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What to do when finances get in the way of training?

Hey Friends,

I started learning how to fly in 2008. I was not married at the time and I had a nice job with some discretionary income to spend on flight training. I fell in love with aviation and told myself I was going to get into this industry. Fast forward a few years and I got married and our first child was on the way. My wife and I didn't have much at the time. There was no way I could continue instruction and there was no way I could scrounge up some cash to go flying because we had this little guy to take care of. 14 months later we had our second little guy in our family and life seemed like it was crazy at the time. I was unable to continue my passion and dream of aviation. You may find yourself in the same situation I was in. You may not know what to do or how to get into the industry. Well, I hope I can share some great news and give you some insight into what I did to get to the point I am at. I want to acknowledge that I am still new to the charter jet world and still have so much to learn.

Looking Back

I can tell you that I was hurting in the moment. I was watching friends move on in their aviation careers and I felt stuck. What I can tell you is that persistence pays off and now I look at what I am doing and realize that there seemed to be a guide for me.

What Did I Do?

I ended up going to Western Michigan University and graduated with a bachelor's in Aviation Business Management and a Business minor. I started working for Verizon for several years. I learned so much during this time in sales and customer service. I know so many people in the Holland area because of this job. I did my job well and I had a decent group of customers that would come into our store looking for me. Deep down inside I was just not fulfilled. I made a really tough choice to change jobs and work for the local business that took care of the Holland airport. I enjoyed my time here but still longed to get flying and finish my training. I had a good friend that I worked with who got a job flying a jet and left me at the local airport. That was a super tough moment for me watching him start his career. Through the years, I earned promotions and spent 8 years out at the airport before I finally did it. I told my wife that I couldn't afford flying as a hobby and that I wanted to do it professionally. I began training in 2017 with one of the best instructors out there. I had to exhaust every resource I had to be able to pay for my training. I was able to finalize my training up to my Certified Flight Instructor license through self-funding and other agreements working on the job. I used some cash, credit, and contracts to get my way through flight training.

What is out there?

Aviation is a fun industry. Everybody in aviation wants to see you succeed in training. There are a lot of resources out there if you go searching for them. The following is a link to scholarships available to flight school students.

If you are considering flight training, take some time to look through those scholarships. There are even more scholarships out there that can be applied for aside from those listed in that link. A simple google search for flight training scholarships brings up a ton of options.

Good News

4 One Air Flight School has also partnered up with Stratus Financial to offer lending options to our students. We know that delays in training cost us money. It is our goal to ease that financial burden for you to successfully get through your flight training. I wish this was an offer for me at the time. Please follow the link below to check out our brochure. We have team members standing by waiting for your calls. We would love to help.

Good Service and Networking

I instructed for several years and became the lead instructor in Holland, MI. I was able to get the hours that I needed relatively quickly by flight instructing. I got a call from a friend asking me if I felt ready to fly with him for 45 North Aviation and I said yes. I want to talk about this for a second. I learned how to give quality customer service with Verizon. I was able to bring that customer service over to the airport where my job was completely customer service. I was able to give that customer service to somebody I did not know. That struck up a friendship over the years and that person continued to come into Holland. Well, that is the person who called me and asked if I was ready to fly with him. Aviation is a small world and you never know who might be wanting you to join their team.

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