FastFlyer
Topic Author
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Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Sun Aug 31, 2003 12:49 am

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.
 
PilotHighFlyer
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Sun Aug 31, 2003 4:09 am

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
 
m717
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Sun Aug 31, 2003 4:40 am

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.
 
flightsimfreak
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Sun Aug 31, 2003 5:29 am

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.
 
FastFlyer
Topic Author
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Sun Aug 31, 2003 5:43 am

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
 
USAFHummer
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Sun Aug 31, 2003 6:00 am

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
 
pilottim747
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Mon Sep 01, 2003 2:08 pm

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.
 
SkyGuy11
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Mon Sep 01, 2003 4:40 pm

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]
.
 
SkyGuy11
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Mon Sep 01, 2003 4:43 pm

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]
.
 
modesto2
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Tue Sep 02, 2003 2:10 am

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!
 
sllevin
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Tue Sep 02, 2003 3:27 am

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
 
Guest

RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Tue Sep 02, 2003 3:57 am

... 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
 
m717
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Tue Sep 02, 2003 4:22 am

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.
 
FastFlyer
Topic Author
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Tue Sep 02, 2003 5:49 am

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.
 
jjbiv
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Tue Sep 02, 2003 7:36 am

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

joe
 
SkyGuy11
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Tue Sep 02, 2003 10:59 am

^touche

too short as usual - not anymore
.
 
USAFHummer
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Wed Sep 03, 2003 1:29 am

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
 
I LOVE EWR
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Wed Sep 03, 2003 8:59 am

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?
 
futureualpilot
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:10 am

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.
 
PilotHighFlyer
Posts: 217
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:46 am

"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
 
Guest

RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:09 am

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
 
laddb
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Sat Sep 06, 2003 12:50 am

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.
 
bio15
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Sat Sep 06, 2003 2:27 am

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
 
m717
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Sat Sep 06, 2003 2:47 am

"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.
 
PilotHighFlyer
Posts: 217
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Sat Sep 06, 2003 8:12 am

"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
 
m717
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Sat Sep 06, 2003 8:24 am

"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 think it's logical or not, I am simply stating the reality of it. Like I said, I DO have experience with airlines and their hiring policies. Many, many years worth. They only want to see that you have a degree. What it is in makes absolutely no difference whatsoever. It is simply a square to be filled. An indication that you are goal oriented and have the self discipline to attain a degree. They could care less if it is in Aviation Technology or Forestry or Liberal Arts or Music or Business/Finance. My advice has always been, and always will be...get a degree in anything BUT aviation, so that when your career hits one of the inevitable down cycles, you will have something to fall back on. Any airline pilot will tell you the same thing. Ask around.

The only people who will tell you that having an aviation degree will make you "better qualified" for the airlines are the recruiters at an aviation academy. And their interests are in your money.



[Edited 2003-09-06 01:33:12]
 
futureualpilot
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Sat Sep 06, 2003 8:35 am

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!)
Life is better when you surf.
 
Woodreau
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Sat Sep 06, 2003 9:17 am

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 decide on the military route to get to the airline cockpit, just make sure you know what you are really getting yourself into. There's countless other threads which have discussed the military vs civilian flight path...

But the points that stick out in my mind...
Military Service Obligation. - is typically 8-10 years after you complete flight school. and not only the military service obligation but make sure you know what your ACTIVE DUTY obligated time is... even though you are not getting a regular commission now (only reserve commisions) the service will not let you resign or transfer into the reserves until you complete your active duty requirement which may be as much as your total military service obligation.

You might not get that coveted flight slot. The Air Force/Navy/Marine Corps/and Army has other jobs that it still has to fill thru the officer commissioning source. You'd better like being an officer in the event you don't get that flight slot.

Once you do get accepted to the commissioning program, do everything early as possible, get that flight physical out of the way, take the flight exam, don't wait until the last minute. If you have problems, e.g. fail the flight aptitude exam the first time, you will need to wait a little while before you're allowed to take it again. Have as much time to work on getting that waiver if they find something medically minor wrong with you (but doesn't totally disqualify you for flight duty.)

And since the most likely commissioning program you'll be enrolled in is one of the service academies or Air Force ROTC/Navy ROTC or whatever, don't fail out of college. Get that degree, but having a higher GPA all figures in what job you get leaving college. The higher ranked cadets (ranked by GPA and military aptitude) get first dibs on whatever billets are out there, flight or otherwise.

And once you make it to flight school in the military. You can always get sidetracked into flying helicopters or some other aircraft you're not particularly keen on flying, depending on the needs of the service... Again choice of airframe depends on where you shake out compared with your peers. Top of the class gets the best choice.

Woodreau / KMVL



[Edited 2003-09-06 02:24:48]
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
Guest

RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Sat Sep 06, 2003 11:38 am

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 for my airline. The selection board consists of 3 people, all of which must agree of a candidate suitability for hiring as pilot candidate.
xxx
I like individuals with scientific education background, i.e. physics, anything that is related to aviation is for me a plus. Some of you say that the degree can be a B.S. in Animal Husbandry... not with me.
xxx
To be selected for interview by the board (final selection) you must first pass a physical, then a written test that is quite technical in scientific subjects, for which you are given 4 hours to complete - a simulator pilot evaluation ride (often in a 737 simulator, but can be an MD-80)...
xxx
When I vote for an applicant, I vote because I believe he will complete initial training without failing (and I guess right 90% of the time). We have a high failure rate in initial new hire training. Last group a few months ago, 18 were selected, only 5 completed and became pilots with us...
xxx
Obviously, United, Lufthansa, or Singapore do differently... I told you what happens here in Argentina for pilot new hire selection. For me, an individual who has a jet qualification, i.e. Citation type rating, and a degree in an aviation (or scientific subjects related to aviation) has my high marks.
xxx
Happy contrails, trying to help...  Smile
(s) Skipper
 
m717
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Sat Sep 06, 2003 10:21 pm

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 specifically in Aviation. Not "aviation related", like a BS in Physics. Big difference.

The best advice is to arm yourself with as much information as you can get from as many difference sources as you can find. Then do what you believe is best for you, keeping in mind the historical cycles of the airline industry, and the fact that the odds are great that you will experience more than one down cycle in your career, and you should prepare yourself in the best way possible to successfully deal with it.

Finally, this board isn't really the best place for advice from pilots, since very few airline pilots frequent this forum. For a broader base of pilot input, I would seek advice on other boards such as flightinfo.com or from other pilot run websites. Besides, once I've given this same advice over a dozen times on this board, it's time to bow out of the discussion and let others advise.

Good luck to all.

[Edited 2003-09-06 15:41:13]
 
Guest

RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Sun Sep 07, 2003 1:17 am

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 hiring selection is now in the hands of the so called "HR" - Human Resources departments... (I often think of them as "human remains departments")... In the "old days" - pilot selection was the privilege of flight operations management and chief pilots...
xxx
I left the USA after the demise of PanAm 1991 - the closing of a 22 years long career with them. Two airlines had interviewed me for hire, Delta and United, I just had a 10 minutes interview with people that could not even spell the word "aircraft" but were supposedly experts on who is a "future good pilot" for their airline... Both airlines rejected my application by form letter.
xxx
In the 1960s and 1970s... all major USA air carriers had a "typical profile" of preferred types of new hires... You could fit the bill for United, but be rejected by Delta, TWA or Continental... back then, chief pilots, or their assistants did interviews. If that gentleman was ex-Air Force, you did not stand a chance if you were ex-Navy...
xxx
In some parts to the world, pilots are still hired by pilots. I try to provide valid suggestions for everyone, particularly our young friends. Even though I am no longer in USA, I still am in contact with these airlines, at their training centers in Denver, Minneapolis or Miami, when we lease simulators, and still meet old time friends there, who talk about their airline's fortunes and misfortunes... Pilot training and pilot selection is often a subject of conversation.
xxx
Tech/Ops forum provides an array of informations from diversified sources, and is quite international also in nature. It is up to each individual to select which information and advice fits them better.
xxx
Happy contrails, as always  Smile
(s) Skipper
 
NWA
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Sun Sep 07, 2003 4:57 am

My 4-year degree is in aviation managment. Do you guys not agree with that?
23 victor, turn right heading 210, maintain 3000 till established, cleared ILS runwy 24.
 
GunFighter 6
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Sun Sep 07, 2003 5:51 am


Study hard and practice your math...
and never abondon your dream..

cheers
G.
 
B1C17L1011
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RE: Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 9:37 am

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 one of them was only offered a Navigator slot by the Air Force. What would be your thoughts regarding this situiation and it's relevance to becoming an actual ATP.


Regards,

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