Flight Training - November 2014 - 51

CAREER ADVISOR

Tough choices

Which route-military or civilian?

» Q: I'm trying to decide whether to accept
a position with the U.S. Air Force Reserve
Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT)
program or apply to the regionals. I am
an 1,800-hour CFII MEI with a bachelor
of science degree in finance and making
$20,000 per year instructing and flying
skydivers. My goal is to find my way to the
majors and I am wondering if spending
the next couple of years as a regional first
officer and building time there would be
more valuable than USAF training as a
C-130/C-17 pilot.-Robert A.
» A: Oh, boy, that is a tough one. Consider
the pros and cons. Let's presume you have
the mental and physical aptitude to pass
the rigorous testing that aspiring military aviators must endure. Now, imagine

acquiring a significant amount of topnotch flying experience at no cost to you.
Imagine always remaining in the top tier of
desirable pilot candidates, whether applying for an airline or corporate flying career.
Imagine never having to exist on regional
airline pilot wages. At the least you would
start out at about $33,000 annually but
could progress to a six-figure annual salary.
Now the downsides: a substantial
commitment of nearly 10 years; the
possibility of numerous relocations
throughout your career, requiring
uprooting of family; being deployed to
unsavory parts of the planet; becoming
obsolete. With the ever-increasing role
of drones, it has been said that the last
fighter pilot was born years ago.
Next, consider the upsides of being a

new regional airline pilot. Frankly, there
are more than a few who say the upsides
begin when upgrading to captain when,
after five years or more, the pay and
schedule are fairly decent. Until then, it
can be a struggle with low pay, long hours,
and living out of a suitcase. The sacrifices
of those first years as a regional pilot
hopefully will result in a $75,000 salary
as a captain or, better yet, put you on the
road to the major airlines and a salary in
the mid-$100,000 range.
Of course, as an Air Force pilot you can
skip the regional airline path and go from
making a good living as a military aviator to
an even better living at the majors. Tough
choice! Talk with everyone who means
anything to you to help form one of the
most important decisions of your life.
Send your career questions to careers@aopa.org
and we'll publish the best ones here.

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KING_FT_FIRC.indd 1

9/9/2014 11:32:03 AM


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Flight Training - November 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - November 2014

Contents
Flight Training - November 2014 - Cover1
Flight Training - November 2014 - Cover2
Flight Training - November 2014 - Contents
Flight Training - November 2014 - 2
Flight Training - November 2014 - 3
Flight Training - November 2014 - 4
Flight Training - November 2014 - 5
Flight Training - November 2014 - 6
Flight Training - November 2014 - 7
Flight Training - November 2014 - 8
Flight Training - November 2014 - 9
Flight Training - November 2014 - 10
Flight Training - November 2014 - 11
Flight Training - November 2014 - 12
Flight Training - November 2014 - 13
Flight Training - November 2014 - 14
Flight Training - November 2014 - 15
Flight Training - November 2014 - 16
Flight Training - November 2014 - 17
Flight Training - November 2014 - 18
Flight Training - November 2014 - 19
Flight Training - November 2014 - 20
Flight Training - November 2014 - 21
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Flight Training - November 2014 - 25
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Flight Training - November 2014 - 37
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Flight Training - November 2014 - 42
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Flight Training - November 2014 - Cover3
Flight Training - November 2014 - Cover4
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