking of a degree specificall
30 Post contains images B747skipper : Dear M717 and friends - xxx Your inputs and suggestions are much appreciated. Fact is that in the USA, and a few other areas of the world, pilot hirin
31 NWA : My 4-year degree is in aviation managment. Do you guys not agree with that?
32 GunFighter 6 : Study hard and practice your math... and never abondon your dream.. cheers G.
33 B1C17L1011 : Hi all, I would like to add a question to this topic and see what the opinions are. I have several friends who are interested in becoming an ATP, and
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