Max777
Topic Author
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 12:51 am

Pilot Training

Mon Dec 06, 2004 1:59 pm

I have a serious question. I want to become an airline pilot, and I am looking at Delta Connection Academy for all flight training. Is it worth getting a loan for $70,000 and going throught the training when most of the US airlines are doing really bad? I will have to pay off that student loan or whatever after I graduate, and there is really no guarantee that the airlines will be hiring and paying good salaries. Just want to hear your thoughts, thanks.
 
HaveBlue
Posts: 2107
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:01 pm

RE: Pilot Training

Mon Dec 06, 2004 2:05 pm

I think it is. Yes, 9-11 dealt a serious blow, but the industry is largely recovering. Lots of pilots will retire, and so there will always be room for hiring more pilots. I would ask yourself if you would be happy even stuck at the regional level, or if you would consider other jobs flying outside of just the major airlines. If that answer is yes, it is more likely that you'll be happy getting the flying experience, as you will have more options at making a living than if you are dead set on being a major airline pilot. You could be doing corporate flying, air ambulance, ag work etc.

I'm no expert, but if I had the ability even with the industry the way it is, I would go for it. The professional pilots (I'm just a recreational pilot) will have better answers.
Here Here for Severe Clear!
 
dbo861
Posts: 860
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 2:20 am

RE: Pilot Training

Mon Dec 06, 2004 2:07 pm

Some of the Major airlines are doing poorly at this moment, but the industry is like a roller coster having its ups and downs. Right now, the regionals(Mesaba, American Eagle, Express Jet, etc) are hiring and at my school flight instructors are constantly getting hired on by them. The regional airlines are the ones you'd be flying with at first anyways. I honestly think the airline industry is on an upturn, with many carriers returning to, or at least getting closer to profitability. As the economy improves, so will the airline industry. You probably won't get a job with an airline for at least another five years if you haven't started your flight training yet, that's a lot of time for airlines to recover. It's up to you if you want to spend the money for the training, but in my mind...you shouldn't rule it out just because some airlines are stuggling in the status quo.

[Edited 2004-12-06 06:09:41]
 
neilalp
Posts: 1009
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2000 3:16 am

RE: Pilot Training

Mon Dec 06, 2004 2:09 pm

Take a career path that you will enjoy, not because of the money. No matter the industry downsizing is going to happen along with layoffs and strikes. Don't let the job market tell you what to do, make yourself stand out and do your best.
 
Max777
Topic Author
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 12:51 am

RE: Pilot Training

Mon Dec 06, 2004 2:15 pm

Thanks for your help, I don't mind flying for regionals for sometime, but it would be nice to get into the majors after getting hours and experience. Thanks again.
 
fightingdingo
Posts: 229
Joined: Sun May 16, 2004 11:05 am

RE: Pilot Training

Mon Dec 06, 2004 2:19 pm

I don't know, but those flight training programs seem a little risky too me. I don't know if this would work for you but there are a lot of community colleges with flight programs. Once you graduate you could then try to get a cfi job and transfer to a bigger college to get you four year degree. I don't know what your situation is but this is an interesting idea.

I just remember hearing somewhere that airlines would rather see you didn't just buy your hours. Also you may spend 70,000 and never get hired..seems risky.

ZC
 
Max777
Topic Author
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 12:51 am

RE: Pilot Training

Mon Dec 06, 2004 2:35 pm

Yes they do seem kind of risky, but you still have to pay for your flight hours even in college.
 
HaveBlue
Posts: 2107
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:01 pm

RE: Pilot Training

Mon Dec 06, 2004 2:38 pm

Nothing worth having comes very easy. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. There's no risk in working a minimum wage job at McDonalds, but there aren't many rewards either. I'd love nothing more than to be a fighter pilot, and a lot of people would. But to get to that lofty goal you would have to risk a lot and there are no guarantees. Those that either made it as an airline pilot like Max wants to or as a fighter pilot or any very rewarding job, put in a lot of time, money, effort and risk but in the end, they got what they wanted.
Here Here for Severe Clear!
 
FinnWings
Posts: 633
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 6:03 am

RE: Pilot Training

Mon Dec 06, 2004 3:05 pm

Max777,

I would recommend you to do it if aviation is your passion. I have done it too and I'm extremely happy despite the huge amount of money which I used for the training.

I know a couple of guys who are living fairly good life, they have quite good jobs and family. However, those guys have always loved aviation and some 15 years ago they were thinking if they should apply to flight school. They didn't do it and even today they are thinking that what kind of their life could be if they were pilots.

Taking such a huge loan might be risky, however remember that you will most likely not achieve anything special in your life if you are not willing to take some risks. However, if you are interested to become a pilot just for a money I wouldn't recommend... Someday you might have a good salary, however before that you have to work like a slave for a years in regional airlines, pay back your loans and wonder where do you get money for a food. When aviation is a passion for you then you don't care such a things...

What comes to the future of aviation...well, even the most pessimistic forecasts promise that aviation industry will grow a lot during next decades.

Best Regards,
FinnWings
 
thegreatchecko
Posts: 689
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 3:34 pm

RE: Pilot Training

Mon Dec 06, 2004 3:47 pm

My only advise is to take a really good look at DCA. Read all the fine print and find out what the real requirements are for that guarenteed interview. If it looks kosher to you, then go for it! Flying is a blast, but it defenitely isn't the easiest thing to do.

Remember there are other good schools in the area (Florida) that offer similar programs as well (PanAm, Flight Safety, etc.)

Me...I'm in college and flight instructing, I have no preference between any of them  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

GreatChecko
"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
 
Av8trxx
Posts: 632
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2001 7:08 am

RE: DCA

Mon Dec 06, 2004 4:40 pm

DCA is not all they claim. Potential students are often sold by their marketing dept that they are THE way to become an airline pilot. Not everyone who attends gets hired. You said it yourself, "there is really no guarantee that the airlines will be hiring and paying good salaries". It's a $70K gamble. They only guarantee you an INTERVIEW if you pass their program. Period. You can get all your ratings and still get into the industry for far less money training via other schools or a FBO. Why be further in debt than you have too when you are making $20K/yr at your first job???

Read this post by a former D.C.A. student- http://forums.flightinfo.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=34582



[Edited 2004-12-06 08:49:31]
 
Max777
Topic Author
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 12:51 am

RE: Pilot Training

Mon Dec 06, 2004 5:05 pm

Thanks for that link. It's very sad to see a negative side of the DCA. I guess it's very very hard to get to the level where you have a real airline career. I am going to tour the academy some day and figure out what I am going to do.
Thanks again for all your replies to my post.
 
Av8trxx
Posts: 632
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2001 7:08 am

RE: Pilot Training

Mon Dec 06, 2004 5:23 pm

"It's very sad to see a negative side of the DCA."

Every program or school has it's pros & cons, however for that kind of money you don't want to hear about theirs from D.C.A. themselves. Their marketing dept is there to get students. That's how they stay in business. They are there to tell you that D.C.A. is the best way to go. If you want the real story, you need to do some investigating and get students experiences if possible. If you plan to do tour, make an effort to talk to a few on your own, without a rep looking over your shoulder. You want honest opinions. As you have read, the guy above did have some pros, but felt the cons didn't make it worth it. You can also research more or post questions at the forum linked above. Another great site for aspiring pilots is http://www.jetcareers.com
 
Chchflyer
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 4:01 pm

RE: Pilot Training

Mon Dec 06, 2004 6:19 pm

Go for it! I part funded my flying training and loaned part of the total amount via the student loan scheme here in NZ. Down in the southern hemisphere this is the right time to get into the aviation industry. There will always be ups and downs in the industry but for most of us it is a passion!
 
sevenair
Posts: 1491
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2001 7:18 am

RE: Pilot Training

Mon Dec 06, 2004 8:35 pm

im in the same predicament, but im just going to go for it, at least I can say i tried, and not get to 40y/o when im too old, and regretting not trying,
 
caboclo
Posts: 175
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 12:34 pm

RE: Pilot Training

Tue Dec 07, 2004 4:20 am

I would say go for it, but maybe take a different approach. $70K seems a little steep to me, I'm guessing Comair is including a lot of jet sim time and other extras that you could do without in that price. What are your goals within aviation? If you're set on flying for the US majors via the commuters, then Comair would be a good bet. But allow me to reccomend an alternate career course with it's own pro's and cons: freight. Freight companies do not fly RJ's (yet) therefore you could skip a lot of Comair's fancy and expensive options. Instead, invest is 100 hours multi-engine. Unlike the commuters, your first freight job will probably not be turbine, but the salary will be equal or better. After your first year you could easily move up to a biz jet (still freight), and from there to Fedex, etc. If you'll permit me some generalizations, when comparing freight to pax, the freight job will offer better money, faster upgrades, better schedule, and much older aircraft at the entry level jobs. At the top end, comparing Fedex or Atlas to United/American, the money and schedule will be about the same, the aircraft will be a mix of new and old, and the upgrade time certainly won't be any longer than the pax airlines. It's just a matter of preference; my main point is that you can get a good freight job without spending 70K. And you can certainly go back to the commuters if you don't like the freight segment. Good luck.
Freight dogs have more fun
 
flymia
Posts: 6808
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2001 6:33 am

RE: Pilot Training

Tue Dec 07, 2004 4:57 am

Cargo jobs are still very hard to get. Air Net airlines you need 500 total time with a commercial rating to even have a shot at making $16,000 a year flying Cessna 208.
I dislike Delta Flight Academy very much. Seems like to much money when you can go to UND get all your ratings for much less and get your minums for some regionals lowered to 500TT! Or ATP flight schools you get everything to your Commercial Multi for $40,000 and than you can get a CFI job with them.
I prefer the UND way or Purdue a college that has connections with airlines. Of course you can only go this way if you are not in college right now which I dont think you are. It very tough to become a commercial pilot and it takes alot of work and dedication. Also it helps when you know people in the airlines like pilots. A CFI I know got a job with Chicago Express with only 850TT. When there minumums are 2500TT. Why? Its because he knew a captain with the airline and he gave him a great reccomendation.
I not sure which way I want to go yet I have another year to decide.
Also you can go to the Air Force for ten years a be paid. Free training. But you have to fly for them for 10 years.
Search this topic you will get alot of results. Also check out Mesa Air Academy another good training program for alot less than DCA.
However the first thing I would do is make sure you can pass a class 1 FAA medical. The only thing I not sure about with me is my eyes. I want to make sure I can pass a FAA class one medical to make sure I can get a job with a regional or Major later on.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
Av8trxx
Posts: 632
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2001 7:08 am

RE: Pilot Training

Tue Dec 07, 2004 5:34 am

A CFI I know got a job with Chicago Express with only 850TT. When [their] minumums are 2500TT.
Who one knows can definately help. Chicago Express has hired more than a few people under their mins. They prefer 2500, but their mins are far less-

Flight Officer Minimum Requirements-
1000 TT 100 Multi-Engine, ATP written, First Class Medical Certificate
Preferred: 2000 TT 500 Multi-Engine, ATP

Cargo jobs are still very hard to get. Air Net airlines you need 500 total time with a commercial rating to even have a shot at making $16,000 a year flying Cessna 208.

Agreed. However it's a rare job opportunity when you can find a VFR only part 135 freight job that will hire in at the bare minimum legal TT of 500. Most operators require 1200TT which is the same kind of time you need to get hired at a regional anyway. So for most up and coming pilots, flying freight at under 1200TT isn't really an option to build time as the positions are so few.

If you want to fly as a career, you can certainly make it happen. Some people chose to go to academy programs as they feel the program will get them to their goal faster, even though it costs more so it's worththe risk. A friend just did such a program at Flight Safety. You can start with zero hours or go in with advanced ratings and do a fast track program for a few weeks and they guarantee an interview with an affiliated regional. Chosing the later and over $5000 later (with only 12 hours of additional flight training) my pal got an interview. After 4 questions it was over. The rejection letter followed. Of 18 program candidates guaranteed an interview two got hired. Thank goodness my friend was not one of those who started at zero hours, are now $60K in debt and have a rejection letter to show for it.

Another resource you might find helpful is a subscription to Airline Pilot Magazine, for aspiring pilots. Go here for info-
https://jetjobs.securesites.com/cgi-bin/sb/order.cgi?storeid=*16b4eda93903e0c71727bd4f28&dbname=products&itemnum=129&super=137&function=show&prevlocation=https://jetjobs.securesites.com/AspiringPilots.html&testcookie=on
 
DeltaGuy
Posts: 3965
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2001 5:25 am

RE: Pilot Training

Tue Dec 07, 2004 6:50 am

ATP all the way....very well layed out program, very reasonably priced, and 99% of the flying is in the Seminole....PLUS excellent chances at a job after you finish up there, for even more multi time...regionals love these guys.

DeltaGuy
"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan