Navy F/A-18 WSO to future career with airlines

Hello all! I’m a WSO currently working on my private pilot license (should finish up this spring). I am able to get out of the Navy in about a year and a half, hoping to start a career with the airlines. I would love to stay on the west coast. Any advice on where I should start?

Thank you in advance!



Well since you’ll have your ppl,

You can start with credit for private at atp (this is an atp forum after all) and the price would be about 20k less than zero time price.

You can also start by taking your writtens exams. But they’re valid for 24 months, so be cautious of that since you said you’ll leave in a year and a half.


Welcome to the forums. Your best bet is to finish your PPL, then I recommend working on your written exams. Other than that, there is not too much else you can do. Having your written out of the way before you begin training would be a huge advantage to you, but do keep in mind the 24 month limit on the exams validity period.


WSO (Weapons Systems Officer). “Wizzo” right? Aren’t you already a pilot?

You went through Naval Flight school in Pensacola? You should be able to just do military competency flights as my “brother” military pilots do all the time.

FAR Part 61.41 should cover all the flight time earned. I have friends and family both that have used it for check rides over the years. In both helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft.

WSOs are generally not pilots. Military pilots are well versed in converting their experience to civilian licenses.

Jordan, did you fly in the navy? I’d really like to ask you a few questions about aircraft and procedures if you’d be willing to answer them and if this applies to you.