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Old 10-30-2008, 04:13 PM   #1  
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Default Is airline flying really for you???

Airline flying is not for me

(I wrote this rant "stream of consciousness" style. Sorry for being somewhat incoherent.)


Thank you for posting about your past experiences in the aviation industry EVERYONE, especially Mr. Skyhigh. I truly appreciate what you’re doing, and I’ll tell you how you and others on this board and on PPRUNE.org, who tell of the realities of this career path, of both good and bad, have helped me realize this isn’t for me.

I always thought this job was for me. That since it was my passion it would mean I would never get bored at work. Finishing high school, I was really close to cashing out the equivalent of 100k for an “Aviation College” in my home country. That’s about the time when I started reading on the forums of pprune.org. I started to find out about the realities of being an airline pilot, however I was positive and was very much still in “love”. All the negativities and people saying the hardships one has to go through only fueled my own determination. “Hah, they aren’t determined enough” I thought, “I won’t end up like them, I know what it takes and will make it no matter what. I’ve loved aircraft since I’ve been a little kid, heck I was on an airliner a week after I was born. If this isn’t for me, nothing is.”

Knowing the unstable nature of the industry I chose to go to uni and study aeronautical engineering. (This is where I’m at now). I have spent the last year and a half daydreaming about being on the flight deck running check lists and flying around the world in a boeing. I even laid out a grand plan where I figured out the costs of each of the ratings and how I would progress to my first airline job. I had the bug.

I was fully aware of the many hardships that go along with an airline career, yet i was 110% sure I wanted to go for it. It’s going to be worth it when I get to the RHS of a Boeing I thought. All this time I’m completely sure I would enjoy flying an airliner. The question is, how do I know if I really will enjoy flying an airliner when I haven’t done it? Havin been in a friend’s dad’s Cessna, I thought I confirmed that airline flying was definitely for me. No, the only thing I had confirmed was that flying in a Cessna was really awesome. As for the airline flying, I could only imagine the job in my head. It was good dreaming about it. The reality as I found out is so different, and I’m referring to the airline flying itself, not about the awful pay/benefits that comes with the some of the jobs.

I found out what it’s really like to work on the flight deck after watching cockpit videos. I was bored out of my mind watching them. Sure the view was great at times, but most of the work seemed so boring to me, and they do this many hours each day for several days at a time! After 1 hour I was bored to death. No wonder I’m reading about BA captains who can’t wait to retire and who say “airlines are not the be all end all”. I used to be baffled by this. And thinking about it, although I’m always excited to get to the airport and see planes, love air shows, enjoy the take-off part, but other than that I’m always kinda bored during a flight. It was the same boredom when watching these videos.

The interesting thing is that the first time I watched the video I was trying to deny that I was bored by it. It was exciting to watch the first 20 minutes, but then I was just forcing myself to watch. After watching several other videos, I’ve started to come to terms with the truth. I find airline flying boring.
The same thing happens when I play flight sim. I find flying the Cessna was fun and free, learning and “flying” the 737 was boring (all those damned procedures, fms and stuff, I WANNA FLY DAMMIT and be free).

It was almost painful to admit this, but now I have, especially when the other things about the job are included. But the fun and excitement factor of airline flying was the main thing that was keeping the fire burning in me, but now I know (for me at least) that airline flying is downright boring. The freedom and fun of flying exists in my opinion in GA, not in airline flying. Watch cockpit videos and see if that type of flying is “free” and exciting, do you see yourself doing that type of flying the rest of your life? For me, not worth the hardships, not worth the money that has to be spent on training, not worth a big chunk of my life. I can’t believe that the end result of all the sacrifice of wannabees is the kind of flying I’m seeing in those cockpit videos. Again, no wonder all pilots say the best flying they did was during training and before getting into that boeing/airbus.

Why am I ranting about this you say? I know that many others dreaming about being a pilot must think that the job, the flying itself, must be awesome, just like a hobby, never boring, even though the benefits and pay are bad and you get shift work. They will do it for the flying. Just make sure you know what that type of flying is like before getting into it. I too thought flying a 747 must be so interesting and keep me happy if I ever got to fly one. Nope, whenever I feel the airline flying bug, I just watch these cockpit videos and get turned off straight away. And to think I was ready to sacrifice so much for this…..

RANT OVER.

I think to really enjoy the job, you need to enjoy operating an airliner, try that in FLIGHTSIM (download those realism add-ons for 737 etc) and also see if you enjoy watching cockpit videos. If you truly love that kind of flying, go for it. Don’t base your decision on how you imagine how flying an airliner will be.

Thank you FLIGHTSIM, thank you COCKPIT VIDEOS and last but not least thank you PPRUNE.org and APC forums. You let me see what the job is really like. I don’t like it, I like general aviation, not airline flying (although photos are pretty and I’m still amazed at the machines, just not the flying part).

If you got annoyed by my post, which you prolly did, i'm sorry i didn't make it shorter and more to the point. It was a rant after all. One and a half years worth of it.
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Old 10-30-2008, 04:26 PM   #2  
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"It was a rant after all. One and a half years worth of it."

Do you feel better now...hehe.

My only question would be why all the pent up frustration in the first place? Did somebody promise you something? Have you been mislead?

Flying for the airlines is hardly for everybody. You are sort of married to the job (though, I'd say most jobs are probably like that). It has it's ups and downs. Don't forget that the airlines aren't the only game in town. If one can't stand the lifestyle, perhaps corporate, fracs, 135, Alaska, or military are other alternatives. To each his own.
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Old 10-30-2008, 04:30 PM   #3  
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I found out what it’s really like to work on the flight deck after watching cockpit videos. I was bored out of my mind watching them. Sure the view was great at times, but most of the work seemed so boring to me, and they do this many hours each day for several days at a time! After 1 hour I was bored to death. No wonder I’m reading about BA captains who can’t wait to retire and who say “airlines are not the be all end all”. I used to be baffled by this. And thinking about it, although I’m always excited to get to the airport and see planes, love air shows, enjoy the take-off part, but other than that I’m always kinda bored during a flight. It was the same boredom when watching these videos.
dd89


Interesting first post. It just may be possible that you didn't really experience being an airline pilot by watching a few videos any more than you would experience combat by watching Black Hawk Down.
It isn't for everyone, it isn't exciting most of the time and it is a very difficult path-much like aeronautical engineering. Stick with the engineering, it will be rewarding and you can always change your mind after you get a degree. If you want some real aerial excitement go fly fighters-you may get more than a snoot full and decide something a little more sedate will allow a longer life.

Flightsim has about as much to do with real flying as a video game has to do with real life, the two don't have very much in common, and learning the monkey motions doesn't make you an aviator.

If there is any excitement going on in my aircraft, somebody or something has screwed up. Think of it as a sense of quiet professional accomplishment, much like designing a better component for an aircraft.

Last edited by jungle; 10-30-2008 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 10-30-2008, 04:33 PM   #4  
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Default It ain't the same

Quote:
Originally Posted by dd89 View Post
I found out what it’s really like to work on the flight deck after watching cockpit videos. I was bored out of my mind watching them.
No, you found out what it's like to watch cockpit videos. That would bore me too. I think you made the right decision for the wrong reason.
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Old 10-30-2008, 05:08 PM   #5  
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Quote:
Watch cockpit videos and see if that type of flying is “free” and exciting,
No.....from what I understand...that type of flying is work. It happens to combine some's people passion but I doubt many would say that it is as much FUN as renting a Cessna and crusing up the beach on a beautiful summer's day. I miss what I call *recreational* flying and hope to get back into it someday; that beach or those mountains are calling my name!

Quote:
do you see yourself doing that type of flying the rest of your life?
Yes.

I think TG has is right.....you made the decision early and that is good; but if you think that you are seeing the REAL truth by flying FLIGHTSIM and watching cockpit videos then you only have an incredibly small percentage of the whole picture.

USMCFLYR
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Old 10-30-2008, 05:17 PM   #6  
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I'd rather be bored at FL250 looking out the window than bored in a cubicle looking at a computer screen...just my opinion.

Airline flying isn't very exciting, but that's also why it's the safest way to travel.
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Old 10-30-2008, 05:19 PM   #7  
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Jungle has it spot on ,in that you do not want EXCITEMENT during a flight .
Sure at times its boring but then again what job does not get somewhat boring after awhile?
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Old 10-30-2008, 07:17 PM   #8  
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I'm with propdriver. Yeah an airliner can be viewed as a cubicle but I would rather have my cubicle going .85 at FL320 to lord only knows where. Sounds a lot more exciting than casual fridays.
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Old 10-31-2008, 01:02 AM   #9  
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wow you didn't delete this. pprune got it removed within half an hour!

I'm glad i wrote here, I'm glad you guys corrected my flawed perspective of the whole thing. That is important so i don't make the right decision for the wrong reason.

I just wanted to know how it really is like, not motivate myself with some romantic image of how it's like and then get all disappointed when/if I get there. I thought these videos would show that, but obviously, you have to be the pilot flying to really experience that. Being an observer doesn't put you at the controls, monitor the systems and make the decisions

Cubicles make me ill, i've visited some companies and seen it. When I'm done with my degree I'm planning on doing some traveling work, then some "cubicle-type" work
and see how I do. I have plenty of time considering the aviation path.

you really do have to be passionate about aviation for it to be worthwhile i guess, it must be a huge part of one's life. I'm trying to figure out if that is the case with me. However, it's difficult to differentiate the blind infatuation that most wannabees have for aviation from true passion that i see in the likes of 727up (read your profile on jetcareers).



SO, a question:

How would you guys define your passion for aviation?


As for me,

I'll concentrate on what i'm supposed to do right now, grow up some and try to figure out what i want from life, make my decision from there. My infatuation with this career is making it hard to concentrate on what i'm supposed to be doing right now, prepping for the upcoming exams!
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Old 10-31-2008, 06:46 AM   #10  
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Airline flying isn't for me, but I am a professional aviator with 4000+ hours. I've worked 1000hrs as a flight instructor, 2000hrs as a 135 freight/pax pilot, and now I've worked 1.5 yrs with a Aircraft sales dealer/Mx and absolutely love it. I'm home 99% of the time, sometimes have long days, but most aren't that demanding. I flew 600hrs last year(which is shock for me, been the lowest amount since I've graduated college), and get to fly a variety of aircraft all the time.

Being a pilot isn't just being an airline guy. Don't let what is happening with that industry reflect what's happening in general. Not to take away from the airlines, because there are some pretty sweet gigs at the airlines too, it just takes timing, patience, and luck to find that position, as with any flying job.

So if it is truly a dream and passion, keep your options open, because you never know where you'll end up.
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