More Bad News

Just keeps getting worse eh.

I am starting to wonder whether aviation will ever get back on the horse.

of course it will. It would be like saying I wonder if the US economy will ever rebound.
Its just going to take some time.

2 things

#1- Those who want it the most will stall out the weaklings!

#2- If you've got the bug, it doesn't matter how long it takes, your willing to stick with it.

#1 continuation.........before you know it, you'll be seeing those people who stuck with it, sitting in the right seat in something. Then you'll be kicking yourself in the arse(as Iain would say), wondering why you didn't stick with it because it was only a few short years.

This is the pre-warning, don't give up! Things WILL turn around.

side note- I wish aviation was like the stock market, no matter how bad the stocks doing, people invested in it will always try to make it look good and have a positive picture! Hope that makes any sense.
I usually don't post things with strong conviction, but I am sorry, I am so sick of hearing people say things are going to turn around. Most often I am told this by someone who is already flying for an airline or a corporate company. I am a CFI, CFII and had to move three states away to find work at a small part 61 FBO training facility after being put on an idefintite wait list at a large 141 school. I know squeak by on intro flights and checkouts, and am lucky if I have a few students who are actually financially stable and motivated enough to earn their private ticket. I had to laugh in the face of one corporate guy who said he paid his dues as a CFI, he got hired a few years ago with just under 600 total time. Wow, he must of paid his dues with 300 hours of dual given! I am looking at 900-1200 hours of dual given before I even start to think about sending resumes out for a regional job. I understand that things are tough for the airline guys with furloughs and such, but man dont insult my intelligence by telling me "things are going to turn around"! What are you psychic? Post 9-11 circumstances have set a new standard in aviation trends, we cannot compare the current situation to any other time in aviation employment history. Well, I am not sure if I got my point across, and I am sure this post will not be well recieved, but alas this is the beauty of JC Forums!
I never said I was gonna stop my dream, even if half the airlines there are now went out of business, I'd still be after a pilot position at an airline. What you said did makes sense.


That just makes me sick to my stomach
Yah, I agree with rausda27. I had an American 777 captain (about to retire) tell me the same thing the other day. "Ah, its picking up, dont worry." Easy for him to say, as I sit there and pray each phone call isn't my one student for the day calling to cancel (and of course, one was).

Your current plight is really not that unusual. What was very unusual was the "" airline hiring spree just prior to 9/11. That's probably the measuring stick your basing your entire thinking on and that would be a mistake. Most of us who've been in aviation for a awhile sat back during the era and simply shook our heads in amazement while watching 300 hr pilot mill wonders being hired by a Regional and then upgrading within a year or two. This became the norm but many of us knew the bubble would burst eventually. 9/11 just accelerated it.

A few years ago, the time to Regional Capt from "0" hrs was nothing short of amazing! If you had a new commercial ticket in your pocket someone was going to hire you in short order.

Times have change and things are now different once again. These airline and corporate pilots are giving you advice based on their personal experience and those individuals around them. The pendulum swing in aviation is very short and this industry has ALWAYS been very cyclical in nature. It simply goes with the territory.

There have always been ups and downs, hirings and furloughs, floods and droughts. This time is no different. The airlines and the economy will recovery and those that stick it out will benefit.

In 10-15 years you'll be sitting pretty in some wide-body jet and reading about or listening to some poor newbie complain about how bad things are, the sky is falling and the airlines will never hire him. You'll may try to convince him that things were tough when you began, aviation is cyclical and tomorrow will be better. Of course, he won't listen to you because he'll think you're just full of sh#t and really don't understand what he's going through even though you've been there.

When I was a poor CFI I was lucky if I received a paycheck for $50 after the end of the week. Sometimes, I didn't get anything! Students were hard to come by and I gave my share of intro rides and aircraft checkouts when the more senior CFI's didn't scarf them up. I gave my fair share of FREE ground schools and even taught a ground school class at a Votec school for free in the hopes of attracting a few paying students. Out of 25 people in the class, 1 signed on to get his rating but didn't complete it.

I can't tell you how many times I just wanted to just give up! Heck, the few commuter airlines around wouldn't even look at your resume without 2500hrs and 500 multi! I even had a few professional pilots tell me to find a different career field as aviation wasn't worth it. I can remember those times as if it were yesterday. Fortunately, the pendulum began to swing the other direction. the clouds broke and opportunities presented themselves that I wasn't even aware existed months earlier.

Times will change and things will get better since they currently can't get much worse. This is just one more shake up and dip in the aviation world. Hang in there and opportunities will once again present themselves. These times, believe it or not, will actually become great memories down the road! Remember, the journey is half the fun!
I appreciateed you response, it was articlate, communicative and it seems you have some good insight of the past trends. To clarify however, I do realize that traditionally, hiring minimums have been high in the past and that many pilots flying corporate or for an airline spent alot of time instructing or doing other things like many of us are today to build experience and time. What frustrated me was when those commercial pilots, who somehow found employment with amazingly low total time and experience, seeminlgy boast on their acheivemnts and claim to have "paid their dues" and imlore us low time CFI's to hang in will get better..when it seems to us that things are not moving forward but backward in many respects. We have seen enrollment drop at 141 schools drop dramatically during the past year. Competion for CFI jobs themselves almost mimic the current airline hiring woes. Every FBO I walk into has a stack of CFI resumes and it seems that part 61 enrollment is declining as well.

Again, thanks for the response, I guess I should not of generalized my statements to all airline or corporate pilots as I realize from your post that it wasnt easy for all of you.

I have no intentions of wasting the time and effort I have dedicated to my pursuit of a career in aviation by giving up. This is what I have always wanted to do, and I believe throught hard work and dedication, and making the right contacts, I will achieve my goal of landing the perfect job. When that time comes, I will look back in retrospection and I am sure i will have fond memories and a sense of achievment that I worked hard and earned it all.
Yeah...I couldn't even get a CFI job when I got out of Riddle in 1982 but I stuck with it. I lived at my dads house and did what I could until I found something...took about six months and then the best I could do was free-lance instruction.

"I had to laugh in the face of one corporate guy"...

Hope you did that in a somewhat respectful way...I wasn't there. It's a small world. That guy might be the one interviewing you someday and believe me...I've seen very few with this sort of attitude and wouldn't forget it.

If you're not happy maybe you should do something else...

Did someone promise you that you'd be flying jets in a year? What were your expectations?
"I had to laugh in the face of one corporate guy"...

Hope you did that in a somewhat respectful way...I wasn't there. It's a small world. That guy might be the one interviewing you someday and believe me...I've seen very few with this sort of attitude and wouldn't forget it.

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I'm quite sure he didn't mean that literally.

But hows the saying go? The toes you step on today may be connected to the same person who's ass you have to kiss tomorrow...
What frustrated me was when those commercial pilots, who somehow found employment with amazingly low total time and experience, seeminlgy boast on their acheivemnts and claim to have "paid their dues" and imlore us low time CFI's to hang in will get better..when it seems to us that things are not moving forward but backward in many respects

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I can certainly empathize with your frustrations and we all need to vent every once in awhile. A lot of what you're feeling I also felt many years ago starting out. There will always be folks that have had it easier than you and those that have had to struggle more. I've flown with both and the "strugglers" are more interesting. Everybody has a story.

All I can say is keep your chin up, things will get better. When you do achieve your ultimate goal, you'll be satisfied in knowing you worked hard for it and deserve whatever good fortune comes your way. Many professional pilots would make your story seem like a walk in the park compared to what they've been through. I've heard some very inspirational stories over the years of grief and struggle that seem to make all my personal complaining seem petty.

I've tried lately to focus more on the positive instead of the negative. That hasn't been easy because after all, I'm a pilot and we're complainers by nature!
For the record, I had 3000 hours and 500 multi before getting my first real job that wasn't a CFI job.
I didn't get my first regular non-CFI job until 1996, three years after graduating college.

Back then, here was my gameplan: Work as a CFI to build enough time to satisfy IFR part-135 requirements. Try to get hired at Ameriflight and fly the tail off of the Turbo Lance to get enough seniority to work up to the Chieftain or Beech 99. Work at Ameriflight until I could have gotten noticed at Skywest. Go to Skywest and apply for everyone from Reno Air to United Airlines.

Well, one thing I do say is that you're always going to be relatively jealous of other folks that made it better or faster than you.

Up until quite recently, I was completely jealous of my friends that got hired on at United that were 4 year 737 captains and new hire 777 international FO's while I was a MD-88 FO in DFW. Or my friends that got hired after my Delta hire date at American who would excitedly tell me about landing ER's in Paris or 777's in Tokyo -- meanwhile, I was fresh from a 22 hour Baton Rouge layover.

Success in aviation is a combination of preparedness, networking, timing and flexibility mixed in with a dash of plain old "dumb luck".

In mid-2001, I didn't feel so lucky being a DFW MD-88 FO when my friends were captains, international FO's and were in great bases like MIA, SFO and LAX, but so far things worked out for the best at this point.
Just keeps getting worse eh.

I am starting to wonder whether aviation will ever get back on the horse.


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Of course it will. For all the doom and gloom talk, let's face it. If you wanna leave the east coast and be on the west coast in a reasonable amount of time, there's only one way to do it. That's to strap yourself into a way too small, way too uncomfortable seat (even if it is in first class, by the way) and fly there.

We may see some airlines disappear, we may see some routes go away, and we may see some jobs disappear. But when the economy picks up, we will see those jobs reappear. It's the way a cyclical industry works.

Look, the same guys who are talking gloom and doom were talking about how the US economy was going to go down the tubes and Japan was going to take over the world in the 1980s. They were talking about how the US was going to suffer another Vietnam in the first Gulf War. They said that the business cycle was gone in the late 1990s, and that the dot coms would take over the world.

Given their track record, why do you even bother to listen to them when they tell you that the only airlines that will be flying in the future are the discounters and that all the other ones are doomed? Remember, according to them, there should be no grocery stores and we should be getting our toothpaste online.
Hey Doug- Speaking of Ameriflight, I've been checking them out now for about a year, the question of single pilot, night IMC operation does bring some bad thoughts to mind. What did you think of that type of flying back then?
Especially flying in a Lance at full gross(even though they are 300hp birds)
As a CFI, working for Ameriflight was definately a step way up!

Plus, no student no shows to worry about or sitting around the office like a vulture waiting for new students!
Hey Guys, let's put an end to this pity party!

I'm about ten numbers from being furloughed, but I still have faith in the industry. It will turn around. Those who stick it out will be rewarded.

A lot of people think that the furloughs are mainly due to the company taking a bad situation and trying to use it to force concessions on the pilots. The fact that Mesa's TA pays their 70-seat CRJ captains about the same as our 50-seat guys doesn't help matters.

Frankly, I believe that our woes will last only as long as UAL can delay confirming our contract. As the press release states, we are getting paid at 2002 rates and that is hurting our bottom line. As soon as the contract is confirmed, I feel that we will be able to secure financing for new airplanes and will go right back to growing.

Besides, if I'm wrong, we'll always be able to get a job at Mesa, Chatuaqua, or Trans States.

The bottom line is that aviation is cyclical. It will come back.

Similarly to Doug, I worked and flew for 12 years before getting an airline job. Now that I've gotten a taste of flying the big stuff (well, okay, a Jetstream, but relatively speaking it seems big to me
), I really don't want to go back to an office job.
ALong the lines of "Things are tough all over", I was talking with a CFI at my FBO last night about my intentions. Now, I really don't know this guy other than a few passing conversations.

My instructor tells me that he is relatively "high time" as far as CFI's go at my FBO. I don't know the numbers, but my CFI has just over 1000 TT and 100 multi and is one of the low timers.

Anyway - this guy - great guy - I'll call him "Bob" and I are talking and he says:

Bob: What are your intentions with this?

Me: The airlines eventually... or maybe I should say "hopefully" with the way things are right now.

Bob: What do you do now?

Me: I'm a Paralegal

(blah blah blah, we talk about the legal field and why I'm ready for a change after 11 years, blah, blah, blah.. won't bore ya'll with it).

Bob: When do you expect to get your CFI ratings done?

Me: 9 months at the soonest, one year at the latest.

Bob: Hmmm - well, I don't see the industry picking up for another 2 years or more, so I don't know if starting into aviation at your age is a wise move right now.

I didn't know whether to say "Amen!" or disagree wholeheartedly.

Basically, I told him that I was going to continue on my course and see what happens. I wouldn't quit my job until I get an offer from an FBO and/or flight school.. and let the cards fall where they may.

I know it's frustrating for everyone out there - myself included, but - and I'm speaking for myself only here - I'm just going to keep on keeping on and what happens happens - when and whereever that might be is mostly out of my control.