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Old 07-10-2019, 06:51 PM   #1  
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Joined APC: Apr 2017
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Default Deciding if I should call it quits after IR

Hello,

I'm at 220 hours and was going to start getting ready for the CPL.

While I love flying, I hate paying for it. After my CFI I will at last be making a little money from flying, but I still feel I am paying for flying in terms of opportunity costs.

I'm looking at the long road ahead of me just to get to 1500 hours and that alone looks daunting. Then, based on most of the accounts I've read, I already know I will not enjoy regional life due to once again having to live like a nomad. Been there and did that during most of my 20's and now am at a point where I'd rather stay put instead of moving around at the whim of my employer all over again. I am also extremely apprehensive about the historical instability of an airline pilot career. I feel like I'm walking into something where the odds are stacked against me in a way that I'll never be able to control. I'm wonder if the juice is worth the squeeze.

My doubt is augmented by the fact that I had some legal trouble in teens and early 20's. (which I've started a thread about here). This of course may end up precluding me from a job at the big 6 anyway and I'd really hate to go through all these motions only to find out I'm not hirable at the majors after spending 6-7 years at the regionals.

While I'm no stranger to sacrifice, I'm realizing now that this is a much bigger sacrifice than any I've had to face in the past (or maybe my perception has just changed over time). And all for what? A relatively unstable career that won't match my current salary until I'm in my 40's and that's IF everything goes according to plan. That means no medical issues, no aviation accidents, no failed checkrides, no total loss of interest, no economic downturn, no airline bankruptcy, etc.

So before I pick up my phone and ask my instructor about doing the CPL training, I'm wondering if this should instead be my fork in the road where I go in a different direction. My other option is to instead pursue real estate with my brother. We've always talked about going into it together and still do to this day. When I stand back and look at both pathways, the real estate option seems like a door that leads to a broader set of destinations with better potential to provide a higher quality of life sooner. But, I've been wavering on the decision because I do love flying, I see the high salaries at the majors, the great schedules with plenty of time off, and the aspect of very few headaches (just show up, fly, and go home. No managers, no meetings, no HR garbage, etc). These facets motivate me in bursts but I'm constantly second guessing it which is why I'm turning to you guys for some input.

Pilots have been exceptional people in my experience so far. I really do take all your inputs to heart. Thank you all in advance.

Last edited by JabroniJohn; 07-10-2019 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:04 PM   #2  
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One beautiful thing about aviation is that there are a 1000 different ways to enjoy it.
You may consider getting your A&P and working in Alaska.
Some of the most unique flying in the world.
On a completely different level you could fly for a private airplane owner who knows you and doesnít care about your background as that was then and this is now.
You could fly skydivers in the weekend and have a ďnormalĒ job during the week. Same with flight instruction.
You could start working for a ferry company.
Many different facets of aviation.
Right now you donít know what your niche is.
And you wonít know until you find it.

Last edited by TiredSoul; 07-10-2019 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:52 PM   #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JabroniJohn View Post
Hello,

I'm at 220 hours and was going to start getting ready for the CPL.

While I love flying, I hate paying for it. After my CFI I will at last be making a little money from flying, but I still feel I am paying for flying in terms of opportunity costs.

I'm looking at the long road ahead of me just to get to 1500 hours and that alone looks daunting. Then, based on most of the accounts I've read, I already know I will not enjoy regional life due to once again having to live like a nomad. Been there and did that during most of my 20's and now am at a point where I'd rather stay put instead of moving around at the whim of my employer all over again. I am also extremely apprehensive about the historical instability of an airline pilot career. I feel like I'm walking into something where the odds are stacked against me in a way that I'll never be able to control. I'm wonder if the juice is worth the squeeze.

My doubt is augmented by the fact that I had some legal trouble in teens and early 20's. (which I've started a thread about here). This of course may end up precluding me from a job at the big 6 anyway and I'd really hate to go through all these motions only to find out I'm not hirable at the majors after spending 6-7 years at the regionals.

While I'm no stranger to sacrifice, I'm realizing now that this is a much bigger sacrifice than any I've had to face in the past (or maybe my perception has just changed over time). And all for what? A relatively unstable career that won't match my current salary until I'm in my 40's and that's IF everything goes according to plan. That means no medical issues, no aviation accidents, no failed checkrides, no total loss of interest, no economic downturn, no airline bankruptcy, etc.

So before I pick up my phone and ask my instructor about doing the CPL training, I'm wondering if this should instead be my fork in the road where I go in a different direction. My other option is to instead pursue real estate with my brother. We've always talked about going into it together and still do to this day. When I stand back and look at both pathways, the real estate option seems like a door that leads to a broader set of destinations with better potential to provide a higher quality of life sooner. But, I've been wavering on the decision because I do love flying, I see the high salaries at the majors, the great schedules with plenty of time off, and the aspect of very few headaches (just show up, fly, and go home. No managers, no meetings, no HR garbage, etc). These facets motivate me in bursts but I'm constantly second guessing it which is why I'm turning to you guys for some input.

Pilots have been exceptional people in my experience so far. I really do take all your inputs to heart. Thank you all in advance.
I do not have much flying experience but i can tell you my story/situation. I am a project manager for a construction management firm. My QOL right now is actually pretty good. I make a good salary, home every night but I really can. It imagine doing this for another 30 years.

Iím only on my private at the moment and at one time considered real estate. I have a few friends who are in it. One friend lives in LA and does commercial real estate. He has made some pretty big deals now but the first several years he was making probably 30-40k. Basically the company was floating him a loan he would have to repay until he could get a sale.

I have read that 20% real estate agents make 80% of the money. At least for residential.

I too like the idea of showing up and flying and when you are home you are off work. Real estate you are always working.

Maybe write a list of the things you want from a career? See how many of those things you could get from a flying career or a real estate career.

Good luck!
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Old 07-11-2019, 07:39 AM   #4  
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Quote:
I have read that 20% real estate agents make 80% of the money. At least for residential.
If you counted all pilots, not just ALPA/APA ones, thatíd be true in aviation.
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Old 07-11-2019, 03:33 PM   #5  
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Only you know if the juice is worth the squeeze. Thereís no reason you canít dabble in Real Estate while you fly.

Imagine looking back on your life once you retire....would you regret not flying? Would you regret not doing real estate?

Youíre the only one who knows how you feel, but if Flying isnít one of your passions you might be better served doing something else. The road to the cockpit isnít always easy, paved, straight, or without potholes and detours, but if you want it youíll get there.
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