Hello to all pilot mentors and forum users,
After gaining much knowledge through this site and finding the answers to many of the questions I have had I feel it best to post a specific question, hoping that both me and others in similar shoes can gain additional knowledge and insight in making our own career decisions. I am currently a military member, eligible to leave the service late next summer. I just completed my BA, will be finishing my PPL shortly (8hrs), and am currently weighing my options between pursuing flight training with the remainder of my time in the service or attend ATP next year. For arguments sake, I would be utilizing the 6 month ATP program (PPL + 80hrs).
I have located a part 141 flight school an hour and fifteen minutes from where I am currently stationed in the north Florida area, that quoted me at $40,000 for their version of an airline pilot program, one that would leave me with my CPL, CFI, CFII & MEI. Leveraging post 911 GI Bill benefits and an additional scholarship, my end cost would be roughly $23,000.
Notable dynamics - This training would have to take place after work on weekdays (I can typically leave work by four, start training safely by 5:30pm) and on weekends, with the goal of finishing the program by next August. We have a large family with younger children, the time commitment would be doable but apparent. I have seen the argument made that the roughly $13,000 of post 911 GI Bill benefits used for flight training is better used towards additional education considering the housing allowance that is awarded when pursuing schooling.
The other option is to leave the service next August and begin school at the ATP location that allows me ample time to study and make use of every minute spent in this program, and also provide for my family. ATP has a $59,000 price tag, that gets reduced an end cost of $44,000 after tuition reimbursement and an additional scholarship.
Notable dynamics - Training would be full time, could move to a location with a 30-45 minute commute vice an hour and fifteen minutes.
My biggest question, given the two options presented, is a comparison between an intensive, all spare time program for the next year while still in the service but for a lower price tag and with a possibly less structured student system and no airline partnerships (not ATP), or a program that is also extensive but will be my only focus and “job” if you will while enrolled that offers a structured student system and airline partnership, but for a higher price tag (ATP).
While analyzing the two extensively I am trying to weigh my options and make the best decision, and often come back to ATP as one that seems to get the job done and provide a clear path forward, albeit for a higher investment. I am very interested to hear anyone willing to comments’ opinion on the options presented, whether ATP would be worth the extra investment considering all details listed.
Thank you all,