Thinking of taking a break from aviation

holyshirt

New Member
Lets see where do I start...

Its been my ultimate dream to become an airline pilot since I was very young. As it stands now Im a CFI with 500+ TT and increasing fairly rapidly.

I just graduated from a university this past May, and considering the state of the industry I think I would like to take time off and do something else that I have wanted to do for quite a while... That is to live in Japan and teach english. Its a one year contract and I'd obviously be dropping flying for the entire year pretty much. My plan is to apply for the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) program this month and see what happens. For those of you who dont know, all that you need is a bachelors in any discipline to do it, teaching experience is considered a plus. Considering I am a flight instructor I think they might see that as a bonus. The hiring process for this program is quite extensive and takes several months before anyone interviews and then several months after that before you are shipped off to Japan. So I think I'd like to apply to this and if nothing is improving in the industry, no hiring going on in the next 6-8 months, I can at least have this as a plan B.

I have been to Japan 3 times in the past few years and every time I go there I say to myself how I would just love to take some time and live there for a period of time. Im young and single and I think that this is the only time in my life that I may get this chance to do it. The downside of course is that I would give up flying for quite some time.. that is unless I come home periodically and fly while I home even if its for a few days.

Ultimately it is my decision but I am just kind of curious to know other peoples opinion on this matter.
 

OldTownPilot

Well-Known Member
There is more to life than flying airplanes around for money. Ask Jtrain about that;)

You've got one shot at this thing they call life. Do whatever you really want to do, have no regrets. From the sounds of it, that includes teaching in Japan. Put 100% into it and I'm sure you'll do just fine. There will always be airplanes that need to be flown on your return. You are at the point now where you can take this opportunity that you have wanted to do. Take it.
 

Baronman

Well-Known Member
I would go to Japan if that is something you've dreamed of doing. No question.

The airlines will always be around in one form or another, but I'm guessing you're younger than 25, without many ties (kids, house etc.). It's your time to go to Japan. Later on you'll be busy with those things.

Once the airline flood gates open again (probably not for another 6 months minimum), you'll have the time to apply. When airlines are hiring it's really not as tough a nut to crack as you may think. Really they will take just about anyone so don't feel like you won't have a shot. You will.
 

Sol Rosenburg

Well-Known Member
My best bud went to Japan to do English classes 2.5 years ago. He was supposed to do a year and come back! He loves it so much he is going for a level 3/4 Japanese test to get a longer work visa and stay even longer. Go for it! The first co he worked for went under and got in trouble with their gov so watch out who you go with (they were Chicago based...) . He now works at a primary school north of Nagoya Aichi. Good luck!
 

Customx

Well-Known Member
Go for it. I've been living and teaching English in South Korea for 3.5 years and have really enjoyed my time here. Not only will you probably enjoy living in Japan, but it will give you a great opportunity to travel throughout Asia.
 

surreal1221

Well-Known Member
Do what you feel you need to do.

Guidance from an online message forum will only get you so far. No one here can pull the trigger either way.
 

SpiraMirabilis

Possible Subversive
Talk to Nihon Ni, its possible you could still CFI on the side depending on the JET visa. Sometimes they only say you can teach english though, other times they say you can just 'teach' in which case you could still CFI in N registered airplanes which there are a number of.
 

Nihon_Ni

Well-Known Member
You should at least apply for the position. If it takes several months for the whole process that will give you plenty of time to think it all through.

Personally, I love living in Japan. The cultural experience is priceless and one that I'm glad I didn't pass up. I wasn't sure I wanted to pick up and move halfway around the world when I got *invited* to live in Japan, but in the end my wife and I decided that this was the only opportunity we would (probably) ever have to live abroad, so we jumped in with both feet.

I know of a few places in Japan where US registered airplanes are based, and the ones I know about are owned by the USAF. (There might be other US aircraft around, but I don't know.) I teach at one of the Aero Clubs, and there are 2 others on mainland Japan. We have a few local Japanese pilots who hold US certificates that work at our club, and I know the others do as well. Our club is always in search of CFIs because we have so many students they have to wait for instructors.
 

doog

Well-Known Member
Go for it, you'll never regret an experience like that, you'll always regret NOT doing it.
 

bartman

Well-Known Member
Sounds like your inner voice is already convinced but you need your brain to buy in. I'd go for it, the international experience will serve you in ways you can't imagine later in life. GO FOR IT!!
 

pilot4500

IT Manager/ Former Cirrus Charter Pilot
I say go for it! This sounds like it would be an amazing opportunity for you! You can always jump back into aviation later on, if you still want to.
 

HeyEng

NAHB Doesn't Give a Crap
Kinda sounds like your mind is made up. It sounds like a pretty amazing deal to me, though. I would recommend in your interviews/application/etc. to use "English" instead of "english", especially if you want to teach it! :)
 

wzgrza

Well-Known Member
Definently agree with most here.

Go for it. Like you said you might not be able to later, and will regret it forever.

Who knows, maybe if all goes well and you really like it, you can even try getting into JAL

Can't ruin your entire life chasing airplanes.. You'll have plenty of chances to do that later ;)
 

juxtapilot

Snowflake
Do it!!! That will be a fantasic experience. The industry's pretty slow right now. May as well have fun while you're waiting for things to speed up. :)
 

Goonie

Never say die
Just one less pilot for me to compete with! Seniority is everything baby!! :sarcasm:


Seriously, go for it man! If I was in your shoes without a wife and kids I would be in the Maldives flying floats around!
 

TallFlyer

Well-Known Member
I know of a few places in Japan where US registered airplanes are based, and the ones I know about are owned by the USAF. (There might be other US aircraft around, but I don't know.) I teach at one of the Aero Clubs, and there are 2 others on mainland Japan. We have a few local Japanese pilots who hold US certificates that work at our club, and I know the others do as well. Our club is always in search of CFIs because we have so many students they have to wait for instructors.
Ditto the Aero Club here at Elmendorf.

You know, rather than go through the application process for teaching english you could just apply directly to some aero clubs on foreign bases. It would pronanly be a faster application process and offer a little more flexibility to return to the US if you had reason to.
 

Rodelu

Well-Known Member
Do what you feel you need to do.

Guidance from an online message forum will only get you so far. No one here can pull the trigger either way.
I'm ALL for that BUT...
Lets see… you are half way (or better) into your DREAM goal of becoming a professional pilot … and, ("considering the state of the industry"), you have a bachelors degree to fall back to…
And you want to do what???!!!
Teach English in Japan? I don’t get it. Which one is your dream?
 

Nark

Macho Superpilot
I skipped a lot of threads because I wanted to add my two yen.

I spent 2 years in Japan, Iwakuni to be exact. I loved every second of it. The only reason I didn't extend is because I knew I could fly when I got back to the mainland.

Since you've been there, I don't need to tell you how great it is there, if you can I'd take a job somewhere close to Tokyo, or at least around that prefecture. There are aeroclubs on the American bases that might hire you as a part timer. My girlfriend at the time was an english teacher too, and she loved it. When she came back to Canada to get a second BA, she was dissapointed that she came back at all.

I have absolutly no plans to get into the airline industry, but I would if it meant living in Japan.

Take it for what its worth from someone who has been there.
 
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