Real Answers from Real Pilots

A couple questions

Hello Everyone,

I have a couple questions. I recently got out of the Marine Corps. While I was in I worked on the F18s avionics and constantly being around the jet made me want to pursue a career as a commercial pilot.

So my first question, while at ATP would it be possible to continue my job I have now (Honeywell-Fri Sat Sun 1200-000) and maintain in the ATP program? My wife is going to college and bills would be VERY tight if I couldn’t keep my current job.

Also, I want to use my GI bill, but I know it’s really picky about flight programs, so I don’t exactly know if it would cover anything. Should I save it and use it for my degree while I’m flying for a regional airline?

Thank you all in advance.

Hello Christian,

Unfortunately the answer is no. ATP program is highly accelerated. We’re talking about earning your Private (single and mulit), Instrument, Commercial, and 3 Instructor ratings in 9mos. That requires a full time commitment. If you’re not training you need to be studying.

It’s not that the VA is picky, it’s they only approve Part 141 training which ATP is not due to it’s accelerated program. You would be able to use your benefits for checkride fees which are approx. $7000. I think you’d be better served using it (as you said) for a degree later.



I don’t recommend working. Although ATP’s program is designed to give
instructors and students weekends off, there is no guarantee. The weekends
are often used to catch a student up if they fall behind. Plus, not all of
the training is done in the same location. So, it is important that your
schedule is clear of conflicts. This will provide both you and ATP the
flexibility required to keep you on track.

I would advise you to save your GI bill for a bachelor’s degree. ATP
currently only accepts GI Bills for the Type Rating, ATP Certification, and
Dispatcher programs.



I certainly understand the need to work during training, but it will not be possible while in ATP’s program. The program is highly accelerated and there simply isn’t time for both.

I would save your GI benefits and use them for a degree. This is a far more efficient use of your money and you will most certainly need a degree if you want to fly for the major airlines.


Thank you all for your advice. I’ll do what I can to make it work. Have a good day!