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Chief Bottle Washer
Jul 29, 2002
I know I’m not the only one here suffering from the financial crunch, but here lately it has reached exponential proportions. And earning $8.75/hr, CFI’ing isn’t paying the bills.

Our school lost another five students for “Visa problems” as it was described to us; they were not arrested, but were given 24 hrs to leave the country. It’s a shame actually; they are not even from a country on a terrorist watch list, there from Canada.

Two were multi students of mine.

I’m up to my eyeballs in debt, student loans to the tune of $625.00 per month and then trying to live. It’s absolutely disheartening to say the least.

As each month creeps by we (CFI’s) are noticing that we are logging less and less time and what micro tiny bit of charter we once were flying is going away or the senior guys are getting it. Our school is talking about reducing to one twin and making available our two arrows for general public rent, taking them off the schedule four days a week.

So here I am with no appreciable job experience beyond flying, teaching etc. trying to find a decent job that will pay me a livable wage, one that I can also continue to fly in hope that one day I may be able to achieve my life’s goal.

It just seems so different, before 9/11 I remember all of my instructors were flying 6 to 8 hrs a day 7 days a week. When I can out of the blocks in early June, a newly minted CFI, I was as well. Now were fighting over 152 time.
Welcome to the brotherhood of aviators.
I can offer this bit of hope. The strong survive, and barring a total crash of the economy (it's doing fine now, in spite of the market volitility), the business will rebound. If you desire the career, you must find a way to survive until the upturn arrives.
Good Luck
I read a lot here about how some pilots strongly believe the ones who fly for low salaries are selling out the rest. Well, I think supporting foreign nationals in the US with questionable immigration status are selling out the country.

I am sorry that you've lost customers, Runt. But where do we draw the line? You're disappointed that you've lost your Canadian customers who were here illegally (presumably). Why do we have immigration laws if we're just going to ignore them?Where do we draw the line?

Flame away, but I sure get tired of people putting personal $$ ahead of national security, soverignty, laws, etc. Best of luck getting US citizen or legal resident students, Runt. As enigma says, Capitalism will work out the problem eventually. The weak will fail or quit leaving the strong. It's the best system in the world and this low point in the cycle has to run it's course.

I can't believe you only make $8.75 instructing....what a joke. What does the school charge the student...around here it's $35/hr. Anyway, could you get away with freelancing in the area? I once new a very successful free lance CFI who offered to teach a ground school as a non-credit class at a communtiy college. Got a bunch of students that way and used his own 150 to teach in. He made a little on the plane and charged normal dual rates for his time.
de727 beat me to it. You need to find a different school, my friend. I've talked to CFI's for at least a half dozen FBO's around here, and every one of them is making between $14 and $23 per hour. Freelancers of course get the full $30-35/hr.
Hang in there Runt. When things do start to happen for you, they'll happen fast. I agree with some of the other posts, you should find a school that pays more. They're out there.

Also, I had similar student loan woes. Here's what I did. Got a financial hardship forebearance. When I maxed that out I enrolled part time at UVSC and deferred them. The deferrement is about to run out (yes, I've been in school FOR EVER) so I refinaced. Then I changed my payments to graduated payments to reduce the monthly expense. Bottom line, there's options out there for the loans. Call the lendors. They will work with you.

Hang in there just a little longer and before you know it you'll be on your way. Good luck, bro!
Hang Tough

Hang in there dude and keep networking. I did not do my CFI, I just went around to local airports making contacts and building time. I worked at night, did school in the morning and skipped class to fly.

Maybe there is a way to consolidate and defer your loans a little longer. Or take a masters class to defer them for a while.

safe flying


I own a 49 8N. Thinking 'bout putting it over to 12 volt soon.

Better instructing jobs

I agree with the others. Time to go job hunting. You have decent time as an instructor and therefore have more opportunities.

Mesa Airlines Pilot Development, www.flightcareers.com , hires at something like 500 total and 100 of instruction given. Pay was $15/hour back in 1993. It must be better than that now. They have interviewed at the beginning of a term, so it might be worth your while to call them.

Good luck with your efforts.
Hang in there!! Things will get better. On the student loan, consolidate NOW if you are able. Student loan interest rates are the lowest ever right now and you can lock in the rate for the life of your loan. Take advantage of this!! Don't know who your loan is with, but the folks at Sallie Mae can probably help you.

Good Luck!!
Hi guys thanks for the encouragement.

I just got off the phone with the federal financial aid folks, they gave me a bunch of options as far as my federal loans and even offered me an option for my credit card expense I incurred while in school, but the latter requires me to reenroll in school and us a cost of living loan to pay them off. The cost of living loan can then be differed just like any other student loan.

Our school has always had miserably low instructor rates and from what I can gather even our chief instructor pay is fairly bad because we go thru one or two ever couple of years.

I’m looking to move, I’ll like in the back of a hanger if I have to. I would love to get hooked up with one of the big schools or even a university.

I’ve seen where so on this board have been interviewed and possibly hired by the commuters around 1100 to 1200 tt is this true or are they pulling our chain, or PFT?
Most of the people here are not moving till they have they ATP.


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