Doubting that its possible...


New Member
Someone who has been there and done that please comment on something for me. I am a typical person on here who has lived for several years in a career they can't stand and is going to change careers no matter what. I have always found myself looking to the sky and almost finished my private. My problem is, I live in Charleston SC, have a great house and after so many other work moves(5 in 8 years), I don't want to move anymore.

I don't think it is realistic to go into flying and expect to be able to stay put. I just need to know if I should go ahead and quit my daydreaming about flying for a living.

In a related topic, I never see banner towing at the beaches here. Is that something that is subject to local ordinances and that is why I don't see it?

I appreciate the responses.
I haven't been there done that...but, my dad is a Delta pilot, so I think I'm pretty familiar with the airline lifestyle. I think that you probably have more options than you realize. Do you want to work for a major airline? Do you have a 4-yr degree? If not, you'll need one for the majors. You can also go the corporate route, which could give you the ability to live and fly out of CHS. If you worked for a regional or major, there is the possibility of commuting. I'm sure Doug can give a good low-down on that. I know that Delta and ASA provide service to CHS. So it would be entirely possible to live in SC and commute to the pilot base at ATL. You may know that Doug lives in AZ and is based at DFW. Some people can make it work, others prefer not to do it (my Dad). He could be commuting to ATL or JFK in an international 777 capt. slot but he has chosen not to. I think that in your situation you could make it work, if you really wanted it. You would definitely have to make sacrifices (esp. if commuting). As for staying put, my Dad has worked for Delta for 25 yrs and has been at the same base for 20 yrs (DFW). So, it depends on how "the cookie crumbles" but it is possible to be based at the same docile for a huge portion of your career. I hope this answered some questions, I apologize for the lengthiness. And welcome to the forums! By the way, local govt's don't control airspace so I don't see them being able to prohibit flights over a beach.
Hi Shooter,

While there are always exceptions to the rule, I would have to disagree with the previous response. Although there is always the posibility that you could remain where you are, if you want to have the best chance at a successful pilot career, I would say that you had better initially be open to a few moves, especially with todays economy and state of the aviation industry. Unless you will be satisfied with a career as a CFI (and are able to get a career CFI position) or are able to find a corporate job in your area, I would say that you are destined to have to move in order to make a career of flying.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but, that is how I expected and have found it to be personally.

Be well and fly safe (if that is the route you choose /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif )
Thanks for the responses both of you. I was pretty sure I was right. It has seemed to me that one must be mobile at least in the first 5 or 6 years of their career. The fractionals seem to offer a good career but again, the first years stand in the way.
I think the nature of the first years of your career is mostly influenced by the way you build time. Some instruct to build enough hours to go straight to a regional airline. Others take a job with an "air taxi" business. I believe it is feasible to attain all of your ratings at a local FBO, flight intruct at that FBO until being hired by a regional (Comair, ASA, Am. Eagle, etc.) then of course commute by riding jumpseat or as a passenger. Stick with that regional until hired by the majors. Now I would find it difficult to have a career commuting the whole time. But maybe you can get into the business and get a job and then move to where you're likely to spend your career. Certainly, if you're going to do it, do it soon. I'm not too familiar with the fractionals, but that the hiring mins. are comparable to the majors. I think that with just about any career, you'll find better opportunities by moving to another place. Does that mean you have to? There are flying jobs everywhere (though the numbers of them are thin RIGHT NOW). Sure, you'll miss better pay opportunities early on in your career by not chasing them as they become available, but that doesn't mean you should totally rule out flying as a career. It may take a little more time and patience, but I believe it is possible. Hope this helps. You know your situation best. Keep asking around for people who might be in a similar situation, and I bet you'll find somebody who's done it. Good luck.