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.




GoldenGooseGuy
11-20-2018, 03:05 AM
Years ago, I cruised this forum looking for ways other people had successfully bailed out of their airline career. I had realized that my passion was not in flying, but finance. In the midst of my shift in priorities, my ex-fiancee left me, I had an underwater mortgage and an miserable commute to a reserve schedule.

Meanwhile, I was working on a grad degree, an internship, and every minute of my time off was consumed with efforts to rebuild my life from the ground up. Since then, my life has been transformed from top to bottom.

More recently, I wrote two articles: one with the name of this post, and a follow up article to describe how I changed to a different industry and how a "dream job" evolves over time. The full articles are on my personal (non-commercial) website linked below.

I now work from home for a private investment firm after moving from the USA to near London, England, and wanted to give anyone the opportunity to ask me any questions. I also welcome any insights you have about the articles I've written.


SeamusTheHound
11-20-2018, 03:31 AM
I have a question!:

Where are the links to your articles?

TIA

GoldenGooseGuy
11-20-2018, 04:40 AM
I have a question!:

Where are the links to your articles?

TIA

Good question! My website is linked in my signature, and here are the direct links to the two articles I mentioned:

Leaving the Career:
Why I Left an Airline Pilot Career Worth $8.2 Million (https://goldengooseguide.com/2018/06/14/why-i-left-an-airline-pilot-career-worth-8-2-million/)

Changing Jobs/Industries:
I Quit My Dream Job After Burning Out and I’ve Never Been Better. This is How I Started Over. (https://goldengooseguide.com/2018/11/06/i-quit-my-dream-job-after-burning-out-and-ive-never-been-better-this-is-how-i-started-over/)

Thanks!


pilotyip
11-20-2018, 05:48 AM
Yea after my third job in five years after leaving the Navy, early 80's seeing all my airline buddies furloughed. I decided to get out of professional flying and start my own business. Ran it for five year, still flew, in reserves,CI's, warbirds, but I missed being around pilots, airports and airplanes, so I got rid of business and went back to chasing airplanes jobsm, I love it and am as a happy I have ever been

GoldenGooseGuy
11-20-2018, 06:07 AM
Yea after my third job in five years after leaving the Navy, early 80's seeing all my airline buddies furloughed. I decided to get out of professional flying and start my own business. Ran it for five year, still flew, in reserves,CI's, warbirds, but I missed being around pilots, airports and airplanes, so I got rid of business and went back to chasing airplanes jobsm, I love it and am as a happy I have ever been

Being an entrepreneur can be subject to its own brand of burnout, did you feel like running the business was too much? Or was the pilot lifestyle a stronger draw than any other factor?

SkyHigh
11-20-2018, 07:47 AM
I like the articles. They are well written and well thought out. I was forced out of aviation after 9-11 and discovered by accident how much better life on the outside can be. My family and I now control how we live and are much happier. I earn more and own my time.

I think it is easy to overlook how important it is to maintain a rhythm of life that is in sync with others. To what end does it serve a pilot to have Tuesday and Wednesday off when friends and family are at work or school? It is easy to lose track of friends, hobbies, and family with an airline schedule.

I miss my airline dream every day but have the perspective of comparison to what my life is like now. Every once in a while I am tempted to return but all it takes is 10 minutes of listening to the hardships of one who is still in the industry to restore a sense of gratitude.

Disclosure Statement: I still go to job fairs on occasion mostly because I have been attending them for over 20 years now. It has become a hobby of mine. If my dream job opportunity were to present itself I am unsure what I would do. In any case, it is nice to have options.

There is life outside of the airlines and it is not all bad.

Skyhigh

GoldenGooseGuy
11-20-2018, 09:43 AM
I like the articles. They are well written and well thought out. I was forced out of aviation after 9-11 and discovered by accident how much better life on the outside can be. My family and I now control how we live and are much happier. I earn more and own my time.

I think it is easy to overlook how important it is to maintain a rhythm of life that is in sync with others. To what end does it serve a pilot to have Tuesday and Wednesday off when friends and family are at work or school? It is easy to lose track of friends, hobbies, and family with an airline schedule.

I miss my airline dream every day but have the perspective of comparison to what my life is like now. Every once in a while I am tempted to return but all it takes is 10 minutes of listening to the hardships of one who is still in the industry to restore a sense of gratitude.

Disclosure Statement: I still go to job fairs on occasion mostly because I have been attending them for over 20 years now. It has become a hobby of mine. If my dream job opportunity were to present itself I am unsure what I would do. In any case, it is nice to have options.

There is life outside of the airlines and it is not all bad.

Skyhigh

I appreciate your helpful commentary.

Being out of sync is a good way to describe it. It seemed like while flying, everyone was always trying to get home, but it was an endless negotiation of trying to minimize life disruption and lost time.

Another interesting point you make is with earnings. Many pilots I flew with argued that no job had the earnings potential of an airline career, but there are many opportunities that have a higher income potential because they aren't capped by seniority pay scales of an hourly trade job.

The only area I differ is that I don't miss the flying career. While I enjoyed the camaraderie, coming back to the real world felt to me like returning from being deployed in the military. I've made phenomenal friends in my new workplaces, and the work itself has been more challenging and fulfilling without those level-off career points in the airline where I'd start feeling bored and stale.

It sounds like you were forced out, while I voluntarily left after a solid 6+ years. If I had to guess, that might be part of the reason you're still torn between careers?

MySaabStory
11-20-2018, 10:34 AM
It was a good read. Thank you.

It was a tough time in our industry, but I survived it by always putting my family first. Flying was never more than a job I enjoyed. Even my first year, at my first airline, I was able to get Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years off. It required a lot of effort on my part (swapping days with pilots or the company, getting days off from the chief, moving days around, reading and understanding the contract, getting lucky, etc.) but I managed to do it.

I’m at a major airline now, and of my 20+ years flying professionally, I have never missed those 3 “major” holidays and rarely missed any important family milestone or occasions. Family always comes first.

Here are just 2 keys to my success:

1) Choose the flying job that allows you to drive to work (30 min - 60 min max) Commuting does not work with quality of life.
2) Bid reserve. Option #1 allows for that. My total time at the airlines, at my 20 year mark, was barley over 5,000 hours. My pay was based on reserve so that was over 17,000 hours of pay.

Basically to all those people who are just starting out...you make this job into whatever you want it to be. You’re in control of your future and your success; personally and professionally. They are both possible if done right.

GoldenGooseGuy
11-21-2018, 01:26 AM
It was a good read. Thank you.

It was a tough time in our industry, but I survived it by always putting my family first. Flying was never more than a job I enjoyed. Even my first year, at my first airline, I was able to get Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years off. It required a lot of effort on my part (swapping days with pilots or the company, getting days off from the chief, moving days around, reading and understanding the contract, getting lucky, etc.) but I managed to do it.

I’m at a major airline now, and of my 20+ years flying professionally, I have never missed those 3 “major” holidays and rarely missed any important family milestone or occasions. Family always comes first.

Here are just 2 keys to my success:

1) Choose the flying job that allows you to drive to work (30 min - 60 min max) Commuting does not work with quality of life.
2) Bid reserve. Option #1 allows for that. My total time at the airlines, at my 20 year mark, was barley over 5,000 hours. My pay was based on reserve so that was over 17,000 hours of pay.

Basically to all those people who are just starting out...you make this job into whatever you want it to be. You’re in control of your future and your success; personally and professionally. They are both possible if done right.

Family is the most important thing, I absolutely agree. Even a high paying or prestigious flying job will feel fruitless if your home life is neglected.

In the case of Republic, those two keys backfired, which were another part of my cautionary tale:

1. Republic had base closures, which is what led to me being stranded on an ugly commute from STL-ORD when AA downsized their ops in STL. There weren't any other flight jobs to choose from with STL as a base except for good-old-boy-club corporate flight jobs that were unattainable, or Netjets, where I was in the hiring pool before they furloughed for years.
2. Reserve is conditional on #1, living in base. Reserve at Republic meant you worked your tail off flying 100 hours a month, deadheading everywhere, being sent to reserve in hotel rooms at other bases, being given stand-up duty overnights and maintenance check flights, and being used as a FO in addition to a Captain.

While some things were negotiable, calling in sick on the holidays was not (they required a doctor's note), so you flew those as well while you were low on the seniority totem pole. If you called in sick more than 7 times per year, you were fired.

I think while your keys are a good idea after you've gained seniority and can bid closer to the top of the reserve seniority list, they don't prevent the possibility of being at the bottom for years, as I was.

ZippyNH
11-21-2018, 05:11 AM
Sometimes the all-consuming drive that some people have to get to a major is something I find confusing...
There are many jobs in aviation that provide QOL without destroying you family life multiple times as job changes and seniority comes and goes.....sure the top end pay is there...but there are other jobs that frankly, aren't half bad, that pay pretty good with much more Quality of life.
Many corporate jobs come to mind, as do feeder freight jobs from SOME companies....the one commonality is, don't try to commute, and or find an employer that will "home base you" so you are "on the clock" on a positive space ticket when you leave the house.....
An amazing number of TRUE corporate jobs (not 135 charter) have limited overnights...and do lots of "out and back trips" so the executives can have dinner at home......

Sometimes people just need to not be so focused on $$$, because frankly places pay what they need to in order to keep the seat filled....low turnover companies with good QOL are out there....
It's all about matching your priorities to a company and lifestyle, not just taking the first regional job, then the first major airline job you can get...
Oh yeah...I forget this sites name ��

GuardPolice
11-21-2018, 07:05 AM
I hesitate to even point this out but I’m surprised no one has yet.

Didn’t you leave only a regional airline career? You’re assuming you would have been hired by a major. I’m not suggesting you wouldn’t have made it to a major, but there are thousands of pilots who have a flying resume similar to yours that can’t get a call to make it to the next level. With that said, I guess writing these articles with a career's worth of regional wages isn’t as sexy as mainline career wages.

IMHO, you were a victim of bad timing entering our profession. That coupled with a potential spouse unwilling to accept the lifestyle our profession requires made for a rough time for you. You have my empathy; however, you’re not the first and certainly won’t be the last to go through these challenges.

Best of luck to you.

JohnBurke
11-21-2018, 11:42 AM
I still go to job fairs on occasion mostly because I have been attending them for over 20 years now. It has become a hobby of mine. If my dream job opportunity were to present itself I am unsure what I would do. In any case, it is nice to have options.


Your "dream job" isn't going to come up. You've discussed your past far too much here, such that it's a well known quantity. You walked away with no significant experience, and your dream job requires just one thing: you stick with it. You didn't. You quit.

Your dream job is available any time; all you have to is...show up.

tomgoodman
11-21-2018, 01:43 PM
Congratulations to Golden Goose on finding a new career that suits him better than his old one. In addition, he wisely avoided bashing and hurling epithets at those pilots who continue to pursue Aviation.

viper548
11-21-2018, 04:16 PM
Did you commute? I've been an airline pilot for 14 years, 10 at a regional and 4 at a major. I've commuted about half the time at both jobs, and it sucks. Living in base is a completely different experience. Currently I live in base and bid short call reserve (by choice). I've flown 6 days so far this month and I only have 4 more reserve days left. I didn't have the seniority to get thanksgiving off but my reserve day starts at 6pm tomorrow. After 6pm on a holiday there's not much flying left. When I get a trip it's usually one leg out, spend the night and one leg back.

GoldenGooseGuy
11-22-2018, 02:17 AM
I hesitate to even point this out but I’m surprised no one has yet.

Didn’t you leave only a regional airline career? You’re assuming you would have been hired by a major. I’m not suggesting you wouldn’t have made it to a major, but there are thousands of pilots who have a flying resume similar to yours that can’t get a call to make it to the next level. With that said, I guess writing these articles with a career's worth of regional wages isn’t as sexy as mainline career wages.

IMHO, you were a victim of bad timing entering our profession. That coupled with a potential spouse unwilling to accept the lifestyle our profession requires made for a rough time for you. You have my empathy; however, you’re not the first and certainly won’t be the last to go through these challenges.

Best of luck to you.

That's a really great point, and one that I worked to address in my first article:

"We are assuming that everyone who signs up for $200K in loans is a successful major airline pilot. In reality, many aspiring pilots struggle to get started with their first flight job, lose their medical certificate, become disenchanted with the lifestyle, get stuck in lower paying flight jobs, fail out of training, or otherwise don’t make it to the highest-paying echelon."

As we all know in finance, past performance is no indication of future results. What I did was take my college buddy's career who was in lockstep with mine and plot his course as my projection - we flew together, were selectively chosen to instruct at the same university, and began at Republic on the same class date. Neither of us had any reason why we'd remain at Republic, so I think with our ambition level it's a best guess estimate. Of course, it's still an estimate.

Bad timing was certainly a factor, but even bigger than that was an overall shift in interest to another industry. I took a single grad-level class in finance as my form of "dipping my toes in", and once I was in, I was hooked.

GoldenGooseGuy
11-22-2018, 02:29 AM
Congratulations to Golden Goose on finding a new career that suits him better than his old one. In addition, he wisely avoided bashing and hurling epithets at those pilots who continue to pursue Aviation.

Thanks very much, Tom! Some of my goals here, along with time and financial freedom, is to show the value I found in having a Plan B, and in not putting all my (golden ;)) eggs in one career basket. Lifestyle choices are individual and I think these goals can still be accomplished without sacrificing one's dream job.

GoldenGooseGuy
11-22-2018, 02:35 AM
Did you commute? I've been an airline pilot for 14 years, 10 at a regional and 4 at a major. I've commuted about half the time at both jobs, and it sucks. Living in base is a completely different experience. Currently I live in base and bid short call reserve (by choice). I've flown 6 days so far this month and I only have 4 more reserve days left. I didn't have the seniority to get thanksgiving off but my reserve day starts at 6pm tomorrow. After 6pm on a holiday there's not much flying left. When I get a trip it's usually one leg out, spend the night and one leg back.

I was forced to commute after the STL base closed, from STL-ORD. It was notoriously tough due to all the former TWA pilots and full airplanes that competed for a seat - often it was 3 or 4 flights before I caught one.

Congrats on living in base reserve, how high on the reserve seniority list do you stand? That sounds completely unlike my reserve experience, where we often flew 100-hour months.

GoldenGooseGuy
11-22-2018, 04:46 AM
Sometimes the all-consuming drive that some people have to get to a major is something I find confusing...
There are many jobs in aviation that provide QOL without destroying you family life multiple times as job changes and seniority comes and goes.....sure the top end pay is there...but there are other jobs that frankly, aren't half bad, that pay pretty good with much more Quality of life.
Many corporate jobs come to mind, as do feeder freight jobs from SOME companies....the one commonality is, don't try to commute, and or find an employer that will "home base you" so you are "on the clock" on a positive space ticket when you leave the house.....
An amazing number of TRUE corporate jobs (not 135 charter) have limited overnights...and do lots of "out and back trips" so the executives can have dinner at home......

Sometimes people just need to not be so focused on $$$, because frankly places pay what they need to in order to keep the seat filled....low turnover companies with good QOL are out there....
It's all about matching your priorities to a company and lifestyle, not just taking the first regional job, then the first major airline job you can get...
Oh yeah...I forget this sites name ��

Good observations, I think the pay is the carrot on the stick that keeps many people going despite all of the other sacrifices. Republic was especially dysfunctional in that the majority of the employees saw them as a stepping stone, so they had no long-term interest. In the same way, the company saw the turnover as an opportunity to keep costs low, so they burned and churned people until they put themselves in the position of bankrupcty due to understaffing.

Corporate aviation has some of the qualities of a corporate non-flying job, I agree that it's a great option. It's just unfortunate how they are subject to the same turmoil due to the tendency of companies to use them as a first option for cost-cutting measures. In STL, one of our regional pilots who took the corporate route finally made it to a coveted Anheuser-Busch corporate flight department job after 5 years of trying, only to end up out on the street after the AB Inbev merger. After regrouping and getting a job at Peabody Energy, coal prices crashed flight jobs were cut (including our pilot friend) during the bankruptcy in 2016.

viper548
11-22-2018, 07:08 AM
I was forced to commute after the STL base closed, from STL-ORD. It was notoriously tough due to all the former TWA pilots and full airplanes that competed for a seat - often it was 3 or 4 flights before I caught one.

Congrats on living in base reserve, how high on the reserve seniority list do you stand? That sounds completely unlike my reserve experience, where we often flew 100-hour months.


I'm about 60% in base, which would easily hold a line. I'm also about 60% on the reserve list. Reserve in base is a completely different experience than commuting to reserve, i've done both. My first 2-1/2 years here I did a 2 leg cross country commute. Once our seniority list finally got settled I was able to transfer to a base much closer to home. It was an easy commute, 10 flights a day on mainline. We can reserve the jumpseat, and the flights were rarely full. Last year I was in the jumpseat 4 times, 2 of them to get another non-rev on. Even with the easy commute I was giving up 5 hours going to work and 5 hours going home. Add in an occasional time or two getting in too late to make it home also. I figured I spent 23 days of the year just going to and from work. I now live 7 miles from the airport.
I bid reserve sometimes at SkyWest and though it occasionally sucked, overall it wasn't that bad.

Getting on with a major is not a guarantee, like you said. It looks like you were part of the lost decade. It's still not easy, but the numbers of guys getting hired are huge. A few airlines even have guaranteed flow to mainline. Envoy, Piedmont, PSA all flow to American. I don't know the timeline on that, but I think it would be easier to do your time at a regional KNOWING there is a light at the end of that tunnel. If you're set on staying in STL then airline flying is probably never going to be attractive to you. Congrats on finding something that makes you happy though. That's what really matters. BTW your numbers on major airline pay are very conservative. Plan 1100-1200 hours per year times the hourly rate to include the distance learning pay, training pay, per diem, profit sharing, performance bonus, etc. I think Delta is more like 1400. Also add 16% going into your 401k. 1000 hours would be pretty close to the bare minimum (flying low time, no premium, no picking up extra trips)

Skyguy85
11-22-2018, 08:36 AM
So what makes more and gives you control of your own time? Since you said “many opportunities” I’d love to hear at least 3. Thanks for your prospective on making such a big career change!

I appreciate your helpful commentary.

Being out of sync is a good way to describe it. It seemed like while flying, everyone was always trying to get home, but it was an endless negotiation of trying to minimize life disruption and lost time.

Another interesting point you make is with earnings. Many pilots I flew with argued that no job had the earnings potential of an airline career, but there are many opportunities that have a higher income potential because they aren't capped by seniority pay scales of an hourly trade job.

The only area I differ is that I don't miss the flying career. While I enjoyed the camaraderie, coming back to the real world felt to me like returning from being deployed in the military. I've made phenomenal friends in my new workplaces, and the work itself has been more challenging and fulfilling without those level-off career points in the airline where I'd start feeling bored and stale.

It sounds like you were forced out, while I voluntarily left after a solid 6+ years. If I had to guess, that might be part of the reason you're still torn between careers?

SkyHigh
11-23-2018, 09:05 AM
Your "dream job" isn't going to come up. You've discussed your past far too much here, such that it's a well known quantity. You walked away with no significant experience, and your dream job requires just one thing: you stick with it. You didn't. You quit.

Your dream job is available any time; all you have to is...show up.

John,

You think you know a lot about me. I did not quit. I was laid off with a young family to support during a time when pilots were not worth very much. As a result, I discovered success outside of aviation. I do not share your assessment of my experience. I worked hard as a pilot for 18 years before I was laid off. During that time I held a variety of meaningful positions that span charter, corporate, and airline.

Conditions are much better now in aviation, however, there are opportunities elsewhere too. Aviation is facing steep competition from many industries. I am glad that holding the course is working out for you. I had a different path presented to me and I am very thankful as to how it worked out.

I wish I was provided with a way to keep my airline dream alive without causing more harm to my family and finances but I could not. I am not going to get in line at an airline ever again unless it is for a situation that is near perfect for me. Anything less than that and I have better things to do.

Even under the best conditions life as an airline pilot is far from easy. The career is not above being evaluated. The statistics bare out that plenty abandon aviation at all ages. There are other ways to earn a living that might be better for some. Why do you get so upset at a differing view? How is my contribution here such a threat to you?

SkyHigh

JohnBurke
11-23-2018, 12:16 PM
John,

You think you know a lot about me. I did not quit.

I know a hell of a lot about you, and yes, you did quit. You've made that crystal clear here, dozens of times, in your pedantic mission to disparage the industry and all who are in it. You're the kid that couldn't make it, quit, and took your ball to leave, then came back to the field and cried bloody murder for years on end, and you're still here.

John,
As a result, I discovered success outside of aviation.

No, you didn't. You've got a Cessna 150 and an overinflated sense of self. You've banged on the industry to no end, winging and whining about the inability to "live like a king," and have attempted to wax poetic (something you'll never do) about the decay of the industry at large. If you could spit, you'd have done so; your central theme is that airline pilots are supposed to live like kings, but live like paupers, and you left to find the path that could never be had in aviation. I ask you again, are you living like a king?

I do not share your assessment of my experience.

Of course not. You failed. You don't see it that way. Anybody that knows your history, as you've vomited it up here in public time and time again, during your vitriol against professional aviation, knows all too well. You've been revealed, mate. You're the one that did it.

Too bad you can't read your own press.

During that time I held a variety of meaningful positions that span charter, corporate, and airline.


You've tried to stand by 10 years in the past...perhaps you're adding up current years and trying to call them your time in aviation too. Who knows? It's clear from your postings, especially your whip-saw flipping between walking away and begging for work at entry level places, that your experience in aviation was minimal and inconsequential. You've plastered this site with your resume before.

I am not going to get in line at an airline ever again unless it is for a situation that is near perfect for me. Anything less than that and I have better things to do.


Anything less than perfect isn't in your bailywick, as you don't have the chops for it. You lack the experience, are not remotely current, and your attitude has proven so poor as to nearly bar you from the industry to boot.

Not long ago I listened to a senior FO at a freight operator opine that the company needed to move him to their largest aircraft and make him a captain. He'd failed to upgrade and was considered by others in the position to know, not upgradeable, due to his attitude. He didn't see it that way. Only the best and the biggest for him...though everyone else had been promoted around him, and his position as the senior FO wasn't by choice.

So long as you think you have what it takes to be worth hiring into that perfect job, you'll go nowhere; you have to go put in your dues and earn that position. It's not hard to do, of course. All you are required to do is show up...but you quit, so no dream job for you. Dream jobs don't usually go to those who quit. Of course, you don't see it that way.


Even under the best conditions life as an airline pilot is far from easy.

How would you know?

You wouldn't, really.


The statistics bare out that plenty abandon aviation at all ages. There are other ways to earn a living that might be better for some. Why do you get so upset at a differing view? How is my contribution here such a threat to you?


https://grammarist.com/spelling/bare-bear/

You're no threat to anyone. Not remotely so.

Your "differing view" has never been one of contribution: your purpose here has always been to tear down the industry, and your statements are wild, unsupportable crazy ideas with statistics that are untrue, founded on lies, and filled with accusations, paranoia, and a twisted view of both the past and future.

You come here making statements that are blatant lies, and you've been called out again and again.

So long as you keep coming back to do the same, you may expect no different than what you've always received from a broad range of posters, myself included. You're a spade, and will be called as such.

FullFlaps
11-24-2018, 08:47 AM
Everyone's journey is different. I left finance to pursue aviation (the total opposite of your experience). Once I get to the airlines maybe I'll form a small firm on the side but I realized what I wanted in life and the kind of people I want around me. Money
prestige power isn't everything . Find what works for you and its different for everyone.

I worked in finance before and after the crash. After the crash pilots were hurting but finance was abysmal. Guys with PhD's (literally rocket scientists) taking entry level jobs. Desks that were 20 people cut down to 2. It really was just survival by any means necessary back then.

I ended up starting my own firm which went well then decided to go in house at a larger firm. Moved around at a few firms climbed to senior roles at a primary (finance lingo for one of the big boy banks). What I realized is that senior management at many of the larger financial institutions today were not the best just the most ruthless / dishonest / connected or lucky. People were literally sabotaging each other to get ahead, even today. Many heads of very large institutions don't really understand finance today, they've just created and climbed in a beauracracy that allows it.

I took a look at life and what I wanted and while I haven't experienced it as yet I think QOL as an airline pilot is far better than in corporate America. This is subjective but I'd rather have a dense schedule with a max number of hours per month or year and defined days off.

QOL in finance as you climb gets worse and worse. My average work week was 80 to 100 hours per week. When it's busy there have been stretches where I literally live on the trading floor or in an office for 2 week stretches. Once I have a line if I need more money I'll find or create a side hustle. Even as a wide body captain at a major I'll never make what I was making before but hey I'm ok with that. The are other perks, I'll get to watch sunrises at FL350 every morning.

Happiness is very subjective, glad you found yours. Side bar the fact you're writing this or those articles something inside of you misses flying. Hope you make it big time enough to but a gulfstream or citation and get to fly yourself around! Cheers.

SkyHigh
11-24-2018, 10:30 AM
I appreciate your helpful commentary.

Being out of sync is a good way to describe it. It seemed like while flying, everyone was always trying to get home, but it was an endless negotiation of trying to minimize life disruption and lost time.

Another interesting point you make is with earnings. Many pilots I flew with argued that no job had the earnings potential of an airline career, but there are many opportunities that have a higher income potential because they aren't capped by seniority pay scales of an hourly trade job.

The only area I differ is that I don't miss the flying career. While I enjoyed the camaraderie, coming back to the real world felt to me like returning from being deployed in the military. I've made phenomenal friends in my new workplaces, and the work itself has been more challenging and fulfilling without those level-off career points in the airline where I'd start feeling bored and stale.

It sounds like you were forced out, while I voluntarily left after a solid 6+ years. If I had to guess, that might be part of the reason you're still torn between careers?

Josh,

I too flew for the airlines for six awful years. My last part 121 position was as a 757 first officer. During that time we had to live places we did not wish, lives we did not like for low wages below that of a mailman. On my last day after the company shut down, I was elated and sad.

It seems that an aviation career is closer to a religion than a rationally considered career option. One's association with their aviation persona often exceeds the obvious benefits of a career in the real world. Aviation demands a massive investment in cash, personal risk, low wage years of experience building and lifestyle corruption. It seems that the airlines are well aware of this phenomenon and are eager to exploit it. Until recently they enjoyed a positive pressure feed of zealots who gleefully put themselves deeply in debt for a career that holds a thin promise of ever being able to recover the investment. All these things are obvious to those who care to look.

I have proven to myself many times over that the best path for my family, finances, and lifestyle is through my pursuits outside aviation, so I hold the course. As a business owner, I command my days and most everything I touch or work on. Today I sit in a back office while the staff takes on the heavy lifting of the operation. I own a plane and fly as a corporate pilot and for fun.

However, I still think about my airline dream. As a regional pilot, I noticed that those who entered the career already retired were the happiest. The airlines are best experienced as a working hobby than as the entirety of one's financial support network. It would be fun to go back in that capacity after the kids are grown, the house is paid off and retirement in the bank.


SkyHigh

BoilerUP
11-24-2018, 10:37 AM
SkyHigh,

What airline did you fly the 757 for?

SkyHigh
11-24-2018, 10:47 AM
I know a hell of a lot about you, and yes, you did quit. You've made that crystal clear here, dozens of times, in your pedantic mission to disparage the industry and all who are in it. You're the kid that couldn't make it, quit, and took your ball to leave, then came back to the field and cried bloody murder for years on end, and you're still here.



No, you didn't. You've got a Cessna 150 and an overinflated sense of self. You've banged on the industry to no end, winging and whining about the inability to "live like a king," and have attempted to wax poetic (something you'll never do) about the decay of the industry at large. If you could spit, you'd have done so; your central theme is that airline pilots are supposed to live like kings, but live like paupers, and you left to find the path that could never be had in aviation. I ask you again, are you living like a king?



Of course not. You failed. You don't see it that way. Anybody that knows your history, as you've vomited it up here in public time and time again, during your vitriol against professional aviation, knows all too well. You've been revealed, mate. You're the one that did it.

Too bad you can't read your own press.



You've tried to stand by 10 years in the past...perhaps you're adding up current years and trying to call them your time in aviation too. Who knows? It's clear from your postings, especially your whip-saw flipping between walking away and begging for work at entry level places, that your experience in aviation was minimal and inconsequential. You've plastered this site with your resume before.



Anything less than perfect isn't in your bailywick, as you don't have the chops for it. You lack the experience, are not remotely current, and your attitude has proven so poor as to nearly bar you from the industry to boot.

Not long ago I listened to a senior FO at a freight operator opine that the company needed to move him to their largest aircraft and make him a captain. He'd failed to upgrade and was considered by others in the position to know, not upgradeable, due to his attitude. He didn't see it that way. Only the best and the biggest for him...though everyone else had been promoted around him, and his position as the senior FO wasn't by choice.

So long as you think you have what it takes to be worth hiring into that perfect job, you'll go nowhere; you have to go put in your dues and earn that position. It's not hard to do, of course. All you are required to do is show up...but you quit, so no dream job for you. Dream jobs don't usually go to those who quit. Of course, you don't see it that way.



How would you know?

You wouldn't, really.



https://grammarist.com/spelling/bare-bear/

You're no threat to anyone. Not remotely so.

Your "differing view" has never been one of contribution: your purpose here has always been to tear down the industry, and your statements are wild, unsupportable crazy ideas with statistics that are untrue, founded on lies, and filled with accusations, paranoia, and a twisted view of both the past and future.

You come here making statements that are blatant lies, and you've been called out again and again.

So long as you keep coming back to do the same, you may expect no different than what you've always received from a broad range of posters, myself included. You're a spade, and will be called as such.

John,

I have missed you.

Why should we accept anything less than what we feel is needed from a career? There is a difference between "could" and "should". Holding the course often is a virtue but also can lead to a life of futility.

I am very comfortable with the efforts I made in aviation. However, I am certain that no matter what you will not accept anything less than going down with the ship. I do not share in that philosophy.

If this were a completely fair forum we would pull all your life choices into the light so that we could take measure of the results of all your strict decisions. I do not doubt that your approach would prove successful in the airlines. My examination, however, is in regards to what is best for one life.

I agree that if a person made every choice in relation to what is best for their airline career an HR department would recognize the level of self-destruction and sacrifice as proof of ones deep desire for the career. My question is not if one "could" make a career out of the airlines but rather if they "should".

In that, I believe that we differ. I choose my family, frends, and finances over my airline dream. We should not have to disregard what truly matters in life to make this career work.

Skyhigh

SkyHigh
11-24-2018, 10:53 AM
SkyHigh,

What airline did you fly the 757 for?

It was a long time ago. A common strategy at the time was to take a position at a start-up airline that flew larger jets. The philosophy was that upgrade in a Boeing would be more attractive to a legacy than as a Brazilia Captain. In addition, there were complications in transitioning from a regional to the parent legacy. Switching to a completely different company eliminated this contingency creating a clear path to the legacy.

It almost worked. 9-11 changed the game.

Skyhigh

JohnBurke
11-24-2018, 12:51 PM
Leaves you wondering if he will answer the question, or whether he can actually answer the question, doesn't it?

BoilerUP
11-24-2018, 02:51 PM
It was a long time ago.

...so what was the airline’s name you flew the 757 for, again?

velosnow
11-24-2018, 03:16 PM
To what end does it serve a pilot to have Tuesday and Wednesday off when friends and family are at work or school? It is easy to lose track of friends, hobbies, and family with an airline schedule.

Just wanted to touch on this point, it serves me extremely well as few of our friends have 9-5 jobs and all of the recreating we do is madness on the weekends. Ain’t no lift lines or busy trails on Tuesday! Plus we don’t have kids sooo there’s that.

Overall interesting conversation as the career can obviosuly have different impact for many folks. Those that get out have a whole different set of issues to contend with. I dig not being beholden to answering emails, phone calls, etc. on my time off that most jobs come with if you make any sort of decent money. I see my 9-5 friends busting their arse 60+ hours a week then sit in ski traffic on the weekends, dodge Jerry on the mountain and start over again on Monday. Not worth it to me.

Granted I worked Turkey Day this year, but I’m sitting in Beijing now having a had a fun couple of days exploring with a good crew and will head home for at least 9 days off with belated Friendsgiving followed by fresh tracks the rest of the week. Wouldn’t trade it personally.

SkyHigh
11-25-2018, 09:29 AM
...so what was the airline’s name you flew the 757 for, again?

I am not comfortable providing that information.

SKyhigh

SkyHigh
11-25-2018, 09:37 AM
Just wanted to touch on this point, it serves me extremely well as few of our friends have 9-5 jobs and all of the recreating we do is madness on the weekends. Ain’t no lift lines or busy trails on Tuesday! Plus we don’t have kids sooo there’s that.

Overall interesting conversation as the career can obviosuly have different impact for many folks. Those that get out have a whole different set of issues to contend with. I dig not being beholden to answering emails, phone calls, etc. on my time off that most jobs come with if you make any sort of decent money. I see my 9-5 friends busting their arse 60+ hours a week then sit in ski traffic on the weekends, dodge Jerry on the mountain and start over again on Monday. Not worth it to me.

Granted I worked Turkey Day this year, but I’m sitting in Beijing now having a had a fun couple of days exploring with a good crew and will head home for at least 9 days off with belated Friendsgiving followed by fresh tracks the rest of the week. Wouldn’t trade it personally.

Plenty are well suited for the sacrifises of the career. They may not have families to care for and are comfortable spending their days far from home among strangers. I am writing to those who want to be home, have relationships to maintain, and families to support.

Skyhigh

SkyHigh
11-25-2018, 09:43 AM
Leaves you wondering if he will answer the question, or whether he can actually answer the question, doesn't it?

John,

You are becoming a borderline stalker. I don't feel comfortable putting so much information out there for you. I notice that you are extremely frugal with the information you lend.

I don't know if you are a man or woman, have a family, fly for an airline, or much about you at all. I have to take your stated information as fact the same as you must with me. It is the nature of a forum like this.


Skyhigh

GoldenGooseGuy
11-27-2018, 09:10 AM
I'm about 60% in base, which would easily hold a line. I'm also about 60% on the reserve list. Reserve in base is a completely different experience than commuting to reserve, i've done both. My first 2-1/2 years here I did a 2 leg cross country commute. Once our seniority list finally got settled I was able to transfer to a base much closer to home. It was an easy commute, 10 flights a day on mainline. We can reserve the jumpseat, and the flights were rarely full. Last year I was in the jumpseat 4 times, 2 of them to get another non-rev on. Even with the easy commute I was giving up 5 hours going to work and 5 hours going home. Add in an occasional time or two getting in too late to make it home also. I figured I spent 23 days of the year just going to and from work. I now live 7 miles from the airport.
I bid reserve sometimes at SkyWest and though it occasionally sucked, overall it wasn't that bad.

Getting on with a major is not a guarantee, like you said. It looks like you were part of the lost decade. It's still not easy, but the numbers of guys getting hired are huge. A few airlines even have guaranteed flow to mainline. Envoy, Piedmont, PSA all flow to American. I don't know the timeline on that, but I think it would be easier to do your time at a regional KNOWING there is a light at the end of that tunnel. If you're set on staying in STL then airline flying is probably never going to be attractive to you. Congrats on finding something that makes you happy though. That's what really matters. BTW your numbers on major airline pay are very conservative. Plan 1100-1200 hours per year times the hourly rate to include the distance learning pay, training pay, per diem, profit sharing, performance bonus, etc. I think Delta is more like 1400. Also add 16% going into your 401k. 1000 hours would be pretty close to the bare minimum (flying low time, no premium, no picking up extra trips)

A two-leg commute was always the most dreaded sentence any junior FO or Captain imagined when Republic opened their Grand Rapids base. So it sounds like the trade-off is, if senior enough on reserve, you can have a better schedule, but must live close to the airport of your employer's choice. With a regional, you have more bases to choose from, but a higher chance they'll close. With a major, you have fewer choices and likely expensive choices of where to live, but far less likelihood of the base closing.

Good observation on total compensation versus hourly compensation.

I'm not in STL right now, as I'm working from home after moving to England. After just getting married, I can't imagine anything better at this stage!

GoldenGooseGuy
11-27-2018, 09:33 AM
So what makes more and gives you control of your own time? Since you said “many opportunities” I’d love to hear at least 3. Thanks for your prospective on making such a big career change!

There are jobs that earn more, but the only ones that gives you control of your own time requires already having ownership in something else. Remember that after 15 years, only one person who started flight training in my undergraduate class actually ended up with a viable long-term career at a major, earning major salaries. Lots of people I spoke with ended up stuck in "stepping stone" flight jobs but grew accustomed to their location or lifestyle, or couldn't get on with a major. Their salaries ended up far lower than their career estimates.

JohnBurke
11-27-2018, 10:53 AM
Plenty are well suited for the sacrifises of the career. They may not have families to care for and are comfortable spending their days far from home among strangers. I am writing to those who want to be home, have relationships to maintain, and families to support.

Skyhigh

The lie rolls on, the one you've attempted to float so often, the insinuation that no career pilot could have a family, a home life, or live in other than a ghetto one bedroom apartment eating ramen noodles. You've said it many times. You've also attempted to perpetuate the lie that one can't live on less than 300,000 a year.

A great many of us have kids, or grandkids. Many of us are married, live comfortable lives. I had two and a half months off this year. Presently I have ten days; I'm headed out the door shortly to go shoot a steel competition, something I couldn't do at a 9-5 job in an office somewhere. I have boys and girls in college, in the military, traveling abroad, and at home in school. There are multiple cars in the garage, pets, and my wife and I date every week.

This mythical world of tragedy and woe that you perpetuate is of your own making, your own imagination, and is not representative of the flying careers that most of us have seen and continue to enjoy.

As for your employment or former, all that's known of you is what you've elected to provide. If you're not comfortable having it out there, then you shouldn't have posted it. Your story has changed a lot. You've been debunked, exposed on numerous occasions. You've been called out, tripped up, and have revealed yourself in dozens of threads.

You call it "stalking." Newsflash for you sparky; responding to your posts isn't stalking. Nobody put a gun to your head and forced you to post. Expect a reply, whether you like it or not.

GoldenGooseGuy
11-27-2018, 01:55 PM
Everyone's journey is different. I left finance to pursue aviation (the total opposite of your experience). Once I get to the airlines maybe I'll form a small firm on the side but I realized what I wanted in life and the kind of people I want around me. Money
prestige power isn't everything . Find what works for you and its different for everyone.

I worked in finance before and after the crash. After the crash pilots were hurting but finance was abysmal. Guys with PhD's (literally rocket scientists) taking entry level jobs. Desks that were 20 people cut down to 2. It really was just survival by any means necessary back then.

I ended up starting my own firm which went well then decided to go in house at a larger firm. Moved around at a few firms climbed to senior roles at a primary (finance lingo for one of the big boy banks). What I realized is that senior management at many of the larger financial institutions today were not the best just the most ruthless / dishonest / connected or lucky. People were literally sabotaging each other to get ahead, even today. Many heads of very large institutions don't really understand finance today, they've just created and climbed in a beauracracy that allows it.

I took a look at life and what I wanted and while I haven't experienced it as yet I think QOL as an airline pilot is far better than in corporate America. This is subjective but I'd rather have a dense schedule with a max number of hours per month or year and defined days off.

QOL in finance as you climb gets worse and worse. My average work week was 80 to 100 hours per week. When it's busy there have been stretches where I literally live on the trading floor or in an office for 2 week stretches. Once I have a line if I need more money I'll find or create a side hustle. Even as a wide body captain at a major I'll never make what I was making before but hey I'm ok with that. The are other perks, I'll get to watch sunrises at FL350 every morning.

Happiness is very subjective, glad you found yours. Side bar the fact you're writing this or those articles something inside of you misses flying. Hope you make it big time enough to but a gulfstream or citation and get to fly yourself around! Cheers.

It sounds like you were immersed in the investment banking world. After being burned by the airline industry, I did a fair amount of research on corporate culture before jumping out of the frying pan and avoided investment banking as one of the notorious sweatshops in the fire.

From someone who has been on both sides, if you're looking for purely quality of life, the airlines aren't the first place I'd go looking. If you're looking for a stable industry compared to finance, the airlines aren't going to solve that problem either. As you already mentioned, you made more in finance than flying, so compensation clearly isn't driving you to make this decision.

However, if you're looking for sunrises at FL350, you'll have lots of those. For some people, nothing can compare with the joy of flying shiny new jets. Happiness may be subjective, but it is also dynamic and evolves over time. Over time, I felt like I had experienced the life of constant travel and was ready for a change.

On the contrary, the reason I wrote the articles was to give people the cautionary tale they needed to have a backup plan ready in case it didn't work out, and it ties into other aspects and philosophies of the site, including the ultimate goal of having all the freedom you can. Anyone who has worked or spent 100 hours a week away from home can appreciate freedom.

galaxy flyer
11-28-2018, 12:13 PM
I am not comfortable providing that information.

SKyhigh

What could you possibly be hiding? ATA out of IND?

GF

JohnBurke
11-28-2018, 02:46 PM
It was national. it's been shared here before. By he who shall not be named anything other than skyhigh.

pilotyip
12-05-2018, 12:07 PM
Being an entrepreneur can be subject to its own brand of burnout, did you feel like running the business was too much? Or was the pilot lifestyle a stronger draw than any other factor?

You could never get away from your business, it was with you 24 hours a day seven days a week. I had build it up to $3.5M in sales and had 230 employees, but the constant issues of employees, accounts receivable, quality issues and dealing with unhappy customers, just started to get old and take all the fun out of being your own boss. The little time I could escape was spend in the Navy Reserves, building up retirement points and supplementing my income from my company. So when hiring started picking up again, it was back to the cockpit, I was too old for the major's but it was great to get back into the cockpit

hindsight2020
12-10-2018, 08:41 PM
Insightful thread, and got me thinking about my own back and forth with civilian paid flying after the military...

Are there flying jobs out there that can offer a more homestead friendly lifestyle? Something like out-n-back flying, or no more than 8 RONs a month? Frankly single pilot work appeals more to me, even if it pays less. With a mil retirement in hand I wouldn't mind a paycut from major airline FO pay if it meant less RONs per month. Closest I've seen is fixed wing EMS, but I'm told those jobs are not usually available in cities, and my family is not gonna do rural military crapholes ever again.

Does part 91 or part 135 have jobs with the kind of retirement work schedule I'm looking for? Or does that not exist in the civilian side of things? Maybe I too will give up pro flying post military and go lick stamps at the local post office for pin money until 57 :D

USMCFLYR
12-11-2018, 01:00 AM
Insightful thread, and got me thinking about my own back and forth with civilian paid flying after the military...

Are there flying jobs out there that can offer a more homestead friendly lifestyle? Something like out-n-back flying, or no more than 8 RONs a month? Frankly single pilot work appeals more to me, even if it pays less. With a mil retirement in hand I wouldn't mind a paycut from major airline FO pay if it meant less RONs per month. Closest I've seen is fixed wing EMS, but I'm told those jobs are not usually available in cities, and my family is not gonna do rural military crapholes ever again.

Does part 91 or part 135 have jobs with the kind of retirement work schedule I'm looking for? Or does that not exist in the civilian side of things? Maybe I too will give up pro flying post military and go lick stamps at the local post office for pin money until 57 :D
My job has many of the things you are mentioning in your post :)
Check out that ‘FAA Hiring ASIPs’ thread. You never know.

neck
12-11-2018, 08:56 AM
USMCFLYR...have you heard as to whether or not Air Carrier ASIs still need to have a 2nd Class medical. Rumor is FAA may be dropping that requirement.

It's the only barrier in keeping me from applying.

Packrat
12-12-2018, 09:35 AM
Insightful thread, and got me thinking about my own back and forth with civilian paid flying after the military...

Are there flying jobs out there that can offer a more homestead friendly lifestyle? Something like out-n-back flying, or no more than 8 RONs a month? Frankly single pilot work appeals more to me, even if it pays less. With a mil retirement in hand I wouldn't mind a paycut from major airline FO pay if it meant less RONs per month. Closest I've seen is fixed wing EMS, but I'm told those jobs are not usually available in cities, and my family is not gonna do rural military crapholes ever again.

Does part 91 or part 135 have jobs with the kind of retirement work schedule I'm looking for? Or does that not exist in the civilian side of things? Maybe I too will give up pro flying post military and go lick stamps at the local post office for pin money until 57 :D

How about 16 on/14 off home based. Buy you a ticket to your airplane the first day and a ticket home the last. Drop me a PM.

hindsight2020
12-15-2018, 04:50 PM
How about 16 on/14 off home based. Buy you a ticket to your airplane the first day and a ticket home the last. Drop me a PM.

That sounds like the exact opposite of homestead friendly, but PM sent nonetheless.

Sputnik
03-10-2019, 04:16 PM
That sounds like the exact opposite of homestead friendly, but PM sent nonetheless.

Late reply, but Allegiant? Got to live in a base, but seems like an ok gig



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