How do I pay for pilot training when I don’t have any money?
Typical Dutch Pilot Girl provides tips for paying pilot training when you have no cash at hand. I get a loan and start a business and sell it later. I will use this to help train airplane mechanics. Apply to a school in another country where the prices are lower. Try to get a sponsor. If you’re lucky to have your child sponsored it is probably made easier by parents. The tuition fees in the Netherlands are among the highest in the world, around €150,000- the same education costs €50,000- the Czech Republic. In general, schools do not accept students younger than 31 years old.
How to Pay for Your Dream
Having a dream of becoming a pilot and getting behind the controls of an aircraft to guide it into the clouds is the start of a great life reaching for the stars. But that first step of getting your pilot’s license is a big one. Not only is flight school challenging and something that will take significant effort and time, but it’s also quite an expense as well.
Flight schools are not cheap. Offering instruction in getting a pilot’s license means employing highly trained and skilled instructors who are skilled pilots. In addition to the expenses of running classrooms, flight schools must be able to help you complete 40-50 hours of actual flight time which involves one on one time with that instructor. So flight schools must provide the airplanes along with the mechanics to keep those planes in good repair. All of that is expensive and that is built into the cost of your training.
So to make your dream a reality, sometimes you have to get a student loan or some financial aid to get where you want to go in the airline industry. Like any other form of education, there is assistance available if you know how to get it. So you are determined not to give up on your dream, you will have to make finding financial backing as much of a project as getting through flight school and getting that pilot’s license.
One often untapped resource are grants from organizations or companies that benefit from a fresh supply of good pilots. You can find out at your nearest airport the types of organizations out there that have grants for students who need help with flight school. Pilot fraternal organizations, as well as men’s clubs like the Boy Scouts, the Lions Club, or the Shriners, often have scholarships for deserving students. If you have an adult relative in one of these groups or you are a member or alumni of one of these groups, check out any grants they might have before you go to strangers.
Another clever way to get financial aid is to look for colleges that offer a full degree in aviation and flying. Often these schools operate a fully funded flight school as part of that curriculum. And if you enroll in an accredited college or university, the scholarship and federal student loan program through FAFSA is always there to be of help. Another “back door” trick to get free tuition and even some funding from the school is to go to work for the school or have a parent do so. Often colleges give free schooling to employees and their kids as part of their employee benefits.
But even if you are working with a school that is only about training pilots, talk to the administration because they may know of more grants or student loans you may qualify for. Before you start on this quest, make sure you have your financial documentation in order. That means having your tax documents all gathered up as well as bank records, pay stubs, or anything else that documents your financial status and can be used to demonstrate financial need for assistance.
The school can be an important partner to you in finding the funding you need. There may be existing federal programs like the Pell Grant or the Stafford or Perkins loan programs that will work to get you the money you need to get through flight school. Again, getting logged in with the FAFSA program is essential to go after any government funding but once you are approved by FAFSA, the government will most likely guarantee any student loan you need. That means banks and credit unions will welcome you with open arms when you come to them for a student loan.
You may actually be surprised how much financial aid is out there to help you realize your dream. If you must pay for your schooling with a student loan, don’t despair going into debt. Once you get your pilot’s license, your market value will skyrocket and you can pay the loan off from the good job you get in the aviation industry. And it’s worth going through that loan process because in the end when you have realized your dream of becoming a pilot, you will be able to sour above the clouds piloting an airplane and you will be grateful for anyone who helped you along the way.
How do I pay for general aviation training?
The best way to pay for general aviation training is by discussing it with your employer. Most employers agree that if training is a benefit to you, then the employer should pay for it. (If it isn’t a benefit, they won’t.)
The other way to pay for training is by taking out a home equity loan. This works well for a pilot who wants to go into a new field, such as instrument flying or tailwheel.
A home equity loan works well for a pilot who wants to upgrade. For example, if you want to go from a private pilot’s license to a commercial license, a home equity loan may allow you to pay in installments.
Another option is to take out a personal loan. This kind of loan is harder to get and harder to get approved for. But if you know a bank that will let you borrow money against it, this can be a good way to boost your credit.
General aviation training is expensive. (It’s also great fun and life-changing.) The best choice is to get a loan to pay for your training. Banks generally offer training loans. You generally need a good credit rating, at least one year of work history, and, in the US, an income of $40,000 per year.
You can use a loan to get a private pilot, flight instructor, or instrument rating training, but not a commercial pilot rating. Generally, banks only want to lend money for the training itself. They will finance the textbooks but expect you not to use them. (This is, in fact, quite common.) (The exception here is if you are paying for training through your employer. In that case, the employer may finance the textbooks.)
Secrets of successful pilots
Bob Hoover, a retired airline captain, flew for American Airlines for 32 years. He was once rated
Piloting a plane is risky. One of the best pilots in the world crashed his plane. Another crashed three times, despite having the best training. A third had a fatal accident, but his fourth flight was flawless.
What makes good flying?
The conventional wisdom is that it’s a matter of being able to read the weather and that training matters a lot. As pilots, we lie awake at night worrying about the weather. What we ignore is the part that predicts weather: physics.
A pilot’s job is to turn the plane, which makes the plane fly; the physics of the turn are complex but relatively simple. The physics of flying a plane are one part physics, one part psychology, and one part craft.
The physics part is fairly straightforward. A plane needs a wing, a propeller, and some way to control its pitch, or angle relative to the ground. These components can be arranged in any number of ways, and different combinations of components have different performance characteristics. Aircraft designers use physics to choose the best option for the mission.
The craft part is trickier. A pilot needs to feel the plane under him, to know when it is stable, and to be able to control it. But a pilot’s view and sensations are themselves the product of physics, and the same physics that give him accurate perceptions also give him inaccurate perceptions.
The part that’s hardest to understand is the psychological part. Human psychology is in large part the product of evolution. Our ancestors lived in a world with predators, and predators take an interest in things that are moving. (The predators were our ancestors, so it makes sense to think of them that way.) Being aware of predators was useful,
Common aviation expenses
The costs of flying are much higher than most people realize.
First, you have to buy the plane. Airplanes aren’t cheap. If you get one that costs less than $100,000, it’s not a good airplane. At best, you will use it for 20 years.
Second, you need to fuel the plane. Not everyone can afford to buy jet fuel, and even if you can afford to, it can be expensive.
Third, you need to pay for insurance. It’s surprisingly expensive to cover a plane with insurance.
Fourth, you have to pay for maintenance.
Fifth, you need to park the plane.
Sixth, you have to stay in a hotel while you’re traveling.
Seventh, you have to pay for your luggage.
Eighth, you have to feed yourself.
Ninth, you have to pay for the pilots.
Tenth, you have to pay for the airplane mechanic.
Eleventh, you need to feed the pilots.
When you fly, you spend a surprising amount of money on the same things:
On the first flight of an airplane, the Wright brothers could not even find their airport. It was in a cornfield, and they had no map.
The Wright brothers’ flight was only possible because plane designers had already done a lot of basic research on aerodynamics. The airplane was, in a sense, a wind tunnel on wheels. The Wright brothers had nothing to start with, so they designed a wind tunnel from scratch. But the wind tunnel had to be light, so it had a thin, light shell. The shell had to be strong enough to withstand the forces involved in the wind-tunnel effect, so the wind tunnel was made of aluminum, the same material used to make airplane wings.
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