Pay myself for pilot training or invest them?

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vu8
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Pay myself for pilot training or invest them?

Post by vu8 » Tue May 14, 2019 12:26 pm

Good day folks,

Want to become an airline pilot, but parents hate this career and will not pay for any of it. They will pay for some borderline uesless graduate degrees such as an MBA... Commercial pilot license would cost me about 50000-60000 dollars and potentially 40000-50000 more until I can work for airlines (Airline transport pilot certificate). I have no confidence and no guarantee I am able to complete this program. Should I try with my own money or should I just sock it away at Vanguard?

I have personal interest in piloting, a lot of interest, but at this burn rate not only will my savings be depleted but also I have no confidence I can even complete my private pilot license.

neilpilot
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Re: Pay myself for pilot training or invest them?

Post by neilpilot » Tue May 14, 2019 12:41 pm

After the commercial, consider working for a Part 135 operation to work up to your ATP.

Cheyenne
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Re: Pay myself for pilot training or invest them?

Post by Cheyenne » Tue May 14, 2019 12:43 pm

As someone who juggled two careers (one as an airline pilot) my advice would be to accept the education your folks are willing to pay for, and pursue your aviation desires in tandem, paying you own way as you can. That way you'll have options. The allure of flying for a living is powerful for a young person, but ask yourself if you're willing to sleep in hotels 150 night a year and miss your kids graduations, ball games and holidays.

miamivice
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Re: Pay myself for pilot training or invest them?

Post by miamivice » Tue May 14, 2019 12:49 pm

Just as an FYI, I rate being a commercial airplane pilot (the kind that flies passenger planes) to be one of the most boring jobs in the world. Planes generally fly themselves and pilots just sit there for the vast majority of the flight. Personally, its not for me.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Pay myself for pilot training or invest them?

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue May 14, 2019 12:49 pm

You used the words "no confidence" several times. I think you have to ask yourself if you have the psychological make-up to be a pilot. I would expect a battery of tests. Pilots need to be supremely confident, no?

Huge shortage of pilots forecasted. Is that aging out, or lousy pay for younger pilots?
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

miamivice
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Re: Pay myself for pilot training or invest them?

Post by miamivice » Tue May 14, 2019 12:53 pm

Commerical airplane pilots (most of them) don't make a lot of money. Most non-military commercial pilots start out crop dusting or flying banners to get their hours in. Eventually they might become bush pilots or fly for the regionals, again to get hours in. They don't make much money. Like maybe $30,000 a year or so. Eventually, if their flying skills are sharp, don't make a lot of mistakes, and rub the right elbows they might get into the major airlines. Major airplanes, especially the big planes, start to pay well. It takes a long time to get there and not all get there.

DonIce
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Re: Pay myself for pilot training or invest them?

Post by DonIce » Tue May 14, 2019 1:17 pm

Consider joining the air force. You get first rate training all paid for by the government, excellent career opportunities both in the military and as a civilian afterwards, and you get to fly way cooler planes than you ever could as a civilian.

S4C5
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Re: Pay myself for pilot training or invest them?

Post by S4C5 » Tue May 14, 2019 1:33 pm

I considered becoming an airline pilot around 10 years ago when I was in your shoes. I went to medical school instead and got my PPL and instrument rating on the side. I will now be making around 7 figures as sub-specialist physician. Meanwhile my flight instructor spent nearly that whole decade trying to get a job at a regional and finally did making low 5 figures.

My point is, know what you are getting into. If you just want to fly, you can do that without working as a professional pilot. Become a professional pilot because you want to do that job, not because you want to fly.

Yes, I know the demand for pilots is much much higher now than it was 10 years ago.

I would also second the advice to get military pilot training if you can. If not, I would go and get an engineering degree or something else useful that your parents will pay for and if you still want to do pilot training, you can do it after you get your degree (i.e., safety net) on your own dime at that time.

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lthenderson
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Re: Pay myself for pilot training or invest them?

Post by lthenderson » Tue May 14, 2019 1:34 pm

DonIce wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 1:17 pm
Consider joining the air force. You get first rate training all paid for by the government, excellent career opportunities both in the military and as a civilian afterwards, and you get to fly way cooler planes than you ever could as a civilian.
+1 I know several commercial pilots who went the military route.

piperkub
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Re: Pay myself for pilot training or invest them?

Post by piperkub » Tue May 14, 2019 1:40 pm

Unlike you, I've had a love for aviation that was strongly linked to a "lack of money" for the training and time building experience. I had to get a real job and I actually became successful. Still, the itch for flying remained, so I ventured into flying lessons in my spare time working all the way through commercial ratings. I found it one of the most rewarding and satisfying things I've ever done. I never approached it as a career because I knew I could never afford the pay-cut but continued with opportunities for new type ratings, seaplane, glider, multi, etc. and still seek new and challenging ways to remain in the air. I still believe joining the Military offers the best, most diverse flying education available and a guaranteed job when your time is up. Its the only way I know to fly and actually get paid for doing it.
But today, I enjoy riding in first-class watching the pro's do their work wondering what fun it must be, but then I watch them drag their laundry and lunch along the skyways heading to the next flight...I remain thankful that I can enjoy piloting on my schedule, not someone else's. So the others are right, take the advanced education, but maybe some flying lessons on the weekends.

obgraham
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Re: Pay myself for pilot training or invest them?

Post by obgraham » Tue May 14, 2019 1:44 pm

OP, since your immediate concern seems to be whether you really can complete a flying license, I suggest you simply start in on PPL training. That is not a 50K prospect, and by the time you are 20-30 hours in you will have a better idea of how you are taking to it, and your prospects for finishing up. If you never go beyond PPL, it is still a great hobby.

Meanwhile, I agree with others -- carry on at school with one of those degree programs you think are "useless". Hint: They aren't!

tampaite
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Re: Pay myself for pilot training or invest them?

Post by tampaite » Tue May 14, 2019 2:18 pm

vu8 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 12:26 pm

Want to become an airline pilot, but parents hate this career and will not pay for any of it.

Should I try with my own money or should I just sock it away at Vanguard?

at this burn rate not only will my savings be depleted but also I have no confidence I can even complete my private pilot license.
You don't have enough money nor the confidence so put this idea behind and move on with your life.

Topic Author
vu8
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Re: Pay myself for pilot training or invest them?

Post by vu8 » Tue May 14, 2019 3:14 pm

obgraham wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 1:44 pm
OP, since your immediate concern seems to be whether you really can complete a flying license, I suggest you simply start in on PPL training. That is not a 50K prospect, and by the time you are 20-30 hours in you will have a better idea of how you are taking to it, and your prospects for finishing up. If you never go beyond PPL, it is still a great hobby.

Meanwhile, I agree with others -- carry on at school with one of those degree programs you think are "useless". Hint: They aren't!
Thank god I came here and put my concern on this forum. Probably going back to get my masters...

magicrat
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Re: Pay myself for pilot training or invest them?

Post by magicrat » Tue May 14, 2019 3:20 pm

vu8 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 12:26 pm
They will pay for some borderline uesless graduate degrees such as an MBA...
Why do you think this is useless?

bovineplane
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Re: Pay myself for pilot training or invest them?

Post by bovineplane » Tue May 14, 2019 7:49 pm

You can join the Army off the street as a pilot. Program used to be called "street to seat". Google US Army aviation recruiting. If you are healthy and can pass the flight physical the army will train you through commercial rotary training and give you 6 years of flying experience. After getting your commercial rotary everything else is simple endorsements for fixed wing to the equivalent rating (commercial fixed). You can work on those ratings on the side. Lots of variables but I built 2500 hours during my career which included 2-3 years non flying time. Also earned my IP rating and completed my fixed private.

There is a group called RTAG if I recall which helps rotary wing pilots transition to the airlines when they separate. In the end I switched job fields. I wasnt interested in building seniority, flying all major holidays, spending half the year gone from my family I would never trade the experiences that I had though.

Good luck.

LAFiddler
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Re: Pay myself for pilot training or invest them?

Post by LAFiddler » Tue May 14, 2019 10:26 pm

Get a private and get a real understanding of the industry and then see what you think.

I’m a 2500Hr commercial pilot formerly in the charter/corporate world. You got some decent perspective here. I wouldn’t recommend blowing 50k off the bat (that’s an optimistic estimate, by the way).

If you’re around long enough, you’ll get to see what an economic slowdown does to the airline industry again. I’m sure glad I had an advanced degree as a backup when that happened 10 years ago.

Topic Author
vu8
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Re: Pay myself for pilot training or invest them?

Post by vu8 » Tue May 14, 2019 10:33 pm

LAFiddler wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 10:26 pm
Get a private and get a real understanding of the industry and then see what you think.

I’m a 2500Hr commercial pilot formerly in the charter/corporate world. You got some decent perspective here. I wouldn’t recommend blowing 50k off the bat (that’s an optimistic estimate, by the way).

If you’re around long enough, you’ll get to see what an economic slowdown does to the airline industry again. I’m sure glad I had an advanced degree as a backup when that happened 10 years ago.
Thank you for being here and potentially saving my future. It’s really scary that my engineering friends keeps saying that I can be done with commercial CPL for only 36k, I was assuming it’s going to be at least 60-70k factoring in all costs. What you have said is invaluable.

DP737
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Re: Pay myself for pilot training or invest them?

Post by DP737 » Tue May 14, 2019 10:59 pm

My perspective (retired AF, active and Air National Guard, major airline pilot)

Alternate source of income (ie backup education) is a big comfort factor if you're going to go the airline pilot route. Also, if you haven't already done so, I would suggest 2 things:
1. Get a discovery flight at a local airfield. Make sure the actuality lives up to your expectations. They'll love you give a a price quote on further training as well. Local airport near me quotes approx $31k for private/instrument/commercial, but you'd need to get instructor ratings on top of that to be competitive.
2. Get a Class 1 medical exam (https://www.faa.gov/pilots/amelocator). Make sure you don't have any issues that would preclude an airline career.

-Does your university (or one close by) have an aviation program?
-Look for Air National Guard/Reserve units that are hiring. If selected, you get the same training as active duty with a guaranteed aircraft on graduation (essentially pass/fail..takes a LOT of pressure off) I, personally, would not advise a loved one to do active duty as the first choice if the primary desire is to be an airline pilot.
-If you want a concentrated course, something like All ATPs (https://atpflightschool.com/airline-car ... t-program/) would be the ticket, but it's a big chunk of change.

Opportunities for young pilots now are the best they've been in 20 years. Major airline pilots are aging out AND younger pilots at the regionals (can't speak to charter or corporate) are making more money as companies are trying to fill cockpits as quickly as they can.

LAFiddler
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Re: Pay myself for pilot training or invest them?

Post by LAFiddler » Tue May 14, 2019 10:59 pm

vu8 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 10:33 pm
LAFiddler wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 10:26 pm
Get a private and get a real understanding of the industry and then see what you think.

I’m a 2500Hr commercial pilot formerly in the charter/corporate world. You got some decent perspective here. I wouldn’t recommend blowing 50k off the bat (that’s an optimistic estimate, by the way).

If you’re around long enough, you’ll get to see what an economic slowdown does to the airline industry again. I’m sure glad I had an advanced degree as a backup when that happened 10 years ago.
Thank you for being here and potentially saving my future. It’s really scary that my engineering friends keeps saying that I can be done with commercial CPL for only 36k, I was assuming it’s going to be at least 60-70k factoring in all costs. What you have said is invaluable.
Thanks for the kind words- I want to be clear, I don’t want to discourage you if you really are considering the idea. Many of my closest friends are airline pilots for majors, ACMI carriers, etc. and love what they do. Those at majors are basically waiting for seniority to accrue, and they’ll be pulling down major bucks. ACMI carriers pay better than regionals, but you can expect 14-17 days of not seeing your own bed. A lot of the fractional and charter schedules are 8 on, 6 off nowadays. Regionals and majors tend to pair 4 day trips more than they used to. Pilots are gone, a lot...

I’ve been a CFI for 13 years and teach in my own aircraft, with a full time job outside aviation. A private pilot license in a low cost of living area like mine is about 10k. The last 3 private students I had spent about 9,500. Your instrument will push you to about 20k, and at a part 141 school you would end up with another 25k minimum to tack on commercial and CFI. You’ll spend 6k on a multi engine rating.

After getting a private, you’ll be more competitive for the Air Force reserve pilot slots - those guys have a clear track to the majors.

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