I'm on the edge ... push me off!


I have not taken any steps towards ATP at this point in time apart from gathering all the info I possibly can. I’ve joined the forum so I could read through everyone’s personal experiences. Basically I’m not going to put any money towards the process until I know for certain this is the direction I’m going to go with my life.

I have a little more tying me down than most of the people I have spoken to at ATP weather they are teaching or enrolled. I have a wife, a one year old son, and a 200k mortgage. We have discussed downsizing to reduce our mortgage and have been looking at houses in the area. I’f I’m going to leave the safety of my career, be out of work for 9 months, an accrue a 65k dept we need to be able to survive off my wife’s income for a year or so and then I need to be making money to dig us out of the whole I’ll put us in. I’m sure you all understand it’s not an easy decision.

All that being said I would be more apt to jump in if I knew I could turn around and be an instructor in Concord. This would eliminate the need to move my family (again) and have my wife try to find a new job in an area we probably wouldn’t stay in anyways. At the very least we need to stay in NC because that is where she is licensed for nursing and the only state in which I can “moonlight” in real estate.

One of the instructors I spoke with said after getting my CFIs I wouldn’t have trouble finding an instructor position in the area outside of ATP. I have clarified ATP will still help me land a career but I would forfeit the tuition reimbursement if I was an instructor elsewhere.

I guess I’m looking for people to talk me into taking the risk. Also, is there a good place to search for jobs weather they be corporate or commercial? I just want to read through actual postings; I know I’m a ways away from the application process.

Thanks for your time!

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I am in the same boat as you. 37, married , 2 kids, house … and I have yet to regret the decision. Obviously it is hard for ATP to guarantee an exact location due to the constant changing needs of the student / instructor flow. However I have been told that they will do everything they can to get you there, but it may require a short term at another location to allow for instructors to move around or move to the airlines. The reward is definitely worth the sacrifice! Also , if you chose not to instruct for ATP there are definitely many flight schools looking for instructors. Read my story in the link above. Hopefully it helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

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Honestly I would never try and talk anyone into anything, particularly of this magnitude. While I know your situation is YOUR situation (and therefore VERY real to you), the truth is you situation is quite common. I had 3 children and my mortgage was double yours. Does that mean my mine was worse? Of course not, I’m just saying. There are only 1 thing I can really tell you. This is by far the best time in history to become a pilot. First year pay is 3-4 times what it was and the Regionals are recruiting actively vs you begging for an interview. Major salaries have been restored to their former glory and they’re hiring as well. That all said there are no guarantees. This my friend is called life. Some people take risks, others do not. I did and it was the single best decision of my life. With all do respect I don’t believe you should be looking to be “pushed”, you need to jump and that’s ALL ON YOU.

There are MANY good websites. Just Google Pilot Jobs.




If you are looking for somebody to help you make the decision to start flight school, then you need to keep thinking about this for yourself. Starting flight school is a major decision with large financial and lifestyle implications. If you aren’t sure yet, don’t jump in. Spend more time on this board asking questions and learning about the job. That being said, we will never push you to take the leap, we are not salesman here, just pilots that help answer questions.


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