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Old 05-16-2016, 09:25 PM   #21  
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Originally Posted by FlyingPoke View Post
Count me as a 'No' if we're starting a poll.

I personally think being worth a bit less than my counterparts come reirement age is worth the time I will have spent watching my children grow up. All that money may be awfully lonesome come retirement age, or maybe not, but one lifestyle is definitely more prone to a harder home life.
No dog in this fight, BUT, IF you're willing to write off intl widebody flying from the income and career expectations of an airline job, the bolded above is then entirely within the realm of possibilities. I've watched peers do just that by staying narrowbody domestic. They're not on food stamps. Not every airline pilot is chasing the money. I'm actually glad most are chasing the dollar, it leaves some interesting niches within the seniority list to be able to maximize QOL in almost pedestrian-job levels, if you're willing to leave money on the table.

Of course, the question is, what's going to happen when flags of convenience destroy widebody payscales in the US, and everybody then retreat to narrowbody flying, effectively killing the lucrative nature to the career. At that point your assertion would stand; i.e. if you're gonna work for regional CA wages as a senior domestic mainline CA, you might as well do it at the post office and be home every night. But that's not here *yet*. So I'm inclined to still offer up my original point.
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Old 05-27-2016, 08:41 PM   #22  
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This was gonna be a really long post, but the truth is you just have to find what works for you...if you feel really passionate about LEO work, it'd be something I'd check out! If you get out and find that you really miss flying (even after instructing on the side) then you'll have a better frame of reference to make your decision.

The truth is, life is going to keep going...you're going to get older every day, month, and year..and the longer you keep putting off what you're wanting the longer you'll be wondering about what could have been. I'm not telling you to just jump at the first thing that's placed infront of you...but you owe it to yourself to find out what it is that you want to do, and what provides you a sense of satisfaction in your daily life. And that doesn't mean you'll run from one awesome job, to another awesome job...there will be hiccups and stumbles along the path, just try to learn something from each situation, and make the call that's right for YOU! Happy hunting!
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Old 05-29-2016, 08:31 AM   #23  
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I was a USMC fighter pilot and just retired after 29 years from a big 3 company as a Little bus captain. I quit because the job now sucks. You have to get doctors note when you are sick, ask permission to pee, work 13 to 14 hour days. You sit around crappy airports all day then go to Fargo for a layover. When I first started we had a ball. Now after 29 years I was halfway up the airbus list flying crap .

The pay for what we have to do is really low, but management pays themselves a lot. You are basically a cost to the company. They would fly drones if they could get away with it. There is a reason there is a pilot shortage. It's because it sucks. Get out while you are young while you can . Btw you get 2 bucks an hour per diem. Might get you a. Burger in JFK
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Old 05-30-2016, 07:05 PM   #24  
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I was a USMC fighter pilot and just retired after 29 years from a big 3 company as a Little bus captain. I quit because the job now sucks. You have to get doctors note when you are sick, ask permission to pee, work 13 to 14 hour days. You sit around crappy airports all day then go to Fargo for a layover. When I first started we had a ball. Now after 29 years I was halfway up the airbus list flying crap .

The pay for what we have to do is really low, but management pays themselves a lot. You are basically a cost to the company. They would fly drones if they could get away with it. There is a reason there is a pilot shortage. It's because it sucks. Get out while you are young while you can . Btw you get 2 bucks an hour per diem. Might get you a. Burger in JFK
I think about leaving quite frequently and posts like this are always eye-opening. Consider, though, how much the managers at your Big Three airline are making. Maybe I'm off, but it seems like those in various analyst to middle-management type positions are making around $90k to $170k. Probably intellectually challenging work, but also long hours, weekend emails, bosses, stress, etc. Maybe flying does suck compared to when you started, but I bet it was still an easy job that you didn't have to take home with you, and you were probably making more than those managers just to show up, fly around and go home. I guess that's my hang up, leaving now probably means lower pay over a career, and with saving, retirement, etc. in mind, starting over from zero is tough to swallow.
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Old 06-28-2016, 04:07 AM   #25  
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Kinda in the same boat as you. This is my second shot at it. I'm in my late 30's and married with 2 kids. I love the flying part of it and even the travel benefits. Unfortunately you have to deal with everything else that comes with the life. I've been back in the cockpit for 6 months now and have been questioning it since I got here. It gets harder with the wife and kids especially when you take a $70k pay cut to do this. I know everyone says it will pay off but I will make the same money at a desk job in 10 years as an airline captain plus not to mention the $$ I missed out on in the next 5 years. This job is not for everyone, and I commend those that stick with it as a career. As for me, I like being home every night and having my routine with the kids. I don't gripe in the cockpit though because I don't like to bring my colleagues down and I know their situation is different. You're still young, try other things.
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Old 09-27-2016, 01:43 AM   #26  
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and I had your same feelings at the beginning of my career. I am writing to you from Europe, so I know that in terms of pilot lifestyle is a little bit different than from USA, but I hope to help you. While getting my ATPL at the age of 22 I got a degree in civil engineering and worked in corporate while being part time flying instructor (very part time: only twice, sometime once per week). I had my first job on an Embraer E175 at the age of 24 for the regional subsidiary of a national airline. I really hated it. Compared to the office job that I had before it was really really bad. After approximately 1 year and half I apply and got a job as a FO on the A320 on the mainline. I am based at the same base and fly to many of the airports that I used to fly, but it is a complitely different world. I would never come back to regional as well to corporate. What I strongly recommend is to hold on for a while more. Talking with many of my collegues I found out that disappointment and doing a job different from what you expected to do are common quotes. Everything change after a while
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Old 09-27-2016, 06:58 AM   #27  
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Personally, I think the problem appears that you are seeking some kind of life satisfaction in the front end of an airliner.

If that's the case, you won't find it. Ever.

I all ready had a 20-year career in the military where I was able to be intellectually and physically challenged, go on adventures, have excitement, worked on something that I believed had a purpose and where I thought I could make a difference -- all the stuff that you're seeking out in your job. I also spent a huge amount of time away from my family, and even when I was "at home", I had so much invested in what was going on at work, I never really spent much actual quality time with my family.

It was only after leaving the military that I realized what an empty pursuit it was to seek life fulfillment in my job.

So, now that I've crossed over into the airline flying world, I've realized that this job isn't about what you do for a living. Quite the opposite. This job is about the off-duty lifestyle that the schedule and money (eventually) allows you to have. Yes, there are lean years of less money and more work at the beginning...but that is all an investment on a bigger payoff down the road.

Even at a regional job I was commuting to, I had more quality time at home than I ever did in the military. When I'm at home, I'm 100% at home and there's no intrusion of work into my life. I can take the kids to school, go to lunch with my wife, do whatever hobbies make me happy, and not even think about work until next week or whenever I have to go back.

My recommendation is to stick with the airlines, but have you thought about joining the reserve military on the side? Have you pursued other interesting avenues of flying? Go learn aerobatics, or do some formation flying, or learn how to fly a big taildragger, or get a seaplane rating, or fly gliders....If you are looking for flying things that are satisfying achievements, you're going to have to look somewhere outside the airlines. And, interestingly enough, being an airline pilot will afford you the time and money to go chase these things to keep you excited!
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Old 09-27-2016, 07:03 AM   #28  
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Hacker is right. You can have it all, but not all at the same time.
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Old 10-08-2016, 02:36 AM   #29  
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I think part of the problem is getting caught up in the idea that airlines are the be all and end all; they certainly pay well, but I found in my own career that the bigger the airplane, the less I enjoyed it. When I started flying corporate, I wondered why anyone would do anything else - it was so nice going to the other side of the airport in a spotless aircraft (and that difference is even more striking post '911). Point is, there are a lot of ways to make a living in aviation, so maybe consider a different lane on the same highway.
If you do quit, I think you'll find flying is a hard game to walk away from - it's got that mystique about it still, "Oooh, you're a pilot?!" Your ego will take a beating, but there are a lot of careers out there that may be more fulfilling for you if you have the courage to leave the "romance" of flying (lol) behind and become a "civilian" again.
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Old 02-28-2017, 11:26 AM   #30  
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Funny, over 10 years into the career and a few years into my current regional airline I still like the job itself, but being on the road, commuting and my current situation involving an investigation into a mishandled equipment malfunction that doesn’t threaten my job but will probably end up in my PRIA record has me thinking of a career change.

I want to leave this country anyway, far-right nationalists and an insane, narcissistic clown as president are making a society that already had few redeeming qualities far-worse. Not sure where I’d go, maybe get an electrical engineering degree and start designing solar systems for a developing country? Not only is renewable energy what must pragmatically done to save the planet, it has virtually unlimited growth potential. Strong inclination to go from a job that involved dumping tons of CO2 into the atmosphere to one that helps solve our global problems. If I want to scratch the aviation itch I can always fly an ultralight or sailplane on my days off.
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