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Is It Worth Becoming A Pilot?  
User currently offlineKlm77 From Canada, joined Sep 2009, 170 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 7658 times:

I'm sure this has been asked before, but I want to ask it in the position that i'm in. When I graduated high school, I went towards my "dream" of becoming a pilot... I'm in second year now and have my PPL and I simply don't enjoy it that much... I find there's too much crap in my school and in aviation in generally and at this point i'm rather turned off by the idea of becoming a pilot as my only goal was to be an airline pilot one day. I started seeing things aren't as bright and beautiful on the inside as they are from out... maybe i'm getting a bad vibe for the wrong reasons, so I really want some input from people who are in the industry, pilots or not, because at this point my love for flying is rather dead... I don't get that "feeling" I once used to.

Note: I realize there's crap in every single field imaginable out there...

37 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinejetblueguy22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 2807 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (11 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 7620 times:
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Quoting Klm77 (Thread starter):
I find there's too much crap in my school and in aviation in generally and at this point i'm rather turned off by the idea of becoming a pilot as my only goal was to be an airline pilot one day

I'm a third year aviation student. I've had crap thrown at me nonstop, so I understand where you are coming from. I entered this field thinking someday I'll be flying a 777 to Asia. But that desire has diminished somewhat. I think one thing that sets aviation apart from say a business major is that you have to know as much as humanly possible, or else your life is on the line. As my professor once put it "You need a 76 to pass. But what 24% would you not want to know in an emergency?"

Quoting Klm77 (Thread starter):
I started seeing things aren't as bright and beautiful on the inside as they are from out

I think once you start to dig deeper you are going to find flaws with everything. But especially with aviation there was once this glamour behind it, but it has long since departed.

Quoting Klm77 (Thread starter):
because at this point my love for flying is rather dead... I don't get that "feeling" I once used to.

Now I don't know you, so do with this advice as you wish, but I'd probably move on to a different field. If you are going to sink a ton of money into it just because you've already started you are only going to regret it. Do something you love and continue to love everyday. My roommate finished his private pilot's license and had some difficulty. But he figured he'd push on. Well he really struggled for a while and decided to just give it up. He sunk 30k into his training. His major now? Fisheries and Wildlife. He has no use for his PPL or the instrument training he had almost completed. He went from hating school to really enjoying it and frankly doing a whole heck of a lot better grade wise.

You still have your PPL so you have the ability to go out and enjoy flying. But it doesn't mean you have to make a career out of it. Every once in a while I like to go out and rent a plane and fly for me. Don't go out with an agenda. No steep turns, no stalls, any of that stuff. Just actually fly for myself and enjoy it. That's when that love for aviation comes back. If you are really on the fence try it. Aviation can be a ton of fun. But it can also be stressful and demanding.
Best of luck with your decision.
Pat



All of the opinions stated above are mine and do not represent Airliners.net or my employer unless otherwise stated.
User currently offlinepilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (11 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 7599 times:

You have to enjoy what you do. If you don't, get out. Quality of life is far more important than money. Once your basic needs are met it's all about being happy.

I think one of the big issues with the whole pilot career is the fact that too many people let it define their entire life. You aren't KLM: avid cyclist, or fisherman, or artist, or world traveler. You're KLM: pilot. Here is a simple fact: somewhere along the line, the romance of it all goes away and it becomes a job like any other. Many people like it. I did not. I was at a point where just hearing a jet fly over my house made me sad because I started thinking about going to work. I found another career within aviation that makes me very happy.

Your mileage may vary and I think your note is very important. Finding something you enjoy doing is most important. Finding something you can do every day and be happy returning to it right after a bad day is the difference between that thing being a career, and keeping it as a hobby.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 1):
"You need a 76 to pass. But what 24% would you not want to know in an emergency?"

Perhaps the 24% is found elsewhere outside of aviation. Critical thinking and management skills often come into play in successful emergency outcomes long before rote systems knowledge.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 1):
His major now? Fisheries and Wildlife. He has no use for his PPL or the instrument training he had almost completed.

I beg to differ. Many states' fish and wildlife agencies as well as biologists utilize aviation extensively. In fact combining the two would be my dream job. While furloughed I applied for a couple positions that I likely would have been in the running for with the degree your friend will have.



DMI
User currently offlinejetblueguy22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 2807 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (11 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 7569 times:
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HEAD MODERATOR

Quoting pilotpip (Reply 2):
Perhaps the 24% is found elsewhere outside of aviation. Critical thinking and management skills often come into play in successful emergency outcomes long before rote systems knowledge.

Critical thinking skills are absolutely important. But if you are lacking the proper information you need the critical thinking may not help all that much.

Quoting pilotpip (Reply 2):
I beg to differ. Many states' fish and wildlife agencies as well as biologists utilize aviation extensively. In fact combining the two would be my dream job. While furloughed I applied for a couple positions that I likely would have been in the running for with the degree your friend will have.

They do absolutely have those positions, but wouldn't a commercial license be needed? He's only a Private Pilot.
Pat



All of the opinions stated above are mine and do not represent Airliners.net or my employer unless otherwise stated.
User currently offlinewilco737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9077 posts, RR: 76
Reply 4, posted (11 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 7548 times:
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Quoting Klm77 (Thread starter):

The question cannot be answered by anybody else than by you.

We can only give our opinions if we do enjoy it. Do I enjoy being a pilot? Oh hell I do! I am flying for 10 years now and I really love my job.

Sure there are ups and downs, but when I look back on the 10 years it is a great job I am still loving to do.

Being a pilot is not as glamorous as it has been 50 or so years ago. It is a job and it pays your bills in the end.

Times are different these days. More flight hours, less rest time, tighter schedules etc. It is not that you fly somewhere (long haul) and stay there a week (well sometimes you do if there is only once a week flight, but that is not often) and then head back. Usually it is a lot shorter. Advantage: you are back home quicker. Usually my trips are 3-4 days long. So not too long.
Sleeping can be tough sometimes with the different working times, night flights, jetlaggs etc. But many people who work in shifts encounter sleeping problems.

It is something you need to be aware of before actually getting into a cockpit of an airliner. There are holidays you won't be home, birthdays of family members you will miss etc.

Would I do it again and become a pilot? Yes, I would. but I can only speak for myself.

wilco737
  



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17068 posts, RR: 66
Reply 5, posted (11 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 7543 times:

Not a professional pilot but I've experienced the travel, the irregular hours and the jetlag as much as any pilot. Setting aside the work itself, being a pilot is one of those jobs where you travel a lot and you tend to work odd hours. Personally I hated being in an office doing regular hours. I was surrounded by many people who loved it. They ate in the corporate cafeteria every day and said the food was "fine for what you pay". They got to work at the same time every day and left at the same time every day. Their desks and cubes were islands of stability and unchanging routine. Just thinking of spending years and decades in such an environment made me want to run outside and scream.

The jobs I really enjoyed involved lots of travel and irregular hours. It's not for everyone. New employees would have stars in their eyes when they went on their first business trip. I didn't hate sleeping in a hotel room 200 days a year but it had definitely lost its glamour after a few months and years.

Which kind of person are you?

Moving on from that, the modern idea that you should "figure out what you love and do that" is IMHO a bit of a myth since you cannot truly love a job until you have learned to do it well. Love is not at first sight but grows with time. As an extension to that, the first (or second, or third) career you embark on need not be your last. It is easy at 20-25 years of age to think of a career choice as an irreversible, permanent decision, but it certainly is not. Not that this means you should't give a career your all, but know you can always change your mind if you gave it your best shot and after five or ten or fifteen years you decide you need a change. Just don't give up too quickly.

http://www.chickenwingscomics.com/comics/2013-11-12-cw0655.jpg

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 3):
Quoting pilotpip (Reply 2):
I beg to differ. Many states' fish and wildlife agencies as well as biologists utilize aviation extensively. In fact combining the two would be my dream job. While furloughed I applied for a couple positions that I likely would have been in the running for with the degree your friend will have.

They do absolutely have those positions, but wouldn't a commercial license be needed? He's only a Private Pilot.

If he already almost has his IR, refreshing, getting his IR and then his CPL would not be too long a slog assuming he has the hours requirements.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3790 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (11 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 7504 times:

A flying job?

It's incredibly complicated to get the proper licenses and ratings, not to mention expensive.
Then getting the necessary experience that would get you a job with an airline is and adventure altogether, probably more expenses there...

If and when you do finally get that airline job you long dreamt of, the reality starts to sink in:

-The money is really not as good as one would expect, certainly not as good as it used to be, and the trend vector is not pointing in the right direction for the pilot body.
-The sense of self satisfaction one should get when finally getting to sit behind the controls of a nice big jet quickly wears off when the overall stress level rises. There's the responsibility. There's the constant training and checking. Every 6 month, a fellow pilot you've never met will torture you in a sim and threaten to tell you you're not good enough. And if it's not him, then there's always the doctor, waiting around the corner, who will not even flick an eyebrow before putting out of a career due to a minor ailment, even one which would otherwise not affect your life in any way had you had another job.
-There's the job instability. Even the best airlines out there operate on ludicrously small margins. The slightest downturn, the slightest crisis anywhere sends everybody deep in the red, trying to fire and furlough their way back to profitability. You get really good at dealing with moving companies.
-Airline management types stopped being aviation enthusiasts a long time ago. Now they're just money enthusiasts, meaning they will stop at nothing, no shameless scrutiny, no superfluous humane feeling, to try and gnaw at your conditions and benefits. Relentlessly. And successfully.
-There's the unstable lifestyle, the sleep deprivation and ensuing physiological repercussions, the high divorce rate...
-And there's the airline food.

All in all, if you have to even question why you're doing it, then I would say the answer is no. No one in their right mind would.
The thing is, most pilots do not ever question it. They are born with the need for flying and the desire to just do that, and nothing else. Nothing as trivial as any of the above would ever put the shadow of a doubt in their minds.
Flying is a passion. A very few and very lucky will manage to pull off a comfortable and stable life out of it, most will just endure it like a chronic disease for the rest of their life, but none will be able to do anything about trying to be a pilot.

Save yourself if you can. You've been warned.
 



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4594 posts, RR: 77
Reply 7, posted (11 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7485 times:
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Quoting Klm77 (Thread starter):
. I'm in second year now and have my PPL and I simply don't enjoy it that much..

Reading your post I have the feeling that the flame has died.
You talk about *crap* without being too specific ( is it about the theory part or conversations, or attitudes of people around you ?..)

Aviation is really a different world and in the USA, only those with the *sacred flame* will succeed through all the obstacles, and the hard duty hours, and the seniority list, and the obliged path through third level aviation before even considering airline flying...which may not happen in the end...

That sort of path needs patience, dedication, enormous will to achieve one's goals and above all : love of flying.
If you're not happy at the controls of a flying machine, for whatever reasons ( be it the feeling of *being in control*, gazing at the world below you with a different viewpoint, challenging the weather... or more intellectually finding applications of your studies ... ), by all means, give it up : this trade is not for you.

You could find many other challenges that fulfill your ambitions and personality.

On a very personal point, I had a look at your profile : "respected members" = 0, "respected by members" = 0.
It denotes an attitude which would fit a loner.
Loners don't succeed in our field, I'm afraid.



Contrail designer
User currently offlineklm77 From Canada, joined Sep 2009, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (11 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7415 times:

Quoting Pihero (Reply 7):

On a very personal point, I had a look at your profile : "respected members" = 0, "respected by members" = 0.
It denotes an attitude which would fit a loner.
Loners don't succeed in our field, I'm afraid.

This made me chuckle... look at my profile and you'll notice I only have 158 posts (AKA I don't come on this site often to post) so please don't judge me based on that, you don't know who I am.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 7):
You talk about *crap* without being too specific ( is it about the theory part or conversations, or attitudes of people around you ?..)

Attitudes of people around me

Quoting Pihero (Reply 7):
That sort of path needs patience, dedication, enormous will to achieve one's goals and above all : love of flying.

Love of flying, I enjoy it every time I get behind the control column of a 172, it is a great feeling, but
to quote

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 1):
Here is a simple fact: somewhere along the line, the romance of it all goes away and it becomes a job like any other. Many people like it. I did not. I was at a point where just hearing a jet fly over my house made me sad because I started thinking about going to work. I found another career within aviation that makes me very happy.

when I say dead I mean the "romance" isn't there anymore. It's not like I hop in the plane and can't wait to get out, there just isn't that something there that I once thought there was... I may not be giving the right impression but it's hard to put in words and words as "dead" may be too stong

Quoting francoflier (Reply 6):
-The money is really not as good as one would expect, certainly not as good as it used to be, and the trend vector is not pointing in the right direction for the pilot body.
-The sense of self satisfaction one should get when finally getting to sit behind the controls of a nice big jet quickly wears off when the overall stress level rises. There's the responsibility. There's the constant training and checking. Every 6 month, a fellow pilot you've never met will torture you in a sim and threaten to tell you you're not good enough. And if it's not him, then there's always the doctor, waiting around the corner, who will not even flick an eyebrow before putting out of a career due to a minor ailment, even one which would otherwise not affect your life in any way had you had another job.
-There's the job instability. Even the best airlines out there operate on ludicrously small margins. The slightest downturn, the slightest crisis anywhere sends everybody deep in the red, trying to fire and furlough their way back to profitability. You get really good at dealing with moving companies.
-Airline management types stopped being aviation enthusiasts a long time ago. Now they're just money enthusiasts, meaning they will stop at nothing, no shameless scrutiny, no superfluous humane feeling, to try and gnaw at your conditions and benefits. Relentlessly. And successfully.
-There's the unstable lifestyle, the sleep deprivation and ensuing physiological repercussions, the high divorce rate...
-And there's the airline food.

So I have heard and have been told by others, and that's what throws me off and away from it for the most part. The fact that aviation has become a business entity for the most part is what upsets me and that's where the glamor and professionalism dies (in my opinion, I may be wrong)

Quoting wilco737 (Reply 4):
Times are different these days. More flight hours, less rest time, tighter schedules etc. It is not that you fly somewhere (long haul) and stay there a week (well sometimes you do if there is only once a week flight, but that is not often) and then head back. Usually it is a lot shorter. Advantage: you are back home quicker. Usually my trips are 3-4 days long. So not too long.
Sleeping can be tough sometimes with the different working times, night flights, jetlaggs etc. But many people who work in shifts encounter sleeping problems.

To me I find that the best part and I have accepted most of the duties that come with the job, I love the feeling of traveling and being away for the most part


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17068 posts, RR: 66
Reply 9, posted (11 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 7402 times:

Quoting klm77 (Reply 8):
Quoting Pihero (Reply 7):
You talk about *crap* without being too specific ( is it about the theory part or conversations, or attitudes of people around you ?..)

Attitudes of people around me

If you think people have bad attitudes at a school, just wait until you work for a large corporation. Lots of people who are a total waste of space, but that's just the way it is. You have to learn to work with those people as well. There will always be things in a job at a big company that annoy you. You have to find strength in yourself, not expect every day to be fun because you'll always work with interesting people who share your views.

This applies to pretty much any job.

Quoting klm77 (Reply 8):
The fact that aviation has become a business entity for the most part is what upsets me and that's where the glamor and professionalism dies (in my opinion, I may be wrong)

This sounds a bit naive I'm afraid. Commercial aviation is by and large made up of business entities that must make a profit to survive (national airlines supported by tax money are rapidly becoming a thing of the past). Corporations aren't charities. Even an avowed aviation nut like Richard Branson wants his airlines to make him a profit.

This does not mean that professionalism has to die. Look at companies like LH, BA, AF, CX, SQ, QF. Generally profit making while still maintaining very high standards.

You should not go into aviation, or any other job, thinking that everyone else shares your passion for the industry. Most people working at an airline aren't there because they love aviation.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineklm77 From Canada, joined Sep 2009, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (11 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 7393 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 9):
If you think people have bad attitudes at a school, just wait until you work for a large corporation. Lots of people who are a total waste of space, but that's just the way it is. You have to learn to work with those people as well. There will always be things in a job at a big company that annoy you. You have to find strength in yourself, not expect every day to be fun because you'll always work with interesting people who share your views.

This applies to pretty much any job.

I have worked enough in other fields to know this by now, so I realize this although it may seem like I don't

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 9):
This sounds a bit naive I'm afraid. Commercial aviation is by and large made up of business entities that must make a profit to survive (national airlines supported by tax money are rapidly becoming a thing of the past). Corporations aren't charities. Even an avowed aviation nut like Richard Branson wants his airlines to make him a profit.

This does not mean that professionalism has to die. Look at companies like LH, BA, AF, CX, SQ, QF. Generally profit making while still maintaining very high standards.

You should not go into aviation, or any other job, thinking that everyone else shares your passion for the industry. Most people working at an airline aren't there because they love aviation.

I realized that late and it's kind of sad in some sense, but then again most jobs people do just cause and not because they like it, whether it's doctors, pilots, or people in the aviation field.

[Edited 2013-11-13 05:47:11]

User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4594 posts, RR: 77
Reply 11, posted (11 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 7374 times:
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Quoting klm77 (Reply 8):
So I have heard and have been told by others, and that's what throws me off and away from it for the most part.
The money
True . You don't get into this job for it. Put it as :*could eventually be a side benefit*

The sense of self satisfaction one should get when finally getting to sit behind the controls of a nice big jet quickly wears off when the overall stress level rises.
Stress is an unescapable part of the job. Either you can deal with it and embrace it or you look for something else.

There's the responsibility.
Actually it is one of the most desired criteria of the job : We like the responsibility of a flight, our duty to our passengers being the most important. It is part of my favourite aspects of airline flying.

There's the constant training and checking. Every 6 month, a fellow pilot you've never met will torture you in a sim and threaten to tell you you're not good enough.
Rubbish... Most TRI/TREs are there to help you understand your job, train you to be a better pilot, a better operator and teach you new procedures. Every base check is preceded by a training session and a classroom tutorial.
Of course, and it's not well known outside the profession, you will spend a lot of time keeping abreast of the evolution of aircraft systems : When I started studying, I had to know the intricacies of lamps : diodes, triodes, tetrodes...etc..., then there was the transistor revolution, printed circuit board... then the digital circuits... In navigation, I had a great deal of info on dead reckoning, the polar path compass, celestial nav, the Loran and Consol... before hitting on Omega/VLS, the first inertial platforms ... into modern ADIRS cum GPS.
All that required a great deal of self-study but I enjoyed it.

...then there's always the doctor, waiting around the corner, who will not even flick an eyebrow before putting out of a career due to a minor ailment, even one which would otherwise not affect your life in any way had you had another job.
Another red herring : More and more pilots who had a heart attack are still flying airline ops. Same with most physical ailments, cured by time, rest and a serious medical follow-up.

There's the unstable lifestyle, the sleep deprivation and ensuing physiological repercussions, the high divorce rate...
All that is also called *away from routine*, which IMHO a bonus of the job.
As for the high divorce rate, there are quite a few other professions with a worse score. I personally am living with the same lady for the past 35 years... and I'm not an exception ! One has to be sure that the girl one marries is mentally and intellectually quite solid.

And there's the airline food.
...which is a lot better than a few company cafeterias that I know of... besides, at destination, you'll have the opportunity of sampling the local, i.e. exotic food, something that will be alien to most people. ( Have you ever tasted a Senegalese tiboudiene, a Moroccan pigeon pastilla, an Indonesian real Rijstaffel ? )

[Edited 2013-11-13 06:26:30]


Contrail designer
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5053 posts, RR: 43
Reply 12, posted (11 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 7298 times:

Quoting klm77 (Reply 8):
Love of flying, I enjoy it every time I get behind the control column of a 172, it is a great feeling

THIS is why you fly!

Every time I push the thrust levers forward, I get a thrill. Every time I pop above the cloud into the sunlight I am reminded why I put with all the bullshit of the job. 30 years in and 23000+ hours and that has never changed.

The crap never leaves, it has been there 30+ years too. It's the price you pay for the best job on the earth.

Quoting klm77 (Reply 8):
Attitudes of people around me

This is common in a training environment. You are being trained by people that could never "make it" who are jealous of you ... because you might! That never ends too ... I just had a medical whereby the aviation physician spent 30 minutes telling me he could have been an airline pilot too, if he wanted!

If you give up, then THEY won!

The money has always been an issue. Its OK, better than most. I work 12 days a month and make about $20,000 a month. It's not the spending power my Dad had when he was an Air Canada Captain 30 years ago, but it's OK. And as many above state, not until the famed "pilot shortage" appears, it wont get any better.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 11):

Read this Gentleman's words. They say it better than any I have seen!



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineklm77 From Canada, joined Sep 2009, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (11 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 7276 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 12):
THIS is why you fly!

Every time I push the thrust levers forward, I get a thrill. Every time I pop above the cloud into the sunlight I am reminded why I put with all the bullshit of the job. 30 years in and 23000+ hours and that has never changed.

The crap never leaves, it has been there 30+ years too. It's the price you pay for the best job on the earth.
Quoting longhauler (Reply 12):
This is common in a training environment. You are being trained by people that could never "make it" who are jealous of you ... because you might! That never ends too ... I just had a medical whereby the aviation physician spent 30 minutes telling me he could have been an airline pilot too, if he wanted!

If you give up, then THEY won!





I thought about it this way in beginning before I started, I always said that I will never end up in the negative mind set and let no one push me down, yet here I am on the edge. I'm happy to hear that really the truth isn't as dark it seems, now it's more of a mindset rather then whether I really love it or not, the two can get mixed easily which is never a good thing.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 12):
The money has always been an issue. Its OK, better than most. I work 12 days a month and make about $20,000 a month. It's not the spending power my Dad had when he was an Air Canada Captain 30 years ago, but it's OK. And as many above state, not until the famed "pilot shortage" appears, it wont get any better.

That's great money! I would be a very happy person if I could someday end up there, but i've been hearing stories of that type of money not even being attainable anymore in the future, don't know if i'm being lead down the wrong path with that information and I would surely want to know more of what the situation is and is going to be


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17068 posts, RR: 66
Reply 14, posted (11 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 7120 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 12):
Quoting klm77 (Reply 8):
Attitudes of people around me

This is common in a training environment. You are being trained by people that could never "make it" who are jealous of you ... because you might! That never ends too ... I just had a medical whereby the aviation physician spent 30 minutes telling me he could have been an airline pilot too, if he wanted!

Ha!

I'm not even working commercially but I also hear this when people find out I have a CPL. "I was going to be a pilot blablabla. But then blablabla and blablabla." What these people don't seem to understand is that becoming a pilot, even only to the point of a CPL, is less about being Top Gun at the stick and more about long term hard work and perseverance.

It doesn't stop with piloting. I get the same comments about being an author. Every other guy seems to thinks he could have been an author if he had just "given it a shot". As a published author, I know that it is less about inspiration and "having something interesting to say" (surprise!) more about long term hard work and perseverance.

Moral of the story: Long term hard work and perseverance will get you far in life, and a surprising number of people don't understand this. Saying you could have done something without actually having done it is fooling yourself.

A related thing that peeves me is when people go the other way. Looking at me unicycling, I hear "I could never do that. I don't have good enough balance". Well, my balance is not better than average. I learned to unicycle through, guess what, hard work and perseverance. You just have to get through those first 4-6 hours of falling off after 2 seconds every single time, then the next 6-8 hours of getting two meters, and then keep at it. Keeping at it through the frustration seems to be beyond most people. The feeling of accomplishment afterwards is amazing though.

I try to teach my kids that unlike what reality shows tell us, there are no shortcuts to success. The idea that you can get on stage once and become a rock star because people will "see your talent and give you a shot" is a complete illusion.

But I digress.

Quoting klm77 (Reply 13):
Quoting longhauler (Reply 12):
The money has always been an issue. Its OK, better than most. I work 12 days a month and make about $20,000 a month. It's not the spending power my Dad had when he was an Air Canada Captain 30 years ago, but it's OK. And as many above state, not until the famed "pilot shortage" appears, it wont get any better.

That's great money! I would be a very happy person if I could someday end up there, but i've been hearing stories of that type of money not even being attainable anymore in the future, don't know if i'm being lead down the wrong path with that information and I would surely want to know more of what the situation is and is going to be

If you want more money for flying, look at jobs in the Middle East or East Asia. You will probably find better opportunities and more stability as well.

As a bonus, the airline food in East and Southeast Asia tends to be an order of magnitude better than what you find in North America. 



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlinepilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 15, posted (11 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 7083 times:

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 3):
Critical thinking skills are absolutely important. But if you are lacking the proper information you need the critical thinking may not help all that much.

Proper information is important. However that's not something you need a 4 year degree in aviation to acquire. Studying a degree path you enjoy outside of aviation has many benefits. In two of the three emergencies I've had as a professional pilot utilization of the crew members' experience outside of aviation was a massive aid. Modern aircraft don't have the need to build the airplane and quite frankly pilots have never had that need. There was a day when pilots needed that extensive knowledge because they started as mechanics, engineers, navigators and so on and the job was a much more manual skill task. Many of my professors had this attitude because guess when they learned? When that was needed because they started as engineers, mechanics, navigators, etc.

Automation has replaced those tasks. Quite frankly, when those things stop working, and the poo hits the prop the best thing to do is get on the ground. There have been a number of accidents that were much worse because pilots were trying to be mechanics and completely forgot that they had to fly the plane.



DMI
User currently offline7seven7 From Hong Kong, joined Nov 2013, 11 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (11 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 7001 times:

This thread actually made me join a'net!

It appears that quite a few people on this thread are quick to point out the negatives. As it's been said before - every industry will have its shortcomings. It's up to you to decide what will make you happy in life, and then try to obtain that. It's actually a fairly common theme for people in their 20s now to enter into a career path and then very quickly become discontent. In fact, that's how I (and a lot of the people I now fly with) entered aviation. It was a quick reroute after I'd entered the job market post university.

Now, you mention the 'crap' that comes with your course, and how you feel flying has lost its spark for you. Don't you think these could be related? It's worth mentioning that although lots of integrated or university courses associated with flying have a heck of a lot of crap, your local flying school or club might not. It's not necessary to learn to fly as part of a degree or diploma. The best fun I had when learning to fly was by being at a well run school, where everyone enjoyed their time and jobs and people had motivation and drive. These smaller schools with passionate people tend to foster an enjoyment of flying rather than churn you out for the sole purpose of making an impersonal buck.

As for a perspective on the industry from the inside (from a single guy in his late 20s): I love it.
-Pay, relative to my position across other comparable airlines, it is higher than average (although this could always be improved - no one wants to see their package diminish).
-Lifestyle - I work enough to reach my legal max hours in a 12 month period. Yet I spend half to two thirds of the month off. This is a byproduct of mostly long to ultra long haul flying, which doesn't suit everyone, but suits me perfectly. Obviously, I have a lot of friends that work in other airlines doing mostly shorthaul LCC sort of work - but they don't seem to have such a bad lifestyle either. Many get large chunks of days off, have short days or only occasional layovers. The truth is; most pilots I know have way more personal time than any banker/trader/doctor/professional office worker that I know of.
-Health: Despite what some people say about doctors ready to take your medical (and flying career) away from you, that's not what they're trying to do. Most health problems that pilots encounter are treatable, and likely to be detected early due to the frequency that we're checked. On top of that, airlines don't want to see their pilots, an expensive asset, thrown onto the street. They have the ability to accommodate you into other roles - ie sim instructor. Your medical costs are very likely covered by good medical insurance and extensive sick leave benefits. On top of that, the majority of professional pilots have insurance in case they do lose their medical, easily covering years of full pay and giving you the opportunity to find another career path.
-the WORK: It can be tiring. Frustrating. You will go through constant check and training, and on occasion, it can be a challenge. However, if you're well prepared and dedicated to giving it your best, it can also be fun and pretty straight forward. You can see some of the most amazing sites from the flight deck, whilst your friends in offices are staring at a cubicle wall. Layovers can give you a day or three to sample local food and culture, meet interesting people and have experiences that people don't normally have when they're "working". And believe it or not, you may actually really enjoy some of the people you work with.

Having said all that..

You ARE going to come across negative people if you stay in aviation. A lot of these people are just prone to complaining. They're going to be unhappy no matter what they're doing in their lives, and these sorts of people are most likely to be found trolling the boards of pprune etc. Others have genuine complaints, but are doing little to effect change in their lives or careers. The best people you are going to meet in aviation are the ones that are realistic and hard working - the ones that maintain a healthy work/life balance, so when they arrive on the flight deck... They're not upset about the life they're not living.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17068 posts, RR: 66
Reply 17, posted (11 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 6887 times:

Quoting 7seven7 (Reply 16):
Now, you mention the 'crap' that comes with your course, and how you feel flying has lost its spark for you. Don't you think these could be related? It's worth mentioning that although lots of integrated or university courses associated with flying have a heck of a lot of crap, your local flying school or club might not. It's not necessary to learn to fly as part of a degree or diploma. The best fun I had when learning to fly was by being at a well run school, where everyone enjoyed their time and jobs and people had motivation and drive. These smaller schools with passionate people tend to foster an enjoyment of flying rather than churn you out for the sole purpose of making an impersonal buck.


        

Quoting 7seven7 (Reply 16):
You ARE going to come across negative people if you stay in aviation. A lot of these people are just prone to complaining. They're going to be unhappy no matter what they're doing in their lives, and these sorts of people are most likely to be found trolling the boards of pprune etc.

Don't get me started. I tend to call pprune the "professional whining pilot's forum".



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineklm77 From Canada, joined Sep 2009, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (11 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 6887 times:

Quoting pilotpip (Reply 15):
However that's not something you need a 4 year degree in aviation to acquire. Studying a degree path you enjoy outside of aviation has many benefits. In two of the three emergencies I've had as a professional pilot utilization of the crew members' experience outside of aviation was a massive aid. Modern aircraft don't have the need to build the airplane and quite frankly pilots have never had that need.

While I do agree, the degree is more of a backup in case of something happening that wouldn't allow you to continue as a pilot, without it, you're going to have a hard time finding a job that pays as good or better then what you were getting paid.

Quoting 7seven7 (Reply 16):
Now, you mention the 'crap' that comes with your course, and how you feel flying has lost its spark for you. Don't you think these could be related? It's worth mentioning that although lots of integrated or university courses associated with flying have a heck of a lot of crap, your local flying school or club might not. It's not necessary to learn to fly as part of a degree or diploma. The best fun I had when learning to fly was by being at a well run school, where everyone enjoyed their time and jobs and people had motivation and drive. These smaller schools with passionate people tend to foster an enjoyment of flying rather than churn you out for the sole purpose of making an impersonal buck.

I know they are related, because I'm not the only one who feels the same. It's sad that it has to be like this. I have had the chance to experience a private club and can say it wasn't the greatest experience either (maybe it's just my luck...).


User currently offlineDarkSnowyNight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1377 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (11 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 6798 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 14):

It doesn't stop with piloting. I get the same comments about being an author. Every other guy seems to thinks he could have been an author if he had just "given it a shot". As a published author, I know that it is less about inspiration and "having something interesting to say" (surprise!) more about long term hard work and perseverance

No kidding. I started writing Science Fiction when I was in school about ten years ago. There were no books anywhere with my name on them until three years ago. Just about all of that time went in for getting the damned thing to life and in condition to be remotely "marketable". I'd hate to think how long it would have been had I tried writing anything in a real genre!  
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 14):

I'm not even working commercially but I also hear this when people find out I have a CPL. "I was going to be a pilot blablabla. But then blablabla and blablabla." What these people don't seem to understand is that becoming a pilot, even only to the point of a CPL, is less about being Top Gun at the stick and more about long term hard work and perseverance.

While you do see that, I think the "burned out instructor" bit is much more trope than reality. I know plenty of folks who do what they do because of better hours and/or just having more control over their lifestyles. I've been trying to hire my old CFI over to our firm for a year now. No luck thus far. There's more to aviation than airline work.

I do agree that sticking it out is the most important aspect of having a successful career though.

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 14):
Moral of the story: Long term hard work and perseverance will get you far in life, and a surprising number of people don't understand this. Saying you could have done something without actually having done it is fooling yourself.

Yup. When I was a Mechanical Engineering Undergrad, there were several points where time being a function of applied torque is reinforced as a concept. Obviously this applies in hard sciences but it is just as true elsewhere. One doesn't have to be the hardest worker to win, just most persistent.

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 14):
A related thing that peeves me is when people go the other way. Looking at me unicycling, I hear "I could never do that. I don't have good enough balance". Well, my balance is not better than average. I learned to unicycle through, guess what, hard work and perseverance. You just have to get through those first 4-6 hours of falling off after 2 seconds every single time, then the next 6-8 hours of getting two meters, and then keep at it. Keeping at it through the frustration seems to be beyond most people. The feeling of accomplishment afterwards is amazing though.

Learning to be right handed was my unicycle. And it was very much the same.

Quoting klm77 (Reply 18):
the degree is more of a backup in case of something happening that wouldn't allow you to continue as a pilot, without it, you're going to have a hard time finding a job that pays as good or better then what you were getting paid.

Yeah, maybe. More likely you're just adding more debt to your educational costs. I have two bio (something) majors and a law school grad working for me now. Washing planes overnight. Don't get me wrong, they're good kids and I do not expect them to be there forever, but we're coming up on a year for two of them.

If commercial aviation's your thing, you really need to be all in, else there's no point doing it. If "back-ups" are part of your thinking, best to just drop the piloting bit and head straight on over. The economy is full of underemployed folks now, and you're not necessarily better off with more debt to pay off.



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlineklm77 From Canada, joined Sep 2009, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (11 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 6769 times:

Quoting DarkSnowyNight (Reply 19):
Yeah, maybe. More likely you're just adding more debt to your educational costs. I have two bio (something) majors and a law school grad working for me now. Washing planes overnight. Don't get me wrong, they're good kids and I do not expect them to be there forever, but we're coming up on a year for two of them.

If commercial aviation's your thing, you really need to be all in, else there's no point doing it. If "back-ups" are part of your thinking, best to just drop the piloting bit and head straight on over. The economy is full of underemployed folks now, and you're not necessarily better off with more debt to pay off.

I would love to agree with you if that were true, but it's not... interestingly enough a reason for choosing the school I go to is because it's cheaper then any other private flight school out there AND it gives me a degree

You're wrong in saying drop piloting because I'm thinking of the potential "what ifs"... Life can hit you at any moment and anything can go wrong, it's always good to have a backup... Like I said, no degree, something goes wrong, you're out of a flying job with no degree, what do you do? Go wash planes? No thanks

[Edited 2013-11-14 13:50:21]

[Edited 2013-11-14 13:50:53]

User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4594 posts, RR: 77
Reply 21, posted (11 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 6769 times:
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Quoting pilotpip (Reply 15):
Proper information is important. However that's not something you need a 4 year degree in aviation to acquire.

Maybe not but it requires quite a lot of knowledge to be properly used, very often on vastly different fields. It's the processing of the information through all these filters that lead to *correct* decision making.

Quoting pilotpip (Reply 15):
There was a day when pilots needed that extensive knowledge because they started as mechanics, engineers, navigators and so on and the job was a much more manual skill task.

Nothing has changed ... only the fact that most of that information nlands straight into the laps of the pilots.
Granted, some of the knowledge is no longer necessary ( think of celestial navigation for instance ) but one must realise that all those specialised tasks now are the pilots' . If anything, the amount of knowledge has gone up several folds.

Quoting pilotpip (Reply 15):
There was a day when pilots needed that extensive knowledge because they started as mechanics, engineers, navigators and so on and the job was a much more manual skill task.

I beg to disagree : at that time pilots came straight from the war cokpits and the majority had never seen a right-hand seat.
Navigators were a guild of their own : wizards at maths and exceedingly proud of their art. Some became pilots when in established airlines inertial platforms made them redundant... Flight engineers were the pragmatic, technically inclined part of the crew, quite jealous of their aircraft ( they lend the thing to us, out of sheer graciousness )... Very few wanted a pilot seat and when they did, they were quite successful.

Quoting pilotpip (Reply 15):
Automation has replaced those tasks. Quite frankly, when those things stop working, and the poo hits the prop the best thing to do is get on the ground.

1/- Sometimes there is no choice or time : Refer to the Azores glider : well automated aircraft and a crew who didn't know their fuel system... they were lucky they were close enough to Lajes... What is less well known is that exactly the same failure happened to an A319 on a mini fuel trip... the crew correctly diagnosed the reason for the imbalance and the only place it could have developped a mighty leak ---> decision : engine shut-down and RTB... A quick decision to rejoin an adequate runway without that engine shut-down would have ended as a ball of fire in somebody's backyard.
2/- Trusting the automation to solve your problems, leaving you with just a piloting solution is, again IMHO, a recipe for a future disaster... Better know your aircraft and its systems well... and your environment, too.

Quoting pilotpip (Reply 15):
In two of the three emergencies I've had as a professional pilot utilization of the crew members' experience outside of aviation was a massive aid.

I'd certainly appreciate your further elaboration of these experiences.

Rgds

[Edited 2013-11-14 13:54:19]


Contrail designer
User currently offlinepilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (11 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 6676 times:

Quoting Pihero (Reply 21):
Nothing has changed ... only the fact that most of that information nlands straight into the laps of the pilots.

This is correct. But it wasn't my point. My point was that you could do something with that information. You controlled the individual fuel tank valves, you controlled the synchronization of the generators. Today it's on/off on most modern aircraft and the automation takes care of the rest with little to no manual reversion.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 21):
Navigators were a guild of their own : wizards at maths and exceedingly proud of their art. Some became pilots when in established airlines inertial platforms made them redundant... Flight engineers were the pragmatic, technically inclined part of the crew, quite jealous of their aircraft ( they lend the thing to us, out of sheer graciousness )... Very few wanted a pilot seat and when they did, they were quite successful.

I don't think that this is the case in the US. If it was, it has changed dramatically in the last 30 years. Most airlines didn't hire flight engineers, they hired pilots who started as engineers. As the FE was phased out as the first generation jets were retired most FEs were over 60 and it was the only way they could stay in the cockpit.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 21):
1/- Sometimes there is no choice or time : Refer to the Azores glider : well automated aircraft and a crew who didn't know their fuel system... they were lucky they were close enough to Lajes... What is less well known is that exactly the same failure happened to an A319 on a mini fuel trip... the crew correctly diagnosed the reason for the imbalance and the only place it could have developped a mighty leak ---> decision : engine shut-down and RTB... A quick decision to rejoin an adequate runway without that engine shut-down would have ended as a ball of fire in somebody's backyard.
2/- Trusting the automation to solve your problems, leaving you with just a piloting solution is, again IMHO, a recipe for a future disaster... Better know your aircraft and its systems well... and your environment, too.

Nowhere in my statement did I say that you shouldn't know your aircraft nor did I ever say you should trust the automation. However to know every nut and bolt on the aircraft is a waste of time (and in no way does that mean you don't understand the system's functions) however the level at which you need to know the systems has changed. A pilot has to play many more roles than they did 50 years ago. It's important to understand that and maintain situation awareness. It's also important to understand you're not there to diagnose, or fix a problem. You're there to fly the airplane and get its contents safely from one point on the ground, to another. That second point never has to be your intended destination.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 21):
I'd certainly appreciate your further elaboration of these experiences.

Certainly. The first, was a brake fail indication when I flew the EMB-145. This particular aircraft had no reverse thrust. In this situation, it wasn't a matter of systems that became an issue. In the end it was a loose cannon plug causing issues with the antiskid system and it was a normal landing. What wasn't normal was the flight attendant coming completely unglued and having to be calmed down by the captain so she could do her job. The captain later remarked that it was like his time in Iraq as a combat medic when he served in the Army and he was talking to another infantry member who's help he needed with an injured soldier.

Second, an engine shut down in flight because of a FADEC critical fault in the ERJ-170. With that failure, there is no troubleshooting, there is no relight. The engine is done. We were at a good altitude (6000 feet near NYC) and diverted to JFK. We worked as a crew like a well oiled machine and I think the captain's ownership of a successful side business played a huge role. Training played a huge part in it but it was far different than any scenario we see in the simulator (engine failures always seem to happen at V1, you know?). Throughout all of it he was calm, deliberate and thought out every action which slowed me down (I have a nasty habit of rushing). A number of passengers, as well as the FAs mentioned that his confidence, and explanation of the situation helped to lessen their fears in a very stressful situation.



DMI
User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4594 posts, RR: 77
Reply 23, posted (11 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 6226 times:
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Quoting pilotpip (Reply 22):
Certainly.

Thank you for your answer, which illustrates some of the human relations our job requires.
Some comments, though : Management is part of our job... we learn it first on our introduction to CRM, then by experience with older, more experienced pilots... and then again, some get their CRM right without any course and some never grasp it... but they are a dying breed.

Have a look elsewhere on the .net on some airlines' emergency management advices. They are priceless.

As a conclusion to this thread, there's no right way to get into this trade, but to stay in requires a lot of dedication and love for the job.
There is, though, a wrong way to try and get in : When one does it through some ill-conceived dream on people's admiring glances. There has never been any sort of *glamour* in this job...only through Hollywood hypes did it exist.

There is a lot more to flying : an aurora over the Hudson Bay, a moonlight over the desert, the last turn past the Aconcagua before descending into Santiago, the colours of the coral reefs of Indonesia... so many different scenes that nobody else but a pilot can experience... That's worth all the riches in the world.

Regards.



Contrail designer
User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2832 posts, RR: 45
Reply 24, posted (11 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5962 times:

Quoting pilotpip (Reply 22):
Second, an engine shut down in flight because of a FADEC critical fault in the ERJ-170. With that failure, there is no troubleshooting, there is no relight. The engine is done. We were at a good altitude (6000 feet near NYC) and diverted to JFK. We worked as a crew like a well oiled machine and I think the captain's ownership of a successful side business played a huge role. Training played a huge part in it but it was far different than any scenario we see in the simulator (engine failures always seem to happen at V1, you know?). Throughout all of it he was calm, deliberate and thought out every action which slowed me down (I have a nasty habit of rushing). A number of passengers, as well as the FAs mentioned that his confidence, and explanation of the situation helped to lessen their fears in a very stressful situation.

I'm in no way slighting this Captain as it sounds like he did an excellent job...HOWEVER...I have had three engine failures at my current airline and in each instance both crewmembers did what they were supposed to in a timely, unrushed manner and the outcome was never in doubt. I have no idea what the backgrounds of the other pilots involved were beyond their flying experience. If you rush habitually, learn from the Captain who handled this incident so well: you know it's a "nasty habit," so learn from his positive example. Everyone has had different jobs and there are highly varied personal backgrounds in the industry, but I am not convinced by your anecdotal evidence that outside experience altered or even aided the outcomes of these events "massively" or even significantly, especially in the engine failure scenario.

PS: One of my engine failures was a V1 cut (so it does happen), though I agree with you that exposure to more varied engine failure scenarios are valuable in the training enviroment.

Quoting 7seven7 (Reply 16):
It appears that quite a few people on this thread are quick to point out the negatives. As it's been said before - every industry will have its shortcomings. It's up to you to decide what will make you happy in life, and then try to obtain that. It's actually a fairly common theme for people in their 20s now to enter into a career path and then very quickly become discontent.

That is an excellent point, and not one lost on me as I am flying with more new FO's in their 20's now. I had one on his very first trip with the airline after training (in the A-320 right seat) complain to me that he couldn't believe he was on reserve on the weekend, which proved only to be the opening salvo in the 3-day whinefest. Moral of the story: if you don't think the long term benefits will be worth the investment in time, money, and lifestyle sacrfices, get out now.

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 14):
I'm not even working commercially but I also hear this when people find out I have a CPL. "I was going to be a pilot blablabla. But then blablabla and blablabla." What these people don't seem to understand is that becoming a pilot, even only to the point of a CPL, is less about being Top Gun at the stick and more about long term hard work and perseverance.

Absolutely correct, and very well said.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 7):
Aviation is really a different world and in the USA, only those with the *sacred flame* will succeed through all the obstacles, and the hard duty hours, and the seniority list, and the obliged path through third level aviation before even considering airline flying...which may not happen in the end...

That sort of path needs patience, dedication, enormous will to achieve one's goals and above all : love of flying.
If you're not happy at the controls of a flying machine, for whatever reasons ( be it the feeling of *being in control*, gazing at the world below you with a different viewpoint, challenging the weather... or more intellectually finding applications of your studies ... ), by all means, give it up : this trade is not for you.

Klm77: Pihero has given you the best advice of anyone on this thread. Really think about what he said, evaluate your situation and make a decision. Factor into the decision what your alternative career track will be and be realistic about the "crap" in whatever profession that happens to be as well. Like it or not, success in any worthwhile skill-intensive field takes years of study, sacrifice, and devotion to make it, whether the field is aviation. medicine, architecture, or accounting.

Quoting Klm77 (Thread starter):
When I graduated high school, I went towards my "dream" of becoming a pilot... I'm in second year now and have my PPL and I simply don't enjoy it that much... I find there's too much crap in my school and in aviation in generally and at this point i'm rather turned off by the idea of becoming a pilot as my only goal was to be an airline pilot one day. I started seeing things aren't as bright and beautiful on the inside as they are from out...

Things are different inside any profession than the perception from the outside. It's OK if flying is not for you; if it's not get out and find something that is.


User currently offlinereadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3318 posts, RR: 2
Reply 25, posted (11 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5984 times:

Well it seems that someone wants you.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/n...city-helps-CTC-sales-take-off.html

and lots more.



you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
User currently offlineklm77 From Canada, joined Sep 2009, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 26, posted (11 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 5969 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 12):
This is common in a training environment. You are being trained by people that could never "make it" who are jealous of you ... because you might! That never ends too ... I just had a medical whereby the aviation physician spent 30 minutes telling me he could have been an airline pilot too, if he wanted!

If you give up, then THEY won!

This by far to me is the best advice, simply because it clicked into my head that I'm not going to throw away something I actually enjoy doing because of some school, because in fact, the school is the major problem what got me into this crappy mind set in the first place and I let it get to me.


User currently offlinepilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 27, posted (11 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 5959 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 12):
This is common in a training environment. You are being trained by people that could never "make it" who are jealous of you ... because you might! That never ends too ... I just had a medical whereby the aviation physician spent 30 minutes telling me he could have been an airline pilot too, if he wanted!

If you give up, then THEY won!

I disagree with this statement. I now work in a training environment. Not because I couldn't "make it", but because I enjoy the atmosphere and appreciate being home every night, being able to pay my bills (pay at the regional level in the US is disgusting, especially for first officers. Most of our foreign clients are stunned by how little people flying the same plane in the US are making.) and it's an aspect of the industry I've always been interested in. Most of my coworkers have tens of thousands of hours and experience in every aspect of aviation. My experiences are why I feel I can relate to my students. I know what they're going through, and can relate my experiences to them.

No, I don't buy into the "those who can't, teach" mentality. There are some out there like that but it's pretty easy to pick them out quickly.

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 24):
I'm in no way slighting this Captain as it sounds like he did an excellent job...HOWEVER...I have had three engine failures at my current airline and in each instance both crewmembers did what they were supposed to in a timely, unrushed manner and the outcome was never in doubt. I have no idea what the backgrounds of the other pilots involved were beyond their flying experience. If you rush habitually, learn from the Captain who handled this incident so well: you know it's a "nasty habit," so learn from his positive example. Everyone has had different jobs and there are highly varied personal backgrounds in the industry, but I am not convinced by your anecdotal evidence that outside experience altered or even aided the outcomes of these events "massively" or even significantly, especially in the engine failure scenario.

PS: One of my engine failures was a V1 cut (so it does happen), though I agree with you that exposure to more varied engine failure scenarios are valuable in the training enviroment.

I preach a slow, methodical approach to all my clients. In the aftermath of the shutdown while talking to our airline and the feds we had a good discussion about how the training environment was a contributor to the situation. Time is limited and you have to get all the boxes checked. The only box to check in the real world is the one that says "safe outcome".



DMI
User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2832 posts, RR: 45
Reply 28, posted (11 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 5914 times:

Quoting pilotpip (Reply 27):
I preach a slow, methodical approach to all my clients. In the aftermath of the shutdown while talking to our airline and the feds we had a good discussion about how the training environment was a contributor to the situation. Time is limited and you have to get all the boxes checked. The only box to check in the real world is the one that says "safe outcome".

It sounds like you have learned from your experiences and I imagine you are an excellent instructor. I also disagree with longhauler's fundamental sentiment. There certainly are people who teach because they can't hack the real operational environment, but I have instructed and evaluated both in the military and in the training department of a major airline, and at that level have seen mostly motivated instructors who like to teach and fly. Certainly the lifestyle appeals to some more than others (especially those who are relatively junior who can get better schedules by teaching,) but I hold most of the airline-level instructors and evaluators I've met in high regard. I do agree with longhauler, though, that aviation colleges and many GA programs tend to attract people who are sometimes not the best and brightest, but who enjoy bloviating at great length in self-important diatribes. That is certainly the case in my experience with one program in particular (which shall remain nameless.)


User currently offlineklm77 From Canada, joined Sep 2009, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 29, posted (11 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5849 times:

Of course the statement doesn't apply to every single person in that type of environment and there are instructors who actually enjoy what they do without a doubt. I take the advice with regards to what I can see around me in the situation I'm in.

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 24):
Quoting Pihero (Reply 7):
Aviation is really a different world and in the USA, only those with the *sacred flame* will succeed through all the obstacles, and the hard duty hours, and the seniority list, and the obliged path through third level aviation before even considering airline flying...which may not happen in the end...

That sort of path needs patience, dedication, enormous will to achieve one's goals and above all : love of flying.
If you're not happy at the controls of a flying machine, for whatever reasons ( be it the feeling of *being in control*, gazing at the world below you with a different viewpoint, challenging the weather... or more intellectually finding applications of your studies ... ), by all means, give it up : this trade is not for you.

Klm77: Pihero has given you the best advice of anyone on this thread. Really think about what he said, evaluate your situation and make a decision. Factor into the decision what your alternative career track will be and be realistic about the "crap" in whatever profession that happens to be as well. Like it or not, success in any worthwhile skill-intensive field takes years of study, sacrifice, and devotion to make it, whether the field is aviation. medicine, architecture, or accounting.

Quoting Klm77 (Thread starter):
When I graduated high school, I went towards my "dream" of becoming a pilot... I'm in second year now and have my PPL and I simply don't enjoy it that much... I find there's too much crap in my school and in aviation in generally and at this point i'm rather turned off by the idea of becoming a pilot as my only goal was to be an airline pilot one day. I started seeing things aren't as bright and beautiful on the inside as they are from out...

Things are different inside any profession than the perception from the outside. It's OK if flying is not for you; if it's not get out and find something that is.

Well at this point i'm already half way done my school, and I sure do enjoy flying. I've realized that I'm not going to throw away all this time, effort, and especially money because I hit a rough patch.... If for some reason after I graduate I truly find this isn't for me, I'll go back to school and start something else, after all I'm young and have time ahead of me.


User currently offlinehufftheweevil From United States of America, joined Oct 2013, 423 posts, RR: 1
Reply 30, posted (11 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 5738 times:

Quoting Klm77 (Thread starter):
When I graduated high school, I went towards my "dream" of becoming a pilot... I'm in second year now and have my PPL and I simply don't enjoy it that much... I find there's too much crap in my school and in aviation in generally and at this point i'm rather turned off by the idea of becoming a pilot as my only goal was to be an airline pilot one day. I started seeing things aren't as bright and beautiful on the inside as they are from out...

This sounds EXACTLY like me. Every word. So you're definitely not alone.

I see there's already been extensive talk on this, and you, Klm77, seem to have already come around, which is great! However, I feel it necessary to share my own story and path.

Throughout the process of getting my PPL and Instrument Rating, I enjoyed just about every second of it. It was during my second and third year of college that I began to not enjoy it so much. I think it was a combination of the declining career outlook (taking many more hours and years to move up in rank, among other things) and the training aspect (I felt it was becoming a burden for myself). I loved flying then, and still do to this day. But I recognized, at some point, that it wasn't the career path for me. I have since decided that my passion for aviation is way too strong to leave the industry, and my goal now is to move into operations (either airport or airline) of some sort.

I can't possible count how many times people have asked why I stopped my pilot training. When they do, I tell them this story. But I always stress that just because I chose not to be a pilot, doesn't mean that all aspiring pilots should "give up". If your drive is deep enough, keep at it. Yeah, times have changed. It's not the way it used to be in the late 20th century, but that just means it takes a bit more passion to get to the top.

You know, that's one thing I love about this industry: You never find an airline pilot that regrets their career choice. Every single one of them loves to do what they do. You can't really find that anywhere else.

So on that thought...if you do end up becoming a pilot, logic says you'll retire a very happy man.



Huff
User currently offlineklm77 From Canada, joined Sep 2009, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 31, posted (11 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5651 times:

Quoting hufftheweevil (Reply 30):
You know, that's one thing I love about this industry: You never find an airline pilot that regrets their career choice. Every single one of them loves to do what they do. You can't really find that anywhere else.

So on that thought...if you do end up becoming a pilot, logic says you'll retire a very happy man.

I wish I could say that's true.... but I once came across an airline pilot who absolutely hated his life.... he said he wished he never became a pilot, said he had no pension and that he would have to sell his house when he retired, then he rambled on about other things which weren't very encouraging. Why he was in that situation in the first place? Who knows. This was probably the worst i've come across, there have been others I have talked to who didn't seem happy, but it sure wasn't as bad as this guy.


User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2832 posts, RR: 45
Reply 32, posted (11 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 5599 times:

Quoting klm77 (Reply 29):
Well at this point i'm already half way done my school, and I sure do enjoy flying. I've realized that I'm not going to throw away all this time, effort, and especially money because I hit a rough patch.... If for some reason after I graduate I truly find this isn't for me, I'll go back to school and start something else, after all I'm young and have time ahead of me.

Well it's good you made a decision then, and I hope it's the correct one for you.

I guess I don't understand the purpose of the thread if you have already made this choice.

Quoting hufftheweevil (Reply 30):
You know, that's one thing I love about this industry: You never find an airline pilot that regrets their career choice. Every single one of them loves to do what they do. You can't really find that anywhere else.

No disrespect intended, but this is a completely incorrect notion. There are PLENTY of airline pilots who regret their career choice. That you haven't met one is more a sign of your relatively low exposure to industry insiders rather than a lack of pilots who regret their educational and career choices. MOST pilots do like their career track; a significant minority do not. Just like other professions.


User currently offlineklm77 From Canada, joined Sep 2009, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 33, posted (11 months 22 hours ago) and read 5553 times:

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 32):
Quoting klm77 (Reply 29):
Well at this point i'm already half way done my school, and I sure do enjoy flying. I've realized that I'm not going to throw away all this time, effort, and especially money because I hit a rough patch.... If for some reason after I graduate I truly find this isn't for me, I'll go back to school and start something else, after all I'm young and have time ahead of me.

Well it's good you made a decision then, and I hope it's the correct one for you.

I guess I don't understand the purpose of the thread if you have already made this choice.

Quoting hufftheweevil (Reply 30):
You know, that's one thing I love about this industry: You never find an airline pilot that regrets their career choice. Every single one of them loves to do what they do. You can't really find that anywhere else.

No disrespect intended, but this is a completely incorrect notion. There are PLENTY of airline pilots who regret their career choice. That you haven't met one is more a sign of your relatively low exposure to industry insiders rather than a lack of pilots who regret their educational and career choices. MOST pilots do like their career track; a significant minority do not. Just like other professions.

No point to it now, I can say the info given to me in this thread has helped me make a rational decision, and I had moments where I was thinking to myself " I can't give this up..." so with that said, I do appreciate all the advice everyone has given me here  


User currently offlinefalkerker From Seychelles, joined Apr 2012, 163 posts, RR: 0
Reply 34, posted (11 months 7 hours ago) and read 5469 times:

I know this maybe a bit off topic but since we are talking about becoming a pilot and I am seriously considering the option, perhaps it ispart of the topic. I am a physician (or medical doctor) and recently started my residency. However I am SICK AND TIRED of patients, hospitals and my career in general and so I have begun persuing my dream of becoming a commercial airline pilot. Fortunately, in my country, one can apply to the airline straight out of flight school and they usually take care of equipment training, etc. My question is, do you think that the fact I am already a doctor plays a role in favour or against my future application to an airline?

User currently offlinehufftheweevil From United States of America, joined Oct 2013, 423 posts, RR: 1
Reply 35, posted (10 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 5373 times:

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 32):
That you haven't met one is more a sign of your relatively low exposure to industry insiders rather than a lack of pilots who regret their educational and career choices.

And no disrespect intended to you, but "low exposure to industry insiders" doesn't really describe me. My profile may look bare and I may seem like a new member, but do not let that fool you.  
Quoting PGNCS (Reply 32):
MOST pilots do like their career track; a significant minority do not. Just like other professions.

To say "never" and "all" was wrong of me, you're right (besides, that's not like me to say something like that). I agree that a significant minority do not, and that there are many other professions out there that are similar in that regard. But I guess my point was that there are far too many professions where it is not like that.



Huff
User currently offlinepilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 36, posted (10 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5199 times:

Something I think is important to consider is talk to people that are actually in the industry. One of the things a few students at my alma-mater are doing is trying to reach out and get a stronger alumni presence. This was something that was sorely lacking while I was a student there and I've been working with them on this as well. A group of students is coming to tour my current workplace, and I have arranged a little time in the simulator for them.

Having said all that, I don't think I would have made the move into the airlines had I had some mentors that were a little farther along in their careers than flight instructing. Like I said, I don't think it was for me.



DMI
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17068 posts, RR: 66
Reply 37, posted (10 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5187 times:

Quoting falkerker (Reply 34):
My question is, do you think that the fact I am already a doctor plays a role in favour or against my future application to an airline?

I don't know if it would be a big factor, but I think it would be a positive. You have showed that you can commit to a long and arduous course of study. You will have to convince the airline that you won't abandon aviation soon as well, but training bonds and such normally take care of such things.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
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