Let's be realistic

I have a plan to launch myself into a accelerated career in aviation. If this plan is realistic, if even possible, any input is greatly appreciated. So here’s my thinking:

  1. Go to this 4 year university ( I have one in specific picked out) and follow the Proffesional Pilot program and major in an aviation field.
  2. Graduate with my R-ATP and major in aviation field
  3. Fly for a airline my college is partnered with (for this example I will use Gojet, which the college is partnered with amongst others)
  4. In 12-18. Months upgrade to captain
  5. Fly for say a year and half as a captain
  6. Apply to the major airlines

I figure on flying an average of 83 hours a month as stated by Gojet’s website. I also figure that a year and a half will give me about 1,500 hours PIC in turbine aircraft. Most majors I see require a minimum of 1,000 PIC in turbine aircraft. The year I would be applying to the majors hopefully is expected to have a lot of mandatory requirements as well per airline pilot central.com
Maybe that would make entry easier?

Wyatt P.


Couple of questions/ potential holes in the plan.

  1. While yes you CAN obtain an R-ATP after graduating from an accredited 4 yr program you still need to build the 1000hrs required for the R-ATP? 1,000 hrs is a lot of time to build instructing part time while still in school.

  2. Again you will graduate with a degree and the ABILITY to earn your R-ATP.

3)Yes after you build the time I’m sure you can get hired by the schools Regional partner.

  1. Upgrade times vary significantly and can be as little as 18 mos BUT can take much longer.

  2. While yes ONCE you get to the left seat 18 mos would build you around 1500 PIC which is just above the MINIMUM Major requirement for the Majors. There’s minimum and then there’s competitive. I know at least 2 dozen Regional CA’s with several thousand hours turbine PIC who still haven’t gotten picked up by a Major.

  3. You can apply to any Major once you meet their mins, doesn’t mean you’re getting an interview.

Not trying to rain on your parade but every step in your plan you’re counting on everything being perfect AND you making those moves with the minimum time. Is it possible? Sure but you asked if it was realistic and frankly it is not. You’re basically saying you can graduate from university and be at a Major in 3 yrs. Honestly I’ve never seen anyone come close to that.



I agree with Adam on this one. It’s good that you are trying to plan ahead, but you are very optimistic. A more realistic approach would be to plan for 8-10 years.

  1. Go to a 4 year university and graduate with about 300-400hrs total time - 4 years.
  2. Build up 1000hrs as a flight instructor (full time) - 1 year.
  3. Get hired at GoJet and upgrade - 2 years.
  4. Build time as a regional captain and wait for the call from a major - 2-3 years.

And this is still an optimistic take on it. I have met some regional captains that have been waiting for the call for upwards of 10 years.
Like Adam, I am not trying to burst your bubble here, I just want you to have the correct information.


Thank you for reading my long question :slight_smile:
To answer your concerns:

  1. I think that I will have 1000 hours when I graduate? Flight school is integrated with your degree. Not sure, but the colleges website says R-ATP is offered at the university with the program.
  2. Not sure if I’ll have to flight instruct after college
  3. I agree with your #3
  4. I agree with you partly on #4
    And here’s why: 1,000 PIC turbine is required to apply to most majors and legacy. 1 1/2 years would give me roughly 1,500 hours PIC. The year I would hopefully be applying to majors is supposed to have a humongous amount of retirements ( even more than now!) So to me this means taking pilots like me with 1,500 hours PIC :slight_smile:

Adam I’m not arguing or anything I’m just saying what’s on my brain, and I understand you know the industry way more than me because you live it :slight_smile:

Many thanks,
Wyatt P.

Thank you as well for reading my long question. I have responded to Adam and feel free to read my response and correct me if you feel :slight_smile:
Wyatt P.

I just received an email back from the college. They say in the email that graduates have about 350 hours. I have a more realistic picture now and see what Adam and Yarden were saying. Full time Instructors get roughly 500 hours a year correct?


The key word there is ELIGIBLE. Listen I’m not arguing either. YOU asked the question is your plan realistic? I’m also not trying to “pull rank” but I’ve been in this business for 13 years, have been an instructor at the airlines (and have been on the hiring board), AND know literally hundreds of pilots. If you believe I’m wrong OK and honestly I hope you’re right. That said I’ll give you a little more FYI. Since I’ve been flying there are basically 2 types of pilots I’ve flown with, those who have realistic expectations and those that don’t. The ones that don’t are often disappointed and are usually very unpleasant to fly with, those that do are thankful for their good fortune when it comes and are generally happier pilots and people in general :slight_smile:

As for the time you’ll build it completely depends on the flight school. Some are very busy (like ATP) and some are not.


I understand that nothing is for sure. That’s just life, and I understand that. I wasn’t suggesting that you were arguing, I was just letting you know that I wasn’t arguing or trying to look down upon your thoughts. I know I asked the question, and like I said, was just saying what was on my brain. I would never try to pull your rank, as I know you would not mine either (hopefully). I don’t deny your skills, I admire them. Although I don’t understand your last two sentences. Are you con notating that I have unrealistic expectations and will be unpleasant to fly with? If so, I take great offense to that. As for my university, I understand some are busier than others. Instructors at this university get roughly 80 hours a month, and at peak season some instructors receive up to 200 hours. Adam, I’m not arguing, and there is no reason for you to be upset with me.

Wyatt Parks


I apologize if I offended you, that was surely not my intent. I was simply relating some information I felt was relevant based on my experience.

200 hrs a mos? Doing some simple math that’s over 6hrs a day EVERY day. FYI,
§61.195 Flight instructor limitations and qualifications.
**A person who holds a flight instructor certificate is subject to the following limitations: **
**(a) Hours of training. In any 24-consecutive-hour period, a flight instructor may not conduct more than 8 hours of flight training. **
Could be difficult.


Apology accepted. no harm, no foul. I understand. Yes, this seems crazy to me. Trust me, I had to read that one twice.