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PristoMiky
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I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Thu May 13, 2021 5:12 pm

I am 23 years old and just graduated from a top university with Electrical engineering degree.

I am an aviation geek, flight simmer and lifelong pilot wannabe. After 10 months exams and interviews I have selected for ab initio pilot training in Turkish Airlines for 140.000€ to be paid in 10 years contract with the airline.

Surprisingly, due to serious pilot shortage in Turkish Air Force, they also started to accept young engineers into jet training for F-16 and F-35. I also past the whole examination.

Now I have to decide:

Being a fighter pilot makes me very excited and this is what really flying is for me. It is also very challenging but I like to be challanged. This demands self-sacrifice but offers you a lifestyle that you cannot buy even if you are a billionare. There are odds to get eliminated in the flying school and became a non flying officer.

Being an airliner pilot is very advantageous in terms of finance and lifestyle as you may know. But the idea of flying an airliner does not motivate me much comparing with fighter pilot. Flying a C172 feels more connected. It seems to very professional but extraordinary job to do for living.

I am pretty sure there are ex military airliner pilots around, what do you suggest? Am I being too emotional for this decision?

Bonus Question: Military will give me 4 weeks training with T-41D then expect me to fly solo afterwards, any sources for quick PPL, airplane handling or C172?

Thanks.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Fri May 14, 2021 1:11 pm

Join the military, you’ll meet lots of lifelong friends, great training and stories to tell the grandkids.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Fri May 14, 2021 1:49 pm

If I had had that chance, I'd would have gone military without batting an eye. Flying a fighter jet or even a transport in the military seems like all kinds of good fun. I've never met an ex-military pilot who didn't have great memories of the time, despite the sacrifices. That being said, there are ethical questions involved. And it can be rather a regimented lifestyle.

The airline world is hurting right now. However, after your commitment in the military is over, it will likely be in better shape. If you want to go civilian after the military, you have the requisite training already. ​ It is much easier to go from military to airliners than vice versa.

You are wise thinking of the financial side, but you're 23. Even if you start working for an airline in 15 years, you'll be ok most likely.

Four weeks in a 172 is ample time for first solo. If you're doing a full-time course, you can easily solo a 172 in less than a week as long as you prepped online first.

Like so many others, I did my theory with King Schools. The lessons are often corny but that's part of what makes you remember them. https://cessnaflighttraining.kingschools.com/Index.aspx
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
889091
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Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Fri May 14, 2021 5:46 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Join the military, you’ll meet lots of lifelong friends, great training and stories to tell the grandkids.


Second that :thumbsup:
 
johns624
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Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Fri May 14, 2021 6:11 pm

OP--You may not get a chance to fly the F35, if that is high on your list. All orders have been cancelled, last time that I checked.
 
Moosefire
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Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Fri May 14, 2021 6:52 pm

Join the military. You’ll still have a long career as an airline pilot. I thoroughly enjoy flying for my airline but military flying was one of the biggest privileges of my life.
MD-11F/C-17A Pilot
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Fri May 14, 2021 7:48 pm

I was at Eastern for five years, on the MEC; don’t remember a trip, no one of the BOSFO are friends or contacts. My first squadron commander, 43 years ago, is coming to visit the unit and a few dozen of us will attend a Memorial Day service. Current fliers will meet us, show us around and tell stories. I still am in contact with my C-5 wing compadres. The recent wing commander, I sent to UPT as his squadron DO, and we stay in contact. I can tell corporate flying stories and C-5 tall tales for days, I can’t remember a B727 trip. Be a tediophobe, not a mammonoid. Life ‘s too short to be bored by money.

I worked for a 2-star, he told a bunch of us during the Iraq War, “enjoy it when you can, there’ll be tough days, but when you’re retired, there’s only two things you will want to talk—what you did in the AF and your children and grandchildren”.
 
mxaxai
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Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Sat May 15, 2021 10:32 am

Congratulations on your degree and being offered so many choices!

A disclaimer: I am not too familiar with the Turkish air force nor with Turkish Airlines.

However, I would encourage you to make this decision very carefully. The military way of life is not for everyone. You give up many of the privileges and rights that you have as a civilian, though you do receive some amenities in exchange. You can't just drop out whenever you like. As a soldier, you become a tool for your superior officers and, by extension, your government. You must be willing to kill, to follow orders, and you also have to accept a certain risk of injury or death. In Turkey, there's a chance that you'll be asked to bomb your fellow citizens. Even training flights carry a higher risk in the military than for civilians.

That is a decision for you alone to make. When you're an invulnerable young man, the choice may seem easy. But your appetite for risk will be very different when you're 30 with a wife and two kids at home.

I know people who served a long satisfying career in the military, I know some who became commercial pilots after a few years, and I know others who quickly dropped out of flight school and chose a civilian career even when they were guaranteed a seat in a combat aircraft.


Regarding flying, yes, the military offers something very unique. However, you'll almost certainly fly less hours than a commercial pilot.

The physical requirements are slightly more strict for military pilots. If you fail your medical exam, the military can assign you to a different role. I've met pilots who were very concerned that they'd get assigned to a ship (the skills are somewhat transferable), which would mean long cruises rather than being home every night. You could also find yourself in a boring desk job. Accordingly, they took great care of their health. As a commercial pilot, of course, losing your medical would result in unemployment.


If you get discharged or retire early, for whatever reason, it can be difficult to reintegrate into civilian society. Though it is much easier for skilled personnel like pilots than for regular infantrymen, since you can become a commercial pilot. Again, I am not familiar with Turkey, but you should check the entire career path from initial training to retirement and beyond.

Your unemployment risk in the military is very low. This is a benefit. You'll also have reduced expenses because the military provides many things for free. However, the pay itself generally isn't the best. You'll probably earn more at TK, and you would earn even more as an electrical engineer. Both military and commercial pilot careers are based a lot on seniority, whereas an engineering career is much more dependent on your performance.
 
CRJockey
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Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Sat May 15, 2021 11:15 am

Moosefire wrote:
Join the military. You’ll still have a long career as an airline pilot. I thoroughly enjoy flying for my airline but military flying was one of the biggest privileges of my life.


That. And chances are that TK (or other options around the world) will happily accept you as FO fast track into CPT when you are 40ish. If I had the chance to fly fast jet prior to the airline career, I would have done it without hesitation.

Life is about change. Flying civil for 40 years is a beautiful career. Putting in 15 years fast jet followed by 25 years civil is even better.
 
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zeke
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Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Sat May 15, 2021 12:54 pm

PristoMiky wrote:
Being a fighter pilot makes me very excited and this is what really flying is for me. It is also very challenging but I like to be challanged. This demands self-sacrifice but offers you a lifestyle that you cannot buy even if you are a billionare. There are odds to get eliminated in the flying school and became a non flying officer.

Being an airliner pilot is very advantageous in terms of finance and lifestyle as you may know. But the idea of flying an airliner does not motivate me much comparing with fighter pilot. Flying a C172 feels more connected. It seems to very professional but extraordinary job to do for living.


From a career point of view, the sooner you start with the airline, the sooner you start on the seniority list. In the time you would have been in the military and then join TK you would already be a captain in the airline.

10 years from now where would you be
Join TK now - captain with the seniority to have a say when you have holidays and the type of flying you do, flying experience around 7000 hrs.
Join Mil now and then join TK in 10 years, a FO and no control over your lifestyle being at the bottom of the seniority list. Total flying experience around 1500 hrs, very little flying in the military.

Probably in 10 years at 33 you would be married with children, having the extra flexibility that you get with seniority makes planning for your home life easier. With 10 years of airline flying you would be living in a home that is yours, with a mortgage. You are still young enough now to travel a bit as crew before settling down with a family life.

The real question is in 30 years when your children are grown up, taking the military route you will probably still be pretty poor shape financially for retirement.

PristoMiky wrote:
Bonus Question: Military will give me 4 weeks training with T-41D then expect me to fly solo afterwards, any sources for quick PPL, airplane handling or C172?


4 weeks with good weather is enough to do a full PPL theory and flying.
“Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.” E. Hamilton Lee, 1949
 
johns624
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Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Sat May 15, 2021 10:53 pm

Another thing is that the air force might decide that they want you flying something other than fighters. Would you be as happy flying a transport or a helicopter? Another point is that with the F35 orders cancelled, you might be flying the F16 until it's really old or is replaced by something Russian or Chinese.
 
VSMUT
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Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Sun May 16, 2021 12:50 am

I say military. Better job security, won't go bankrupt, no paying for your own training or stuff, won't be replaced by cheaper contracted pilots from a cheaper country.


PristoMiky wrote:
Being an airliner pilot is very advantageous in terms of finance and lifestyle as you may know.


That stopped being the case over a decade ago.
 
Max Q
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Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Sun May 16, 2021 4:22 am

VSMUT wrote:
I say military. Better job security, won't go bankrupt, no paying for your own training or stuff, won't be replaced by cheaper contracted pilots from a cheaper country.


PristoMiky wrote:
Being an airliner pilot is very advantageous in terms of finance and lifestyle as you may know.


That stopped being the case over a decade ago.




That’s not accurate


While some airline pilot careers haven’t been the most lucrative over the last decade ( and particularly hard hit by CV19) there have been and still are large parts of the industry that have been extremely well compensated in that time period and still are



The pay scales and benefits at the US big three, Southwest, FDX and UPS have never been better, in fact it’s no exaggeration to say it’s been a new ‘golden age’ with the most generous contracts ever seen



Some carriers haven’t done so well but it’s definitely not across the board
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
Max Q
Posts: 9049
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Sun May 16, 2021 4:36 am

Several posters have endorsed the military route and often this is a great way to start your career, very good training at taxpayer expense, exciting aircraft and flying and the type of camaraderie that just doesn’t exist in most airlines although there are a few exceptions to that


However, I don’t think any of these posters know what life is like in the Turkish Air Force, perhaps it’s similar to military service in a western democracy, perhaps not ?


I’d do your best to find out as much as you can on that life before you commit, it may or may not be for you, do you know anyone that currently serves ?


There is a lot to be said for joining an airline early in life and building seniority, it can be very significant over the course of a career in lifestyle and compensation


Just another thought, is there an option in Turkey where you could join the airline, start building that seniority for a few years then sign up to join and fly for the Air Force reserve past time ?


Perhaps the best of both worlds
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
VSMUT
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Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Sun May 16, 2021 8:10 am

Max Q wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
I say military. Better job security, won't go bankrupt, no paying for your own training or stuff, won't be replaced by cheaper contracted pilots from a cheaper country.


PristoMiky wrote:
Being an airliner pilot is very advantageous in terms of finance and lifestyle as you may know.


That stopped being the case over a decade ago.




That’s not accurate


While some airline pilot careers haven’t been the most lucrative over the last decade ( and particularly hard hit by CV19) there have been and still are large parts of the industry that have been extremely well compensated in that time period and still are



The pay scales and benefits at the US big three, Southwest, FDX and UPS have never been better, in fact it’s no exaggeration to say it’s been a new ‘golden age’ with the most generous contracts ever seen



Some carriers haven’t done so well but it’s definitely not across the board


OP is in Turkey, not the US. If he had the right to live and work in the US, he probably wouldn't be asking the question.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Sun May 16, 2021 7:32 pm

My limited exposure to the Turkish military (I missed this in the first post); is that’s it’s pretty tough. There’s not coddling of recruits. I was deployed at a training base and it was eye opening, apparently corporal punishment is meted out regularly.

I wouldn’t say current contracts are the “most generous ever seen”; 1960s and 70s contracts were much better when inflation adjusted. The Cadillac a month meme wasn’t far off for 707 captains.
 
Woodreau
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Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Sun May 16, 2021 11:41 pm

There are advantages and disadvantages to the training that is being offered to you.

The disadvantage ab initially training and the military flight training path you’re describing is that someone else is paying for the training so you are under pressure to meet training milestones on a specific timeline. There will probably be some flexibility but if you continue to fail to meet milestones then things aren’t going to go well.

But don’t dwell on the possibility of failure.

Since you mentioned you flight sim a lot. I will have to say go into training with an open mind. You’ll have a lot of flight sim-ism things you’ll need to unlearn.

For primary flight training you’ll probably fixate on your instruments. Instead try very hard to ignore your instruments and focus on looking outside at the biggest attitude indicator that is provided for you out the window - the horizon.

One question you should ask is if you fail to complete flight training in the Air Force can you accept being a non flight officer? Although you won’t be a pilot the other officer billets are just as valuable and fulfill a need in the service.

I was in the US military just not as a pilot. I found it just as fulfilling and I learned quite a lots working with counterparts in the other services and other countries’ military services. I never ever thought or had any aspirations of being an airline pilot. But here I am.

In the US the military didn’t pay very much if you aren’t a pilot. And being an airline pilot you aren’t paid very much either until you start flying something other than a regional jet.

I found it interesting that second year FO pay at a LCC equaled the same pay I made as an O-3 with over 10 years of service with way less responsibility as an airline pilot.

Being an airline pilot is not very glamorous. It’s pretty much a to b. Good views out the window if there are no clouds. Most of the work is done on the ground during preflight. But once you get seniority you get more flexibility to make your own schedules and your time off really is your time off to do whatever you please to do during your time off.

In the military you won’t only deal with just flying. There’s always SLJs that you’ll have to volunteer to take care of when you’re not flying as a junior officer. Plenty of SLJO jobs to go around in a squadron / wardroom.

the unique experiences you gain as a military officer pilot or not cannot be obtained anywhere else.

Tough choices but I wish you well in whatever you choose to do.
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
Max Q
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Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Sun May 16, 2021 11:50 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Max Q wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
I say military. Better job security, won't go bankrupt, no paying for your own training or stuff, won't be replaced by cheaper contracted pilots from a cheaper country.




That stopped being the case over a decade ago.




That’s not accurate


While some airline pilot careers haven’t been the most lucrative over the last decade ( and particularly hard hit by CV19) there have been and still are large parts of the industry that have been extremely well compensated in that time period and still are



The pay scales and benefits at the US big three, Southwest, FDX and UPS have never been better, in fact it’s no exaggeration to say it’s been a new ‘golden age’ with the most generous contracts ever seen



Some carriers haven’t done so well but it’s definitely not across the board


OP is in Turkey, not the US. If he had the right to live and work in the US, he probably wouldn't be asking the question.



Your contention that pay and benefits stopped being as lucrative a decade ago didn’t define a geographical region


I used the US as an example but there are still well paid airline jobs around the world, that didn’t end a decade ago
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
VSMUT
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Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Sun May 16, 2021 11:52 pm

Max Q wrote:
Your contention that pay and benefits stopped being as lucrative a decade ago didn’t define a geographical region


No, but OP did.
 
Max Q
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Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Sun May 16, 2021 11:58 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Your contention that pay and benefits stopped being as lucrative a decade ago didn’t define a geographical region


No, but OP did.



I don’t see that anywhere in his post
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
VSMUT
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Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Mon May 17, 2021 12:00 am

Max Q wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Your contention that pay and benefits stopped being as lucrative a decade ago didn’t define a geographical region


No, but OP did.



I don’t see that anywhere in his post


Turkish Airlines. Turkish Air Force. Sounds very American, doesn't it? :roll:
 
Max Q
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Mon May 17, 2021 12:02 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
My limited exposure to the Turkish military (I missed this in the first post); is that’s it’s pretty tough. There’s not coddling of recruits. I was deployed at a training base and it was eye opening, apparently corporal punishment is meted out regularly.

I wouldn’t say current contracts are the “most generous ever seen”; 1960s and 70s contracts were much better when inflation adjusted. The Cadillac a month meme wasn’t far off for 707 captains.



With the current top pay rates at UA you can quite easily exceed 350k per year with some going over 400k


Even allowing for inflation that’s significantly more than what the most highly paid major airline pilots made in the ‘70’s or any other era
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
Max Q
Posts: 9049
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Mon May 17, 2021 12:06 am

VSMUT wrote:
Max Q wrote:
VSMUT wrote:

No, but OP did.



I don’t see that anywhere in his post


Turkish Airlines. Turkish Air Force. Sounds very American, doesn't it? :roll:



I guess I’m missing your point, eye roll or not


The OP did not state anything about lower airline industry pay a decade ago in Turkey or anywhere else
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
emmawarner96
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Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Mon May 31, 2021 11:38 am

I'm going to say military. Better job security, you won't go bankrupt, you won't have to pay for your own training or equipment, and you won't be replaced by lower-cost contracted pilots from a lower-cost country.
 
Sokes
Posts: 2773
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:48 pm

Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:49 am

Are you interested in collective events like soccer games? I'm not and I hated my 10 months conscription.
People gave their gun female names. I just shook my head.
I generally don't accept authority easy. Already as a child I hated it when people told me what I have to do. I was always a bit defiant.
I don't enjoy telling others what they have to do and I don't like to be told what I have to do.
Strange enough I loved boarding school. It's not that I don't like living in a group.

Do you agree with recent military actions of your government?

But people are not the same. As others pointed out it was the best time of their life.
There is no yes or no as an answer. It depends what type of guy you are.
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
Woodreau
Posts: 2127
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2001 6:44 am

Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:30 pm

Being conscripted and being an officer are two different worlds even though both are in the military.

Officers tell others what to do. That is the nature of being an officer or even a non-commissioned officer. That is part of the job description.

If you dont enjoy telling others what to do then being an officer is not for you.

There is a way to tell other people what to do. And there is a wrong way to tell other people what to do.

The correct way is called leadership. It’s mentoring and empowering your subordinates. But there are always times that you just need to tell them to do it now. But your qualities of a leader will determine whether they do it willingly or begrudgingly. Or not at all.
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
cuban8
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:17 pm

Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:57 pm

In your situation, I would personally go straight to Turkish Airlines. I flew many years with both military and civilian pilots in Turkey and here are my conclusions.

Unless things have changed, you usually sign up for a minimum 15 year contract with the Turkish Air Force. While F16 and F35 are among the coolest aircraft’s out there, going on missions over Iraq and Syria might not be that exciting. As mentioned further up thread, you may also end up on a transport or surveillance aircraft. Financially, it’s not very good either.

While your Air Force experience might fast track your career in certain countries, that is not the case in Turkey. I flew with several 40 to 50 year old first officers who were former F16 pilots and I could feel their frustration having a 30 year old captain next to them. Most of the Air Force pilots became captain on A320/B737 between age 42-47. The civilian pilots in Turkey were already captain on A300/B757 before the age of 30.

Now, you should not live your life with regret. If the Turkish Air Force is your dream, you should go for it. I never met a Turkish Air Force pilot who regretted flying fighter jets, quite the opposite. With that said, many of them suffered joining civil aviation.

Best of luck with your flying career being military or civilian!!!!
When business goes to hell, you get rid of three things. Your private jet, your yacht and your mistress..........and most importantly in that order.
~ Russian Billionaire ~
 
DarQuiet
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:31 am

Re: I was selected for both Civil and Military aviation. Professionals, please help me to choose

Sun Aug 15, 2021 5:01 am

I wonder which path did OP take...

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