I posted in this AMA thread earlier today, and since then there was a lot of feedback and questions sent to me asking me for advice and the steps I took to become a Commercial Pilot. About 2 years ago I began the journey to achieve the career of my dreams. I had been thinking about this since I was a child and actively planning it since 2008.

My experience is related to become a Commercial Pilot in the UK (JAA/EASA), whilst there may be geographical differences in doing this around the world, some of the basics will still apply.

There are 2 main (much debated and discussed) ways of becoming a Commercial Pilot. The Integrated route, or the Modular route. One is not better than the other, as everyone's circumstances are different, and which route you choose has to be what is right for you. Integrated is a full time arrangement and this is what I selected to do, because of my age (I'm now 33) I wanted to complete as soon as possible.

The Integrated path to becoming a pilot was basically broken down into 3 stages. 6 months of classroom training and 14 ATPL exams. 3-4 months of good weather flying & progress testing in Florida, followed by the same again finishing off the CPL/IR (Commercial Pilot's License/Instrument Rating) here at home in the UK.

The Modular route, is as is sounds broken up into chunks. Many choose to get a PPL (Private Pilot's License), complete their 14 ATPL exams, then 'hour build' and finally complete a the CPL/IR. The modular route lets to complete the license at your own pace and perhaps suited for those on a budget, or those wanting to fit in the training around work or home commitments. It generally take longer than an Integrated course.

Having been out of education a long time, I had to take on tutors and self-study, just to get my brain in gear to pass the entrance exams for different Integrated flight training schools. I interviewed them and selected a school that had been training future pilots for over 40 years. I did lots of due-diligence before choosing where to invest my money.

Fast forward 26 months, I am two flights away from finishing with an Integrated ATPL (a) with Multi-Engine, Single-Engine (piston) and Instrument Rating endorsements.

If you want to know more about the details, some of the good things, the bad things and where I go from here... AMA... Proof has also been sent to the Mod team.


Comments: 147 • Responses: 60  • Date: 

MetallicSponge12 karma

I come from a very similar situation, but unfortunately have not been so lucky thusfar. I worked in IT for approx 10 years through college and afterward, as a Systems Engineer working on Cisco, Microsoft networks, etc. I had always wanted to fly and when i turned 27 decided to go for it, leaving my nearly $80,000 a year IT job.

I went part 141 in Florida as well, spent around 2-1/2 years as a student then flight instructor building hours. I was eventually hired as an FO at a large regional airline. This is when reality started kicking in.

Top level FO pay at my airline (and most regionals in US) was around $32,000. Upgrade times there were around 5-7 years, so quite a while to make that small salary considering the incredible debt load and training to get to this point (my loans for college + flight school are nearly $130,000, and are set for repayment over 30 years!). Top that off with often terrible schedule changes and work rules, and it makes for an interesting situation; the actual FLYING is incredible and i love it to this day, but the rest of the environment and situation surrounding the job is pretty terrible right now. Moral is very low, and like OP said the market is in a strange state of flux right now with older pilots retiring, low pay, no retirement, and limited jobs.

Now here's the kicker, and something everyone thinking about a flying job needs to keep in mind. About 4 years into my airline career I was suddenly diagnosed with a very rare medical condition which has resulted in the loss of my flight medical. There was no warning, no symptoms prior, but after three surgeries I still am not fit to operate an aircraft per FAA regulations. Thanks to our pilots union I still technically hold my job at my airline for another year or so, but my medical situation is becoming very bleak.

Because of this diagnosis I have had to take a consulting job in IT again just to pay the bills. So, here I am 8 years later, $130,000 dollars in training debt, only to be back working IT for 1/2 of what I was making before I left, all because of a random medical situation I have no control over. Do i regret it? Thats hard to say. I LOVED the flying, throughout training, instructing, and flying jets. I miss it every.single.day. However, its hard to look back and say I put myself into 30 years of incredible debt and got something out of it, other than an all too short flying vacation.

I wish OP the best of luck, and anyone else looking into a flying career. Flying is something that you simply have to experience to see how challenging, exciting, and intertwined with your life it can become. But be ready, for there are a million ways to have your wings clipped, both through your own doing or things that are out of your hands. Keep your nose clean and your eyes on the goal, take the right parts of the job seriously and the flying will be pure enjoyment.

OP, I am in US but feel free to PM me if you want to chat about airline life as a new FO.

domyates2 karma

Good post. I would definitely reccommend "loss of medical" insurance to anyone getting into this game. If you fall ill and lose your medical and can't them fly.. I believe the insurance kicks in and pays off training costs/future salary loss..

I thought all airlines took care of this for their employees?

MetallicSponge1 karma

Unfortunately a lot of places (at least here in the US) its not included. The ironic part is about 6 months after I was grounded our union added loss of medical insurance plans. Of course b/c i wasn't an active line pilot I didn't qualify, and would need a medical exam prior to being accepted into the program, which I would never pass at this point.

But to reiterate yes, to those looking to fly, if your company/union doesn't offer loss of medical get the ball rolling and fight for it! It may save your butt one day, and certainly would have helped me tremendously in my situation.

domyates1 karma

With all your knowledge you might be able to be a ground instructor if that's your thing. Help train the future aviators of this world!

nebulight1 karma

I have to say I'm a bit surprised the pay is so low. With the rates so low, you'd think they would offer the training for free. How are you expected to pay that back making such a low salary?

domyates1 karma

Salary differs around the world. It's not low everywhere. I've read that starting salary in the US isn't the best, couple that with incoming regulations for pilots to have 1500hrs before they can become a First Officer means many will have astronomical debt levels. It's not like this in Europe, or in places that accept a JAA/EASA Commercial Pilot's License.

sorry_but0 karma

I was going to add to this - I was contemplating becoming a career pilot at college however decided against it after hearing all the stories of low pay, poor hours, etc. I went to ERAU in Daytona Beach, and of the 8 friends who trained there to become pilots, none had jobs as commercial pilots last time I talked with them. The only person I know who flies for a reputable airline (Delta) was flying RJs last time I spoke with her...and she just trained at a small school in VA.

Flying is incredible, there is no doubt about it - but I think it's a horrible career choice and I think the OP would be better off staying in IT and flying on the weekends.

domyates1 karma

It's not all doom and gloom. The picture outside of America is more positive and the pay is better. Besides, I don't have an FAA license, I have a JAA/EASA one. Opens many more doors.

davidrab7 karma

describe you IT job please.

domyates6 karma

When I worked in IT, I worked as 1st.. 2nd and 3rd line Desktop Support, Systems Engineer, Wintel Engineer, Apple Mac Support, Field Engineer.. Systems Administrator.. lots of different names for doing the same thing. Sometimes it was a permanent role. Sometimes it was a contract one. Working in the private sector and the public sector. Multi-national companies, household names and companies at the top of the Fortune 500.

AVDweeb1 karma

What was your experience with deploying Macs in the enterprise?

domyates1 karma

From what angle..? The willingness of the organisation to use them, or the ease at which Macs can be integrated into a wintel architecture?

Brad_Wesley5 karma

Once you pass, what do your career prospects look like?

I have heard it is generally a low paying job unless you get on a really nice path with a major airline.

domyates4 karma

I have gathered that career prospects and wages vary greatly with geography. Right now a lot of airlines are hiring pilots, but not very many are hiring low-houred pilots fresh out of flightschool. I am happy to work anywhere for any airline, and not necessarily in a flight-crew role to start if that's what it takes to get into the industry.

Most of the time newly qualified pilots will find their first role by instructing or starting with a low-cost airline/regional carrier. From there a few year and many logged hours later and you might get a position with a 'flag carrier' or legacy major airline.

shiv4m4 karma

I want to know more about your IT career. How did you get started in that? 4-year school and then work? Where did you start out in IT and where did you end up before you quit?

domyates9 karma

I went to university and did a BSc in Management, nothing IT related. All my IT knowledge is self-taught from tinkering, taking things apart to find out how they work, and breaking a lot of things. It took me a long time to find a graduate job after university and even then, whilst working for an IT services company it was not in an IT role. I got a lucky break after being there 18 months to get my first IT role and subsequent roles followed.

skyhy1094 karma

First of all I have to say thanks for doing this AMA, I stumbled uppon it in the lottery thread and had to come check it out.

I'm also in IT and my career path looks very similar to yours, I'm transitioning into wintel at the end of this month. My dream is to be a pilot as well, I have some flying experience and I'm hoping to take my PPL sometime in the near future. Do you have any advice for someone who is in a similar situation to you but a few years behind? (I'm 22)


domyates4 karma

The biggest piece of advice I would give would be to speak to other pilots about schools you are interested in doing your training at. DO NOT pay all your money up front for a PPL. Even if offered lucrative discounts. Pay as you fly.

See how long they have been operating. What is the fleet of aeroplanes they have, & if you want to fly glass cockpit.

Also having a max of two different instructors (one main, one as his backup) to fly with would be beneficial. Someone who can assess your flying and build up a picture as to what your strengths and weaknesses are. Having a different instructor for each lesson will make this difficult.

skyhy1093 karma

Thanks for the reply.

So would you say you made the right choice in changing fields? Did you get tired of IT before you made the change or would you still fall back to it if you had to?

domyates3 karma

IT wasn't something I always wanted to do. Being a pilot was. I enjoyed my IT work, but it wasn't hard & I wasn't challenged. IT however paid well & allowed me to save up quite a chunk of cash for my training. Having it to fall back on is a great safety net to have until I can get an aviation job.

skyhy1092 karma

So I assume you made the career change for the dream of flying as opposed to the money, but now that you're in aviation how are career prospects looking for you?

domyates2 karma

For the dream of flying yes.. but also something that wouldn't have been a total nosedive salary wise.

The industry is picking up, airlines here and there are starting to recruit and I just need to be patient, keep myself current and network. I'm willing to start small and build up.

skyhy1092 karma

I appreciate your answers! I'm hoping to get my groundschool done before summer. Do you mind if I add you so I can pick your brain in future if the need arises?

domyates2 karma

Sure mate. No quizzing me on Rhumb Lines and Polar Stereographic!!

astro_junkie3 karma

My father was a pilot and briefly flew commercial passenger airlines. I remember he said he got bored with it quickly, because it was very automated and was more about serving the passengers' needs (meaning no fun flying or interesting trips, all very "point A to B" and monotonous). He switched to flying goods delivery trips (not sure what they call that type of flying) because it was smaller planes and no passengers to tend to. He said he much preferred it.

What type of flying are you most interested in? Do you worry you'll get bored?

domyates2 karma

I have heard other people say the same things, automation can lead to a loss of 'stick and rudder' skills. On the flip side with Commercial aviation & the right airline, you get to fly to some pretty special places.

I'm interested in all kinds of flying and as mentioned will do anything to get that elusive first role that will put hours in my logbook. Passenger, Cargo, Flight Instructor, Bush Flying, Aerial Photography, Pleasure flights.. the list goes on.

Who did your father work for?

haneyweb3 karma

How much did it cost? And where are you planning to get a job?

domyates5 karma

My circumstances differ from the norm, but most Integrated flight schools are the moment are charging in the region of £85,000 give or take. Again in most cases this does not include test fees, exam fees, medical fees, food, accommodation, travel expenses, plane tickets for travel abroad for good weather hour building, visa and immigration fees.. Can you see a pattern building?!

Sm3143 karma

Are you ever tempted, despite the obvious legal ramifications, are you ever tempted to do a barrel roll?

domyates6 karma

If I was in a plane certified for aerobatic manoeuvres I would love to. Otherwise no I'm never tempted. Death hurts.

CynicallySkeptical3 karma

How hard is it to get a job flying with a commercial airline and what does the pay look like for the typical candidate?

domyates2 karma

It's very hard. Imagine all the pilot redundancies of recent years combined with an extension of the retirement age for pilots and add into the mix the 1000's of guys qualifying with shiny new licenses each year... you're fighting for jobs with a lot of people who want their first foot on the ladder. Many of them friends.

Negro_Napoleon2 karma

How is the attention you get from women?

Are you worried about the increased exposure to radiation?

domyates2 karma

I don't really tell women I am a pilot, so I guess I am oblivious to it. My mum thinks I look very smart in uniform though.

I'm not too bothered but here's an FAA study if you want to have a read

waiting_for_rain2 karma

What was your last day in IT like? I fantasize about getting out of my desk and never going back to corporate.

domyates3 karma

It was Xmas Eve 2010. A nice present to myself. :-)

Deathbybunnies2 karma

Favorite flying movie?

domyates3 karma

I have a few. Air America is a lot of fun.

Deathbybunnies1 karma

Oh I remember that movie, it's with Robert Downey Jr. during his drug years.

domyates2 karma

So many funny moments. More recently, I sat with a smile on my face at the opening scenes in Flight with Denzel Washington.

7417761 karma

Whats your opinion about that movie? Did he deserve his eventual fate?
Edit: Denzel Washington in Flight

domyates1 karma

I thought it was a great movie. I was very entertained. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves!

punninglinguist2 karma

Or what a murderous job market makes for you.

domyates1 karma

Indeed. Which is why it's good to not put all your eggs in one basket.

7417761 karma

hypothetically, if you were his copilot do you testify against him?

domyates1 karma

Hypothetically, I have no idea. A co-pilot could be called to testify if things ever got that far. Working in a multi-crew environment you'd do your best to make sure it never got that far & that the plane and passengers were never put at risk in the first place.

red112352 karma


domyates3 karma

I would just say, don't look for reasons to do something... ask yourself "why not?" - Go and achieve your dreams, whatever they are.

Life is too short, and especially too short to look back and regret things. It's all a learning experience.

Noodle_Bacon1 karma

Would this be anywhere close to the same as becoming a helicopter pilot? I'm currently a game developer, but I have fantasies of doing something completely different and I've always thought helicopters seemed very fascinating.

domyates1 karma

There are many parallels to getting your fixed wing licence and your rotary one. Many of the exams are the same with specific ones for rotary. Then you have to accrue hours and get an instrument rating. Where are you a dev..? in the UK?

russell9891 karma

yeah, they're similar in regards to exams, but the major difference is price. my instructor was getting his rotary license when i was getting my fixed private license and he was paying triple what i was for rental and instruction. so you need 1200 hours total for a heli atp license (in the states, not all of that time has to be in a heli) and that'll probably come out to $200,000 or so. spendy!

domyates2 karma

From what I know, the Instrument Rating for rotary is very very expensive, but it's something you really do need for finding work, unlike the fixed wing, where you don't always need it.

domyates1 karma

It's not a question of not accepting the never ending march of technological progress, however where a long metal tube is filled with people, handing over controls to a remote pilot very far away is very unlikely to happen. It's certainly very different to your warehouse analogy.

Computers already handle 95% of the cruise and approach sections of a lot of passenger flights, but they are monitored by pilots on the plane for when the shit hits the fan. & it frequently does. Your vision proposes someone 'flying' from a computer far away. What if this 'link' is lost or some mechanical problem occurs during flight. Where's your backup. What if the backup fails. You need pilots... and the people 'flying' from their chairs in your dystopian future will still be pilots. It's not going to be 14year old PS3 gamers.

But as I've already pointed out in other posts, there are many different forms of commercial piloting, not just taking you on holiday, and in these scenarios you'd never have remote pilots.

Hybr1dth1 karma

How has this affected your personal life, wife, partner, kids? Do you expect large financial gain in a relative short period of time (5-10 years)?

domyates1 karma

Personal life: it's meant less going out drinking and socialising but my friends, family and girlfriend have been very supportive. My friends were initially quite sceptical and questioned it, perhaps because I was reaching for a dream whereas they had settled fairly happy lives. But over time they've been great, buying me dinner here and there. A pint down the pub so I don't have to put my hand in my pocket. My girlfriend is also very supportive, but knows my dream will help to look after us in the future.

I'd say for 5-10 years I'll be paying back loans but after that the money will be better and I can enjoy it more. :-)

superbear1 karma


domyates1 karma

Planes aren't going to fall apart because of turbulence.. they're stress tested on the ground to breaking point to make them as strong as possible.

Turbulence can occur anytime of the year, so you can't really plan to avoid it. But the only thing I'd say would be to keep your seatbelt on, because if the plan experiences windsheer or pockets of unstable air, the plane could drop 200ft in a few seconds and you'll go smack on the overhead storage bins and probably be knocked out and seriously injured.

Turbulence is just one of those things you're going to have to get over. It happens.

superbear1 karma


domyates1 karma

The same way I cope with other things that aren't scary, don't bother me, and are extremely likely to kill me. It's only because it's out of your control it bothers you. Planes are designed to fly in turbulence, therefore don't let it bother you.

SherifAshraf1 karma

What are the physical requirements for enrollment ? Is there a specific height for example ?

domyates1 karma

Different requirements for different medicals. Commercial requires a CAA class one medical. See HERE

screamer_1 karma

what is the best kind of Airplane to fly? as a pilot

domyates1 karma

That's a bit of an open question. Do you mean for training purposes?

Dumbledozer1 karma


domyates1 karma

Haha good stuff. Sounds exciting.

sourdsmokin1 karma

Do you wish now that you had joined the military to receive pilot training? Do you think any preference is given to former military pilots in hiring? Thank you for doing this AMA and pursuing your dream. I want to be a pilot someday.

domyates2 karma

Maybe in the good old days military pilots might have had an easy route in, but these days they still have to convert their hours and get a Commercial Pilots License. I don't think the military would have suited me.

RedditsFavoriteUser1 karma

Scariest moment when you were training?

domyates3 karma

I never really had any 'scary' moments or times I thought I might die. Going up for your first solo is always a heart pounding time however. It's not until I was back on the ground afterwards that it hit me that I just flew a plane on my own!

foolmcfoolish2 karma

My first solo I was thinking my life is literally in my hands (and feet).

domyates2 karma

When I got back on the ground I was soaked with water by all the other pilots training with me.. Kind of cooled, and calmed me down! :)

domyates1 karma

Sorry you're not having an easy time of it. I can't say whether or not you can be a pilot. With a medical condition it would depend if you can get a doctor to sign you off for the required medical. I find flying to be one of the most mentally challenging things I've ever done requiring sometimes more concentration than I have to give.

PawnShop8041 karma

What school did you go to in FL? I had signed up for a flight school in FL and then took a different career path.

domyates1 karma

The school I went to in FL was owned (in part I believe) by my old school in the UK. It was Orlando Flight Training.. since rebranded as ACA. Then Rebranded again as part of PanAmAcademy. I wasn't the biggest fan of OFT, although in part that could have been due to ownership, financial problems back in the UK. They used a mixture of PA28s and C172s. The PA28s were a bit of a nightmare, often things broken on them or being in maintenance for long periods. Plus in the Florida sun they were hot as fuck to sit inside on the ground.

Dude_man791 karma

The FL school wouldn't happen to be Embry Riddle in Daytona Beach was it? I was looking to go there when I first graduated High School. Then I took the college route and am now in IT.

domyates1 karma

No mate, if you have a look at some of the other comments it was OFT at KISM. Part of the old Cabair brand before it went bankrupt and died.

Swissgiant1 karma

How did you like living in/visiting Florida?

domyates1 karma

It was fun & hot! I lived a couple of miles from KISM in a gated housing complex with a pool and gym facilities etc. previously I lived in the Florida Keys for a year back in 1998. Also lots of fun.

Florida has a lot of nice residents but also a lot of weird ones. Bit like any place I guess. Biggest regret whilst I was there due to time was I wanted to go to a firing range but never made it. I still managed to get back to Tampa, Miami, St Pete, Key West, Orlando quite a lot during the summer I was there, & rented a Camero for a week when it was my birthday. :-)

BeanGallery1 karma

In few words, tell me how to fly an airplane...?

domyates4 karma

It took me a long time and a lot of words, demonstrations and explanation to fly a plane. I don't think I'd do it justice in a few words. Can we just settle on fairy dust and this image?

IceViper7772 karma

This diagram is missing one key piece... money.

airplanes fly with magic and money.

domyates1 karma

Lets add patience, tears, hard work and sweat to the mix then!

BeanGallery1 karma

good enough

domyates1 karma

THIS is a very good and comprehensive explanation. 'See How It Flies'

BeanGallery2 karma

For the record, I have a degree in Aviation... I know perfectly well how it flies... just wanted to provide you with a challenge. Thanks! :)

domyates1 karma

Cool.. Clearly more qualified than I am to explain it! :)

Optimistic_Runner1 karma

As someone who is thinking about going back to school (I already have a Master degree) to switch my career path, do you have any regrets now? Did you have any regrets during piloting school? If you had to incur debt, was it worth it?

domyates3 karma

I would say the only regret I have is choosing the school I did. Despite all the due diligence I did, all the research and checking, interviews and open days I conducted and attended, nothing prepares you for loosing all your money to the flight school going bankrupt. The school I chose had been operating for over 40 years. But I don't look back in anger because it would not serve me. The debt I incurred when starting the course, the re-mortgaging of my house to continue when bankruptcy happened and the debt I continue to have will all be worth it one day. I have to tell myself this, because otherwise, what am I doing it all for? Hindsight is 20:20.

pwsmith31 karma

As an IT professional who probably wants to do other things in life that don't pay as well...

How difficult was it to quit your IT job and take that inevitable pay-cut?

domyates3 karma

Quite simple. I wanted to do something else more than I did IT. When offered a contract extension, I turned it down. Have a plan and stick to it.

noahice1 karma

Awesome AMA, thanks! Lots of great advice, definitely some great guidance for me.

I'm 18, planning to start my training at ATP in Chicago at Du Page in Fall. I'm very familiar with flying and I study constantly, but going through school is something that I'm nervous about. I won't have a college education, and the more I look into it the more it seems like it's a necessity. I wanted to rush through getting my commercial license and ratings to get a head start on my hours and career in general, but now I'm not sure, and as I get closer to school I'm starting to panic. I don't even know what field of aviation I'd like to pursue; missionary aviation is great, almost like a calling to me, plus I love back country flying. Problem is I want to put money away early in life which is hard to do with borderline non-profit work, and most missionary aviation organization require a degree in Bible studies. Lolwut. I want to help people, not force my religion on them. I'll never understand why that is a requirement. But anyways, commercial aviation is what I plan on pursuing as of right now, I'm just not sure what the steps are for me, or what I should be doing now to prepare. I am out of high school, and I work part time. I will also be away from Chicago for two months this summer.

Whatever anyone can tell me, I'll be so grateful for. Thanks!

domyates1 karma

You're 18 so you have all the time in the world. I have a degree and a 2nd career to fall back on if something goes wrong somewhere. You have plenty of time to get where you're going. You say you want to be a Commercial Pilot, but how are your going to pay for it. Do you have the money saved. Saving it yourself through hard work and being responsible will make it mean more to you in the long run. Having loved ones or family pay for it for you takes away some of the responsibility and the necessity to really work for it.

Nobody can really tell you what to do, but try drawing up a plan.. perhaps an aviation related degree at university will be a good place to start.

mackvillain1 karma

Since it seems like you are a small engine pilot, what is your current job now? Are you striving to become a pilot for a commercial airline and fly 747s etc?

domyates3 karma

I fly Diamonds right now. DA42s. They're multi-engine piston class. Someday I'd love to fly Heavy, but till then any job putting hours in my logbook will be great.

PhilipJWitow1 karma

How hard was it to give up your original career, and what sort of plan did you follow to make sure you could give it up and still take care of yourself? (For example, did you work part-time? Did you have lots of savings? Did you just move back in with your parents?)

I myself would love to give up my job and pursue my dream, but when I think about the amount of money I'd be losing due to not earning a salary, and also just the risk of not being happy when I finally do finish reskilling myself -> It scares the hell out of me.

domyates1 karma

The course was full time so I needed to save the money to support myself. You can always pursue a route to a pilot's license and work at the same time. I just wanted to get done as soon as possible.

xxbertoo13xx1 karma

I've heard many people call pilots " high-class bus drivers" what do you think? and what was the most challenging part in becoming a pilot, i'm thinking of getting my ppl next year.

domyates1 karma

Not all pilots fly passenger planes, but yes there is a large amount of 'required automation'. It's needed because a computer can fly a plane more accurately and for longer than a human. But pilots will always be needed.

The biggest challenges were probably the studying for the exams and learning brand new concepts, and also paying for it all.

Finnagetmurked1 karma

I dont have any questions. Just want to give you props for doing what you want to do, and not wanting to be stuck behind a desk all day.

domyates2 karma

Thanks mate. :-)

TheGonadWarrior1 karma

This isn't really a question but I worked with a guy who did the exact opposite. He must be your doppelganger.

domyates2 karma

Pilot to IT?

Sounds like Bizarro World to me.

atypicalreddituser1 karma

Did you find the movie Flight as awful as I did?

domyates1 karma

I enjoyed the opening scenes, the flight sequences also made me smile a bit and John Goodman's character is great. Overall I enjoyed it.

althegoodnamesrtaken1 karma

I hope you're not in it for the money.

domyates1 karma

Money is not the leading motivator for what I'm doing for sure. But needless to say I wouldn't be putting the amount of money into my career development that I am, without there being the prospect of a decent return on my investment.

agent00is1 karma

how old were you when you decided to switch... 31?

domyates1 karma

I always knew I wanted to do this, it was just a question of when I actually got started on it. I went to university, got a degree, paid off student loans and bought a house all before starting on the road to my pilot's license. All important life decisions I think. I actively started the preparation for this summer 2008. Revision and studying etc before approaching FTOs.

sudo-netcat1 karma

In the course of your preparation, did you glean any information regarding the sponsorability of trained CPLs, as in visa sponsorability?

I would say becoming a CPL is as close to a dream that I have, but due to my circumstances, I can't train in my home country. (Not a terrorist or anything, it's just, I've never lived here until now and don't speak the language).

So if I were to pursue a CPL--a huge stretch anyway--I would have to rely on being sponsored to become a commercial pilot anyway. And, at least in the U.S., I don't think the major carriers sponsor too many pilots for work visas.

domyates1 karma

It sounds quite a complicated issue for you and one I can't really help with sorry. There are not many sponsored schemes at the mo, if at all.

sudo-netcat2 karma

Yeah, sounds about right. Somehow, despite the material that must be studied (of course, aerodynamics, flight behavior, even some meteorology if I recall), commercial pilot as a profession doesn't qualify as a "high trained position" or whatever the USCIS calls it.

Sucks for me.

Well, always happy to read about someone making it through though. I loved reading these kinds of threads on sites like airliners.net--people who made their dream of becoming a pilot come true. Enjoy it!

domyates1 karma

Thanks. It's been tough getting here, but now the real work starts.. finding a job.

bigpipes840 karma

I left aviation (AME) to go back to culinary school. Everyone always has to eat.

domyates2 karma

I went to a hospitality and culinary school many years ago. Coupled with actually working in bars, restaurants and hotels made me realise that's the last thing on earth I wanted to do for the rest of my life! Good luck to you.

TehStuzz-1 karma

Would you rather fight 100 plane sized ducks or one duck sized plane?

domyates7 karma

Probably the latter, although fighting isn't all it's quacked up to be.

ISOCRACY-3 karma

I hope you are not young... 20 years from now most aircraft will be piloted by some high school graduate with a 6 month tech degree by remote from Arizona or Isle of Man.

domyates1 karma

I doubt that. Concerns over automation would not permit it. Besides, it would only take one accident for it to never be allowed ever again. Pilots will always be needed.