I am preparing to leave the Air Force after 8 years. Aviation has always been a great interest to me, so why not be in the clouds. I am financially set to apply for whatever school, but considering going to a local flight school because I own my house in this town. I currently am facing an Other Than Honorable or general discharge from the military. Will this create difficulties for me being hired down the road at regionals? Also, has anyone had any difficulties with local flight schools? Thank you for your time.
An Other Than Honorable Discharge, will at the very least beg ALOT of questions. The Regionals are pretty desperate these days so you may have a shot but honestly I’d contact some Regional recruiters first to be certain. In the past I can tell you it was a problem and will probably be one should you want to advance to a Major.
As for training locally virtually every pilot I know (plus most of the mentors on here) all have local flight school horror stories. The long short of it is your local flight school simply doesn’t have the resources (airplanes and instructors) to provide the consistency you need to be successful. Further most people who train locally find the process both expensive and ineffective. The majority either switch to full time academies or quit. This is why most of these schools have few (if any) success stories. By contrast ATP had nearly 1200 grads go to the airlines in the last year alone.
Thank you for the quick info on this. I know I will never have a chance at the majors due to this and fully accept that fact. I’ll be calling around to a few regionals this week and will keep the thread up to date. Do you know if this will effect my chances of flying the corporate route?
No one can say for certain regarding corporate but in many cases their standards are even higher than the airlines. When someone spends $100mil on a new G8 to fly their family or partners around the world, a VERY thorough background check is usually part of the process. That said there are many different levels out there and depending on the circumstances of your discharge (which is your business) you may find someone with a sympathetic ear willing to give you a shot.
Short answer is you probably won’t know until you try. What I can tell you is the more you can put on the “plus” side to balance it out the better.
Yes, this will most likely cause you problems when applying to the airlines. If anything, you will have to answer a lot of questions about this and better have a darn good reason. The fact is that the vast majority of service members serve with honor and many airline pilots are former military, they will not take kindly to the kind of discharge you are facing. Without knowing the specifics of what you did, it is hard to give specific advice. I cannot with a clean conscious tell you that everything will work out, even at the regional level, I just do not know.