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Old 02-07-2019, 09:56 AM   #31  
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To the OP. It sounds like you got a good grip on this. If you really have the love, the knack for flying, have the $$ to spend on training, and your family is 200% on board, you certainly should reach the regional level, and within a reasonable amount of time. Your biggest concern near term is the quality of the instruction you receive. Don't settle for mediocrity, its out there, buyer beware!! Best of luck.
Thoughts on the best method of determining the quality of instruction?
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:46 PM   #32  
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Thoughts on the best method of determining the quality of instruction?
Social Media or word-of-mouth. If you're interested in a place, go hang out in the parking lot or airport bar and talk to students. Ideally get feedback from alumni who are at the airlines.
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:14 AM   #33  
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I appreciate your feedback and looking out for some of the common obstacles that trip up prospective pilots. Any other insights? Any other dark clouds on the horizon I'm not seeing?
Jay-

I got my CFI and CFII done last month. Let me say I LOVE instructing, getting paid to do what I have spent a lot of money doing for the love is amazing. Here is the downside of being a CFI. Yesterday (Sunday) I was at the airport for my first lesson at 6:45am, I left the airport at 9:30pm (add 30 min each way driving to/from airport), I billed for about 6 hours of flight time (and another 2 or so for ground). So when you calculate your income, realize you are not being paid (in most cases) for the 60-90 min in between lessons, so to get to 36k per year you are away from the house for many more hours. Dont get me wrong, I drove home from the airport with a smile on my face. I have always been a work-a-holic and my wife is used to me not working regular hours and my kids are grown. I dont need the money, but if I did along with the long hours to "bill" enough and being away from home, that stress can be a huge downside to family life. EVEN if the wife says she is supportive, they always say that up front, very few actually turn out to be that way (the reason why a larger percentage of commercial pilots are divorced).

My opinion is do the training on the side of a regular job, if you (and she) can handle you working full time and training when you are not working, you are set. Those are basically the hours of a CFI anyway and at least you can use the income form the job to pay for the lessons and not go into the hole financially
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:37 AM   #34  
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Jay-

I got my CFI and CFII done last month. Let me say I LOVE instructing, getting paid to do what I have spent a lot of money doing for the love is amazing. Here is the downside of being a CFI. Yesterday (Sunday) I was at the airport for my first lesson at 6:45am, I left the airport at 9:30pm (add 30 min each way driving to/from airport), I billed for about 6 hours of flight time (and another 2 or so for ground). So when you calculate your income, realize you are not being paid (in most cases) for the 60-90 min in between lessons, so to get to 36k per year you are away from the house for many more hours. Dont get me wrong, I drove home from the airport with a smile on my face. I have always been a work-a-holic and my wife is used to me not working regular hours and my kids are grown. I dont need the money, but if I did along with the long hours to "bill" enough and being away from home, that stress can be a huge downside to family life. EVEN if the wife says she is supportive, they always say that up front, very few actually turn out to be that way (the reason why a larger percentage of commercial pilots are divorced).

My opinion is do the training on the side of a regular job, if you (and she) can handle you working full time and training when you are not working, you are set. Those are basically the hours of a CFI anyway and at least you can use the income form the job to pay for the lessons and not go into the hole financially
I enjoy teaching and training in other capacities, so I have a feeling the CFI route will be a fun one for me. I live near a college that has a growing aviation program but not a lot of aviation in the area, so there is a constant need for CFIs to cover their student base. Some of the CFIs are 9-5 with benefits (new CFIs, not Chief Instructors). I don't need a 9-5, I can be flexible and will try to pack as much flying in as I can.

As for family, I am a family man. The wife's a real winner, we've been married 15 years and she's been by my side through all sorts of life changes. We homeschool our kids, so taking a Tuesday/Wednesday off is just as good as having the weekend (even better, Theme Parks don't get packed out mid week like they do on the weekend).

We're in a transition place anyway, so relocation is wide open. I hope to delay a big step like this until I get on with a regional and we'll stay flexible to take advantage of good opportunities. A lot of the 'horror stories' I read have to do with being locked into one location and being 'stuck'. I'm coming into the game late but with no debt.

We'll see how it goes.
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:51 AM   #35  
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I'm LOOKING for dark clouds. So, some pilots get stuck with an operator that pays peanuts to fly the big boys. Sounds like a bad deal.

How does it happen?

What keeps the pilot there instead of taking his experience elsewhere? Seniority? Lack of desire to fly in overseas environments that pay well for this level of experience?

Give me some examples to deflate the optimism. That's SPECIFICALLY why I posted. I've read though these forums voraciously over the past few weeks collecting information. I'm reaching out to fill in the gaps and check the conclusions I've come to.
Seniority is one issue that people outside aviation have a hard time grasping—it’s great and awful. I was a EAL and learned to hate it when seniority took a lot of options away, mostly due to inability to move.

I know a lot of Reserve military technicians who joined when furloughed, most had been there before hiring at an airline. Once they got established, life was good, decent pay, retirement, short commute. Some rejected recall, some went back after delaying. I’ve went back as a captain.

Corporate pilots much the same. When you’re making 200k, have great QOL, adding 50k after taxes becomes less attractive. I know four guys who didn’t go back, resigning because life was good. Could they have made more money going back to AA or UA, yes. Was it worth it to them, no.



Gf
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:00 AM   #36  
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I enjoy teaching and training in other capacities, so I have a feeling the CFI route will be a fun one for me. I live near a college that has a growing aviation program but not a lot of aviation in the area, so there is a constant need for CFIs to cover their student base. Some of the CFIs are 9-5 with benefits (new CFIs, not Chief Instructors). I don't need a 9-5, I can be flexible and will try to pack as much flying in as I can.

As for family, I am a family man. The wife's a real winner, we've been married 15 years and she's been by my side through all sorts of life changes. We homeschool our kids, so taking a Tuesday/Wednesday off is just as good as having the weekend (even better, Theme Parks don't get packed out mid week like they do on the weekend).

We're in a transition place anyway, so relocation is wide open. I hope to delay a big step like this until I get on with a regional and we'll stay flexible to take advantage of good opportunities. A lot of the 'horror stories' I read have to do with being locked into one location and being 'stuck'. I'm coming into the game late but with no debt.

We'll see how it goes.
Jay-

Dont think I was discouraging you, I just wanted to give you some "black cloud" concerns. Keep in mind, I started my CFI training with 2 other guys, 1 guy dropped (no reason why) the other guy is struggling to get thru (he was away from flying and is not picking it up as quickly). He told me last week he is running out of training funds and thought he would be getting paid to fly by now. Think about what would happen during flight training if some event caused the airlines to stop hiring, would you be OK (obviously that would make it harder to find a CFI job), or if it became a struggle for you and it ended up costing 25% more than you planned. I know there is a pilot shortage, however I think we are 1 "event" away from it solving itself at least for another "lost decade".

I think you are smart for asking about what could happen and you cant plan for it all but having some back up plan (another regular job) would not hurt the situation either. If a recession DID happen, the fact you already had a job is better than trying to look for a job.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:06 AM   #37  
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There has never been a better time (With the exception of 1966) to give it a shot best of luck.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:11 AM   #38  
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There has never been a better time (With the exception of 1966) to give it a shot best of luck.
Yeah. If it's not going to happen now, then it's just not going to happen.

For those of you already in the air and looking at Corporate America as a 'grass is greener', here's a few things to keep in mind:

There is no 9-5 in management/higher income thresholds. You will leave before the rest of your family is awake and you will get home long after dinner leftovers are cold in the fridge.

Non-union positions are not safer for good employees. My bank is going through a reduction in force event and I just had to tell two of the top performing bankers that their roles are getting liquidated. Performance won't save you from something HR controls. HR controls everything.

Commutes by car are just as bad if not worse than commuting via airport. The Per Diem is bare bones and almost no companies pay the IRS standard for vehicle mileage.

One mistake can kill any career.

Remaining unflexible will result in less opportunity.

You will always have to choose between income potential and quality of life.

Technology is rapidly replacing most high income positions. If you think something is safe because "it's about relationships" and that won't easily be replaced by computers you have your head in the sand like an ostrich. They're all up for grabs and it's closer than most expect.

=) Cheers.
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:22 PM   #39  
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Default Shelf life on recent training event?

Rick, what usually is the "shelf life" of a new type rating or upgrade in terms of what the majors are looking for?

3 yrs? 5 yrs? Longer?

Generally speaking of course....

On that note, it seems like they are implying that recurrent sims every 6-12 months must be laughable, or almost so? Is that really the case?
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:45 PM   #40  
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Rick, what usually is the "shelf life" of a new type rating or upgrade in terms of what the majors are looking for?

3 yrs? 5 yrs? Longer?

Generally speaking of course....
3-5 years. After that, stale.

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On that note, it seems like they are implying that recurrent sims every 6-12 months must be laughable, or almost so? Is that really the case?
After a couple years on the same type you pretty know all the basics so it's just review. Comes back quick.

It is significantly harder to learn a new type than to pass recurrent on a type you are currently flying and have thousands of hours in.

The majors have statistics... folks who have not learned a new type recently are a bigger training risk.
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