are we crazy?


New Member
just wanted to post a general question to all you guys. that is, ARE WE FRICKIN' CRAZY? lets face the facts. there's a good number of us on this board who are taking out massive loans to pay for flight training including myself. going to an airline soon after flight school isn't going to happen for most of us and most schools have long waiting lists for cfi slots. most "joe blow" fbo's don't have enough students to keep us busy. i've seen many discussions here about our fellow commrades taking out $80k loans. even if your flight school could guarantee you a job at a regional, not and interview, you won't even make enough to pay that amount back in addition to supporting yourself. that is an outrageous loan payment. my loan is only a little over half that amount and i don't know how i'm going to pay that back. just curious of what ya'll thought. are we crazy?
If crazy is going for you dreams with all you got, and doing anything to do what you love, then hell yeah im crazy! The world could use more crazy hard working people likes us potential airline pilots!
I think I'm planning on taking out about 55k if I can in loans, and starting college a year after (CHEAP school, hopefully mostly covered by grants and scholarship)..

Anywhoo.. Maybe we're a bit crazy, I won't deny it.

Minimum payment on the loans I've seen is 50 dollars- Of course, you can't expect to pay that every month and pay it off, but if you pay only the 50 dollars a month while you are in a low income period, hopefully it will work out.

Loans are my *only* option without several years of doing a job or career that I know ahead of time is not right for me.

I don't expect to be hired out of training, or even out of my first CFI job- I just want to be able to build my hours while working through college, instead of daydreaming for four years looking at the sky.

Without getting too much personal muck, I think doing and having all my rateing will boost my confidence greatly when I go for my degree.
Having a wife with a stable salary coming in makes it doable. There's no way in the world I could live on my CFI pay alone.

Best of luck

Yes, we are. We want to fly so badly that we'll endure thousands of hours of teaching nervous folks how to fly; we'll endure the low pay of instructing and regionals; and so on.

All so that we can get paid to do what we love.

But you know what, I think it's more crazy to do something you hate for the next 30 years. I've been there, done that, and will take $40K for flying over $100K for selling ads for a bunch of • anytime!
I am vowing to NOT go into debt for flying.

So far it's been working: live at home; go to a community college; work during school and summer... expenses are virtually nil, income isn't much either but it pays for flying; and I'll hopefully be a CFI (or close) by the time I move out (probably at 20 or 21).
We're not crazy, we're just a special breed. Any outsider would probably say that we are crazy for taking all the loans, working for low pay, and climbing a career ladder that takes years to get anywhere on. I guess I would say that you just can't get anywhere in life without some type of sacrifice and with out a lot of hard work. Flying is worth more than money and is by far worth all the harships.

Happy Flying!
I think that us pilots are just so crazy about flying that we do take the risks of getting big loans. Reality speaks the truth right now about the airline industry but at least we are keeping our dreams alive to hopefully fly for an airline someday. Things will hopefully turn around in the future.
I think your crazy if you take out big loans cause you think you need to go to some big flight academy or aviation university that has the nicest ad in Flying magazine. The smarter thing to do is train at a small FBO and go to a local state school with a non aviation major. You'll save a lot of dough...
I think what's been hinted on this thread is that it's crazy NOT to pursue a dream. I FULLY agree! I guess what I mean is that if you wanted financial security, you'd go find a 9-to-5 job and keep on wishing that you were flying. BlueStreak nailed it when he said that we are a special breed. Dreams demand sacrifice.

My philosophy is that after all that has been said and done on my deathbed, I can answer "I flew, and may the creditors come collect on me now, but DANG!, I flew!!"

Heh, "luckily" for us pilots in this era, our sacrifice to do what we want to do is "simply" a financial one
as opposed to the sacrifice of "so uhm...does anoyone here know how to use this airplane?"
I believe the term used by most of may family was "F'N' Nutz". But hey, beats giving all my money to the tobacco companies like I was doing up to a year ago.......
great replies! i guess i would say yeah we are crazy. not the kind of crazy where we sit around and talk to lamp shades.
what makes us different is that we're crazy with a goal. that's better than just being crazy
Another thing: if people tell you, well, look at all the layoffs that are going on in the airline industry, tell them so what? Name one industry that hasn't laid people off recently!
Visiting Doug's JetCareers Website is about as addicting as flying is. BookMark ... BookMark .. BookMark .. Favorite .. Favorite... Favorite.

Fly Safe!

Another thing: if people tell you, well, look at all the layoffs that are going on in the airline industry, tell them so what? Name one industry that hasn't laid people off recently!

[/ QUOTE ]

Good point, I use that a lot to reasure myself that everything is bad right now, not just aviation, and that most professions aren't really "secure."
I am crazy. But at least I can say that I am passionate about something. What fun is it being in a job where you go in, punch your ticket, stare at a monitor for 8 hrs, and then punch out? I think that aspiring pilots are only half as crazy as doctors though. Don't get me wrong, we need doctors. Its just that they incure loans in the 100 thousands, and most of them don't make more than 80k a year. Thats after 10+ years of college and med school. After that they still probably have 5-10 years of poor income similar to a starting job in the regionals.

Just my 2 cents.
Yup, throw me on the crazy pile too!

TonyW and others hit many of the nails on the head, it's the choice between the clock punchin' etc and not likin' it or dealin' with the current drawbacks and loving every minute of it! I've done 9-5 all my life and just got laid-off from my elect. tech. job and said screw it, I'm going after what I love. My girlfriend said a week before I was laid off " if you hate your job so much, why don't you fly for a living instead of just for fun?". So, here I go, big loan city...

Into the wild blue yonder...
I think you're crazy to assume huge amounts of debt and put all your eggs in one basket. Personally I'm training at an airpark (a lot smaller than FBOs), I work swing at a good paying job so I can pay as I go, fly in the day, minimal debt, and have benefits. I'm trying to figure out ways of supplementing my income down the road... real estate, examiner, appraising, sell crap on ebay, grow pinot noir, any ideas???
Yeah, for some reason, my dad thinks it's just fine and dandy that my little brother and sister incurred a hell of a lot more debt than I'll ever need to rack up to get all my ratings in order to be a lawyer and doctor. Hell, one year of my brother's law school cost as much as getting all my ratings, from start to finish, at a local FBO and I'd have some change left over to get a 737 rating or something.

And my sister spent about four years making about $30K as a resident and working 24 hours on, 24 hours off. Think of it this way, the FAA wouldn't let a pilot work for more than a week that way!
I'm on the "pay as you play" plan...

Given my circumstances, I don't think it would be wise for me to go into a major amount of debt. It might take FOREVER to get my ratings, but I won't owe anyone money for them...

Mark P.