How to get into making flying a career?

Pro Member First Officer
horrgakx First Officer

The situation is that I'm being made redundant in June (UK) and I need to think about what to do. One option is to transfer within the company, another is to take the money & look for something else.

A fantasy would be to work out of a small airport in the US doing charter work, business work, tourist trips, that kind of smaller stuff. I don't have a pilots licence as over here as it's expensive and I'd not use it in a 'normal' job. But I would be willing to throw my full effort and resources into it, a complete change in career.

Is there anyone on here that knows if this would be possible, let alone how to go about it?


PS it's the Lago airports I've fallen in love with, Ranger Creek, Strom, Sultan, Diamond Point...

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Pro Member Captain
David (The-GPS-Kid) Captain

There are some real pilots on here that may be able to advise you but best bet would be to speak to a Flight Instruction school about your aim.

All I can say for sure is that without airline sponsership (that these days mainly happens through Universities), it is an expensive affair.

I think for the type of flying you're talking about, you'd be looking at the CPL License which is a notch up from the PPL (Private Pilots License), and allows Commercial Flying (but not Airline Transport which requires the ATPL).

Anyway BEST OF LUCK ! It's great to hear your ambition and if you're getting a good payoff from your old company, who knows it may be feasible for you.

Hopefully some of the real pilots (I'm a would-be Flight Ops Manager rather than a would-be pilot!) that get on here can give you some more practical advice.

Pro Member First Officer
PH First Officer

Sorry to hear about the redundancy but it often takes this to realise your ambitions. I have a UK ATPL and as suggested it does not come cheap if you go the self sponsored route. The US system is cheaper and easier, but although it is rare over here to have a pilots license lots of people in the states have them. Therefore finding the type of flying you want to do is difficult but certainly not impossible. The main hurdle will be the green card especially now with all the restrictions, "hoop jumping" etc even if just visiting it is fun and games! It is well worth looking into but I would really suggest researching the right to live/work issues first. You can still train in the states for a JAA license it is possibly the cheapest route but there are many pro's and con's doing this.
Good luck


Only you know if you really want to fly. Because if you do, then your a willing to do anything just to obtain it. Its a hard career to get started in, so you have to know

Pro Member First Officer
horrgakx First Officer

Thanks chaps. Thing is, if someone said 'you could have a job here' I'd be there like a flash. I have relatives in the US (Michigan) so they might help with legal stuff.


Pro Member Captain
John Hodges (originalgrunge) Captain

So if you're out of college, how easy is it to be picked up by an airline with sponsorship (here in America)? It's clearly too late to go to an aviation school, I've already gone through my Electrical Engineering degree, but I too would drop that in an instant to be paid to fly!!

Pro Member First Officer
PH First Officer

Check aviation job sites like to see what jobs are on offer. With a lot of airlines laying pilots off post 911 the market has been saturated but there appears to be a lot more movement at the moment. Personally I would suggest carry on with a secure job as long as possible while training and then you can get a feel for the market without giving everything up.

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