How to do this with a family

My husband is thinking about going to school. We have 3 children 13,11 and 1.5. He seems to think he will have enough time for a part time job? From everything I have read it looks like that wont be possible. We homeschool the oldest two so we figure we would do this in Florida or Houston and have fun with it since we are in Nebraska. Questions: he is a vet so how does the GI bill come into play? Any advice on affording living expenses, how much will he be gone not only as a student and flight instructor, but as a commercial pilot? (I saw they can only fly 1000/year but how much of that other time is spent at home vs in other areas?) I saw the GI bill only covers $15k per year so how do you go about getting financed for the rest?


Lots of good questions so let’s get you some answers.

  1. You are correct, your husband would not be able to work even part-time during the program. To clarify obviously ATP can’t stop him but the program is very accelerated and requires a huge commitment which many find challenging. Attempting to work is setting yourself up for failure and there aren’t do-overs. Checkride failures stay on your record permanently and can seriously impact a career.

  2. Unfortunately due to the accelerated nature of the program and the yearly limit, he would only be able to use his benefits to cover examiner fees (approx $9000). However the benefits of getting started sooner seniority and pay wise would far exceed the cost of training.

  3. Pilots fly away from home. That’s kind of a given with the job. During training he will really need to focus all his attention on the training and will have minimal family time. Instructing won’t be much better. As a general rule pilots are gone approx 15 days a month and if he needs to commute considerably more.

  4. The majority of students either self fund or take out student loans to cover the cost of training. Many also take out additional funds to cover living expenses.

There are many threads that address all your questions (and many others). Id encourage you and your husband to do some browsing for more detailed answers.