Other than loans, how did many of you fill the gap for the cost of flight hours early on.
Most aspiring pilots aren’t wealthy. If you are obviously that’s not an issue. Other than loans people simply wait until they can save the money. That said the vast majority take out loans.
Most people only pay their way through a PPL and then decide to start professional flight training programs with a loan. The reality is flight training is expensive and most people don’t have that kind of savings built up to pay cash for each rating.
Once you finish flight training, the beauty is the rest of the hours you should be getting paid for, not the other way around.
Flight training is not cheap, nor is operating a flight school. The cost of things have only gone up over the years due to inflation, and forecasts expect it to continue.
I started my training outside of ATP flying once a week, at a smaller-scale school while working full-time. Once I had my Credit Private, I attended ATP and powered through all the checkrides and instructed for a little over a year. If attending a program like ATP, thankfully cadet programs are picking back up, sign-on bonuses are resuming, and tuition reimbursement is a thing today. A lot of students participate in these programs with airlines to 1) guarantee job placement at 1,500 hours, 2) obtain some extra funding for loans, 3) network.
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