How many of you thought you'd be where you are now in your career?

PureMuscle

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Hmm...
I was just wondering how many of you all knew you were going to make it and knew you had what it took to be a proffesional pilot all your lives, or working as a first officer, captain, military pilot, or just getting all your rating, etc...... instead of doing some other profession.
 

PureMuscle

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Hmm...
Haha, let's see....

I just mean how many of you guy's or girls :) knew that flying was for you either growing up or even getting into it later on in life, and if you ever had any doubts going through the process but still followed through knowing you have what it takes and it payed off. I'm not talking money wise, that really doesn't define success to me necessarily.

Sorry if I didn't explain it any better this time, but I tried.
 

U-I pilot

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I took one discovery flight in 1997 and knew I wanted to fly. Started lessons the next summer, aviation college, all my ratings, and graduating in a month then gonna build time and experience.....Never second guessed, never looked back.
In fact, I still can think of nothing else I would rather do as a job. Maybe that opinion will change when I see issues that are inevitable with any job but in the end its still flying....what a joy.
No better office view.
 

FN FAL

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satpak77 said:
please define that statement
Yea, really. Wouldn't the better question be to those Ex Eagle and Comair guys that you run into almost anywhere that are selling insurance or real estate? I bet at 30% of non-towed airports, you could throw a beer bottle in the air and have a 50% chance of hitting an ex-Simmons airline pilot in the head.

I think the one statistic they won't ever publish is how many guys graduate from expensive schools, that never fly a airplane for hire ever. like my buddy's two kids that just graduated from UND last year.
 

PureMuscle

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Hmm...
U-I pilot said:
I took one discovery flight in 1997 and knew I wanted to fly. Started lessons the next summer, aviation college, all my ratings, and graduating in a month then gonna build time and experience.....Never second guessed, never looked back.
In fact, I still can think of nothing else I would rather do as a job. Maybe that opinion will change when I see issues that are inevitable with any job but in the end its still flying....what a joy.
No better office view.

Awesome man, good luck with everything.
 

PureMuscle

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Hmm...
FN FAL said:
Yea, really. Wouldn't the better question be to those Ex Eagle and Comair guys that you run into almost anywhere that are selling insurance or real estate? I bet at 30% of non-towed airports, you could throw a beer bottle in the air and have a 50% chance of hitting an ex-Simmons airline pilot in the head.

I think the one statistic they won't ever publish is how many guys graduate from expensive schools, that never fly a airplane for hire ever. like my buddy's two kids that just graduated from UND last year.

The reason I didn't define it like you did is because I thought there would be a little too much negative feeback like there has been on this board in other threads. Even though your comment is the reality side of the aviation business currently, I figured I'd have a thread to show the other side, but I'm definitely not trying to deny the drawbacks.
 

Cardinal

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I had chosen my career path by age 5. Seriously. I had my mom sew a pair of epaulettes on a white shirt and built a cockpit procedures trainer (didn't know the technical term then) out of Construx.

Only about a year behind where I thought I would be by now, 20 years later.
 

PureMuscle

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Hmm...
Damn, you should have kept that trainer you built, unless you did. That would have been classic to see years later.
 

Big Duke Six

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Personally, I've always WANTED to fly. I used to lay in the grass when I was about 4 or 5 just to watch airplanes fly over. I was always driven to do this.

BUT, as far as KNOWING whether I would make it or not is a totally different question. I always knew that that question would be answered not by me, but by the check pilots I've had to exhibit proficiency to along the way. I always felt like I got a fair shake on civilian checkrides, but the military was a little different. Not that they weren't right in their assessments, it's just that there was less room for error. So, in that environment a lot of us felt uncertain of our futures at one point or another. I always felt I would make it, but I didn't KNOW.

Then, I look back at all the fine people I went to college with who gave up their dreams long ago. Out of all the people I knew in the program then, I'd guess that only about 20% are doing what we set out to do. I'm sure they all wanted it as bad as I did, but for some reason fate was not with them.

I feel very fortunate when I compare my journey against some others. I always knew I wanted to do this and here I am, but I would be a fool to say "I always KNEW I would make it".
 

coolyokeluke

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I used to be allowed up in the cockpit back in the days when I was a kid. I was used to hard labor at home, cutting firewood, hauling heavy timbers and boards with my dad doing construction projects, icing/gutting fish in the cold and wet, running chains for timber surveys in the cold and wet while trying to keep a very straight line through piles of brush, putting in hay for farmers, etc. I saw these guys up front of their DC-10, watching the world go by far beneath them, flying a cool piece of machinery, feet up on the panel reading a newspaper, traveling the world. I knew that looked like a good life.

I didn't imagine it was going to cost this much, take this long, and I'd make this little, at this point in my life. Still, I don't regret doing it.
 

PureMuscle

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Hmm...
Thanks Big Duke, that was the kind of response I'm looking for. Out of curiousity, would you trade your position for anything else?

I went to an airshow a few weeks ago, and finally sat in a T-38, and I just thought to myself, "I need to fly more, this is incredible". I have been thinking of going into the military for some time but need to finish my bachelors degree.
 

PureMuscle

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Hmm...
coolyokeluke said:
I didn't imagine it was going to cost this much, take this long, and I'd make this little, at this point in my life. Still, I don't regret doing it.

Yeah, that's good to know. I'm just trying to make sure I know it's the right future path before I dump more and more money into it.
 

NYCPilot

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I'm just glad I don't have any debt from getting all my ratings up to now. Barring a higher degree of pilot saturation at the hiring levels, a lot more people could become pilots or at least attain ratings up to the CFI as a hobby without any further career aspirations. Unfortunately, flying is a very financially prohibited hobby. The entrance cost is high and to go any further than a Private gets extremely costly.
 

mar

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Long story short:

When I learned to fly I wanted to fly heavies across oceans and visit lots of different countries.

By 2004 I had qualified in every seat of the DC6 and was living in Fairbanks, Alaska flying groceries to the North Slope and literally hauling out their trash.

I had resigned myself to finishing my career in the bush.

On the advice of some friends I sent my resume to Atlas. Two weeks later I had an interview and they offered me the job the same day. Two weeks after that I'm in groundschool in MIA.

IRONICALLY (operative word) this is where I wanted to be but had essentially given up.

Moral of the story: Hell if I know. Good luck.
 

Lrjtcaptain

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if 9/11 hadn't happend, id be in the left seat of some regional right now. Grad 12/01.....but as the way the markets turned, im a CPC in a tower now just hopping to get picked up in the busier facilities. Paper work is out, just the waiting game
 

PureMuscle

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Lrjtcaptain said:
if 9/11 hadn't happend, id be in the left seat of some regional right now. Grad 12/01.....but as the way the markets turned, im a CPC in a tower now just hopping to get picked up in the busier facilities. Paper work is out, just the waiting game

How do you like it compared to flying? It seems like a lot stress, but at the same time don't you get decent pay depending upon where you work, and retirement?
 

Big Duke Six

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Thanks Big Duke, that was the kind of response I'm looking for. Out of curiousity, would you trade your position for anything else?

I went to an airshow a few weeks ago, and finally sat in a T-38, and I just thought to myself, "I need to fly more, this is incredible". I have been thinking of going into the military for some time but need to finish my bachelors degree.

I would not trade this for anything else. But getting here was not so pretty.

The whole thing is a gamble. The odds of making it are slim. I'm not blowing my horn here or anything of that sort, but here are some numbers (as best I recollect) to put things into perspective. I'm not special, and everyone else who sits in an airline seat faced similar odds along the way. Bear with me here.

I got my Comm/Inst in college while enlisted in the military (Air Guard). It took me three years of applying to Guard units for a pilot slot before my home state took me. I was competing with a couple dozen guys every year for ONE slot to go to UPT. That is typical for every state.

Next step was Flight Screening. Back then, us Guard guys had to go even though we all had PPL's or better. Out of about 24 in that class, I think three guys went home early. Not bad, but it was just 11 flights in T-41's with civilian instructors. And we were all pilots already.

At UPT, we started with 22 in my class. By the time we graduated a year later, only half of us were still there (some were washed back, but most were gone completely). It was one of the hardest years of my life, but also the most rewarding. We definitely had fun there, but you were never more than three flights from being back home on the ranch. That is how fast it happened if something went wrong. But, flying a Tweet or T-38 solo has rewards. Even then though, you had to take advantage of that time to practice. Especially in the -38, every minute had to count. But I digress.

So after the military came the airline. I applied for about 3 years at F9 before I finally got an interview. During that 3-year span, I flew freight (single-pilot in Metroliners) for usually six days a week. It was hard on my wife and kids to put it lightly. They were asleep when I left to go to work and were all asleep again by the time I got home.

Anyway, back to F9. By way of numbers, I interviewed with 5 other guys, and they hired 3 of us that day. I was told by HR later that in our larger group of interviewees, they had started with about 1500 resumes. They tossed out half of those and gave the rest closer scrutiny. Out of that 750, they interviewed 150 and hired 20.

All I can say is there must be someone looking out for me somewhere. I also left no stone unturned getting ready for each next step. Yes it is great now, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. But the road to get here is anything but predictable.

Your mileage WILL vary. In my case, realizing I had no other talents, I had to be stubborn. ;)
 

Lrjtcaptain

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PureMuscle said:
How do you like it compared to flying? It seems like a lot stress, but at the same time don't you get decent pay depending upon where you work, and retirement?


I like it, its fun, not as stressful as you would think. I don't see people in planes anymore, just big hunks of metal that fly :) j/k. Money is good, benefits are great, and Northern California is beautiful however not a day goes by i don't miss being in the air. I hear horror stories about the regionals but if i had so much money that I didn't need a career, id go up to KBIL and apply to bigsky :)
 

PureMuscle

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Hmm...
Big Duke Six said:
I would not trade this for anything else. But getting here was not so pretty.

The whole thing is a gamble. The odds of making it are slim. I'm not blowing my horn here or anything of that sort, but here are some numbers (as best I recollect) to put things into perspective. I'm not special, and everyone else who sits in an airline seat faced similar odds along the way. Bear with me here.

I got my Comm/Inst in college while enlisted in the military (Air Guard). It took me three years of applying to Guard units for a pilot slot before my home state took me. I was competing with a couple dozen guys every year for ONE slot to go to UPT. That is typical for every state.

Next step was Flight Screening. Back then, us Guard guys had to go even though we all had PPL's or better. Out of about 24 in that class, I think three guys went home early. Not bad, but it was just 11 flights in T-41's with civilian instructors. And we were all pilots already.

At UPT, we started with 22 in my class. By the time we graduated a year later, only half of us were still there (some were washed back, but most were gone completely). It was one of the hardest years of my life, but also the most rewarding. We definitely had fun there, but you were never more than three flights from being back home on the ranch. That is how fast it happened if something went wrong. But, flying a Tweet or T-38 solo has rewards. Even then though, you had to take advantage of that time to practice. Especially in the -38, every minute had to count. But I digress.

So after the military came the airline. I applied for about 3 years at F9 before I finally got an interview. During that 3-year span, I flew freight (single-pilot in Metroliners) for usually six days a week. It was hard on my wife and kids to put it lightly. They were asleep when I left to go to work and were all asleep again by the time I got home.

Anyway, back to F9. By way of numbers, I interviewed with 5 other guys, and they hired 3 of us that day. I was told by HR later that in our larger group of interviewees, they had started with about 1500 resumes. They tossed out half of those and gave the rest closer scrutiny. Out of that 750, they interviewed 150 and hired 20.

All I can say is there must be someone looking out for me somewhere. I also left no stone unturned getting ready for each next step. Yes it is great now, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. But the road to get here is anything but predictable.

Your mileage WILL vary. In my case, realizing I had no other talents, I had to be stubborn. ;)

Yeah, someone is definitely looking out for you. Another thing I think of is family life. I don't have a wife and kids yet but what if I want them someday, even though some people thinks it's dumb to think of that stuff when it's not in front of them. I want to be able to provide for them, and atleast see them every once in a while. Then again, the selfish side of me comes out and says I don't even have a family yet so do what you want. I appreciate the reply, it helped me out a lot. Thanks
 
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