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Chances of getting on with a Major....

English

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radarlove said:
Great, advice from someone who didn't quite make it. I'm not trying to insult you, but before you tell this guy to "go for it", why don't you share some example of folks going from zero to the majors in 4-6 years?


It's been done. Trust me.
 
B

buttercup

English said:
It's been done. Trust me.
\



Jesus God Almighty.. You guys make it sound like Major is like making it to the major leagues in baseball.. 4 to 6 years is easily doable if thats what ones goal is.. It's not even that great of an accomplishment.. I know many people that have turned 10,000 into 10,000,000 trading stock in 5 years!! Now thats a *****ing accomplishment!!
 
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K-Mart

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as214 said:
\



Jesus God Almighty.. You guys make it sound like Major is like making it to the major leagues in baseball.. 4 to 6 years is easily doable if thats what ones goal is.. It's not even that great of an accomplishment.. I know many people that have turned 10,000 into 10,000,000 trading stock in 5 years!! Now thats a *****ing accomplishment!!


Well put.
 

radarlove

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English said:
It's been done. Trust me.

The argument isn't whether or not "it's been done", it's whether or not you think this chump is the one to do it.

Again, in my experience (yours may vary) it takes about fifteen years start to finish to make it to a major airline job. If you're female or a minority, or daddy bought you a 152 when you were 14, then things can be different.
 

Clyde

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k2774 said:
I know I'll get the "anything is possible answers," but I have a question regaurding my future. It's been my dream since a child to become a pilot for a major airline, and I currently have about 425TT/18M at age 35. I also have a MS in Physics and have been accepted into a few PhD programs in physics.

My question is.......provided I continue to shell out thousands of dollars to work through my ratings ang forego the PhD program, do you think I will have a chance at getting a good "return on my investment" by getting on with a major......or any lucrative flying job for that matter?

Although a dream, 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.

What would you do if you were in my shoes.....I guess that's the gist of my question. Thanks in advance for the responces.

Go for the PhD.

The question that should be asked is not what are the odds that you will get hired by a major, but rather, what are the odds you will experience a solid return on your investment. It's very possible that you could end up at a major someday, but it's questionable if you will see the compensation and benefits offered by the majors of years past.
 

Clyde

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radarlove said:
The argument isn't whether or not "it's been done", it's whether or not you think this chump is the one to do it.

Again, in my experience (yours may vary) it takes about fifteen years start to finish to make it to a major airline job. If you're female or a minority, or daddy bought you a 152 when you were 14, then things can be different.

FWIW:
High school graduation to day one of indoc at a major: 11 years.
Male, white-bread, didn't know anybody when I started.

15 years is a very good number, and I figured it would take me between 10 and 15 to finally land "the job". The thing I had going for me was timing. Everybody was hiring, but not everybody wanted to fly cargo.
 

vetteracer

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QUOTE
"Jesus God Almighty.. You guys make it sound like Major is like making it to the major leagues in baseball.. 4 to 6 years is easily doable if thats what ones goal is.. It's not even that great of an accomplishment.. I know many people that have turned 10,000 into 10,000,000 trading stock in 5 years!! Now thats a *****ing accomplishment!!"


VERY WELL PUT.

I had a pilot say to me once he ultimate goal was to fly a GV, I told him my ultimate goal was to be sitting in the back.

Mark
 

PurpleTail

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Clyde said:
FWIW:
High school graduation to day one of indoc at a major: 11 years.
Male, white-bread, didn't know anybody when I started.

15 years is a very good number, and I figured it would take me between 10 and 15 to finally land "the job". The thing I had going for me was timing. Everybody was hiring, but not everybody wanted to fly cargo.

Ditto, took me 12 yrs (10 yrs of full time flying)

Very first training flight, summer of '89 (sophmore yr of college)

Summer of '91 had multi, comm instru. then took two yrs off to finish BA degree.

'94 CFI, CFII, MEI started flight instructing for 1 year.

'95 Corporate turbo prop, '97 corporate jet, '01 FedEx indoc

FWIW, gl
 
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banned username 1

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Yep- timing IS everything

At one time or another, getting a job at a major WAS like making it to the major leagues- and about as tough.

It's great if you have lived in a time and hit all the seams to not think it to be so.

It took me about 12 years after I got my private to obtain all the rest of the ratings (including a FET from Braniff) and get 8000+ worth of instructior, corporate, and commuter time to be competitive and begin receiving interviews and offers.

For those who got it done in less, that's great.

So anyway, this gentleman doesn't need any more feedback from us (myself included). Let us know what you decided and how it worked out in 5 years, ok? I think we've beaten this one to death.
 
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Widow's Son

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Just as a point of reference. I went from Private to Major new hire in 6 years and Captain 4 years later.
No military, no sugar daddy. Did everything on the cheap. Ton of c-150 autogas time. Combined my commercial and multi training together and at the moment I had both tickets in hand I had less than 12 hours of retract time, not because I was superpilot only because it was the only way I could afford it. One of my private instructors was furloughed at the time from Western. He told me to stay away from the industry, but I'm glad I didn't follow his advice. Have had four flying jobs and each new one was a pay cut in hopes of a better future. Always made sure when I left a job that I could go back to it if I had to.
I have seen a lot of cycles. The downs always cycle back up again.
I focussed in on the carrier that seemed to have the best future rather than the highest pay at the moment. Friends who thought I was nuts at the time and chose big bucks instead are now reeling and would trade with me in a heartbeat. My previous carrier to this one would have still been a great career.
Bottom line is I make about 200k working about half the month, and the new garage plans are being drawn for the arrival of the RV10 kit. At its worst it still beats working. Had real jobs, real jobs suck. Been married 24 years, my wife's friends all say that I seem to have more time home and attend more kid's functions then their husbands do.
The advice I would pass on would be the same I have given my son.
Don't be greedy. Don't burn any bridges. If given a choice between two intermediate jobs take the one that would make the best career if you ended up stuck there. When you are reaching for the top tier pick the option with the strongest balance sheet and number of aircraft on order. Luck is a factor and the harder you work the luckier you get.
There is always room at the top and someone is always hiring. If it truly is in your blood then go for it because otherwise you will always wish you had. If it isn't in your blood then don't bother and you'll leave more room for my son.
 

rightrudder

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Still trying to get to a major. Private license in 93. Commercial 96, CFI 97. First regional job 99. First CA upgrade 2004. Still working toward getting the PIC experience I need to get somewhere. 12 years so far, and who knows how much longer it will be.

Some folks are lucky and the timing works out perfectly for them. Others aren't so lucky, comany goes out of business, economic downturns, long upgrade at their company, etc.

No matter how motivated, you don't have a lot of control or say in how your career will progress. As I said, a lot of it is luck.
 

radarlove

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Ok, I've thought about it. No way in h3ll you can make it from zero to the majors in four years.
 

ivauir

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Big Beer Belly said:
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.
BBB

Um, how about a military guy accusing you of being arrogant? Yes, I flew planes with after burners (among others).
Some people love all flying. Some people think they're better than others or that a certain type of flying is beneath them. These guys end up on the bid avoidance list.

I still love flying the cub and the most challenging flying I've ever done was in helicopters - fighters were easy by comparison, I do enjoy 121 flying, even though it doesn't "thrill" like NOE on NVGs did, it is a different challenge and a great lifestyle.

As to the origional post - a career switch at this point would be totally irrational ... I'd do it.
 

VVJM265

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Mariner’s Log July 1986

ivauir said:
Um, how about a military guy accusing you of being arrogant? Yes, I flew planes with after burners (among others).
Some people love all flying. Some people think they're better than others or that a certain type of flying is beneath them. These guys end up on the bid avoidance list.

I still love flying the cub and the most challenging flying I've ever done was in helicopters - fighters were easy by comparison, I do enjoy 121 flying, even though it doesn't "thrill" like NOE on NVGs did, it is a different challenge and a great lifestyle.

As to the origional post - a career switch at this point would be totally irrational ... I'd do it.

Ok,



I’ve been reading this thread for the last day or two and it reminds me of myself a bit. The quote above finally prompted me to jump in. I was in a similar situation over 18 years ago: I had wanted to fly Navy since I could remember being conscious and didn’t quite have the SAT scores for the Naval Academy. I ended up at a different school, graduated with a BSEET and went to work as a Field Engineer at a major semiconductor equipment company. Finally one day I bit the bullet and went to talk to the recruiter. A minor medical snafu prevented me from flying fighters, but I did get to hit Lady Lex in the T-2 & A-4 before she was put to bed. BBB, I can understand your point of view, but in the end it is all good. Logistics & recon still had their moments: great views ALL OVER the world, lots of time w/ Chinese F-8s on my wing in the Aries, been into more airfields than I can remember in all kinds of wx, yada, yada, yada… Now, 17 months until terminal leave and I’m chomping at the bit to join the outside world flying, despite the turbulence of the industry, and I’m sure that there is still more great flying left too do and adventures to be had. I realized the 2.5 years at grad school that there is nothing else I’d rather do than fly.



To the original poster, my wife is making a Navy scrap book for me and found this sheet I used to have pinned up over my desk when I was wrestling with the decision to leave the semiconductor industry:



IN PASSING- STERLING HAYDEN 1916-1986 Mariner’s Log July 1986



To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen, who play with their boats at sea-“cruising,” it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.

“I’ve always wanted to sail to the South Seas, but I can’t afford it.” What these men can’t afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of “security.” And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine—and before we know it our lives are gone.

What does a man need—really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in—and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all—in the material sense. And we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention from the sheer idiocy of the charade.

The years thunder by. The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.

Where, then lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

By Sterling Hayden, sailor extraordinaire





My 10 cents….

VVJM265
 

B6Driver

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An ounce of luck is better then a pound of skill.
I got real lucky by stacking the deck in my favor. I started at a major at 24. The place had 50 guys senior and younger then me so it can be done.
Best of luck to all.
 

johnny taliban

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The years thunder by. The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.

Thats a great quote and reminded me of when I was wrestling with the decision to pursue aviation. A few years after I had graduated from college I was trying to decide between going back to school for a master's degree or move to Florida and try to become an airline pilot.

I had the aviation bug since I can remember but never had anyone to mentor me. I would read all those flying magazines and try to get as much information out of them as possible. I dreamed alot about flying but never TRUELY believed that becoming an airline pilot was possible for someone like me. I had no money or connections in the industry. I did have alot of faith though and when presented with the opportunity to participate in a work/study program (first lots of work then eventually get to flight train, think karate kid;) ) I decided to take a chance on what was, at the time, a real unknown for me. I packed my bags and moved to Florida with very little savings, a car that barely ran, and a whole lot of faith.

All my friends were starting to make some decent money and I was throwing out the trash, cutting the grass around the school facility and washing airplanes (again, think karate kid). This was NOT my idea of "the dream" but things slowly got better. I eventually finished the work portion of the program and started flight training, got a job pumping gas, made some connections and ten years later Im just waiting for SWA,Jet Blue, FedEX, or UPS to call:) .
Has it been worth it? Can't answer that question just yet. Ive certainly seen and done some neat things along the way (Aspen CO for two days just this week) but have also suffered financially along the way although things are better lately.

Would I recommend that this guy give it a shot? Yes, IF and that is a BIG IF, he has his finances in order, can be happy spending his career at a regional, and has no delusions of making $200,000/year.

good luck,
Johnny
 
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Widow's Son

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Anything can happen.

There is a pilot hired at American in about 1990 who was hired within two years of getting his IFR rating. His last name is Boice and he was about 21 when he was hired and will eventually be number one on the list.

I've seen a lot of pilots hired in the commuter world with less than 1000 hours and seen them go to majors a year or two later.

1000 hours may not sound like much but it is more time than Chuck Yeager had when he broke the sound barrier.

Even though the experience level has increased dramatically of those looking for jobs, it seems like the airlines that are hiring are still balancing their classes with pilots of varied backgrounds, ages, and experience levels.

I remember when most major carriers wouldn't accept an app from anyone over the age of 27. SWA has always bucked that trend by hiring guys even in their 50's yet still having Captains occasionally in their 20's
If you've convinced yourself that you are going to fail, you're right.
 

HoursHore

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You went to all the trouble to imitate Ty Webb's Avatar, profile, aircraft flown, signature, all the way down to muck raker, and the best you came up with is.
.....I eat my poop?

:rolleyes:
 

Poppa Hodax

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Big Beer Belly said:
...and every former military guy will say the same ... though all the civilian guys will accuse us of being arrogant.

Sorry, bro. Gotta disagree with you. As a former carrier aviator, some of your observations were spot on. But if you dismiss every aspect of aviation other than military flying, you are in for a long and lonely career.

Military flying is fun, and offers some unique opportunities. But you make it sound like you and Goose would do nothing but spend an afternoon in negative g dives with Mig-31s. I recall that flying was a secondary duty in the Navy. You have to push a boatload of paper for every flight hour. Guys get out of the Navy after nine years with maybe 2000 hours. I have flown more than that in three years of 121 flying (I haven't updated my profile), and I didn't have to be the Admin Officer, Combined Federal Campaign Officer, Toys for Tots Officer, or any of a dozen other crappy jobs required to get a good fitrep so I could remain in the service. Military aviation isn't all high energy ACM, low levels, and volleyball games.

By the way, any pogue can zing along at 500 KIAS and land on a 12000 foot runway. Real aviators can be found behind The Boat. How many traps do you have, High Speed? If you have to flare to land, you have to squat to pee.

There are a lot of cool things in civilian aviation. I encourage you to look a little harder, LT Mitchell. You will be a lot happier if you do.

My regards to the guys down in the VFW hall talking about the good ole days.

 
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