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Hi i am 13 years old and would like to become an airline pilot someday. From the last couple of Forum posts ive really just been hearing things that big airlines arnt going for people. This is what I plan and tell me if you think its a good idea. I want to start Private Piloting in a year or so. Build a couple hundred hours. Then hopefully go off to the Naval Academy and become a pilot for the Air Force or on a carrier. But then am I stuck? Will no one take me??? Or is being an air force pilot a good choice to take first. Also in your opinion what is the best Airline Piloting College to attend? Thanks!
It's not that you'll be "stuck" persay, but in the aviation industry you need to "work up" to the job you want. You can usually apply to the regional airlines and have a decent chance of getting hired if you have enough hours, but to get hired by the majors you simply need a lot of hours, somtimes an ATP lisecense, turbine time, thousands of hours and the industry has to be hiring pilots. The industry is cylcical and right now at the "bottom" of it's cycle, in the next few years it should get better, but after enough it may turn down again, such is life. Regional airlines are usually a better bet as far as hiring because they are making more money than the bigger airlines.
An ROTC program is a great idea, the Navy even has a program where you don't have to do the ROTC thing, just go to school, stay fit, get decent grades(nothing crazy) and you get most of the schooling paid for. Right now this is probably the best program here at Embry-Riddle. We also have Army, Air Force and Marine ROTC of course, so those are all options. You might have to borrow a little money to complete school here(school loans) but ROTC WILL pay for most of it, and it is still a great idea in the long run. If I had planned better in high school, I probably would have done ROTC rather than going in the army to get gi bill and college fund money.
I would not recommend that you go about getting a lot of ratings before you go to an aviation college though, the private pilot might be ok, but keep in mind that if you attend Embry-Riddle, or another big avaition school, you will have to relearn a lot of things to do them the way the school wants. There's a lot of varience in the way flight schools do things, and private pilots have to take a course in which they do a lot of the same stuff they did in their private pilots course, but to the Embry-Riddle standards. This is sometimes too much for someone that learned how to fly at a "lax" school, and they get upset. It's not necessarily going to happen to everyone, but it's something to consider.
Another thing to consider is that you're taking a leap of faith as far as flight training. There are students that it just doesn't work out for them here at the school. It's not easy and the standards can sometimes be fairly high. I am thankfull each day that it seems to have worked out for me, but I do think about the fact that it may not have worked out for me. Some people try to fly but it simply doesn't work out for them. Not trying to discourage you, but it's something to conisider. I'd say though if you go in the military ROTC programs, they'd probably give you the discipline necessary. The military helped me a lot and is probably the #1 reason that I can apply myself and get excellent grades and complete the flight courses in the allotted time(extremely rare here).
It really sounds like you have your head on straight though and that you have some good plans already. I'd say go ROTC though rather than to the Naval Acadamy or Air Force Acadamy. We have real good ROTC programs and you get a lot more freedom than if you were going to the naval acadamy. You also get to choose from degrees in Aeronautical Science with professional pilot minors, weather minors, saftey minors, or you could even try for an engineering degree to become a test pilot. At the very least, going to school at one of the big aviation universitys(not military acadamy) gives you a better understanding of commercial aviation, as opposed to military, although you'll learn about military no doubt after you graduate with your degree and go on to military flight school.
Going to school here is not going to gaurentee anyone an airline job, but by training to higher standards you end up being better prepared than most, and with all the academic classes you end up having a better knowledge base. What you do with those as far as what you actually choose to learn in school, and how you present yourself to your future airline employers is going to be what makes the difference.
Well so you are in the military? Are you saying that your just in like the Air Force or something?Would it be possible to attened the Naval Academy then go off to a ROTC school. Because frankly I dont think that an ROTC school is a very good back up if I fail no offense or anything. I think the Naval Academy is not just known for its Aviation but for its academics as well. So I'm wondering if i could go there first then attend one of those ROTC school, because i definitely need a school that will give me academics as well such as the Naval Academy. Thanks for your help!!!
Also is that Embry-Riddle school well known amoungst airliners as a good school?
It's the best aeronautical school. There isn't a whole lot of doubt about that. What you do with your degree or how much knowledge you actually choose to learn is up to you though. This means that someone who is motivated to learn can get the best aeronautical science education here as opposed to virtually anywhere else, in some cases the difference might not be very great, but it doesn't have the great reputation for nothing. There are a few regional airlines that have programs(also most have internships) with Embry-Riddle that decrease the number of hours required to apply for a job.
You either go to a 4-year university ROTC program or the Acadamy if you want to be an officer, it's not both. If you are really interested in commercial aviation as a career, I'd really have to recommend getting a 4-year degree at an aeronautical university. Embry-Riddle trains the Air-Force pilots by the way, at the Air-Force acadamy, but as far as I know that is just the initial flight instruction, but it is still significant. You also have to understand how big the ROTC program is here, it's simply HUGE. The army flies blackhawk helicoptors on the campus every few months, we had F18 and F16 simulators here yesterday. The Marines came in a few weeks back and were doing "joyrides" in helicoptors and fixed wing planes for students. Basically, the military programs here are huge. I see so many people in uniform every day.
Attending the Acadamy is probably a better move if you want to get a degree in something other than commercial aviation, and if you want to make a career out of the military.
I was in the army for 4 years, but right now I am just becomming a commercial pilot. I am attending Embry-Riddle and I will graduate next spring. I consider my time here was very well spent, and while it will be difficult to pay back all the loans, it will be worth it. I see the difference in my education every time I fly with someone who attends one of the "other" local flying schools. I don't claim that everyone that wants to fly for the airlines should go to Embry-Riddle, but if you got the willpower, you can make the most of it and come out ahead of every one else.
The ROTC programs go like this usually;
1st year you pay for just about everything.
2-4th years, the military covers just about everything.
You take military classes in addition to your regular academics, practice drills, go off to do special camps and things, ride in helicoptors, physical training 2x a week usually, and later on, usually in their senior years, the ROTC guys will be able to get pilot slots. Regardless if they get pilot slots or not, they'll be commissioned as officers for whichever service after finishing their degree and attending the officer canidate school. ROTC is not going to be a joke, but it is usually easier than attending an acadamy, where they put much more emphasis on controlling the students, ceremonys and formalities. And if for some odd reason you couldn't cut it in the military, you'd still have the aeronautical science degree, and that means a lot. You might be able to major in something similer at a naval or air force acadamy, but again, you won't be able to learn about commercial aviaition to the same extent.
I can't resist - yes ERAU is a great school, but calling it the "best" will probably earn you the wrath of University of North Dakota, University of Illinois, Parks College of St. Louis University, etc., etc., students and alums...
thanks! but couldnt I go to The Naval Academy then to an ROTC school? or does the Naval acdemy have a ROTC program? Also when i say I want to go to the naval academy i dont want to work on a submariine or anything i would like to work as a pilot on a carrier or somethimg.
You missed the first paragraph of my response;
You can EITHER go to the Acadamy, OR to a 4-year college ROTC program.
You can't do both, but EITHER of those is a good idea to become a Naval, Marine, Army, or Air Force officer. The Navy needs pilots more than the other services though, so at this time they have a program where you don't even have to do most of the normal ROTC program. And as I said before, I'd say that the best bet for commercial aviation is to attend an aeronautical university with an ROTC program. If you want to be a career officer in the military, the acadamy might be a better choice. But you can choose only ONE.
And while maybe saying that ERAU is the best is going to offend a few people, remember what I said about the "potential". If you don't utilize the school to the fullest potential, it won't make a huge difference what school you go to. If you are a hardworker and can utilize the school to a higher degree, you are going to get a better education. For me, the choice was mostly about location. Prescott, AZ had everything that I like, mountains, mountain biking, cool weather, good weather in terms of clear skies, big enough city, etc. The fact that it was ERAU was a nice second. I didn't want to go to school in the midwest, as my time in the army was spent there and I don't care for it. Florida has no mountains. Utah has a school with a program, but that gets a bit too cold and snowy in the winter. I looked at a college in Montana too, but again, way too cold and snowy. If you live in california, there's San Jose State, but you'll have about 39,999 friends with you and it will be pretty crowded.
Good luck, remeber its EITHER, not both.
Right I dont want a career in the Navy. I want to start in the Navy then go on to Commercial Piloting. Most pilots come out from there. You think that is a good idea because I want to avoid an ROTC school at all costs. I'm asking if I can go to The Naval Academy then move on to commercial piloting? I dont want a career in the Navy just a way to get COmmercial Airlines to like me. Thanks!
Ok, you're kidding, right?
First of all,THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN ROTC SCHOOL.
If you want to be a military aviator,first,you MUST be an officer.
There are three routes to becomming an officer:
1. One of the three academies(WestPoint, Naval Academy, Air Force Academy) These are four year instituions of higher learning. They are compatible with MIT, Stanford,etc. They are extremly competetive to get into and harder to graduate from. Its four years of very engrossed military indoctrination. Most graduates make careers in the military although its not mandatory.
2. ROTC.ROTC is a Program (not a school) at most colleges and universities.You take classes along with your regular classes. You go to some type of summer training (depending onif you are in army, navy or air force ROTC)onece you graduate from college with a four year degree, you also get a commission in you selected service.
3. OCS. This option is for those that are already enlisted in the military. You have to have a four year degre BEFORE you can apply. You go to a 16 wek course (maybe nore or less depending on what branch of service you are in) and you graduate with a commission. (BTW,this is the route I took).
Once youget commissioned, you can then apply for flight training. if selected, you go off and do great things for your country.
I hope this helps. You have asked this questionon anther board and folks gave yu a hard time about your approach.I am glad to see its better.
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