July 2016 Schedule

The following is my July schedule, I had 16 days off this month.

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  13. EWR-SAN
  15. FLL-EWR
  16. EWR-SAN
  18. DEN-EWR
  19. Off
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  22. YVR-EWR
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  27. Off
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  29. EWR-LAS
  31. Off

Hello Chris,

Thank you for posting your schedule. I am still considering this amazing profession. The only thing that makes me nervous is the pay and getting a decent amount of flying time as a new pilot with an airline. Would you be able to give any insight on how much flying time a new pilot would get and if they are struggling financially with paying for some of these flight programs? Thanks for any advice you have.

Good luck out there

Very Respectively,

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I am glad that posting my schedule is of some benefit to you.

First year pay can be a bit tough at the airlines, but it gets better. Check out this article that I wrote about airline pay, I think that it will answer a lot of your questions: What Do Pilots Really Earn?

Also, a relatively new program on the horizon is the tuition reimbursement program. Check out this page for more on that: https://atpflightschool.com/airline-career-pilot-program/tuition-reimbursement.html Basically if you commit to a regional airline while you are a flight instructor they will help pay your loan payments, up to $11,000. This is a pretty cool program and a great way to help new pilots stand on their feet financially.

Your first few years in the airlines might be a bit tighter than you would like, but it is not as bad as some make it out to be and the payoff later down the road is huge.


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Thanks for posting your schedule Chris, it’s nice to see a real life an example of the type of work I’m tracking towards.

It looks like a nice schedule, is this a schedule you had to work up to, is this a less than desirable schedule or just luck of the draw for the month of July.

Keep the blue side up and happy tail winds,


Welcome to the forums and thanks for posting!

This is a pretty normal schedule for me. I suppose that I get a few more
days off than a new hire, but overall there is not much difference in our
schedules. I do get to pick my destinations pretty easily though as I am
relatively senior on this airplane. For a different perspective on
schedules check out Eric’s schedules as he is a brand new hire.

Where do you stand in your quest to be a pilot? Are you currently in
school or working?

Keep your questions coming. I look forward to working with you as you
explore this career option.


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Your schedule was very helpful. I am noticing a number of days off and finding you site that the FAA requires you to max out around 85 hours. Can you fill in those other days with available flight time elsewhere?

I know I’m probably turning into your biggest pest and I appreciate your responses to my 20 (+) questions lol

Thank you,



You can actually fly up to about 100 hours, I quote 85 as that is a good average. So, yes, you can fill some of those days up with extra flying, but only a few of them. If you are looking at budgeting in regards to this career I would plan your budget on a max of 90 hours per month. Think of anything else as a bonus.

No worries at all on your questions. I am happy to help, that is what I am here for :slight_smile: Keep the questions coming.


It’s not necessarily A budgetary standpoint as much as it is being a workaholic by nature! I currently putting close 60 to 80 hours a week without batting an eye. I’ve worked like this my entire life and enjoy every minute of it. I’m just seeking that fulfilling lifestyle I’ve never found. I always had a dream of piloting an aircraft and until recently didn’t think it was possible without military. Now I’m finding out differently

Trust me, 100 hours in a month doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is. That is only flight time. All the time in the airport, getting the airplane ready, at the hotel, etc is not considered to be flight time. At the end of a 20 hour four day trip you will be ready to enjoy a few days off.

Aviation is really not limited to military pilots. In fact, I would say that the majority of pilots I fly with come from a civilian background.


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Your second fact about civilian is what I’ve found to be true since I’ve started my research a couple months ago. This is a statistic that has gotten me excited about the aviation field again!!

Hey Chris, I am ready to the plunge into ATP but I am very concerned about being able to pay off the student loan that comes with. Personally my bills and rent come out to 1055 and then whatever I spend on food or entertainment per month. Plus about 200 towards a credit card. So total I guess around 1700 a month average. Do you think that I would be able to add on that huge student loan my first six months and get enough flying time to support my sel.

Hey John,

No guarantees but that should be a doable. Know of course your “entertainment” expense will/should go down some. Also at 500hrs you’ll be eligible to participate in the tuition reimbursement and that should help as well. As we’ve been saying and there’s really no way around it, these is the “apprentice” phase and it will be tight financially and require some sacrifice. In the end I’m certain you’ll see it was worth it.


Hi Chris,

I realized I never responded to this post as to where I am in my request to become a pilot.

Right now I’m planning to start ATP in Jan of 2017, 2 1/2 short months away. I’m still completing an online Jeppesen Ground School I purchased while at my previous flight school to keep my aviation mind active.

I’ve already completed a school visit and introductory flight here in Chicago, now to complete the financial aid apps and start the scary part, being financial aid.


Thanks for the update, I am glad to hear that you are keeping your mind in aviation. I hope that the financial aid part works out well for you. Again, I appreciate the update.


Dear Chris,
Is there anyway I can contact you, perhaps E-mail, I have so many questions, if you can find the time to reply to me it would be greatly appreciated sir, I have been interested in this career for quite some time now, I just want to know what I need to do because i am about to go to highschool, like I said any feedback would be greatly appreciated
Jarod Powell



Adam and I would both be happy to answer your questions, but we prefer that you post them as questions in the main forum, that way other people can benefit from your questions. We understand that you have lots of questions, that is great! Head over to the “Questions and Answers” section and start posting.


Thank you for the response, ill post them on the q and a part of the

Hi Chris, I had some additional questions about the bidding and schedule process.

Can you bid for certain destinations or certain lengths of trips- like if i wanted to be home on a more frequent basis (2-3day trips).

Also, after the schedules are released, can you swap parts of your schedule with another pilot who is also seeking a different schedule?

Hi Bob,

Might be past Chris’ bedtime so I’ll chime in. You can absolutely bid for destinations and trip lengths, whether you get them or not of course depends on your seniority. More senior you are, more you get what YOU want.

Not only can you swap trips with other pilots you can also swap trips with “open time”. Open time is a list of trips that have yet to be assigned or someone has called out sick for. By the end of the month my schedule rarely looks like it did at the beginning.


awesome! thanks so much adam