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View Full Version : Outsider looking in


Lsu01
10-05-2018, 06:31 PM
Hi guys and gals.

Iíve been a 91 pilot for the better part of 15 years with a couple years of 135 freight doggin before that. Iíve never had a 121 desire until recently. Iíve heard too many stories of forlough and low pay when I was getting into the market that Iíve pretty much discounted it until now.

Iíve been following these boards for about 6 months now trying to get a good understanding of the 121 lifestyle, in particular the southwest lifestyle. I have a good 91 job that allows me plenty of time off and pays the bills. As I get older and see more 91 departments shutdown the potential career stability of the airlines has become intriguing.

If I was fortunate enough to join Southwest I would be a commuter. From what Iíve read the general consensus is donít do it. The few airline pilots I have spoken with whom commute say they plan to move to domicile some day. I am very grounded where Iím at and intend to stay here forever. It appears the majority of commuters have to fly to get to base. I live just under 4 hrs to a domicile so believe I would drive the commute. Does anybody here do something like that? Is the commuting stress everyone refers to more associated with trying to get to and from work via jumpseat/ standby.

Thx in advance for your opinion.


hoover
10-05-2018, 08:07 PM
If there's a major that has a base where you live choose that one

Lsu01
10-05-2018, 08:24 PM
There isnít.


flensr
10-05-2018, 09:23 PM
Once you have a line, commuting is slightly easier. However you will be giving up access to some of the "easy" flying and much of the very lucrative open time, if you're not close enough to the airport to get there quickly. You can do ok commuting and still get your 15-17 days off, but it'll just be harder to pick up that easy extra 10-20% that someone in base can generally grab out of open time. Like those single leg trips that contractually require 2 days either starting or ending (or both) with deadhead legs, so you're getting paid 10 TFP for a single leg and you can be back home less than 12 hrs after going to work. Hard to get those if you're not living in base.

I will say that if you need to be convinced that a 121 job is a good move for you, then maybe it's not... If you think your current job has less job security then you need to be living well under your income and piling up cash for when times are tough. I know lots of people who make $300k/year in industries that might evaporate tomorrow. They live off $100k and bank the other $200k against the time when they have to switch career fields because their previous career field simply doesn't exist anywhere anymore. That's smart no matter what job you have but it's really important in the flying business because we're darn nearly the proverbial canary in a coal mine. When the economy tanks or something significant happens (anyone willing to bet automation won't replace FOs in the next 20 years?), professional pilots tend to get hit early and hard (sts). If you're not seriously planning ahead for the next downturn then your backup plan isn't really much more than the local soup kitchen.

4thLevel
10-06-2018, 12:04 AM
There are a number of guys who a drive like you describe - more specifically, from central Cali to OAK. There are also several who fly their own airplanes to work - something you might want to consider, depending on where you live.

RckyMtHigh
10-06-2018, 05:41 AM
If I was going to commute long term, FedEx or UPS would be my goal. With some seniority you can start or end your trip with a paid deadhead from your hometown. After that I would look at the legacies and try to get on widebody flying as soon as possible.

A 4 hour drive to start and end a trip wouldnít be much fun. Then you have to do that 4 times a month. 32 hours in a car each month. That would get old fast.

Also consider at SWA you would have either report time (am trip) or end time (pm trip) that would make that very unsafe/unhealthy so youíre looking a a hotel to start or end a trip.

Southwest would probably be my last choice if I was committed to commuting.

ZapBrannigan
10-06-2018, 08:17 AM
Southwest would probably be my last choice if I was committed to commuting.


Yep. I am bewildered as to how any company with 40%-50% commuters has zero commutable LINES and almost no appetite among the pilots to correct the deficiency.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Lsu01
10-06-2018, 08:53 AM
Thanks all. The replies were kind of what I suspected. Just wanted to make sure I wasnít overlooking anything. I may have to ride out the 91 life as long as itís there. Take care!

03sport007
10-06-2018, 09:02 AM
If 1 out 2 pilots do it, then can it be that bad? I donít think anybody is arguing that all things being equal living in base is better then not living in base. But life gets complicated and it obviously works for a lot of people or they wouldnít do.

Having lived in base, commuted and worked a real 9 to 5 job. Iíll commute to a decent airline job over a 9 to 5 gig any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

saab2000
10-06-2018, 11:53 AM
I drive approximately 3 hours to my base. It's a lot of miles but mostly it's not too bad. So I don't live in base but I'm not a true commuter either.

That said, I do have costs associated with being a commuter, like several hotels per month plus the cost of driving, which is not insignificant. I estimate my commute probably costs me $500/month in hotels, gas, food, car wear and tear, etc.

CA1900
10-06-2018, 12:05 PM
I live just under 4 hrs to a domicile so believe I would drive the commute. Does anybody here do something like that?

I used to commute from Hartford to Albany for an old commuter airline job, which was about a two hour drive, and it was fine. At four hours, I might commute by air if the schedules permitted, but only you can make that call.


Is the commuting stress everyone refers to more associated with trying to get to and from work via jumpseat/ standby.

I commuted for my first six months at Southwest. Honestly, there wasn't really any stress with it. We have a commuter policy that, in a nutshell, won't get you in trouble if you aren't able to get on your commuter flight(s).

The big issue for me was the amount of time I lost by commuting. Most of Southwest's trips either start super early in the morning (so you have to come the night before), or end late enough that there aren't any flights home by the time you get back to your base. So either way, you're staying the night away from home, on your own dime.

Here's a real world example: I fly "PM" (afternoon/evening) trips. My show time for the trip I'm on right now was 12:45pm. If I had to commute, the only flight that gets me in before 11:45am (required to protect me under our commuter policy) leaves home at 6:10am, arriving at my base at 8:40am.

Realistically, that means I would have to leave my house at 4:30am to get parked, get to the gate, check in for the jumpseat, commute, then sit around for four hours until my check-in time.

Now to the end of the trip. I get to my base at 6:50pm this evening. The last flight on us back to my former home leaves at 3:40pm. The only other option to get home leaves at 7:15, has a 3-hour layover in LAX, and is in another terminal. If by some miracle I got in early enough to make it, it lands at 2:34am. Realistically, I'm spending another night at my base and taking the first one out in Sunday morning, which leaves at 9:50am and lands at home at 12:30pm.

So as a local, this 3-day trip has me leaves the house at noon, and be back in my living room by around 7:30. 55.5 hours away from my house.

As a commuter, that same 3-day trip would have me leave my house at 4:30am, and get home at 1:30pm on day 4. That's 81 hours away, plus the cost of a hotel or crashpad.

This is kind of an edge case because 12:45 is a pretty early report for a PM trip. I've had many that report after dinner, and those would at least make the day 1 commute more palatable and give you a few more hours at home. Still, very few of our trips allow a commute at the other end of the trip. The same trip structure that makes our trips great for people that live in base makes them difficult for people that commute.

It's workable, but plan on losing 3-4 days of your life per month for the commute. If you're going by car as you're suggesting, that gives you the option of traveling the same day that an air commuter wouldn't have, but also consider whether you'll be safe for four hours on the road after working all day and landing at 1am. I know I wouldn't be.

saab2000
10-06-2018, 12:23 PM
I used to commute from Hartford to Albany for an old commuter airline job, which was about a two hour drive, and it was fine. At four hours, I might commute by air if the schedules permitted, but only you can make that call.




I commuted for my first six months at Southwest. Honestly, there wasn't really any stress with it. We have a commuter policy that, in a nutshell, won't get you in trouble if you aren't able to get on your commuter flight(s).

The big issue for me was the amount of time I lost by commuting. Most of Southwest's trips either start super early in the morning (so you have to come the night before), or end late enough that there aren't any flights home by the time you get back to your base. So either way, you're staying the night away from home, on your own dime.

Here's a real world example: I fly "PM" (afternoon/evening) trips. My show time for the trip I'm on right now was 12:45pm. If I had to commute, the only flight that gets me in before 11:45am (required to protect me under our commuter policy) leaves home at 6:10am, arriving at my base at 8:40am.

Realistically, that means I would have to leave my house at 4:30am to get parked, get to the gate, check in for the jumpseat, commute, then sit around for four hours until my check-in time.

Now to the end of the trip. I get to my base at 6:50pm this evening. The last flight on us back to my former home leaves at 3:40pm. The only other option to get home leaves at 7:15, has a 3-hour layover in LAX, and is in another terminal. If by some miracle I got in early enough to make it, it lands at 2:34am. Realistically, I'm spending another night at my base and taking the first one out in Sunday morning, which leaves at 9:50am and lands at home at 12:30pm.

So as a local, this 3-day trip has me leaves the house at noon, and be back in my living room by around 7:30. 55.5 hours away from my house.

As a commuter, that same 3-day trip would have me leave my house at 4:30am, and get home at 1:30pm on day 4. That's 81 hours away, plus the cost of a hotel or crashpad.

This is kind of an edge case because 12:45 is a pretty early report for a PM trip. I've had many that report after dinner, and those would at least make the day 1 commute more palatable and give you a few more hours at home. Still, very few of our trips allow a commute at the other end of the trip. The same trip structure that makes our trips great for people that live in base makes them difficult for people that commute.

It's workable, but plan on losing 3-4 days of your life per month for the commute. If you're going by car as you're suggesting, that gives you the option of traveling the same day that an air commuter wouldn't have, but also consider whether you'll be safe for four hours on the road after working all day and landing at 1am. I know I wouldn't be.

This is all correct. I've commuted and lived in domicile. It's like two different jobs. That said, driving does leave the variables largely out of the equation.

I've chosen my current situation so I have nobody to blame but myself if I don't like it. CA1900 is totally right about the time lost. It's several days per month just lost.

I work AM trips and usually drive in the day before. I work at MDW so I prefer to drive in early enough to avoid bad Chicago traffic. That means arriving mid-afternoon at the latest. I try to get trips that end early enough to have something of the day left over when I get home but it often doesn't really work out like that. After all is said and done it's not as fatiguing and draining as commuting by airplane, but it's not that great either. The main difference is that I'm on my own schedule.

I can sell my house next August with no negative tax implications and I'm strongly considering moving to one of the domiciles. Having lived in base before, I say with confidence that it is totally life changing for the better. Driving is better than flying, but living right there is best. This is, literally, a part time job when you live in base.

SlipperyWing
10-06-2018, 03:22 PM
I've got a similar story. An outsider looking in, I've got a good Part 91 job that is very unique; 9 to 5, five days a week with lots of vacation potential.

I live near MCI and won't move (at least for a long time). My entire extended family is within 20 minutes of me, and when you have kids that's a luxury for all involved.

The down side to my job is that the flying is 20% of the job, and the other 80% accounts for 100% of the stress. I go on a one week vacation next week, and when I get back in the office I'll have 400 emails to read and address, and a stack of problems that will accumulate while I'm gone that I'll have to work overtime to get caught up on.

My lifestyle doesn't require that I make a ton of money, and I value quality time home with my kids more than making top dollar every month (my wife works and I have additional sources of income, which helps big time).

Like mine, your analysis will revolve around what you're trying to accomplish. If you need/want lots of money AND need/want lots of time at home, commuting will work against both of those requirements.

If I go the airline route, I know I'm going to commute and I accept that I'm going to give one extra night to the job on my own dime for each trip, and that's just part of the job.

The upside, as it appears to me at Southwest anyway, is that I have a little bit of control over how many trips I take and how many nights I'm away. If I can arrange a typical month to fly 4 trips for a total of 12 to 14 days of flying, that means I'm home 15 to 16 days a month even with a half day commute on one side of the trip or the other. And those are quality days off with no lingering stress carried over from one day to the next (other than how to get back to work). That beats the weekends I'm home now, along with the nights with my kids that I wasn't really the dad I want to be; my kids feel my stress too.

It helps knowing that I'd have numerous non-stops per day to/from MCI to MDW/DAL/DEN/HOU on SWA, with additional options on metal sporting different logos if necessary.

It's all about attitude. If you know you'll commute, make it part of the cost of having the job and do it anyway. Otherwise your attitude about it will stink and commuting will suck the life out of you.

-Slip

at6d
10-06-2018, 04:37 PM
I drive 1.7 hours to base. PMs mean rarely do I hit traffic, and itís a nice drive. Itís doable on reserve, too.

Flitestar
10-06-2018, 06:45 PM
Is there an approximate time at which most PM trips finish up across all the bases or does each base have their own evening time at which most of their trips wrap up?

I'm curious about Oakland in particular...

Smooth at FL450
10-07-2018, 05:39 AM
Is there an approximate time at which most PM trips finish up across all the bases or does each base have their own evening time at which most of their trips wrap up?

I'm curious about Oakland in particular...


I'm OAK based... 9pm-1am seems to be the range with the bulk of PMs getting in between 10 and 11:30p. Saturday PMs are nice because they tend to get in a couple hours earlier. I've had a few get back as early as 8pm. The commuters are always racing to catch their very last flights out to SEA/PDX/GEG/BOI/SLC/ONT/LAX which all seem to push around 10-1030pm. Fortunately I don't need to worry about my car leaving without me...

SlipKid
10-07-2018, 07:40 AM
I used to commute from Hartford to Albany for an old commuter airline job, which was about a two hour drive, and it was fine. At four hours, I might commute by air if the schedules permitted, but only you can make that call.




I commuted for my first six months at Southwest. Honestly, there wasn't really any stress with it. We have a commuter policy that, in a nutshell, won't get you in trouble if you aren't able to get on your commuter flight(s).

The big issue for me was the amount of time I lost by commuting. Most of Southwest's trips either start super early in the morning (so you have to come the night before), or end late enough that there aren't any flights home by the time you get back to your base. So either way, you're staying the night away from home, on your own dime.

Here's a real world example: I fly "PM" (afternoon/evening) trips. My show time for the trip I'm on right now was 12:45pm. If I had to commute, the only flight that gets me in before 11:45am (required to protect me under our commuter policy) leaves home at 6:10am, arriving at my base at 8:40am.

Realistically, that means I would have to leave my house at 4:30am to get parked, get to the gate, check in for the jumpseat, commute, then sit around for four hours until my check-in time.

Now to the end of the trip. I get to my base at 6:50pm this evening. The last flight on us back to my former home leaves at 3:40pm. The only other option to get home leaves at 7:15, has a 3-hour layover in LAX, and is in another terminal. If by some miracle I got in early enough to make it, it lands at 2:34am. Realistically, I'm spending another night at my base and taking the first one out in Sunday morning, which leaves at 9:50am and lands at home at 12:30pm.

So as a local, this 3-day trip has me leaves the house at noon, and be back in my living room by around 7:30. 55.5 hours away from my house.

As a commuter, that same 3-day trip would have me leave my house at 4:30am, and get home at 1:30pm on day 4. That's 81 hours away, plus the cost of a hotel or crashpad.

This is kind of an edge case because 12:45 is a pretty early report for a PM trip. I've had many that report after dinner, and those would at least make the day 1 commute more palatable and give you a few more hours at home. Still, very few of our trips allow a commute at the other end of the trip. The same trip structure that makes our trips great for people that live in base makes them difficult for people that commute.

It's workable, but plan on losing 3-4 days of your life per month for the commute. If you're going by car as you're suggesting, that gives you the option of traveling the same day that an air commuter wouldn't have, but also consider whether you'll be safe for four hours on the road after working all day and landing at 1am. I know I wouldn't be.

This, in a nutshell, is why I stopped commuting by air. Well, that and SW opening a domicile that I can drive to. ;)


I do PMs exclusively. I've got a 3 to 5(!) hour drive going to work, and 2:35-2:40 going home (late at night). It is exponentially better than commuting beyond driving distance on an airplane, which I did for over a decade, but it still sucks. I try to put trips together every month, typically into 2, 6 day blocks, which also sucks, but not as much as the 12+ hours of driving that I'd be doing otherwise.

After living in my town for almost 31 years, and 17 years of doing the drive, we are planning a move closer to a domicile.

Between the traffic, (mostly caused by the completely unfettered home building without adding any road volume nearly the entire way to and from work), erosion of line quality/flexibility, it's become an untenable situation. And I am pretty senior. I can't imagine trying to do what I do as a junior guy. I spend FAR too much time on ELITT and TTGA trying to trade weekdays for weekends or partial weekends to block my trips together. You'd think that would be a cakewalk, and it used to be. Apparently, folks love flying on weekends nowadays.

The traffic has gotten so bad here that I've started driving up the night before and do the hotel thing if I have a reports before 1300 (which puts me leaving during the AM rush hour). SO much less stressful than playing pole position for 3-4 hours before working a full day.

Unless we go back to our old manning levels, forget about premium time etc., unless you can snag the last minute stuff, which you can't do 3-4 hours away.

Flitestar
10-07-2018, 07:56 PM
I'm OAK based... 9pm-1am seems to be the range with the bulk of PMs getting in between 10 and 11:30p. Saturday PMs are nice because they tend to get in a couple hours earlier. I've had a few get back as early as 8pm. The commuters are always racing to catch their very last flights out to SEA/PDX/GEG/BOI/SLC/ONT/LAX which all seem to push around 10-1030pm. Fortunately I don't need to worry about my car leaving without me...

Thanks smooth. 👍

flensr
10-08-2018, 09:22 AM
Between the traffic, (mostly caused by the completely unfettered home building without adding any road volume nearly the entire way to and from work), erosion of line quality/flexibility, it's become an untenable situation. .

Sounds like C-Springs.

SlipKid
10-08-2018, 11:46 AM
Sounds like C-Springs.

No, but I've heard that's almost as bad. :eek:

Champeen07
10-23-2018, 09:16 AM
This, in a nutshell, is why I stopped commuting by air. Well, that and SW opening a domicile that I can drive to. ;)


I do PMs exclusively. I've got a 3 to 5(!) hour drive going to work, and 2:35-2:40 going home (late at night). It is exponentially better than commuting beyond driving distance on an airplane, which I did for over a decade, but it still sucks. I try to put trips together every month, typically into 2, 6 day blocks, which also sucks, but not as much as the 12+ hours of driving that I'd be doing otherwise.

After living in my town for almost 31 years, and 17 years of doing the drive, we are planning a move closer to a domicile.

Between the traffic, (mostly caused by the completely unfettered home building without adding any road volume nearly the entire way to and from work), erosion of line quality/flexibility, it's become an untenable situation. And I am pretty senior. I can't imagine trying to do what I do as a junior guy. I spend FAR too much time on ELITT and TTGA trying to trade weekdays for weekends or partial weekends to block my trips together. You'd think that would be a cakewalk, and it used to be. Apparently, folks love flying on weekends nowadays.

The traffic has gotten so bad here that I've started driving up the night before and do the hotel thing if I have a reports before 1300 (which puts me leaving during the AM rush hour). SO much less stressful than playing pole position for 3-4 hours before working a full day.

Unless we go back to our old manning levels, forget about premium time etc., unless you can snag the last minute stuff, which you can't do 3-4 hours away.

What a great excuse to own an airplane and fly to work. Would beat the hell out of dealing with that traffic all the time. And if the weather is bad, you just drive no biggie.

SlipKid
10-23-2018, 10:00 AM
What a great excuse to own an airplane and fly to work. Would beat the hell out of dealing with that traffic all the time. And if the weather is bad, you just drive no biggie.

I've seriously considered it several times over the years, once, to the point where I was looking at airplanes and almost signed a hangar lease. It sounds like a good idea, but when you put it all down on paper, reality sets in. The last time I was looking into it was right before 117 changed, and I was doing 4 commutes per month. After that, I've been able to rearrange my schedule, put trips back to back, and knock it down to 2 or 3, although that's getting difficult to do lately with the elimination of much of our open time.

Lots of moving parts, and very expensive for what'll save me a few hours per month. If I had a longer drive, the rate of return starts to make more sense.

I've also considered buying a lot at a local fly in community, which would obviously simplify the situation on the home end, considerably, but it's still a lot of cash just to get to and from work.

Champeen07
10-24-2018, 09:49 AM
In reality, the numbers really might not need to totally make sense. With the option of not sitting in traffic, lots of other options open up. Plus, even if the time spent is a wash, and it costs a little more, not having to commute in traffic is a huge QOL gainer. Imagine being excited to make the trip to and from work... and you don't feel like you had to travel at all.

And then there is using the airplane to travel on your vacations or off days. Realistically, you could do this in a 20K 172, or even better an older bonanza. Just sayin...

SlipKid
10-24-2018, 11:34 AM
In reality, the numbers really might not need to totally make sense. With the option of not sitting in traffic, lots of other options open up. Plus, even if the time spent is a wash, and it costs a little more, not having to commute in traffic is a huge QOL gainer.

There is no doubt that there are advantages to an airplane commute, but in my case, the added cost and additional "moving parts" don't make much sense, which is why I scrapped the idea.

A few of our guys that live in the panhandle (5-6 hour drive) commute (or did) by light airplane. One of them retired, and I think the other one now commutes to HOU on us, now that we have flights there out of his home city. Even then, those guys drove to MCO more than once in a while(!).

Avoiding the 3+ hours of pole position driving to work sounds great, but the time savings is almost negligible when averaged over the drive to and from work.

With no traffic, door to door, I'll save about 45 minutes going to work and about 20 minutes coming home. The reason that the average drive time home is significantly shorter is due to the late hour = exponentially less traffic.

WX on the way home is a big issue in the winter, as on many nights, it's often well below Cat 1 ILS minimums from Bartow to Marco Is. None of the local fields even have ILS. I'd either be spending another night in MCO, going to an alternate 45 minutes away (hit or miss when the fog rolls in) or leaving the airplane in MCO, renting a car and driving home (and then renting another one to drive back). The latter results in yet another 2 hours of my time on days off returning and picking up rentals. Not to mention that the airplane would sit outside for another week or so until i went back.

In the summer, there are the afternoon t-storms to deal with Most of the time, my show times are before they roll in, but it's another consideration.

The last time I ran the numbers, using something simple like a Cherokee 180 or AA5 Tiger as a baseline, I was looking at roughly $1k per month to commute 4 times, for fuel, tie down at MCO, T hangar at the home airport, insurance, engine time etc., and that wasn't including the purchase cost of the airplane, the annual or any unscheduled mx. Fuel was more expensive back then ($6-7 gallon up in MCO, IIRC. You had to buy a minimum amount, which I think was 5 gallons, to avoid an exorbitant "handling" fee, again, IIRC, on top of the $175 per month tie down fee. ), and that was more than half the total cost of the commute.

Even if I take my full sized pickup, it's about $130 per month right now for gas and tolls, and another $140 for hotels between my trips, doing 2 commutes. That wouldn't even come close to covering hangar rent and tie down at MCO, which was $425, combined, and that was the cost 4.5 years ago.

Imagine being excited to make the trip to and from work... and you don't feel like you had to travel at all.

That'd be awesome, but I can't imagine being much more excited to get in a light airplane at midnight after a 10-12 hour duty day than I am getting in my car. ;) And I'd still be spending 70-80 minutes, per commute, in the car.


And then there is using the airplane to travel on your vacations or off days. Realistically, you could do this in a 20K 172, or even better an older bonanza. Just sayin...

Yeah, that's why I was considering something with an O-360, since, for the most part, they have enough usable load to take 2 people, a few bags, the dog and enough fuel to actually go somewhere, vs. going real cheap and getting a C150, Cherokee 140 or the like.

I also considered an old Mooney, but it wasn't worth the added complexity/cost for the small time savings I'd get on the 130 mile trip.

TBH, I have very little interest in owning a light airplane other than for avoiding the 180 miles of Pole Position going to work.

FWIW, I really wanted this to work, to avoid moving. But as I said, the numbers don't add up, plus the unfettered growth in our area has gotten out of hand, so we're not as enamored with it as we used to be, in fact, after 32 years, I am starting to really dislike it here.

Unless a miracle (like a FLL base :eek:) occurs in the next few months, we're just gonna move closer.

Champeen07
10-24-2018, 08:09 PM
well thought out and you make all good points. Maybe its just my thinking as I just want to own an airplane but don't have a mission for one. So always looking for a justifiable reason...

chrisreedrules
10-24-2018, 08:44 PM
There is no doubt that there are advantages to an airplane commute, but in my case, the added cost and additional "moving parts" don't make much sense, which is why I scrapped the idea.

A few of our guys that live in the panhandle (5-6 hour drive) commute (or did) by light airplane. One of them retired, and I think the other one now commutes to HOU on us, now that we have flights there out of his home city. Even then, those guys drove to MCO more than once in a while(!).

Avoiding the 3+ hours of pole position driving to work sounds great, but the time savings is almost negligible when averaged over the drive to and from work.

With no traffic, door to door, I'll save about 45 minutes going to work and about 20 minutes coming home. The reason that the average drive time home is significantly shorter is due to the late hour = exponentially less traffic.

WX on the way home is a big issue in the winter, as on many nights, it's often well below Cat 1 ILS minimums from Bartow to Marco Is. None of the local fields even have ILS. I'd either be spending another night in MCO, going to an alternate 45 minutes away (hit or miss when the fog rolls in) or leaving the airplane in MCO, renting a car and driving home (and then renting another one to drive back). The latter results in yet another 2 hours of my time on days off returning and picking up rentals. Not to mention that the airplane would sit outside for another week or so until i went back.

In the summer, there are the afternoon t-storms to deal with Most of the time, my show times are before they roll in, but it's another consideration.

The last time I ran the numbers, using something simple like a Cherokee 180 or AA5 Tiger as a baseline, I was looking at roughly $1k per month to commute 4 times, for fuel, tie down at MCO, T hangar at the home airport, insurance, engine time etc., and that wasn't including the purchase cost of the airplane, the annual or any unscheduled mx. Fuel was more expensive back then ($6-7 gallon up in MCO, IIRC. You had to buy a minimum amount, which I think was 5 gallons, to avoid an exorbitant "handling" fee, again, IIRC, on top of the $175 per month tie down fee. ), and that was more than half the total cost of the commute.

Even if I take my full sized pickup, it's about $130 per month right now for gas and tolls, and another $140 for hotels between my trips, doing 2 commutes. That wouldn't even come close to covering hangar rent and tie down at MCO, which was $425, combined, and that was the cost 4.5 years ago.



That'd be awesome, but I can't imagine being much more excited to get in a light airplane at midnight after a 10-12 hour duty day than I am getting in my car. ;) And I'd still be spending 70-80 minutes, per commute, in the car.




Yeah, that's why I was considering something with an O-360, since, for the most part, they have enough usable load to take 2 people, a few bags, the dog and enough fuel to actually go somewhere, vs. going real cheap and getting a C150, Cherokee 140 or the like.

I also considered an old Mooney, but it wasn't worth the added complexity/cost for the small time savings I'd get on the 130 mile trip.

TBH, I have very little interest in owning a light airplane other than for avoiding the 180 miles of Pole Position going to work.

FWIW, I really wanted this to work, to avoid moving. But as I said, the numbers don't add up, plus the unfettered growth in our area has gotten out of hand, so we're not as enamored with it as we used to be, in fact, after 32 years, I am starting to really dislike it here.

Unless a miracle (like a FLL base :eek:) occurs in the next few months, we're just gonna move closer.

Just popped through the thread and happened on your post about FL and moving... Struck a chord with me. Lived here all my life and I thought Iíd retire here too. Too much is changing too fast in this state and they are mishandling the growth weíre experiencing in an epic way. My wife and I have given serious thought to just leaving at this point.

SlipKid
10-25-2018, 07:43 AM
well thought out and you make all good points. Maybe its just my thinking as I just want to own an airplane but don't have a mission for one. So always looking for a justifiable reason...

Understood! Like I said, I am not really interested in owning an airplane at this point, but if I was, commuting would be a very valid excuse, err, reason to get one. ;)

RJSAviator76
10-25-2018, 09:57 AM
well thought out and you make all good points. Maybe its just my thinking as I just want to own an airplane but don't have a mission for one. So always looking for a justifiable reason...

More justifiable than a muscle car or a boat, no? Costs about the same... ;)