Hello! This is my first time reporting to this wonderful community! First of all, I want to thank all the mentors and former/current students for providing all the answers and information so kindly and patiently. This is such an invaluable support for prospective pilots, and I’m truly thankful and motivated. I think the very existence of this forum was one of the major deciding factors in choosing ATP for me.
Sorry I have so many questions! My head is all over the place, but my mind is already flying into the clear blue sky!
I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for the last 4.5yrs. Before I became a mom, I had a couple of major career changes due to my husband’s relocation. The last position I held before our little girl arrived was what led me to my dream of becoming a pilot. I was a red coat agent for Delta’s regional airline. As I saw those amazing machines soaring off into the sunrise every morning, my dream to be in the cockpit grew and grew. After having lived my dream life of raising my children at home, I’m finally ready to take the next step to make my new career goal come true. So here I go!
(I’m aware some of these topics have been covered in the forum before, but also noticed that they’re slightly outdated. In this fast changing world, I want to make sure I have up-to-date info/perspectives. Thank you!)
1. Is my life going to be manageable during the ATP fast track training? Should I consider the Flex track?
I’m a mother of 2 young children, 4yrs old and 20mos old. They’re now both in daycare from 9-5. While my husband and I are both determined to do what it takes, I would appreciate some clear and realistic advice on how my life with young kids may look. I do not want to jeopardize my family’s well being and my mental health in any dramatic way. Would it be worth considering Flex track, which is more expensive? If you had a family with young children during your training and/or first few years of your pilot career, please share your experience. Any advice/encouragement are greatly appreciated!
2. 1-hour commuting!
Has anyone dealt with a long commute between the training center and home? The closest training center is LGB and it is about 30mi (roughly 1-hr drive) away from where I live. I wonder if anyone has done a similar (or worse?!) commuting and if there is a way to make that time more productive.
3. What does your schedule/life look like for the first couple of years as a regional airline pilot? How long does it take to reach seniority where you feel more comfortable and satisfied?
I totally understand I’ll be picking up less desirable lines for a long time and will be away from home a couple days in a row, but I want to really understand what my family and I should expect, aka “the worst case scenario.” What is newbie pilots’ life like? I’m already dreaming of the day when I look back and say, “wow I’ve come a long way, and now I’m pretty happy with my lines and schedule!”
4. How are the written tests conducted?
I’ll have to be out of the country for a couple of months while I get ready to start my full-time training. Are any of the tests conducted online where I could take them while I’m abroad? How flexible are the availability of these 6 tests? You can pick any day/time of the year?
5. Can you please see if my plan sounds reasonable?
My plan is to make an FAA medical appointment ASAP, complete my introductory training flight (very excited about this!), student loan secured, and pay my deposit so I can have access to all the studying materials for the written tests. I will need some time to wrap up my situation and be ready to fully dedicate myself to ATP training, so I’ll probably set my start date to be sometime in the September-October of this year. So the goal is to knock out all the written tests before that time. Please share your thoughts on how feasible it sounds! Am I missing anything?
Your time and thoughtfulness to answer my questions are genuinely appreciated! I’m very excited to be a part of the aspiring pilots community where we all support each other.
Have a wonderful day, everyone!