Keep your head held high!!!

stormchaser

Well-Known Member
Well, just got out of the office with the boss. I was recently hired on as a new CFI for a bustling flight school just under four weeks ago.

One month...32 hours later...and almost $900 in my pocket (yes, that IS a $10,800/year job. Below poverty, sure, but I'm flyin' airplanes! The smile is still there.)

Anyway, the convo was friendly, but we both knew what went unspoken for the first 15 minutes.

"Andy, we don't have students."
"Yeah, I've noticed."
"Andy, we need at least 40 for a school like this. We have 15."
"Yeah, I've noticed."
"Andy, this is the first time I have had more apps than employees."
[by this time we are both thinking just get to it]
"Andy, I'll be frank. You're not flying."
"Yeah, I've noticed."

And so it went.

What can I say? I'm friendly. I've stuck out a 9-hour-a-day job where I sit and hope for students. I flew under 2 hours last week...but put 50 hours into office time. I was paid $27 for the entire week.

Anyway, this isn't a rant. Not a complaint. Just a shared experience.

To be totally honest, I would stick out this 30 hour/month job if I knew it would stay that way. I have thought about goin' to another full-time non-flying job (I hear the motorcycle business is booming...ha!), but right now, as a low-time pilot, the simple fact of the matter is that hours are pure GOLD to me.

I flew 30 hours. At the $142.00 rate, that's equal to $4260.00 that I would have to pay any flight school to build those same hours if I rented. So I could get a 40-hour non-flying job, make $30,000 to start (maybe) and fly on the side for fun (yes, that DOES still exist...for me anyway!).

But $30,000/year is equal to $2500.00/month. Hmm. Even if I only flew 30 hours/month (at the $4260.00 cost to ME), I am losing money. What to do, what to do...

I need hours, and yet I can't get it even as an instructor at a flight school. I'm between a rock and a hard place. But my head is high. Sure, I live off of $2.50 boxed microwavable meals, but by golly, I fly airplanes. Isn't that worth smilin' for?
 

invertmast

New Member
Move to CA or south FL - problem solved.
would have to agree with this one.

I've often contemplated going back to my old CFI gig i had last year. It was a busy place, i had 22 full time students when i left. making $25 an hour and flying about 8 hours a day + 4 hours of ground time.

I see tons of CFI jobs opening up on some of the sites. maybe its time to look into a reposition for a better gig.
 

Piperflyer

Well-Known Member
Yup, I had the same thing going on at KSLC. I moved to CA and was doing 8 hours a day every day. Four months later went to Comair.

Now I quit Comair, but thats another story
 

CRJDriver

Well-Known Member
If you can move to Arizona, do it! One of my friends works at PanAm, and he is making around $35k/year flying Warriors, had his CFII and MEI paid for and has every weekend off and just had a 1 week PAID vacation. There are a few similar schools in AZ, FL and CA that have salaried, full time CFI positions.


Now I quit Comair, but thats another story
Did you actually quit already? Where are you off to now? PM me if you want.
 

Toonces

Well-Known Member
Dude. PM me if you are willing to move. I know a few places paying around $30 an hr and you will fly all you want. I have been where you are. It sucks. Too bad you can't log FBO sofa time. I'd be flying the space shuttle by now if you could.
 

bdhill1979

Gone West
Dude. PM me if you are willing to move. I know a few places paying around $30 an hr and you will fly all you want. I have been where you are. It sucks. Too bad you can't log FBO sofa time. I'd be flying the space shuttle by now if you could.
That is of course if you did the shuttle bridge program

0-17,000 mph in just six months (O.A.C.)

Seriously though, I left my last job for the same reason, long unpaid hours.

I dont think you will ever get paid for everything you should as a CFI, but a 20/1 worked to paid ratio is just unlivable.
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
Good luck to you. Stick with it and good things will happen to you eventually. It's all about persistance....
 

ILSstud

Well-Known Member
Have you considered moving down to FL? My flight school back home as well as the one that I trained at in college is BRIMMING with students and the fleets have essentially doubled in the past 2-3 yrs. I called to get a BFR and wasn't able to schedule something for 2 weeks because the schedule was booked solid.
 

X-Forces

Big Black Guy
If you can move to Arizona, do it! One of my friends works at PanAm, and he is making around $35k/year flying Warriors, had his CFII and MEI paid for and has every weekend off and just had a 1 week PAID vacation. There are a few similar schools in AZ, FL and CA that have salaried, full time CFI positions.
:yeahthat:

We are still actively hiring out here (Pan Am), if you are up for a move.

35k to start, you will fly about 100 hours per month, full benefits, and bonuses. You will need your CFII to apply however.
 

cko2300

Well-Known Member
I was at a flight school in southern AZ from July 7th to Sep 4th. I flew a total of 2.2 hour and just got laid off. Hopefully I can find somewhere soon.
 

unclenobby

Well-Known Member
. So I could get a 40-hour non-flying job, make $30,000 to start (maybe) and fly on the side for fun (yes, that DOES still exist...for me anyway!).

But $30,000/year is equal to $2500.00/month. Hmm. Even if I only flew 30 hours/month (at the $4260.00 cost to ME), I am losing money. What to do, what to do...
$142 hr? What equipment is it? Not surprised they don't have any students at that price. Surely there's better value out there?
You could also take the job above and instruct part time evening and weekends.
 

stormchaser

Well-Known Member
$142 hr? What equipment is it? Not surprised they don't have any students at that price. Surely there's better value out there?
You could also take the job above and instruct part time evening and weekends.
Certified Cessna Pilot Center. All 2005 or newer Cessna 172SP's with G1000. Very sharp planes. You are paying for it, true...but that is the student's choice, not mine...

Still haven't figured out what I'm doin'. Applications are out from Arizona to Florida. Everything from instructing to regionals to freight to patrol. Not goin' to lie...a little disheartened right now. But such is life. There are worse stories, I am sure. Just frustrating to move around the country, fall in love with a city, a church, and people...and then lose a job 30 days into it. But again, put me in line behind several others of similar situations...

And the part-time thing is ok...but probably not for me. I need a consistent supply of income. I've thought about a non-flying job and instructing on the side, but I just don't have the resources to do that (namely a plane, advertisement, etc.). I haven't completely ruled out a non-flying job. I honestly just don't know what I would do. I went after all my ratings so I could fly, not sell lumber, ya know?

It's just too bad sellin' lumber would pay the bills and then some! Whereas flying has left me...well, jobless and with empty pockets!

Will keep you posted!!! I'm hopin' this is a productive and progressive week!
 

wheelsup

Well-Known Member
I had 3 CFI jobs by the time it was all set and done, and started out in 2003 in a market much like this one. Bad economy, no movement. Moved from FL to NJ to FL to NM. The first one was just as you described. Lots of time doing unpaid work. I left after 4 months when the owner required me to come in in a blizzard and shovel out the planes.

The second place ended up hiring too many instructors (we were free to hire after all, no out of pocket expenses) and as such my flight time and pay checks dropped. Then their fleet got wiped out by a hurricane. I finally found one that paid well and hired just enough instructors so we could work out butts off and fly (what instructors are supposed to do) and not worry about answering phones. It was at MAPD in New Mexico. I suspect Pan Am and other big name schools are the same. They are the best IMO for instructors who like to instruct but not being used car salesmen talking students into learnig to fly. You know what I mean - it sucks.
 
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