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Getting back in to it.....

bgaviator

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So I have a degree in aviation science and hold a commercial multi-engine rating. I was an unfortunate graduate right post 9/11, so let's just say a lot of my aviation dreams got dashed. I haven't flown in probably 5 years now, and have a little over 300 hours......I've currently settled on being an airline dispatcher.....but sometimes I wonder if I'm really meant to be in the cockpit.
I'm just wondering if it's worth it.....to get back into the game and start getting my skills current in case the next big hiring boom happens again. My biggest problem is, how to build the time? I really hate flight instructing.....I mean, sure, I feel as though I'm a good pilot.....but not all good pilots are meant to be teachers......being a flight teacher just wasn't for me I don't think.......and I tried the whole work for an FBO and try to get rides from the hangar tenants......riiiiiight, never happened......not with insurance rules post 9/11. What are your thoughts? Worth it, or just not an industry to keep giving any more time to?
 

avbug

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If you graduated just after 09/11, then what were you doing over the past few years when we saw the greatest hiring boom in the history of the industry? You might have missed one of them or graduated at a time when hiring was low, but you slept through the biggest one.

Begging rides from hangar tenants to "build time?" This has never been a viable method. If you tried it and it didn't work for you, small wonder.

Face the facts. You have no flight experience. You need flight experience. You need to seek entry level positions to get that experience. It's going to be difficult. You will make very little money. You will most likely need to move. More than once. You'll make very little money for a number of years to come, and you'll make substantial sacrifices to see your career move along. You'll almost certainly endure layoffs, furloughs, closures, mergers, and other unexpected changes. Once or twice you'll likely scare yourself to death. One day you'll make a reply to a thread, just like this one, and say the same thing.

Nobody can tell you if you are wasting your time. Only you can decide that. The question you may need to ask yourself is how committed you are to your choice. The results you field will be a direct result of the way you answer that question.
 

bgaviator

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Well, I guess one of the questions I'm asking is if Flight Instructing is basically my only option (other than paying out of pocket) for building time again at this stage? Believe me, I'm not delusional about what it's really like....I work for an airline.
And why was I just so completely wrong about flying with hangar tenants? I had numerous people tell me to try to become buddies with them in order to get rides/time/experience. It's not like it's a disadvantage to have an extra set of eyes/ears in the flight deck.....so if I have a hangar tenant with a Conquest, and he's only flying around a couple of people.....what's wrong with asking to try and get some experience/time with them? Other than insurance companies having issues with it, as a pilot, I would not have an issue.
 

Sig

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I'm an unabashed supporter of Avbug's input, especially the delivery.

Re-read his post. He's confirming the reality of the situation, not being the "Hang In There!" kitty poster. He literally just told you he's been through hell for his career- all of the less than rosy aspects he described are coming from his personal experience.

What's so wrong about riding ballast in a Conquest? The "bad," two of which come to my mind, are irrelevant to what he's telling you. Basically the message was, "How's that working out for ya? DUH!" You just admitted you need time but it just isn't happening. That was the point. Trust me, he wants you to succeed and be a competent, proficient and professional pilot <i>if</i> that's where you intend to go.

If you're willing to "buy" time, buy the whole damned plane. Drop meat bombs. Hell, buy a plane and drop meat bombs. There are scads of ideas out there, but the very best one?

INSTRUCT. Learn how to be a good teacher. It makes for a good captain, eventually.

*Oh yeah- if I had the $$, I'd buy a Conquest. A screamin' demon of a plane. Can you tell I worked for an operator a while back that almost bought one? Something about that machine...


Good luck. And take Avbug's advice to heart. I'm sure more will follow.
 
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avbug

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And why was I just so completely wrong about flying with hangar tenants?

Was it not you that said, ".......and I tried the whole work for an FBO and try to get rides from the hangar tenants......riiiiiight, never happened......?" You said it didn't work for you, and now you ask what's so wrong with it? Do you read your own posts?

I had numerous people tell me to try to become buddies with them in order to get rides/time/experience.

Yeah? How did that work out for you?

Don't build time. Build experience.

If you don't think instructing is for you, then you may be right. If it's the only work available to you, then you may also be out of luck.

Success if often about asking the right question. Presently the right question is not which opportunities may be available to you, but rather how committed are you to making opportunities?
 

Sig

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Basically the message was, "How's that working out for ya? DUH!" You just admitted you need time but it just isn't happening. That was the point.

avbug said:
Yeah? How did that work out for you?

I'm willing to translate his posts more often.
 

JAFI

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I was a 300 hour pilot/Instructor when there were more Instructors than students. I worked at two airports at the same time to get any flight time. You don't seem too motivated to do what so many of your counterparts are and have done to "get flight time". I also agree that you need "experience" more than "time".

It's a case of supply and demand. There is more of (pilot) supply than demand. With hind sight I would of gone into several other fields and owned a plane by now and only flown on nice days.

But, if that is what you really want to do you will - find - flight time. It all depende on how hard you try. Luck (in finding flight time) will come in it's own sweet time. You can make your own luck sometimes...

So how much do you want this or are you just crying in your beer??
 

avbug

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I think that settles the matter.

If you stand a prayer of making it in this industry, the only right answer would have been "more than anything else in this lifetime." Beyond that, your commitment lacks.

You've answered your own question. This industry is not for you.
 

JAFI

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what kind of beer?

Well if you have a full time job now, just about any kind of beer you want.

As a working 300 hour pilot what ever you can get for free, out of your parents fridge, the cooler on a corporate aircraft, or rolling drunks as they leave the bar after last call. If you can play pool well, you may win a few.

It most likely won't be "top shelf" beer.......
 

Sig

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It most likely won't be "top shelf" beer.......

The obvious answer is the beer you make yourself!

I don't know if "More than anything in this world" is what it takes, as far as commitment. Myself personally, if I had to choose between my daughter going hungry while I fly versus hitting the bricks for more money, I'd have to walk away until it got better.

But you bet your sweet arse I'd be back in the saddle as soon as possible- because I'd be knocking on doors and blast mailing everything out there every day I worked outside of aviation.

Maybe I completely contradicted myself? I think I did.

I guess you're right, Avbug. AGAIN. ;)
 

avbug

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Priorities.

A very stern gentleman with whom I once flew told me that I should approach my flying with a keener interest, and place it a higher priority than anything else in my life. He said "when you get in this airplane, it had better be more important to you than your pets, your children, your wife, your church, or any other aspect of your life. This airplane is your purpose for being."

Of course, I quickly informed him that nobody and nothing would ever take priority over those things. Then he put it in perspective.

"If you don't take this job seriously enough to make it your most important mission in life, you will never get to go home to see your pets, your children, your wife, or to church. Think about it."

When you're home, make your family the center of your universe. In the cockpit, it really is your reason for drawing breath until the flight comes to a complete stop. After that, walk away, do as you will.

Without that commitment, one is little more than a doomed, expensive missile, hurtling through space, looking for a place to impact.

Tom sealed that lesson with his own blood, by the way. He's no longer with us, and is scattered over a hillside where his aircraft exploded not long ago. I can't know for certain what he was contemplating in those last moments, but am reasonably certain he proved the efficacy of his own words.

Life is like that, too. Priorities.
 

Sig

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He said "when you get in this airplane, it had better be more important to you than your pets, your children, your wife, your church, or any other aspect of your life. This airplane is your purpose for being."

Of course, I quickly informed him that nobody and nothing would ever take priority over those things. Then he put it in perspective.

There is not a single piece of advice out there that makes more sense than that. Powerful stuff.

The problem is folks who want to fly- at a level beyond whatever level they currently sit- at any cost. That's just dumb. As in, I'll blindly go into debt for 200k for an entry level position that may or (most likely) may not pan out into a sensible ROI. Or, instead of money, willing to abandon an already decent life, or a family, or a wife, or any other capital you WILL most likely put up as collateral during a flying career.

There are smart ways, and there are dumb ways.

As far as Tom's last thoughts-

Avbug, when you dumped that Husky (I think? Maybe a Super Cub or an AgCat?) and used some scrub to dissipate the energy, did you have any last thoughts? Someone who has flown everything from Champs to 747s has to have seen the deep and quiet abyss. What were your "last" thoughts?

I've only truly signed off once. My last thoughts were of my daughter, my friends, how glad I was it was me going in and not them, but 51 people in the back were going to get the best fight they'll never see right into the ground. And if I ever met that controller in a bar, I'd knock his motherf&&&ng teeth down his miserable throat.

Here I am, and on the lookout for that rat bastard...
 

avbug

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Avbug, when you dumped that Husky (I think? Maybe a Super Cub or an AgCat?) and used some scrub to dissipate the energy, did you have any last thoughts? Someone who has flown everything from Champs to 747s has to have seen the deep and quiet abyss. What were your "last" thoughts?

You're probably talking about the turbine-conversion M18 a few years ago.

Last thoughts? Yes...fly it until it stops.
 

Sig

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Last thoughts? Yes...fly it until it stops.

You ever get tired of whipping folks' arses in chess? I think I finally got to that thought, but I was too damned busy thinking of other things up to it.

Free insight, AGAIN. Thanks, av.

*BTW, can't believe I left out Maule. The Old Man (grandpa, P38 IP), thought that was the coolest bird on the ramp. That was a thousand years ago in a few weeks, when I took him flying in a Piper.

Maule.


Damn. Missed it. Yup, you must be right. The red and white one?
 
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jak378

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I remember 2 things that my first flight instructor told me in 1963: "There isn't an airplane made that doesn't deserve 100 percent of your attention when you are flying it," and "If necessary, fly it until it finally stops." Thankfully, I only had to do that once.
 

avbug

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Damn. Missed it. Yup, you must be right. The red and white one?

Not sure what it is to which you're referring. The M18T is a turbine PZL Dromader, a single engine conventional gear airplane used for aerial application and firefighting.

You might be thinking of a M8 Maule.
 

bgaviator

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Well,
If the government passes this new requirement that both pilots have 1,500 hours/ATP, then there is no way I could flight instruct that long to build those kinds of hours...not with the family and financial commitments I now currently have. I think while a lot of people are saying it's a good thing that we require both pilots to have that many hours, isn't there going to be a point where we run into a severe shortage of pilots? Yet it won't matter the because there are now federal rules in place that says a person has to have 1500 hrs/atp? It just seems like a lot of people will burn out and not be able to hold on to instructing for that long to make it as an airline pilot.
 

avbug

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There's no shortage of pilots. There has never been a shortage of pilots. We're not going to see one, either.

There may be a shortage of pilots who are willing to work to get where they need to be.

This career has always required effort and sacrifice. Getting out of flight training and into an airliner has happened, and has happened recently...but is not a realistic view of the world. Traditionally one would instruct for a year or two, seek a job flying freight or traffic watch, fly skydivers on the weekends, ride with friends doing freight runs, do civil air patrol, pipeline patrol, and anything else they could find, and jump from one job to another as experience and opportunity allowed...and ten years later be in a position to aim for the job they wanted.

This is the reality of it. Again the question exists: how committed are you to your career. You stated previously that you're a dispatcher, and you're in the airlines, and you know all about it. You don't, which is why you're being told. You're just not listening.

How committed are you to making a career out of aviation? Not dispatching. Flying. Big difference. If your response is what kind of beer you will drink, your commitment is slim and wanting...and you're not going to make it.

You may recall the story of the great teacher Socrates, who was approached by a student who claimed to want to learn. The story varies, but Socrates held the student's head under water, very nearly drowning him, until the student fought desperately for air. When the struggle was over and Socrates let the student go, he said "When you want to learn as badly as you wanted to breathe, come back and see me again."

How badly do you want to fly?
 
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