Looking for direction

Iam a college graduate with a bachelors in aviation science.

I do my flight training on my own paying out of pocket.

I have my PPL and working on my instrument but basically out of money to continue training having already used multiple personal loans and now stuck with working on paying them off.

Does anyone have any ideas or direction I should take to finish my training and find away to pay for it.

I plan to fly at Cape air. I currently work there as a ramp lead and can become an FO with only 250 hours using our internal gateway program. Just having trouble affording it.

Thanks - Drew.


Unfortunately your situation is common. Local schools aren’t known for efficient flight training.

How far along are you on your instrument training? If I were you, I’d work a few months to save some living expenses for 5 months. Apply for a loan to start ATP ACPP credit private. That is the last entry point for the program. If your loan request is approved, you’d be set for the rest of your training.



It sounds like you tried taking the avenue I first began when I started out. I quickly realized that I was not financially “wealthy” to tackle all of my training and actually found a means of borrowing money to complete my private pilot training. While paying off the borrowed money, I found this forum in 2019, months after I became a private pilot and then quickly made the leap of faith trusting ATP with my career. Securing a loan can be tough for some as many young individuals (not assuming age), don’t have enough credit and/or financially stable enough to make repayment off the gecko. I struggled to get a loan, but after hours of negotiating with Sallie Mae, it worked. If you had questions about ATP’s loan process, you would want to contact the finance department.

In order to fly as a commercial pilot, you will need to have a minimum of a Commercial Pilot Certificate, the minimums to qualify for that practical test is 250 TT. If you’re not far from your Instrument Add-On, I would recommend looking at ATP for the remainder of your training - you will receive everything up to your ATP license. You will need to have a multi-engine add-on eventually since Cape Air (as you know), flies both Tecnam P2012 Traveler and Cessna 402C. Below is a screenshot of what you’d receive if you attended ATP Credit Private:

Finding the right flight school that fits your needs is really important in this case. You want to ensure you meet regulatory requirements. Below is a quick screenshot of the regulation for the Commercial Certificate. ATP does a good job ensuring you meet all requirements for each checkride:

Who knows, maybe ATP opens another door other than Cape Air and now you have options? I’d look into everything. I am a bit bias of ATP because I was successful at ATP and believe in the process. ATP has been in busy for over 35+ years and now grown to over 70 locations. When I started in 2020, there were 36 locations. Two years the company has expanded double and still has one of the highest checkride pass rates.



As you know flying is expensive and there is no way around it.

Honestly, I think you already know the answer to your question. You need money. It’s that simple. It sounds to me like you put the cart before the horse.

Just like you, most people finance their training. If you are set on continuing with your Cape Air plan, just keep saving until you have enough to complete all of your training. If not, I would consider ATP’s credit for private program.


Thank you for your advice!

I have just about everything done for the instrument rating just lacking about 20hours of XC time and the written exam.

Another question was would it make sense to complete all the required training to fly with cape air and knowing I would be an FO until 1500 hours then owe them 2 years as a captain just to go to another regional airline like republic for jet time and then on to a major. Orrrrr should I CFI and go to something like republic.

The only reason I say Cape Air is because having already worked for them I can apply internally and be taken as an FO with as little as 250 hours.


You started this post saying you’re tapped out and don’t have money. You’re now saying through Cape Air’s internal program they’ll put you to work at 250 AND save you the cost of becoming a CFI BUT you’ll owe them 2yrs as a Capt.

Frankly I don’t understand your question? Sounds like Cape Air is offering you a solution.


There are various paths to the airlines. What you SHOULD do is whatever you think is best for you.

Keep in mind that every year that passes while you are time building or tied to a contract you are sacrificing the last years of your earning potential and quality of life at an airline.

I would recommend the most efficient path but again you need to do what is best for you.


Yes, I added to the previous question. To “re word”. Once all certifications and ratings are obtained for Cape Air would it make sense to go there and then another Regional for jet time or scrap that and obtain CFI certificate and blow off flying 402s for a min of 3 years.

Basically should I do that and start getting paid to fly early on or just stick it out as a cfi and go straight to jets.

Just looking for a little more direction as Iam the only person in my family perusing aviation ever.

Thanks - Drew.

Please don’t fly paycheck to paycheck.

You need a lump sum of money (cash or loan). You need to budget like 10-15% extra because you’ll be rusty and need some more flights than you think.

What’s your total time?

Will Cape Air pay for the rest of training to get Commercial and 250tt? Or is that a job once you have 250hrs?

Do you have anyone that can co-sign a loan?

Can’t give advice without accurate info of situation.

Chris F

Total time is 100 hours. Short 25 hours of XC time as PIC to earn the instrument rating. Cape air will pay for training but will add on about 6 months for each rating/certificate paid for to the contact.

Sounds fair to me.



If funding is an issue, this sounds like your best path forward.


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