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Old 03-03-2009, 08:44 PM   #1  
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Joined APC: Sep 2008
Position: Cessna 172 Right Seat
Posts: 71
Default Fellow CFI advice please :)

Hey all So I got my CFI in December 07 and instructed for all of 08. I taught at a university then I went to a local 141 outfit. I loved the job at first but then the 141 place seemed to suck all of the fun right out of flying (or just flight instructing to be more specific) for me. Pushy managers screwing me over on taxes, shoddy airplanes... the works, I'm sure we've all been there at some point.

So as we all know, the market tanking hurt a lot of mom and pop FBOs and my 141 job just wasn't paying the bills, so I couldn't stick around. Now I get the joy of serving in a restaurant again just like my training days. However before I left the 141 job I met a CFII/MEI/Probably everything rated pilot who let me fly in his CJ2... I'm pretty sure I didn't come down from FL300 until about 2 hours after I got home, so I know that flying is something I want to do, it's just in my blood.

I still go flying every once in a while with my older brother to help him finish his commercial and so my CFI skills don't rust over, but other than that I can't afford to get up in a plane solo. I've got just over 600 TT with about half of that instruction given.

So to make an even longer story short, I'm having a hard time finding a way back into progressing my flying. I know that it's something I love but with practically no multi time and only my basic CFI there's not a lot of options for me. I don't know if I want to keep instructing either because of liability issues and dealing with students who are as poor as I am.

Any advice how I can kick myself back into flying?
Anyone been in this same rut before?
Job suggestions to search for?
Any inside scoops anyone wants to share?
Thanks for any help that flows my way - Jared4271987
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Old 03-03-2009, 10:07 PM   #2  
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Joined APC: Jun 2008
Position: CR7 Capt.
Posts: 88

I began flight instructing in the fall if 1981. The following winter was, weather wise, the worst since '57. I practically starved, made less than $400/mo. for quite a while. Guess it's another way of saying I feel your pain, but if it's any consolation, just about every aviation professional who's "made it" had a love for flying airplanes that defied the marketplace. By some accounts I still haven't made it, still working at a regional - though I make a six digit income and have a good schedule. My advise is follow your heart, the rest will work out somehow. Good Luck.
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:34 AM   #3  
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Joined APC: May 2006
Position: 737 CA
Posts: 2,536

Work two jobs. Fly during the day and work at night. If you get burned out instructing, don't do it. Fly traffic watch, banner tow, pipeline, etc. When I was building time, I flew 6 hours of traffic watch and 1 to 2 instructing a day. Sometimes 3 hours traffic watch and no students. I did 1200+ in one year. Later, I was chief CFI at a 141 school and lasted about a year before I quit. Find something you can enjoy, but remember not to be too picky if you are building time. You can't be a 747 Captain with 600TT.
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:10 AM   #4  
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Joined APC: Jan 2009
Position: Seated
Posts: 121

I would say that you should try to find some where to get back into instructing. I live in a college town and most of my students are also college students. They come from all walks of life, but are able to finance their flying through money from school or parents.
I know times are tough in the economy, but not everyone is struggling (as far as students go). There are still students out there who have money and want to learn. Finding a company with a flight school and a charter and or cargo operation will help too. You might be able to get some right seat time in addition to instructing. It's working for me. Good luck.
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:22 AM   #5  
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Joined APC: Nov 2005
Position: UPS 757/767 Capt ONT
Posts: 4,348

It's hard to make yourself more marketable as a pilot without building hours and experience. If I were you, I'd start looking now for a something that quickly and efficiently will put you up to IFR 135 mins. I did Grand Canyon tours, but aerial mapping would be another good one. You'll have to be willing to pack up and move, though, and maybe even pack up and move to a server job to be in the right place at the right time for the right flying job.
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:57 PM   #6  
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Joined APC: Sep 2006
Position: Lovin' life at .4 (ish) mach
Posts: 1,249

The banner towing sky diving companies are going to start hiring next month or so....if you have some High Performance time, and/or some tail wheel time, apply....couldn't hurt. I'd do banner towing, but i only have 5 hours of tail wheel. I don't have any HP time. That's fun to do, there are good companies out there, I know of one here in NJ that run a tight operation.
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:46 AM   #7  
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Posts: 37

After working as a CFI. I worked for a photographic maping company Desert Wind Air Service Steve Porter runs the company. I built a lot of C172 time then was able to move into other areas aviation. Having my A&P helped also.
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