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learning2fly
Topic Author
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:44 am

Student Pilot Future

Sun May 17, 2020 7:10 pm

Hello Everyone,

I hope you all are safe and healthy. I am currently in a part 141 flight training school in NY working on my private pilot license. I have been seriously worried about the future of airlines and major airlines in the USA and the regionals. What is your advice on continuing flying? This has always been my passion and I am 21 with a bachelors degree. I am just really worried about being jobless and if its worth it to go through 2 years of flying around in a Cessna.

Thank you for the insight!
 
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adamblang
Posts: 1230
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 5:47 pm

Re: Student Pilot Future

Sun May 17, 2020 7:14 pm

Giving up now would be a long term solution to a short term problem. The job market will come back some day. It might not be a straightforward path to a job at a U.S. airline but you'll eventually get there.
 
FlyingElvii
Posts: 631
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:53 pm

Re: Student Pilot Future

Sun May 17, 2020 7:32 pm

Finish the Private, make that a priority. Find work in your bachelors area. Start Instrument and commercial part time, build your hours. Go to the airlines when things open again. There is still a retirement wave coming.

This the way everyone before you had to do it, now it’s your turn.

Now, just as in other downturns, pilots with a backup career do far better in the long-term than those who just know how to fly. It’s happened before, it will happen again when this is over.
 
CriticalPoint
Posts: 988
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:01 pm

Re: Student Pilot Future

Sun May 17, 2020 7:51 pm

learning2fly wrote:
Hello Everyone,

I hope you all are safe and healthy. I am currently in a part 141 flight training school in NY working on my private pilot license. I have been seriously worried about the future of airlines and major airlines in the USA and the regionals. What is your advice on continuing flying? This has always been my passion and I am 21 with a bachelors degree. I am just really worried about being jobless and if its worth it to go through 2 years of flying around in a Cessna.

Thank you for the insight!


Young aviators in your shoes said the same thing in 1978, 1992, 2001, and 2008.....nothing is permanent and if it’s your dream go after it.
 
bigb
Posts: 1013
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 4:30 pm

Re: Student Pilot Future

Sun May 17, 2020 7:53 pm

Recommend jetcareers forums for some good and helpful feedback and airlinepilotcentral (just learn to read between the negative folks0.
 
BravoOne
Posts: 4024
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:27 pm

Re: Student Pilot Future

Sun May 17, 2020 7:54 pm

Don't quit now. This is just one more hiccup in one's avaition career and it will be over by the time you're a contender. Nothing worthwhile having is easy and you will probably regret not having tried. Pick an educational career path wisely and keep on moving forward.

Just remember all those pilots in the terminals were once upon a time, Student pilots, just like yourself. For all those pilots who will take a hit during this current debacle, I'll bet most of them would have not done anything different regarding their career choices.
 
JoseSalazar
Posts: 162
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:18 am

Re: Student Pilot Future

Sun May 17, 2020 8:43 pm

By the time you finish your ratings and get the requisite flight time, there will likely be hiring again. This isn’t the first hit to the profession, and it won’t be the last. Gotta buckle up, hang on, and live well within (ie below) your means, because furloughs, pay cuts, and displacements happen. Not everybody is or will be a $300k+ widebody captain. There are lots of years spent spending money to fly, followed by not making much money flying, followed by finally starting to make enough to live comfortably, likely followed at some point by a furlough or bankruptcy or merger, and eventually hopefully a decent paying captain job with a long enough period of good times to sustain you and your family through bad times, and maybe enough to sock away some money for retirement. It’s not always an easy nor lucrative path (despite what many believe) due to all the luck and timing with the volatility and downturns involved in this industry. If it’s what you wanna do, press on. If not, get a more stable job and buy a plane to scratch the itch. Flying is still fun, on occasion...but like anything it becomes a job. The views are still good. But the “fun” is dwarfed by time zone changes, crappy airplane and airport food, living out of a suitcase, hotel life, being away from family, hoping I don’t get furloughed in times like these, and hoping toxic fumes/radiation don’t kill me too early in life. Despite all that, and having other options, I’m still doing it, for now. Good luck
 
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DL717
Posts: 2094
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 10:53 pm

Re: Student Pilot Future

Sun May 17, 2020 8:46 pm

learning2fly wrote:
Hello Everyone,

I hope you all are safe and healthy. I am currently in a part 141 flight training school in NY working on my private pilot license. I have been seriously worried about the future of airlines and major airlines in the USA and the regionals. What is your advice on continuing flying? This has always been my passion and I am 21 with a bachelors degree. I am just really worried about being jobless and if its worth it to go through 2 years of flying around in a Cessna.

Thank you for the insight!


Stay with it. You’ll be a hot commodity in 5 years.
Welcome to Nothingburgers. May I take your order?
 
UPS757Pilot
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2007 5:22 am

Re: Student Pilot Future

Mon May 18, 2020 2:16 am

Go Air National Guard of AF Reserve. Get paid to fly something cool.
 
e38
Posts: 685
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 10:09 pm

Re: Student Pilot Future

Mon May 18, 2020 2:20 am

learning2fly, I’m going to say exactly the same thing everyone else has said.

With reference to your statement, “I am just really worried about being jobless and if its worth it to go through 2 years of flying around in a Cessna.”

First, yes, of course it’s worth it. Don’t give up on a dream because of a temporary downturn in the economy. It will turn around.

Second, you won’t be jobless if you have a Plan B. Try to find work in a field outside of aviation if you can—you stated you have a Bachelors degree—and gain expertise and experience in that field, or perhaps get a Masters degree if that’s possible.

Just to put it in terms of flying . . . professional pilots have a plan B in multiple situations. Before takeoff, you have a Plan B in case you need to return to the airport immediately after takeoff. If crossing mountainous terrain, you plan a drift down alternate, and at your destination, you often file a diversion alternate—just a few examples.

Apply the same principle to your career. Develop a backup plan and you’ll be just fine.

e38
 
smw757
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:42 pm

Re: Student Pilot Future

Mon May 18, 2020 2:36 am

Exactly what UPS757Pilot said. Rush a Guard unit and get paid to fly something awesome. It’ll be a hell of a lot easier on the wallet, too.
 
User avatar
Vio
Posts: 1572
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 5:23 am

Re: Student Pilot Future

Mon May 18, 2020 2:38 am

The exact same thing happened to me when 9/11 hit. I quit flying and ended up studying mechanical engineering. I don't regret it for a second.
1. I actually had a job when I graduated.
2. I will always have a back up should sh*t hit the fan (it just did)
3. I was able to still do my flying and become an airline pilot, finishing my school with zero debt.

The only draw back was that I was 30 years old when I started flying. Looking back now, it's not the worse thing that could have happened.

My advice is: Don't go to school for something that has a low chance of getting you a job. People here say it'll pass quickly. It won't. It'll be a while before you can get a meaningful job. Unless money is not an issue for you, and someone else is paying your pilot's license, go do something else. You can always come back to flying.
Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.
 
Longhornmaniac
Posts: 3136
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 2:33 pm

Re: Student Pilot Future

Mon May 18, 2020 2:58 am

Somebody starting training right now will still be 18-36 months off from a job at the airlines. The industry should be rebounding by then, and those thousands of pilots will still be retiring. Things will stagnate right now in a way no one saw coming, but there's no long term issue with the airline industry. People will still fly, in continuously greater numbers as it becomes more accessible to more people. Don't overreact.
Cheers,
Cameron
 
CATIIIevery5yrs
Posts: 147
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 4:40 am

Re: Student Pilot Future

Mon May 18, 2020 3:11 am

Do it. Just save and invest when the getting is good. It’s been a solid 9-10 years for anyone with a decent flying gig. I’m talking 121 airlines. Plenty of opportunity to get ahead. Put good money away and invest in other sources of income. Try and hire on with an operator with solid expansion as seniority is the other side of making it though in one piece. I’ve been through 9/11, the 2008 recession, and now this. Furloughed once along the way. Wouldn’t trade if for the the world. Best job there ever was. Again. Do it. Save when the getting is good. Invest in other areas of income outside of your flying gig. Oh and sleep well, exercise, and enjoy every minute of a decent layover.
 
F9Animal
Posts: 4366
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:13 am

Re: Student Pilot Future

Mon May 18, 2020 3:22 am

learning2fly wrote:
Hello Everyone,

I hope you all are safe and healthy. I am currently in a part 141 flight training school in NY working on my private pilot license. I have been seriously worried about the future of airlines and major airlines in the USA and the regionals. What is your advice on continuing flying? This has always been my passion and I am 21 with a bachelors degree. I am just really worried about being jobless and if its worth it to go through 2 years of flying around in a Cessna.

Thank you for the insight!


So you wanna be a pilot? As the old saying goes, what goes up, will come down. The airline industry is as bipolar as an industry gets. This pandemic is by far the hardest hit I have seen the industry take in my over 40 years of life. But! With that said, you have to work with what you got.

Now is the right time to get in the seat. Fuel prices alone are just favorable for training. You know this road won't be easy, but you also know it can be rewarding. If I was your age, I would be going head first into it. You do know the cheeks are going to fill those seats again, no doubt about it whatsoever. The freight side of things also looks promising.

Now, where oh where to go when you have it all? Study it, and aim for where you want to work. By the time you do get the things you need, the industry will likely be back and at full steam. And remember, there will be some turbulence along the way, but, it will smooth out as you climb or lower. You would be nuts not to just pursuit your dreams. Trust me! I reflect on my 44 years and wish I had pursued it. Go ahead! Do what you want to do in life!
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
brodeurprice
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:30 am

Re: Student Pilot Future

Mon May 18, 2020 4:12 am

I’m in the same boat as you! Except that I haven’t got my bachelor’s just yet, I’m doing it simultaneously alongside my PPL. I figure as long as I have the degree I have a safety net in case things don’t recover in time for me to get my career started.

One thing I will say is, for the first couple years of my adult life I avoided the idea of aviation because I was scared of the various negative aspects of a piloting career I had concerns about. As different ideas came and went, one thing never left the back of my mind. I finally took an intro flight and I’m hooked. I fell in love and I don’t think I could easily give up piloting now that I’ve had a taste of what it’s like. I think you might relate.

I know it’s sentimental and seems hardly realistic but I’m starting to realise from the people around me that if you have a true passion and love for something, you’ll always find a way to make it work. As others have said, you shouldn’t expect it to be easy, but if the love is there and you’re willing to go through some rough patches along the way, you should be just fine. Don’t give up your happiness to fear!
 
B737Captain1980
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:14 pm

Re: Student Pilot Future

Mon May 18, 2020 5:16 am

learning2fly wrote:
Hello Everyone,

I hope you all are safe and healthy. I am currently in a part 141 flight training school in NY working on my private pilot license. I have been seriously worried about the future of airlines and major airlines in the USA and the regionals. What is your advice on continuing flying? This has always been my passion and I am 21 with a bachelors degree. I am just really worried about being jobless and if its worth it to go through 2 years of flying around in a Cessna.

Thank you for the insight!


9/11 hit when I was towards the end of my training. I figured by the time I had my hours the economy would turn around. I kept training, instructed, and was hired at a 121 airline in December of 2003. Only two years after everything went down. Had I stopped training when 9/11 hit, I would not have been ready and qualified to be hired when things turned around. Not only did I get hired early on when things started up, I was at beginning of a huge hiring waive and upgraded to captain 1 year after being hired. When the 2008 recession hit, I had thousands under me on the seniority list and was safe from furlough. Keep going if this is your passion.
 
jjairbus
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat May 16, 2020 1:42 pm

Re: Student Pilot Future

Mon May 18, 2020 8:33 am

learning2fly wrote:
Hello Everyone,

I hope you all are safe and healthy. I am currently in a part 141 flight training school in NY working on my private pilot license. I have been seriously worried about the future of airlines and major airlines in the USA and the regionals. What is your advice on continuing flying? This has always been my passion and I am 21 with a bachelors degree. I am just really worried about being jobless and if its worth it to go through 2 years of flying around in a Cessna.

Thank you for the insight!


Just try to enjoy flying the Cessna. It might seem a burden sometimes but I kind of miss those school flights now when flying at an airline. I mean I love my job and I'm very fortunate to have it. But at same time I miss flying VFR with my little Cessna. Building hours and planning flights to interesting locations. It's sad that many times you think only about getting enough hours fast or about the job situation and the economics during school and at the same time might not enjoy the flying as much as you could. It's understandable of course. And sure many keep flying the Cessnas after landing a job but at least until this new crisis I've been too busy and decided that the priority is to know my aircraft and do my job the best I can.

I've been flying A320 now for 2,5 years. I started school in 2014 and at the time our national carrier hadn't recruited in the 5-6 years. I thought that I'm young (21yo that time) and some day they will need pilots and I'll have time to think other options also after flight school. Then the world turned around during school and everyone from our course got airline jobs. That was lucky but also shows how quickly things can change for better or worse.

But yeah, I'm only talking about flying. And the point is that the school flights and building hours etc. can also be quite cool and exciting experience. Even though the aiming point is flying bigger planes. I don't suggest taking huge loans and making too big commitments but if you're able to manage economically while building hours and learning to fly I think you won't regret it even if it doesn't land you a job right away. And I understand it's a complex situation thinking about the money, career, time, job situation and so on. And also the view can be different here in Europe because the school and airline hiring are not exactly similar to the US. Someone talked about plan B and I think that's one the best advice also. It also relieves stress during the school as you know this isn't your only card.

JJ
Airbus driver from Europe
 
Moosefire
Posts: 126
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:47 pm

Re: Student Pilot Future

Mon May 18, 2020 10:44 am

smw757 wrote:
Exactly what UPS757Pilot said. Rush a Guard unit and get paid to fly something awesome. It’ll be a hell of a lot easier on the wallet, too.


Yup... graduated school in 08 with few options at a flying job. Got picked up to fly C-17s and built hours pretty darn quick crossing the Atlantic every week
MD-11F/C-17A Pilot

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