How can I become successful in becoming a pilot?

Hi friends,

My name is Ahmed. I live in California. I am a college student, and my major is Economics. I will finish my Bachelor of Art in Economics in 2024. Then I will join the Flight School for my training, but I do not know which flight school is suitable for students who have zero experience in flying. Furthermore, I heard that flight schools are costly for a low-income family, so can anyone advise me on how to afford a flight school? My grandfather was a Captain for American Airlines, but he passed away a long time ago, and no one in my family is a pilot for American Airlines. However, my grandmother used to tell me the beautiful things that my grandfather achieved during his aviation career. From that moment, I have decided that I will become a pilot for American Airlines in the future. Can anyone guide me on how I can succeed in achieving my dreams?

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Ahmed Deptto

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If you look up and to the left you’ll clearly see the ATP logo. This is ATPs website and all the mentors are former ATP students who are now successful airline pilots. We’re not salesmen but we were all in your position at one time and all made the decision to train with ATP, so we’re all obviously fans of the program.

ATP has been training pilots for the airlines for over 35yrs and has literally placed thousands of pilots with the airlines during that time. The pioneered the Airline Career Pilot Program as well as airline partnerships to help their students be successful. There really is no more efficient route to a career as an airline pilot.

That all said flight training is expensive regardless of the school you go to and there really isn’t anyway around that. The majority of students take out student loans as there really aren’t any scholarships available. That said, due to ATPs airline partnerships (including PSAs and Envoys flow to American Airlines Airline Pilot Hiring Partnerships / ATP Flight School), if you sign an agreement of conditional employment with one of the partner Regionals you may be eligible for tuition reimbursement which will help considerably.

I recommend you visit our FAQ section where we outline the process and answer many common questions.


Hey Ahmed! Welcome back.

Most students finance their training. If you end up choosing to train with ATP, ATP primarily offers personal loans through Sallie Mae which include several repayment and deferral options. More details here: Flight Training Loans / ATP Flight School

Another thing to consider is Tuition Reimbursement and sign on bonuses offered by the regional airlines. Airline Sponsored Pilot Training / ATP Flight School

I participated in Horizon Air’s Tuition Reimbursement program when I was a CFI for ATP. Because of that I was able to make my loan payments every month, no problem.


The first place you should start: taking an intro flight. It’s awesome to have a dream but before you make a huge financial commitment, make sure you can handle flying in a small trainer and enjoy it. Not everyone can. If that goes well and leaves you wanting more…then you’re headed down the right path.

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