Help deciding which path to take

Hello all, I have recently been doing alot of research into the aviation field, specificly, becoming a pilot. I have read alot of posts and their is a tremendous amount of valuable information to be had on this forum, for which I am very thankful for the time and effort eveyone puts into it to help others such as myself. I am really interested in ATP, but the closest location to me is denver and it is about 4 hours away and since i have 2 small children a wife and a mortgage it wouldnt be very easy to make the program work. So in my research i found that a university that is 40 min away offers an associate degree in aviation technology which covers most certifications as far as i can tell, but you guys are the professionals and would love some advice on what to do. I am currently enroled in college just trying to bust as many core classes out as i can, but, if you could check out the program and let me know i would really appreciate it. New to the forum and really excited to get a career going! Thanks in advance for your help!

Hello Joshua and welcome,

I’m glad you’re finding the forum helpful. I also appreciate that not everyone can just pack up and leave the family for 6 mos even if they want to.

Ok so I took a quick look at the program and here are my concerns. First it’s a lot of cash for your PPL, CPL, Instrument and CFI. Yes you’re also getting an Associate degree but you can get one at any community college for a fraction of what they’re charging. There’s no multi time which a) you need and b) can be expensive and difficult to find as an add-on. My biggest concern is what happens after the 2 yrs? Again you’ll have no multi time but more important you’ll have 200+ hours which is a long way from 1500. How will you build the rest of your time? Most pilots flight instruct but if you’re planning on doing it part time at the local FBO it’s really going to take some time.

Listen I really hate picking other programs apart and I have no reason to believe they don’t do a fine job. I also always fear I’m sounding like a salesman (I assure you I’m not) but if you really want to do this, for real! I’d encourage you to explore other options that provide not just training, but a clear path to get you to your goal.


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Adam, I really appreciate your fast reply! You might be picking it apart, but in a good way that is the information that i needed and not sugar coated, that is the reason why i asked and I’m sure glad i did because if i hadn’t i would have 80k in loans and nowhere to go so thank you. So if I were to get my associates degree at the college I’m at and went to ATP for all of my flight schooling would i be able to get on with a regional with that? It might be difficult to swing the ATP part, but not impossible especially if it is only six months long.


The short answer is yes plus for $64k you’d also be getting your multi ratings including instructor. BUT, please keep in mind after the 6 mos you’re still going to need to build the 1500hrs instructing which can easily be done in the same 2 years. While obviously you’d be looking at getting hired at a Regional in the same amount of time you’d just be getting your training done at the college, it’s still going to be a 2 yr commitment.