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View Full Version : Why plan b


Christian102001
09-18-2018, 12:37 PM
People on this forum are telling aspiring pilots to not get a degree in aviation. Why? What will prevent you from not being able to accomplish ?


100LL
09-18-2018, 01:06 PM
Need something to rely on just in case you canít fly anymore, something that will pay the bills. If you lose your medical do you really want to make burgers or work retail? One can get a degree in water painting and still get hired by any legacy airline they donít care what you get as long as you have it. But only if you are younger then 40 and donít have more then 10,000hrs and several jet type ratings but thatís a different story :rolleyes:

Christian102001
09-18-2018, 01:28 PM
Need something to rely on just in case you canít fly anymore, something that will pay the bills. If you lose your medical do you really want to make burgers or work retail? One can get a degree in water painting and still get hired by any legacy airline they donít care what you get as long as you have it. But only if you are younger then 40 and donít have more then 10,000hrs and several jet type ratings but thatís a different story :rolleyes:

How do you lose your medical? What if your healthy.


galaxy flyer
09-18-2018, 01:36 PM
Youíre too young to understand growing old and its effects on your health? Iíve known several airline pilots in their 40s trying to find a new career due to loss of medical. One in my town died of heart disease IN HIS HOTEL ROOM! I went to a USC safety course with a former major carrier pilot who lost his medical permanently and was hoping the course might get him an offer inside the company.

As the old pilots said when I was young, ďevery passed medical means you can work for six more monthsĒ. And thatís true.

FlyingDawgg
09-18-2018, 02:56 PM
If I had to do it over again I'd get my degree in something different like business and would have done my flight training at a Part 141 school.

JohnBurke
09-19-2018, 08:38 AM
People on this forum are telling aspiring pilots to not get a degree in aviation. Why? What will prevent you from not being able to accomplish ?

You're asking the wrong question.

A degree in aviation doesn't prevent you from accomplishing.

It is a matter of putting one's eggs in one basket.

Aviation tends to be tentative in nature. The good job you have today may be gone in the morning. I've known people who worked at the operation where they planned to retire who came to work to find the doors padlocked. I've known others who were notified, while sitting in a hotel in a foreign country, that the company had shuttered its doors, leaving them stranded in that country. No forewarning.

A great many of us have part of foreclosures, furloughs, bankruptcies, flight departments that shut down, downsizing, economic downturns, mergers, and a host of other actions that mean that while the future looked rosy this morning, this afternoon the landscape has changed, and with it your job prospects.

You don't say how old you are or how long you've been in the industry, but presently it's a pilot's market. Jobs aplenty. Lose one job, find another tomorrow. No problem.

This is not normal. This is not natural. Aviation is a leading edge economic indicator, and it lives on a razor-thin profit margin. Today load factors are up, all the seats are full, airplanes are at gross weight with baggage, and the farmers have a market for the crops they need sprayed. A trade war is in the offing, we're about to see the six-year-old-in-chief make more and more mistakes, and you can bet the economy will not stay where it is. With that change will come job losses, changes, and downgrades. You may just find yourself looking for work, and when you do, your aviation degree will mean very little.

Why a plan B? For the same reason parachutes were invented. Why a reserve parachute? Because the first one doesn't always work. In case you've never jumped, when you leave the door intending to use the reserve, you carry a tertiary, or third parachute. Welcome to aviation.

How do you lose your medical? What if your healthy.

I was quite healthy when I prepared one night for my flight early that morning to go to San Juan, and then to Abuja. Then I felt a bit ill, then began vomiting, and did so over 200 times by the time I got to the ER. I was in so much pain at that point that I couldn't say my name, couldn't think, and I spent the next eight hours vomiting violently before I was taken to surgery for a kidney stone. I missed my trip, and then spent the next three months with a kidney stent while undergoing tests and x-rays and jumping through hoops for the FAA.

During that time I did not draw a salary, because I was placed on leave. I was an active pilot, flying a wide body four engine jet internationally. I'd just taken my kids to aikido the night before. I was active healthy...and suddenly had no way to make a living.

Fortunately I'm also an A&P. I found work immediately working on C-130's and spent those three months of medical disqualification keeping my family fed and keeping me busy by turning wrenches, inspecting, riveting, painting, modifying, upgrading, and maintaining.

I was in great health and extremely active, martial arts four times a week, 30 mile bicycle rides four or five times a week, hitting hit hard, when I hit a mountainside under a spinning parachute and ended up in intensive care.

You're apparently young and mistake what you take for granted now for something that you think will always be there. Don't count on it. I was young when I wound up in intensive care, pulled from a bloody parachute with a split helmet, arms, legs, one on backward, my neck twisted around, and big blank spots in my memory. Youth didn't matter. Now, a life time later with ears that ring from radial engines and gunfire and a back that hurts all the time, knees and joints that click and a body that's worn out and that's been broken so many times that I've nearly lost count, I appreciate every day, and I am also acutely aware that every day flying may very well be my last.

One day you'll come to this realization too. Far better to plan for it than have it catch you by surprise.

Imasuen1
09-20-2018, 07:21 PM
You're asking the wrong question.

A degree in aviation doesn't prevent you from accomplishing.

It is a matter of putting one's eggs in one basket.

Aviation tends to be tentative in nature. The good job you have today may be gone in the morning. I've known people who worked at the operation where they planned to retire who came to work to find the doors padlocked. I've known others who were notified, while sitting in a hotel in a foreign country, that the company had shuttered its doors, leaving them stranded in that country. No forewarning.

A great many of us have part of foreclosures, furloughs, bankruptcies, flight departments that shut down, downsizing, economic downturns, mergers, and a host of other actions that mean that while the future looked rosy this morning, this afternoon the landscape has changed, and with it your job prospects.

You don't say how old you are or how long you've been in the industry, but presently it's a pilot's market. Jobs aplenty. Lose one job, find another tomorrow. No problem.

This is not normal. This is not natural. Aviation is a leading edge economic indicator, and it lives on a razor-thin profit margin. Today load factors are up, all the seats are full, airplanes are at gross weight with baggage, and the farmers have a market for the crops they need sprayed. A trade war is in the offing, we're about to see the six-year-old-in-chief make more and more mistakes, and you can bet the economy will not stay where it is. With that change will come job losses, changes, and downgrades. You may just find yourself looking for work, and when you do, your aviation degree will mean very little.

Why a plan B? For the same reason parachutes were invented. Why a reserve parachute? Because the first one doesn't always work. In case you've never jumped, when you leave the door intending to use the reserve, you carry a tertiary, or third parachute. Welcome to aviation.



I was quite healthy when I prepared one night for my flight early that morning to go to San Juan, and then to Abuja. Then I felt a bit ill, then began vomiting, and did so over 200 times by the time I got to the ER. I was in so much pain at that point that I couldn't say my name, couldn't think, and I spent the next eight hours vomiting violently before I was taken to surgery for a kidney stone. I missed my trip, and then spent the next three months with a kidney stent while undergoing tests and x-rays and jumping through hoops for the FAA.

During that time I did not draw a salary, because I was placed on leave. I was an active pilot, flying a wide body four engine jet internationally. I'd just taken my kids to aikido the night before. I was active healthy...and suddenly had no way to make a living.

Fortunately I'm also an A&P. I found work immediately working on C-130's and spent those three months of medical disqualification keeping my family fed and keeping me busy by turning wrenches, inspecting, riveting, painting, modifying, upgrading, and maintaining.

I was in great health and extremely active, martial arts four times a week, 30 mile bicycle rides four or five times a week, hitting hit hard, when I hit a mountainside under a spinning parachute and ended up in intensive care.

You're apparently young and mistake what you take for granted now for something that you think will always be there. Don't count on it. I was young when I wound up in intensive care, pulled from a bloody parachute with a split helmet, arms, legs, one on backward, my neck twisted around, and big blank spots in my memory. Youth didn't matter. Now, a life time later with ears that ring from radial engines and gunfire and a back that hurts all the time, knees and joints that click and a body that's worn out and that's been broken so many times that I've nearly lost count, I appreciate every day, and I am also acutely aware that every day flying may very well be my last.

One day you'll come to this realization too. Far better to plan for it than have it catch you by surprise.
As someone who recently lost his mother to cancer, this left my eyes a little teary. My mum was full of life, completely healthy, and we all had big plans until Cancer said otherwise.. Nobody would have envisaged this but it happened.
Moral lesson: Nothing in this life is guaranteed, John you have spoken wisely, Get a degree in something unrelated to aviation and if unfortunately you loose your medical along the line Your degree will cushion the effect, and you will have something to fall back on. This cannot be overemphasized.

madmax757
09-20-2018, 11:12 PM
[QUOTE=Christian102001;2676697]How do you lose your medical? What if your healthy.[/QUOT

Heres a few ways to lose your medical.

Bad car accident.

A friend of mine, an avid mountain bike rider wiped out big time, broke his back. Was out for 2 years.

Fall off a ladder cleaning your gutters.

I almost died working on my classic car that was on jacks.

Stuff happens.

Black Sambo
09-20-2018, 11:35 PM
How do you lose your medical? What if your healthy.

I knew a man who had flown for almost 40 yrs. It was his life. When I met said man 6 yrs ago. He never had medical event. He flew for the majors and was a Capt. 3 months into knowing him he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes so out of work for 3 months until medicine and diet were under control. Next year it was blood pressure. The guy was approaching his late 50’s. At the age of 61 he had 20 yrs at the majors plus military and private contract work. He got cancer. Every year after the 1st medical event it was something after another for him to fight for his first class medical.
Then 2016 he got weird lab results back after a physical that was required by his airline which is every airline. Normal everyday physical that is required. His blood work was off Rbcs, wbcs and platelets. I knew then some was very wrong. He had cancer and not the nice kind, it was very aggressive not much time on this earth kind.

Trust me it was very hard to watch a person not be able to fly to finally it was taken away from him before he was ready. He died 13 months after the cancer diagnosis. He retired because it was forced but not because he reached the age of 65. But he did have a plan B. His degree was never aviation.
Always have a plan B. I do and I will always have plan B because I have learned nothing is a guarantee. I am lucky because I am healthy and I get to fly. Btw age is a very contributing factor. Your body does weird things as you get older. My body is not the same as it was when I was in my 20’s. I wish I had my brain now and the stamina when I was 26.
;)

Black Sambo
09-21-2018, 12:16 AM
People on this forum are telling aspiring pilots to not get a degree in aviation. Why? What will prevent you from not being able to accomplish ?

I agree with John Burke on a lot of his posts. He is right. I will not just say of knowing someone who always had a plan B. I worked for a major airline for 15 yrs. Awesome company, however I got hurt on the job that led to 5 knee surgeries. 3 on one knee, two on another. I was completely healthy no issues at all. This weird thing happened out of the blue. I was just walking and knee gave out on the job. Well the doctors told me to have a back up plan because I might be able to get back to 100%. I had spent my 20ís playing around jumpseating everywhere. I decided to have back up plan I did get another degree not related to Airlines at all. It saved my earning capacity. You never know when life is going to hit you and it will, it always does in one form or another.
Do not rely on just on one profession always have a back up plan.

TiredSoul
09-21-2018, 05:56 AM
How do you lose your medical? What if your healthy.

How about a database of medications that will disqualify you for a medical?
How about slipping on the ramp or the jet bridge stairs in winter time?
How about a car accident?
How about any accident, sports or around the house?
How about a seizure?
A stroke?
A heart attack when youíre 38?
A tropical disease?
Anything anybody genetically related to you is currently suffering from that just may have a hereditary component?
Do we need to continue?
Seriously?!

Great piece by the way JB.

kevbo
09-21-2018, 06:31 AM
An A&P is not a good alternative to any job!

JohnBurke
09-21-2018, 06:59 AM
I should point out that one of the single best certifications I have outside of flying in the cockpit is turning wrenches. I've been doing it as long as I've flown, and have been maintaining airplanes for a lifetime, now. It's given me work when there was none, kept me busy between seasons, given me a second income, given me a first income, put me in my first jet-job, given me places to live several times, and on more occasions than I care to count, saved my life.

I am as much a mechanic as I am a pilot, and from an early age as a teen it was made clear that if I were to press forward as a pilot, I had better know the machines as well as any mechanic, ergo, should be one. Before I could fly I was told I should start buying tools and I did. They're one of the best investments I have, and should my medical go away tomorrow and I'm unable to do both, I will have a career that can support me and my wife.

Obtain your A&P and with a few college credits more you'll have a two year degree; a springboard four year degree that can be in whatever you want, from ITT to law enforcement to law to business.

When others were having trouble finding work upon large scale furloughs, I found work immediately turning wrenches, and immediately thereafter flying and work as a check airman; the ability to do both counts and put me in line for work when I'd have not had that opening without the certification.

A friend spends his spare time wrenching. He works seasonally as a pilot, has his spring, fall and winter off, and turns wrenches for a few people, mostly on experimentals. He's in demand. He makes good money. He owns new cars, trades up when he feels like it, owns his house, sets money aside, and has time to do the things he wants to do; mostly mountain biking and other such activities. He meets people, has a good life. He's an excellent mechanic, and he springboards off that to do other things. He's built several airplanes for people. He works when he wants to work, and takes time when he wants to do other things. He has options.

What started a long time ago as a kid has become somewhat of a passion. When I learn a new aircraft type, I learn it as a pilot but also as a mechanic. I enjoy the precision of a complex sheet metal repair. I like to weld. To work with sealant, to rig controls, inspect a structure, replace a cylinder, hang an engine. I enjoy the attention to detail in dressing a propeller blade, stop drilling a crack, and the subtle details of a good safety wire job. There's certainly satisfaction in arriving at the bottom of a low-minimums instrument approach and finding a runway exactly where it should be, but likewise there's a perfection and symmetry to dismantling an airplane, shipping it half way around the world and reassembly it to find that it does exactly as it should because you've done your part. Or simply changing the oil in someone's Cessna, or repacking a wheel bearing, or spending the day dissecting the maintenance records for an airplane to put it on a tracking program.

Maintenance is a valued profession, and for those of us who didn't drop our or fail in our maintenance careers, a well respected one.

There are those who place no value in maintenance; this is invariably a sign of a disgruntled employee or simple ignorance, often of both. It's a great skill and certification to have, one that's served me a lifetime of benefit and continues to do so, and one that employs hundreds of thousands of others. There are those who will say that maintenance is dead in the US, but they speak from ignorance and a failed career, and don't know whence they speak. It's alive and strong, and always looking for more people. Jobs are always out there, from manufacturing to line maintenance to repair stations, component repair, avionics, and beyond. My son, a military mechanic at the moment, has been mulling his choices upon separation, should he choose to do so. A number of his friends are making excellent money in aerospace, some working at places such as Space-X. The field is wide open, but whether one chooses to do it for a backup, a concurrent profession, or a full time dedicated job (I've done all three for several decades), it's an excellent investment. Even if you never turn a wrench it's an excellent investment in time and education and will benefit your flying career.

FlyingDawgg
09-21-2018, 11:16 AM
I also would suggest a degree in business or management. Just something to have. If you're stubborn like I am and would want to stay in the industry than maybe get an Aviation Management degree.

JB is spot on btw.

kevbo
09-21-2018, 10:23 PM
Well JB, I admire your passion. I have always found better offers in other industries whenever I was looking. That is the NO.1 reason I say forget aviation MX. There has always been plenty of new and/or displaced A&Ps keeping wages depressed. Just like with pilots, only theres no chance of ever recouping the loss later in life. The only exceptions are the very few 18-20yo kids that get on directly with a major or are born into a family owned maintenance business. From my prospective, less than 10% of all working A&Ps do better than the average blue collar worker.

LRSRanger
09-21-2018, 10:49 PM
Too bad JohnBurke blocked me over a petty BS argument in another thread, if he could read this I’d tell him that these are some really good posts. A lot of wisdom, and I respect the guys like him who have really been there and done that in aviation.

Stimpy the Kat
09-22-2018, 07:29 AM
Here's a great Plan B:

Don't be a fool with your money. Live on a LOT less than you make but, live well.

When the airline goes under, or you medical out, you will have no need to work or stress about money.

:)

Good Luck.

Stimpson

PRS Guitars
09-22-2018, 10:40 AM
From my prospective, less than 10% of all working A&Ps do better than the average blue collar worker.

What do you consider the median income to be for blue collar workers? How about average hourly wages? What do A&Pís make? How about airline A&Pís? What does it cost to get your A&P?

I have an idea myself, curious what you base your statement on?

kevbo
09-22-2018, 02:43 PM
What do you consider the median income to be for blue collar workers? How about average hourly wages? What do A&Pís make? How about airline A&Pís? What does it cost to get your A&P?

I have an idea myself, curious what you base your statement on?

I'm comparing local wages in the DFW metroplex. Hourly rates depend on the employer more than the particular job. Some pay well most do not. A&Ps make the same or about $1/hr more than other techs at any particular airline. Just like pilots, some will work for free. Some can fetch $100/hr. Airline A&Ps? Some make $12/hr, some over $50, all doing the exact same job. An A&P certificate will cost whatever an experience signoff costs and whatever an examiner charges. Some guys spend 40K at Riddle, others get a letter and take the test. My statements are based on 30 years experience in this industry.

JohnBurke
09-22-2018, 05:20 PM
My comments are based on several decades experience as an aircraft mechanic...but we do have a poster here, whom I've blocked, who claims such experience, and doesn't have it. He lasted bout ten years before he quit, and has appointed himself the missionary of pessimism on aviation maintenance. I blocked him because his information is routinely so wildly inaccurate as to constitute a lie (much like his claim of experience). It doesn't reflect the reality of working in aviation maintenance. Not in the slightest.

JamesNoBrakes
09-22-2018, 07:05 PM
You "can" use the Aviation-whateveritscalled degree, but you have to consider some fairly wide aspects of aviation and it may not get you to the kind of salary that might be necessary to pay back flying loans and the bills, but again, if you are imaginative, it's possible to use it, I know of people who have.

That said, it's a pretty poor degree to get because it's redundant with what you will learn just by flying and achieving your certificates and ratings. There's little real benefit and your time is much better spent on something that is far more marketable, like accounting, business management, safety, and so on.

Flight experience, certificates, type ratings, etc., is what gets you hired as a pilot, not aviation degrees.

kevbo
09-22-2018, 07:13 PM
I'm not trying to marginalize any ones choice in life. Some people really like working on aircraft and that is all that matters to them. As a career, it doesn't make any sense. I did relatively well and got the high paying job at the location that I wanted. It still didn't compare well to the careers of my friends who went into other blue collar trades. I cant imagine what it was like for all the guys that got stuck in the regionals making half of my paltry wages.

bklynbacon
09-24-2018, 04:45 AM
I see this question posted frequently. Maybe it's an aviation industry thing...but in the rest of the world (as I'm in another industry now coming into aviation) NO ONE CARES what your degree is in. It's not even worth the paper it is on, as all it serves is an invitation to the party. Now if you're an engineer, architect, doctor (truly specialized fields) outside of aviation, then yes, the degree matters. How many people flying today truly have aviation degrees. No one in the military has one, I have a BA in History, etc, etc. Do what you want. You don't need a business degree to do business...

ICUROOK
09-24-2018, 06:39 AM
How do you lose your medical? What if your healthy.
You can look and feel healthy and not have a care in the world but then have something wrong with you that you have no control of and is just a random thing in nature that happens. That's the scary thing about this professions You can live a healthy life, but have something that you have no control of go wrong and it will cause you to lose your medical. You can do most other jobs with it, but not fly.

Bahamasflyer
09-26-2018, 04:23 PM
I get what you guys are saying about losing ones medical and not being able to fly, but.......I thought that almost every major, LCC, and even a lot of regionals have "same occupation" LTD insurance to guard against exactly what so many are talking about.

http://www.aviationcareerspodcast.com/acp132-disability-insurance-unique-important-airline-pilots/

If a recall, wasn't sufficient SO LTD to age 65 one of the big wins in the new contract at Spirit?

Don't get me wrong, its still one of my worst nightmares, and it'd be heartbreaking to be faced with such an event and not be able to fly, but you are still getting paid 50-70% of your previous salary, often until age 65.

Of course, you absolutely won't live a cushy life this way, but to over dramatize how destitute you'll be if you lose your medical seems a bit too much.

Furthermore, I really think as one of the previous posters alluded to, that most jobs outside of aviation could care less what your degree is in. As with the airlines, a lot of my non-pilot friends have told me that the degree is mostly a "box to check" in fields other than medicine, engineering, etc, but we knew that.

galaxy flyer
09-26-2018, 04:58 PM
In addition to medical loss, thereís furlough protection, for one thing. LTD maybe time limited or non-existent at your ďcareerĒ operation. Yes, most careers donít look at majors IF you have relevant work experience. In todayís world, careers are adventures in evolving work environments. Look back 30 years and nearly every imaginable job is unrecognizable to today.

I went through 4 careers never moving my home. Started corporate in Ď79 because there was an energy crisis and no hiring, then at an airline, it went bust, lost my military medical to fly ejection seat aircraft, went to a C-5 unit. Facing a forced move to headquarters job, left two years before retirement back to a corporate job (OEM), then promoted to Chief Pilot. Thatís life.

GF

Subieguy14
09-26-2018, 05:56 PM
and here i am wanting to get a major in aeronautics because I have a year of credits from my certs........


makes me rethink it but i feel like it would be wasted time.:(



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