flightinfo forum has me wondering...


New Member
These last few weeks I have to getting excited about taking the plunge, selling the house, moving to Florida to train at FSI or Comair. I'm yet another one of those early thirties high tech workers who is ready to pursue their goal of flying for a living.

However, I've been reading the forum over at www.flightinfo.com and it has me thinking about if this is a smart idea. It seems most of the people there are frustrated pilots who seem to have nothing but bad news about how bad the industry is. It seems the group here is more optimistic, perhaps that is becasue a lot are still in trainging.

What my concern is that in six month time I'll be in debt 50k and can't find a $7 an hour CFI job to pay the rent.

Any help or encouragement would be great.
Many of the posters on Fltinfom.com are NOT pilots, many are posting simply for the fun of messing with people (like you). This is why I spend as much time as I do on this msg bd and not some of the others. Here you will get the strait scoop, as presented by people who are flying for a living, going to flight school, to achieve the same and so on. When a poster gets out of hand or pitches some line of BS, people will jump on them and make the corrections ASAP.

With that said,

If you had a plan in your head that you were going to go to any flight school, and come out with a job, at a regional you are mistaken. That goes for the graduates of today as well as 3 years ago. *SOME* people were able to make that happen, but no one ever knows who they are, and those few never seem to pop their heads up and say yep that was me hired with 300hrs.

Read the post By John (ClearedILS) in the general section about being hired. It shows that you can get hired without a butload of time. I got hired with just over 1000 hrs.

So can you expect to be flying 152s with fat people for students? Yep! Is going to FSI or the like the fastest or best way? Not sure it depends on your situation, current job family life spousal support etc. all of those things weigh in.

If you have a good job, and a solid family life I would go the local FBO route. And just make an effort to fly fly fly… It would not take all that long to get your CFI at a fraction of the big school cost and you are on your way.

People often comment “I can’t see flying every weekend and making it fast enough” That is correct. So what you do is Fly Mon evening/Wed evening Fri evening /Sat all day /Sun all day You can do it if you are willing to sacrifice.


I got interested in that other forum because it had so many posting I figured it had to be another good reference. It was just depressing because everyone (a lot of posters anyway) seems to have a bad attitude. Referring to all 141 schools as 'pilot mills' which I take as a derogatory term like a 'puppy mill', someplace that just churns out a product with no regard to quality.

I'm not expecting a regional job straigt out of the academy. I would like to instruct for a while. Just not sure how long that while is going to be?

My current situation is that I've been unemployed since November of last year. I'd be selling my house and moving out of state. I also have an education grant from my former employer that I can only use at an accredited school (FSI, Comair, Sierra). So I'm still thinking of the 141 'pilot mill' type school.

Thanks for the advice.
I'd like to wish you the best in whatever route you chose. I agree 100% with the post by Iain above regarding the FBO route. It can be done that way. Of course, for some people, the best way to go is the 141 route. I've done both...but I prefer the part 61 route as I have some control over when I fly and when I don't. Part 141 isn't for everybody.
The main thing is whatever you do, stay positive. Don't let other people put you off. There will always be people who are negative and that's good, because it makes me work harder to prove them wrong. Now, I'm not saying it's easy to make a career in aviation, but it can be done. Only you can make it happen. The reason alot of people fail is because they are negative. So avoid them. I used to <font color="#666666"> </font color> <font color="#666666"> </font color> <font color="white"> </font color> visit the other forum but stopped because it was littered with failures.

Anyhow. I can give you personal info on one of the Schools you mentioned it you PM me. /ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif

Have you read "My Path to the Cockpit" in the "Airline Flying" section of the website? I graduated college in a market almost as bad as this.

Personally, I feel that this is a horrible job market and a great job market at the same time.

If you're not motivated and are looking for the quick/fast opportunity, this career is going to suck for you.

However, if you're patient and have the ability to ride the 'ups and downs' of the industry today, you'll be in a good position once things finally turn around.

Remember, this job is cyclical. Things will eventually pick up and the furloughs will be back to work and hiring will be in full swing for about 4 years, and then WHAMMO, the next crisis will hit.

Once again, there will be a series of down years, and then the whole game starts all over again.

Fortunately, I stayed in the game while the market sucked for pilots, then when it picked up, I climbed at Vy all the way to Delta. Luckily, I got hired at a time when hiring was brisk and I'm somewhat safe from the grim reaper (furloughs).
"The reason alot of people fail is because they are negative. So avoid them. I used to visit the other forum but stopped
because it was littered with failures."

Stereotyping, a simplified and standardized conception or image of a person, group, ect., held in common by members of a group.

I define failure as giving up. I had a very unpleasant experience at one of the big part 141 academy's and I quit the school but I did
not give up. Does this make me a failure? No, I'm right back in with a another academy persuing my dream. I am negative about the
first academy though and I tell everyone that will listen, just like in the buisness world where you pay good money for a service and
it is'nt delivered. Hopefully this will prevent someone else from having the same bad experience and becoming negative.
For what it is worth, Many local FBO flt schools ate 141 as well. I can name 3 of the 6 local ones here in nJ that are. so don;t lock yourelf in to the Big schools if that doesn;t work out for you, you can stil use the program money.
Hi Longeze,

I guess I should make my statement a bit clearer. I too pulled out of a 141 school (same one as you in fact..(.I've been following your posts). And for the same reason. They BS'd me. I moved 'accross the road and am much happier again. I went to 'the academy' to get my CFI/II/MEI.)

I wasn't for a minute suggesting that anyone who pulls out of a school for whatever reason is a failure. If that were the case, I'd be one. No. What I just wanted to say that there are people out there who are just negative by nature and try to bring everyone else down with them. A lot of them haven't even experienced what they are talking about. I'm talking specifically about people who generalise everything with "Aviation sucks, this sucks, that sucks, etc etc." And my point was to avoid them. I did not say to avoid people who have a specific point of view on a school or whatever. They are valid opinions and help prospective customers make an informed judgement. I certainly wish I'd listened more to opinions I'd gotten here!!!! /ubbthreads/images/icons/smirk.gif

Anyway. Just wanted to clear that up.

thanks for listening and good luck with your new place of training.
People love to complain! It's human nature! I'm sure United Airlines most senior 747-400 captain is unhappy about something aviation-related.

Like at Delta, everyone hates the MD-88 and MD-90. But people who fly it, like myself, love it!

Find a flight school that fits you. You're going to be investing the equivalent of the cost of a nice new automobile there, you might as well be somewhere you're going to be happy with.

I did read your story. It was very informative. Actually your whole site has been a great resource. I'm glad I found it.

I've got a lot of thinking to do on this subject. In addition to which school is the best I need to still decide if I'm ready to persue this goal.

It started a long time ago, I started earning my private pilot's license back in 1989 (HWD). I was 20 years old and used up all the money I earned from a summer job to fly. Once the money ran out I had to stop. After a few month break I started working at the FBO washing planes and working the front desk in exchange for flight time. About a year from the time I started I finally finished and earned my PPL. Only problem was I had no money to continue flying.

I really wanted fly for a living but at the time I decide I wasn't willing to go through the hardships of getting there. I finished college and put the flying dream on the back burner, way in the back.

Fast forward ten years and two kids later I get the itch to return to the airport. I'm going at lunch watching planes come and go. So I take some lesson to get back into the swing of things. I revist the whole fly as a career idea.

This time around I have a good paying job. I look at the price of the school and taking a 80% pay cut and decide not to. I wasn't comfortable leaving my 'secure' job to face the uncertainty.

Fast forward to now, I was laid off from my secure corporate job. I haven't been able to find work but in reality don't really want to go back. I want to take the layoff as an oppurtunity to make a change, do something I want not just something I fell into or was the easiest.

I can probably swing it with loans. So far the wife is supportive. I'm trying to let her know what the situation will be for the lean years.

That's why I'm here at the forum, to get as much information as I can. Put all the options out there and make the best choice.

I know learning to fly will be the easiest part, it's the sticking it out when the hiring it bleak that will be the true test.

Thanks for the chance to hash out my questions...
The good news is that the airline hiring situation isn't any bleaker than tech hiring in the bay area! If you can weather that particular storm, the ups and downs of the flying industry ain't no big thing!

I just quit my job today and I will be heading to Comair soon. When are you heading down there? I am hoping to start in Sept.

You also mentioned loans. I got approval for a KeyBank Alternative loan in about 60 seconds on the website. Crazy how much money they will loan someone who's going to be lucky to find a job making $20K when they graduate..... That might be something to look into...

Good Luck!
I just got back from the Comair tour Tuesday 6/18. It was better than I expected. I'll write up a trip report in the Comair Academy forum soon. I should be back in FL in July and plan to tour FSI too. Then come home and make the tough choice. I'm shooting to start in September but may have to wait for October.

I applied online too. It is very and scary how much they'll lend you.
Willie - Wow I look at your story and it is almost a carbon copy of my own story (minus the kids). I got my ppl back in '90, and managed to add an instrument rating in '93, only to put the logbook away in favor of finishing college and falling into the corporate 'golden handcuffs.' Well a recent layoff made me rethink my life, and I realized that the corporate world was never going to make me happy. I too am heading back to flight school full time in the fall. I have a cousin that goes to FSI, but I'll likely be heading to ATP for the accelerated program. Best of luck to you, it helps to know there are others out there in the same boat!