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View Full Version : Never even entered the career...


Dan64456
04-10-2009, 05:44 AM
Here's the thing. 24 yrs old - Work in IT for a commercial Real Estate company (just laid a bunch of ppl off, so no... it's not secure at all, I may be next) I have an Associate of Applied Science Degree in IT (2 yr) and about 4 years work experience in the field. I make less than 45 grand a year (Kind of Expensive area - Philly - plus city wage tax) and am looking for my next step. I have my PPL as well - VFR. 60ish hours total time. (Got my PPL in 40! Only 33 of that current at the time of my checkride too.)

2 1/2 years ago there wasn't a doubt in my mind - I wanted to go to ATP, knock out my ratings, instruct for as long as necessary, attempt to get hired at an airline. Had issues with color vision and had a hell of a time finding a doctor with a FALANT. Discovered I could pass the keystone, and even the ishihara in certain lighting conditions but that’s beside the point. It held me up. I passed the FALANT right before they stopped giving out LOE's for that, but they threw me under the bus anyway. (I believe illegally, but again, that’s beside the point) (They gave me an erroneous letter to hold me up in the system because they knew the rules were about to change right when I passed) So then I met a girl which helped me rid of the urge to have a job on the road - that was an on and off relationship for those 2 years. I spent that time dragging me feet pretending I was happy to 'tolerate' my job and just live like everyone else does. No one likes their job right?
So last summer I visited Ari-Ben, and really liked the outfit they are running down there... Nice living arrangements - seemingly cool staff and very diverse students. 40 grand for all ratings and 200 hr multi. Obviously I haven't pulled the trigger on anything yet.

So here I am in the present no airlines are hiring anyway, the industry and the rest of the world are in the sh1tter, and I have a harder and harder time justifying spending the money on training for a job that won’t let me break 30 grand a year for 2 - 3 or more years. I worked my entire life to get past 30 grand and finally did 2 1/2 yrs ago. (I grew up lower middle class, so this is huge to me.) Now I'm having my transcripts sent to Peirce College in Philly to see what it would take to complete my B.S. degree so I could have that out of the way. I'm guessing I could build the ratings and TT on my own time and pay as I go? (While going to night school - so this only would leave 1 or 2 nights a week to fly)

Since I'm not happy with my job and the 9 to 5 lifestyle at ALL. But I love to fly and could totally see myself doing it for a living... What are your opinions? (Please spare me the negatives and mob mentality groupthink bash flame fest.) I'm looking for honest input here.

Thanks all.


Dan64456
04-10-2009, 06:08 AM
Also another point I might add - the Age 60 rule was changed to 65 at the end of 2007 if I remember correctly? So this could mean that at the end of 2012 (if the Mayan's were wrong) then hiring could pick back up. And hopefully by then the economy could be recovered as well... I could have my B.S. finished by 2011...

bryris
04-10-2009, 06:25 AM
Dan, I don't totally understand what you are asking for. It sounds like you are posing a question of whether we think you should pursue professional flying. Assuming that that is indeed your question, nobody can answer that for you. You mentioned "mob mentality groupthink bash flame fest". What is this? Do you mean that anytime someone tells you it isn't worth it, this label is to be applied to them to destroy their credibility? If that is your view, the answer to your question is go for it. It sounds like there can be no alternative.

I've seen your posts all around this board. When anyone, who has actually done or does this job posts their viewpoint in a negative light, you jump all over them. If I counted "IT" in your posts, I'd run out of fingers very quickly. Are you trying to escape IT or fly for a living? My opinion is that you'd be better off finishing your degree in something that interests you (outside aviation) and doing that. Meanwhile, finish your ratings, instruct, tow banners, drop parachutes, or whatever. When you arrive at about 1,000 hours, Comm Multi, CFI, and preferally II too, then take a look at the economy and state of affairs and make a decision. Doing it this way will be much more enjoyable for you. Go find a part 61 school and find an instructor who instructs for fun, not someone time building.

It would behoove you to not stack up multi thousands of dollars in debt. You mentioned you'd been working on making money for years and grew up lower middle class. People are lower middle class because they make the wrong decisions financially. Stacking yourself with 40k - which will likely come in higher when done - is a bad financial decision. Its just reality.

I've done the job for a little while and I get what these guys on this board say. I've seen it for myself. I can assure you that whatever rosy picture you've painted for yourself to look at is not the way it actually is out there. But, it DOES beat sitting in a cubicle, no doubt about that. But flying isn't the only way out of a cubicle and I'd advise you look into those options. Despite everything, I might even find myself back in an airline cockpit in the future. The draw is strong. If you want it bad enough, you owe it to yourself to try. But, make good decisions along the way and don't be surprised if it doesn't work out because we, as pilots, have little control over our professional destiny. We roll the dice, some win, some lose.


Cubdriver
04-10-2009, 06:51 AM
Bryris gave a good response, and I'll add that you should get your 4 year degree while building more time and certs on the side as you take your classes. Everyone hates IT but you need a 4 year degree in something. Do not take out any loans for flight training- it is a mistake in this economy. And if you take this advice by 2011 the airline industry will hopefully rebound and you will be positioned to enter the market with a resume which gives you a choice in whom you work for. This is important as pilots tend to stay at regional airlines a long time these days.

Dan64456
04-10-2009, 07:04 AM
Dan, I don't totally understand what you are asking for. It sounds like you are posing a question of whether we think you should pursue professional flying. Assuming that that is indeed your question, nobody can answer that for you. You mentioned "mob mentality groupthink bash flame fest". What is this? Do you mean that anytime someone tells you it isn't worth it, this label is to be applied to them to destroy their credibility? If that is your view, the answer to your question is go for it. It sounds like there can be no alternative.

What I mean by the flame fest comment was people that automatically say things like "Wow another PFJ'er", or whatever along those lines without any actual thought or consideration...


I've seen your posts all around this board. When anyone, who has actually done or does this job posts their viewpoint in a negative light, you jump all over them. If I counted "IT" in your posts, I'd run out of fingers very quickly. Are you trying to escape IT or fly for a living?

Very good point. I've been asking myself this question lately... But then I remember that first time I solo'd a 172. I haven't been flying lately because of the cost, but I bet if I hopped back in one, that question would be answered almost immediately. SkyHigh (lol) had a great point in another thread... He said people don't fly as a hobby anymore because of the cost, and that's why they assume they have no option but to do it as a career. But I was also a car mechanic, a restaurant waiter, cook, manager, delivery driver (Driver was actually my favorite job in that category), and for a very short time a retail sales person. They all sucked horribly.



My opinion is that you'd be better off finishing your degree in something that interests you (outside aviation) and doing that.

Well I do like technology, just not what comes with it. (b1tchy egocentric people with made up deadlines and lack of respect for anything outside of their own agenda - plus the physical nature of the office environment.) Not to mention this (IT) degree would most likely be the most efficient route for me to a B.S. since my job would cover a small portion of the bill as well as my credits would all most likely transfer since it's the same field.


Meanwhile, finish your ratings, instruct, tow banners, drop parachutes, or whatever. When you arrive at about 1,000 hours, Comm Multi, CFI, and preferally II too, then take a look at the economy and state of affairs and make a decision. Doing it this way will be much more enjoyable for you. Go find a part 61 school and find an instructor who instructs for fun, not someone time building.

It would behoove you to not stack up multi thousands of dollars in debt. You mentioned you'd been working on making money for years and grew up lower middle class. People are lower middle class because they make the wrong decisions financially. Stacking yourself with 40k - which will likely come in higher when done - is a bad financial decision. Its just reality.

And I'm glad I see it this way as well. I see so many 'educated' people with more loans than god and lower incomes than me all of the time. I guess deep down I don't want to fall into that category even if that makes me seem cheap or afraid to take a risk. Thanks for confirming this.


I've done the job for a little while and I get what these guys on this board say. I've seen it for myself. I can assure you that whatever rosy picture you've painted for yourself to look at is not the way it actually is out there. But, it DOES beat sitting in a cubicle, no doubt about that. But flying isn't the only way out of a cubicle and I'd advise you look into those options. Despite everything, I might even find myself back in an airline cockpit in the future. The draw is strong. If you want it bad enough, you owe it to yourself to try. But, make good decisions along the way and don't be surprised if it doesn't work out because we, as pilots, have little control over our professional destiny. We roll the dice, some win, some lose.

I know it's not all rosy colored glamour, but I do love the adventure aspect and the way a cockpit looks at night time... The engine sounds. Acceleration... I know there is not much money to be made and being in hotels with slam clickers could get boring, but the actual flying part I know I would love. All I'd ask for is enough to make a living for a small but nice house, a car, maybe a motorcycle and a vacation once in a while. (Maybe a weekend here and there down Atlantic City =) ) Any more than 2 days a week off to myself. Doesn't seem like enough anymore. I used to work 7 days a week while in school and i felt like I had more time to myself than I do now only working 40 hours a week. Maybe it's the stress level and not actual time that matters...

flynavyj
04-10-2009, 01:20 PM
Seems like you've got a pretty good view of it Dan.

Keys to remember, much of this job isn't the flying, if it was simply the flying, we'd all love it, as flying is the reason we do this. The tiring things are job security, low pay, poor work rules, time away from home, dirty hotels, contract negotiations, and on occasion, a very very boring 2.5 Hour flight, with nothing to do, and the guy next to you isn't very talkative (or you have nothing in common).

I wouldn't tell a person not to do this job, as that's not my choice. I opted out of this job, and like Bryris, might find myself back in a cockpit in the future, depending on how much i miss the cockpit, job outlook, etc. Truth is, not everyone "hates" their job, but, there are many people who feel their job isn't suited for the life, or current events in their life. Depending on what's going on with you in the present, or the future, will really influence the way you view your ability to live the aviation lifestyle.

Also, i'd recommend getting the degree (no one wants to stay at a regional forever, and you'll need it to move up eventually). Get your ratings from someone who LOVES to fly. It'll make them all the more enjoyable, and a couple nights a week should be plenty of time to get things done, and keep from starting over every week. You could do it from ari-ben, or ATP, etc, but their biggest asset is speed (they get you done quick) you've already said that no one is hiring, so what's the rush. Get the ratings out of the way, get your instructor ratings, and see how well you enjoy getting paid to fly. Build contacts as you go, the airline cockpit may not be for you, and you could really use corporate contacts in the future as well, network.

I wish you the best of luck in your decision, it's not going to be an easy one, but, i'm sure you will find value in whichever choice you choose.

waflyboy
04-10-2009, 03:23 PM
Well I do like technology, just not what comes with it. (b1tchy egocentric people with made up deadlines and lack of respect for anything outside of their own agenda

Then you'll LOVE dealing with crew scheduling and (some) flight attendants!

atpwannabe
04-10-2009, 08:28 PM
Dan:

I totally understand how you feel as far as the desire to fly for a living.

I started looking at flight schools back in 2003. Initially, I was sold on DCA. Then I reviewed RAA, ATP, Prairie and a host of others. Finally, I came across AriBen. For all intents and purposes....42K is a very reasonable price for flight training, housing, check rides, etc. That's where I plan to attend. Like you, I've visited the school and walked away satisfied having all my questions and concerns addressed.

My issue is the medical. I contacted the FAA last week and spoke directly to my contact, the Chief Psychiatrist, and wanted to know where I stood in the approval/denial process. I emphatically stated that knowing where I stood, afforded me the opportunity of determining what my next course of action would be in terms of pursuing the 1st class medical. In other words, whether or not I wanted to continue to invest time, effort and finance into this process or redirect those resources in another direction.

I've seen the approval/denial process be defered from the local AME, to OKC, to Washington DC, to and outside consultant firm, to a 2nd outside consultant firm, then it heads back to DC for a final decision. I informed my contact that I understand that the process is what it is. I may not necessarily agree with it, but I'm sure he could appreciate the aforementioned being that the process was initiated back in 9/07. He assured me that I would have my answer by the second week in May.

I'm glad that I undertook the process. I have no regrets. I'm at the stage in my life where....."I want to know where I stand"........in pursuit of the 1st class medical, relationships, finances....everything.

Dan...."if you wanna walk on the water; you've gotta step outta the boat".


All the best. Blue skies.

Hope to see you in Ft. Pierce.



atp

bryris
04-11-2009, 09:46 AM
Are you crazy or something? :)

waflyboy
04-11-2009, 10:15 AM
Are you crazy or something? :)

LOL.

To ATP and Dan:

From what I've gathered, both of you are having trouble passing a medical. If you persevere, jump through the right hoops, and rub elbows with the right people you might obtain a first class med. If it's that tough to obtain the first time, what happens when it's time to renew? You don't think the rules will change against you? It sounds like a huge risk to me.

This might be one of those instances where it's best to make your living a different way and fly for fun. I know this advice won't stick... it never does... but I had to throw it out there.

flynavyj
04-11-2009, 10:21 AM
I think it's possible to get the 1st class medical and make it work, but as stated, you've just gotta jump through all the right hoops, and persevere. A friend of mine had a problem with seizures as a child, which would have automatically disqualified him from getting a medical, however, after finding a sympathetic AME, he was able to not only get a medical certificate, but a 1st class one at that, and has since flown corporate jets, one regional airline, and now a fractional airline...best of luck boys.

atpwannabe
04-11-2009, 10:33 AM
Although becoming a professional pilot is one of my heart's desires, it is by no means a be all to end all.




atp

USMCFLYR
04-11-2009, 01:42 PM
Dan, I don't totally understand what you are asking for. It sounds like you are posing a question of whether we think you should pursue professional flying. Assuming that that is indeed your question, nobody can answer that for you. You mentioned "mob mentality groupthink bash flame fest". What is this? Do you mean that anytime someone tells you it isn't worth it, this label is to be applied to them to destroy their credibility? If that is your view, the answer to your question is go for it. It sounds like there can be no alternative.

I've seen your posts all around this board. When anyone, who has actually done or does this job posts their viewpoint in a negative light, you jump all over them. If I counted "IT" in your posts, I'd run out of fingers very quickly. Are you trying to escape IT or fly for a living? My opinion is that you'd be better off finishing your degree in something that interests you (outside aviation) and doing that. Meanwhile, finish your ratings, instruct, tow banners, drop parachutes, or whatever. When you arrive at about 1,000 hours, Comm Multi, CFI, and preferally II too, then take a look at the economy and state of affairs and make a decision. Doing it this way will be much more enjoyable for you. Go find a part 61 school and find an instructor who instructs for fun, not someone time building.

It would behoove you to not stack up multi thousands of dollars in debt. You mentioned you'd been working on making money for years and grew up lower middle class. People are lower middle class because they make the wrong decisions financially. Stacking yourself with 40k - which will likely come in higher when done - is a bad financial decision. Its just reality.

I've done the job for a little while and I get what these guys on this board say. I've seen it for myself. I can assure you that whatever rosy picture you've painted for yourself to look at is not the way it actually is out there. But, it DOES beat sitting in a cubicle, no doubt about that. But flying isn't the only way out of a cubicle and I'd advise you look into those options. Despite everything, I might even find myself back in an airline cockpit in the future. The draw is strong. If you want it bad enough, you owe it to yourself to try. But, make good decisions along the way and don't be surprised if it doesn't work out because we, as pilots, have little control over our professional destiny. We roll the dice, some win, some lose.

bryris -

That is a very good response. Informative, full of truth saying, and still leaves him with a position of it is his choice to pursue if the desire is there. Spread that same logic around these boards a little more!

USMCFLYR

Dan64456
04-12-2009, 04:28 AM
LOL.

To ATP and Dan:

From what I've gathered, both of you are having trouble passing a medical. If you persevere, jump through the right hoops, and rub elbows with the right people you might obtain a first class med. If it's that tough to obtain the first time, what happens when it's time to renew? You don't think the rules will change against you? It sounds like a huge risk to me.

This might be one of those instances where it's best to make your living a different way and fly for fun. I know this advice won't stick... it never does... but I had to throw it out there.

In my case I found tests I can pass, and have an unrestricted first class... Now that I know much much more about the subject and what I have to do, it will be much easier when it comes time to renew... (If the rules in fact do not change)

SkyHigh
04-12-2009, 05:48 AM
It seems to me that if a guy is destined to become a pilot then they let little get in their way. I can understand the medical issue however if one little girl friend was able to bump you off track then what is going to happen when the next one comes along?

When I was 16 years old wild horses couldn't stop me from my aviation dream. Against reason, girl friends, money and advice it is just something that you have to do. If you have already been able to be side tracked so easily then maybe what you really want is a lifestyle and career change and not necessarily to aviation.

I would pursue a four year degree (other than in aviation) or other similar professional certification and change jobs. Hopefully your new profession will provide enough surplus income to permit you to flight train on the side.

Skyhigh

beeker
04-12-2009, 06:33 AM
Dan you threw out age and numbers, that seems important to you, so I will give you mine. Turning 30 this year, currently unemployed. Started flight instruction in 2003, got into the airlines in 2005. Have never made more then $35,000 in a year. Commuting sucks and is a waste of life, I did it almost a year. Living in base good if you like the bases and/or can afford it. Flying is fun but you have to be able to deal with delays. Some people don't deal with it well and I think they are slowly killing themselves. In some ways I consider myself to be lucky. I have no debt and I am still married. Don't know what your financial status is or what your monthly loan payments will be but paying down $40,000 isn't easy when instructing or being an fo. I am not trying to discourage you I just want to make sure you are prepared. I know people that have spent the 40, 50, 60 thousand only to later decide that the vagabond lifestyle wasn't for them.

atpwannabe
04-12-2009, 09:21 AM
Dan:

Sounds like you're single and no responsibilities other than yourself. If in fact that is the case, my suggestion to you is:



with job offer first, move to less expensive part of country (if able)
work FT; fly and go to school PT
get BS degree, secure additional licenses/ratings; build TT & ME (if able)
keep risk and liabilites to a minimum (personal & professional)


I believe that by the time that the spring loaded chair of hiring is in full tilt again, you will be in an excellent position in terms of your employment track record and your flight training accomplishments/endeavors. You will have killed two birds with one stone so to speak. If possible, stay with the company you're with, if not, go and offer your services in a smaller (real estate) market, where the cost of living is not as high as that of Philly or its surrounding area.



atp

8nSand
05-02-2009, 10:45 AM
Dan,
Your receiving a ton of good information here. I also agree with all of it. I started in aviation as my first career then left it during the last recession of 1992. Close to the bottom of the roster with furloughs looming, I left flying for railroading. After 13 years and 3 railroads with a lifestyle worse than any regional can throw at you I pulled the plug and moved west to California. Starting over at 41 was very daunting until aviation found me again. I may never see the inside of a (well) paying airline cockpit again but I'm glad to be back. This recession is not helping, but like all have said things will improve again. Following their advice will put you in a very good position to follow those dreams. Eventually the money will come back to you. The job I just got laid off from found me. It happen to be one of the better paying jobs of my life. 70k flying a G58 Baron part 91. Shame to see it go, but better things await me, I'm sure of it.

atpwannabe
05-17-2009, 12:08 AM
LOL.

To ATP and Dan:

From what I've gathered, both of you are having trouble passing a medical. If you persevere, jump through the right hoops, and rub elbows with the right people you might obtain a first class med. If it's that tough to obtain the first time, what happens when it's time to renew? You don't think the rules will change against you? It sounds like a huge risk to me.

Tired of jumping through hoops and the like. I started this process back in September 2007.


atp

SkyHigh
05-17-2009, 07:36 AM
Tired of jumping through hoops and the like. I started this process back in September 2007.


atp

Are you saying that you are letting go of your aviation dreams? Can you at least get a third class medical?

Skyhigh



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