help! need some encouraging words!!

pilotswife

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Just wondered if this flying thing is ever gonna happen! I have been really supportive until this point, but I need some encouragement if any of you have some to give. I have sacraficed so much to get my husband all his ratings (1000 total 125 multi)- (we lived apart for a year while he attended flight school) I lived with his parents -while raising our 2 kids while flying for CO as a FA while he spent every dime we ever had. Now- after I convinced him to give up the CFI gig and get a decent paying job so we could move out on our own again he wants to sell the house we just bought to either buy an airplane or go back to being a $250/week CFI!!!! I can't take it!!!
He seems to think that everything in the industry is going to pick up in another year or two. We have 2 small kids a mortgage and the list goes on... I think sometimes he would choose flying over us even though he tells us he is doing the whole thing for us. So sorry to ramble on about this- anyone else out there in a similar situation???
pilotswife
 

aero99

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It is not easy, as nothing seems to be right now.

Although it will be a tough road, much better times are ahead for pilots in my opinion. Those that stick it out now will see better times later in their professional career.

It is tough all over though. If he can keep instructing while looking for another (flying) job then try and support him best you can. Don't let him buy an airplane. That isn't an easy way to make a buck or a living.

Just in the past few months I have seen members on this board finally find a job other than teaching. It can and will happen, you just have to be very diligent.


And I doubt he cares about flying more than his family. He is probably just very focused and intent on making this a career. Nothing wrong with that.

Hang in there if you can. I know he will appreciate you for it later.
 

bobbysamd

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Supporting your hubby

It helps that you're in the business. I'd bet plenty of the pilots with whom you've flown have regaled you with their tales of how they struggled to the top. So, you know it isn't easy.

Your husband needs more flight time. He's low on multi. He needs to build it up and hang in while he's doing it. Once he has more time, companies will be interested in him. I'd bet hiring will pick up at about that time. Just ask the pilots you fly with.

Don't let him buy an airplane. No matter how well-budgeted the venture may be, insurance and maintenance will eat him alive.

You are his support system. He needs you more than ever. Give it time. It'll pay you.
 

empenage

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In a similar situation? Not anymore. We were for about 12 years while I was getting ratings and building time. Now my wife is home and cancer free. Life is very good. Believe me it could be worse. And when its as bad as you think it can be it will get better.

Hang tough Pilotswife. Like the movie says, you never know what you're going to get. It is an adventure though, isnt it!

Dont sell the house. Dont buy an airplane. The only advice I can give you is, " If it Floats, Flys, or F---s, RENT IT"! I hope I got a small smile out of that one. Not even a little, itsy, bitsy one?
 

falcondriver

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It's not a easy decision to make. I never would of become a pilot if it wasn't for my loving wife. My wife has sacraficed for many years now, to make sure I do what I love. Remember it is a two way street and compromise is the key to success. Remind your husband about the compromise. Remind him that you are willing to bend but not break over becoming a pilot. My wife and I decided a long time ago that we were more important to each other than any career.
Good Luck
You will make the right decision.
Falcondriver
 

rumpletumbler

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From wife of rumpletumber

I understand your feelings pilotswife! My husband read your post and called me to read it....he thought I might want to respond. He is on these forum things all the time, but this is my first time....so sorry if I ramble.

I am in just about the same situation as you. My husband has been working on his CFI for the past 9 months after becoming unemployed in another career. We have struggled like mad....almost loosing our house three times....having utilities cut off....etc. etc. We have 3 kids and right now the only income we have is what I make. There are many many days that I ask myself the same question that you have asked....."is this flying thing EVER going to happen." My answer is....I don't have a clue, but I sure hope so. Every time I have flown with rumpletumbler, I can see that he is really good at it....you can just see the look on his face of really loving what he is doing at that very moment. I'm sure you've seen it in your husbands face too.

I'm being very longwinded here and probably not an "encouragement" to you, but I wanted to let you know that you aren't alone. I am right out there with you.....frustrated....hurting.....sometime even wanting to give up myself. But, God gave us to our husbands so that we would come along beside them to help and support them. They (the husbands) make that VERY DIFFICULT sometimes, but we have to stick with them....keep them reigned in a little when they get wild ideas like buying airplanes, or selling our homes.

I read the responses to your post and its hard to not give you advise too. Every situation is different and every marriage is different. The only thing that I can say is what I know from experience. I don't know if being the wife of a pilot is worth all of this.....but I DO know this......you need to try every single thing (within reason) that you can to make it work. Because in the end, if you divorce him.....your kids will pay the price.....and let me tell you, that there is nothing worse than seeing your children suffer that pain.....because it NEVER goes away for them like it will for us. Leaving a husband is easier than leaving a "daddy."

Lets hang in there together pilotswife.....EVENTUALLY it must pay off!

rumpletumbler's wife
 

wil

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Hi Nicole- I remember writing you before 9-11- amazing how the industry has changed. I will give it to you straight- we had an Instructor Pilot on our way to XNA and he told us we have United, US Air and Delta pilots going through training at ASA!! When I followed up for an old freight buddy I was told he did not have enough turbine time! The days of 1200/200 and a job are over. I don't wish to sound negative and I certainly can't predict the future. I think your family should come first. Your husband can always teach on the side but if you have small children I would not bet the ranch on an Airline job now or in the near future.Also, while he is teaching on the weekends he may make a corporate contact or two, you never know! All the best- Wil
 

pilotyip

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Husband's job

Your husband's job is to support his family. I was in the same situation in 1982, 39 years old, third job in five years, big lay offs, no jobs, only income Navy Reserve flying and unemployment. I got out of flying and became a tailpipe salesman. This what you have to do to make ends meet. If he wanted to pursue this life with his new mistress (flying) he should have done it before the kids came along. Sorry, but that is the life you have, he entered into a contract with you and now he has to live up to that contract.
 

KlingonLRDRVR

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This is more of a message for your husband. Do not quit your day job or if you don't have one, go get one. You can always instruct on evenings and weekends. You would be suprised at how much flying you can get by showing up at the airport when your student is supposed to be there and do your flight. I know that not all "full time" instructors are really flying all day. I can't count the days where there is a flight in the AM and one in the PM where you sit around all day and pump gas or whatever then the PM student fails to show. Whole day wasted when you could have done the same thing but worked all day at a heck of alot more in wages. Aviation is a mistress, she can be kind and the next day she can be cruel. I know its tough to be in your shoes, been there, done that but never forget how tough it can be on the wife and kids who really are at times the silent majority who hold their opinions in check just not to hurt you. If you want to survive this you need to have open and honest communication with your family. If you don't they might not say a thing untill all the belongings are packed in the car and house is empty with a note saying they love you but just can't live like this anymore. Family comes first, period end of story. Your honesty, loyalty and integrety will continue to honor you for all of your days. Aviation will always be there. It goes in cycles. I left flying for almost 10 years and became an attorney. I'm back flying again for the past two years. By the end of this year I will set flying aside and go back into a partnership as an attorney. My family comes first, period. I love flying. Just because you have a day job doesn't mean you can't have fun flying at other times. I am fortunate to have good communication with my family and they are willing to stand by me flying or as an attorney. With the good communication I know which profession they would rather I do. Therefore its not a hard choice for me. Just remember aviation goes in cycles and the merry-go-round will come back around. Go on some "other rides" with the wife and kids for now and keep watching the merry-go-round to see if you want a ride the next time it stops.

Whatever you decide to do, do so with Honor and the Klingon Empire will be proud.

KlingonLRDRVR
 

BigFlyr

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I hate to burst anyone's bubble here but I can tell you from my own experience that If it were not for my very supportive first fiancee and very supportive first wife and very supportive second wife, I would not have been able to support my flying habit and live as well as I have... and that's with NO KIDS. Your husband has chosen to have a family so his number one responsibility is to provide for you and your children right now, not in his dreams as an airline pilot. Your hubby needs to get a grip and get a job... Maybe he can find a line of work that gives him time to fly as a CFI on the side or just fly for fun and not for income.
 

UPS Capt

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In today's market 1000tt and 125 multi is nothing. Your husband will need at least twice that amount to be competitive just for a Regional job if he's lucky. And, if he's lucky enough to get hired anytime soon, you'll have to live on poverty wages for many years until he can upgrade to Captain. The pre 9/11 days of hiring are gone for the foreseeable future. Your husband is now competing with many furloughed major airline pilots for a regional job.

I really can't believe your husband has put you and the kids through such hardships at this point and time for some aviation school's glossy pamphlet promising the world after obtaining your ratings. The reality is that aviation is a very fickle career field. Hiring and furloughs are a fact of life throughout ones career. Making decent money only comes after making Capt at a Regional and beyond. Your husband is a long way from that point.

Your husband needs to get a job outside of aviation and support his family. He can work just as hard as a part time CFI and gaining hours.
 
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UPS Capt

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Another point I want to make. I see this a lot, especially in young people just starting out, and not just in aviation but in other career fields. In aviation they'll say something to the effect of: "I'm going to get all my ratings this year, I'll be a CFI for 8 months then get on with a small freight company. After about 6 months getting multi PIC time I'll get on with a Regional. In a year to 18 months I'll be a Capt and 6 months later a major will hire me. Sounds like a good plan, right?

It sounds like a doable plan, aggressive but doable, if you don't consider the "X" factor. The "X" factor is all the variables that you have absolutely no control over. They would include the hiring cycles of the airline (very cyclical), the world economy, major sickness and just pure good ole' fashion luck.

When I look back at my career, I am amazed at how much of what happened to me was pure luck and timing. Sure, people will say you make your luck by preparing yourself but the timing had to be right also. I could be the most experienced aviator in the world but if the airlines aren't hiring then all that experience and 50 cents would only buy me a cup of coffee.

Your husband's timing couldn't be worse has far as current hiring trends go and I don't see that changing any time soon.
 

English

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I disagree that decent wages will be seen once a captain at a regional. My friend is a fifth year captain on the Saab at American Eagle making 38K a year! I don't call that decent for a family of 4. Neither does his ex-wife.

Figure a year from now, your husband will be hired at a regional, then five years from that point he'll be making between 38K and 43K per year (adjusted for inflation, unless he works for Eagle).

The friend I mentioned above was EXACTLY in the same situation as your husband. In fact, the ex-wife was also a FA at Continental. They divorced due to the stresses - he was always on the road, she raised the kids alone and quit her job to do so, they lived with inlaws to make ends meet, were always borrowing money from others, got deep into debt, ruined their credit, constant calls from collection agencies...now they each have over $10,000 in mediation and lawyer's fees due to the divorce and custody issues.

The low salary wouldn't be so bad if the husband was around more. But the combination of low pay, the husband being gone from home three to four nights per week, and you raising your kids without a fulltime father is going to be difficult. Your family will be alone while your husband is in a crappy hotel room in Lawton Oklahoma on Christmas Eve.

Also keep in mind there ALOT of temptations on the road for a pilot. I have seen the cheating that goes on, and it's widespread. Yes, widespread.

I am all for encouraging one's spouse to follow dreams. Just understand what the sacrifices are going to be and decide what your priorities are as individuals and as a couple.

Sorry to be so negative, but, unfortunately, this isn't a unique scenario. Many marriages fail due to these types of stressors.
 
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UPS Capt

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I disagree that decent wages will be seen once a captain at a regional. My friend is a fifth year captain on the Saab at American Eagle making 38K a year! I don't call that decent for a family of 4
English,

Your right. 38K with a family of 4 isn't decent but I was thinking more about the "potential" salary of a RJ or Junglejet Capt making in the 50-60K+ range. While still well below major airline Capt income, it would still be considered a decent income by John Q. Public.

Heck, as a 3rd year Metro Capt back at the commuters I was making 25K before being hired on at UPS. 38K would have been nice!
 
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Captain X

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Re: Husband's job

pilotyip said:
Sorry, but that is the life you have, he entered into a contract with you and now he has to live up to that contract.
Right along with that.....you entered into the same contract, and if it was anything like mine, it had a section worded: "....for better or worse, for rich or for poor....."

It sounds like the 2 of you need to sit down and have a talk about the realisms of the industry right now and each of y'alls expections in your marriage. Print out your original post and let him read it before you start the discussion.

He's male.....he probably doesn't even know how you truly feel.

Talk with him.

Ahhhh....relationship advice on an aviation forum :eek:
 
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Mr Freeze

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To Pilot's Wife (from Mrs. Freeze)

Been there, done that, girfriend. I wanted to tell you our story, because I, too, have sacrificed:

In 1989, my husband started his flight training by paying on his own, but he ran out of money and was forced to stop. At this point, I thought it was just a passing phase or a hobby. When I was 3 months pregnant with our daughter, he went out of state to flight college, but came back about two months later. He worked at a home improvement store for a few years when he told me he wanted to continue his education. I stayed in California for a year while he went to school. My daughter and I finally moved there in 1995. My husband worked at various jobs (Home improvement store salesman, warehouseperson, carpenter's assistant, plumber's assistant), while I worked steadily at an office job. He would come home and tell me he'd quit his job because it conflicted with his school schedule. I would think, "here we go again." I was the sole supporter of the family for most of that time. During that time we were on foodstamps, and when those ran out, I accepted free food from a couple of the local charities, pawned our wedding rings for $15 about once a week, and stood outside a Salvation Army shelter at 5:00 a.m. to get help with our utilities when they were cut off. I also had to take our daughter to the free clinic when she was sick. I had to learn how to support my family on next to nothing. I don't know how we survived. My husband graduated in 1997, and we moved back to California. I thought this was the beginning of better times. I found out I was pregnant. We lived with my mother and he went to work as a flight instructor. I was shocked to see his paycheck for a month's worth of instructing. At least I was working. He went to work out of state twice and then quit before the birth of our twins. He found work as an instructor in our town and we moved into a two bedroom apartment. I have bills that I owe for credit cards that I haven't paid on in eight years or more! I just didn't pay them. I had to make a choice as to which was more important, a roof over our heads and food in our bellies or a good credit rating. My husband finally has a job at a charter company, but he is still a few rungs from the top of the ladder. We bought a home last year (bad credit and all), and I still have those bills, but I will pay them when I am able to. I am so glad the flight instructing part of his ladder climb is over. This whole process has taken less time that I thought. It has been five years since he graduated. I know it sounds like a long time, but it just flew by. I just want to tell you that you are not alone. I also want to tell you DO NOT sell your home. I'm sure you know that living with family members when you have children is the worst! I will never do it again. Tell your husband that he needs to get a job (try Home Depot or KMart, anything for now) during the day, and fly after work to get his hours up. Or he can fly during the day and work at night. I don't know why he would want to buy his own airplane, but it's not a smart move. It won't make him any money. He needs to make his choices wisely, try to get his hours up, and get on a budget. It won't last forever. He just can't keep living beyond his means. He has to swallow his pride and do what he has to do for the family. Get food stamps if you have to. Hey, I looked at like this: I paid enough into the system, now it's my turn to use it! I am happy to be where we are right now. I have a home that is three times the size of the apartment we had, we own our cars, and we are both working. We're not rich by any means, but we are able to live comfortably now. My husband did a lot of growing up in the past few years, and now he is more focused on the future of the family. Yours can't just think about himself anymore, you have kids. It has to be all or nothing. I wish you well, HANG IN THERE, IT DOES GET BETTER.
 

DesertFalcon

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Hello. Pilotswife,

I agree with "UPS Capt."

You husband is ambitious and is trying hard; However, I think he is also being selfish since his career seems to be more important than you and the family.

I am sorry to be so judgmental but, aviation is full of former wives!

Your husbands current experience level is very low. I have 8000 hours and lots of other experience your husband doesn't have; I am a potential competitor in the job market, in the worst economy scenario.

Many years ago, I had to leave aviation to support myself because there were no jobs. Tell your husband to be realistic, Aviation is not the place to be, NOW. He can still instruct, but he needs to realize he is not very qualified in TODAYS aviation world.

Not trying to be negative here but Vanguard's Airline Pilots are now looking for jobs; Any flying job!

What airline will be the next to dump its pilots.

Good luck.... Please don't become a former wife due to your husbands unrealistic views of his aviation career.

God Bless you and your family. We can only pray that Aviation will come back and give us all better opportunies for fulfillment.

DesertFalcon
 

KlingonLRDRVR

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Mrs. Freeze,

In my humble opinion you are a true saint. Your husband had better hang on to you. I admire your stamina, integrity and resolve. You are the true meaning of American Spirit. While I do not agree with what your husband has put you and your family through I have the utmost respect for you. As we can see from your post it is not just the pilots that are paying their dues. We all need to take a long hard look at what we put our families through. As the Klingons say "you come from an honorable house".

KlingonLRDRVR
 

flywithruss

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It's not that dark!

This is a fascinating and in some ways inspiring thread. We all know the sacrifices that this industry puts us through, and it is up to each and every one of us to decide whether or not it is worth it.

Pilotswife, I agree with the poster who says you and your husband need to have a serious heart-to-heart about where you're going in life. He is right that the industry will pick up ... this always has been and always will be a cyclical business ... it'll go up, it'll come down. Those are the facts. And, with hard work and effort, you never know when a job will come along. I got my first corporate job with not a whole lot more time than he has right now, so it is possible ... but you have to be prepared for the long haul.

I agree with some of the previous posts ... DO NOT LET HIM BUY AN AIRPLANE! It is one of those romantic notions that will be a money pit ... insurance, maintenance, etc., will eat you alive. Your home is not only a place for your family to live, but a good long-term financial move. The airplane will swallow your dollars, but offers very little in return.

If I were you, I would encourage your husband to get a full-time non-flying job, be it white-collar or blue-collar, day shift or night. That way, he can provide for his family. He can flight instruct part-time or on the side. Your sacrifice will be in having little time with him, but the return will be that not only will he be providing financially, but he'll also (though perhaps a bit more slowly than he'd like) be working toward his aviation career. That will make him a happier person, and in the long run a better husband and father.

This is definitely the "for worse" and "for poorer" stuff they were talking about at your wedding ... but brighter days are ahead.

I'm not one to preach to people, but I have always found my faith to be comforting at the low points of my career and life. Remember, God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called. If flying is what your husband is called to do, it will come in time.

I wish you the very best of luck. You'll find the folks on this board, all our disagreements aside, to be a remarkable source of advice and support. Take advantage of it!

R

Romans 8:28, 8:31
 

YODA

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I agree with almost everything I have read on this thread. I have been in the same shoes as your husband and I feel both of your pain. I flight instructed full time for a good while and it was tough! I spent 7 days a week at the airport, some were extemely long days and all I would make would be a whoppin' 24 bucks, WOW!! I am married with a child so believe me it was tough. My wife worked as a waitress at night on the weekends so we could make ends meet. After 9/11 I thought I was done, my plans were ruined so I decided to go and get a full time job doing what I did before flying and instruct on the weekends. I was fortunate however to land a little gig flying freight part 135, and I still have the same job. I like it and am going to stick with it until things get better. Things will get better for you guys, remember no matter what you want to do, or where you want to get, there are always speedbumps in the way and other people have been there, and more will follow.

Good luck and God bless
-YODA
 
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