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My story on leaving

Old 03-01-2014, 05:45 PM
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Default My story on leaving

tl:dr; Took a four year leave. Got a new perspective on life. Got a JD. Working on my next career but will miss the jet.

I have not yet left, but the wheels are in motion. I thought I might share.

I started flying pre-9/11. My CFI ride was scheduled a week after but was postponed. I had already invested a great deal so I kept on trucking. It wasn't until 2008 that I got my regional airline gig.

I was offered a guaranteed choice of base and I chose LAX. My very, very first day of indoc they told us LAX bids that we had been displaced (Whatever that means, we didn't know yet). To this day, I never held LAX and the base is now closed. I learned a very valuable lesson that first day.

About a year later, my mother unexpectedly passed. When I asked for time off for the funeral and to grieve, I was told I was still on probation and the airline was about to furlough. They said it would be easier for them to just let me go. I was a great pilot, no sick days, no MAs, great reviews from probation captains. The chief pilot was just a dick who did this to a lot of pilots. I got the union involved and got some time off, but the writing was on the wall. I volunteered for a furlough spot and took 4 years off.

During the 4 years, I got my JD. While awaiting my bar exam results, I returned to the airline. I missed flying and worst case, I would get a new PIC type with the new regs.

I have been back for about 6 months. I am senior enough to hold a line but I get junior manned regularly. I commute across the country because I don't see a reason to move for a company that has closed three bases in as many years with rumors of closing more. Especailly not when they lied to me about my base on day one. I have been reminded of what airline life is, at least for me.

So, I have decided as much as I love the actually flying, the rest of the lifestyle isn't for me. Many people find it to be perfect for them, and good on them. But not for me. After four years at home, in my own bed every night, with more control of my life, involvement in friends and families lives, scheduled classes like swimming and metal work for fun, I realize my happiness comes from more than just a good landing.

I will miss the heck out of flying a jet and will continue flying GA. But I hope to make a better living and will make a point of doing the things I couldn't do if I was flying. I will emphasize family and friendship, growing as a person, and utilizing my time for the best. I know I will have days when I look at a jet overhead with tears in my eyes. I was very lucky to have experienced that. Now, I have to focus on being lucky to experience other things as well.

This life is short. I want a list of amazing accomplishments for myself when I am old. I want to try as much as I can in this life. I'm pretty sure despite the pain of leaving, I will still be happy.
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:15 PM
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Default My story on leaving

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."

-Jim Elliot
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:23 PM
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Default My story on leaving

Good luck man, I hope the JD does well for you. If what I heard is true, lawyers are pretty much the opposite of pilots right now. Something like the total number of people in law school outnumbers the amount of attorneys practicing law.
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:39 PM
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It's competitive, for sure. I have had some good leads and I'm looking at various ways to use the JD or my MBA. Something will turn up. In the meantime, it's not the worst to fly a jet until I find the right gig. It's nice to read the various success stories in this sub!
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