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Old 07-31-2018, 11:35 AM   #21  
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To the OP:

Yours is a common theme, and you'd probably be a good fit.

Your timing is quite fortunate, as the airline pilot demographics dictate massive turnover and hiring over the next 10-15 years. Many folks have made the jump when conditions were nowhere near as favorable (and some regretted it).

That said, the industry is cyclical with the economy(and vulnerable to random events like 9/11) and few people complete a career without any speedbumps or detours. If you go down this road, be prepared for that. Although the pilot shortage will likely get so bad that furloughs may well be mitigated or rare even in a modest economic downturn. Once you get above 80% seniority at most major airlines you should be relatively "furlough proof", and bankruptcy liquidations will likely be rare or unheard of among the top carriers for the forseeable future (they're too big to fail now).
Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 07-31-2018, 11:36 AM   #22  
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Thanks to everyone for all the feedback. It is all useful info.
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Old 07-31-2018, 12:41 PM   #23  
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I registered to the forum just to reply to this post.
I am a retired Mechanical Engineer with a 27 year career at Cessna. Although I had ratings through Commercial/IR/AMEL I never made the jump to military (4 years in USAF) or professional flying due to real bad uncorrected vision and strict standards at the time.
Cessna was a good career choice for me. Depending on your position (I worked turboprop and and jet engine installations and fuel systems) there is a lot of opportunity to interact with Flight Test and ride along and observe flight tests. Other positions such as structures might have less opportunity. Flying opportunities include service tests, a good flying club and a limited time flying company transportation in a 414A. The higher up the food chain you go, the less opportunity. I never even flew right seat in a Citation.
You mentioned Flight Test Engineering. Some Flight Test engineers fly right seat on their project, with opportunity to to become type rated or progress to Flight Test Pilot. Others have more analytical jobs. I once unsuccessfully tried to transfer to a Flight Test Engineering position. I think having direct flight test experience and possibly an Aeronautical instead of Mechanical degree might help, however, there is a lot of competition for a limited number of positions. Long hours sometimes, a lot of paperwork, and keeping track of such things as maintenance, schedules, instrumentation, etc.
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Old 07-31-2018, 01:30 PM   #24  
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I registered to the forum just to reply to this post.
I am a retired Mechanical Engineer with a 27 year career at Cessna. Although I had ratings through Commercial/IR/AMEL I never made the jump to military (4 years in USAF) or professional flying due to real bad uncorrected vision and strict standards at the time.
Cessna was a good career choice for me. Depending on your position (I worked turboprop and and jet engine installations and fuel systems) there is a lot of opportunity to interact with Flight Test and ride along and observe flight tests. Other positions such as structures might have less opportunity. Flying opportunities include service tests, a good flying club and a limited time flying company transportation in a 414A. The higher up the food chain you go, the less opportunity. I never even flew right seat in a Citation.
You mentioned Flight Test Engineering. Some Flight Test engineers fly right seat on their project, with opportunity to to become type rated or progress to Flight Test Pilot. Others have more analytical jobs. I once unsuccessfully tried to transfer to a Flight Test Engineering position. I think having direct flight test experience and possibly an Aeronautical instead of Mechanical degree might help, however, there is a lot of competition for a limited number of positions. Long hours sometimes, a lot of paperwork, and keeping track of such things as maintenance, schedules, instrumentation, etc.
Thanks for the post. Sounds like you had a great career. When I first graduated I really wanted to get on with an aviation company that was involved with general aviation or business aviation (Cessna, Piper, etc). Think I even sent a resume to Lancair at some point ha. The problem is those jobs seem to be very few and far between. They are often incredibly competitive too. I'm at a disadvantage now since I really haven't practiced any mechanical engineering since I started in the workforce (since I am a Materials Engineer right now).

To be honest, I'm not sure another engineering job would change my perspective/feelings about engineering. Even through college, I started to doubt that engineering was really what I wanted to do long term. I have great respect for engineering. I think it is amazing what engineers do, and quite frankly, I think they are grossly underappreciated (maybe even underpaid in some cases). I do not regret getting my degree. If I could do it over again, I would probably still get the engineering degree.

I had a VERY good phone conversation with wrxpilot yesterday. He was an engineer who left the workforce to fly. He shared the same feelings I currently have about engineering. Very inspiring and encouraging to hear from someone like him. He seems to really be enjoying the airline career.
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Old 07-31-2018, 02:15 PM   #25  
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idskier,

The team off Learjet Way had a FTE become a demo and experimental test pilot.

GF
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Old 08-01-2018, 09:01 AM   #26  
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OP,

I like your plan, I like your debt aversion, you are young and in a good place to make this happen. You’re going to crush this. This is a great time, so I say go for it. My only advice is to shorten your posts...pilots stop reading after a few sentences

Good luck!
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:28 AM   #27  
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OP,

I like your plan, I like your debt aversion, you are young and in a good place to make this happen. You’re going to crush this. This is a great time, so I say go for it. My only advice is to shorten your posts...pilots stop reading after a few sentences

Good luck!
LOL. You know, I've found that if you come in here (APC that is) with a few sentences you often get a lot of negativity. If you take the time to explain your background, your plan, etc - you tend to get much better feedback.

Thanks for the kind words.
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Old 08-10-2018, 09:54 AM   #28  
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I'm in a similar situation, an engineer currently finishing up my commercial. I'm curious what your plan would be to build hours? Are there any low-time, part time jobs that you're thinking about working while an engineer, or are you thinking about swapping and jumping right in?
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Old 08-11-2018, 12:47 PM   #29  
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I'm in a similar situation, an engineer currently finishing up my commercial. I'm curious what your plan would be to build hours? Are there any low-time, part time jobs that you're thinking about working while an engineer, or are you thinking about swapping and jumping right in?
I instructed for the last 4 years while working as engineer. Was able to log lots of time this way.
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Old 08-16-2018, 11:58 AM   #30  
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I'm in a similar situation, an engineer currently finishing up my commercial. I'm curious what your plan would be to build hours? Are there any low-time, part time jobs that you're thinking about working while an engineer, or are you thinking about swapping and jumping right in?
Plan is to get Commercial, Multi Engine Commercial, then CFI. Then quit engineering and instruct full time at a local school. I'd like to get the hours as soon as possible. I think I might die of cubicle disease if I stay in engineering much longer.
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