Schedule for Studying

I am Currently going to flight school and I need some advice on my schedule. I am Currently working a full time job. M-F- 7:30 to 6:45 if that. I get home and I study the ground school portion for one hour and then I do my religious study for about a half hour and then I like to talk to my fiancé for about one hour. All in that time frame, I get done around 9:45. For 15 minutes, I read a book. So I have about one hour before I’m in bed at 11:00 and officially asleep by 12.
Im off on the weekends so if the Flight instructor schedules in training for about three hours on those days , then I will go. How many hours should I study on the weekends. I got people saying you should have no recreation at all and then it should all be study and then cleaning.

Is my schedule on the weekdays good or what should I change? What do you suggest?

I will be starting a new job and that schedule will be 8-5.

Oliver,

Normally I like to see students fly at least 3 times per week. To be honest, your schedule sounds too restrictive to complete your training in a reasonable amount of time. With only weekend availability you are banking on those days to be good flying days.

I understand that you may not have the ability to work less, but I would encourage you to reconsider if at all possible. We are all big fans of ATP’s Fast Track program. But if you must work ATP also has a Flex Track program. Extra funds can be added to the loan (if necessary) to cover living expenses.

I know it may seem like a big risk not working, but it pays off the quicker you reach the airlines.

Tory

Oliver,

I’m more interested in how much flying you’re doing each week and what license rating you’re working. While ground school is important the flying is much more so and if you’re not flying consistently you’ll not advance.

Adam

My flight instructor hasn’t taken us up for the flying portion yet. I will be starting a new job in two weeks so hopefully that helps.

I’m still doing the ground school portion as my flight instructor said so. But my flight instructor hasn’t taken us up for the flying portion yet.

Oliver,

Honestly ground school with no context has little point. Flying is not just the goal, it’s the motivation. I don’t know what you’re goal is, if it’s simply to fly for recreation then I guess that’s fine but if this is something you want to pursue as a career this is not the way to go.

Adam

Based on my post, what do you suggest sir?

I still don’t know what your goals are?

Adam

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For me, I love to fly. I love to travel. For me, I want to get my PP License and then after, work on getting my CPL if that makes sense.

Oliver,

No not really? It’s a simple question, so you aspire to fly professionally, do you not or are you not sure?

If it’s anything beyond recreational flying I’d commit to a program like ATPs that was created to train professional pilots. There a reason the military and the airlines train full time and if you’re serious you will also. Simply by the fact your school has you focusing on ground school study vs actually flying demonstrates there a disconnect. Again if you want to be a professional you should train like one.

Adam

Oliver,

What are your aviation aspirations after you earn your CPL and what is your plan to reach that goal?

Tory

Yes I do

After I earn it. To continue getting the skills and knowledge and flight hours as well.

Oliver,

Until you can fly at least two times per week, preferably three, I really do not see any point in continuing your flight training. While I appreciate how hard you are studying, the actual flying is just as important and you are not doing anywhere near enough of it. I would suggest postponing your training until you have your new schedule and perhaps until the days are longer and you have some light in the evenings.

Chris

Oliver,

Yes. And then what? Airlines? Cargo? Corporate? What’s the end goal? I think the point that we are all trying to make is that ground school by itself is not enough. I think you need to figure out what the end goal is and then figure out what you need to do to achieve that. It seems to me that you may have gotten a little ahead of yourself and signed up for this ground school program before figuring out where this is all leading to.

We’re here to help you though! Please don’t take our comments the wrong way. I know you’re excited. And this ground school program is probably very fun for you. We’re just trying to help guide you down a better path.

Ground school and flight training are intended to go hand-in-hand. I would rather see you postpone ground school until you have figured out what your end goal is and then choose a school that will help you get there.

Tory

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I am currently enrolled in one. I should of clarified. Corporate would be the goal. But if I have to postpone until I get my schedule figured out, then I will do that. I’d rather not waste precious time and money.

I think it goes without saying, but I would rather you not waste time and money either.

The corporate pilot world is not something that I have personal experience with, but I do know someone who does and she happens to be one of our mentors, @Hannah!

Hannah just left her corporate pilot job to pursue her goal of becoming an airline pilot. She is currently a First Officer at SkyWest Airlines. She will be back online soon to provide her insight on the industry.

From the little info that I do know about the corporate world, the jobs are very diverse and it is more about who you know. So networking early, now even, could land you a job when you are eventually eligible for a position.

Like any pilot job though, you will need to do your research on each company that peaks your interest and find out what their hiring minimums are. That will give you a better idea of the training footprint that you will need to meet those requirements.

Once you start your research, you may notice that some positions may require turbine PIC time. You will want to steer your attention towards the entry level corporate jobs that typically only require non-turbine time.

The other thing to look out for is pay close attention to the job descriptions. Some corporate jobs actually don’t offer very much flying for the First Officer. Those types of corporate jobs primarily only allow the FO to work the radios and the gear and flaps for the Captain. I would avoid these types of jobs and look for something that allows the FO to share the flying duties. If you want to move up in the industry you will need that hands-on and decision-making experience.

As I wrap this up, I am realizing that now I am getting ahead of myself. Apologies! Before the other mentors jump in I just wanted to provide you with as much info as I could.

More importantly, you first need to figure out your schedule to allow you to train more frequently. To be clear, I am not a salesman, but you are on ATP’s forum. So, if you haven’t already I would check out their programs while you’re here. They have two programs, Fast-Track (what we recommend) and Flex-Track. All of the details on those programs can be found on ATP’s website.

Please let us know what other questions you have!

Tory

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Oliver,
I think we can all agree that the time and money you’re putting in to ground school is being wasted. I’d put a pause on that immediately and figure out your game plan first.
How do you see your aviation goal fitting in to your life? Do you have to continue working full time or even part time to pay for flight training? If so, does that mean you’ll get there eventually but it can’t be a drop everything and pivot kind of career change? I’m asking this to figure out your priority for flight training… like Tory said, ATP offers a flex track program that could be a much better use if your money and limited schedule than what you’re currently doing. If you could afford to drop everything and go full time in to flight training, the fast track would be the program we’d suggest for you.
Once you get your flight training started, then you absolutely need to start researching the next step. Which corporate/charter companies in the 135 world interest you?
The easier jobs to get would be starting out with Planesense, or transporting organs/medical supplies in a Pilatus. It’s an introduction to the 135 world and turbo-prop airplanes.
The next tier up, Charter companies like Netjets, flex jet, mountain aviation (wheels up), XO jet that fly jets and operate similar to an airline. Passengers pay for flights from point A to point B, the company dispatch creates the trip sheets and matches the crew. From the pilots end of things, you’d have a set schedule of 8 days on, 6 days off (or some variation). During that time, you fly 3 or 4 legs a day. Each leg, a different set of passengers with a different trip sheet. These are not scheduled flights like the 121 world. Instead the schedule is more consistent and predictable, often less hours to be flown per month and you never know where you’ll end up. Pay is initially much higher with low hours than you’d get at a regional airline… however, over the length of a career will be less than eventually flying for a major airline. Tops out around $250k. The hiring minimums for these companies are constantly changing with the demand, but networking early and often is incredibly important. I was hired with 1500 hours and ATP eligible. I’m sure that requirement will be steadily falling as the shortage for pilots gets worse.
Corporate is even tougher to get in to. These pilots fly the private jets for corporations, think Coca Cola, Publix, Lowes, etc. They get paid very well and don’t fly often. A prize job for those with experience looking to ride out the rest of their career.
Anyway, I hope some of this info got ya thinking and dreaming of what you want out of your career… let us know how else we can help!
-Hannah

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