Im at a fork in the road

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Bobbylol
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Im at a fork in the road

Post by Bobbylol »

Hey everyone, new to these forums but I'm looking for some help with my future. As one can guess I'm posting on these forums because my goal is to be a pilot, more specifically I want to work for a major someday or even regional, I just love flight, a little rough in today's situation but once this virus is gone my guess is the shortage is gonna be bigger than ever.

Now before we begin, I'm aware that majors want degrees or college diplomas, they don't say it's required but oh boy do they want one. Which is where the fork I'm standing at now is unfolding. I'm a high school senior (Grade 12), and with the year nearing the end and my applications to places sent in my mind has been racing on what to do, as far as I see if I have around 3 options

Option 1:
Go straight out of high school, take out a loan, complete up to a commercial license solo through flight clubs and eventually aim to get a instructor rating, pray I get a job, rack up 1500+ hours, pray I pass all my exams, get an ATP license, pray once more that a major airline will ignore the fact I don't have a degree and then bam I'm living my dream... this involves ALOT more praying then I would like and so I feel that its the worst but perhaps quickest route

Option 2:
Get out of high school, I've been accepted into an engineering course at a local university and thus I can take that, spend 4 years getting a bachelors in aerospace engineering, rack up so much debt I lose all emotion, then proceed to solo it and get all the way up to instructor, 1500 hours, ATP, apply for major, with my fancy degree and hours most likely get in and bam. I view this as the most secure but longest route, I mean 4-year degree, then maybe if I get my PPL while in school, another like 2 years after to get an instructor and then another 3-4 to get ATP, so like 10 years in total, oh boy that's a long road...

Option 3: (I'm leaning more to this one but I want to know if it is good, I'm new after all)
Finish high school, apply for Solomon College, they offer a combined Aviation College Diploma program which gives you a college diploma, as well as up to a commercial license for 95000$ (oh boy). Proceed to then take their instructor course which has a very high percentage of landing me a job either with them or through their contacts which they help you with through their program. Their whole course with degree and commercial is 2 years, instructor another year or semester so after that, and then obviously the working as an instructor to get ATP, apply to major with a college diploma and flight hours, better chance to get in but not as good as a full university degree.


These are what I'm stuck with, or well, what I believe I'm stuck with, do I wing it, the long road, or college path it. I also am not fully aware if Solomon College is good (Edmonton Based), so if anybody could let me know if its a total scam it would be VERY appreciated. Again, thanks for reading all of this and I really hope to get some good feedback as I need as much information as possible.
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bring me the horizon
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Re: Im at a fork in the road

Post by bring me the horizon »

I hate to break it to you kid but no major's gonna hire you with a wet ATPL and only instructor time. Most majors hire minimum ATPL +2500TT and extensive 704/705 experience, and that was before this train wreck. I suggest the bush method. Get a dockhand job in the spring (if there are any left) and learn the ropes. Save your money, get laid off during the winter and get your CPL with a float rating through a flight training unit or as you call it "solo". Next season they'll call you back and may or may not have a flying position for you. If they do, you lucked out. Start banking that sweet PIC time and maybe 5-10 years you'll be ahead of the game and ready to fly with the big boys.
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Bede
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Re: Im at a fork in the road

Post by Bede »

Why not get your licenses and work on your degree on the side while building hours? If you get hired with an airline before you’re done you can always quit. If not you’ll be ahead of everyone who did 4 years and then started flying.

Good luck!
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ayseven
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Re: Im at a fork in the road

Post by ayseven »

It is so much easier telling everyone else what to do, than it is to get out there and do things for yourself, but since we are all kind of stuck right now anyways...

Your first flying jobs are going to be seasonal. You could go to university in the winter. Then, once you have this nice shiny degree, you decide whether you want to continue studies, like I did, or continue banging your head against the wall in aviation, sacrificing your potential earnings, family, and any semblance of routine along the way. Essentially, do you want to earn real money, or be a professional pilot? The two are not compatible, UNLESS you are one of the lucky few, and end up with a low seniority number at Holy Grail Airline.

If you want something badly enough, do what it takes to get it, and go in 100%. Be patient, but move forward in anything you do.

There is another option you have not mentioned: the military. They pay for university and flying. Sounds good to me! Why didn't I do this? Portage La Prairie had no appeal... silly me. Brain fade or something going on.

Finally, nothing is "either, or". Paths change, and what you do is unique to you, so never be afraid of trying anything new and going down a road less travelled.

Mr Bede basically said what I did, but much more succinctly, so ignore my diatribe and read his comment.
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shamrock104
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Re: Im at a fork in the road

Post by shamrock104 »

Unfortunately right now the entire world is at a fork in the road.
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Bobbylol
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Re: Im at a fork in the road

Post by Bobbylol »

bring me the horizon wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:52 pm
I hate to break it to you kid but no major's gonna hire you with a wet ATPL and only instructor time. Most majors hire minimum ATPL +2500TT and extensive 704/705 experience, and that was before this train wreck. I suggest the bush method. Get a dockhand job in the spring (if there are any left) and learn the ropes. Save your money, get laid off during the winter and get your CPL with a float rating through a flight training unit or as you call it "solo". Next season they'll call you back and may or may not have a flying position for you. If they do, you lucked out. Start banking that sweet PIC time and maybe 5-10 years you'll be ahead of the game and ready to fly with the big boys.
Thanks for that quick reply by the way. Also man I actually feel pretty dumb because I never took into consideration that an airline wouldn't hire a right out of the gates newcomer. However now that you mention it, the bush method might actually be pretty good for where I am, I live in Alberta one of the biggest places for oil and whatnot and I bet it wouldn't be too hard to find an oil company who needs bush pilots to monitor their lines or fly our workers. Alright yeah, ill defidently keep this in mind, and hey if I do the college route id get a diploma, CPL, and be right and ready to go straight into a bush job and rack up hours.
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Bobbylol
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Re: Im at a fork in the road

Post by Bobbylol »

ayseven wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:59 am
It is so much easier telling everyone else what to do, than it is to get out there and do things for yourself, but since we are all kind of stuck right now anyways...

Your first flying jobs are going to be seasonal. You could go to university in the winter. Then, once you have this nice shiny degree, you decide whether you want to continue studies, like I did, or continue banging your head against the wall in aviation, sacrificing your potential earnings, family, and any semblance of routine along the way. Essentially, do you want to earn real money, or be a professional pilot? The two are not compatible, UNLESS you are one of the lucky few, and end up with a low seniority number at Holy Grail Airline.

If you want something badly enough, do what it takes to get it, and go in 100%. Be patient, but move forward in anything you do.

There is another option you have not mentioned: the military. They pay for university and flying. Sounds good to me! Why didn't I do this? Portage La Prairie had no appeal... silly me. Brain fade or something going on.

Finally, nothing is "either, or". Paths change, and what you do is unique to you, so never be afraid of trying anything new and going down a road less travelled.

Mr Bede basically said what I did, but much more succinctly, so ignore my diatribe and read his comment.
This is actually pretty good advice, another user had suggested getting a bush job and I think that might be a good idea in order to work in the summer and during the winter work on a degree. With the military route I'm not a well, "fit" person lol, and while yeah the military would most likely change that very quickly and I did dwell on it for quite a long time about joining the military, moving from family and friends as well as having to completely relocate as the only nearby airbase with an actual air corp is a city or two away, not that big a deal but if I could stay with my family that would be better for me, ironic seeing as how I want to work for a major lol.
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Bobbylol
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Re: Im at a fork in the road

Post by Bobbylol »

Bede wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:33 am
Why not get your licenses and work on your degree on the side while building hours? If you get hired with an airline before you’re done you can always quit. If not you’ll be ahead of everyone who did 4 years and then started flying.

Good luck!
I think this might be what I do, with what people have said I think I'm either gonna accept my engineering at the local university, take the 4 years, and while getting a degree for 4 years get a CPL, and then take a bush pilot job nearby somewhere in summers and in the winters if I'm still getting a degree then there I go!
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pild04
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Re: Im at a fork in the road

Post by pild04 »

Bobbylol wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:47 am
Bede wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:33 am
Why not get your licenses and work on your degree on the side while building hours? If you get hired with an airline before you’re done you can always quit. If not you’ll be ahead of everyone who did 4 years and then started flying.

Good luck!
I think this might be what I do, with what people have said I think I'm either gonna accept my engineering at the local university, take the 4 years, and while getting a degree for 4 years get a CPL, and then take a bush pilot job nearby somewhere in summers and in the winters if I'm still getting a degree then there I go!
Just a recommendation, once you get your night rating, please do your time building during the night as it's a requirement for your ATPL.

Good luck!
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Bobbylol
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Re: Im at a fork in the road

Post by Bobbylol »

pild04 wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:37 pm
Bobbylol wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:47 am
Bede wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:33 am
Why not get your licenses and work on your degree on the side while building hours? If you get hired with an airline before you’re done you can always quit. If not you’ll be ahead of everyone who did 4 years and then started flying.

Good luck!
I think this might be what I do, with what people have said I think I'm either gonna accept my engineering at the local university, take the 4 years, and while getting a degree for 4 years get a CPL, and then take a bush pilot job nearby somewhere in summers and in the winters if I'm still getting a degree then there I go!
Just a recommendation, once you get your night rating, please do your time building during the night as it's a requirement for your ATPL.

Good luck!
Oh sweet thanks for the tip!
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Redneck_pilot86
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Re: Im at a fork in the road

Post by Redneck_pilot86 »

Keep in mind that there have been upwards of 30,000 pilots laid off in the last month, and its going to take years to recover. If I was not already well situated in aviation, I wouldn't be looking to get into it right now.
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Bobbylol
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Re: Im at a fork in the road

Post by Bobbylol »

Redneck_pilot86 wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:02 pm
Keep in mind that there have been upwards of 30,000 pilots laid off in the last month, and its going to take years to recover. If I was not already well situated in aviation, I wouldn't be looking to get into it right now.
Yeah I've been getting that idea, with Covid-19 its a really bad time for pilots. Though it can't last forever right? and Im hoping that once this whole situation has blown over the demand for pilots will be even higher with everyone wanting to go on their delayed vacations. Plus I've still got years to go so hopefully by then it will be better ;( This is my life dream so I'm not gonna let some measly world pandemic get in my way lol
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pild04
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Re: Im at a fork in the road

Post by pild04 »

Oh sweet thanks for the tip!
[/quote]

Happy to help!
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tombrooks
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Re: Im at a fork in the road

Post by tombrooks »

Redneck_pilot86 wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:02 pm
Keep in mind that there have been upwards of 30,000 pilots laid off in the last month, and its going to take years to recover. If I was not already well situated in aviation, I wouldn't be looking to get into it right now.
I'm not sure that I buy the idea that this pandemic is going to cause a long-term decrease in the number of pilots needed. Major airlines have grounded almost (or, in some cases, all) of their fleet so, of course, in the short term as long as the pandemic is an issue there will be layoffs and airlines aren't going to be hiring. Once this passes though, airlines will need to get their planes in the air again and will be hiring back staff who have been laid off. It won't happen instantly, but it will happen as quickly as they can manage as planes on the ground don't make money.

Furthermore, those pilots reaching retirement may well be considering whether they want to get back in the air after this and, this could well hasten the decisions of some to leave the profession. With this, and people naturally reaching retirement age over the next year or so while airlines are not hiring new recruits, there's surely bound to be a shortage of pilots in the medium term.

In the next two, maybe three years, for sure, it's going to be tough whilst airlines recover and pilots get their currency back but someone in the position of the OP who is considering starting training in the coming months won't be in a position to apply for jobs at airlines until well after this downturn has passed. If you consider that training and experience-building can easily take 4-5 years, this seems to me to be actually a pretty good time to be considering getting into the profession. If airlines start going out of business, on the other hand, it may take longer to get going again - that will depend on how quickly this virus passes and how much support governments give to the airline industry.

OP, for what it's worth, my advice would be to strongly consider keeping your options open. If you're absolutely determined to become a pilot, that is fine - but remember that you may not have the aptitude for it, or may go through training and simply decide that either you don't like it, or decide that you'd rather keep flying as a hobby, rather than a profession. A degree (particularly an engineering-related one) is going to put you in a strong position with airlines for the future and, if you decide that piloting as a career isn't for you, you would still be able to get a really well-paid job elsewhere. Just my two cents.
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Last edited by tombrooks on Sat Apr 04, 2020 1:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

trey kule
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Re: Im at a fork in the road

Post by trey kule »

Fork in the road! I think the industry may be forked.

What interests me is some of the posts talking of recovery times.
Where are you folks getting the information you are basing your projections on?

Optimism, pessimism, denial, hope,and emotion are not facts.
And finding “facts” to support your beliefs can lead to a whole world of disappointment.


To the OP.

Do what you will. The path may be easy. Or long and hard.
Plan for the latter. Hope for the former.
But never delude yourself by “believing” without hard facts.
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triplebarrel
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Re: Im at a fork in the road

Post by triplebarrel »

Why not go to confederation college or sault college and have subsidized training? I don't know the cost but I work with a guy who went to Confederation and I believe at that school you get your CPL with Group 3, then he went to Cornwall aviation to get his Group 1 in about 7 days or less. He did confirm that it's significantly cheaper than a private flight school. Look into Confed and sault. At Sault, it will take you 3 years and Confed 2.5 Both subsidized. Call them for the tuition, I did this once and I was blown away at how much cheaper it is. Then get a job in Northern Ontario and do your degree online when you are not flying as someone mentioned. Then you'll have an aviation diploma (from confed/sault) with a degree(online) and ATPL (northern Ontario flying) with real flying experience (not instructor flying). Should be able to get a regional no problem. Another option is MRU in Calgary, a lot of those graduates seem to have good luck getting jobs. Don't really know how it happens lol but that program is widely recognized as its a university. (but you don't get a degree)

You mentioned before that you can get work in Alberta no problem. Yeah, there are jobs but you won't be flying workers since there are contrail requirements for that, meaning you'll need a certain amount of hours to fly those bodies up north, has to do with insurance/safety I think. But there's medevac, pipeline patrol, survey work, etc

Your timing seemed of with your licenses. PPL took me 5 months, CPL 6 months, multi-engine 3 weeks and IFR was roughly 1 month or so. No idea about instructor rating but you said 2 years? I am pretty sure it's only a few months for that one. Then ATP? first of all please refer to it as ATPL in Canada. ATP is correct in the USA but even their job ads a lot of times say ATPL. So if you get your instructor rating then yeah you'll have to fly for 2-3? years to sign off your ATPL but it's not recommended to do ATPL from pure instructor hours. I've never heard of anyone doing it but maybe someone can shed some light on it. My former instructor had around 1300 hours and his ATPL tests complete then went to medevac. So he would have got his ATPL signed off at the medevac.

So really, 3 years for Sault College then at 21 years old you can start flying. Do your degree online. Fly for 2.5 years or so at a bush op. that would get you your 1500hours/ATPL and given that's a total of 5.5 years hopefully your online degree is done. And you should be good to get into a regional with a good potential of moving into a major.

If you did your training privately in Edmonton you could probably knock 1.5 years off the 3 years at SAULT. Money is also a problem in this game. I know MRU program is around 95k that one I talked to the school in person and thats what they said. How much is a degree? I know your CPL with group 1 is roughly 60k. Sault/confed I believe are around 35k. Instructor rating itself is 10k+


https://www.saultcollege.ca/Programs/Pr ... upcode=AVI

https://www.confederationcollege.ca/pro ... management
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Bobbylol
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Re: Im at a fork in the road

Post by Bobbylol »

triplebarrel wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:04 am
Why not go to confederation college or sault college and have subsidized training? I don't know the cost but I work with a guy who went to Confederation and I believe at that school you get your CPL with Group 3, then he went to Cornwall aviation to get his Group 1 in about 7 days or less. He did confirm that it's significantly cheaper than a private flight school. Look into Confed and sault. At Sault, it will take you 3 years and Confed 2.5 Both subsidized. Call them for the tuition, I did this once and I was blown away at how much cheaper it is. Then get a job in Northern Ontario and do your degree online when you are not flying as someone mentioned. Then you'll have an aviation diploma (from confed/sault) with a degree(online) and ATPL (northern Ontario flying) with real flying experience (not instructor flying). Should be able to get a regional no problem. Another option is MRU in Calgary, a lot of those graduates seem to have good luck getting jobs. Don't really know how it happens lol but that program is widely recognized as its a university. (but you don't get a degree)

You mentioned before that you can get work in Alberta no problem. Yeah, there are jobs but you won't be flying workers since there are contrail requirements for that, meaning you'll need a certain amount of hours to fly those bodies up north, has to do with insurance/safety I think. But there's medevac, pipeline patrol, survey work, etc

Your timing seemed of with your licenses. PPL took me 5 months, CPL 6 months, multi-engine 3 weeks and IFR was roughly 1 month or so. No idea about instructor rating but you said 2 years? I am pretty sure it's only a few months for that one. Then ATP? first of all please refer to it as ATPL in Canada. ATP is correct in the USA but even their job ads a lot of times say ATPL. So if you get your instructor rating then yeah you'll have to fly for 2-3? years to sign off your ATPL but it's not recommended to do ATPL from pure instructor hours. I've never heard of anyone doing it but maybe someone can shed some light on it. My former instructor had around 1300 hours and his ATPL tests complete then went to medevac. So he would have got his ATPL signed off at the medevac.

So really, 3 years for Sault College then at 21 years old you can start flying. Do your degree online. Fly for 2.5 years or so at a bush op. that would get you your 1500hours/ATPL and given that's a total of 5.5 years hopefully your online degree is done. And you should be good to get into a regional with a good potential of moving into a major.

If you did your training privately in Edmonton you could probably knock 1.5 years off the 3 years at SAULT. Money is also a problem in this game. I know MRU program is around 95k that one I talked to the school in person and thats what they said. How much is a degree? I know your CPL with group 1 is roughly 60k. Sault/confed I believe are around 35k. Instructor rating itself is 10k+


https://www.saultcollege.ca/Programs/Pr ... upcode=AVI

https://www.confederationcollege.ca/pro ... management

Hey thanks for the tip with the ATPL, as well with the link to Sault College, that's actually really cheap! The local aviation college near me is nearly 100 grand for their two year course! Im really going to have to look into this, but that being said a local course is much more appealing to me as well, I don't have to deal with the stress's of moving but this does look way too promising to just ignore, looks like I'm going to have to make my decision quick though as its closing on their deadlines to apply pretty quick here, which well, is my fault for not looking into this sooner... Anyways, yeah I was private messaging another user who had replied to this post and we came to the same solution, I should take a aviation college program, get my licenses and a education from that, get a bush job and during the winters or online take a proper degree in engineering, which all these combined give me a relatively good shot at once my hours are way up there and my ATPL completed, and well, hopefully the whole covid situation beaten a good shot at getting into a major!
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triplebarrel
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Re: Im at a fork in the road

Post by triplebarrel »

Bobbylol wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 12:10 pm

Hey thanks for the tip with the ATPL, as well with the link to Sault College, that's actually really cheap! The local aviation college near me is nearly 100 grand for their two year course! Im really going to have to look into this, but that being said a local course is much more appealing to me as well, I don't have to deal with the stress's of moving but this does look way too promising to just ignore, looks like I'm going to have to make my decision quick though as its closing on their deadlines to apply pretty quick here, which well, is my fault for not looking into this sooner... Anyways, yeah I was private messaging another user who had replied to this post and we came to the same solution, I should take a aviation college program, get my licenses and a education from that, get a bush job and during the winters or online take a proper degree in engineering, which all these combined give me a relatively good shot at once my hours are way up there and my ATPL completed, and well, hopefully the whole covid situation beaten a good shot at getting into a major!

Yeah no problem. Good luck
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Turboprops
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Re: Im at a fork in the road

Post by Turboprops »

I did option 2, engineering as well, finished PPL + night rating + multi + all time building before graduating. Took another 4-5 months to get my group 1 and CPL, yup winter in Vancouver sucks but I got it done. Found a 702 job 2 days after CPL flight test.
My high school buddy did option 3 at BCIT, found a job flying PC12, then on to a metro.
My point is, they all work, depends on what you like. Do you really want to do engineering?
I do not regret a single bit of my decision to do engineering, met bunch of incredible people, had so many nice memories, and I can find an engineering job if this pandemic takes too long to recover (currently laid off), but if it's not something you like I'd say don't waste time and do option 3?
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classof2020
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Re: Im at a fork in the road

Post by classof2020 »

I would get your education and do the training on the side. You will finish quicker and have something to fall back on if need be.

If you have time and money to waste, then look at Sault College Aviation program. There is enough posts on here as well other sites as to what I a referring to. Most if not all of their 3rd year students, Class of 2020, did not even have their private when they finished their 2nd year. In that second year students were going a month or longer between flights, repeatedly, it was a major mess. Students were failing their rides because of inconsistent flight training, again flying one day, then waiting weeks or longer before their next flight.
The school takes way to many students for what they have as each seat is part government funded. Parents were pulling kids out of the program from lack of progress.

My vote, go to a college, or a University and get an education. If you can manage to fly during the same time, or after you get a degree, then do that. You will not waste time and money like at Sault, and finish quicker. The industry is going to take 12-18 months to get back on its feet, so you have some extra time.

All the best and good luck. Whatever you decide to do, will be the correct decision for you!
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rigpiggy
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Re: Im at a fork in the road

Post by rigpiggy »

Wrt the ontario colleges subsidies, i believe that you have to have gone to school in ontario, and be a resident
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tsgarp
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Re: Im at a fork in the road

Post by tsgarp »

Before you decide on Sault or Confederation, find out what the tuition is for out of province students (given that you referenced Solomon College I assume you are in Alberta). Have you looked at Mount Royal University’s program? I’m not sure if they are subsidized or not, but the airlines do seem to like their degrees.
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