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Old 07-30-2012, 09:22 AM   #21  
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Originally Posted by utroyalwulff View Post
thanks you guys i have learned alot. if you can think of anything else i would appreciate it.

So if we were to make a list of important things to do in the next few years:

-Dont plan on major in aviation unless its aerospace engineering, have a back up in something else
-stay in the CAP program and try to find out if they AFROTC at his HS
-doing it through the military or reserve is a good way to do it if ends up being what he wants to do.
-have him work on his private pilots license. Im hoping the the CAP program can get us some contacts on this.

I like the CAP program, its seems to be a pretty good deal. He has only been involved for a couple months so far. Have all of you that have been involved in this program feel it was time well spent?

Thanks
For the military, it is of course not simply another means of obtaining flight training...it is a serious commitment involving more than just flying and about ten years of your life (after college). I bring that up because wannabe pilots often have the aptitude for military service. But he needs to make sure that's doing that for the right reasons.

If you're pretty sure about the military, the next decision is active duty vs. guard/reserves.

The AD vs. guard vs. OCS/OTS has a couple tradeoffs...

Acemdy/ROTC. You can get college paid for with an ROTC (or service academy) scholarship but that will commit you to approx five years AD even if you don't get a flight slot. Even if you do get a flight slot, you might still end up in helos or UAVs.

OCS/OTS. Do college on you own (and pay for it) and then apply for a flight slot. Advantage is that you don't have to accept if they don't offer a flight slot. Disadvantages are that opportunities are limited for this route, priority goes to Academy/ROTC grads. Again, you might still end up in helos or UAVs.

Guard/Reserve. Do college on you own, then apply to guard/reserve units. This way you know exactly what you'll be flying (whatever that unit flys) and after about 2 years active-duty for training you can go part-time and progress your civilian career in parallel. This may be the best-kept secret in military aviation but it is competitive.

High School ROTC may not be the best path to a commission/scholarship. You need good grades (in challenging subjects and AP), athletic participation, and good test scores. If you still have time for HS ROTC after all that, fine. The guys who focus on HS ROTC usually end up enlisting.

Last edited by rickair7777; 07-30-2012 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:55 AM   #22  
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If I had it to do over again...(wouldn't that be nice:-))

Apply to service academies (AF/Navy probably gives you a better chance of flying, WestPoint seems to set males toward the Infantry/Armor/Field Artillery track, although they do send some people to Flight School).

If that opportunity does not materialize, enlist in the Air Guard/AF Reserve at 18. Get into maintenance or something else where I would have interaction with Flight Crews. Use the GI Bill to go to a good college and get a degree in something OTHER than aviation (although as some have said, aerospace engineering is a good field.) Shell out the money for a Private Pilots license on the side.

After college, use the network established in the Guard/Reserve unit to apply for a flight slot. If all works out, the military pays for all your ratings (except PPL), and a college degree.

PM me if you have more questions
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Old 07-31-2012, 08:38 PM   #23  
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As someone who has never had a real childhood passion for flying/aviation... I would consider having him getting his pvt pilot license and then go from there, don't try to plan too far ahead... I started my flying career at 23 ( im now 25, student pilot ).

IMO, I see people who are passionate about flying since they were 6 years old have a harder time staying in this industry when first starting out. In some people with this passion,their work and personal life is almost mixed together, and when times in the flight industry suck, their whole life sucks and they are miserable. I'm not saying this is a bad thing to have but it can be expected. I have also had conversations with airline hire managers where they are looking for more well rounded people who have a life outside of just loving to fly.

Most people in their life will have 7 career changes ( statistically, but I see more around 3 ). I would make sure he is fully interested in aviation, because having a career change during his training will be a huge economic and emotional expense, esp if he goes the mill route early...then hes really screwed.

I would suggest the military for flight training because of expenses, however you may deal with military budget cuts in the future esp with guard units, thats also another thing to consider.

If you go the civil route, your risking a lot of your income for this adventure... but it pays off in the long term esp with the pilot shortage coming. Big airlines are looking for solutions to find new pilots...Ive heard of airlines thinking of doing 12 year contracts with the company and they pay for your flight training ( that's what they are looking for solutions, doesn't mean its going to be remotely true... but a possibility none the less.

Either way you go just make sure hes committed, that's the biggest challenge I believe. There will be times where he will be tested on it. Its an exciting field to be in. Hope this helps.


PS it doesn't matter what degree he gets, even if its aeronautical...that bs excuse will not suffice once the pilot shortage happens. Job security will be a thing of the past.
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:50 AM   #24  
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You let him know how you feel.....then you allow them to make their own decisions...good and bad...... IF you DECIDE he cannot pursue aviation and enforce that decision as long as able... you will regret it.

Thats not to say you shouldn't let him know how you feel.
I agree however I would feel so guilty if my children's exposure to aviation came from me. Yet my father, grand father, brother and father-in-law are (or were) all pilots. It seems to be in the blood.

It does not make things easy.

Skyhigh
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:21 AM   #25  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrxsteve View Post
As someone who has never had a real childhood passion for flying/aviation... I would consider having him getting his pvt pilot license and then go from there, don't try to plan too far ahead... I started my flying career at 23 ( im now 25, student pilot ).

IMO, I see people who are passionate about flying since they were 6 years old have a harder time staying in this industry when first starting out. In some people with this passion,their work and personal life is almost mixed together, and when times in the flight industry suck, their whole life sucks and they are miserable. I'm not saying this is a bad thing to have but it can be expected. I have also had conversations with airline hire managers where they are looking for more well rounded people who have a life outside of just loving to fly.

Most people in their life will have 7 career changes ( statistically, but I see more around 3 ). I would make sure he is fully interested in aviation, because having a career change during his training will be a huge economic and emotional expense, esp if he goes the mill route early...then hes really screwed.

I would suggest the military for flight training because of expenses, however you may deal with military budget cuts in the future esp with guard units, thats also another thing to consider.

If you go the civil route, your risking a lot of your income for this adventure... but it pays off in the long term esp with the pilot shortage coming. Big airlines are looking for solutions to find new pilots...Ive heard of airlines thinking of doing 12 year contracts with the company and they pay for your flight training ( that's what they are looking for solutions, doesn't mean its going to be remotely true... but a possibility none the less.

Either way you go just make sure hes committed, that's the biggest challenge I believe. There will be times where he will be tested on it. Its an exciting field to be in. Hope this helps.


PS it doesn't matter what degree he gets, even if its aeronautical...that bs excuse will not suffice once the pilot shortage happens. Job security will be a thing of the past.

Make sure you put that in qoutation marks, or with LOL right next to it. I remember reading an article from about 1991 that said we were on the cusp of such a serious pilot shortage that the airlines would only be able to fly a few routes. How'd that work out?

Delta's new agreement is reducing the number of required pilots (between mainline and regional feed.) I'm sure the others will follow....

We are possibly moving from a period of an over-abundance of pilots to either an abundance of pilots, or an appropriate amount of pilots. Appropriate amount does not equal shortage. Let's get some truth out there--the future generation of pilots deserves that.

P.S. That glider flying idea is great! I agree whole heartedly!
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:53 AM   #26  
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In the 60's, airlines were advertising for pilots in Flying magazine, the shortage ended in about 1965. There won't be one, but the end of the RJ boom may make normal feel like a shortage.

GF
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:13 PM   #27  
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Hello everyone, firstly Im not a pilot and know relatively little about planes but I have a 13 year son that loves planes and aviation. He flies remote control planes and is now going to race pylon racers and messes with the flight simulator that I bought for him on the home computer trying to learn to put flight plans together and how to navigate between airports.

He is a very smart kid. I tell him that if he likes planes maybe he should be a pilot. He signed up with the local civil air patrol group last week. He went to his grandparents house that live by the airforce academy but it had been evacuated because of fires because he is interested in that, so maybe next year. I dont have alot of money so probably the government is going to help him learn how, which according to my friend that is a surgeon is exactly the right thing to do.

The university where I work has a flight training school, but I dont really know that much about it.

Since i guess most of you are pilots what do you think I should tell him? Should I push him towards another profession?

I like that he likes it because he is learning so much. but what does the future appear to look like?
I was in a similar situation as your son 7 years ago, around 13 years old and very interested in pursuing aviation as a career. My parents knew very little about aviation but were against my decision to start flying; they wanted me to go to med school. Usually I would listen to almost anything my parents said but the flying itch was too strong. I did not pursue the career that they had planned out for me and I must say going against my parents was tough but I wanted to give flying a shot.
Using the money that I had been saving from working the ramp I decided to do my private license at age 17 (no help/funding from my parents). After reading threads on this site it helped change my decision (was going to do the "zero to hero" program). To have a better QOL further down the road I learned that being debt free makes a huge difference. Obtaining my ratings has taken me longer than someone who used bank loans to assist them. I feel that working and paying for your own hours is a great way (other than the military) to train and can also test your flying passion.
I admire that you want your son to find his own career and hopefully something that he will love to do for the rest of his life.

BTW this is coming from a Canadian; things are a bit different up here regarding jobs. I can't say much about the future of aviation or anything regarding airlines since I am still new to the profession.

10 years from now I guess I will find out if I should have listened to my parents or not
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:12 AM   #28  
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You have been exposed to almost all the negatives on this website, and although as a parent is is your responsibility to look out for your kids, avoid telling your son outright that he shouldn't become a pilot...when my parents told this to me it was very disheartening, and I wouldn't want your son to feel the same way.
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:53 PM   #29  
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I obviously don't expect to make 6-figures right out of the gate (if at all in my career) but there still happens to be a "career" in flying, right? I fly because I have a passion for it. Money doesn't make the world go round but it sure helps. I'd like to be make a comfortable living (i.e. own a house, raise a few kids and send them to college) but I'm not expecting to drive a Ferrari around town.

Some of these posts I read make it seem like the entire aviation field is going down the toilet. Is it? Or are some just upset that they won't be topping out at 100k+/year anymore?
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:57 AM   #30  
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I obviously don't expect to make 6-figures right out of the gate (if at all in my career) but there still happens to be a "career" in flying, right? I fly because I have a passion for it. Money doesn't make the world go round but it sure helps. I'd like to be make a comfortable living (i.e. own a house, raise a few kids and send them to college) but I'm not expecting to drive a Ferrari around town.

Some of these posts I read make it seem like the entire aviation field is going down the toilet. Is it? Or are some just upset that they won't be topping out at 100k+/year anymore?
Professionals, whether you're a physician or an attorney or a physical therapist or a pilot, make a substantial investment in education, time, and training to attain their vocation. In exchange for that great monetary expense and the dedication required to attain the status of a "professional," it is expected that there will be some sort of pay back in the future, usually in terms of monetary compensation and the ability to make a good living in general at the chosen profession. Now obviously that is not guaranteed, but in my opinion there is a reasonable expectation that for most professionals, these previously mentioned goals will be attained.

We as pilots, some of us many years ago, made the great monetary and personal sacrifices of becoming professional pilots, with the expectation that the fruits of these labors would lead to a good career in the future. And at the time we made these sacrifices, the possibility was there.

However, between the bankruptcies, the stolen pensions, the outsourcing, the significant pay cuts, etc., etc., the chance that MOST pilot professionals could enjoy the fruits of their labors was taken away. That's why guys are mad. That's why you see lots of negative posts about this profession. Many of us made the required commitments to the profession, but the anticipated career expectations were taken away. It's not a matter of "wanting to drive a Ferrari" around town. It's a matter of expecting a return on the GREAT financial and personal sacrifice needed to become a professional airline pilot. For too many, that return hasn't been there.

To answer your other question about the profession going down the toilet.....Who knows what the future holds. Maybe the great pilot shortage begins tomorrow. Maybe oil spikes to $150/barrel again (or higher) and we're looking at yet another round of airline downsizing.

On my little website, a pilot posted something that made me think. Airline pilots may be becoming the U.S. factory worker of the 60's and 70's. Back then, working the floor of an auto factory, for example, was a CAREER position. Now, of course, not so much. Airline management would like NOTHING MORE than to outsource every U.S. major airline pilot job to the cheapest bidder, whether that is a $80,000/year 737 co-pilot job to a $22,000/year Mesa co-pilot job, or a $180,000 U.S. 777 Captain to a $??,???/year Chinese 777 Captain. That domestic outsourcing is happening RIGHT NOW. American Airlines want E-190 (i.e. a narrowbody 100 passenger aircraft) to be flown by its regional subsidiaries and a bankruptcy judge may give them what they want despite their pilots' objections. United Airlines wants their pilots, currently in contract negotiations, to relax their "scope" so larger jets can be flown by their regional airlines. Comair just got shut down because their senior pilot force is too expensive compared to alter-ego regionals like GoJets. In the past 10 years, we've seen nothing but relaxation of scope at the majors, either willingly through contract negotiations or unwillingly under the gavel of a bankruptcy judge. Does that pattern continue or will it be put to a stop? I suspect the latter. Do you want to go into significant debt where the best the "average" professional pilot can do is a job at a regional airline that gets whipsawed against the next reincarnation of GoJets or Freedom (Mesa)?

Those are the questions you have to answer for yourself. If you really are passionate about flying, go for it. If you "sort of" like aviation, you might want to consider other professions.
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