What would you do? Need help making a decision!

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CubeRoot
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What would you do? Need help making a decision!

Post by CubeRoot » Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:22 am

Hello Everyone,

I’m looking to make my decision in choosing the most suitable pathway for training to become a commercial pilot. I’m currently 27 years old with a high school diploma combined with years of experience working in retail. My ultimate goal is to work for the legacy airlines such as AC. Ideally I would like to finish my training in the least amount of time, given my age and the importance of joining the work force as quickly as possible. I have savings in my account but not enough to cover the full training costs. As a reference I live in the Greater Toronto Area.

Currently these are my options:

1.Attend ATPL program (acceptance received) starting this January which will take 18 months to compete. Cost $80,000+ cost of living/food since it is 1.5 hours away from home and the program is Monday-Friday. I think commuting from home to flight school can get tiring, so I would have to opt for renting around the flight school.

Pros: Get everything out of the way in one shot. Finsih quicker than college route with all licensing Up to ATPL frozen. Atlthough No instructor Rating at the time of graduation.

Cons: graduating with more debt compared to waiting one more year, working and saving more money and then going to Confed/Conestoga/Algonquin

2. Work for one more year save money until next year and then attend either Confed, Constoga or Algonquin. I think I have a good chance of getting accepted to either of those since my high school marks are in the high 80s and low 90s.Not interested in spending more than two years in college so sault and Seneca are out of the picture. For college I would still have to factor living expense since all colleges in consideration are far away from GTA.

Although I like the idea of going to college I am intimidated by the sheer volume of course load specially at confederation. Confederation is my number choice if I was to go to college, but Being out of school for a long time and hearing about lots of people failing in the first year it worries me that I might waste precious time.

Pros:receive a diploma which can be helpful for AC. Less debt. Option to apply for OSAP going for confed

Cons: finish 1 year later. Chance of not being able to handle all course loads and dropping out bringing me back to square one.


What would you do? Please let me know what you guys think. Thank you.
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digits_
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Re: What would you do? Need help making a decision!

Post by digits_ » Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:32 am

Work and fly part time at any flying school. You don't need any of those full time integrated courses.
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photofly
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Re: What would you do? Need help making a decision!

Post by photofly » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:13 am

Buy a 150 and do your PPL, CPL, night rating and half your instrument rating in it, with a local instructor you like. Then sell it and get your money back.
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Re: What would you do? Need help making a decision!

Post by C.W.E. » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:37 am

Buy a 150 and do your PPL, CPL, night rating and half your instrument rating in it, with a local instructor you like. Then sell it and get your money back.
There is the best answer.
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Re: What would you do? Need help making a decision!

Post by Pilotdaddy » Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:56 am

photofly wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:13 am
Buy a 150 and do your PPL, CPL, night rating and half your instrument rating in it, with a local instructor you like. Then sell it and get your money back.
OP, if you want to go in on a trainer aircraft, let me know! I am pretty much in the same boat as you in that I want to get the CPL asap but I am quite a bit older so I am willing to sacrifice upfront costs to get there in a shorter amount of time. I'm just waiting on my medical from TC and then I will formally start looking into buying one. I'm in the GTA as well and know a really good local instructor. PM me if interested and we'll chat!
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Big Pistons Forever
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Re: What would you do? Need help making a decision!

Post by Big Pistons Forever » Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:07 pm

The other side of the "save by buying your own airplane instead of renting" idea, is the story of a fellow I met once that bought a C 150 with an on condition engine to use to build up his time. It was pretty ugly with chipped faded paint and a trashed interior but it "only" cost him 18 K. Unfortunately after about 20 hours the engine started running very roughly. When the AME pulled the screen it was full of metal, the engine was toast. His AME found another high time engine but the engine mount was cracked and the carb air box needed a repair etc etc.

He was lucky in that it only cost him 10 K to get back in the air (an overhauled engine installed would have been over 25 K), then his radio died and the radio shop said it was too old to repair. He got another unit off E-bay but it never worked, then he lucked out and found a working unit for $1000 but he lost a month of summer flying screwing around, then he needed a new shimmy damper, then new brake discs, then a new elevator trim cable.........He finally finished his CPL and then tried to sell his airplane.

A year later it was still for sale as it was just another one of the many beater ugly beater 150's on the market. By then he was desperate so he took a low ball 12 K just to get some money back. Bottom line when all his costs were totaled the aircraft cost him $ 295 an hour plus what he paid for his instructor.....

Finding a good small aircraft is becoming harder and harder as most of what is for sale is junk that has been neglected for years. If you go this route it is absolutely imperative you get good advice. Ignore any advice from someone who has not owned an aircraft, preferably several, they will not have a clue. Get a good AME working for you to do a pre-purchase on anything you are thinking of buying and be prepared to spend at least 500 dollars on the prebuy, it will be worth it in the long run.

Even if you are determined to buy an airplane my recommendation is to do a private at a good school on one of their airplanes. Cultivate the mechanics who are working on the schools airplanes and learn as much as you can about the reality of aircraft maintenance, how much aircraft parts costs, what never breaks and what is always breaking.

If you still want to buy a starter airplane buy the best one you can find, that is an airplane where somebody else has spent a lot of money on engines and radios. Beware of "pretty airplanes" that is ones that have nice paint and interior. What you want is one with good bones and a history of regular maintenance

Finally in today's environment good freelance instructors, particularly those that want to do PPL's, are scarcer than good airplanes. So I would see who is available to instruct you before going out and buying an airplane.
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Pilotdaddy
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Re: What would you do? Need help making a decision!

Post by Pilotdaddy » Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:36 pm

Thanks for the feedback, BPF.

I am not at all discounting the inherent risks with the "buy" scenario. As with anything in life, there isn't always one clear cut method... if it were always cheaper to buy, then everyone will buy and if it were always cheaper to rent, then everyone will rent.

At the end of the day, I hope that by buying, I'd save some money while enjoying the benefits of ownership. However, if I am put in a worse financial situation because of it versus simply just renting, that's something that I would have to accept and have no one else to blame but myself if say the engine craps out on me shortly after purchasing it.
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Re: What would you do? Need help making a decision!

Post by Hilroy » Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:45 pm

Air Canada is asking more and more for a University degree or somekind of aviation diploma... Keep that in mind
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Re: What would you do? Need help making a decision!

Post by photofly » Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:55 pm

Big Pistons Forever wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:07 pm
The other side of the "save by buying your own airplane instead of renting" idea,...
Nobody in this thread said it was a way to save money.

Learning to fly in your own airplane is a different (and I believe better) experience than renting by the hour. You appreciate the airplane more, you are more invested in flying appropriately, you understand the difference that leaning the mixture makes, you learn to consider oil usage, you have to keep it clean, make sure it's tied down, clean the ice off it, arrange the maintenance, buy the fuel, schedule the inspections; these are all parts of being a pilot and things that you don't learn when renting from an FTU.

You also have more flexibility: by arrangement with your instructor, you can do solo practice at a time that suits you. When you gain your PPL you can travel, grow as a pilot by actually going places, when you want to, without having to fly some daily minimum. If you want to fly an hour of circuits for fun - go ahead. The marginal cost is small.

When you rent by the hour every monetary incentive is to fly less. When you own the airplane, because you've paid for the cost out of capital, the monetary incentive is to fly more. What makes you a better pilot? More practice.

It won't save you money. But it will make you a better pilot.
It was pretty ugly with chipped faded paint and a trashed interior but it "only" cost him 18 K.
Nobody should buy a wreck for their first airplane. Save the project for no.2 or no.3.
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Last edited by photofly on Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Kirk: This is a dangerous mission. Likely, one of us will die. The landing party will be me, Spock, McCoy, and Ensign Ricky.
Ensign Ricky: Aw, crap.

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Re: What would you do? Need help making a decision!

Post by Big Pistons Forever » Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:57 pm

Hilroy wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:45 pm
Air Canada is asking more and more for a University degree or somekind of aviation diploma... Keep that in mind
True if all you want to be is a directional consultant in high speed aluminum tubing.

If you want to actually fly airplanes there are many rewarding careers and virtually none of them care about the piece of paper, they care about piloting skill. I am just finishing a full career as a professional pilot and I never had any desire to fly an airline jet.
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Re: What would you do? Need help making a decision!

Post by C.W.E. » Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:37 pm

Once again photofly has presented a well thought out bit of advice.
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Re: What would you do? Need help making a decision!

Post by rookiepilot » Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:30 pm

Hilroy wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:45 pm
Air Canada is asking more and more for a University degree or somekind of aviation diploma... Keep that in mind
Digits / PF advice is the way to go.

Just say NO way to any kind of a degree or to AC.

No to a stupid requirement that in no conceivable capacity enables or proves one will be a competent commercial pilot.

The biggest scam out there today is exceedingly expensive, exceedingly poor quality, post secondary education, that puts one in debt that will take a decade to pay off.

Costs have skyrocketed, and the quality is so poor as to be an embarrassment. No one with any kind of degree in my Industry, gets the slightest respect with a degree. Those with degrees and advertise it, are correlated to be the biggest idiots. True story.

Why? It's because what do you get In a university. Indoctrination, not education.
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Re: What would you do? Need help making a decision!

Post by Squaretail » Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:23 pm

Just say NO way to any kind of a degree
If I was to have the power to change ONE thing with aviation in this country with sweeping authority, it would be to de-couple the idea that you need a degree to pursue a career in aviation. Its my opinion this would have the greatest positive effect on flight training.
If you want to actually fly airplanes there are many rewarding careers
Second, I would wish that every neophyte potentially thinking about an career in aviation was given this advice.
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Re: What would you do? Need help making a decision!

Post by Pilotdaddy » Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:41 pm

If you want to actually fly airplanes there are many rewarding careers
Second, I would wish that every neophyte potentially thinking about an career in aviation was given this advice.
As someone who is on the verge of a career change and pursuing this full time, I'd love to hear all about these other career paths. From the outside looking in, it seems like the only viable path is to go and work for AC. I definitely am not doing this for the money (if I was, I'd just stay in my current job), but I also would like to have a middle class income at some point in time... what else outside of flying for the majors would you guys recommend to look into?
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Re: What would you do? Need help making a decision!

Post by C.W.E. » Sun Oct 13, 2019 5:06 pm

it would be to de-couple the idea that you need a degree to pursue a career in aviation. Its my opinion this would have the greatest positive effect on flight training.
Considering there is no minimum education requirements to get any pilot license the only minimum is the ability to read and write and be able to do basic math.

If there were I probably would not have been able to fly for a living considering I only went through grade eight.
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Re: What would you do? Need help making a decision!

Post by PilotDAR » Sun Oct 13, 2019 5:21 pm

The advice given so far has been excellent. Photofly has provided exactly the advice I would, and BPF has very fairly provided balancing warnings. Take the warnings, and, still buy a plane - just inspect it before you select that one! Cessna 150's and that group of very simple GA trainers are very well known, and very easy to inspect. Buy something slow, and low operating cost, you're not in a hurry, you're doing this to accumulate experience as logged flying time. BPF points out that due to a couple of "fail to check before buying errors" resulted in an owner spending $295 per hour for a 150 - silly expensive. But it sounds like after the owner put the money in to bring it up to standard, he/she probably could have flown it many more hundred hours, and it would probably have been maintenance reasonable. Don't laugh at the idea of 1000 hours in a C150, if it has taken you right up to being ready for multi ATPL, it was great value. Plus, as you demonstrate what a great owner you are, caring well for your plane, other flying opportunities will come along as you meet other owners - you'll get time on other types. I bought a modest 150 33 years ago, maintained it well all along the way, flew 3000 hours on it, and although I have no intention of selling it, were I to offer to sell, the present market value is four times what I paid for it. It's nearly paid me to fly it! Aside from some cylinder work, it has never surprised me with a maintenance shock. Do lots of research about the history, and future maintenance requirements, some types may have requirements for structural refit to remain airworthy. For my watching so far, 150's and 152's seem not to be affected.

Piloting jobs other than the airlines: Survey, medivac, charter cargo, corporate, floats in the north, just for a few.
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Re: What would you do? Need help making a decision!

Post by SpeedChecks » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:16 am

Get an aviation diploma specifically at confed. More recognized in the industry, faster, and is a way cheaper route.
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Re: What would you do? Need help making a decision!

Post by Squaretail » Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:11 pm

More recognized in the industry
Recognized by whom? Also what qualifications does it confer that your pilot's license does not?
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Re: What would you do? Need help making a decision!

Post by CubeRoot » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:22 pm

Thank you all for the feedback. Buying an aircraft is something I did not consider or think about for my training. I don’t think that’s the best option for me personally, however it could be a great alternative for other individuals. My options stand between going to a college program/ATPL or a modular self paced program. I still haven’t made up my mind, hopefully I can come to a decision soon.
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Re: What would you do? Need help making a decision!

Post by SpeedChecks » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:37 pm

Squaretail wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:11 pm
More recognized in the industry
Recognized by whom? Also what qualifications does it confer that your pilot's license does not?
By numerous airlines actually. If you refer to the hiring qualifications of AC for an example (because the OP said he eventually wanted to be there) states that an aviation diploma/degree is preferred and is given preference to beyond basic hiring requirements. Its not just AC who's preferring it...

Flight college is not "go your own pace" like you would do privately. They are more rigorous and if you don't match up with the syllabus you can get the boot. Not to mention you do get a college diploma out of it and its WAY cheaper/faster.

To each their own i guess :smt102
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Re: What would you do? Need help making a decision!

Post by photofly » Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:19 pm

SpeedChecks wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:37 pm

Flight college is not "go your own pace" like you would do privately. They are more rigorous and if you don't match up with the syllabus you can get the boot. Not to mention you do get a college diploma out of it and its WAY cheaper/faster.
How's that working out for enrollees at Sault College?
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Kirk: This is a dangerous mission. Likely, one of us will die. The landing party will be me, Spock, McCoy, and Ensign Ricky.
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Re: What would you do? Need help making a decision!

Post by SpeedChecks » Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:22 pm

photofly wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:19 pm
SpeedChecks wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:37 pm

Flight college is not "go your own pace" like you would do privately. They are more rigorous and if you don't match up with the syllabus you can get the boot. Not to mention you do get a college diploma out of it and its WAY cheaper/faster.

How's that working out for enrollees at Sault College?
Not sure, you should ask them
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