Just wanted to formally introduce myself since I have a few free moments.
I’ve had a passion for flying since I was 16, when I started that journey towards my PPL. Was able to knock out about 32 hours of flying under Part 61, however, after so many years and being able to look back, I can see my instructors didn’t really have a talent for teaching/mentoring (or I may have been immature at the time).
Life happened, joined the Air Force, and hit some major obstacles which got in the way of sustaining my training, up until recently. I’m stationed at Lackland AFB as an MTI, which eats up about 60-70 hours a week, 6-7 days a week. I took 26 days of leave and was able to focus my PPL training on a daily basis, leaving me now with just learning cross-country and about 8 hours of solo time left to complete before I’m eligible to take the checkride.
My intention is to obtain my IFR and CPL, but was hoping to get some advice from established pilots here as to what would be the smartest move. I plan to retire when I hit 20, which puts me at 38yrs old. Would it be better to try and finance/pay out of pocket for my ratings while I’m in, or wait until I retire and go through the various pilot training programs in the civilian sector? My intention is to reach my dream with flying in the majors.
Welcome to the forums and thank you for the introduction.
I think you have answered your own question about part time training. Let’s just look at the facts, you are several years into this and still do not have a PPL. I see absolutely no way possible to effectively train while working sixty hours per week, flight training is time intensive and requires a great deal of free time to be available for study. Sneaking in a few lessons here and there is never going to cut it.
I would recommend finishing out your twenty years with the service, then going to a flight school that offers an accelerated flight training program.
You did not mention if you have a degree or not. The major airlines will want to see a college degree, so if you don’t have one, perhaps you could work on one while you are still in the service.
I second everything Chris said. My only caveat is if/when you’re ever in an airline interview I would not blame the lack of progress you had on “my instructors didn’t really have a talent for teaching”.
Thanks for the quick replies and welcome. I appreciate all tips and advice you can provide.
I apologize for not elaborating further regarding my training. I didn’t mean to place blame of my lack of progress on my previous instructors, only that I could see a difference in intensity with regards to helping me become better.
My lack of progress from when I started was due to me and my life circumstances, impeding my ability to continue while in high school. I ended up taking a hiatus for a few years before even attempting to fly again, only to fly sporadically once again up until just recently when I took a month of leave.
The instructor I have now focuses on all the minor details to ensure I don’t lose sight of them (i.e. maintaining heading, altitude, and airspeed precisely; not overcorrecting when turbulence hits; etc). It’s annoying as hell, but I see the value in it and feel it’s made me a better, more confident pilot.