Single Dad Commercial Pilot-Starting the Interview Process after several years away from Aviation

Hi everyone,

I am new to this forum, but after reading some of the other responses I was impressed by the knowledge and friendliness of the mentor pilots. In a nutshell this is where I am currently at: I have been a full time single father since my son was 2 (he is now 14). I finished flight school (I have my Commercial, Instrument and Multi-Engine Ratings) but had to go into the “corporate world” right after completion of my ME, because as a single parent I could not afford to support my son on my own as a Flight Instructor/student pilot, thus I had to put my career as a pilot on hold. I am now in a place where I can pursue this ambition full time! My question is, if I have the aforementioned ratings, but only have 300TT, what would be a more experienced pilot’s advice on where to go from here? I know I need to get back up immediately and get current, but after that I am not quite sure what the best route is…any and all advice is appreciated! Also, I am 38 years old…not sure if that matters or not.

Thank you!


The getting current obviously is easy. The biggest issue you have is you need time. I’m sure you’re aware that back in 2013 the FAA passed the Airline Safety Act (aka the 1500hr Rule) so in order to fly for an airline you must have 1500hrs. The good news is once you build that time you’re set. The Regionals are hiring like mad and have doubled their salaries. The most common method of building time is flight instructing. Problem is you’d need to get your CFI (which is a bear of a checkride) and then find a teaching gig. The other alternative is to find another low-time flying job. While those aren’t easy to come by they are out there. The are some small commuters that operate Part 135 that can and will hire you with just your CPL. There’s traffic watch, Forest Service, crop-dusting, banner tow, light cargo, etc. If I were you I’d get myself current and start searching. The internet is a wonderful thing, start Googling!



Thank you very much for your perspective/advice. I did know about the 1500 Rule, so not focusing on the Regional yet. Besides that, it sounds like I am on the right track. I have been networking at my local airport (where I originally earned my Private and know some Corp Pilots). Besides that I am googling my tail-end off and learning more everyday, applying to companies that are closer my 300TT. I am looking into Forest Service and Traffic Watch now-thanks for those suggestions! Really appreciate it!