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Old 07-07-2006, 06:38 AM   #1  
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Default For the love of Flying

To me the idea that a career as an airline pilot should pursued simply for the "love of flying" seems absurd and short sighted. We all love flying but the price for entry is so high that it demands a significant return in trade to be rationally considered as a viable form of employment. If we have reached a point where the best that most can hope for it to earn as much as a UPS delivery man as a regional pilot then the entire endeavor is ludacris. Become a ski instructor or surf bum for the "love" of it. They don't have a ten year and 150K price tag for entry. I think that it is essential that those evaluating the career should measure the income potential against the costs. If they did then perhaps we would have a lot fewer unemployed pilots around.

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Old 07-07-2006, 07:10 AM   #2  
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I think "for the love of flying" applies to some people. You have to recognize that some folks out there are trust fund babies and have had things handed to them on a platter. Not mentioning any names but I know folks from CAPT that had their entire tuition PAID IN FULL and their COST OF LIVING paid in full. And to add to the silver platter, they have significant others that work and make good money. At the end of the day, you got these pilots that see $18K for that first year as a non issue. They don't have to worry about paying bills or eating like crap to save money. So in essence, they're doing it because of their love of flying.

For the rest of us who had to beg, borrow, steal, and murder to get the money to enter the industry, yeah, that whole love of flying also applies. Why else would we beg, borrow, steal, and murder to get the money to get into flying if we don't love it?

The fundamental absurdity is paying a tremendous amount of money to make a tremendously low salary. You can make six figures driving a truck, or you can become a cop, do next to nothing (not to say all cops do this), and be guaranteed a great salary and a guaranteed pension. I know cops on Long Island that makes six figures, have days off, do next to nothing (because animal crime is low on the island vs. city), and they are guaranteed a sick pension plan after 20 years (you can do more years if you want).

So if it isn't for the love of flying, I don't know why anyone would want to do this. It certainly isn't for the money. Not unless you make it into the majors or cargo.
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Old 07-07-2006, 08:23 AM   #3  
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Default True

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying Ninja
I think "for the love of flying" applies to some people. You have to recognize that some folks out there are trust fund babies and have had things handed to them on a platter. Not mentioning any names but I know folks from CAPT that had their entire tuition PAID IN FULL and their COST OF LIVING paid in full. And to add to the silver platter, they have significant others that work and make good money. At the end of the day, you got these pilots that see $18K for that first year as a non issue. They don't have to worry about paying bills or eating like crap to save money. So in essence, they're doing it because of their love of flying.

For the rest of us who had to beg, borrow, steal, and murder to get the money to enter the industry, yeah, that whole love of flying also applies. Why else would we beg, borrow, steal, and murder to get the money to get into flying if we don't love it?

The fundamental absurdity is paying a tremendous amount of money to make a tremendously low salary. You can make six figures driving a truck, or you can become a cop, do next to nothing (not to say all cops do this), and be guaranteed a great salary and a guaranteed pension. I know cops on Long Island that makes six figures, have days off, do next to nothing (because animal crime is low on the island vs. city), and they are guaranteed a sick pension plan after 20 years (you can do more years if you want).

So if it isn't for the love of flying, I don't know why anyone would want to do this. It certainly isn't for the money. Not unless you make it into the majors or cargo.
Ninja,

You have a good point. It seems more often that big university flight programs are playgrounds for wealthy kids who are trying to avoid real work. I think we could make a killing by opening an adventure sports college. Perhaps you could be the dean and we could have majors like Masters of Skiing and a B.S. in motor sports. However we still have pilots complaining about their student loans so some must be getting into flying with false expectations.

At my last airline we use to fly into JFK. We stayed in the Howard Johnson's near Rockefeller Center. Those days I spent on self guided walking tours of NYC were about the best and only thing I got out of my career.

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Old 07-07-2006, 09:42 AM   #4  
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I'm way too cynical to believe anyone's lifelong dream of flying is anything more than a lifelong dream to not have to get a real job.

Last edited by Uncle Bose; 07-07-2006 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 07-07-2006, 09:55 AM   #5  
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I feel that ALL pilots got into this profession because of a "love for flying." I truly do. I don't think anything started flight training without some sort of passion for flying. I know I have personally never met a student who did not enjoy flying. Have you? If so, why would you endevour down the road of spending tens of thousands of dollars. All that time, all that effort, all that money... for something you don't enjoy!

Go and ask a bunch of six year olds what they want to be when they grow up. I promise you will hear a bunch of them say a pilot. Perhaps it was from when they went to an airshow, perhaps they saw the blue angels fly over, or they stuck their head inside the cockpit of a 747, and said to theirselves, "WOW!" I stuck my head in a doctor's office when I was 6, but I can promise you it was not nearly as awe inspiring as a 747 flight deck!

I have met pilots all up and down the line. Student pilots, private pilots, commercial pilots, CFI's, regional FO's, fractional pilots, corportate pilots, MANY major airline pilots, and even management/training captains. I can honestly say I have never met a pilot who did not have a passion for aviation. They all love to talk about their jobs. They all love teaching others (mentoring). Do you ever notice that pilots love to talk about being pilots??


Let me tell you a little about my passion. After my freshman year in college, I really wanted to get a job on the flight line at SFO. I was told that they only hire long term employees, and I decided to start applying for other jobs. I came in and met with the GM, told him why I wanted to work there (my passion for aviation), and he gave me the job. Next week, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (ya, that's NASA) offered me a summer internship, and I turned it down (given it was somewhat of a paper shuffling job). Turned out to be a good decision. I met a tremendous amount of pilots that I still keep in touch with to this day (4 years later).

Why did I turn down NASA? I have no desire to be an engineer the rest of my life. I don't want to work Monday to Friday, 9-5, sitting in a desk. I would take flying any day of the week. I have many friends that are barely a year out of college, making anywhere from 60-70k a year. But I promise you that none of them enjoy their job nearly as much as me. And I guarentee you they work twice as much as me, and they work more than twice as hard. Money isn't everything. I want to enjoy what I do. Also, when I was working an internship designing VLJ's, I would tell people that I was working on an airplane that would revolutionize aviation as we know it. But no one gave A DAMN! But if I told them I went flying that day, the flood gates were open. Where did u go? How fast? How long did that take? What was it like? WOW!

Ok, I strayed from the topic. My bad. My point is I love aviation. I have met hundreds of pilots in my life; all up and down the latter. I have never met a pilot who did not have a passion for aviation! If you are a pilot, and you don't have a passion for aviation, please post. Tell me. It will be the first I've heard.

Last edited by ryane946; 07-07-2006 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 07-07-2006, 10:03 AM   #6  
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I think the concepts of "love of flying" and "love of flying for a living" should be differentiated. Meaning, sure, everyone going into it has a love of flying, but it's a good bet the vast majority of those who have decided the sacrifices involved in flying for a living are worth it are kidding themselves.

Last edited by Uncle Bose; 07-07-2006 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 07-07-2006, 10:21 AM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bose
I''m way too cynical to believe anyone's lifelong dream of flying is anything more than a lifelong dream to not have to get a real job.
Expressed very similar sentiments a couple of months ago. The teeth-gnashers, and name callers lit up the board in shocked protest. One driver made me the first ever member of his personal ignore list...a badge of honor considering the source.

ryane946:
Quote:
If you are a pilot, and you don't have a passion for aviation, please post. Tell me. It will be the first I've heard.
After almost 37 years...the passion departed the fix a long time ago.
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Old 07-07-2006, 10:28 AM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2dotslow
After almost 37 years...the passion departed the fix a long time ago.
Sorry, I didn't know what a ring knocker is, and now I don't understand what you mean by the passion having departed the fix. What's a fix? (Yeah, I know, I'm probably the only one here who doesn't get it. Sorry).
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Old 07-07-2006, 10:46 AM   #9  
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Vagabond,
I believe he is referring to the fix as an analogy in reference to departing the initial approach fix or final approach fix. You call it in an instrument approach procedure as a reference point to where in the sky you are located. Of course i could be wrong because we are talking 37 years experience to 2 but that is what i took it as. The fix being just a point in his life that he passed, a checkpoint if you will.

I am not very philosophical though so dont critique me too bad 2dots.

As for sky says, i totally respect his oppinion. I feel i am somewhat fortunate as i paid roughly 4k for my private, which i feel is alot and after using my VA benefits to complete my training i will be roughly 13k out of pocket which i will pay cash for out of my savings, so at the very least i will not be starting out in debt.

The more i look at the industry the less the majors appeals to me. Of course that is where the money is (if you ever get there) but from what i know of my own dream of flying, CRJ and larger jets does not fit the bill. I have mentioned in previous post that i think the dream for me is a small company like Cape Air or Linear flying nothing larger then a VLJ eclipse. The pay starts higher than the regionals to start (providing you have around 1500 hours TT) and i feel that with my wives nursing income combined with where i end up we can live comfortably within our means while still flying for the love.

I could be wrong though and i absolutely respect every oppinion here because i am going there, but you have been there and that is a big difference.

The part i am not looking forward too, although we have the savings and the wife has the job to cover it, is the time i will put in at 14 an hour flight instructing to build hours although i do value it for the experience. That part scares me a bit making such a low wage. I have often thought about instructing to 1000 TT or so and building multi and then maybe trying to get a banner tow position for variety.

Who knows..maybe i am just rambling here, but i think the love of flying is what you make it.
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Old 07-07-2006, 11:17 AM   #10  
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Quote:
usmc-sgt
I believe he is referring to the fix as an analogy in reference to departing the initial approach fix or final approach fix. You call it in an instrument approach procedure as a reference point to where in the sky you are located. Of course i could be wrong because we are talking 37 years experience to 2 but that is what i took it as. The fix being just a point in his life that he passed, a checkpoint if you will.

I am not very philosophical though so dont critique me too bad 2dots.
Real nice explanation, usmc. Your philosophical metaphor was just fine. Stay safe over there, and have a blast when you come home. Gluck in your flying endeavors, as well.
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