Real Answers from Real Pilots

14 year flight plan of a single dad

So if I understand you correctly if I plan on instructing with ATP, I should go with the 40 hour because I’d be building up at least 100 hours anyway. I like that option since I plan on instructing anyway.

Out of curiosity, if one doesn’t go the instructing route is one still eligible for the tuition reimbursement from a regional? I would guess not as you might decide to stay with say a small cargo company.

Regarding the 40 vs 100hrs that’s not necessarily what I said but whatever works best for you is what’s best for you.

It does seem the Airline Tuition Reimbursement is only available to ATP Instructors. For more info check here:


Chris I’m currently obligated to child support. My question is it’s currently a monthly payments that’s ongoing. How do you step away from them for 6 months enroll in school get the required certifications. And avoid the backlash from the courts during that short period of time of 6 months? I can work out my personal bills during that time health insurance truck payment you know work small gigs on the weekends. But it’s that large chunk of Child Support thats really putting a block in going towards my dreams.


I don’t think there is any way to not pay child support for six months. I am not familiar with your situation, but as a parent that pays child support I can not imagine not wanting to provide for my children, I view my child support as the most important bill that I pay. You will have to save up enough money in advance to pay the child support while you are in training.


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That’s the hope and plan, but at $900 a month on a $38k salary with rent, truck, and the other bills, it’s tough enough to just stay above water.

I’ve been researching this Eric. My fiancee is in financial aid. She’s posed the question if the ATP school is federally funded? If so I can easily qualify for Pell grant. I’ve also found many other scholarships for aviation that could be beneficial.


If you started in NC. Where did you do your training? I ask because I’m in Virginia Beach.


I’ve already found some scholarships just by googling them.


I actually grew up in Virginia Beach, I graduated from Princess Anne High School in 2000. :slight_smile: I went to ATP’s former location near Washington DC, it has since been moved down to Richmond. What part of the ciry do you live in?


Shoot me the links Rodney, I need all the help I can get.

I’ve figured out my situation. It’ll still require having a conversation with their mother but it should be possible. My support was raised to $1300/month due to daycare expenses but that’s neither here nor there. I am already downsizing to an RV once my house sells. Planning on going to the Richmond campus too as that’s closest to me, and I can still come back to PA on the weekends for my kids. I was worried about the payments for 6 months too till I realized I’m going to be leaving Fedex to do this and I can cash out my pension. I’ll have about $30k to live on which is good since I’ll have to pay their insurance coverage out of my own pocket. So I’ll be jumping on this as soon as I can get all my ducks in a row

Right next to Oceana Air Base we just move here are year ago from Denver. Originally from Phoenix. My dad actually lives less than 10 miles from the Mesa location


Before you go ahead and cash out a pension plan I think that you should spend some time thinking about this. As you probably know, cashing out a pension plan has major tax implications and can be subject to some rather high fees. Plus, it is money that you saved for retirement, it is hard to catch up after emptying our your retirement coffers.

I am of course not telling you what to do, just urging caution before making any major decisions like this.


Oh I appreciate your words of caution. I’ve already gone over this with my tax professional and $30k is what I’m left with AFTER taxes. And I’ll note that this is just my FedEx pension which is 100% company paid. I’ll still have my 401k so no worries


I am glad that you have it figured out. Keep us int he loop as your plans develop.


I certainly will, Sir. You guys have been a great resource and I appreciate it. Kinda can’t wait to get started now!