June 19th Start Date

I got my start date for June 19th in Arlington Texas with ATP. I am leaving my firefighting career of 16 years and depending on my wife to support us thru the training and Instructing phase until I make regionals. I am excited and terrified all at the same time. My dream of flying is becoming real and that means so much. But the unknowns are scary. Im leaving a steady secure job and retirement to go into the unknown for me. As well as where I end up training will I be forced to CFI for a year away from my family ect. I will be making a blog on my journey to hopefully help others and I look forward to flying.



Keep in mind that you can always find a job flight instructing at an airport that is closer to your family. You aren’t being forced to flight instruct away from them, there are other options available to you. Most students chose to return to ATP to instruct, but some that are in situations like yours chose not to.

A blog would be great, I would like to follow you through your progress. Congratulations on taking the next step.



Hey Derrick,

Congratulations on the start date, I bet it’s super exciting.

The way things are looking right now, you shouldn’t be too scared regarding job security. You will quickly find yourself in a great spot at one of the regionals and the majors won’t be far off. I feel like it was just yesterday that I started flight training at KIWA a couple years ago.

Definitely share your blog with us here on the forum. I’ll be curious to know how your training goes over there at KGKY.


Congrats Derrick on taking a VERY BIG first step!

Of course it’s scary, change often is especially when there’s no “net”. If it gives you any comfort you are getting into aviation at probably the best time there’s ever been. When I started the Regionals weren’t recruiting and the salaries were half what they are now. If you sent in an application before meeting their mins it would be kicked and they might even skip over you a few times just to teach you a lesson. Now they’re fighting over you at 500hrs! Even the Majors are actively recruiting which is unheard of! As I said change can be scary and there are of course no guarantees but your chance of success is the best it’s ever been. Work hard, maintain a good attitude and you will be successful.

Keep us posted.



Thank you all for the encouragement. I have an amazing family support system and am confident all will be great. I am doing in full force. After 4 years in the military and 15 years in the fire service I should be fine lol. Now just to pass those check rides the first time

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I wish the best for you at ATP Arlington. I am in a similar situation as I start at ATP Denver June 26th (Credit Private). In June of 2015 I left Law Enforcement after 15 years. I was also in the military for 3 years. My Wife is very supportive of my decision. She will be holding down the fort and taking care of our 3 kids while I’m away. Looking forward to hear how things go for you.

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This is awesome and I wish you all the best. I look forward to hearing from you and the following you through your blog!