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Old 07-18-2019, 12:06 AM   #1  
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Joined APC: Jul 2007
Position: Regional Airline Captain
Posts: 103
Default Go into renewable energy or sustainability?

Just finished my 9th recurrent training session at XYZ regional airline. Got to hear the instructors opinion about what he would have prioritized, how he would have dealt with the scenario he put us in (even though the way we did it worked out fine). Many of those opinions I didn't agree with, but I smiled and nodded so we could move on and do our two hours of extended envelope training and go home.

I've got all of two days off before I blast off on a 4-day trip that will put me in nowhere midwestern **** towns, then 2 off, 4 on, 2 off, rinse repeat as I spend 90 hours every week either flying planes, or sitting in hotels watching Netflix and trying to get motivated to work out.

Back in 06 I followed my dream, took out a massive, exorbitant loan that my parents co-signed on and spent the next ten years in debt servitude, "paying my dues" during the greatest economic downturn since the great depression. I spent two years flying Pipers in 110 degree heat with people who could hardly speak english 12 hours a day hating life, regretting the career. Then I got a little 135 gig for a year, and QOL improved although of course they didn't actually pay me anything.

And then in 2011, I FINALY got on with the regional airline five dammed years after I started. And things were fairly good for a while. I mean I grossed 23k the first year and was making payments on student loans, but I enjoyed the job, got a decent amount of time off, and traveled, staying in hostels or camping on Maui or whatever, I gotta admit, it was rather sweet......WAS

These days the damed regional never says no to new routes, and flies our ass off all summer long. I've developed several bio-mechanical health problems (back, neck foot), probably at least partially from being stuck in a flight deck chair all day that impede on my quality of life and even though I have close to 3,000 hours of PIC the frat boys that run the majors just laugh at my application because while I was paying my dues for 10 dammed years I never got around to going further into debt and getting a degree.

Granted, I'm making a decent wage as a regional captain but my future looks like an endless stream of flow delays, broken airplanes, and overnights in FAR. I also hate training events, they never get easier, and they are always stressful and tedious.

I also become increasingly concerned about what my occupation is doing to the planet. There was a day when my ecological concerns were more of a hobby, electric cars and renewable energy is just cool and fun to think about (to me, many others don't seem to share this passion). But these days things look more and more dire. Coral reefs dyeing, sea levels rising, more and more extreme weather events and so on. Yes, there is an argument to be made for aircraft being a form of mass transit, MPG per head and all that, I've ran those numbers (yeah, I'm that nerdy). But as someone who actually knows what's going on and gives a ****, I feel maybe I should be part of the solution vs. part of the problem.

It's probably crazy leave a good paying career and start over, but my hearts just not in it anymore. Sure, there are aspects of flying I enjoy holistically, but the day to day tedium, and lack of work life balance is quickly driving me to burnout, it's just simply not fun anymore. And I could deal with it being less exciting than it was when I first started, that's only natural, IF I weren't spending almost ever damned waking moment of my life doing it.

Anyway, has anyone else gone this route? Instal solar panels? engineer wind turbines? Go into sustainable agriculture? Just spitballing here, I'm in the early stages of thinking about this.
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Old 07-18-2019, 03:26 AM   #2  
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Joined APC: Sep 2017
Position: On the Line with PDT
Posts: 107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V1Rotate View Post
Just finished my 9th recurrent training session at XYZ regional airline. Got to hear the instructors opinion about what he would have prioritized, how he would have dealt with the scenario he put us in (even though the way we did it worked out fine). Many of those opinions I didn't agree with, but I smiled and nodded so we could move on and do our two hours of extended envelope training and go home.

I've got all of two days off before I blast off on a 4-day trip that will put me in nowhere midwestern **** towns, then 2 off, 4 on, 2 off, rinse repeat as I spend 90 hours every week either flying planes, or sitting in hotels watching Netflix and trying to get motivated to work out.

Back in 06 I followed my dream, took out a massive, exorbitant loan that my parents co-signed on and spent the next ten years in debt servitude, "paying my dues" during the greatest economic downturn since the great depression. I spent two years flying Pipers in 110 degree heat with people who could hardly speak english 12 hours a day hating life, regretting the career. Then I got a little 135 gig for a year, and QOL improved although of course they didn't actually pay me anything.

And then in 2011, I FINALY got on with the regional airline five dammed years after I started. And things were fairly good for a while. I mean I grossed 23k the first year and was making payments on student loans, but I enjoyed the job, got a decent amount of time off, and traveled, staying in hostels or camping on Maui or whatever, I gotta admit, it was rather sweet......WAS

These days the damed regional never says no to new routes, and flies our ass off all summer long. I've developed several bio-mechanical health problems (back, neck foot), probably at least partially from being stuck in a flight deck chair all day that impede on my quality of life and even though I have close to 3,000 hours of PIC the frat boys that run the majors just laugh at my application because while I was paying my dues for 10 dammed years I never got around to going further into debt and getting a degree.

Granted, I'm making a decent wage as a regional captain but my future looks like an endless stream of flow delays, broken airplanes, and overnights in FAR. I also hate training events, they never get easier, and they are always stressful and tedious.

I also become increasingly concerned about what my occupation is doing to the planet. There was a day when my ecological concerns were more of a hobby, electric cars and renewable energy is just cool and fun to think about (to me, many others don't seem to share this passion). But these days things look more and more dire. Coral reefs dyeing, sea levels rising, more and more extreme weather events and so on. Yes, there is an argument to be made for aircraft being a form of mass transit, MPG per head and all that, I've ran those numbers (yeah, I'm that nerdy). But as someone who actually knows what's going on and gives a ****, I feel maybe I should be part of the solution vs. part of the problem.

It's probably crazy leave a good paying career and start over, but my hearts just not in it anymore. Sure, there are aspects of flying I enjoy holistically, but the day to day tedium, and lack of work life balance is quickly driving me to burnout, it's just simply not fun anymore. And I could deal with it being less exciting than it was when I first started, that's only natural, IF I weren't spending almost ever damned waking moment of my life doing it.

Anyway, has anyone else gone this route? Instal solar panels? engineer wind turbines? Go into sustainable agriculture? Just spitballing here, I'm in the early stages of thinking about this.
It definitely sounds like you want a change in life. Can certainly understand that.

My hate for all things cubicle, PowerPoint, Excel, and long meaningless meetings brought me here.

The green industry is becoming less dependent on which administration is in office but I highly recommend you look at how any potential employer’s are doing financially.

Paying for more training, likely creating more debt, for a career that may have a “down cycle” because of who is president certainly needs to be considered by any realist.

Best of luck as you pursue your happiness.
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Old 07-20-2019, 12:48 PM   #3  
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Joined APC: Jan 2018
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I think leaving the airline pilot career field is THE ONLY SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE THING ANYONE senior to me CAN DO!
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