Deciding to attend a flight school

My name is Hunter. I am currently about to graduate college with my private pilots license and did not attend a school for aviation. My ultimate goal is to fly for the military in the reserves and then the airlines but if I cannot I have looked into options of attending flight schools such as ATP. Can anybody give experience with this as the amount of money needed to attend I would most likely need a loan or finance. What is the reality of paying back this type of loan with an airline job right away. Thank you


Welcome to the forums and thanks for posting! If you can get the military to pay for your ratings that is a great way to go. If not, you can always go to a flight school, get your ratings and then reapply to the military. I am no expert on military requirements, but I have heard that already having all of your ratings can be a big boost when applying. When choosing a flight school I recommend that you ask them this list of questions: Questions For Any Prospective Flight School

As to the prices of training, with ATP the price is exactly as is quoted, you can find that here: I financed my training and was able to pay the loan off in half the time that was allotted for it. I will say that I worked really hard to do this and made some sacrifices, but it was worth it to get out of debt early.

Last link for you. Look here to get an idea of what pilots of all levels actually earn in compensation: What Do Pilots Really Earn?

Feel free to post any and all questions as you think of them. I look forward to working with you.


Hey Hunter,

Just to chime in, as Chris said, the price is EXACTLY that quoted. Honestly when I went to ATP I kept waiting for the “by the way you owe us for…” and it never came. Literally to the penny.

As for the finances, while Chris is correct about getting out of debt, we’re not all as fiscally responsible as Chris or just don’t have the resources. While it cost me more, I came at it from a different angle. First off the loan is a student loan so until you get hired by an airline the lender will let you defer the loan while you’re building time as an instructor. When I did get hired by a Regional things were still tight the first couple of years so I made interest only payments until I was in a position to pay it down (which I did pretty quickly). Again I paid more in interest but it kept me afloat and not living on ramen.

It goes without saying if you can get a military flying slot that’s the best route. I’d investigate ALL branches and ALL locations. I have many friends in or former and they’ve said sometimes you can find a slot in the boonies or less populated areas. Definitely worth the relocation.