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Old 11-21-2018, 07:05 AM   #11  
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I hesitate to even point this out but Iím surprised no one has yet.

Didnít you leave only a regional airline career? Youíre assuming you would have been hired by a major. Iím not suggesting you wouldnít have made it to a major, but there are thousands of pilots who have a flying resume similar to yours that canít get a call to make it to the next level. With that said, I guess writing these articles with a career's worth of regional wages isnít as sexy as mainline career wages.

IMHO, you were a victim of bad timing entering our profession. That coupled with a potential spouse unwilling to accept the lifestyle our profession requires made for a rough time for you. You have my empathy; however, youíre not the first and certainly wonít be the last to go through these challenges.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:42 AM   #12  
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I still go to job fairs on occasion mostly because I have been attending them for over 20 years now. It has become a hobby of mine. If my dream job opportunity were to present itself I am unsure what I would do. In any case, it is nice to have options.
Your "dream job" isn't going to come up. You've discussed your past far too much here, such that it's a well known quantity. You walked away with no significant experience, and your dream job requires just one thing: you stick with it. You didn't. You quit.

Your dream job is available any time; all you have to is...show up.
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Old 11-21-2018, 01:43 PM   #13  
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Thumbs up Good Luck!

Congratulations to Golden Goose on finding a new career that suits him better than his old one. In addition, he wisely avoided bashing and hurling epithets at those pilots who continue to pursue Aviation.
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Old 11-21-2018, 04:16 PM   #14  
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Did you commute? I've been an airline pilot for 14 years, 10 at a regional and 4 at a major. I've commuted about half the time at both jobs, and it sucks. Living in base is a completely different experience. Currently I live in base and bid short call reserve (by choice). I've flown 6 days so far this month and I only have 4 more reserve days left. I didn't have the seniority to get thanksgiving off but my reserve day starts at 6pm tomorrow. After 6pm on a holiday there's not much flying left. When I get a trip it's usually one leg out, spend the night and one leg back.
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Old 11-22-2018, 02:17 AM   #15  
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I hesitate to even point this out but Iím surprised no one has yet.

Didnít you leave only a regional airline career? Youíre assuming you would have been hired by a major. Iím not suggesting you wouldnít have made it to a major, but there are thousands of pilots who have a flying resume similar to yours that canít get a call to make it to the next level. With that said, I guess writing these articles with a career's worth of regional wages isnít as sexy as mainline career wages.

IMHO, you were a victim of bad timing entering our profession. That coupled with a potential spouse unwilling to accept the lifestyle our profession requires made for a rough time for you. You have my empathy; however, youíre not the first and certainly wonít be the last to go through these challenges.

Best of luck to you.
That's a really great point, and one that I worked to address in my first article:

"We are assuming that everyone who signs up for $200K in loans is a successful major airline pilot. In reality, many aspiring pilots struggle to get started with their first flight job, lose their medical certificate, become disenchanted with the lifestyle, get stuck in lower paying flight jobs, fail out of training, or otherwise donít make it to the highest-paying echelon."

As we all know in finance, past performance is no indication of future results. What I did was take my college buddy's career who was in lockstep with mine and plot his course as my projection - we flew together, were selectively chosen to instruct at the same university, and began at Republic on the same class date. Neither of us had any reason why we'd remain at Republic, so I think with our ambition level it's a best guess estimate. Of course, it's still an estimate.

Bad timing was certainly a factor, but even bigger than that was an overall shift in interest to another industry. I took a single grad-level class in finance as my form of "dipping my toes in", and once I was in, I was hooked.
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Old 11-22-2018, 02:29 AM   #16  
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Congratulations to Golden Goose on finding a new career that suits him better than his old one. In addition, he wisely avoided bashing and hurling epithets at those pilots who continue to pursue Aviation.
Thanks very much, Tom! Some of my goals here, along with time and financial freedom, is to show the value I found in having a Plan B, and in not putting all my (golden ) eggs in one career basket. Lifestyle choices are individual and I think these goals can still be accomplished without sacrificing one's dream job.
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Old 11-22-2018, 02:35 AM   #17  
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Did you commute? I've been an airline pilot for 14 years, 10 at a regional and 4 at a major. I've commuted about half the time at both jobs, and it sucks. Living in base is a completely different experience. Currently I live in base and bid short call reserve (by choice). I've flown 6 days so far this month and I only have 4 more reserve days left. I didn't have the seniority to get thanksgiving off but my reserve day starts at 6pm tomorrow. After 6pm on a holiday there's not much flying left. When I get a trip it's usually one leg out, spend the night and one leg back.
I was forced to commute after the STL base closed, from STL-ORD. It was notoriously tough due to all the former TWA pilots and full airplanes that competed for a seat - often it was 3 or 4 flights before I caught one.

Congrats on living in base reserve, how high on the reserve seniority list do you stand? That sounds completely unlike my reserve experience, where we often flew 100-hour months.
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Old 11-22-2018, 04:46 AM   #18  
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Sometimes the all-consuming drive that some people have to get to a major is something I find confusing...
There are many jobs in aviation that provide QOL without destroying you family life multiple times as job changes and seniority comes and goes.....sure the top end pay is there...but there are other jobs that frankly, aren't half bad, that pay pretty good with much more Quality of life.
Many corporate jobs come to mind, as do feeder freight jobs from SOME companies....the one commonality is, don't try to commute, and or find an employer that will "home base you" so you are "on the clock" on a positive space ticket when you leave the house.....
An amazing number of TRUE corporate jobs (not 135 charter) have limited overnights...and do lots of "out and back trips" so the executives can have dinner at home......

Sometimes people just need to not be so focused on $$$, because frankly places pay what they need to in order to keep the seat filled....low turnover companies with good QOL are out there....
It's all about matching your priorities to a company and lifestyle, not just taking the first regional job, then the first major airline job you can get...
Oh yeah...I forget this sites name ��
Good observations, I think the pay is the carrot on the stick that keeps many people going despite all of the other sacrifices. Republic was especially dysfunctional in that the majority of the employees saw them as a stepping stone, so they had no long-term interest. In the same way, the company saw the turnover as an opportunity to keep costs low, so they burned and churned people until they put themselves in the position of bankrupcty due to understaffing.

Corporate aviation has some of the qualities of a corporate non-flying job, I agree that it's a great option. It's just unfortunate how they are subject to the same turmoil due to the tendency of companies to use them as a first option for cost-cutting measures. In STL, one of our regional pilots who took the corporate route finally made it to a coveted Anheuser-Busch corporate flight department job after 5 years of trying, only to end up out on the street after the AB Inbev merger. After regrouping and getting a job at Peabody Energy, coal prices crashed flight jobs were cut (including our pilot friend) during the bankruptcy in 2016.
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Old 11-22-2018, 07:08 AM   #19  
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I was forced to commute after the STL base closed, from STL-ORD. It was notoriously tough due to all the former TWA pilots and full airplanes that competed for a seat - often it was 3 or 4 flights before I caught one.

Congrats on living in base reserve, how high on the reserve seniority list do you stand? That sounds completely unlike my reserve experience, where we often flew 100-hour months.

I'm about 60% in base, which would easily hold a line. I'm also about 60% on the reserve list. Reserve in base is a completely different experience than commuting to reserve, i've done both. My first 2-1/2 years here I did a 2 leg cross country commute. Once our seniority list finally got settled I was able to transfer to a base much closer to home. It was an easy commute, 10 flights a day on mainline. We can reserve the jumpseat, and the flights were rarely full. Last year I was in the jumpseat 4 times, 2 of them to get another non-rev on. Even with the easy commute I was giving up 5 hours going to work and 5 hours going home. Add in an occasional time or two getting in too late to make it home also. I figured I spent 23 days of the year just going to and from work. I now live 7 miles from the airport.
I bid reserve sometimes at SkyWest and though it occasionally sucked, overall it wasn't that bad.

Getting on with a major is not a guarantee, like you said. It looks like you were part of the lost decade. It's still not easy, but the numbers of guys getting hired are huge. A few airlines even have guaranteed flow to mainline. Envoy, Piedmont, PSA all flow to American. I don't know the timeline on that, but I think it would be easier to do your time at a regional KNOWING there is a light at the end of that tunnel. If you're set on staying in STL then airline flying is probably never going to be attractive to you. Congrats on finding something that makes you happy though. That's what really matters. BTW your numbers on major airline pay are very conservative. Plan 1100-1200 hours per year times the hourly rate to include the distance learning pay, training pay, per diem, profit sharing, performance bonus, etc. I think Delta is more like 1400. Also add 16% going into your 401k. 1000 hours would be pretty close to the bare minimum (flying low time, no premium, no picking up extra trips)
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Old 11-22-2018, 08:36 AM   #20  
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So what makes more and gives you control of your own time? Since you said ďmany opportunitiesĒ Iíd love to hear at least 3. Thanks for your prospective on making such a big career change!

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I appreciate your helpful commentary.

Being out of sync is a good way to describe it. It seemed like while flying, everyone was always trying to get home, but it was an endless negotiation of trying to minimize life disruption and lost time.

Another interesting point you make is with earnings. Many pilots I flew with argued that no job had the earnings potential of an airline career, but there are many opportunities that have a higher income potential because they aren't capped by seniority pay scales of an hourly trade job.

The only area I differ is that I don't miss the flying career. While I enjoyed the camaraderie, coming back to the real world felt to me like returning from being deployed in the military. I've made phenomenal friends in my new workplaces, and the work itself has been more challenging and fulfilling without those level-off career points in the airline where I'd start feeling bored and stale.

It sounds like you were forced out, while I voluntarily left after a solid 6+ years. If I had to guess, that might be part of the reason you're still torn between careers?
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