Firstly let me say this forum is exactly what I’ve been looking for! I thought I’d bounce my goals and dreams off you seasoned pilots in the hopes of finding some advice, and mentoring.
Background: I’m a 32 year old single father of 2, who is currently broke due to a nasty divorce and even worse child support obligations. I come with a plan though.
The Plan: (All of this is a means to an end, bear with me for a moment) Currently I’m working for Fedex Express as a courier and going to school for welding. After which I’m going to start work in the Rope Access field. Trying to get work offshore on oil rigs. All of this is to get me ready to start flight school. As a rope access tech I’ll be working contract jobs on the rig for about 6 months of the year pulling down around $75-$90k for that time. Granted, some of that will be going toward child support but I’m already cutting my living expenses down once my house sells by living in an rv while I go to school. With what’s left and the time I won’t be on a rig I plan on jumping into flying with both feet.
Now the advantage I have with all of this is the luxury of time. I have 14 more years of paying child support to get to the point where I want to be. I’ll be 45 and if I can accomplish all I set out to do I want to be poised and ready to start flying for an airline or for Fedex. The point is to be financially secure and doing something I love doing while not paying an ex to have an extended paid vacation. (She refuses to work and I’m currently paying 75% of my income to her…) I don’t want to have to worry about money ever again. It’d be nice to not have to think about when pay day is. Not to mention all the traveling. (As a fedex employee I’m enjoying all the travel perks since we’re an airline)
The Questions: 1. Should I try squeezing in a degree in during this time? How serious are the Majors about having a BS? I’ve been looking at Embry-Riddle’s online program for a degree in Aeronautics. Worth it or should I not bother? I’ve heard that some airlines will hire as long as you’re currently WORKING towards a degree.
- Once I am in a position to start flying should I try to take an instructing position somewhere while I’m not working the ropes? The real question is how can I build hours to get all the way to ATP rating. I’ve heard that some of the small cargo companies near me are hiring pilots at around 500 hours. Again, that’s hearsay.
There’s a simplified version of the plan and some of the questions I have. Any help and insight you can give is very much appreciated!!! Thanks!