Decided not to go for a life as a pro aviator

Lead Sled

New Member
Well, it’s official. After a long year of thinking it over I have decided I will NOT pursue a career in aviation. I don’t have to get into to the details of how hard and risky this field can be as you pros out there know way more about it than me. But one of the last things that got me was a picture I saw of NWA DC-9 on short final with the view from the cockpit. It’s a classic “what’s wrong with this picture” kind of thing. Well, it’s clear that the F/O is AT LEAST 10 years older than the captain. I’d hate to hear that poor fella’s story.
Anyway, I was willing to put up with a whole lot. But as much as I absolutely love flying I think I’m the kind of guy where the honey moon feeling would wear off. Yeah, I look up at everything from an ATR to a 747-400 coming down into KIAD and wish, wish, wish that I could experience that. Getting pushed out from the gate, getting passengers safely to their destination with gusting cross-winds and storms on the way. Follow the river into KDCA, see T-storms off to the side from 36,000. I could go on and on. That all being said, I just can’t handle the possibility of spending all that time and money and walking such a tough road of low pay, tons of roommates, hotels and reserve life to finally get to my 4th or 5th year in the right seat of an RJ and then all of the sudden my airline goes under. All without a single hour of 121 PIC time. I’m thinking about going to PA school instead. The salary and time off would give me plenty of opportunity to buzz around in rentals out of KHEF and have fun with the greatest safety pilot of all time…my dear old dad who was a huge supporter through this whole thought process.

I don’t want any of this to sound negative or discourage any others out there thinking of following their dream. If you love it and it’s what you want more than anything….GO FOR IT! I’m actually jealous of those out there who have made such a bold career change in honor of something they truly love. My hat’s off to you. I guess I just didn’t want it bad enough.
I’ll keep poking my head around here as I will continue to fly with my PPL, this site is a great resource for any type of pilot.

Mainly I wanted take the time to give a big thanks to all the people who have taken time to talk to me and to all who always share their stories, give their advice and make this website the wonderful source of information that it has become. Of course, special thanks to DT for starting it all. You da man!
 

RWH1986

Some Guy
That's sad to hear. I quit my full time job to go back to college. I don't regret it at all except when the bills come. I fly out of HEF as well. I grew up in Manassas close by the airport. Hope you find something that will make you just as happy.
 

slushie

C56X ATP CFII MEI
Bummer, dude.
I've been there before...heck, I'm there right now.

You may change your mind later and do instructing or some other fun GA stuff on the side.

Thanks for being a part of Jetcareers.
 

ParrotheadJGR11

Existence is pain to a Meeseeks, Jerry.
good luck! There are quite a few people having dreams dashed by the economy these days.. hell, if I knew 2 years ago what this industry was going for, I wouldn't have spent the money on flight training..
 

Gizmo

New Member
Excellent career choice. I don't know how it is today but when I went through PA training several years ago, it was Extremely competitive. It was without a doubt the most mentally challenging event in my life (next to working in cardiothoracic surgery).

You'll be drinking from a fire hose for two years:buck:.

Prepare yourself.

The upside, good money, plenty of jobs and hot nurses:nana2:.
 

Lead Sled

New Member
Thanks for the support all!

To answer the last question, I had been thinking about a carrer in flying since Sept of 07. I feel very comfortable with my decision. I really think I'm gonna go for PA school. It will be tough sure, but I think it would make me happy plus it's a great way to be able to have the time and money to continue to fly....that's very important to me.

Even when we're in a strong ecomony a career in flying can be brutal to some unfortunate folks. It was a whole lot more than the ecomony that made me decide to bail on this idea. It's just not like it was when my dad did it. I always make sure to thank the entire crew everytime I get off a commercial flight....much respect.
 

Lead Sled

New Member
Excellent career choice. I don't know how it is today but when I went through PA training several years ago, it was Extremely competitive. It was without a doubt the most mentally challenging event in my life (next to working in cardiothoracic surgery).

You'll be drinking from a fire hose for two years:buck:.

Prepare yourself.

The upside, good money, plenty of jobs and hot nurses:nana2:.
:D
 

N826AW

Snooki's Baby Daddy
Just remember there are peaks and valleys in every career path.

I went through much of the same debate you went through. I'm still leaning towards making aviation a career just trying to make the decision between civilian and military, or a combo of both.
 

ElyJs

New Member
Just because you don't fly for a living does not make any less of a pilot. In fact you will be able to spend a lot more time doing the type of flying that you would like to do. A private pilot license is an awesome thing to have. It will also help anyone's resume. I taught one of my best college friends to fly and his PPL came up in almost every interview. He now has an engineering job making 4 year RJ captain pay directly out of college.
 

Nick

Well-Known Member
Don't judge a book by it's cover

But one of the last things that got me was a picture I saw of NWA DC-9 on short final with the view from the cockpit. It’s a classic “what’s wrong with this picture” kind of thing. Well, it’s clear that the F/O is AT LEAST 10 years older than the captain. I’d hate to hear that poor fella’s story.
The FO might have a twenty years of service military retirement with good healthcare and a pension, and is now happy with being top 5% in the right seat of the -9 living in base and getting 17 days off a month and bypassing upgrade or a seat in a larger airplane.

There is often more to it than meets the eye.


I know you didn't make your decision based on one picture but I did just want to make that point because if it is the picture I am thinking of, I think I jumpseated with the FO once.

Anyway, best of luck in what you chose to do!
 

pullup

Homewrecker
If you think you will have time off being a PA....think again! I have two PA friends and they work 6-7 days a week 12 hrs+. #1 complaint: No time off. Grass isn't always greener...Good luck with your decision
 

Gizmo

New Member
If you think you will have time off being a PA....think again! I have two PA friends and they work 6-7 days a week 12 hrs+. #1 complaint: No time off. Grass isn't always greener...Good luck with your decision
True. It depends on your specialty. For example, CT surgery=very exciting, big bucks but a lot of hours in the hospital. If you want 9-5 hrs., specialize in a non-surgical field.

Unlike airline pilots, people working in the medical field (PA's specifically) rarely get furloughed.
 

katiekat

New Member
I'm still wondering why you want to be a Pennsylvania. ????
lmao


When I saw the title of those thread I clicked on it immediately, mainly because I have recently made, more or less, the same decision. The whole, where do I go to college, what do I do after high school thing had been driving me crazy a few months ago and I kept flip flopping and just couldn't make up my mind. Then I took a day and just relaxed and played some video games and all that and realized that I didn't want to go to college or do any more "school" and I definitely didn't want to spend a ton of money doing any kind of training because I didn't want to end up in debt. I look at my parents and how they're struggling with all the loans they have and my older brother who is dreading his college graduation in 2 years simply because he's going to have a ton of money to pay back and I know that I don't want any of that. So I started thinking about what I do want to do, now that I had figured out what I didn't want to do and I came to the conclusion that I want to ski, kayak, sky dive and be happy.
In November I applied for a job as a ski instructor at Thunder Ridge in Patterson, NY (only 30 mins from my house). I"ve been skiing for 10 years and I have good people skills/am good at working with kids so getting hired from a pool of 200 people was easy and the training was only $25 :)
This spring I'm going to get trained to be a river guide, and the training is $75 and they offer housing for employees.
I'll live at home for another year or two and then probably move to Utah or Colorado where the pay is good and living cheap :D
As for the skydiving, that's going to be kind a side project. I'm hoping to be able to get at least my A license by the end of the summer and just keep going from there.

And I'll go flying whenever I can afford a plane rental lol
 

MikeFavinger

Hubschrauber Flieger
If you think you will have time off being a PA....think again! I have two PA friends and they work 6-7 days a week 12 hrs+. #1 complaint: No time off. Grass isn't always greener...Good luck with your decision
Yeah... I was going to say. I work with PAs and Orthopaedic surgeons everyday and they don't get (take) a lot of time off at all.
 
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