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Old 10-30-2008, 04:13 PM
New Hire
Joined APC: Oct 2008
Posts: 5
Default Is airline flying really for you???

Airline flying is not for me

(I wrote this rant "stream of consciousness" style. Sorry for being somewhat incoherent.)

Thank you for posting about your past experiences in the aviation industry EVERYONE, especially Mr. Skyhigh. I truly appreciate what you’re doing, and I’ll tell you how you and others on this board and on, who tell of the realities of this career path, of both good and bad, have helped me realize this isn’t for me.

I always thought this job was for me. That since it was my passion it would mean I would never get bored at work. Finishing high school, I was really close to cashing out the equivalent of 100k for an “Aviation College” in my home country. That’s about the time when I started reading on the forums of I started to find out about the realities of being an airline pilot, however I was positive and was very much still in “love”. All the negativities and people saying the hardships one has to go through only fueled my own determination. “Hah, they aren’t determined enough” I thought, “I won’t end up like them, I know what it takes and will make it no matter what. I’ve loved aircraft since I’ve been a little kid, heck I was on an airliner a week after I was born. If this isn’t for me, nothing is.”

Knowing the unstable nature of the industry I chose to go to uni and study aeronautical engineering. (This is where I’m at now). I have spent the last year and a half daydreaming about being on the flight deck running check lists and flying around the world in a boeing. I even laid out a grand plan where I figured out the costs of each of the ratings and how I would progress to my first airline job. I had the bug.

I was fully aware of the many hardships that go along with an airline career, yet i was 110% sure I wanted to go for it. It’s going to be worth it when I get to the RHS of a Boeing I thought. All this time I’m completely sure I would enjoy flying an airliner. The question is, how do I know if I really will enjoy flying an airliner when I haven’t done it? Havin been in a friend’s dad’s Cessna, I thought I confirmed that airline flying was definitely for me. No, the only thing I had confirmed was that flying in a Cessna was really awesome. As for the airline flying, I could only imagine the job in my head. It was good dreaming about it. The reality as I found out is so different, and I’m referring to the airline flying itself, not about the awful pay/benefits that comes with the some of the jobs.

I found out what it’s really like to work on the flight deck after watching cockpit videos. I was bored out of my mind watching them. Sure the view was great at times, but most of the work seemed so boring to me, and they do this many hours each day for several days at a time! After 1 hour I was bored to death. No wonder I’m reading about BA captains who can’t wait to retire and who say “airlines are not the be all end all”. I used to be baffled by this. And thinking about it, although I’m always excited to get to the airport and see planes, love air shows, enjoy the take-off part, but other than that I’m always kinda bored during a flight. It was the same boredom when watching these videos.

The interesting thing is that the first time I watched the video I was trying to deny that I was bored by it. It was exciting to watch the first 20 minutes, but then I was just forcing myself to watch. After watching several other videos, I’ve started to come to terms with the truth. I find airline flying boring.
The same thing happens when I play flight sim. I find flying the Cessna was fun and free, learning and “flying” the 737 was boring (all those damned procedures, fms and stuff, I WANNA FLY DAMMIT and be free).

It was almost painful to admit this, but now I have, especially when the other things about the job are included. But the fun and excitement factor of airline flying was the main thing that was keeping the fire burning in me, but now I know (for me at least) that airline flying is downright boring. The freedom and fun of flying exists in my opinion in GA, not in airline flying. Watch cockpit videos and see if that type of flying is “free” and exciting, do you see yourself doing that type of flying the rest of your life? For me, not worth the hardships, not worth the money that has to be spent on training, not worth a big chunk of my life. I can’t believe that the end result of all the sacrifice of wannabees is the kind of flying I’m seeing in those cockpit videos. Again, no wonder all pilots say the best flying they did was during training and before getting into that boeing/airbus.

Why am I ranting about this you say? I know that many others dreaming about being a pilot must think that the job, the flying itself, must be awesome, just like a hobby, never boring, even though the benefits and pay are bad and you get shift work. They will do it for the flying. Just make sure you know what that type of flying is like before getting into it. I too thought flying a 747 must be so interesting and keep me happy if I ever got to fly one. Nope, whenever I feel the airline flying bug, I just watch these cockpit videos and get turned off straight away. And to think I was ready to sacrifice so much for this…..


I think to really enjoy the job, you need to enjoy operating an airliner, try that in FLIGHTSIM (download those realism add-ons for 737 etc) and also see if you enjoy watching cockpit videos. If you truly love that kind of flying, go for it. Don’t base your decision on how you imagine how flying an airliner will be.

Thank you FLIGHTSIM, thank you COCKPIT VIDEOS and last but not least thank you and APC forums. You let me see what the job is really like. I don’t like it, I like general aviation, not airline flying (although photos are pretty and I’m still amazed at the machines, just not the flying part).

If you got annoyed by my post, which you prolly did, i'm sorry i didn't make it shorter and more to the point. It was a rant after all. One and a half years worth of it.
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