I've taken a look at the following questions, but I don't know what to make of it: Switching careers to become a professional pilot

For me, there seems to be something not quite right about the way it's been asked (seems to vary on personal experiences/stories passed on), but I'm not exactly sure how, so I've refrained from voting to close just yet. What I'd like to ask is whether you'd consider this question suitable or not for our site, and why.


Personally, I don't consider it suitable, at least in its current form. The heart of the question seems to be how the OP can find a commercial airline pilot's job that will pay enough to "feed a family", which is already a very subjective measure and depends a lot on location and expectations. I don't think there's any single, useful answer to this question that will be relevant to a wider audience.

Perhaps the question can be rephrased as I did with this this one, which is quite similar in some ways. for example:

How much time and money are required to get an ATP license and enough hours to be considered for an airline position?

That's a more 'objective' question in my opinion and a good answer could actually be useful to anyone considering going the ATP route.

  • $\begingroup$ I think this falls more into "Career Advice" than "Aviation" -- the what to expect in an Airline interview question was marginal (no "one correct answer", but possibly many valuable ones), this one seems more likely to just generate debate/opinion rather than useful fact... $\endgroup$ – voretaq7 Jan 23 '14 at 17:50

I was going to post an answer to that one but ultimately decided against it as it was just my opinion. It is primarily opinion based as worded and I dont think any answer will be suitable.


"How do I switch careers" is a very broad topic with way too many possible answers, and most of them would be primarily opinion-based. There are many possible paths that someone could take, and it is nearly impossible to say which one is the best.

Since the other answers here pretty much mirror that sentiment and have the support of others, I went ahead and closed it as Too Broad (Primarily Opinion Based was a close second).


Thank you for all the answers here, and excuse my sarcasm, and definitely sorry for posting a bad question on your site.

Well, I never mentioned that how I can get a pilot's job to "feed a family". My question was more pointed to the feasibility of such a career path, if one decides to take it seriously. Can one not change a career after working for many years in it? And when one does that, the financial stability of the newly adopted career path is definitely considered. And if one has a family, one has to look how the family can be fed on $17k/year.

Certainly the question Pondlife has mentioned has evolved a lot since it's original form. No one tried to put a tiny bit of effort to offer any suggestion or correction to mine.

And by definition, forums are meant to be opinion-based. Otherwise no question can have more than a single answer.

Now please go ahead and downvote this answer. This forum is very clearly biased towards people with a lot of experience, and not towards students or learners.

Thanks again.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ First of all, welcome to Aviation.SE! As you are seeing, we do things differently here. Your question was put on hold. It sucks, I know. I had it happen to me when I first started using one of the many other SE sites. You see, this isn't a forum. Instead, it is a Q&A site where the goal is to have questions with "one best answer". Questions that are meant to start a discussion or have a lot of valid answers are considered off-topic. This doesn't mean they are bad questions though. In fact, I think that you had a great question because I went through exactly what you are asking about! $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger Jan 24 '14 at 6:11
  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, those questions don't fit the SE "formula". Take a look at How to Ask to get an idea of how the site works. help center will walk you through the process. Notice that your question is "on-hold". We didn't delete it because we want you to improve it. Then it can be reopened and you can get the answer that you are looking for. When you have a larger subject (discussion) in mind, stop by Aviation Chat where they are welcome! Above all, know that students and learners are very welcome here, and we (really) are here to help you. I hope that you learn to love our way of doing this as much as I do! $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger Jan 24 '14 at 6:11
  • $\begingroup$ If the alternative wording that I suggested in my answer here looks good to you then let me know and I'll be happy to edit your question as I did for the other one. I think the idea in your question is a good one that's interesting for a lot of people but it would be better to present it a bit differently. This isn't a criticism of you: as @Lnafziger said, SE works differently from many other sites, and asking good questions in a way that gets specific, useful answers isn't actually easy. But that's the point of SE: there are plenty of ways to get feedback and improve questions and answers. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Jan 24 '14 at 16:02
  • $\begingroup$ I just went ahead and changed the question. I think you're really asking two separate questions: what does it cost to get an ATP cert; and what do airline positions pay? I edited your question to focus on the first point, you might want to ask a new question about salaries. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Jan 24 '14 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you @Lnafziger. I agree with your suggestion in your second comment to improve the question, but unfortunately could not think of better words to keep it specific. $\endgroup$ – Farhan Jan 24 '14 at 17:04
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you @Pondlife. Your revision has probably improved the question or questions I had in mind. I hope that it can get some better feedback than my original version did. $\endgroup$ – Farhan Jan 24 '14 at 17:06
  • $\begingroup$ This looks much more answerable since it has been edited, and I have reopened it. Thank you both for working through this! $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger Jan 24 '14 at 17:07

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