I too wanted to be a pilot, but that was when i didnt understand the "realities" of what being a pilot meant.
When i turned 18 i along with a friend applied to an aviation college in UP. Both of us got thru, but my father would have none of it! My father thought that there wasnt much of a career in aviation. And remember, he would have to finance it!
As it turns out, my friend went on to join the college, while i chose the "second best" option of a career in Software. After completing his course he got a job flying 737-200's for one of the many private airline's that sprouted up in India around that time. But within six months that airline had shut down and he was looking out for "prospects". He upgraded himself at personal expense to the A320's, and got a contract job flying for some Gulf Airline. Currently though he is jobless, but still has to spend around 2 lacs a year + to keep his licence current!
The irony is that though all 3 of the major domestic operators (IC, 9W and S2) arefacing a shortage of pilots they wont recruit a fresher!
when i see this, i thank my lucky stars that i did'nt take that path!
One of my cousin sisters also chose to become a pilot and has had a more successful career in that she is now flying with a major. However she is out of base for upto 10 days at a time, and sometimes esp. during the monsoons has to spend nights in mosquito infested hotel rooms in North Eastern India. She recently got engaged to another pilot, and the net result of this is that neither of them have any time for each other!
I guess i am not cut out for this kind of lifestyle! And trust me an A320 cockpit may seem exciting from far, but it is far from so in real life. Atleast my experience was pretty unnerving. AS the aircraft turned for its finals and i saw the ground staring back at me... i almost crapped in my pants! The passenger cabin is much better.
I had taken up flying (Cessnas and Sailplanes) (without Pa's knowledge of course). and the first time i went up i realized that it wasnt at all what i had expected and gave it up after around 10 hrs instruction.
People who make this choice must understand all the issues involved. Mebbe a job with a major may not come about, and mebbe they would have use personal finances to keep their licences current. Mebbe they wont be flying 777's, and would have to make do with Dorniers. Being a pilot entails bringing about a lot of changes in ones lifestyle. But if someone is ready for these things then i guess he ought to go for it.
My role model is a guy whom i met when i was taking flying training. originally a doctor by profession, he bought a small 4 seater Cessna for private use. But was soon flying "charters" and "courier flights" for friends. It has turned into quite a succesfull business. He has taken one more 6 seater piston, and is thinking of taking a King Air B200 as well. Now that is something I 'd like to do. Run a tiny little airline that i can call my own!
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