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Crossroads In My Flight Training

Sat Jun 11, 2005 12:25 am

Just looking for advice here...

I'm entering my senior year of college, and through tons of factors, mostly lack of steady cash, I seem unable to train for a degree in flight and get my degree done in a reasonable time seeing how far behind I am in my flight. Having just been blown off by an instructor, I'm beginning to seriously consider that I'm only fighting a losing battle and going deeper into the pits as I "progress".

I guess the main thing is I always wanted to enjoy flying, and I'm not enjoying it anymore due to what I've been through. Now, I'm thinking about switching my major to something different, spending the extra one or two years in school, and enjoying my private pilot priviledges while I have them, and maybe going for my commercial before I go for my instrument and see if I can get a job cropdusting or something of that nature. My thoughts are to keep flying and see if after college I want to persue the rest of my ratings, instrument, CFI, CFII, MEL, etc, and land a steady job after college in another field while training, probably doing something in the music industry in the meantime.

Has anyone been through anything similar to this scenario and wish to chip in advice to this young chap? Thanks in advance!
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RE: Crossroads In My Flight Training

Sat Jun 11, 2005 2:24 am

Do it because its fun, not because you have a preconceived notion of being an airline captain. Please note though, that your instrument rating is a prerequisite to the commercial rating, but you can get commercial before multi. I started learning to fly realatively late in life, at 27; and while I would give just about anything to fly the big boys for a living my current career and family life makes it very difficult to pursue enough training and hours to even think about an ATP. So, I badger my coworkers to let me take them flightseeing and shove my relatives in the right seat when they visit, and completely enjoy every moment I can get in the air. Heck one day I might find myself a CFI or, like you suggest, a cropduster... but then its work!!! Until then its fun fun fun!
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RE: Crossroads In My Flight Training

Sat Jun 11, 2005 5:09 am

Quoting 727EMflyer (Reply 1):
that your instrument rating is a prerequisite to the commercial rating,

That's not entirely accurate. You can be a commercial pilot without an instrument rating, you're just very limited in what you can do.
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RE: Crossroads In My Flight Training

Sat Jun 11, 2005 6:15 am

I've been down this same road. A couple years ago I thought about changing over to our management program. I elected to stick with the flying because I know that if I was a station manager for somebody, or working on the ramp I'd be second-guessing myself about what might have been. However, if you don't see yourself doing this in five years, find something else. The important thing is being happy with what you do. Money is a secondary thing, while this sounds like a dream if you have to pay the bills, I would find something that makes you happy while paying those bills.

If you're doing the ratings on the side, put them on hold until you are out of college and can focus on those. I did my training through my multi-comm at school. I paid my own way(and will be for the next 20 years). I couldn't handle 15-18 credits, 30 hours of work, and the extra time put into flying. Commuting to the airport, planning, preflighting and briefing added two to three hours for ever hour in the air. I've made tons of sacrifices to make my dream work. Including an extra year of school so I could have a little more relaxed schedule and pay more off up front. I'm almost there. College is over, and I'll be instructing soon. I can't wait!

One thing I can't stand is how instructors at university flight schools can get this careless attitude. They know you're enrolled, and you're not going anywhere else so they can be dismissive if you're having some trouble with your training and as you said, "blow off" their students. That's bull. You're spending a ton of money and making a big sacrafice to follow your dream. Flying is not an easy task. It takes lots of practice, study and dedication to become good at it. Talk to the chief instructor, director of training, anybody in a position of authority and voice your concerns, and issues with the program. Voice your concerns over your progress. Those people are there for you, make them earn your money.

This isn't an easy decision. I can't make it, nor can anybody else. If you want more on my story, feel free to Email me and I'll be happy to talk about this more in depth.
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RE: Crossroads In My Flight Training

Sat Jun 11, 2005 9:05 am

Hello SSTJUMBO. I guess the main question is whether you are committed to a flying career, or just flying for fun. If you really want to fly for a living, there are ways to make some quick cash. I dropped out of school and drove trucks for a couple years, and it worked out well for me. The training costs around $3000 and takes one month; you can easily make $30,000 your first year, and $45K the second. If you're sufficiently flexible, you can even live in the truck instead of maintaining an apartment, and save a lot of money. Then, you can afford to buy all the training and flight time without trying to work at the same time.
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