Thinking about making the jump...

Manhattan

New Member
Hey guys, I'm thinking about becoming a pilot, and I am considering going for my PPL... I'm just a HS Junior right now, but I start applying to colleges soon, and I am looking at aviation schools. But before I decide I want to become a pilot, I do have some worries. I know how bad the airlines are right now, and I am worried if the airlines will "ever" get better. I highly doubt gas prices will ever go down. After reading these boards for quite some time, I've gotten the impression reaching the majors is somewhat impossible, is this true? How hard is it to get to the majors, "if you stick with it?" I just don't want to ruin my career, since I could go business or law. I could understand wanting to become a pilot 15 years ago is logical, but is it still rational today? Are the airlines doomed? Please help me out, so I don't catch myself in a deathtrap, due to a major aviation bug.:panic:

Thank you
 

ppragman

FLIPY FLAPS!
Hey guys, I'm thinking about becoming a pilot, and I am considering going for my PPL... I'm just a HS Junior right now, but I start applying to colleges soon, and I am looking at aviation schools. But before I decide I want to become a pilot, I do have some worries. I know how bad the airlines are right now, and I am worried if the airlines will "ever" get better. I highly doubt gas prices will ever go down. After reading these boards for quite some time, I've gotten the impression reaching the majors is somewhat impossible, is this true? How hard is it to get to the majors, "if you stick with it?" I just don't want to ruin my career, since I could go business or law. I could understand wanting to become a pilot 15 years ago is logical, but is it still rational today? Are the airlines doomed? Please help me out, so I don't catch myself in a deathtrap, due to a major aviation bug.:panic:

Thank you
Go for it, I got my private when I was a junior, start flying now. Its expensive, but it won't hurt. Be ready to fly smaller stuff for the next couple of years as you can't be a captain at an airline until you're 23, so unless you want to be a copilot for 3 years, your options may be limited. As for the majors...no one can really know the future, best is just to get in and get going and see where it takes you.
 

KC Jake

Well-Known Member
Hey guys, I'm thinking about becoming a pilot, and I am considering going for my PPL... I'm just a HS Junior right now, but I start applying to colleges soon, and I am looking at aviation schools. But before I decide I want to become a pilot, I do have some worries. I know how bad the airlines are right now, and I am worried if the airlines will "ever" get better. I highly doubt gas prices will ever go down. After reading these boards for quite some time, I've gotten the impression reaching the majors is somewhat impossible, is this true? How hard is it to get to the majors, "if you stick with it?" I just don't want to ruin my career, since I could go business or law. I could understand wanting to become a pilot 15 years ago is logical, but is it still rational today? Are the airlines doomed? Please help me out, so I don't catch myself in a deathtrap, due to a major aviation bug.:panic:

Thank you
You can still do business or law in college. There is no rule that says you have to have a degree in aviation to be a professional pilot. In fact, a lot of people will advise you to get your degree in something other than aviation. I think you should start working on your private first. Then you can see what you think about continuing.
 

High_Alpha

Well-Known Member
I would definitely advise getting an education in something *other* than aviation, even if you do want to fly professionally.

Get your private at a local flight school as you can afford it. If you can figure out a way to fly while you're in college, maybe instruct a little bit, great.

When you have your non-aviation degree, then decide whether (and how) you want to pursue an aviation career.

My 2 cents. I'm not going to opine about whether or not you should pursue aviation as a career in the long run, but if you're interested in my experience, PM me and I'll be happy to answer any questions I can.
 

fender_jag

Well-Known Member
To be totally blunt, I would not get a degree in aviation. Just not a good idea. And if you do decide to pursue this...career, try not to get into too much debt.
 

pilot4500

IT Manager/ Former Cirrus Charter Pilot
I would say go ahead and get your private, as long as you can do it without getting into too much debt. If you decide to go the Professional Aviation route, DO NOT get a degree in aviation. Either a business or a law degree would be excellent to have as a backup. Plus, the major airlines want you to have a degree, but they don't really care what you major in.

If flying professionally is what you REALLY want to do, go for it. However, I would strongly advise you to have a backup plan, and try to avoid getting into debt while you do your flight training.
 

kellwolf

Piece of Trash
I'll be the lone voice of dissent out there. Major in whatever you wnat. If it's aviation, don't let everyone saying "don't do it" dissuade you. Which is better: having a degree in aviation, or toiling through four-five years in a field you're not really interested in just to have a "back up"? Worse, you might get so burned out studying something you're not interested in you drop out. Even worse still, assuming something catastrophic DID happen and you had to fall back on a business degree. Your competition is going to be guys who didn't go for business as a "back up" but as their main focus, so they'll likely have the edge as far as work experience, internships and possibly more education goes.

I'd say get start flying and working towards your PPL. That way you know if you're actually going to like flying at all. I had a student that was gung-ho on being an airline pilot, but most of the way through his PPL realized he just wasn't having fun. Oddly enough, a lot of the guys that tell you don't get an aviation degree will also tell you don't fly if you're not having fun. I guess I view school as something you should enjoy, not just something you HAVE to do.

Don't focus on aviation schools alone. They'll all tell you they're the best way to get there, but there's 100 roads to the same destination. If you've got interest outside aviation, great. Might not be a bad idea to look into other major choices in school. For me, nothing (aside from history) really tweaked my interest, so it was an aviation degree for me. Better than having 3 years in school, debt and no paper to show for it like I had several years ago after dropping out from burn out.
 

Nick

Well-Known Member
Agree with Kellwolf

A college four year degree in the majority of subject matter has, for better or for worse, become the new benchmark like a high school diploma used to be.

Sure, a four year degree will make someone stand out, but not as much as it used to since so many more people are able to take higher education now (that is a good thing).

A graduate degree seems to be the way to truly stand out academically, though its merits for pilots may not be as strong as those who do not seek a flying job, since the flight hours portion of the resume is still likely to get the most attention.
 

Nihon_Ni

Well-Known Member
I would advise you to start flying, but don't take on ANY debt to do so. When I was in high school, I worked a part time job and took my whole paycheck to the airport to support my flight training. It was a slow road, but the last thing you want when you're 16 is a pile of debt with no way out of it.

You should look into the sport pilot license. You can get it cheaper than a private (it has more limitations) but is an easy first step into the air as the captain of your own ship. You can upgrade it later to a private if you want to, and you'll get full credit for all the training you have done and the flight time you've acquired. Personally, I have a sport glider rating and have yet to upgrade it because I'm happy with the privileges I have with a sport rating.
 

nosehair

Well-Known Member
Please help me out, so I don't catch myself in a deathtrap, due to a major aviation bug.:panic:
Is this true? Do you mean, by 'aviation bug', that you are bitten by it? Do you have a driving desire to fly? If that is what you want - go for it.

Do not be concerned about the current financial situation - it changes from day to day. No one can say how it will be in 3 or 5 years, and it will probably be still fluctuating as much as it is today.

Do the private because you want to learn to fly. Period.

After you learn a little bit, you will be able to make your own decision.

And consider this: Learning to fly produces more than just learning to fly.
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
Do pre-law or business and get a few ratings on the side at your local flight school. Revisit the whole question in five years and see where things stand. You'll be in a great position to make the call, one way or another, a few years down the road.
 

Bumblebee

Commodore
Do pre-law or business and get a few ratings on the side at your local flight school. Revisit the whole question in five years and see where things stand. You'll be in a great position to make the call, one way or another, a few years down the road.
My young paddiwon . . . from the Jedi Knight himself!
 

GaTechKid

Well-Known Member
I'll be the lone voice of dissent out there. Major in whatever you wnat. If it's aviation, don't let everyone saying "don't do it" dissuade you. Which is better: having a degree in aviation, or toiling through four-five years in a field you're not really interested in just to have a "back up"?
To add a caveat here, find out what sort of prerequisite courses any potential graduate schools require that you may be interested in. Take those classes during college as electives. I was looking at medical/veterinary schools as a plan b and realized that I don't have most of the prerequisites. I'd have to go back to undergrad for a full year. Oy!
 

-=Deniz=-

Well-Known Member
After reading these boards for quite some time, I've gotten the impression reaching the majors is somewhat impossible, is this true? How hard is it to get to the majors,
Really it's not that hard you just have to wait for someone to die and then wait for the guy who got furloughed 5 years ago to fill that dead guys spot and then once the newly rehired furluoghed guy dies it'll be your turn! LOL (I couldn't help it I'm sorry) Either that or join a major in a different country

But young man (If I may call you that...) I have an idea if your not sure about what you want to do college wise just sign up at FAA.gov to be a controller (they are recruiting out of HS now)
on a 3-5 year work contract. I know in New York the controllers here at center work 1 hour and get an hour break until their shift is up. You can make money and fly on the weekends or whatever days you aren't working. All the while building a resume and experience so by the time you turn 23 you can be an ATP ready for the airline and possibly be without debt.

But that's just what I would do:rawk:
 
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