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Am I too old to have a flying career?

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Am I too old to have a flying career?

Old 09-17-2007, 09:45 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by ppilot View Post
I was 30 and working at an office when I started flying (just for myself. I had no idea I'd end up doing it for a living.) Figured I'd need the instrument, then at 250 hours I got the commercial just for something to do. Then I felt like I should use the commercial, bit the bullet and got the CFI. I started instructing part time, got the other instructor ratings, and started flying pt. 135 (all part time, while working at the office.)

So, I never had the guts to 'bite the bullet and leave,' at least in the way that someone going to work for an airline would. But one day I was offered a corporate job flying small jets. It was nervous and scary, but since I've made the move it's been just fine. The money is better than I made programming computers, and my whole outlook on life is soooo much better.

Just wanted to give another thought to you. There are options outside of the airlines.
How do you and other guys just get offered a jet corporate job??? seriously. I see sooo many instructors who would kill to get their foot in the door of Corporate Jet. I'm really curious.
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:36 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by NittanyLion View Post
So at age 32 you had the guts to walk out on the office job and go to such an unstable career as flying. I have to say I am impressed as this is something that I have thought about doing for 7 years.

Now I am 32 and still feel that I cant pull the trigger. I did leave the Corporate job in the states for another one that pays quite a bit less but to take an adventure of living abroad.

Can someone share their experience of making this transition with me? My fiance thinks I am crazy and is really starting to get nervous. I think maybe your stories will be helpful.

Maybe you can explain to me where and how long it took to build your ratings and time to get the needed hours for hire at a regional. I have looked at numerous part 141 sites filled with promises.

My background is: B.S. in Healthcare Management from Penn State, worked in Health Insurance for a number of years in Seattle, NYC, & Philly, and then traveled abroad and volunteered and worked with tourism and most recently I am working as a sales rep for a software company travelling to Scandinavia.

I am not a science or math guy, but love the idea of flying and have 33 hours in C152 & C172s. School was never my strong point and I did what I needed just to get through.

As well I have had one instance of a DUI that was supposed to be sealed but you never know how those things will surface.

Maybe someone can share their insight and whether or not my age, or background is a problem and what challenges I may face?
...after reading this testimony, I could of sworn I wrote this artice about myself. With excpetions...not engaged, and been very, very lucky with the DUI's. I turn 32 today.
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Old 09-18-2007, 06:59 AM
  #13  
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I took my first lesson at 14. I earned my first dollar as a CFI at 20. I worked as a CFI, Bush pilot, Forest service wild-land firefighting pilot, corporate jet and medevac pilot and finally as a regional and LCC pilot. During the entire time I averaged 14K per year and moved perhaps 14 to 16 times. During my best and last year I earned $42,500 as a 757 FO.

Hotel rooms got old fast and I would daydream about owning a home and building a real life with the money to properly fuel it. I was poor. Flying was often boring and the airlines lacked any opportunities for creativity and personal growth. Management at all levels treated pilots like filth. I felt like my life was rotting away in FBO waiting rooms and in crummy hotels.

I had always suspected the the rest of the world made much more money than I and had better working conditions. By 36 years old I had been a professional pilot for 16 years when I was laid off. I couldn't stomach the prospect of going back to 18K per year and another move to another miserable place.

The government was offering one year of unemployment insurance at $1300 per month and funds to retrain if I wished. I used the opportunity to start a new life and for the first time now know what it is like to really live. You can start over. During the last 4 years I have made more money than my entire pilot career combined and continue to enjoy increasing returns. I am living the life I always dreamed of and havent stayed in a hotel room in years.

Dreams do come true.

SkyHigh
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Old 09-19-2007, 07:33 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by SongMan View Post
How do you and other guys just get offered a jet corporate job??? seriously. I see sooo many instructors who would kill to get their foot in the door of Corporate Jet. I'm really curious.
Well, I didn't JUST get offered the job, I worked for it. Instructed in single engine airplanes, and I kind of made a reputation for myself as a multi-engine instructor. For awhile I was going all over the eastern half of the country giving multi-engine instruction in privately owned airplanes, it was a blast. Flew pt. 135 in piston-engine airplanes, got some turbine time in Cheyennes and King Airs, etc, and proved myself capable to the right people I guess.

You're right though, corporate is a tough nut to crack. You really need to get to know people.
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Old 09-19-2007, 07:54 PM
  #15  
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I almost went off on our FA today when she thought that all FO's did was sit and observe. She was also shocked when she learned that there was previous training involved in getting hired as a FO. She thought that I just woke up one day, decided to be a pilot, applied, and got hired.

For all the work we do to get to a 121 or 135 it suprised me to see such ignorance from another "crew" member.
 
Old 09-20-2007, 02:36 AM
  #16  
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No, that's what she decided to do- woke up, thought working on an airliner was cool, applied, etc. and here she is. She must be young. I see 20 somethings from time to time that indicate they hold the same interest in being a FA minus having acted on it. It appeals because it's a job with a little more excitement to it than most service sector jobs. Most people have no idea what it takes to be an airline pilot. People hear you are a pilot and within a few seconds here comes the "oh I knew this guy who was an airline pilot" story and you wonder what kind of single engine airplane that guy flew.

Last edited by Cubdriver; 09-20-2007 at 02:57 AM.
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:23 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Mr Spooner View Post
I almost went off on our FA today when she thought that all FO's did was sit and observe. She was also shocked when she learned that there was previous training involved in getting hired as a FO. She thought that I just woke up one day, decided to be a pilot, applied, and got hired.

For all the work we do to get to a 121 or 135 it suprised me to see such ignorance from another "crew" member.
Your flight attendant may have no flight experience prior to getting on at your airline. There are number at mine that were in that boat. Given the pay many people aren't from the socio-economic background that allows for frequent vacations. I've already heard flight attendants ask a couple questions that made my jaw drop.

The first time I had ever been in an airplane, I was flying it. I had a lot of misconceptions about the industry at one time too.
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Old 09-20-2007, 07:20 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by SkyHigh View Post
I took my first lesson at 14. I earned my first dollar as a CFI at 20. I worked as a CFI, Bush pilot, Forest service wild-land firefighting pilot, corporate jet and medevac pilot and finally as a regional and LCC pilot. During the entire time I averaged 14K per year and moved perhaps 14 to 16 times. During my best and last year I earned $42,500 as a 757 FO.

Hotel rooms got old fast and I would daydream about owning a home and building a real life with the money to properly fuel it. I was poor. Flying was often boring and the airlines lacked any opportunities for creativity and personal growth. Management at all levels treated pilots like filth. I felt like my life was rotting away in FBO waiting rooms and in crummy hotels.

I had always suspected the the rest of the world made much more money than I and had better working conditions. By 36 years old I had been a professional pilot for 16 years when I was laid off. I couldn't stomach the prospect of going back to 18K per year and another move to another miserable place.

The government was offering one year of unemployment insurance at $1300 per month and funds to retrain if I wished. I used the opportunity to start a new life and for the first time now know what it is like to really live. You can start over. During the last 4 years I have made more money than my entire pilot career combined and continue to enjoy increasing returns. I am living the life I always dreamed of and havent stayed in a hotel room in years.

Dreams do come true.

SkyHigh
First hand accounts like this scares me. However, there's a strong desire to fulfill being a professional pilot, a feeling that won't go away. So I too am pursuing a pilot career at almost 40yr of age. I realize I'll have to take an 80% paycut from my current career, but It's a race against time for me, and I don't want to regret not having done it when I'm on my death bed.
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Old 09-20-2007, 07:34 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by determined2fly View Post

...after reading this testimony, I could of sworn I wrote this artice about myself. With excpetions...not engaged, and been very, very lucky with the DUI's. I turn 32 today.

Oh, one more difference: the original poster was 32 TWO YEARS AGO when the thread began.







.
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Old 09-21-2007, 06:22 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by RxPilot View Post
First hand accounts like this scares me. However, there's a strong desire to fulfill being a professional pilot, a feeling that won't go away. So I too am pursuing a pilot career at almost 40yr of age. I realize I'll have to take an 80% paycut from my current career, but It's a race against time for me, and I don't want to regret not having done it when I'm on my death bed.
Regrets come in many forms. It is poor logic to use it as an excuse to turn your life upside down. It is impossible to go through life without regrets.

Here is an example: "I regret having thrown away a good career that paid well, respected me and let me be home at night. I regret becoming a pilot and turning my back on the needs of my family. I regret leaving the center of my friends and family to spend my days alone in strange cities and empty hotel rooms. "

A better plan is to evaluate which ones you can live with and the ones you can not. Aviation is powerful and can influence people to do great damage to themselves.

SkyHigh
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