Any commercial pilots here? I have some questions..

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by rockets, Dec 14, 2018.

Help Support The Rocketry Forum by donating:

  1. Dec 17, 2018 #31

    mkadams001

    mkadams001

    mkadams001

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    876
    Likes Received:
    1
    I love the that you are planning this out and planning on saving money to pay for this rather than borrowing money. I took on a part time job to pay for for my PPL while fully employed.

    The military may a way to go as well. You will need a bachelor's degree.

    You are off to a great start.
     
  2. Dec 17, 2018 #32

    watheyak

    watheyak

    watheyak

    Barnstormer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Messages:
    572
    Likes Received:
    62
    Location:
    Arizona
    This is totally untrue.

    All the major US airlines pay incredibly well. Working 14-18 days a month and making $200-300k or even more per year is certainly a living wage. Not to mention incredible benefits and 401K. Heck, second year first officer pay at the domestic majors is almost $200k a year. Senior wide body captain? Off the charts, and you work when and as much as you want to.

    Those foreign airlines you mention might have ranked well in something, but not pay, benefits, and certainly not quality of life. The three domestics you specifically called out are probably some of the best airlines in the world to work at. Delta and Southwest specifically are probably at or near the top every aspiring airline pilot's wish list.
     
    mach7 likes this.
  3. Dec 18, 2018 #33

    rockets

    rockets

    rockets

    Owner, ARS Rockets

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
    Messages:
    1,230
    Likes Received:
    23
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Somewhere in Ohio
    On top of my interest in becoming a commercial pilot, I'm also an plane spotter and my brother and I take pictures and videos of planes.

    Here's an example of the photos that we take.



    Thanks,
     

    Attached Files:

    NateB and watheyak like this.
  4. Dec 18, 2018 #34

    NateB

    NateB

    NateB

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    65
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    NE Indiana
    Here are a few of my favorites. 20150711_094013.jpg FB_IMG_1429183573177.jpg

    2012-09-01_19-13-48_78.jpg

    That last one may not seem special, it is just a small cargo plane being used for skydiving. It is the first airplane I ever got to fly in, and I got a hop in the jump seat in the cockpit.
     
  5. Dec 18, 2018 #35

    Maxout

    Maxout

    Maxout

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    15
    Oh proverb: how do you know someone is a pilot? You'll know if he's a pilot within 5 minutes of meeting him because he'll tell you.

    So then...that's you're intro that yes, I'm a pilot. I lucked out like crazy by being born into a family connected to aviation, and so became the third in my lineage to get a commercial certificate and the second to get the CFI. Dad taught me through highschool and so I went to college on time and with CFI in hand (the ink was barely dry, mind you).

    I worked through college as a CFII through local flying clubs and FBOs. By the time I graduated there were lots of flight schools advertising starting salaries of $50-60K for basic CFIs, so I would have been able to nab a decent gig, but I went off to grad school and currently work as an aeronautical engineer. Also not a bad gig, but much more math.

    You've got lots of decisions ahead of you, and you're on the right track. Keep your options open and don't go to college for a fluff degree. If you're not going for something technical (engineering and flying go well together), I personally think you're better off getting an A&P cert through a tech school instead of blowing gobs of money on a 4 yr degree you won't use.

    I kept flying until I had somewhere north of 700 hrs but haven't done much flying since I got out of instructing. Had some extremely close-to-home experiences that soured the profession for me and made me view ATC as an actual threat to my safety, including a center controller berating me on radio for asking for flight following in an aircraft without GPS (yes, really). Unfortunately that was actually one of the milder experiences I saw. Bottom line: fly, and enjoy it, but watch your back. We've got the most freedom in aviation here of any place on earth, but when it comes to safety, ATC does not care, does not have your back, and worst of all, the NTSB report will get manipulated to blame you so that your gravestone won't even precipitate a policy change.
     
  6. Dec 18, 2018 #36

    Onebadhawk

    Onebadhawk

    Onebadhawk

    Sponsor TRF Sponsor

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Messages:
    5,630
    Likes Received:
    159
    Wow Ryan,,
    I'm really jealous man, lol..
    I've been intrigued by flight my entire life..
    I guess in one sense you have reached the pinnacle..
    Beautiful aircraft..
    Too cool Ryan..

    Teddy
     
  7. Dec 18, 2018 #37

    Charles_McG

    Charles_McG

    Charles_McG

    Ciderwright

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,974
    Likes Received:
    261
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    On the personal networking side of the equation, you might want to check to see what EAA is doing in your area. Might get cheap/free rides (https://www.eaa.org/eaa/youth/free-ye-flights), and certainly meet people in the industry at all levels.

    Our high school has an aviation club. https://falconaviation.org/ They just certified their second Van's RV12 and ordered the third.
    This kind of program is rare - but the people involved are all EAA - as well as retired military, corporate and carrier people. Ground and pilot.

    I attended the flight certification and was amazed at how much time the team of FAA inspectors took with the students: turning it into a real teaching moment. They are also looking ahead at the looming shortages of pilots and mechanics and reaching out to young people.
     
    NateB likes this.
  8. Dec 18, 2018 #38

    Angie

    Angie

    Angie

    Administrator Staff Member Administrator Global Mod

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2016
    Messages:
    1,198
    Likes Received:
    149
  9. Dec 19, 2018 #39

    Not Quite Nominal

    Not Quite Nominal

    Not Quite Nominal

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    60
    Finally something where I have something useful to offer! My day (and night) job is A320 Captain for a US airline. It's pretty nice. I make great money, the view is nice, and when I set the parking brake at the end of my trip, work doesn't follow me home.

    I went the civilian route but seriously considered the military route (due to government budget situation at the time, a jet regional called before the military did). It's been a crazy ride - stuck in the right seat of a regional making peanuts for much of the Lost Decade of aviation, got hired by a major and made Captain, etc.
    • Do not go into aviation expecting that it will be a regularly-paced career. Your career is not in your control. Your career outcome is largely determined by the union seniority system, the performance of the company you picked twenty years ago, and the whims of HR on the day you get hired. I've had two, yes two, interviews my whole aviation career.
    • I know great guys who can't get a look, and absolutely horrible guys who are captains at in the golden circle. As far as I can tell, I'm here because of dumb luck. HR liked me that day and management at my airline did a good job.
    • Always have a backup plan, and live on one paycheck and save the other. My airline could go Chapter 7 tomorrow and my cushy 2-300k/yr, 17 day off job could vaporize. Due to the union seniority system, I'd find myself making 30k/yr as a regional FO, commuting, working weekends. That's why I invest on the side, and could fall back on another career to feed my family.
    • Seriously consider the military. Their training is better, their planes are faster, their missions are cooler, and they get instantly hired at the major of their choice upon separation. You won't pay a nickel for any of it. Most importantly, you have the privilege of serving your country. However you'll spend a decade of your life living where they tell you to, often on short notice. There's a good chance you'll end up deployed and watch your kid's first steps on Skype. You'll drown in one pointless Powerpoint briefing after another. You may not fly as much as you think you should. The choice is yours.
    • This is the best the airline industry has been for decades. This is not normal. Just a few decades ago you had to have a couple thousand hours to touch a regional, and some of them would make you pay for training. AA didn't hire a single pilot for 13 years. Regionals used to pay 20/hr and give you 8 days off a month, and people were beating down the doors to get in. It could get ugly fast, and be prepared to be happy wherever you are sitting when the music stops: and that could be at a regional, making peanuts on a concessionary contract, commuting to La Garbage to sit reserve in a roach-infested crashpad.
    • If you make it, it's worth it. NB CA is a quarter million dollars for a part-time job flying jets. WB CA is an extra hundred grand, and you're flying to Paris. Not everyone makes it.
    • Family comes first. Be willing to pass up upgrade, commute, move to base, do whatever it takes to give yourself a good home life. 100% of the guys I know who had their eyes on the prize and nothing else are divorced.

    "Need"? No. But in the current environment a single-digit percentage of major airline hires lack a degree, and they're either former Navy SEALs or of a government-mandated desirable demographic. Get a degree. In the current environment, get an aviation degree, as the majors care. Plus it saves you 500 hours before you can go to the airlines.

    If you can hack the class load, get a second, related degree in something you wouldn't mind doing. People fail checkrides, lose their medical, have companies go bankrupt, have family that keeps them home seven days a week. In life as in flying, you can only hope for the best if you have prepared for the worst.
    Delta, American, United, and Southwest have over 10k applicants. Everyone wishes they knew that answer.

    That being said, I like your plan. It's frugal, involves no debt, and has reasonable expectations. Here are the downsides:

    Without the degree, you may never progress past the regionals. While I think the college degree is a bit of a scam nowadays, especially for subjects that don't pay well, in the last five years the aviation degree has become the preferred entry point. You can now intern at an AA regional in college, get a flow into an AA regional, and then get a seniority number at AA where you will flow up when your seniority can hold it. That's as close to a golden lottery ticket as you can get.
    https://www.flyingmag.com/aviation-college-programs-are-pilot-pipeline#page-4
    https://www.aopa.org/training-and-safety/learn-to-fly/aviation-colleges

    Also be aware that you're chasing a moving target. When I started, you needed 1000 TPIC to get to a major. We all chased 1000 TPIC, and the majors stopped caring. Then it was lots of internal recs. We all got lots of internal recs. The majors stopped caring. Then it was show up at a job fair. WIA and OBAP had lines a thousand pilots deep. Then the majors stopped caring. Now it's get an aviation degree and get hired on with a regional with a flow-through program. Who knows if that pipeline will continue?

    Good luck, and feel free to PM me.
     
    OverTheTop and Angie like this.
  10. Dec 19, 2018 #40

    Flyfalcons

    Flyfalcons

    Flyfalcons

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2015
    Messages:
    2,135
    Likes Received:
    238
    I think the folks that have "made it" are the one sipping martinis in the back while I do the flying up front! :D

    I've gotten a taste of how traveling like that is like.......I can see how people with the means are spending obscene amounts of money to travel like this.

    20180803_170315.jpg 20180803_143821.jpg
     
    James Duffy likes this.
  11. Dec 19, 2018 #41

    Onebadhawk

    Onebadhawk

    Onebadhawk

    Sponsor TRF Sponsor

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Messages:
    5,630
    Likes Received:
    159
    Ha,,
    I guess you may have a point there,, lol..

    That's too wonderful Ryan,,
    is that your wife and little girl ??
    I bet she'll remember times like this with her dad forever..
    She's a cutie too,,
    I bet she's got you wrapped around her little finger too..

    Good for you Ryan..
    Very cool man..

    Teddy
     
  12. Dec 20, 2018 #42

    Not Quite Nominal

    Not Quite Nominal

    Not Quite Nominal

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    60
    That's the most PC description I've heard of what people do in the back of a business jet. Those guys can spent my entire year's income on a two leg trip to Tokyo.
    They live on an entirely different plant of "making it" than my working-Joe perspective!
     
  13. Dec 23, 2018 #43

    GrouchoDuke

    GrouchoDuke

    GrouchoDuke

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2016
    Messages:
    774
    Likes Received:
    97
    There's tons of great advice here. I got my private license on my own once I had my first real job. I worked as an engineer for a while, then I chose to go the military flying route. I've been really lucky in my career & been able to do exactly what I wanted to with 20 straight years of fighter and test pilot assignments.

    While you don't have to pay money for military flight training, I wouldn't exactly call it free. It's an absolute honor to serve, but deployments, getting shot at, seeing your friends die, non-flying assignments, crazy work hours, endless mountains of non-flying related work, increasingly non-pilot/warrior culture and high divorce rates are things that recruiters don't usually spend time explaining. That said, the flying (at least on the fighter side of things) is absolutely amazing. Whatever you choose, make sure you research it past the glossy brochure.

    All the former military pilots I know at the majors absolutely love it. I'm retiring from the USAF in September and working on transitioning to a cargo or airline job. Polishing up my logbooks & resume now...
     

Share This Page