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Old 08-14-2012, 11:12 AM   #31  
Line Holder
Joined APC: Jul 2007
Posts: 28

Study hard, go to Medical School, become a physician, fly for recreation.
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Old 08-14-2012, 06:24 PM   #32  
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Joined APC: Feb 2011
Posts: 3

Originally Posted by globalexpress View Post
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.

Thanks for the detailed response.

I see that pursuing a career in the airline industry is quite the gamble. Was it not the same back in the day?

From the handful of pilots I do know (most in their 40's) they said when they started out they had aspirations of going to the Majors and using Regionals as a stepping stone. Now they say that moving up isn't worth it and would rather keep their left seat within a Regional. Does this seem to be a trend?

And as for the Ferrari tidbit in there, twas just a joke.

If you were in my shoes, with the knowledge you have today about the airline industry... do you believe you would make the same career choice?

Thanks again.
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:16 PM   #33  
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Joined APC: Feb 2006
Position: 767A (Ret)
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Originally Posted by HawkJ2010 View Post
I see that pursuing a career in the airline industry is quite the gamble. Was it not the same back in the day?
If the "day" you refer to was 30+ years ago, there was a different gamble. Instead of stagnating in a low-paying job, the risk was not getting a job at all or losing it a few years later. Majors hired almost exclusively ex-military guys, and there were thousands of such applicants from the Viet Nam era. Deregulation wiped out many legacy jobs, but if you got and kept one, it paid very well.

If you were in my shoes, with the knowledge you have today about the airline industry... do you believe you would make the same career choice?
I would do the same: become a military pilot, plan on staying for a career, and when my commitment was up, take a look at the airlines.
If you can get a military academy appointment, ROTC scholarship, or Guard/Reserve UPT slot, so much the better. Good Luck!
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