My two cents!!

apastore

New Member
I have been reading these forums tonight and I just have to make a comment to maybe interject a different view into the mix. I am a 30 year old who has loved aviation since I was a kid. I was an A&P (well technically still am) that was laid off after 9-11. I am currently a Captain for a fire department in the southeast. I am at 42 hours of flight and almost a private pilot an I am estatic of being almost there. Ok, now that the intro is over let me get into the meat of my post. It seems to me that alot of the people complaining here about low pay must have come from money. I grew up in a bluecollar family that never really made alot of money, and for the longest time due to changing jobs I never made over about 24K. I now make ohhh about 42K and hell, thats plenty for me. I live an uncomplicated modest life and work a part time job so I can fly. Yes I want to be a pilot, but I have absolutley no desire to be a glorified bus driver and slave around carrying 125 people on the same route every other week. I would love to fly single piston/turboprop for a 135 operation and not have a route. To get up and go to a new place every day would be a treat. I firmly believe that being a pilot is a job of love "a calling" so to speak. Granted, I have not seen too deeply into the pilot side of the industry, but in my dealing with pilots they have mostly been very happy with their career choice. Ups, downs and all. I think that there are alot of disgruntled people on this board and its a shame that they talk so bad about this career. I read the comments about the cost to train vs the pay. I invite you to look at vets. Same situation. A labor of love. You have to think about you and your situation. When you are old and laying in your death bed none of the money in the world matters. Its all about your experences in life. Will you regret not pursuing something or will you be happy if you sacrifice "The Dream"? I for one do not want to regret. I don't need a top of the line mercedes or a 6000 sq foot house to be happy in life. I love to travel and I love to fly. Personally, I couldn't think of a better job!!
 

darrenf

resident denizen
Give it time. You are still looking through the rose-colored glasses of someone who hasn't been there yet. Yes, we fly because we love it, but that isn't enough once the realities start to hit you.
 

Toonces

Well-Known Member
Must bite tongue. Must not say what I really think. Must take a deep breath. Must drink beer. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Moving along now.
 

apastore

New Member
Say what you think, dont just post for no good reason. Im curious. I have been reading alot of posts on the board and not commenting. I just felt the need to post how I feel. Im not really sure how to approach the way some of the people here think because while I do understand some things, at times I do not. I fully agree that airline pilots get royally screwed in their wallet, but that is a supply and demand issue. What does that have to do with getting an attitude with me because I would be happy flying boxes in a carvan or a 310? Im pretty sure that that would not be undercutting any airline pay scale. Maybe you could enlighten me on whats so bad about the 135 side of the industry.
 

apastore

New Member
Not my intention to insult anybody. I tend to be a little crass and blunt about my thoughts. It just seems to me that a lot of people are looking for instant reward and that just does not happen. Well, at least for me it never has. Sure, you can go to college and get a very well paying job without all the stress and ups and downs of the aviation industry. My question is this; Why do these people who seem to hate the job so much stay in it? Leave. Go be a banker or a lawyer, or whatever. Buy a plane and fly under your own terms. Why poison other peoples dreams? I am not saying don't be honost, just do post things like "Do yourself a favor and find another career field." (not directed at anyone in particular) Everything has bad points its just a matter if someone can bear them or not.
 

pilot4500

IT Manager/ Former Cirrus Charter Pilot
I have not come from a money background at all. I currently work for a Part 135 company flying freight around the southeast. I enjoy my job most of the time. The pay and schedule are ok, but I don't think that this industry will ever be able to give me the quality of life that I really want.

I started flying when I was 19. The only thing that I cared about in life was flying. By the time I was 20, I was a CFI-I. I instructed in Arizona two and half years, and in Michigan for one year. I had a 3 week stint with a part 135 company in Vermont that did not go well. I then took my current freight dog job here in North Carolina.

When I started this career, my goal was to fly for Southwest Airlines or Netjets. That is tough to do when you only have 4,000 hours of piston time, no turbine time, and no degree. I could probably make it to my goal if I was willing to work for a crap regional airline for a while to get the turbine time, relocate 3 or 4 more times, spend the next few years making food stamp pay, probably be furloughed a couple of times, and drag my family through all of this. All of this just to live this so called "dream?" For me, it just is not worth it.

My fiance and I just had a beautiful baby boy. My family is the most important thing to me, and what I live for. I want to be there the first time my son says "dada." My fiance also wants to be a stay at home mom, but that is just not possible given my salary.

Also, I really like where I live in North Carolina and I don't want to move.

I am planning to make a reverse career change, and I have narrowed it down to two possibilities. The first one is accounting, and the second one is pharmaceutical sales. I have researched both of them, and I think that either one will give me the quality of life that I am looking for. I don't care if I ever become a millionaire. The most important thing for me is to take care of my family and spend as much time with them as possible. My goals are to make a comfortable living, and to be there for my family.

You can reach whatever goal you want in aviation, but you have to decide whether the tremendous sacrifices you need to make are worth it o live "the dream." Are you willing to go through years of making poverty wages, poor QOL, furloughs, relocations, and have zero job security to get where you want to go in aviation? That is a question that every pilot should ask themselves before they embark on an aviation career.
 

Toonces

Well-Known Member
APASTORE.

You don't even know what you don't know yet. Has it occured to you that maybe most people here have already been in your shoes before? I could write a book on how wrong I was about this industry. You go right ahead and drop 50 or 60 grand for a profession you won't fully be able to understand until the door has shut and the money is gone. You will look back and see someone just like you are now and shake your head and want to help them. SJS and STP are an overwhelming force. They all know it all. I did too. I thought.

The flying you do in a 152 or seminole is not the flying you do for a 135 or 121 outfit. I am not going to say anymore because it just doesn't matter. You like so many others before you already know it all.
 

OnTheFly7

Well-Known Member
I just want to interject my $.02!

There is a ton of doom and gloom from many individuals within this industry, at all times. However, I just spoke to a corporate pilot/chief pilot the other day and during our conversation I asked him, if he had the chance would he do it all over again and at this time with the industry and economy being what it was. He answer was a resounding, YES!

There is also a lot of talk within the industry about not being home, missed birthdays, holidays, etc. Has anyone ever really sat down to think about a business professional (ie: Accountant, Lawyer, Investment Analyst, Sales Professional, etc.) and their schedule?

Most say that these individuals make more, which they may infact do, but not in all cases. Are these individuals reallly home more than pilots? Sure they get to sleep in their own beds, on most nights, but what about the leaving the house at 6AM and not returing until 7 or 8PM. They get home, they eat, they go to bed. By that time, most kids are in bed and they are too exhausted to do anything practical.

What about missing the kids game or the anniversary because a large deal hinges on a meeting in another state? This meeting may in fact mean a promotion, or a job loss!

These professionals work 50+ hours a week and most spend their time at home, eating or sleeping, the rest of their time is spend in the office or with a client. So while the number of nights in their own bed may be more than an individual in this career, the amount of quality time spent with loved ones is usually far lower than it would be in this career.

So................while people in the industry scream about how bad it is and some desire a business career............becareful what you wish for! For those in the business world who wish to pursue an aviation career..............becareful what you wish for! In either case, preparation, relationships, the economy and luck all have to meet at a single point in time for one to be successful!

So to all..................Good Luck in what ever you choose!
 

MikeFavinger

Hubschrauber Flieger
apastore,

You probably already know this, but you really can't know 'till you know. If you have to try out this aviation thing - just do it. It won't be the end of the world if it doesn't work out.

I tried - it didn't take for me - and I moved on. I don't regret trying it out though. Even with a lot of research, there's no real way to know how you'll fit with it unless you try it on.
 

splash

your social justice comic center
Why do these people who seem to hate the job so much stay in it? Leave. Go be a banker or a lawyer, or whatever. Buy a plane and fly under your own terms. Why poison other peoples dreams?
A note on your quote: I don't hate it, I hate the lack of demand for it right now! Leave? and do what? start all over at the bottom of something else? Dude, it's all I know and I have invested over 10 years and money in it. Buying a plane and flying under my own terms is something I have put thought into but it takes money to make it. I'm not here to poison your dreams but only to tell you to prepare for the absolute worse. It's a long hard path that depends on who you know by the masses.

Sure, I had a plan before I jumped into it all then I had an engine failure (non pilot error, vapor lock) at that 135 freight opp you speak of and my career hit a giant speed bump that I still feel to this day of more than 3 years ago. I have tried other things. I can get a high school entry level job with a degree in aviation and that is like starting all over. Why not better you may ask? It is a dreamy job that everyone has great thoughts about and would trade it in for their current job for it ...not knowing all the details about it. To hirer a former commercial pilot to start at this job offer sounds insane to many of them. So it puts you back at square one just out of high school. That's just my personal thoughts about why I can't get better than the high school entry level job.

Not having a job is just as hard to deal with as finding one. The chances are very short right now (my longest flying job lasting 3 months) and we are all in a push and shove match over the most hours and there is no set in stone magical number.
 

pilot4500

IT Manager/ Former Cirrus Charter Pilot
A note on your quote: I don't hate it, I hate the lack of demand for it right now! Leave? and do what? start all over at the bottom of something else? Dude, it's all I know and I have invested over 10 years and money in it. Buying a plane and flying under my own terms is something I have put thought into but it takes money to make it. I'm not here to poison your dreams but only to tell you to prepare for the absolute worse. It's a long hard path that depends on who you know by the masses.

Sure, I had a plan before I jumped into it all then I had an engine failure (non pilot error, vapor lock) at that 135 freight opp you speak of and my career hit a giant speed bump that I still feel to this day of more than 3 years ago. I have tried other things. I can get a high school entry level job with a degree in aviation and that is like starting all over. Why not better you may ask? It is a dreamy job that everyone has great thoughts about and would trade it in for their current job for it ...not knowing all the details about it. To hirer a former commercial pilot to start at this job offer sounds insane to many of them. So it puts you back at square one just out of high school. That's just my personal thoughts about why I can't get better than the high school entry level job.

Not having a job is just as hard to deal with as finding one. The chances are very short right now (my longest flying job lasting 3 months) and we are all in a push and shove match over the most hours and there is no set in stone magical number.
Well said. I have applied for several jobs outside of aviation, but have not gotten anywhere. I know that I could always get a job flipping burgers, delivering pizzas, or stocking vegetables at the local supermarket. However, aviation experience does not get you a good job as a banker or any other good paying office job. At least not without getting some relevant training those other fields.

With that said, I am planning to start online classes with the University of Phoenix very soon and get my degree in accounting. I don't enjoy the thought of going into debt in order to get it, but that is just a sacrifice I have to make.
 

OnTheFly7

Well-Known Member
Well said. I have applied for several jobs outside of aviation, but have not gotten anywhere. I know that I could always get a job flipping burgers, delivering pizzas, or stocking vegetables at the local supermarket. However, aviation experience does not get you a good job as a banker or any other good paying office job. At least not without getting some relevant training those other fields.

With that said, I am planning to start online classes with the University of Phoenix very soon and get my degree in accounting. I don't enjoy the thought of going into debt in order to get it, but that is just a sacrifice I have to make.

Don't think that you folks are having a difficult time finding a job outside of aviation JUST because you may lack experience in that field. The job market out there is very tough right now, even for individuals with years of experience. With the credit crisis, an up and coming election and other influences, MOST companies have halted hiring all together.

That is why I am filling out the paper work right now to try for a residential/commercial electrician apprenticeship. The apprenticeship does not start again until early 2010, but the way things are going, it is a good back up. Keep looking for those jobs, they will eventually come for everyone ....................................and good luck!
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
APA, good for you on posting your thoughts here. If you can live within your means and are happy with a mid-tier flying job then don't let anyone here sway you away. There are quite a few jobs that will meet your 42K pay in a short time, though you'll have to work your way up to it. A job that one guy here finds unworthy just might be something that works for you. As long as you understand the down side, and the sacrifices, (and there is an earful of that here), you should be well prepared to enter the biz knowing what it's all about.
 

DenverPilot8

Well-Known Member
I'm still one who is looking in from the postion of being in antoher field (Sales) and don't claim to know everything. With that said in my own experience in the business world so far there is nothing your going to "lose" by trying avaition and then perhaps going back to business. If you can build expereince in let's say sales then there really isn't anything keeping you from going back to it. But right now more than anything I think the question has become more of the economics of being a pilto than anything. It's easy to say that you can live within your means but there is no denying that flight training to VERY expensive and unless you are willing to take out a loan to finish your training in an excellerated manner it's going to take a long time to finish. That's where I'm at right now. After I decided not to go to ATP I've been paying from training as I work my sales job. But I can tell you that with every passing downturn it's becoming harder and harder to justify wanting to be a pilot. But I'm holding to my ambitions and goals and will hopefully not have any "regrets". But I would caution againts "instant" satisfaction. I've been saving money for flight training for 2 years now. About half way through my Commercial now........
 

splash

your social justice comic center
Don't think that you folks are having a difficult time finding a job outside of aviation JUST because you may lack experience in that field. The job market out there is very tough right now, even for individuals with years of experience. With the credit crisis, an up and coming election and other influences, MOST companies have halted hiring all together.
Dude, Can I PM you my wife's # ...Can you call her and also explain this to her? :D The job market does very much suck. I'm tired of hearing how she has a good job and I don't even have a steady sucky one and how unfair it is to her. The ungrateful bit.....! On second thought, never mind I'll handle it.;)

:whatever: Where's the knife? :D
 

OnTheFly7

Well-Known Member
I'm still one who is looking in from the postion of being in antoher field (Sales) and don't claim to know everything. With that said in my own experience in the business world so far there is nothing your going to "lose" by trying avaition and then perhaps going back to business. If you can build expereince in let's say sales then there really isn't anything keeping you from going back to it. But right now more than anything I think the question has become more of the economics of being a pilto than anything. It's easy to say that you can live within your means but there is no denying that flight training to VERY expensive and unless you are willing to take out a loan to finish your training in an excellerated manner it's going to take a long time to finish. That's where I'm at right now. After I decided not to go to ATP I've been paying from training as I work my sales job. But I can tell you that with every passing downturn it's becoming harder and harder to justify wanting to be a pilot. But I'm holding to my ambitions and goals and will hopefully not have any "regrets". But I would caution againts "instant" satisfaction. I've been saving money for flight training for 2 years now. About half way through my Commercial now........

Very well said by you and DE727UPS!

Having been in Sales myself for the last 6 years, I can say that it is no longer for me! If aviation is your goal, hang on to that goal and work towards it. Anything worth having is worth working for.

Some may say to avoid this industry like the plauge, however, even in these tough times, there are still GOOD jobs out there, you just have to find them (reads; know the right people, be in the right place at the right time, have the right qualifications, etc.)! There is a career for everyone and just because aviation is not for a half dozen others does not mean it is not for you............so good luck with your pursuit!

As for living within your means...............aaah.............that is the tough part. After being laid off in July I picked up a job at the airport. I went from a very respected income level down to kiddy wages. Fortunately, I have some put away and have others who are willing to help should they need to. I have FINALLY decided that aviation is where I want to be and will begin very soon.

I realized, after coming from a career with money, that certain jobs are just not for me and Sales and Business are in that category. I have realized that I would be much happier flying with a good company making what I made before and never flying a jet than I would back in an office or in Sales.

Just to reaffirm I went on an interview last week with an Investment Bank in Chicago. Two days later I was offered the job. I turned it down because I did not want be on the train at 6 am to be in the office by 7:30 am. Then stay in that office, on the phone until 5 or 6 pm to be home by 7:30 pm. Just not for me!

So again.....................there is a career for everyone!
 

3green

Well-Known Member
I turned it down because I did not want be on the train at 6 am to be in the office by 7:30 am. Then stay in that office, on the phone until 5 or 6 pm to be home by 7:30 pm. Just not for me!
Not to sound like a jerk, but you'll have longer days than that flying and to boot you'll end up at a hotel not at home at the end of that 14-16hr duty day. If you turned down that job for that reason, it is alot worse at the airlines.

And stay in an office? how about sitting at the hotel or airport waiting for a call from crew scheduling. Then again I did get to walk around the airport and get intimate knowledge of each and every store :rolleyes:

For everyone considering the career change go for it, I know we all problably dreamed of flying since they were a little kid(I know I did). But, In the end you just have to do it and see for yourself what its really like. All the guys/gals aren't posting in these forums the negative aspects because we were "spoiled" and have never worked a real job. Nothing like "blinders-on" to get you to justify why others are complaining. I just laugh when I see post from people who haven't worked the job diss the comments from people that have.
 
Top