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Old 01-25-2009, 11:27 PM   #1  
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Default Is loving “it” enough? If not, what else is there?

Is loving “it” enough? If not, what else is there?

Thats the question that has haunted me for some time. Is loving “it” enough? It has, over time, become more and more clear that this industry isn't in a recession bound to bounce back with time like the rest of the economy. Its not cyclical, its in a down ward spiral, It has changed forever.

It used to be that you could make a good living by most standards and have a reasonable to good quality of life with the airlines as a pilot or even a flight attendant.
You would never be “rich” but would live a decent life. But as we see it and have seen it for the past 10 years, those days are long gone. Now its shady seedy motels and first year pay at a regional for the 3rd time for most of us.

For someone who is been beating this horse for 5 to 7 years, its becoming harder and harder to persuade myself to continue down this path for the later and better years to come. Seems to me they wont be better if there will be there at all in the absence of a furlough or what might go along the lines of ATA, Aloha, or even Midwest.

Ya its true that we love the job. But I think the issue of “loving” what you do has and should always take backseat to security and quality of life outside of work first. What good is it that I “love” what I do but I cant be home for my kids and wife? or cant be there for their graduation or birthdays? And worst of all can’t justify my absence, if at all possible, with at least some financial security. I might as well be home and broke...

There used to be a pension, no more. There used to be QAL at least past the “paying your dues” years. The “paying your dues” are now every year even for the double digit seniority numbered guys. The quality of life they have is better then mine but I sure would expect more after so many years of service.

The pay... even if one stayed long enough to retire from the industry today, chances are the average mean income of their career ( total of income throughout the years of service divided by years of service) will come to a number that most likely is shocking and at best not very impressive. This is to leave you with nothing more then a few stories in the autumn of your years.

I find it hard to convince myself to go on doing it... and I dont buy the argument of “what else can I do?!”

First you have to decide you want out and then worry about what you will do next. If you need out, if you want out, there will be an out and most likely one that will surprise you.

What keeps you guys going, and I mean truly hopeful, not looking at false hope or through rose colored glasses?

Is loving “it” enough? If not, what else is there?
Keep in mind when you answer that, in this business:

Your experience means NOTHING
Your dedication means NOTHING
Even if your “Sully” the Hudson Savior you are NOTHING but a number that restarts every time the company can convince a bankruptcy judge they dont have enough money to repaint the planes.

Share you thoughts

Dont start a fight in the thread, at least not in the first few pages.



Thanks.
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Old 01-25-2009, 11:35 PM   #2  
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This job isnt for everyone. I personally like having 15 days off each month, flight benefits to fly around the world and the ability to meet new people every day.

Pro's and Con's to it all but that is just it, it's not for everyone.
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Old 01-26-2009, 03:43 AM   #3  
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What you wrote, while true, could apply to any number of professions right now.

I'm curious - what job you would pursue that would offer all the things you want?
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Old 01-26-2009, 03:53 AM   #4  
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He would be the guy who works minimum wage, and wins the lottery when he is 47.

That would be the best job.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:20 AM   #5  
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Do you love the job, the entire package, or just the flying part?

For me, I love the flying...but I dislike everything before push back and after arrival. I can do without all the politics, problems, low pay, seedy hotels, starting over every time you change jobs, etc.

I don't think loving it is enough, but I'm not truly convinced you love it. You see it for what it is.

It has changed over the years, but there are some fundamentals. I read Ernest K. Gann's "Fate is the Hunter" - he started flying for American in the 1930's...and the way he described it from ground school to IOE to flying the line all sound like he did it yesterday!

The one thing that frightens me about the job outlook for this industry is the difficulty of getting on with the majors. When is the last time they hired in any big number? The regionals are looking like a dead end job.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:51 AM   #6  
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Despite the "down turn" the FAA is still forecasting by 2025 that air traffic will double. NextGen Implementation Plan

I suppose it would be safe to say that by 2025 that the FAA is forecasting a need to double the pilots?? I'll take all that with a grain of salt. However, there has been a very steady increase in air traffic and it hasn't stalled.

What this means for the state of this profession is still hard to determine. In my opinion, the only thing that will turn the state of this profession toward our favor is simply less people doing it. Supply and demand. The demand for air travel will increase. A lack of supply would help to turn pay and QoL higher.

Even with that said, something very fundamental will have to change with flight training to meet the demand that the FAA implies will be needed by 2025. The current system relies less on military pilots and more on civilian trained pilots. These students are investing way too much money into a profession that currently promises much less in return. The price is increasing while the expected return is decreasing. Maybe the entire industry will create a system of more streamlined training where the companies that need pilots train them from zero to minimum needed? I don't know. But it certainly seems like there is going to be a supply problem to meet the demand. The best you can do to help turn this industry around is to get out.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:59 AM   #7  
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also lets not forget, that as soon as age 65 people starting leaving there are mass numbers of retirements in the next 10 years. I saw a site that had the numbers for some of the majors and it was mind blowing how many people will be leaving.
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:00 AM   #8  
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Default Crummy Situation

It is terrible when a dream fails to meet it expectations. Either you can stay with flying in hopes that you will beat the odds or you can find the strength to turn your back on it to seek a better way of life.

Skyhigh
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:04 AM   #9  
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Default Pilot Shortage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyboyzz1 View Post
also lets not forget, that as soon as age 65 people starting leaving there are mass numbers of retirements in the next 10 years. I saw a site that had the numbers for some of the majors and it was mind blowing how many people will be leaving.
They have been saying that stuff since pilots first were created. Every pilot that leaves there is already three or four ready to take their place. The famous pilot shortage was created to sell magazines and pilot licenses. '

There might be a surge of retirements however the new jobs are being created in the regional and LCC's and not in the better paying legacy airlines.

Skyhigh
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:32 AM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmoKramer View Post
Is loving “it” enough? If not, what else is there?

Thats the question that has haunted me for some time. Is loving “it” enough? It has, over time, become more and more clear that this industry isn't in a recession bound to bounce back with time like the rest of the economy. Its not cyclical, its in a down ward spiral, It has changed forever.

It used to be that you could make a good living by most standards and have a reasonable to good quality of life with the airlines as a pilot or even a flight attendant.
You would never be “rich” but would live a decent life. But as we see it and have seen it for the past 10 years, those days are long gone. Now its shady seedy motels and first year pay at a regional for the 3rd time for most of us.

For someone who is been beating this horse for 5 to 7 years, its becoming harder and harder to persuade myself to continue down this path for the later and better years to come. Seems to me they wont be better if there will be there at all in the absence of a furlough or what might go along the lines of ATA, Aloha, or even Midwest.

Ya its true that we love the job. But I think the issue of “loving” what you do has and should always take backseat to security and quality of life outside of work first. What good is it that I “love” what I do but I cant be home for my kids and wife? or cant be there for their graduation or birthdays? And worst of all can’t justify my absence, if at all possible, with at least some financial security. I might as well be home and broke...

There used to be a pension, no more. There used to be QAL at least past the “paying your dues” years. The “paying your dues” are now every year even for the double digit seniority numbered guys. The quality of life they have is better then mine but I sure would expect more after so many years of service.

The pay... even if one stayed long enough to retire from the industry today, chances are the average mean income of their career ( total of income throughout the years of service divided by years of service) will come to a number that most likely is shocking and at best not very impressive. This is to leave you with nothing more then a few stories in the autumn of your years.

I find it hard to convince myself to go on doing it... and I dont buy the argument of “what else can I do?!”

First you have to decide you want out and then worry about what you will do next. If you need out, if you want out, there will be an out and most likely one that will surprise you.

What keeps you guys going, and I mean truly hopeful, not looking at false hope or through rose colored glasses?

Is loving “it” enough? If not, what else is there?
Keep in mind when you answer that, in this business:

Your experience means NOTHING
Your dedication means NOTHING
Even if your “Sully” the Hudson Savior you are NOTHING but a number that restarts every time the company can convince a bankruptcy judge they dont have enough money to repaint the planes.

Share you thoughts

Dont start a fight in the thread, at least not in the first few pages.



Thanks.

Man, you're getting too deep. Somebody take away that Kierkergard book he's reading.

I'd tell you my philosophy about most things in life. Jim Croce once said "if you dig it, do it. If you really dig it, do it twice". Just plain as that.
Don't let the bean counters and the crappy mgmt team take away from something you enjoy.
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