Airline Pilot Forums

Airline Pilot Forums was designed to be a community where working airline pilots can share ideas and information about the aviation field. In the forum you will find information about major and regional airline carriers, career training, interview and job seeker help, finance, and living the airline pilot lifestyle.




andycfi
11-09-2018, 08:31 AM
Hi Everyone,

I'm a longtime lurker in this part of the forum. I gave up flying during the CFI stage. I had the hours to move on, but I could see the writing on the wall in terms of what the career demanded vs. what I was willing to give personally. I didn't want to be on the road all the time, away from family, potentially have to move or commute - it just didn't work for me. As a result, I got to be with my mom and dad full time when they became ill and eventually passed. I met a great girl, married her, and come home every night. I see the guys all the time.

I see a lot of back and forth banter on here regarding if this is a good career or not. It certainly is, it just has to fit the person. It took me nearly a decade to get over the fact that I just didn't want what went with the career. Not aviation's fault, just the reality of me vs. it. I guess I'm writing this to help others since I see some of the same sentiment on some others' posts. If you're not going to be happy - be true to yourself! It WILL work out.

So, how did it go? Hard at first - very hard to see the forest through the trees. I was angry, bitter, and just upset things didn't work out the way I thought they would (even though it was my choice). But with some time, things really did get better. My desk job turned into a great career with wonderful people and I really don't mind going every day. It affords me a lot. I got into boating and love it - we bought a twin cabin cruiser, and also have a storage condo for the winter that the boat lives in. We are currently building a small efficiency above it. Honestly? Life is great.

I'm so happy now I even went back to CFIing. I found my place in aviation after figuring myself out. I belong in the right seat teaching. I'm having more fun than ever.

If you want to fly, then fly! But if the career isn't for you, I'm writing to say it was hard, but it does get better. Do what is right for you either way, stay positive, and know that there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel!


wetoolow
11-09-2018, 12:35 PM
I left aviation at the cfi stage three months ago (cfi with MEI, CFII, CFI SE)to work at a tech company with my business degree. I got 8 ratings, and had 4 failed rides (priv ME, comm SE, CFI SE add twice). I miss it every day even though I had some hiccups. I left for similar reasons, as well as I was disheartened by my failed rides. I loved instructing, I loved flying. I’m turning 25 in a few weeks and think I made a huge mistake leaving aviation as my career. I’m currently making a great living, but it doesn’t matter if you aren’t enjoying what you are doing

andycfi
11-09-2018, 02:56 PM
Wetoolow,

Only you know what direction is best for you. And it is hard, really hard at first. As pilots, it becomes part of our identities. But in reality, I learned that when one door closes another one opens. I encourage you to look for other advocations. It can speed along the healing process. Leaving aviation can feel like a divorce. Once you get past it you may even want to CFI again. PM me if you ever want to chat.

In addition look up Mike Rowes speech on hownit is not a requirement to love what you do. You can make ANY career fulfilling and happy if you have a positive attitude.

Andy


JohnBurke
11-10-2018, 06:18 AM
Let't not say that it's the end of a career if one walked away while in the CFI stage. That's not a career. It's just getting started and doing something else.

There's no shame in finding your own path.

Your thread title is misleading, but it appears that you're attempting to say you want to talk about what happens between the end of a "flying career" and the end of one's life. Presumably something other than flying. That's not the way the title reads, however, and it nearly suggests that the end of a flying career is the end of life. It's not.

Flying is not for everyone. There's nothing wrong with doing something else. If flying is missed, do it privately, instead of a career. If it's not missed, don't do it at all. Neither is wrong. Do what works for you.

andycfi
11-12-2018, 05:51 AM
Let't not say that it's the end of a career if one walked away while in the CFI stage. That's not a career. It's just getting started and doing something else.

There's no shame in finding your own path.

Your thread title is misleading, but it appears that you're attempting to say you want to talk about what happens between the end of a "flying career" and the end of one's life. Presumably something other than flying. That's not the way the title reads, however, and it nearly suggests that the end of a flying career is the end of life. It's not.

Flying is not for everyone. There's nothing wrong with doing something else. If flying is missed, do it privately, instead of a career. If it's not missed, don't do it at all. Neither is wrong. Do what works for you.

Basically my point, and I was not referring to the literal end of one's life. More referring to the figurative statement, "my life is over" that one might say when something unfavorable happens. Didn't think it would be necessary to have to explain that, but here it is if that's what's needed.

wetoolow
11-12-2018, 09:50 AM
Let't not say that it's the end of a career if one walked away while in the CFI stage. That's not a career. It's just getting started and doing something else.

There's no shame in finding your own path.

Your thread title is misleading, but it appears that you're attempting to say you want to talk about what happens between the end of a "flying career" and the end of one's life. Presumably something other than flying. That's not the way the title reads, however, and it nearly suggests that the end of a flying career is the end of life. It's not.

Flying is not for everyone. There's nothing wrong with doing something else. If flying is missed, do it privately, instead of a career. If it's not missed, don't do it at all. Neither is wrong. Do what works for you.

What if you feel like you left too soon? I understand I do not have the best training record; however I know I am more than capable of being a safe, competent, airline pilot. I never ever have had issues with the material learned (examiners, instructors are all impressed by my test scores and knowledge), it seems more so that I have been put in situations to take checkrides where i was not completely ready to take them. Unfortunately, I should have put my foot down, and listened internally, rather than allow my CFIs to pass me off for a checkride. I am not blaming my lack of preparation on my intstructors, however I am pointing out that I think if I had done my initial trianing at a different program/school, I would not have been put in a situation where I did not feel as prepared, and that is my fault. I miss aviaiton and flying, and feel like I left too early because I was discouraged by my imperfect training record. Besides this, I have a good background. 3.4 GPA, clean driving record, criminal record, etc. I hate explaining to people that I quit aviation, I feel like I have not only disappointed others, but I have disappointed myself for giving up something I have wanted to do for a while.


I constantly think about getting back into it and getting back on the saddle and instructing. Am I crazy to want to get back into it? I feel like I am leaving at a great time in the industry, as well.

andycfi
11-12-2018, 11:20 AM
What if you feel like you left too soon? I understand I do not have the best training record; however I know I am more than capable of being a safe, competent, airline pilot. I never ever have had issues with the material learned (examiners, instructors are all impressed by my test scores and knowledge), it seems more so that I have been put in situations to take checkrides where i was not completely ready to take them. Unfortunately, I should have put my foot down, and listened internally, rather than allow my CFIs to pass me off for a checkride. I am not blaming my lack of preparation on my intstructors, however I am pointing out that I think if I had done my initial trianing at a different program/school, I would not have been put in a situation where I did not feel as prepared, and that is my fault. I miss aviaiton and flying, and feel like I left too early because I was discouraged by my imperfect training record. Besides this, I have a good background. 3.4 GPA, clean driving record, criminal record, etc. I hate explaining to people that I quit aviation, I feel like I have not only disappointed others, but I have disappointed myself for giving up something I have wanted to do for a while.


I constantly think about getting back into it and getting back on the saddle and instructing. Am I crazy to want to get back into it? I feel like I am leaving at a great time in the industry, as well.

Here's the deal: only you know what is best for you. You're not the only one to bust rides. Many have and will continue to. Don't let that be the reason you leave if that is the only one. If you go back, be prepared to speak to the setbacks the same way you did on here. I would even expound a little more on them as well. For instance, "I was recommended for a ride when I did not feel fully prepared. I learned from this experience because I should never make that kind of choice when I am PIC. If I am not fit to fly for any reason, I will exercise the decision to refrain. I am glad I was afforded the opportunity to learn this in a safe environment (checkride) vs. a bad weather situation or something else." ... Just an idea on how you can spin that in an interview for the positive.

I left for different reasons. I didn't feel beat down by my perceived self performance, I left because the industry simply could not offer me the lifestyle I desired. I hate being gone a lot, I don't really relish hotel rooms, and I absolutely won't move under any circumstances. Those reasons are very different than a dent in your self confidence. If you feel you made a mistake, you are still young enough to change it! Mistakes are only failures if you don't learn from them. Take some time and really think it through. You can still succeed if you like the job, the industry, the lifestyle, and everything that goes with it.

BFMthisA10
11-12-2018, 11:29 AM
Came here thinking someone finally found and posted the apocryphal FedEx retirement morbidity study.

JohnBurke
11-13-2018, 01:00 PM
I hate explaining to people that I quit aviation, I feel like I have not only disappointed others, but I have disappointed myself for giving up something I have wanted to do for a while.


You don't owe anyone an explanation. No one else is entitled to your explanation.

If you're disappointed in yourself, then only you can address that issue, but project that onto the populace at large. You make the decision based on what's best for you, and you alone.


I constantly think about getting back into it and getting back on the saddle and instructing. Am I crazy to want to get back into it? I feel like I am leaving at a great time in the industry, as well.

You're not crazy. You're not crazy to leave, not to stay with it. It's a vocation. It's a job. For some a hobby. It's not life, though. It's just a job. Life goes on.

Yes, this is a time of the greatest opportunity I've ever seen in the industry, and I've been in it for a long time. Today's up and coming student has no idea just how good he or she has it.

Besides this, I have a good background. 3.4 GPA, clean driving record, criminal record, etc.

Quite irrelevant, but thanks for sharing.

I never ever have had issues with the material learned (examiners, instructors are all impressed by my test scores and knowledge), it seems more so that I have been put in situations to take checkrides where i was not completely ready to take them.

Flying is about judgement; often it's the judgement of whether to go fly or not. Aviation is all about go/no-go decisions. Think of your pass rate not as a verdict on whether you can manipulate the controls, but a referendum on your judgement. It all comes down to judgement, which may be whether to take a flight or not, or whether to take a checkride. Judgement.

bryris
04-16-2019, 09:45 AM
For what's it worth, I've been flying at a hobby level for 20 years now. From 2006 through 2008, I instructed and eventually flew for a regional. Went fine until the economy crashed and I was furloughed. However, prior to 2006, I had earned by degree in accounting and had worked in the field for a couple of years. After 2008, I went back to school, earned my CPA license, and got back to it. For the last 10 years, I've done well at it. I make good coin. Even bought a Piper Cherokee to fly around on the weekends. I can afford a nice hangar, a mini fridge full of drinks, and to keep the airplane up. I get a lot of pleasure in that airplane, keeping it nice, working on it, flying it. Then I get all the other stuff too: home every night, etc. This works for me.

If I stick with this, I'll never fly a jet again, or frankly anything high tech. But, I can fly, when I want, how I want (within the limitations of my time and budget).

I still long to be a professional pilot on some level. Its truly still a part of who I am and will always be a part of my life journey and I am thankful for that chapter. But, the majority of me knows that I am on the right path where I am right now. That works for me. Perhaps it will for you too within your own construct.



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