Real Answers from Real Pilots

Start Date in July

Hello all,
I just wanted to give a heads up to all the pilot mentors out there that I was able to receive my first class medical and secured my financial loan. All I have to do is place my security deposit in order to reserve my spot. I am a teacher, and though I would love to start now (I hate the idea of being put behind 6 months), I hate the thought of leaving my students mid-year.

Thanks again to all the pilot mentors on this forum. I greatly appreciate your advice and blunt honesty. I realized I have not given you guys my background, so I thought it would be helpful to give you a quick bio–since I feel like I know so much about everyone else on this forum.

I grew up loving aviation because of my father. He was a F-8 fighter pilot, airline pilot for Northwest (where he met my mother, who was a flight attendant). He still is a flight instructor for the Navy. He teaches jet pilots in Kingsville, TX. When I was in High School, he got me connected to a local glider club. I received my private pilot glider license when I was 16. Though this rating is not applicable to Airline flying, I am so thankful for the experience I have gained and learned through glider flying. It is all stick and rudder skills, application of situation awareness, and consistent thinking about how the atmosphere is working and how to stay aloft. There is nothing more rewarding than landing after a 3.5-hour flight without any engine at all --simply through luck, thermals, slight pilot skill, and the mercy of Mother Earth.

I originally wanted to go to an Aeronautical University. Somehow, I got side tracked, and two Bachelor degrees later, I ended up as a teacher. This past summer I got back into flying doing my PPL in a Cessna 140 (TW). I then found out about a local flying club at my local airport. I am able to fly the airplane for around $22 hr. Tach time, plus gas. In addition to this, I am a part of Civil Air Patrol giving introductory flights to cadets. I forgot how much I loved flying, but thought my window of opportunity had passed. I came across ATP back in October. Since then it has been non-stop researching, reading, and conversing with some of my dad’s former students who are now airline pilots, and keeping up to date with this forum daily. I do not know how to express my excitement for what is ahead. I am nervous because I know the next two-five years will be the hardest of my life. However, I am prepared for the hardship and turmoil ahead, which I know, will lead to the joy of pursuing my dream.

I believe this because at the core of everything, my passion is aviation. Yes, the paycheck, if I make it through everything, will be awesome. However, the paycheck should never be the reason why anyone should pursue flight training. There should be an intrinsic love for flying. There have already been consistent instances where I have felt dumb, discouraged, and made super stupid mistakes. I am sure in the coming year there will be countless more. However, the one thing that keeps me returning to the cockpit is the joy I have when I am in the air. It is the passion that drives me to study and learn everything there is to know about aviation. It is the same passion that drives me to read and study every day for my ratings when I am done teaching at school. I hope it is the same for everyone on a forum who have started or are thinking about their training.

Sorry for the long post and if it was too much of a soliloquy than anything else. I just had to share my thoughts to some of the people I have been learning a lot from the past couple of months. Anyways, thanks a bunch guys for all you do and for taking the time to invest in others who share the same passion as you do.


Congrats and thanks for the background. I could not agree more that having a passion for aviation is essential to success in this field. I have no doubt you’ll excel. Oh and don’t discount your glider experience, energy management still comes into play, just ask Sully :slight_smile:


Btw: Don’t forget to start working on those writtens once you lock in a date.

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Thank you for the background information. Good luck in training and let us know how we can be of help.