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justinmcducd
Topic Author
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:13 am

Not The Usuall 'my Dream Speal'...

Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:27 am

I'm 26, finishing up a masters degree at the university of colorado, and I'm wondering whether going for the commercial pilots liscense and making a career out of this is wise...

and yes, I had a dui when I was 18 (fratboy freshman stupidity).

I'm trying to decide between going on for a PhD in Political Science (intersting but not motivating) or just taking a totally different route, and enrolling in our undergrad program in piloting and aviation management.. get my commercial ratings, and try out for the airlines...

I have a solid resume minus my 18 year old misgivings, as a policy consultant, legislative staffer, and so on.

Is professional flying a pipe dream? I'd love to do it, but have options, even though they are less intriguing...

Thanks

Justin
 
RIXrat
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RE: Not The Usuall 'my Dream Speal'...

Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:49 am

For some people piloting is a dream, and for some, it is a dream come true. Seeing that you're a PoliSci major for a masters degree, my personal opinion is that you should hook up with some legislator and be an aide. Even if you finish flight school, etc., etc., I doubt that a major airline would hire you right away. I also had that dream once and got my PPL, but it ended there because of finances. Good luck, however, on your decision.
 
justinmcducd
Topic Author
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RE: Not The Usuall 'my Dream Speal'...

Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:04 am

^^^

Yes I've already been a legislative aide, published research in the field, and have been about as successful as you can be graduating college in 2009 (i.e. reccession).

I reckon my question is: can my aptituide for the last 6 years outweight my dumbassness as a teenager? If so, I'd be wise to persue flying, if not, maybe I better hit the ivory towers  

thanks again,

J
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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RE: Not The Usuall 'my Dream Speal'...

Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:20 pm

Depends, but honestly, it doesn't look good. When hiring, most airlines will forgive up to two moving violations... in the last ten years. You're 26, that DUI occurred when you were 18, so that's only eight years. And it's a DUI. If you have nothing else at all (for the moment we'll forsake the qualifications spiel and assume you're good there), you might be able to get a PPL with a good explanation to the FSDO and a solid driving record (otherwise) upon your certification. I don't know about a Commercial/ATP, but you can assume you'll really have to dance for it.

Not trying to pop your bubble or anything; there may be ways around this for you, but likely you'll have to wait a while. I agree that PoliSci is boring as hell and I feel that you should know that there are other pathways in Commercial Aviation that are pretty neat too, and won't give you these issues. Dispatch, MX, MX Mgmt, Ops, & logistics/planning are all a lot more interesting than they probably sound here too. Not saying I wouldn't go back to flying (given an extraordinary amount of compensation for example), but I'm quite happy where I am these days...
Well, you know what they say. Whatever doesn't kill you...
... Must not be an MD-11.
 
Mir
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RE: Not The Usuall 'my Dream Speal'...

Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:46 pm

A position with ICAO would let you combine your interests in political science and aviation. Or a position with a group like ALPA or AOPA. Food for thought.

I'd say that airline flying is not a good move for you - you're starting too late. That said, there is plenty of commercial flying to be done outside of the airlines, and that could still be open to you. But if you've got a masters in something, use it. Getting into aviation is expensive, and it doesn't begin to pay for a long time.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
flymia
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RE: Not The Usuall 'my Dream Speal'...

Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:19 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 4):
I'd say that airline flying is not a good move for you - you're starting too late. That said, there is plenty of commercial flying to be done outside of the airlines, and that could still be open to you. But if you've got a masters in something, use it. Getting into aviation is expensive, and it doesn't begin to pay for a long time.


I do not think he is starting too late but it is a bit late especially with the new 1500 TT and ATP rule which will come into effect soon for the regionals.

Quoting justinmcducd (Thread starter):
I'm 26, finishing up a masters degree at the university of colorado, and I'm wondering whether going for the commercial pilots license and making a career out of this is wise...


Do you have your PPL? Instrument? I would highly recommend getting your PPL first at your local airport it will be cheaper and you can see if you really love it, because you really need to love it when you are making 22-32k the first 3 years or so. So honestly if you do not have your PPL yet I say go for that on its own first then you can make a decision based on that and all the pilots you meet.

Quoting justinmcducd (Thread starter):
and yes, I had a dui when I was 18 (fratboy freshman stupidity).


As stated above this may be a pretty big problem, but I do not know the specifics.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
m11stephen
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RE: Not The Usuall 'my Dream Speal'...

Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:00 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 4):
I'd say that airline flying is not a good move for you - you're starting too late. That said, there is plenty of commercial flying to be done outside of the airlines, and that could still be open to you. But if you've got a masters in something, use it. Getting into aviation is expensive, and it doesn't begin to pay for a long time.

How is 26 too late? There are plenty of pilots who go to school, get their bachelors degree and then go to flight school. I know scores of pilots who didn't get their first airline job until they were in their late 20s.

With programs like ATP you can go from never having flown a plane before to being a CFI in 150 days... From the pilots I've asked the program has a good reputation but then again I did work at a shoddy commuter airline so I'm not sure if I should trust their opinions or not. :P
My opinions, statements, etc. are my own and do not have any association with those of any employer.
 
Mir
Posts: 19491
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: Not The Usuall 'my Dream Speal'...

Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:37 am

Quoting m11stephen (Reply 6):
How is 26 too late? There are plenty of pilots who go to school, get their bachelors degree and then go to flight school. I know scores of pilots who didn't get their first airline job until they were in their late 20s.

The industry has changed. Used to be you could get away with getting your first airline job in your late 20s because you knew that there was opportunity for advancement. That's not the case anymore - your first job will likely be with a regional, and you may end up there for the rest of your career (either because there aren't openings anywhere else what with the drawdown of the major carriers, or because you don't want to deal with the hassle of going to another place and starting over at the bottom of the barrel). Not to mention that the top-level pay that you used to be able to count on late in your career to help make up for the ridiculously low wages you'll make early on isn't there anymore.

Sectors like corporate flying don't have that problem - you can get paid properly, and . And that's where I'd recommend that the OP look if he wanted to try and fly somewhere (in addition to trying to leverage his master's degree to do something useful in the field).

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
Dalmd88
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RE: Not The Usuall 'my Dream Speal'...

Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:41 am

Quoting m11stephen (Reply 6):
How is 26 too late? There are plenty of pilots who go to school, get their bachelors degree and then go to flight school. I know scores of pilots who didn't get their first airline job until they were in their late 20s.

I recall this same conversation when I was in my late 20's working as a mechanic for one of those first airline type of places. One of my non aivation friends was thinking about persuing the pilot career change and had me ask around at work form those about our age or just a little older. Those that began their piloting careers in the mid 20"s all said run like hell to anything else. They were all sick off working for nothing while most of their high school buddies where in decent paying jobs. Not great paying mind you, but not living on 25ct ramen noddles like them.

That was close to 20 years ago. I just got back from a college reunion. I graduated from a rather well known aviation college in FLA. Some of us noticed a trend. Graduates that quickly left aviation seemed to be better off than those of us that were " Living the Dream". Don't get stuck on that dream. Some are going to say don't listen to the bitter ones, follow your dreams. My answer is get a better paying job, buy your own plane and fly to the islands.
 
26point2
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Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:01 am

RE: Not The Usuall 'my Dream Speal'...

Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:48 pm

Quoting DarkSnowyNight (Reply 3):
you might be able to get a PPL with a good explanation to the FSDO and a solid driving record (otherwise) upon your certification. I don't know about a Commercial/ATP, but you can assume you'll really have to dance for it.

This is not accurate. The FAA is concerned with the DUI issue but will forgive one mishap if properly reported. It's in FAR 61.15. As with all FAR's you must read between the lines to interpret. It states that a revocation can happen if there is MORE than 1 DUI within 3 years. You should be OK as far as licensing goes. Good luck.
 
SlamClick
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RE: Not The Usuall 'my Dream Speal'...

Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:03 pm

Speaking for the industry in the USA and not elsewhere, you are not starting too late. As long as 25 years ago major airlines were hiring pilots in their 40s and even 50s. All the old stories about get-on-by-30 are two generations out of date.

The DUI should not be insurmountable but.:

1. It is your last one for your entire life. It never happens again. If you ever again have so much as a glass of wine you have a driver, do it at home or take a damn cab. Seriously, never again.

2. Do not ever even fantasize about withholding it. It comes out in the interview and it comes out soon enough to discuss in the time allowed.


The major airlines, those that survive, are going to need pilots and there are just no pilots coming along. They would need maybe one good summer of hiring to clean out the regionals. "Academy" training is already being discussed openly at major airlines.

Not suggesting that being an airline pilot is a better choice for you. That is up to you. But if you think you would watch the years go by with increasing regret at what you did not attempt let me tell you, TODAY is your window of opportunity.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.

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