34year old Cop

I too am about to begin my pilot training in June at ATP Morristown, NJ. I’m 34 years old and in my 8th year as a police officer. Unfortunately, the job isn’t what it was when I started and really am beginning to have a huge disgust towards it. The pilot itch has been something that’s been with me as a kid. I loved all the flight simulators as a child and always found myself looking up at the sky. Life and school got in the way and I ended up going to college, got a 4 year degree in political science and was lucky enough to get drafted by an MLB team as a pitcher. Pitched 6 professional years before retiring for personal reasons. Both my brothers were police officers so I said what the heck I’ll give that a go. I make a good salary but everyday at work we get criticized for things others have done. Sick of the political garbage I have to deal with on a daily basis and the complete lack of respect for humanity at this point. I thought I’d be out there making a difference but tbh it’s a lost cause. I get really exited when I talk about flying and am excited to start a new journey in my life. It’s just my wife and I and my wife supports my decision and is behind me every step of the way! Thanks!

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Kyle,

Interesting story. You working on your writtens yet?

Get Ahead By Taking FAA Knowledge Tests Before Starting ATP / ATP Flight School

Adam

Hi Adam,

Yes I have begun.

-Kyle

Kyle,

Thanks for sharing your story. I know it will help others going through similar career difficulties considering flying. Also thank you for your service in law enforcement. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you prepare for your upcoming start date.

Hannah

Thank you! I’m sure I’ll have a ton of questions as I go. A friend of mine who I played college baseball with was a former ATP student at my training location and is now upgrading to Captain with Endeavor! I think him and I talked for 2 hours the other day haha.

Kyle,

Thank you for the introduction. Please keep us up to date and let us know what questions you have.

Chris

@Chris how long does it usually take Sallie Mae to get back with loan approval. I sent the application in this morning. They called me with some additional questions and said they’d get back to once they’re done reviewing the application and that was it. Thanks!

Kyle,

Typically within a week or so.

Chris

Kyle

I was around your age and time as a police officer when I made the jump. No regrets. I think you can search my posts and read my story so I won’t retype it all here. I’m tight on time waiting on passengers to arrive so we can head off to Florida. If you have questions about how to make the transition or want to hear how I got creative when I made the transition let me know. I’ve been flying full time since 2017, retired from the PD last November, am management at a Part 135 company and headed to a LCC airline in July. Life is good, brother!

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Hey Arthur,

That is awesome thanks for the reply! Makes me more sure of my decision. Is there anyway to direct message you or provide you with my phone number privately so we can talk? I have a couple questions. I’m interested in your career and how you made the jump from law enforcement to airline pilot! I have my intro flight tomorrow morning at ATP Morristown but looks like some rain in the NJ area so not sure if we will have to reschedule due to weather. My loan is approved, terms agreed to, next available start date June 13th. Tomorrow I will be calling the Doctor for my first class medical and scheduled an appointment. Still wild that my wife and I are making this career jump. It’s not just me that’s in this, it’s my wife and I together!

Look forward to hearing from you sir!

-Kyle

Kyle,

I may be a little late to this posting, but It really hit close to home for me in terms of experience. While I am not quite your age (28, not like its much of a difference :laughing:), I spent the last 12 years of my life in EMS with the last 8 being a Paramedic. Just like policing, EMS has changed substantially over the last few years and I really couldn’t see myself being in the field long term anymore. Whether it be the crazy scrutiny, politics, or corporate greed, it just no longer became the field I first entered into. I started coming to work with a heightened disdain with each passing day. While I was already a Private Pilot, I never really gave it much of a though until one day I just so happened to be at the airport while on a medical call. I remember watching the airplanes and found tranquility in watching them depart. Suddenly the patient screamed at me because I wasn’t giving them my undivided attention (despite me not actually handling the call, it was another providers call) and that was the tipping point for me. The so called “difference” they taught me in school suddenly became a thing of the past and I dove head first into becoming a career pilot.

The highlight of my soapbox is that you’ll have support along the way and there are people in similar positions to yourself who understand the struggles you’ve had. We’re all in this 1500 hour ride together, so why not make the best of it? I’ve found this community to be extremely supportive of one another similar to that family feeling I’m sure you had as a police officer (or at least we have it on the EMS side :rofl:).

Keep in touch, reach out when you need help, and know were all in this together.

Warmly,

Wesley

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Wesley,

Thank you for your reply! It gives me some peace knowing that others in my field (law enforcement) and EMS have left and have begun their careers in aviation. On another note, I worked this past weekend 12hr patrol on the night shift from 7pm-7am. I’ve been on nights for 8 straight years and to be honest I get overwhelmed with joy knowing I don’t have to do 22 more years of the nonsense dealing with drunks, domestic violence, car accidents etc. In my 8 years I’ve been bit, stabbed, sued… the whole nine yards. (Not looking for a pity party as I signed up knowing the potential outcomes of crappy situations). I became a cop because I enjoyed helping out the youth in lower class communities. I’ve been fortunate enough in my life and career to have graduated from a great university, played professional baseball, coached baseball to the inner city youth programs etc. I enjoyed being a cop just for those reasons but unfortunately, the bad has outweighed the good and I’m just mentally and physically burnt out.

Onto the next chapter of my little journey!

Quick little update. I was scheduled for my intro flight this morning at 11:00am but some thunderstorms passed through and my instructor advised me that we will do the flight tomorrow. I have my first class medical tomorrow at the airport at 2:45pm and the flight scheduled for 4:00pm! All good things.

Respectfully,

-Kyle

Kyle,

I have been an EMT since 2001, and working full time for a hospital since 2011. The pandemic definitely made me think twice about staying there for the long haul. I am 39, and this decision was the best one ever! The weather today at MMU was pretty bad. No one flew! Good luck tomorrow, and enjoy the intro flight!

Kyle,

You will find that if you become a pilot, the weather will take on an increasingly important role in your life from here on out.

Please let us know how the flight goes.

Chris

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@Chris thank you!

Update*

Received my first class medical today. Was supposed to have my intro flight today but they couldn’t get the engine to start. All good, rescheduled again for this Friday!

Regards,

Kyle

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Kyle,

Sorry to hear it’s been rescheduled again. You’re getting a very early introduction to the reality that flights are scheduled yet weather and maintenance has their own agenda. There’s a joke among pilots, “whenever you make plans, the airplane breaks or you get stuck somewhere…”

Hannah

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Kyle if there’s a way to do a private message I can’t find it right now. You can shoot me an email at marinecorpswalley@yahoo.com Then I’ll email you from my real email address. Just in case there’s some spammers in here :wink:

Kyle,

Planes have a mind of their own, sometimes they want to start…and well others give trouble sometimes. It could be a range from something like a fouled spark plug to maybe changing a magneto. Think of it like this, it’s better it won’t start on the ground and wishing we were flying rather than trying to safely get on the ground with a deadstick landing.

The biggest learning curve with aviation is flexibility and patience. I remember having to wait a few days to solo because of weather, mother nature can play funny tricks on us. Today it was cloudy and rainy, all of a sudden, the late afternoon hit, and sunny and beautiful blue skies were poking through…in a matter of an hour it cleared up.

Brady

Good morning all,

I was finally able to get up in the air yesterday with my instructor, Bobby. Awesome flight, awesome guy too. He let me take off, climb, descend and took me through how to do steep turns etc. He greased the short field landing too haha. He was extremely knowledgeable and had me eager to learn which I think is crucial to a student’s development. He was happy to see that I was already reading up on the Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. Once we landed, I asked him if we could go back up again.

Going forward, I was supposed to have a flight with the neighboring flight school, American Flyers but was told the cloud ceilings were too low and we would not be able to fly today. The reason as to why I wanted to do a flight at their location (Same airport, different hangar) was that their program is either full/part time, which with my current full time job, was a possibility. I came home one night from work around 8pm after working a 12Hr shift and had dinner with my wife. Took a shower and started reading the next chapter in the book to get a jump start on my knowledge base of the basics of flight. Within about 10min, I fell asleep on the couch. That’s when I realized, I don’t think I could even do this part time, with my full time job as a police officer. It was a test for myself to see my capabilities and if I would be able to read it, comprehend it and apply it. I don’t think working full time and flight training would be conducive for my training.

Moreover, my wife and I crunched the numbers and figured out that we would be able to put my weeks notice into work and get going full time at ATP. I honestly believe that if I went part time at AF, it would probably take me close to a year and a half to two years to get everything done, which, does not seem feasible.

Thank you all for your kind words and feedback. I will keep you posted as I work through my training.

Regards,

-Kyle