We don’t recommend getting a degree before flight training because it “magically makes things easier.” We recommend getting a degree before flight training because the statistics show that college educated students are more successful during flight training. Plus, we’re skeptical about degrees not being truly required since we are the ones flying with actual pilots and most of them have degrees.
You’re right. An aviation related degree is a gamble. However, truthfully I don’t think my comm degree is any better as I have no intentions of using it. The difference is you are in a position where you can make a thoughtful decision about your education. Comm wasn’t my first choice. It wasn’t my second choice either. It was close enough to what I wanted and I had to pick something.
You’re in a good spot. The shortage isn’t going to be gone any time soon. Don’t be afraid to get a degree in something you enjoy before flight training. If you can’t wait four more years to start training, then okay. It’s your decision.
A happy medium would be to get your associates degrees after high school so you at least have something and wouldn’t have to wait the full 4 years. Take that to ATP and afterwards finish up your bachelor’s degree quickly with the credits you already have. Either way I can understand not wanting to wait to hop into the cockpit. Ultimately you’ll do what you feel is best for your situation.
Hi, I was wondering how long you think the shortage will be around for? If it is able to be said. Thank you
Here are two sources, published a year apart. Both say the shortage will last for at least the next 20 years.
Another question, would it be smart to earn my PPI elsewhere and then come in to ATP? I’m currently as “zero” as it gets with no experience or much knowledge.
I got my PPL through a small local school and it was a certified disaster. The airplanes were constantly breaking, the instructors didn’t want to show up on weekends, it was just one thing after another. What should have taken 6 months took a year and a half.
That being said, if you are not 100% sure that you want to fly for a living, getting you PPL elsewhere can be a great way to find out, before committing to a large program. If anything, take enough lessons to get to the solo phase and then evaluate from there.
I got my PPL outside of ATP too. While my experience wasn’t a disaster, I did have to unlearn some bad habits.
If you’re not 100% sure you want to make flying your career getting your PPL to start is a good option. Just be careful. Set a realistic goal to have your PPL completed by. Fly no less than 2-3 times per week. And know that the total cost to obtain your PPL will most likely be more than whatever the school quotes you.
If you haven’t already I would recommend at least doing a discovery flight as it’ll give you a taste of what to expect.
My daughter is in a similar situation, in that she is 18 and just finishing her senior year in high school. She has her PPL and the required hours to start ATP. That being said, she and I have done extensive thoughts as to her next steps and career path. Initially, we thought going to ATP and quickly getting her hours and certs in would be best, and then getting her degree (probably online school) while doing her CFI job and building hours. However, like the pilot mentors have mentioned over and over, it’s not recommended for several reasons. Alas, what I believe she will do is go to college, get her 4 year degree, and take lessons from a local instructor as she goes to college. Best of both worlds. We both had great experiences with our local, small airport instructor. You just need to find the instructor that’s right for you. You pay a PREMIUM for the ATP accelerated program and such, and it may very well be worth it. However, For the cost of ATP, I can buy a 172 or Piper 140, pay for her lessons, afford my own lessons, and enjoy the pain and happiness of owning my own plane. We’re in a fortunate situation in that my wife has worked for Hawaiian Airlines for over 28 years as a FA, so we have plenty of resources to help guide us. My daughter is a 4.25 gpa student, has been working, flying, and playing sports, and while I feel she has the maturity and skills to go through ATP no problem, I’m more concerned that at 18, she might end up changing her mind, not to mention there’s something to say about the college experience that you can’t put a price on. I think she will still be able to find a CFI job to build hours, even if she gets instructions from an independet CFI. I’m not sure how it works with ATP, but I would be a bit concerned that at ATP, she could be receiving instruction from a CFI that just ‘graduated’ from ATP, and has only a few hundred hours under their belt, as opposed to our PPL instructor who is a retired airlines captain with thousands of hours and great experience in all sorts of planes and difficult situations. Mahalo.
Your proposal is not bad, but there are some flaws in it. To begin with, taking flying lessons while in college is essentially like taking another two classes (or more). If your daughter can handle a 21 0r 24 hour case load, then that is great, but most people cannot. I got my PPL while in college and found juggling college work and flying to be challenging. I am sure that the quality of both my flying and college courses suffered as a result. Also, taking just a few lessons a week will end up in the flying taking longer (and more flight hours) than it should.
I would really encourage you to do some more research on the costs of aircraft ownership. I would be absolutely shocked if you are able to do everything that you are speaking of for the price of ATP’s tuition, or anywhere near it.
Yes, at ATP your daughter would be receiving instruction from a newly minted CFI who is absolutely current and up to date on the latest changes and regulations. I have been an airline pilot for 15 years now, have thousands of hours and great experience in all sorts of planes and difficult situations. I would not dream of teaching somebody to fly. It has simply been too long since I instructed in that environment. A good airline pilot does not necessarily make a good CFI.
IT sounds like you have your path planned out and that it great, I just suspect that it will not be as straight forward as you think it is.
I have to agree with Chris on this one. I am a Hawaiian Airline’s Capt with thousands of hours and a current CFI and trust me your daughter would be in far better hands with a brandy new CFI. What we do in the jets daily is a far cry than what we did back in the Cessnas.
Case in point I was talking to a friend who’s working on his PPL and we started talking about lift. Well apparently EVERYTHING I learned and believed to be true about Mr Bernoulli and pressure differential is gone and now Sir Newton’s getting all the credit?!? Don’t even get me started on ADS-B requirements.
All valid points to consider. Thank you! I’m still encouraged by the fact that my daughter was able to go to school, work, play sports, and time to fly and get her PPL during her senior year. She and I both had no problems flying an hour here and there, sometimes going weeks (in my case a few months once) between lessons. Sure, that maybe cost us a few extra hours of brush up, but in the end I finished my PPL at 57 hours, and she at 65 hours. We both just did the Sporty’s online ground school in our spare time. I’m sure it gets harder as you progress and needs more dedication and consistency, but for those just looking at the initial PPL stage, it’s actually pretty easy all things considered… and she and I are definitely average Joes. My hope is she goes to college and flies a few hours on the weekends and knocks out her required cross country time needed for instrument and commercial. At the same time, I can fly under the hood and she can be safety pilot, and kill two birds with one stone. I think it’s very obtainable that she get through her commercial and CFI ratings in the 4 years she’s getting her bachelor degree. Then, she finishes up with dual ratings and finds a job as a CFI. I’m definitely not counting out ATP, as it’s very attractive still and a proven course. We all appreciate the info and time you mentors put into this forum. Thank you.
Kim, You and I are the same person lmaoo. I’m in the middle of my senior year and just finished ground school and going to take flight lessons. I’m planning on doing atp right out of HS. I know it has been 2 years. Do you mind if I ask how it turned out for you
Just remember to start with ATP you need either your PPL (with 78hr), 2yrs of college or equivalent work experience or be military.