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Old 04-20-2017, 08:42 AM   #1
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Default Mil pilot to corporate job to airline?

I've read some examples of this and even know a few guys who did this and are happy now that they went back to flying, but just seeing if anyone else has any recent experience.

I separated from the AF, went to a corporate non-flying job, and while I don't HATE it, I also don't care about what I'm doing and know long term I will grow to hate it. I'm on a digital leash with hundreds of emails about a lot of nothing and deal with petty drama. AKA, management. I get paid really well for usually not doing much, but the job has nothing to do with flying and as a result I'm really missing it. I have no experience in the field that I am in and haven't developed a "care factor" for it in the 1 year and 3 months that I have been in this job.

I am pretty much sold on jumping to a regional and hoping for a major call but just wondering if anyone can relate to this? I feel like I had to see what else was out there and prove to myself that flying is maybe what I wanted all along. One of the reasons I got turned off of flying was the AF way of flying... TACC delays, MX, airman snuffy didn't do their CBTs in order to fly, CBRNE, ACDT, retaskings, mountains of paperwork to fly a local... etc.

Anyone else go through this "coming of age"?
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:36 AM   #2
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Those of us aviators (military and civilian) who have worked in corporate America tend to appreciate the airlines even more. Sometimes I roll my eyes when folks who have done professionally nothing but fly gripe about some of the tribulations of the airline world.

Military guys who are a good fit for the corporate world are typically trying hard to make O7. If that's not you... I might suggest the airlines.
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:55 AM   #3
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Maybe you should take some of disposable income from your good paying corporate job and start flying in the GA world where you won't have to deal with many (if any) of the things that you seemed to dislike about the military flying world.

This is a timely post because I was just complaining to a guy next to me (who was looking at his old SkyWest FAR cross reference cheat sheet thing) about how much EASIER it was flying in my military community than it is even in my P135 job - to which he replied - oh it is even worst in -121 world and then showed me his cheat book.

I've have to say from my perspective - if you didn't like the paperwork and the rules under military flying, you aren't going to like the world of P135/P121 flying.

Lots of people say that flying professionally takes the joy out of it and turns a passion into a job. I haven't found that to be true personally, but I am longing for some less *structured* flying too (or maybe I just miss going upside down sometimes!)

Best of luck in your decision.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:19 AM   #4
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Maybe you should take some of disposable income from your good paying corporate job and start flying in the GA world where you won't have to deal with many (if any) of the things that you seemed to dislike about the military flying world.



This is a timely post because I was just complaining to a guy next to me (who was looking at his old SkyWest FAR cross reference cheat sheet thing) about how much EASIER it was flying in my military community than it is even in my P135 job - to which he replied - oh it is even worst in -121 world and then showed me his cheat book.



I've have to say from my perspective - if you didn't like the paperwork and the rules under military flying, you aren't going to like the world of P135/P121 flying.



Lots of people say that flying professionally takes the joy out of it and turns a passion into a job. I haven't found that to be true personally, but I am longing for some less *structured* flying too (or maybe I just miss going upside down sometimes!)



Best of luck in your decision.

Thanks USMC.

That's interesting because what I hear from all my peers flying at the majors now says it is a lot EASIER there than it was in at least the Air Force. They say you mainly show up and just fly, which is NOT what I encountered in the AF.

Also, GA isn't fun for me. In some ways I do like the structure of IFR clearances because VFR flying is so foreign to me. I flew the big planes and I loved those. Also with the AF all the additional duties were priority to flying, so I dealt with constantly feeling non proficient. It's not that I don't want any paperwork; it's the paperwork not even related to anything that wore me out. And waiting hours on a broken jet before canceling!

There is something to be said for setting the parking brake and being truly done with work for the day. I don't have that now. Add that to zero interest in my job and this is why I'm likely changing courses.


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Old 04-20-2017, 11:27 AM   #5
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If you participate in GA flying only that might scratch the flying itch, but you'd still be slaving away in a job you said you will hate shortly.

Not sure why people are saying 121 flying is a hassle. I can't think of a flying situation that has less strings attached. I show up, I fly, have a couple cold ones on the layover (beach preferably), and go home. I don't file a flight plan, load bags, fuel the plane, arrange lodging, arrange transportation, put the airplane in the hangar, schedule maintenance, etc. I have a company email address that I haven't used in YEARS. I literally don't know what my password is. I haven't cared to seek out the name of my base chief pilot and he wouldn't know me either (thankfully) if we passed each other on the street.

I'd say give it a shot. The regionals are tough, but once you get to a destination major airline, life is not good, but great. At my company, we have a sim ride that is a 2 day event every 9 months and recurrent training every quarter that takes about 1.5 hrs on my computer in my t-shirt and boxers at the layover hotel. It's all considered work and therefore we're paid for our time. Pretty low in the hassle dept to me. Get to a major and you can bring home some good money, control your schedule to make it amazingly flexible, and you can even live where you want if you're willing to commute a few times per month. Some are even able to only have to commute 1 per month depending on aircraft and trip length.

I look at it this way when I'm in the back of the airplane getting deadheaded somewhere. I look around at the other passengers. All the corporate types are furiously typing away on their laptops even when stuck in a tube with "nothing" to do. Myself and the other deadheading pilots are sleeping, doing the crossword, or watching a movie.... That's about all there is to say.

PS- Forgot to add another biggy. No company politics. The seniority system ensures that everyone has fair ups when it comes to moving to the left seat or to the more desirable aircraft. If you don't like someone just bid around him/her and never talk to them again.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:28 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
Those of us aviators (military and civilian) who have worked in corporate America tend to appreciate the airlines even more. Sometimes I roll my eyes when folks who have done professionally nothing but fly gripe about some of the tribulations of the airline world.

Military guys who are a good fit for the corporate world are typically trying hard to make O7. If that's not you... I might suggest the airlines.


Absolutely the O7 prospect was never for me! Are you someone who has done returned to flying? My gut instinct is strong on this, which hasn't let me down in the past. It's a scary leap of faith like with any change in career but I feel I'm making the right decision on this. I know nothing is perfect but I've seen both sides now...


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Old 04-20-2017, 11:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMCFLYR View Post
Maybe you should take some of disposable income from your good paying corporate job and start flying in the GA world where you won't have to deal with many (if any) of the things that you seemed to dislike about the military flying world.

This is a timely post because I was just complaining to a guy next to me (who was looking at his old SkyWest FAR cross reference cheat sheet thing) about how much EASIER it was flying in my military community than it is even in my P135 job - to which he replied - oh it is even worst in -121 world and then showed me his cheat book.

I've have to say from my perspective - if you didn't like the paperwork and the rules under military flying, you aren't going to like the world of P135/P121 flying.

Lots of people say that flying professionally takes the joy out of it and turns a passion into a job. I haven't found that to be true personally, but I am longing for some less *structured* flying too (or maybe I just miss going upside down sometimes!)

Best of luck in your decision.
I guess it depends what branch/equipment you flew in the military and what airline you're at now. Because, I'd disagree with this, I was AF F16/T38. I find the Airline flying far easier, and much less work goes into it. Just set up the proper documents (all provided to you by someone else) on your iPad, and off to the races.

Also, you are paid according to how hard you work in the airlines. Work your ass off and make a lot, work a little and make less, as opposed to the Air Force, work your ass off most of the time and make the same regardless.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:39 AM   #8
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Absolutely the O7 prospect was never for me! Are you someone who has done returned to flying? My gut instinct is strong on this, which hasn't let me down in the past. It's a scary leap of faith like with any change in career but I feel I'm making the right decision on this. I know nothing is perfect but I've seen both sides now...


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How much are you making?

For me, I'd work a desk job and be at home if I could make $200K+ a year and a decent 401k contribution, 10% at least.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:52 AM   #9
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Default Mil pilot to corporate job to airline?

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How much are you making?

For me, I'd work a desk job and be at home if I could make $200K+ a year and a decent 401k contribution, 10% at least.


I make base pay $113k, with some time and a half thrown in.. so longterm I think airlines would pay out more especially since moving up the ladder is not something I'm interested in at my current job. Politics only get worse from where I am, again speaking specifically in my current job. I have no interest in even more emails, conference calls, late night phone calls and knee jerk reactions. So I wouldn't move up a whole lot more on the pay scale mainly by choice.


EDIT: I should add that I am not home every night in this job. In fact I already spend 4-5 nights in a hotel and will do so for the upcoming months. I am already used to being gone and don't mind that. I do get holidays off now but it never really bugged me much when I used to miss those frequently in the AMC world.

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Old 04-20-2017, 11:55 AM   #10
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I am in a similar situation. Largely a management/staff role (albeit in an aviation department) and most of my day is spent in meetings, dealing with drama, putting out fires, or dealing with vendors/contractors. Big money ($150k) but big headaches. However I am off 99.99% of all major holidays and weekends, and go home at 530 PM each day.

Will be able to retire with a pension at age 50 (3 years away) and am actually considering the major airlines. Even considering the regionals, with my pension in-hand, I will not be completely at the soup kitchen, at least not everyday.

So.....
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