How did you pay for the flight training

Pay for your training [closed]

Pay for Training (PFT) is one bad thing . I'm specifically referring to operations where you pay to get initial airplane training and fly the correct seat. Yes, you not only pay for 121 initials (BAD!), But also for flying from the correct seat. The bottom line is that you take up a place the company should pay you for!

Part 121 pilots are in a constant battle for wages. Companies paint a picture that the only reason they suffer quarterly losses is because they overpay the flight crew. Bargaining capital must be used to combat this. These Job Pay (PFJ) operations harm our negotiating positions on wages, as do the pilots that emerge from these programs, some of whom claim are more likely to support concessions (after all, they fly for free!).

These types of programs are hard to combat because flying is more than a job for many people. It's a dream and a passion, and some of these people like to pay for the "privilege" of flying a 1900 beech from the right spot.

You asked about the advantages and disadvantages, so:


  • You will learn an airplane and log some SIC and TT, maybe even turbines.


  • They are helping to lower wages across the industry.
  • They allow the company to avoid paying a wage to half of its pilots.
  • You will likely have a stigma going up in the 121 world, at least at a regional level (FOs I've flown with were very reluctant to mention their previous operation when it happened to be [REDACTED]).

Don't go the PFJ route. When you find something that pays you a flight wage, build hours to get a regional seat. Once you have your commercial (and cfi) certificates, stop paying to fly. You will also find that once you are in the world, it may not be worth paying to expedite your way there.


Given that no one is going to pay you to build hours on a type rating, paying for time or not getting a job at all is a choice for many people. And yes, this is a sad situation caused by the flood of unemployed people (and still a flood of new people with high hopes for great wages for very little work brought about by romantic stories about the pilot's life to come to the field).

casey ♦

If you want to fly for a 121 airline, who cares about a type rating? The airline will do it for you, you only need the hours to get on. Lots of people will pay you for it. After 250 hours, you can instruct and maybe find a powerline / pipeline patrol or SIC job. With 500 hours you are more insurable and more options open up, including the VFR 135 solo pilot. You are right no one is going to give you money just to build up time, but a lot of people will pay you to fly you a job. Ping me on chat if you'd like to discuss.


could be. However, most operators expect you to have X hours before you can control anything. And getting those hours is what people have to pay for. That's not to say it's right, but when enough operators are doing it, there is no way you can get lessons without submitting and starting the program unless you buy your own plane and most people just don't have that Money for it (and it would probably cost more than the hours to pay).

casey ♦

Conversely, if there weren't any people willing to pay for something the rest of us get paid for, then those positions wouldn't exist and the same companies would pay you for your work. If you go to any of these programs you will be taken advantage of and a fair bit of marketing that you think you need to be. The truth is you don't. In the 4 years I sat in a 121 cockpit, I flew with fewer than 10 people going through a PFJ program. As a 121 CA, if I had to choose between two 500 hour pilots who are a CFI or a PFJ to be my SIC, I would take the CFI every day.


One aspect that concerns me is the status of "student". If they pay to be there, they are likely not employees: they are unlikely to be covered by Workman's Comp if they are injured on the job. They may not have union representation, have been unable to receive unemployment benefits, may not pay for social security, etc.