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The Hardest Thing To Become An Airline Pilot  
User currently offlineAIRNZsaab340 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7147 times:

Hi
I was wondering to all pilots who are either emplyed as a pilot or at least have there PPL what was the hardest thing you had to accomplish to get either a license or a job also what was the hardest aspect of your training.
Ryan

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineShaun3000 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 445 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 7101 times:

I've only my PVT, at the moment... Hardest thing, for me, was mastering short and soft (mainly short) field landings and holding a steady altitude in steep turns. And then all the information you need for your written is just a pain in the butt.

OH! And remembering to use checklists in a 172. It doesn't matter in this plane cuz the standards can all be memorized. But it's still a good habit to be in and I am currently NOT in the habit of using them in flight.


User currently offlineYeeha From Australia, joined Apr 2001, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 7080 times:

getting the "JOB".....!!!!!

User currently offlineFredT From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2002, 2185 posts, RR: 26
Reply 3, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 7039 times:

The main hurdles on your way to working as an ATP is

1) Funding the ratings required

2) Somehow getting enough hours to be considered for an airline job, see (1)

Cheers,
Fred



I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
User currently offlineSaintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 6920 times:

Flying is not difficult, otherwise the engineers would do it!!

For the hardest thing, FredT summed it up wonderfully.


User currently offlineBravo45 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2165 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 6803 times:

I think that it will depend on case to case. If you have that keen interest in flying and you have plently of money, you are medicaally fit as well, then you may have problems at higher level or may be none. As for me, funding is still holding me down.
Some people get stuck at building time, some getting through a job test and interview. Basically I think that in this world of aviation, every one has his own story.


User currently offlineRick767 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 2662 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 6801 times:

The hardest thing for me was the funding. I have been flying with an airline now for 2.5 years and still am paying off the £60,000+ (US$100,000) it cost to get here.

Getting the job was very difficult too, but like anything in life if you are determined you will get there, one way or another. Just stick with it.

In case you were referring only to the actual training aspect the worst bit for me was the ATPL written examinations. They are very in-depth (here in Europe) and it was information overflow half the time. Written exams are not my strong point either, it's the actual flying I'm better at which is a good thing I suppose.

Good luck in your training. Remember whatever anyone says it is worth it once you come out the other end. I wouldn't give this job up for the world.



I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
User currently offlineUps763 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 199 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 6771 times:

hey Rick.
Saw in your profile your learning rotorcraft. How are you liking it? What aircraft are you flying?



Thanks,
Matt


User currently offlineB747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6772 times:

The hardest thing -
In UK, to pass the CAA written ATPL... (correct Rick767)...
In USA, to be hired if you are not Afro-American female named Lopez...
To convince the "Human Resources" interviewer (who does not know a thing about pilots and airplanes) that you are an outstanding and well qualified pilot.
To get your father to mortgage his house to pay for a 737 qualification...
In Argentina, if you are not the nephew of one of the many ex-presidents...
Finding enough ink to fill your Parker pen to write hours in your flight log that you never flew...
Convince the chief pilot that all your C-150 time is "heavy aircraft" time, since your mother-in-law came with you, and she is 167 kilos...
Ask NASA to certify that you had 3 moon landings in the last 90 days...
Change your screen name in the forum, since the last guy you insulted in the forum happens to be the airline's training manager...
 Wink/being sarcastic
(s) Skipper




User currently offlineInbound From Trinidad and Tobago, joined Sep 2001, 851 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 6744 times:

I think it's getting the call for an interview, and finally getting accepted into the airline.
suspense kills me.


Rick...
I don't know if you remember, but we talked a while back about Performance A and I said I was writing it in July.
Well, I failed it the first time, and I re-wrote it last week, so I should get the results in a couple weeks.
I'm not as worried about the results this time as I was last month.
Most of the questions were pretty straight forward, like calculating T/O EPR, or VSLDR given LDR etc.
I used the CAP 385, and the exams were based on the L1011.

Now I'm going to start studying for a frozen ATPL, man those 5 Nav subjects are a killer!.




Maintain own separation with terrain!
User currently offlineEjazz From United Arab Emirates, joined May 2002, 722 posts, RR: 33
Reply 10, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 6747 times:

I would have to agree with Rick on this one and say the UK CAA ATPL exams were definately the hardest part.

Second hardest was finding the money. Credit cards work wonders until you have to pay them off.

Third hardest was the Second Officer training on type. The shouting, screaming and hatred of foreigners here came as a huge shock and the training from many Instructors was non-existent. Good job they bonded me as I would have left years ago.



Etihad Girl, You're a great way to fly.
User currently offlineSudden From Sweden, joined Jul 2001, 4130 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6691 times:

It's one thing to get there, but how does it affect you social life with family etc.?
I meen if your a long haul pilot, it must put preassure on a relation cause your away for days at a time, and what can happen up there. The last part goes for all pilots.
Or am I totally wrong?

AIRNZsaab340,

sorry if I changed the approach slightly on your topic.

Best regards.
Sudden



When in doubt, flat out!
User currently offlineB747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 6684 times:

Dear Sudden -
Maybe what you last mentioned is a consideration, but actually it is not that bad actually...
With quite a few airlines you can elect to remain on short haul flights for your entire career, and be home basically every night, work 2 or 3 days, be off for 1 or 2 days, then flying again 2 or 3 days, then off again...
I fly long haul flights by preference, flew like that most of my life, gone for about 4 days, home for 2 days, go again for 3 or 4 days...
Whether short haul or long haul, most pilots end up at home some 15 days per month... with long hauls, the periods ON and OFF are just scheduled differently, but when I have time off, these periods are longer, which permit me to take my car and spend a few days at the beach or in the mountains...
I fly 3 round trips from South America to Europe each month, oftentime my wife takes a trip to Europe with me for her favorite shopping and visit our friends there... we like it that way... I would hate to work from 9 to 5 each day in a bank, 5 days a week, and having to go shopping at the supermarket on saturday crowds... I do that on tuesdays... and I am never in rush hour traffic in the morning or evening to drive to the airport. Easier life...
Tot ziens... (s) Skipper


User currently offlineRick767 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 2662 posts, RR: 51
Reply 13, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6695 times:

Ups763,

Actually I should really take that off my profile as it's been about 9 months since I last had a lesson! I've been flying the Robinson R22. Great fun and I was loving it, but unfortuantely moved house to a more expensive area and then other financial commitments meant I really couldn't afford it anymore.

It was my intention to go ahead and get a full PPL(H) and ultimately I will probably acheive it but probably a few years from now.

Inbound,

Good luck with the results. If you like I can drop you an email and give you some assistance with the other exams. I still have all my old course notes and I know a guy who recently sat all 14 ATPL subjects, could put you in touch with him too.

Sudden,

"It's one thing to get there, but how does it affect you social life with family etc.?
I meen if your a long haul pilot, it must put preassure on a relation cause your away for days at a time, and what can happen up there."


Well it helps to have a partner who is in the same industry, like mine who works as cabin crew. It can be difficult when one of us does a longhaul out to the US or Caribbean as that normally involves 4-7 days away from home. But I think it is much easier that we both understand the industry and how things work. But at times it certainly does put pressure on a relationship, and I don't get to see my family as much as I'd like as I now live a fair distance from them all.

It's all part of the territory though, some have it much worse than me. And the Caribbean ain't such a bad place Big grin



I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
User currently offlineSudden From Sweden, joined Jul 2001, 4130 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6664 times:

Skipper,

if you can combine your work and bring your wife, I see only good things coming out of it. And I'm glad you have the chance to do it like this.
Next trip to AMS?

Rick767,

I guess it helps alot to have a partner that is in the industry. The understanding for what you do for living becomes very clear for both of you.
"And the Caribbean ain't such a bad place."
You got that right! Big grin

Best regards.
Sudden




When in doubt, flat out!
User currently offlineDirkSavage From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 6656 times:

Good call B747skipper.

Actually kid it's not all sunshine and roses. Since Jimmy Carter, the most difficult thing is actually keeping a job once you get one. For every 50 y.o. captain you see on a 777, there are a hundred sucking hind tit on bug smashers or tending bar waiting on a recall or thier "next chance".

Dirk


User currently offlineFredT From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2002, 2185 posts, RR: 26
Reply 16, posted (12 years 1 month 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6540 times:

B747Skipper,
if you get tired of the longhauls, you could always make a living writing aviation comedy.

"n Argentina, if you are not the nephew of one of the many ex-presidents..."

LOL! Big grin

Cheers,
Fred



I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
User currently offlineB747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (12 years 1 month 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 6438 times:

Dear FredT -
I have the worst reputation in my airline -
When I use the PA - "passenger address in the cabin", I have sometimes 400 passengers laughing at my words... and I get many reports from my cabin attendants because of my "extreme" sense of humour... as an example, I have gathered that flight attendants check pants "zippers" open/closed on passengers when they pass along the cabin, for safety belts... I believe I have to inform the passengers accordingly regarding the status of their zippers...
xxx
Recently, someone complained here in this forum about my somewhat caustic comments about some postings among the future graduates of the "pro pilot shop academy" and their superior comments, and I got a warning from this forum's "big brother" that I could be banned... they have no sense of humour obviously... I only offer educated comments and explanations to questions, to whoever calls himself an educated aviation person... and I am eager to help the future aviation people... when I see an obvious erroneous statement I do not fail to express my views and mention here in this forum...
xxx
I do not admit erroneous and false statements in this forum, since many are professionals here... as many here could rely on information obtained from this forum... we are dealing with flight safety.
(s) Skipper


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