1,500 hrs but no CFI

Thank you all for the wealth of candid information. This site and your willingness to share all is priceless. So here comes another old guy to new career question - I’m 50. Will be retiring from my current profession soon and , wait for it…. I want to pursue flying professionally as my next career. I’m creeping up on 1,500 hrs. Instrument , multi and commercial rated. My hours have been accumulated between flying for some business and a lot charitable flying (Angelflight, Patient Airlift Services, Veterans Airlift Command, PilotsnPaws. So - I’ll get to 1,500 but not via CFI route. I know/appreciate the value in learning through teaching others but will it be a negative on my resume not to be a CFI or will my other ratings , plus many long XCountry flights for charitable causes that involve passenger management compensate for that?

Again - thank you all, Mentors, for the time and insight you give us through this site.


I do not see this being a negative on your resume at all. Just make sure that you have a decent amount of instrument time and experience, along with making sure that your skills are really up to par, commensurate with the ratings you hold.

I think you will be fine, good luck in the application process.


Thank you, Chris!


These days the Regionals don’t really care to much how you built your time. The rub isn’t getting hired, it’s getting through training. If during your 1500hrs you worked on your instrument skills and they’re solid you’ll be fine. If it’s been all day VMC and you get hired you’d best tighten things up. They will teach you to fly their jet but they expect your instrument skills to be strong.


I remember watching an ATP video where they interviewed a Horizon new hire that got in right before the pandemic and he said he bought a 152 and flew it everywhere everyday to get his 1500 hours. Granted things may be different now but it certainly was possible.

Airlines like to see CFI’s just because it’s safe to assume they are fairly proficient in their ground knowledge and flying abilities to be teaching someone else. Now that doesn’t mean you aren’t because you weren’t a CFI. If you are current in your Instrument knowledge and meet all the ATP FAR requirements, you’ll be just fine. Review your ground knowledge though (basic instrument, aerodynamics, systems and charts) for your technical part of the interview. Months without thinking about that kind of stuff, it can get rusty.

Thank you, Adam, Alex and Hannah for the helpful additional insight!

Cool! I flew with Eric just recently in February! Super nice guy. We had a great trip.


Haha, I loved the video. I’ve ridden the Q-400 from SEA to Wenatchee (EAT, my hometown) several times. It is quite a wild ride coming down! Love it every time!