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Old 05-09-2017, 08:42 PM   #21
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Joined APC: Jun 2005
Position: Retired
Posts: 2,919

One thing to always remember: Things can get a lot less fun when they become a job.

I have a thread somewhere in here. I'm one that left. I'm finding that in my current job I have much less time at home than I ever did at the airlines. Working 60+ hours a week will have that effect. I'll never do the regional airline thing again, but I'm seriously considering returning to flying for a living. There are a ton of jobs flying airplanes that have nothing to do with the airlines.

While some here are reading you the riot act about the girlfriend, I think they have some valid points. Never let someone else dictate your course. Especially in your 20s. Support, yes. Question, yes. Dictate, no. I didn't marry until I was in my 30s, and I'm glad I didn't. Honestly, I would have never even dated my wife in my 20s. I probably also wouldn't have a marriage and family right now, let alone a happy and supportive marriage.

Bottom line: you gotta do what's best for you. All you can do is make an informed decision and go for it. Whos to say that you decide to go the engineering route, the economy goes TU and you're out of work for years? I think the current state of affairs is as good for someone getting into aviation as its ever been in my 20 years of it, but its always a crap shoot.
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Old 05-10-2017, 06:54 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Papa Charlie View Post
tomgoodman, that's the big question I keep asking myself.

If I don't like the life, it'll be hard to leave when I've got some big honking loans that must be paid one way or another. I'm not quite saying "I definitely will hate this career", but rather "I could possibly hate this career, or I could love it to death." But that's a big 80k gamble to play.

However, the benefit to some "normal" college degree is that it's pretty darn flexible, and i'll have the possibility of going into something else if I hate what i'm doing. I've heard many an aviator online say that you should never go to an aviation college, instead get some college degree then get your ratings through part 61...a year ago I would have said "bull****, i'm going part 141 because this is all I want to do with my life.", but I think I see the wisdom in that advice now.

I may still attempt to get all my ratings through my local FBO...if I can scrape up the cash without any loans...

That's the big college dilemma these days anyway. I've got no collateral. Buying a house on a loan doesn't scare me as much (although I reckon some wiser people could set me straight, lol) since you can always sell the house and pay the loan. Assuming you don't go underwater.

A college loan is a ball and chain to your chosen profession. Your future work is your collateral. This is most true with less flexible degrees like aviation.

I remember a discussion with my local FBO's manager. I told him I had my associates degree, and he recommended I finish my Bachelors in engineering. "Why bother?" was my reply. The manager had also gone to a part 141 flight school, and for some reason he is now grounded and works at this FBO. I didn't ask why he doesn't fly anymore, but it seems he is pretty knowledgeable about the consequences of investing in aviation. He's quiet, but a good guy.

My previous post is a pretty extreme example. I believe anyone can change their way of life and even enjoy it, it just may take some adjustment. Just an example of what might be "values" to me.
You have a lot of wisdom. Allow reason to prevail over emotion and make rational decisions. The rational decision is to not get into this career for many of the reasons stated already.

If I ask you, as an engineer, to work 8 hours a day but I will only pay you 4 hours, would you do it? Would the hamburger flipper do it? Yet, every day, hundreds of pilots do it with (butt) cheeks wide open in the brace position.

Walk away from this circus act called commercial flying. But wait, I bet circus workers get paid 8 hours for 8 hours' labor.
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Old 05-10-2017, 02:51 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Quarryman View Post

If I ask you, as an engineer, to work 8 hours a day but I will only pay you 4 hours, would you do it? Would the hamburger flipper do it? Yet, every day, hundreds of pilots do it with (butt) cheeks wide open in the brace position.

Walk away from this circus act called commercial flying. But wait, I bet circus workers get paid 8 hours for 8 hours' labor.
My attorney gets a days pay for fifteen minutes work. I get paid a small fortune to stand by, and when I actually do fly, I get paid that small fortune every hour, plus per diem, plus overtime, etc. it quickly becomes a large fortune, and whether it matches hour-for-hour is irrelevant.

The job is the job, and the way pay is scheduled varies by the employer. Some pay by the hour, some by the day, some by the year. Some have trip rigs, some have contract rates. The pay arrepangements are different than an engineer in some cases, but then a pilot is not an engineer.

Some pilots get paid for consultation, others don't. I've been paid for showing up, whether I fly. I've been paid for starting an engine, or taxiing, even if I don't fly. I get paid to simply be available. I've been paid to standby while I penned a novel.

The comparison that one isn't paid as an hourly circus worker while employed as a professional pilot is non sequitur, straw man, and idiotic.

One is welcome to leave aviation to work in a circus if it suits. I guarantee that no circus on earth will come remotely close to my annual wage, or standard of living. If someone feels they'd rather work in a circus, have at it, but don't make the idiotic inferrence that because a circus worker has a simple pay mode, it should apply to aviation, or any other field or job.

The circus worker has neither minimum guarantee, 401K, insurance, seniority, loss of license insurance, or the ability to carry professional certification gained on the job to thousands of other circuses with upward mobility and career pay in the hundreds of thousands per annum. The worlds largest and oldest circus is about to shutter its doors permanently. Aviation, not so much.
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Old 05-13-2017, 06:36 PM   #24
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Default My $.02

Been in your situation; 24 years ago. Always wanted to be a fighter pilot. Only reason I went to college (engineering); got a pilot slot in the Air National Guard (cargo) but dropped out. Same type of reasons as you; gone from home a lot, move to a different city than my parents, maybe not the best future family life, etc. Got an engineering job in my home town, got married, had two kids. Along the way I still flew some, eventually got my CFI/CFII/MEI so I could afford to fly; however I do like instructing even though that is very little now due to living in a rural area. I am now an engineering manager at 48 and still wonder what life would be like as a professional pilot and still look up at every plane that crosses overhead. I have enough hours to apply to the regionals and sometimes consider it but would take a pay cut. Also am building an experimental plane. My point is you may never know if you made the correct choice, if you love flying you will always love flying and will be trying to find a way to do it. Engineering can be a great job and mine has been, however sitting at a desk in a cube or office and dealing with nothing but problems gets old too. Whichever choice you make do your best to make it work; and keep flying at some level if you truly love it.
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Old 11-05-2017, 01:47 PM   #25
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Its like getting married. If you are not 100% sure you want to do this - Do NOT!
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