How are you paying for training?


New Member
I'd like to know how you all paid for flight training and how you intend to pay it back if you took out a loan. I'd especially like to hear from academy people who are paying upwards of $35k for your did you get the money and how are you going to pay it off making $12k/year as a flight instructor or $19k as first year FO?
Method: Sallie Mae.

Payback Plan: two incomes (my wife's and mine) - currently paying on loans and not deferring, so that'll save me some interest.

Route taken: FBO (sorry Kid - not an academy grad, but I thought I'd lend my $0.02 anyway).
yeah, not an academy type here but my choice was to pay cash, and accept that it's going to take longer that way. also not planning to CFI completely full-time meaning I will supplement my CFI income with at least part time work, hopefully where I am employed right now.

Yeah I am paying cash as well. Im a student at Embry Riddle, but I did not get ALL of my certificates with them. Just too darned expensive. I guess the way I look at this career field, or at least getting started in it, is sort of a leap of faith. You just DO IT! Sarah, you have a good idea there. Having another job is my plan as well. Also this is a good way to avoid suffering from CFI BURNOUT. If anyone out there knows of an easier way to get your career started. SPEAK UP!!! There are those out there who desperately wanna know.
I've been very lucky to have parents that have been able to fund a large part of my flying expenses. They paid for my private and instrument, and we're splitting costs for the commercial. The rest is going to be on my own. They always said that they would pay for the private, and then eventually they decided I NEEDED an instrument rating (I had no choice in the matter, though no big deal to me: I needed one anyways). They made that decision after all the media attention JFK Jr.'s crash got.

A word of advise: working at Toys-R-Us for $5.70 an hour is not enough money to pay for flight training! I've found that one out this summer. I can't wait until I can get back to the university where I can use my computer knowledge to make more money than I do right now, while doing less.


John Herreshoff
Loans. eh.. I know it isn't always the smartest option, but for me.. Yeah.

My parents can't afford to pay for any of my flying, so it's gonna be a tough ride.

I like Ramen Noodles by the way. Chicken is the best.
There was an FO at my last airline who "danced" for flight training money. True story! And I don't mean ballet.
Oh tap - I used to be quite a good tapper back when I was little. I could lollipop with the best of them!
Sure Lad !!!
If I had the body I would dance LOL. Shoot I'd even pop-lock!!!!!!!!!!
I am going the Sallie Mae route through an FBO for my private, then I plan to go through the rest of my ratings at ATP with Sallie Mae also. It also helps that we are a two income family as well(me and my wife).
But don't get married just to help pay for flight training LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was trying to figure out how I could work using a loan for both ATP and my flyingclub/fbo. If I wanted to get my PPL through FBO and then go to ATP for the rest, could I get a loan to cover it?

I'm not really sure I want to go the FBO route for PPL, but I'm considering it. Costs more, but at a slower pace to learn for private.
I'm paying for my training cash. I also have a girlfriend that is very supportive, so I do not have to eat ramen.
Paying cash by working at my job during the day and fly whenever. I thought about the academy route but couldn't stomach another $40K loan. I still haven't finished paying off my students loans from ERAU. Luckily my wife makes more money than I.
Wow, that's a good variety of responses. My parents paid for my private as well back in high school. I've had to pay for the rest of my training myself which has been possible with an engineering job and no car payments.
I honestly don't see how people are able to attend academies unless they have at least:
1) Parents able and willing to support them
2) A wife/girlfriend able to support them financially

It just blows my mind to hear of single people going off to spend $40k or more only to earn $12k/year after that. I plan to work a couple more years as an engineer and part time CFI while saving money (at least $15k) for the jump to a full time flying job. I don't see how it would be possible any other way.
When I moved to the Ohio from the UK last summer it was a perfect opportuninty to chase the dream. I needed to do most of my Private Pliot training again (my foriegn licence had lapsed unfortunately and in the present climate, a shiny FAA PPSEL seemed like a good idea). This training was funded by money my wife and I had saved before moving. Shorly after passing my checkride, I got a job at my local airport doing Line Service. This allows me to fly when off shift (at a discounted rate). Nearly finished with the Instrument rating, after which I will train for the Commercial then I will most likely have to go on an accelerated course for the Multi Engine rating (no Multi-engine training at my FBO). After that, I am hoping to get some right seat time in the company King Air's (if they will have me). Looks promising so far. The nice thing is that so far I have not needed a loan as such (but my account at the FBO is a little frightening, but they seem fine with it).
>>A wife/girlfriend able to support them financially<<

Wife and girlfriend - not a bad deal if you ask me.

I paid for my flight training by working in a pilot supply store - some kids had cars, I drove my moms mini-van and took flying lessons!

Now I work a proper job, I am pretty much able to afford the flying, however deep down inside I still believe I am a broke student (if I can save a penny I will).

Maybe I will start doing ballet or tap - have you seen the ratio of guy to good looking girl. It must be 1:30+
Sallie Mae for me too.

I will stay with my full time job and teach on my days off and before work. I start at 1300 and work 4 tens.

Plus remember that though flight schools may put in that their program costs between 25K to 35K, they do not figure in the costs of FAA examiner (250.00 per check ride), medical (90.00 per for 1st class), headset (250.00 plus for a decent one that will last), written fee (90.00 per), Cessna pilot kit (295.00 per level training for ), or the books in general which run the gambit of prices. So add a few thousand more (at least) for incidentals.

For the academy's plan higher. In the Phoenix area, WestWind will cost you over 40K easily and Pan Am is telling it's students to get out the 80K max from Key Loan (just in case). Everyone that I talked to that went their, said that 80 K was about the total cost when they were through. Scarry.....

Tab Express was quoting about 65K I believe.... So none of them are exactly cheep. ATP looked like a better deal, but you have to be willing to relocate with them (when your training is done) until an instructor position opened up some where in the country (if you want to teach for them). I must say I have never heard anyone unhappy there though... Good luck...
There was an FO at my last airline who "danced" for flight training money. True story! And I don't mean ballet.

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Same with my school.
honestly don't see how people are able to attend academies unless they have at least:
1) Parents able and willing to support them
2) A wife/girlfriend able to support them financially

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Actually, I think it's easier to throw down $40K in loans to go to an Academy if you're single.

From my POV, I could have done a lot more training wise (both post-college schooling and flight time) if I weren't married. Don't get my wrong I love being married, but the reality is that you have a lot more obligations if you have a family. You can't say, for example, "Well this week I'm eating Ramen for lunch, dinner, and maybe breakfast Tuesday." if you're married, and definately not if you have any rugrats.

On the other hand, my wife isn't working, she's in med school so maybe it's just tougher for us. But then again not everyone's wife works for that matter.

Marriage doesn't take your freedom away it just means that you have to look out for more than just you, and that unfortunately costs money.

My two cents.