I’m new to the forums and have been reading quite a few of the topics which have been very helpful! I’m juggling quite a few things that are pretty specific to me in my decision making process so I figured I’d start a new thread.
I currently have a great career, however, I’m at a point in my life where I need a change and I have decided to make a career move to commercial aviation. I’m working on getting my PPL and should have that finished in about 2 months. I’m 33 years old so while I know that isn’t too old, I understand that I need to start working towards my 1500 hours pretty aggressively as I’m not exactly the ideal age to begin this career. That is why the Airline Career Pilot Program at ATP is very attractive to me, however, there are a few factors in my life that make this challenging.
I will be newly married by the time I start the program and the closest location is 3 hours away. While not ideal to spend a ton of time away from my better half, she is very supportive so I don’t anticipate that to be a major problem. That said, I’m curious how others in similar situations have done. Since you have to be available 7 days a week for the program, did you find that you had any time to travel home to see your significant other during the course and eventually after becoming a CFI?
This scenario is probably extremely specific to me but I’ll it’s a large factor in my decision making process. My mother passed away earlier this year which is probably playing a large factor in my reassessment of my career and life in general. The reason I bring that up is my dad who is is just almost 70 has decided he wants to thru hike the Israel National Trail which takes about 2 months. I really want to do this with him because I feel it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and at his age I don’t want to say “Hey, I want to do this with you but can we wait 2 years?”. My concern is that if I start the ATP program and finish it, then take 2 and a half months off to hike (due to the hiking season), would I be able to come back and work as a CFI with ATP? I read the job is only guaranteed for a week or two. Would I be better off to wait to start the program and then teach as a CFI all at once? If I choose that route, I would have to wait until May or June of next year to start.
I can get my commercial license through the local school. While not as quickly, I feel I can still complete it reasonably fast as I would plan to quit my job once I started the commercial portion. Training through a program like this would offer me the greatest amount of flexibility and allow me to stay home so that I wouldn’t be separated from my wife. However, I’m concerned about finding a way to build my hours to get to 1500 in a reasonable amount of time as there’s no guarantee I would get hired as an instructor at the local school.
I know there isn’t one correct answer but just curious on how other pilots have navigated similar situations and what some of the consequences of might be of taking a 2 month break after obtaining CFI ratings to come back and instruct.
Thanks for your input.