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Chances of getting on with a Major....

LR25

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typhoonpilot said:
You couldn't be further from the truth. Real flying is an open cockpit biplane with only needle, ball, and airspeed. What you described is fun, but it isn't real flying.


TP

Oh, K2774 stick with Physics and rent airplanes for fun flying on the weekend.


Typhoon is right, real airplanes have 2 wings, round engine and a tailwheel.
 

k2774

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"RadarLove"

I worked for a major defense company for 7 years, quit my job to go back to school. I have a full NSF fellowship with a stipen of 28K. Since I already have an MS, it's only 3-4 more years to a PhD. I've interned at a national lab every summer since starting grad school with full benefits, vacation/sick leave.

I don't think I'll have problems getting LOR's from any source.

I don't sit at a desk all day. I'm accually in a LASER lab growing carbon nanotubes. I also will be eligible to apply to the astronaut program when the application window opens.

My delima is that I love flying also.
 

Big Beer Belly

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capt. megadeth said:
The majority of my life has been spent doing "what I love" and that is flying. I, on the other hand, am a big believer in this. In my opinion, it makes the difference between being miserable and being happy. There are definitely many many sacrifices that one makes for this career but IMHO it is worth it if you are doing what you love vs. something that just makes money.


Not meant as an attack personally ... but I'm curious why so many subscribe to this thought pattern? It seems AMAZINGLY SELFISH to me ... I mean your entire earning career spent doing something you "love" versus earning money for your family. Fine, if you are single ... but extremely self-centered if raising a family. (I know those are big "IF's") Once you marry and start a family, your JOB is to PROVIDE for those little ones. I could give a rat's fanny about your "love" ... you need to put food on the table, save for retirement, and pay for your kid's college education ... as an ABSOLUTE MINIMUM!

Fact is ... there are way too many pilots willing to work for slave wages and scrub toilets on aircraft just to have the opportunity to stroke jet throttles (errr .... excuse me .... "thrust levers") ... and that fact alone will force pilot wages down. Combine this with the incredibly competitive nature of passenger airline ops, increased liberalization of intl air rights (even more competition) and the future for a major airline pilot is not very bright. Oh, forgot to mention the destruction of pensions .... what's left is just an hourly job cleaning airplanes and flying till the FAR limit of 16 hrs is hit. SWA and Jet Blue are fighting to pilot aircraft till you die at the yoke and coming up with ever more assinine twists on the few "protections" (8 hr flight limit/day) we have enjoyed (all in the "name" of productivity) ... safe to say these guys have done more to depress this occupation to that of a Wal Mart greeter than 25 years of poor bargaining in labor negotiations.

I keep coming back to what it is people so "love" about 121 flying? 30 degrees pitch +/- and (hold on now!) 45 degrees bank? For Christ's sake ... my grandmother exceeds those parameters walking to the crapper! In my very narrow window of what impresses me or gives me the least thrill ... there's NO 121 flying WHATSOEVER that even tickles that parameter. All I can come back with .... if you've even experienced the most basic of military flight training, you are FOREVER spoiled. You cannot compare 500 knot low levels or 3ft fingertip at 500 knots (the MOST basic of flight maneuvers) to 160mph cruise speed in an RV-"whatever". What the "hell" is it that so many civilian pilots "love" about 121 flying? In reality ... it is about as exciting as parallel parking a Greyhound or freeway commuting in a Yugo. You want exciting ... join the military.

YMMV,

BBB
 

capt. megadeth

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BBB,
Well, see....I don't yet have a family. As a little girl, I grew up wanting to become an airline pilot, not my wedding day and definitely not to be the barefoot and pregnant little wifey. My dilemma is IF I want a family because I don't want to give up flying. I don't know how to explain it....I mean, I am finally at a place where I plan to stay, I have been flying for 14 years now. Sure, it is definitely anticlimactic (sp?). You dream about all this glory and crap, then by the time you finally get there, you are so spent that it is really not quite everything you dreamed it would be. BUT, the thought of doing something else just really blows. Besides, do we know if this dude even has a family that he has to think about? I mean, if not, then we are wasting key strokes here...know what I mean?

By the way, all I have to do is go to my second job and I realize what I "love" about 121 flying. I drive home and think...."8 hours a day, 5 days a week working my a$$ off.........F&^* THAT! Everyone is different...that is just me.
 
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Mr. Irrelevant

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Why not just go corporate if you really want to fly? I'd agree with other posters that the airline route, other than working for SWA, JB, FEDEX or UPS may very well be like getting teeth pulled(no novacaine). There are other avenues in aviation.

safe to say these guys have done more to depress this occupation to that of a Wal Mart greeter than 25 years of poor bargaining in labor negotiations.
WalMart greeters don't have 401k's that look anything like that of a 20-30 year SWA pilot. Neither do legacy carrier pilots have pension plans that look that good. At least going forward they don't.

Good luck on your decision.

Mr. I
 

AV80R

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B_B_B - “I keep coming back to what it is people so "love" about 121 flying? “30 degrees pitch +/- and (hold on now!) 45 degrees bank? For Christ's sake ... my grandmother exceeds those parameters walking to the crapper!”

Love the comparison! My mom keeps saying I chose a really “dangerous” profession. I’ll try to put her at ease next time we talk about my flying by using your comparison; hopefully it’ll put her at ease! :)


k2774 – I’d think your chances of a “good return on 'your' investment" would be much better outside the aviation business. By all means keep trying if you really want to fly professionally, but you don’t sound like someone who’s truly into it. Maybe I am wrong, don’t know, good luck to you regardless of what you decide.
 

radarlove

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k2774 said:
"RadarLove"

I worked for a major defense company for 7 years, quit my job to go back to school. I have a full NSF fellowship with a stipen of 28K.

Ok, you're really cool. Love the part about $28k! I was wrong, you won't be making $2,000 per month, you'll be making $2,300 per month...jumping at your advisor's every whim.

Since I already have an MS, it's only 3-4 more years to a PhD. I've interned at a national lab every summer since starting grad school with full benefits, vacation/sick leave.

I'm drooling with envy. Vacation AND benefits?

I don't think I'll have problems getting LOR's from any source.

Yeah, you know exactly how many airline pilots? That you've flown with?

The more you write, the more I fear that you would have zero chance of making it to the top of this career. You come across as very arrogant, especially considering the very weak achievements you've earned. Your 20s are for taking chances and reaching for the brass ring, not your 40s with a family. The train done left the station. Well, for you, that is, there is still the occasional success late-start success story, but those guys and gals were driven and made sacrifices.

I don't sit at a desk all day. I'm accually in a LASER lab growing carbon nanotubes. I also will be eligible to apply to the astronaut program when the application window opens.

Sounds deadly boring. Ok, the buzzing flourescent lamp is above your head in a lab instead of a cube. But that's now, not when you get your job as a PhD, where you will very likely be sitting in a cube with the same buzzing light above you.

I wouldn't get my hopes up about that whole astronaut fantasy, but if it keeps you going, then more power to you.

My delima is that I love flying also.

Your dilemma is that you are not a particularly decisive person and you have hit your midlife crisis a bit early. In your world your accomplishments may sound neato, but in my world, you're still stuck in neutral. There are PhDs, MDs and many MBAs in the airline pilot ranks. In fact, to make rank, most military guys grab a Master of Science in their spare time. The Air Force and Naval Academy guys will make your eyes water with their academic achievements, generally in engineering.

Oh yeah, the airlines employ ex-astronauts too.

You don't "love flying" enough. If you did, you'd be in my shoes.

In my opinion, you came here to find evidence that you should stick to what counts as "a plan" in your world instead of wading into the difficult waters of an aviation career, because perhaps the career isn't what it used to be.

Well good luck, flying airplanes is (to me) like being an explorer in Columbus's time. The coolest career in the planet. Making buckyballs in a national laboratory is flat out boring in relation. Wow, maybe you'll present a poster as second or third author!

To cut you some slack, I too used to think I was a pretty accomplished guy when I was your age.

Then I sat in my initial training class and listened to everyone one at a time around the room introduce himself and give some background details. A humbling experience, let me tell you! See, many of these guys not only had the academic credentials you have, they also flew and earned the experience required to hit the majors while you were sitting with your thumb up your rear end at a defense contractor's.
 

jbDC9

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Big Beer Belly said:
I keep coming back to what it is people so "love" about 121 flying? 30 degrees pitch +/- and (hold on now!) 45 degrees bank? In my very narrow window of what impresses me or gives me the least thrill ... there's NO 121 flying WHATSOEVER that even tickles that parameter. All I can come back with .... if you've even experienced the most basic of military flight training, you are FOREVER spoiled. You cannot compare 500 knot low levels or 3ft fingertip at 500 knots (the MOST basic of flight maneuvers) to 160mph cruise speed in an RV-"whatever". What the "hell" is it that so many civilian pilots "love" about 121 flying? In reality ... it is about as exciting as parallel parking a Greyhound or freeway commuting in a Yugo. You want exciting ... join the military.

Did you get that ego from the Air Force as well? "...join the military." Man, why didn't I think of that??? Oh, right. My vision is less than perfect. So you see, not everyone can just "join the military" and fly fast jets at 500 kts in the dirt. It's not that simple. Also, I think maybe it's just you; I've met/heard of quite a few current and former military pilots who build and fly RV's. Maybe an RV isn't so boring after all...

So here's my take. I love to fly, been wanting to do this since I was 10 yrs old. Yep, you're right, pushing a 737 around can be very, very boring, yet at times it can also be very rewarding. I have a pretty good schedule, lotsa days off and the pay ain't bad. Beats a real job, 8 to 5 five days a week. And shame on me, I'm building an RV-8 in my garage... is that a bad thing? For the record, it's just me and the wife, no kids to feed.

I think Typhoonpilot said it best regarding "real" flying. Rag wings and tailwheels rule, IMHO.
 

B6Driver

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Life's too short so do what your heart wants.
I still love going to work after 20 years in the Biz.
Use your brain in a side job to make some extra loot along the way.
Best of luck!
 

Whine Lover

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Sorry.

Anyone who is in line for a Doctorate has learned to spell and/or form sentences.

"I have a question regaurding my future."

"...provided I continue to shell out thousands of dollars to work through my ratings ang forego the PhD program..."

"...I'm trying to rationalize of shelling out $30-40 on flight training, and the furthest I can go is to a regional or small cargo carrier."

"... Thanks in advance for the responces."

Who's this guy trying to fool?


WL
 
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mrtoy2

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I was that little 5 year old with his nose up against the window in the terminal staring in wonder at the plane waiting to take my grandparents to Florida every year. (notice that I didn't say: staring at the military fighter jets). Some of us actually love flying and have wanted to be an airline pilot all their lives. Not everyone is into the type of flying the fighters do in the military. I personally take pride and a perverse pleasure delivering my pax to their destination safely. Is it a job? Yes with benefits. Is it really flying? Sometimes yes but mostly no. Real flying is in airplanes without the aide of computers IMHO. The 757 that I flew up until earlier this year pretty much did everything for me including landing if I didn't feel like it. (always found reasons not to do autolands though) I would agree that this is not flying but only managing the computers on a very sophisticated bus. Someday I too would like to own my own airplane. Because that type of flying is rewarding as well. You will NEVER be able to fly with your young son at the controls in a fighter. If you love both your science career and your flying career, do both. Become a test pilot for Boeing so you can make sure those fighters do what there supposed to do...make fighter pilots' egos bigger! :Q
 

FN FAL

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mrtoy2 said:
If you love both your science career and your flying career, do both. Become a test pilot for Boeing so you can make sure those fighters do what there supposed to do...make fighter pilots' egos bigger! :Q
Really? DARPA's dream is to build autonomy into combat technology...future fighter pilots will doing what we are doing right now, typing on keyboards in an airconditioned room.
 

Big Beer Belly

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The same guys that think driving a Toyota Corolla is "really fun" are the same guys bragging about flying 121. The military affords even the basic flight "trainee" with a broader range of the flight envelope of an aircraft than any civilian school. I don't believe there is any argument here. It is what it is.

Some will be quick to accuse me of having an "attitude" of superiority for pointing out the "facts". All I am saying is that once you have experienced the performance capability of "afterburning" aircraft, you will not be so thrilled with the offerings of the civilian market ... just a fact. My point is that I don't get the "love" thing about flying 121. If you wanted to race Indie cars ... why go the tractor pull route? Everyone knows how to get around the "vision" thing ... so that''s not an excuse. 121 flying, by regulation, limits itself to the "heart of the center" of the flight envelope. Without sounding condescending, if that's all you've experienced, I can see how you might mistake it for "excitement". Given a different background, with high performance experience, you too might come to the same "arrogant" conclusion. They haven't made an "RV-whatever" yet that comes remotely close to blowing any wind up my skirt. I get more of a thrill at the local go-cart track than I do in a 767 ... and every former military guy will say the same ... though all the civilian guys will accuse us of being arrogant.

So ... this 121 stuff is simply a job ... not a particularly exciting or fulfilling one, but a financially rewarding one given my limited mental prowess and my proclivity to maximizing my time with my family. Working reserve at UPS (3-4 days/month) is about as good as an "airline" job gets. For "thrills" ... I'll chase Mrs. BBB around the house and make those dive-bombing sounds as I seek the "target" (gawd ... what a nauseating thought ... sorry everyone!)

Just another poor slob trying to get by ...

YMMV,

BBB
 
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waitinginline

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First, I would like to say I realize I do not post much at all. But, I have been a reader for quite some time and find the conversation very interesting.

However, I was really disturbed by a message that FATAS@ posted earlier.

You Sir, know who you are, and you might just be part of the problem....This is a quote from this bonehead and I am not so computer savy so I'll just paste it here and if your interested you can go backwards to determine just how fat this guy is!!!!

"I could give a rat's fanny about your "love" ... you need to put food on the table, save for retirement, and pay for your kid's college education ... as an ABSOLUTE MINIMUM!"

I, perhaps come from a different upbringing and believe that if want to go to school after high school it's on you. I did just that! I was enlisted in the Navy and later branch transfered to the Army. Anyway, after much work and heartache of my own, before I knew it I had a B.S.

I guess my point here is your not responsible for your kids after 18. Yes, it is great to teach your kids that at 18 they are on their own. Let them think that, and keep your reserve college money close-by and if required throw in the LIFE SAVER and help-em out. My point, hopefully is a lessoned learned.

But, I will not raise my kids thinking that they have their college paid for. You have at some point to give them incentive and let them reach for it.. Even though its taken care of...


 

BluDevAv8r

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Big Beer Belly said:
The same guys that think driving a Toyota Corolla is "really fun" are the same guys bragging about flying 121. The military affords even the basic flight "trainee" with a broader range of the flight envelope of an aircraft than any civilian school. I don't believe there is any argument here. It is what it is.

I don't necessarily disagree. But aside from your 110 hours in the 38, how much time down in the weeds at 500 kts were you doing in your 141? Of course, you could have been an IP in the 38...

Big Beer Belly said:
Everyone knows how to get around the "vision" thing ... so that''s not an excuse.

Had the 121 FS, DCANG (F-16's) lone UPT slot in 1999 for a FY00 UPT start date. Got ding'd for having a very minor red/green color deficiency in my eyes. Flight doc was unwilling to go for a waiver. After more research, the only way to get through this issue was to memorize the color plates and misrepresent myself to the military. No thanks. I'm a big fan of karma.


Big Beer Belly said:
121 flying, by regulation, limits itself to the "heart of the center" of the flight envelope. Without sounding condescending, if that's all you've experienced, I can see how you might mistake it for "excitement".

I think you are misunderstanding "excitement" with a love for one's career. People don't have to find 121 flying "exciting" to enjoy it or to find it rewarding/satisfying. What was so "exciting" about flying that 141 around the globe?

-Neal

PS - I don't find 121 flying "exciting" either. I'm not even sure I find it "rewarding" most of the time. But some do...don't fault them or snub your nose at them for that.
 

banned username 1

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Wait a minute-

You guys are making it far too complex.

If you have to ask the question, you've already got your answer. This business is just far too flaky to be weighing it against something else. I've seen people with great career paths throw them away and chase a career in aviation-with checkered results.

It's a journey and not an end-game decision. There are too many uncontrollables in aviation to assure a happy outcome as opposed to your engineering path that is fairly predictable-not the least of which are the recurring physicals.

If it's a means to an end- don't choose aviation.

If you have a viable alternate career plan, sooner or later you'll be kicking yourself and asking why you chose aviation as you try to stay awake flying checks around in the middle of the night in a C-402.

Regardless of the path that all career pilots took, they all have one thing in common- they thought that what they were doing at the time (with the occasional exceptions) was pretty cool. The nice job at the end was the carrot. No promises about that carrot, then or now- especially now. Choose aviation and you'd better love it to do what is going to be necessary to make yourself competitive with your peers.

Good luck
 
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FurloughedAgain

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I agree with UAL78. I too was the kid in the terminal with his nose pressed up against the glass. I had the opportunity to fly for a couple of regionals, an LCC, and a major. The lack of long-term job security has made me into the biggest, "Chicken little" I know.

There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Rent an airplane on the weekends. Enjoy the $100 hamburger.
 

capt. megadeth

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waitinginline said:
I guess my point here is your not responsible for your kids after 18. Yes, it is great to teach your kids that at 18 they are on their own. Let them think that, and keep your reserve college money close-by and if required throw in the LIFE SAVER and help-em out. My point, hopefully is a lessoned learned.

But, I will not raise my kids thinking that they have their college paid for. You have at some point to give them incentive and let them reach for it.. Even though its taken care of...

Yeah, I don't get this one, but then again I don't have kids. I took out loans to pay for college, they can too.
 

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