Luxury4Play.com banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
After years of dreaming and talking, I went up a hand full of times with an instructor. I asked him to lay it out for me and he basically said that once you're done, you will be in debt and looking for a job. I started doing some reading and found that the general consensus is that it's pretty accurate.

So I have to ask, who's making the money in the business? Charter owners? Only major air lines? Is it feasible to start lessons and make a living once done (or near done)? It sounds like it's the same chance as going to driving school and becoming a pro race car driver. Prolly ain't gonna happen.
Any thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,044 Posts
Aside from doing it for the love of flying or as a hobby, seems the aviation industry has done little to motivate or incent interest for the next generation of pilots. That is, unless you're coming in from a military background with training paid for by our tax dollars. I've watched friends burn tens of thousands on private flight schools only to end up in their previous line of work, buried in debt. If that's what you truly want to do join the USAF, Navy, or Coast Guard and learn to fly there :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Take it from a pilot that is currently short on hours and looking for a job.

Yes you can do it successfully. No, you cant do it your own way.

As it stands these days your best bet is to go into a program that will take you from Ab Initio or little or no hours, maybe having your Private licence to Flight Instructor. Most flight schools these days (like Flight Saftey I attended) prefer to hire there own students as instructors because they know you have recieved the level of training and have good habits that they want in an employee.

There are programs that you can go into with a school like FS that will lock you into a certain amount of hours working with the company, which is basically paying for a job. I think FS's minimum is 800 in the air hours. NOT AT ALL BAD for what you do and they way they fly pilots your comitment is done in a little over 6 months. Again, not at all bad for what you leave with.

Most students can make CFI in about 300 - 400 hours. Less if your on the ball. Add your 800 hour comitment and your right at the number of hours most regional airlines, charter companies or even frieght/cargo companies like to see in new hire pilots.

I collected most of my hours before 9/11 and decided to try and get on with small companies back when regionals would hire a student with a commercial licence that only had 250-300 hours. After that date and pilots were being furloughed left and right it was impossible for me to get a job. Flash forward almost 11 years later and im in the same boat still. Im thinking of doing my CFI next year and starting from the ground up so to speak. Had I kept with that program I would have been like a buddy of mine who ended up flying regional jets 9 months after I left. Sure I probably would have been furloughed just like most pilots with no seinority, but I would have the hours to get work elswhere.

If your going to do it, commit, get it done and dont piss around. If not save your money and energy for something else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
570 Posts
i am currently a pilot at a regional airline. i started flying at the beginning of 2005 at a major aeronautical university. i got my bachelors degree and all licenses from private through commercial up to CFI and CFII. I paid for it all through the GI bill, Marine Corps college fund, and student loans. I still came out with a pretty good amount of student debt and i finished school in only 3 years. after working for the school about 9 months as a flight instructor i was hired by the regional airline. i worked for 11 months until I was furloughed (laid off). in that 11 months I made about $14k so that give you a good idea of a starting salary. after a year and a half being laid off I have recently been recalled and am currently re-qualifying on the jet. over the next 12 months if everything goes right i stand to make about $40k. if i get really lucky in about 10 years i should be making over 100k with a pretty good schedule. this industry is extremely cyclical and very hard to predict. everything is based on seniority. if you quit one airline or get laid off, the next airline you go to will put you at the bottom of the seniority list (and pay scale) its not like being an accountant or lawyer where your experience counts for something.

that said i love flying and the lifestyle that goes with it. ill never sit in a cubicle, i have the best views in the world, i can fly pretty much anywhere i want on my days off for FREE and the plane i fly touches the wheels to the runway around 160mph so that makes all the crap worth while.

a lot of pilots have a side business because they have so much time off every month they can make some extra $$. i would tell anyone who is interested in this line of work to do a TON of research first. this is a business where if your heart is not in it you dont stand a chance. a good site for more info is Airline Pilot Central - HOME.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
i am currently a pilot at a regional airline. i started flying at the beginning of 2005 at a major aeronautical university. i got my bachelors degree and all licenses from private through commercial up to CFI and CFII. I paid for it all through the GI bill, Marine Corps college fund, and student loans. I still came out with a pretty good amount of student debt and i finished school in only 3 years. after working for the school about 9 months as a flight instructor i was hired by the regional airline. i worked for 11 months until I was furloughed (laid off). in that 11 months I made about $14k so that give you a good idea of a starting salary. after a year and a half being laid off I have recently been recalled and am currently re-qualifying on the jet. over the next 12 months if everything goes right i stand to make about $40k. if i get really lucky in about 10 years i should be making over 100k with a pretty good schedule. this industry is extremely cyclical and very hard to predict. everything is based on seniority. if you quit one airline or get laid off, the next airline you go to will put you at the bottom of the seniority list (and pay scale) its not like being an accountant or lawyer where your experience counts for something.

that said i love flying and the lifestyle that goes with it. ill never sit in a cubicle, i have the best views in the world, i can fly pretty much anywhere i want on my days off for FREE and the plane i fly touches the wheels to the runway around 160mph so that makes all the crap worth while.

a lot of pilots have a side business because they have so much time off every month they can make some extra $$. i would tell anyone who is interested in this line of work to do a TON of research first. this is a business where if your heart is not in it you dont stand a chance. a good site for more info is Airline Pilot Central - HOME.
You really hit all the major points here.
I am a CFI/CFII at a major university and I am applying like mad to the regional carriers. I have friends who are going through the industry at different phases and I gotta say you hit it on the head of the nail.

One thing I would like to add to the idea of the airline industry being cyclical is that in the next 5-7 (maybe less) years many of the captains at the major airlines will be hitting the mandatory retirement age and I think that there will be major hiring taking place in the near future
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top