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ERAU vs conventional flight training


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I'm very interested in getting my PPL and hopefully go through Commercial and CFI/CFII. I am in the Atlanta area and have been looking into where and how to start. I've read over the FAQ section (Thanks for all the helpful info there) and started looking at schools. ERAU has a "Worldwide" campus here very close to me and I was wondering if that would be a better way to go vs some of the regular flight schools. I know ERAU provides an opportunity for more finiancial aid options.

 

Background info:

I have a wife and 6 kids (everyone needs a hobby) and a house. I am currently in the IT field but am looking for a change. I would like to make a career of flying, but am trying to enter into this 'smart'. I would have to finance training and start at 0 hours. I know that some suggest the pay as you go route.

 

Any info and/or opinions would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks.

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I am a graduate of ERAU Worldwide with the BS Pro Aero degree. The ERAU Worldwide programs are tailored to those with existing aviation experience although it is not mandatory. If you don’t have a pilot’s certificate, an A&P, or military experience you can make up those credits with coursework. I think they will award up to 30 credit hours depending on your experience. Does ERAU have an agreement with a flight school in Atlanta? Anyway, I'm looking forward to graduate school at the Daytona Beach campus in the fall.

Edited by Tom22
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This is going to hurt but....don't do it. Keep your day job. A wife, 6 kids, and a home morgate. This sounds more like a mid-life crisis than a well thought out career choice. The life of a helicopter student in training, the life of a heli cfi(if you can even get a job as a cfi) the life of a 1500 hour pilot are all very challenging, and not even remotely conducive to your situation.

Please give this real thought and consideration. Flying helicopters can be really neat, but it is a rough lifestyle. Good luck to you in whatever you end up doing.

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I won't say don't do it. I want you to know the realities.

 

My monthly payment is $519 on an original $55K loan. Repayment was deferred until after CFI, but interest began accruing immediately. Principal is now near 66K.

 

You will likely spend 4 solid hours in commute, flight prep, pre-flight the aircraft, fly, post-flight and return commute. Every time you fly.

 

Your first job will certainly be CFI. Expect to make 15-20K per year as CFI.

 

Did I mention there is always something else you need to buy. New AFD every 56 days. New charts 180 days. Instrument training? Approach plates, most you will hardly look at. Flashlight for pre-flight, (oh crap, i left it at home...). That new kneeboard will solve all my problems.

 

I suggest you find a compassionate student or 2 and shadow him/her a couple flight days(you stay on the ground) and ground trainng. Flight training is a big commitment.

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Is it safe to assume that if you are in the IT world you have a degree? If that's the case, I wouldn't suggest ERAU. I would suggest more along the lines of a straight flight school, not a university. The university is going to cost you an additional 80g's for your degree, on top of your flight training expenses.

 

My 2 cents... and i'm also an ERAU grad. Daytona Beach campus '05

 

 

CHAD

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...Does ERAU have an agreement with a flight school in Atlanta? ...

I'm not sure what arrangements they have with flight schools in the area. I'm just now starting to look into the options that are out there.

 

...This sounds more like a mid-life crisis than a well thought out career choice...

I'm not sure I would call it a mid-life crisis. More like a life-long dream, and with the current state of the IT field and economy, looking for a career change to a field with a little less competition. I know that there are lots of pilots out there and a limited number of jobs for them, but you have to admit there are fewer pilots (helicopter pilots especially) than IT geeks.

 

...Flight training is a big commitment...

Thanks for the insight. This is the kind of info I was hoping for. Put things in a realistic light.

 

Is it safe to assume that if you are in the IT world you have a degree?...

Logical assumption, but incorrect in my case. I've been working for the same company for 10 years now, but do not have a degree. That is another reason I was looking at ERAU or something similar. Aside from the flight training, I would get the sheepskin and hopefully that would have some weight to it if and when I look to make a career change.

 

Thanks to all for your input.

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I'm not sure I would call it a mid-life crisis. More like a life-long dream, and with the current state of the IT field and economy, looking for a career change to a field with a little less competition. I know that there are lots of pilots out there and a limited number of jobs for them, but you have to admit there are fewer pilots (helicopter pilots especially) than IT geeks.

 

I wouldn't suggest that the aviation industry is any less competitive than IT, at least not right now anyway. Companies are raising their minimums because they can afford to be choosy, they are not desperate for pilots by any means. As much as you may not want to hear it, unfortunately K-38 and DanceswithCyclic's posts are accurate. I wouldn't advise anyone to be making career changes in this economy, unless you're an auto worker or construction worker that has lost your job. Leaving a job to undertake expensive retraining for another highly competitive career in this economy would be insanity in my opinion.

 

Just my 2 cents.

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...As much as you may not want to hear it, unfortunately K-38 and DanceswithCyclic's posts are accurate...

It's not that I don't want to hear it. Actually, this is the type of feedback I was looking for.

 

As I stated, I have always been interested in flying, especially helicopters. At the ripe age of 15, a 20 gauge decided to take a bite out of my hand and put a halt to my aspirations of joining the military. That leaves me with getting my PPL as my only option. Now that I am older (36) I want to get a degree, and found a way to combine something I have been interested in and an education.

 

However, I also want to get straight, reliable, real information from the people that are doing this for a living before I jump into a huge loan. Hence, me being here and asking you guys at the pointy end of the stick.

 

Thank you all for your honesty. Any further information/opinions still welcome.

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