Serious help needed from Braidkid


New Member
Ok, I'm in serious trouble and I need any inputs any of you may have.
Current situation: Engineer making good money per month....good chance I'm getting laid off next week. I'm just a few weeks away from being ready for my CFI.
So I have a few options:
1) I can look for another engineering job somewhere else and do the part time flying thing or
2) I can move to an area of the country where I can finish my CFI ratings, hang out at the airport and get a part time job to put food on the table.

Which would you choose and if you vote for option 2, where in the US (except alaska) do you think I would find the most students wanting to fly? I know times are tough but there has to be a geographical location of people w/money wanting to fly. I know this is a really open ended question but I'm in the process of brainstorming and hope to have a plan formulated if given the pink slip next week.
What kind of engineer are you? Here at UND we have many engineering majors. I am sure you could get some sort of a teaching assistant job that doesn't pay much, but you could apply to instruct at UND after you get your CFI. So if you applied here and got hired to instruct, I am sure you could help out in the aerospace engineering department and get paid enough to live between both jobs.

I know it is a long shot, but I thoughtI would throw that out at you to see what you think.
UND??? Is that University of North Dakota?
I have a mechanical engineering degree. That is an excellent idea. Thanks for the suggestion lruppert.
Man, that sucks. With the job market (any job market) the way it is right now, that's a tough call.

For one - you're not guaranteed a job as a CFI, BUT you might luck out and find something.

Secondly, are there engineering firms that will let you work part time? Dunno.

Part of me says - go for the CFI job, but the other says "play it safe" and look for another engineering job.

Good luck. I know this was of no help.

Secondly, are there engineering firms that will let you work part time?

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Man, that would be almost perfect!! I'm not sure if there is or not.

I already have an interview at Edwards AFB in Lancaster, California. I'm supposed to go down there and check it out whenever they give me my interview date. I dont know what the flying is like there or if there are any schools in that area though.
[ QUOTE ] could apply to instruct at UND after you get your CFI...

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He said he didn't want to go to Alaska!

Ok, I have to admit right now that I grew up in Fargo so I'm allowed to make North Dakota jokes. Anyone else does and I kill him!
I'd look for another engineering job first. As many CFIs are finding out, flying lessons are one of those luxury expenditures that many folks are postponing until the economy perks up a bit.
I agree with you Aloft. If I do go for the engineering job where in the US would you guys think has the most flying students? Am I right that Florida, California, Arizona, Texas would have the largest market for flying students?
Am I right that Florida, California, Arizona, Texas would have the largest market for flying students?

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You're definitely going to find better wx (and more fly-able days) in areas such as those...those states also, on a basic level, have the largest population base to draw from.
Tough luck, Braidkid.

I'd say a lot depends on your savings and other sources of income (i.e. can you live on your wife's salary?). The problem is that with a CFI job, you won't be earning much and you may have to do it for a while.

I'd probably lean toward instructing part time and having a full time job with a decent wage. Of course, the hour won't accumulate quite as fast that way.

If you decide to relocate, I definitely would not recommend moving to Florida. There are a lot of students there, but Florida probably has the highest number of CFIs per capita in the world. There are very few jobs to be found there.

Look for some CFI openings on aviation career listing sites. If you can find something that pays a salary rather than hourly, that would be a plus.

Good luck to you.
Sorry to hear about that man. The job market really does blow now, hopefully it comes back soon.

Personally I'm pretty conservative when it comes to guess about things like the job market. I'd rather assume that things will be worse for longer than others expect and plan accordingly, be supprised and be able to jump right into the airline game. I unfortunally look at the world a little differently, and assume it'll take a long, long time. Right now you have no reason to believe the job market will jump right back tomorrow, so I'd say go and get another engineering job. That way, if the industry does not bounce back for 10 years you can make decent money, fly more than you are right now by instructing, and still have a steady job. It seems like the safe bet, and that's what I'd do. Believe it or not, I don't like to live life on the edge

Cheers, and good luck!

John Heerreshoff
I think with your commitment to the administration and their policies, you should walk over to the nearest US Marine recruiter, and sign up as a ground pounder, do a tour or two, then apply for Officer Candidate School from within the ranks… and then on to FLight training from there.

I’m very sorry to hear that things are deteriorating with your engineering job. I would be a bit apprehensive about moving until you have another job lined up for sure. As I’m sure you’re well aware of, Wichita has pretty cheap cost of living as compared to other areas.

Here is what I would do, just a suggestion so take it for what it’s worth. If you do end up getting laid off from Cessna, do odds and ends for a while until your wife can complete nursing school. Nurses make really good money starting out, and there is ALWAYS going to be a need for them. Furthermore, there are many hospitals scattered throughout the U.S. that are offering large signing bonuses for R.N.’s. You could potentially use this to your advantage to move to a place with a better student pool.

Regardless of what you choose to do I would be very apprehensive to take a gamble considering the times this industry is going through…

Good luck, and I hope you’re minus one pink slip next week!
Come on fella's...

Braidkid has a serious issue that he is trying to deal with and he has asked everyone for their humble opionion.

Let's not turn this thread into another political bashing...
the Coast Guard ...shouldn't be considered MILITARY

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Yeah I agree, I wish the Coast Guard was just that, guarding the coast, and not part of the military.

There are now about 1000 coasties over there, out of 34,000…. 1 in 34...

As for supporting the president? Sure (I voted republican every year a Bush didn’t run.) but that is an apples and oranges statement, I am not the one sweating my employment and looking for a job, I am just offering a suggestion, you need to lighten up some.
Good points flyitup...
Hopefully I'm worrying for nothing.
Ahh, don't worry about Eagle **big slap on Eagle's back** we're pals!!!
Why don''t you contact a AF or ANG unit about flying for them? Ask about a UPT slot. i know the 18th at IAB is looking for people. Typically the UPT slots go in house, but not always.
I would contact some of the contract placement agencies (TekSystems, etc) and get into their system, interviewed, etc and ready to go when they have a job. There are agencies that specialize in technical recruitment, and the pay will vary by contract-as a network admin I got between 13-20 dollars per hour doing mostly Win2K/XP rollouts, acting as a troubleshooter. I did this for over a year and did 5 temp contracts, with a week or two in between, leaving room for flying. It takes a little financial discipline, but after being laid off twice in six months I was ready for anything.

While you are doing this (and making $) you have time to revise your plan, and research alternatives. Things are bad all over-I don't believe there is some hotspot in the country not feeling any economic impact right now.
Braidkid, sorry to hear about that. I would suggest you check out NW Arkansas if you're really thinking about moving. I'm not sure specifically what jobs are available for Mechanical Engineers around here, but I do know that Pratt and Whitney has a decent size operation here, and I'm pretty sure they have mech engineers. As for being a CFI here. I know a guy that just got hired flying corporate, that was hitting 100+ hours a month at one of the airports here. He was constantly having to turn students away. Nobody's taken his spot yet, thanks to a non-compete clause one of the flight schools here snuck in on their students. The cost of living here is fairly low, and this area is about as close to recession proof as you can get. If you want more info, e-mail me at, and I'd be happy to help you out in any way I can.