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ATC or Regional

McNugent

Whatever...
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I was recently hired conditionally at ASA pending fingerprints etc... On top of that I may have an opportunity in ATC in the comming months. I'm currently sweating it out as a CFI and have always wanted that airline job, but ATC is so stable and such good money. I never thought both opportunities would happen at the same time. Any thoughts on what to do?
 

vclean

Well-known member
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It's refreshing when someone answers their own question.

ATC offers better pay, benefits, security & QOL.
You don't spend more than 1/2 the month in crappy hotels.

Probably the only wildcard is ATC privatization.
 

SkyBoy1981

Bring a towel!
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You also have very little choice in where you will live in ATC. You pick a region, and you could be placed anywhere within that region.
 

V2plus25

Brownin'
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Jan 21, 2004
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I don't know about you, but I can't stand sitting behind a desk for more than a few months before I just HAVE to go fly again. I've done it several times to no avail.... always have to get back to full-time flying.
 

XSWANN@240

Watch this! hold my beer
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Advice

McNugent said:
I was recently hired conditionally at ASA pending fingerprints etc... On top of that I may have an opportunity in ATC in the comming months. I'm currently sweating it out as a CFI and have always wanted that airline job, but ATC is so stable and such good money. I never thought both opportunities would happen at the same time. Any thoughts on what to do?

I would follow through with ASA, but DON'T close the door on the ATC position. If the FAA calls you while at ASA I would resign from the regional. You can still fly part-time for a smaller operator. I have an ATC friend that flies a King Air part time.
Like you said its stable, great pay and benefits, pension, retirement program, great work rules, and several days off available. Its true they can send you any where in the country. But, you can always bid to another ATC facility.

But, if you want to fly full-time for an airline then go for it...

good luck
 

McNugent

Whatever...
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Mar 26, 2005
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Thanks for the input! I have some time to figure things out, so all ideas are appreciated.
 

Tooslow

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Sep 5, 2002
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Sitting in a dark room or in a tower would get old VERY fast, no thanks. Do what you love to do,
 

satpak77

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go ATC and buy your own airplane, you will be making 100K+ a year

contrary to popular belief, nobody goes airlines because "they love to fly", they are chasing that golden dream which is dying quickly

if you love to fly, buy your own plane. If you love being away from the wife and kids, sleeping on nasty hotel pillows, and dining on airline cabin food, then go airlines
 

mamba20

Do what now?
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Sat, I am at an airline becuase I love to fly. True, I might be chasing a dream but I think I might be the only optimist left who thinks things will actually get better.
 

No Delay

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SatPak nailed it. No question...ATC!

Much more money and you start out making great money compared to struggling through regional airline pay.

ATC would pay you enough to buy an airplane. My best friend is a controller and makes dang good money. Initially, he was sent to NYC center - he hated NY but was able to get ATL (where he wanted) in only 4 or 5 years. He makes 3 times the money I make and he has been making it from the start. He now own 2 nice homes (one on the beach) - the dream I am chasing on my regional paycheck.
 

DX Rick

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Do the ATC route. You'll be able to afford your own airplane, and fly for fun.
 

McNugent

Whatever...
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Mar 26, 2005
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528
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I agree with mamba20 if I do love flying, and always have chased that dream of the airline job. I sure hope things get better for you guys out there on the line, it's tough reading about how bad things can get. I guess I may be finding out for myself here in the near future.
 

Whitestoneclimb

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Dec 4, 2003
Posts
79
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nomore
I would definately go the ATC route. After 15 years in the regional industry, I wish I would have gone that route. I have always been impressed with the ATC guys/gals when I had the chance to get a tour. They really seem to love their job. Oh sure, it has its good points and bad points, just like any other career. But overall, the biggest difference is lifestyle and job security. The airlines are so unstable right now, with no end in site. The possibility of moving to a major is growing slimmer by the day, and with all of the cost cutting and concessions the various pilot groups are taking, we'll all be working for Wal-Mart wages soon. Like other posters said above, if you like spending at least half the month on the road, eating lousy food all trhe time, having you're sleep cycles contantly disrupted and never being able to plan any family events due to airline-type monthly schedule bidding, then go fly. But if you want a "normal" life with job security, good wages, and decent health insurance and retirement, do the ATC thing. Really, its just a matter of what you want out of life. Good luck with your decision!
 

satpak77

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mamba20 said:
Sat, I am at an airline becuase I love to fly. True, I might be chasing a dream but I think I might be the only optimist left who thinks things will actually get better.

going to the airlines because "you love to fly" is like going to Greyhound because you love to drive

on the other hand, getting a job that allows you to buy a corvette convertible or Harley which you drive on a sunny weekend thru the country is something else, because you love to drive

enought with the "I went airlines because I love to fly" horsesh1t. People go airlines because they want that 200K a year job as a Capt flying 777's to Europe, with young FA's to spend time on the road with. Oh yeah, working 8 days a month or similar. When you retire you will get that multi-million dollar pension. Basically everything Kit Darby promised you as you walked with him to the 2005 slaughterhouse called the airline industry.

As you stand in line at the slaughterhouse, let me point some things out.

The reality of 2005 is that "young FA's" dont exist anymore, the only people driving 777's as Capt are in the top of the top Sen List at UAL, AMR, or CAL, and those "8 days a month" (seen by above said Captains by the way) do not take into consideration crash pad time, commute time, come-back-home time, etc. Oh yeah, pensions are gone or are going to be gone.

Is that Lima Charlie? PENSIONS ARE GONE or GOING TO BE GONE. And thats why we all work isn't it? So we can retire? Note SWA and JBLU have 401(k)s, which is dependent upon the stock market for performance (so does the rest of corporate america...). Again, the "classic" pensions are GONE or GOING TO BE GONE.

FORGET the airline career (original poster's position "in life"), go ATC or go to FAA Flight Inspection or Customs or somewhere that has a stable check and you will still be exposed to aviation.

later
 
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