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Age, Funding, and General Confusion


Slick37c
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Here's my situation. I'm 21 years old and realized I wanted to be a helicopter pilot for sure when I was 18. Got an associates degree in Liberal Arts :rolleyes: but now I have the chance to get into the plumbers union in NYC for the big bucks. Starting 24k/yr probationary pay for an apprentice plumber. I'd be able to very comfortably save 50% of that while living at home for the duration of the 5 year apprenticeship. Every 6 months there is also a $1.50 raise, but without accounting for that or the interest I will have saved 60k during the 5 years. That's also with tax taken out each paycheck. So it's very likely I'll have more than that but that's the safe number. Also the benefit of this is I can ask to be laid off and still pay the union dues so that if anything should happen I can come back and get at least some sort of job.

 

Now I know that's enough to pay for my training, but my question is should I do the training in chunks while working and studying as a plumber... Or should I wait until I have the money and do flight training full bore. I know it would be better to have the money and have 110% of my focus be on helicopters, but how does the industry look on age?

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IMO you should work and sock away as much money as you can. When the time comes and you've saved all that money reevaluate your life and make the decision whether to train or not to train. 5 years is a long time, you might decide you like being a plumber... In any case, if you decide NOT to train you'll have a nice savings. If you DO decide to train you'll be financially set and can devote yourself 100% to training.

 

The industry looks at hours, not age. If you're a safe pilot with a level head on your shoulders and a logbook that meets the reqs you'll be just fine.

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I work full time and train part time it is a difficult life choice. Sounds like you got a good plan and a good fall back plan. I'd start working on my Private but plan on doing it leisurly and shoot for two years to get that far going part time, no pressure just fun! When you got your Private in hand your possible futures will look a lot different to you.

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I'd work on your private as you can afford it. It will keep you thinking about aviation and learning all the books in the mean time.... there is more than 6 months to a year worth of information to learn and if you save it all up to do at one time you'll be way behind in my opinion.

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Super ultra mega DITTOS !!!!!

 

Chunks are fine.

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IMO you should work and sock away as much money as you can. When the time comes and you've saved all that money reevaluate your life and make the decision whether to train or not to train. 5 years is a long time, you might decide you like being a plumber... In any case, if you decide NOT to train you'll have a nice savings. If you DO decide to train you'll be financially set and can devote yourself 100% to training.

 

The industry looks at hours, not age. If you're a safe pilot with a level head on your shoulders and a logbook that meets the reqs you'll be just fine.

 

I totally agree. I would get some books (minimal investment) and do some reading along the way, but I'd plan to reassess the flight training idea in 5 years when you have the money. If you get 4, or 4 and half, years down the road and know that you do want to start your training at the 5 year mark, you could start part-time at that point. Doing that will give you a taste for it before you quit your job as a plumber and give you a head start on your training for when you do go full time. During initial training it is important to find a balance between flying frequently enough that you don't spend 80% of each lesson re-learning what was learned in the previous lesson and yet not so frequently that you get burned out.

 

On a side note, I wish I could live off $12,000 a year! I'm a frugal guy, but SHEEESH!!

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