ANG / Airline Pilot Career Plan


Well-Known Member
Hello. I am currently trying to make a plan to get to my main goal. Goal being that of an Air National Guard Fighter Pilot, and an Airline Pilot. I am 20 years old, and currently a student at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. I started flying on my 13th birthday. Over the years I have been able to receive a little over 500 hours, along with my Commercial Multi-Engine Instrument Rating. Right now I'm currently working on my CFI. I just want to throw out the plan I have written down, and if anyone can shoot some comments my way. Just want to know if this plan sounds good, and the parts that don’t sound to good. I basically want to be VERY marketable, by the time I graduate college. I will graduate in 2005.

Here’s the plan:
1. CFI / CFII / MEI Certificates
2. Type Rating in a Cessna Citation
3. Do some flight instructing (while in college)
4. ATP Written
5. Graduate ERAU
6. Join ANG unit as an Air Traffic Controller (one of my minors at ERAU is ATC)
7. Apply for ANG UPT
8. FMS Certification
9. ATP Rating (when I turn 23)
10. Keep applying for UPT (until I hopefully get accepted)
11. After all of training is done for ANG and on reserve status, start applying for airlines.

I was told that by being in a unit in the ANG already, greatly increases your chances of being selected for UPT. So I’m looking at a unit in South Carolina (169th FW). They have ATC as a job for enlisted, and they also flight F-16's. After my tech training for ATC, I would start applying for UPT. Hopefully by that time I will have around 1000 hours flight time.
Well that’s my plan. And if anyone has any comments I would greatly appreciate it. I remember about 10 years ago, waiting for the time to come to get going on my career, and now it seems like it’s just around the corner. Thanks in advance.

Nate Carrillo

My first comment is congratulations on making a plan. Most people are not that organized and forward-thinking.

My second comment is about the Citation type rating. I don't see anywhere in your plan that would make good use of it, except as a resume puffer-upper. They are terrfically expensive, especially on top of paying for college. Unless you plan to use it somehow, forget it. The costs outweigh the benefits. If you feel you must spend the $10k or so on something, then buy a block of multi hours in a Duchess or Seminole or something. That way you'll end up with more multi hours, which are golden. Turbine PIC hours are very good, but probably come into play more for the majors, and then they want 1000 to 2000 of them and preferrably 121/135 time.

Additionally, considering you're planning on military UPT, you're going to get a few turbine hours that way, why not let the military pay for it than fork it out for a type rating you'll likely never use.

Ditto. Don't bother with the type rating or the ATP (at 1000 hrs, you won't have enough experience for your ATP anyway). It's true that being in a specific unit already will help your chances of getting a pilot slot in a guard unit, but it's no assurance; what if you don't get a slot? You're still stuck with your guard commitment. Not to mention, are you ready to move to SC? As an enlisted troop, commuting to your unit for monthly drills will eat up more than you make at them. Seriously, I'd advise against enlisting if the only reason you're doing so would be to improve your chances for a pilot slot.

My CFI for my private got a slot with the NY ANG and graduated from ENJJPT a couple months ago. When he first started approaching guard units about pilot slots, he didn't even have his PPL. By the time he was hired, he had his CFI and about 300 hrs. The only real plus he had going for him was that he already had a commission, he had served 4 years as a naval officer so he didn't need to go through OTS or the ANG AMS. I know a dude who's an RJ FO at ACA who's trying to get a guard slot too, he's an ERAU grad, has 2500 hrs (more than half of it jet time), and he's gotten only one interview (with my CFI's unit in NY, coincidentally).

It's a tough time to be looking for guard slots; a lot of former military furloughees are "guard bumming" to make ends meet, so units don't need people as much. And with hiring pretty slow elsewhere, you've got a lot of competition.

Really, I'm kinda wondering what your motivations are. If you wanna fly fighters, do the country a favor and go active duty. Riddle's AFROTC det would be happy to talk to you about that. If you're just looking for a path to the airlines, go do an internship at a couple different airlines and forget the whole military angle. The military isn't a lot of fun right now, even for guys that have zero interest in flying anything but fighters. I imagine it'd be downright insufferable if you don't share their same passion.
Sounds like a good, well thought out plan - now just stick to it and do what you have to to make it work!

Just a question - what do you mean by "FMS certification" - FMS as in Flight Management System?? Really not that big of a deal - just buy a good book on it.

I just had a thought that you may want to consider - don't waste your money on a Citation type rating - which I think it would be - if your ultimate goal is to be an ANG fighter pilot then take that $10K out to Santa Fe, NM and get some time/LOA checkout in a jet warbird! is the website. Having a little background and training in a jet fighter type airplane(albeit a 'small' one) would probably carry more weight with an ANG selection board than a Citation type rating. Maybe I'm wrong - who knows - but it'd be ALOT more fun than riding around the pattern a few times in an old Citation.

. Not to mention, are you ready to move to SC? As an enlisted troop, commuting to your unit for monthly drills will eat up more than you make at them. Seriously, I'd advise against enlisting if the only reason you're doing so would be to improve your chances for a pilot slot.

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Also not to mention the amount of time he may be activated to serve overseas, the way the Guard/Reserve is getting the screwjob these days to backfill Active's shortfalls. And ATC is a critical-manned field, meaning more time away from home....and from flying.