Prospective student

Hello pilots, so firstly, I got an associate degree in culinary arts and truth be told, I really have never been happy in the kitchen. So I’m looking for a career change, and am thinking about becoming a pilot. So, any advice would be appreciated. The reason I’m thinking of becoming a pilot is because I want to challenge myself and push myself further. Thanks for any and all advice/ info.


Not sure what kind of advice you’re looking(?) for but I recommend you spend some time browsing this forum. Maybe start with the FAQs ( as you’re sure to get some answers to the most FAQs. After that maybe come back with more specific questions.

Other than that I have to ask have you ever flown a small plane? While many people are captivated by the idea of being a pilot and enjoy sitting in the back flying to Florida for Spring Break the fact is until you’ve flown in a small airplane you really don’t know. If the answer is no you haven’t I STRONGLY recommend you do before you spend too much time and energy on something you really may not enjoy. If there’s an ATP location nearby they have a fantastic Intro Flight program ( if not just Google your closest flight school and schedule a lesson. Until you do you simply won’t know.


I was an Aviation Science major for a year and a half… that was 12 years ago. I have always wanted to fly but life and a different career path got in the way. Now I am going to do it. I have been a DOD contractor if Afghanistan for a long time now saving money for this school. Question is about payment to the school. Is it all paid up front or in stages? This correlates to how long I need to stay out here in Afghanistan. I have $40K saved up now. After my tax return in Jan. I should have $60-70K. Should I stay out here dodging mortars and living in not so great environment till I hit $100K+? Or can I finally leave here and pay in installments when I get back. Probly driving uber at night or weekends to have some kind of cash flow. Believe me. I want out of here. Between 14 yeas of military and a year and a half of contracting I have spent almost 3 years of my life in deployed locations. My credit isn’t great and I used my GI Bill for a bachelors already and still paying off some student loans for the bachelors. So I think qualifying for student loans is way out of the question. Should I stay here and endure long enough to have the full ATP tuition money to pay for school all at once plus some to live on for a while… or can I go home and pay in installments and find a small income source when I’m not flying?


You need to contact ATP Admin as to how the payments need to be made. More important however is if you want to be successful you will not be working while training with ATP. You need to understand that ATP compresses years worth of training into 9mos. This requires ALL your time and energy. I’m sure you’re thinking “I’m a bright guy, I can do it”. Trust me you can’t. Many have tried and all have failed. So to that end I recommend whether ATP will let you pay it out or not, you have all the funds in place before you start.