I need some encouragement

Groundpounder

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
Posts
705
Total Time
Enough
I've wanted to fly for as long as I can remember, and I've been trying to reach this goal for a long time. I got my Multi commercial Insturment almost a year ago, and moved from New Hampshire to down here in Ft Lauderdale, with the goal of getting some sort of flying job. I haven't had any luck getting flying time, so now I am going to start working on my CFI. I don't really want to instruct, but I don't see any other way of getting flying time. So I am going to invest about $5000 more into my flying career, and I hope something comes of it. But, I am going to take a huge pay cut from working line service, and I am going to have to try to work full time and instruct part time.
So what do I have to look forward to? Those of you that are 'succesful' how long were you stuck being an instructor? How did you make enough money to be able to feed yourself? What kind of flying job did you get after being a CFI? My goal is to get a good part 91 corporate gig, how can I help myself toward that goal at this point?
Last but not least, was it all worth it?

Sorry if this is a bit rambling, but I'm just feeling a lil' depressed, and need a good kick in the rear.

P.S. Oh yeah, most of the guys I worked with in line service that were working on their ratings at the same time that I was are now flying, two at Comair, one just got hired by CoEx, and another is flying a G4.
 
Last edited:

EDUC8-or

These Nachos Are Good
Joined
Dec 6, 2002
Posts
326
Total Time
>1
I wouldn't go into instructing with the attitude that you will be "stuck" being an instructor. I had a few CFI's like that and they were the worst. They were very open about the fact they had to instruct to move on and could tell me anything about the fancy RJ they wanted to fly, but didn't know squat about what I really needed to know. I pretty much taught myself through a good portion of my training.

I've been instructing for just over 2 years and I love it. I start class with a 121 carrier next month. If they let me I would like to instruct on the side for extra $ and because I really love to teach. I had a full time job and I instructed on nights and on weekends. I was able to put some money in savings to help with first year pay at the regionals as well as put a nice down payment on a house.

If you think positively and work hard to be a good instructor you will make more money and your name will get out there. Once you have a solid reputation people will want to fly with you. I started out making $10 and hour but now I make $30 an hour at my local flight school and I charge $50+ for freelance instruction. If you keep a positive attitude towards instructing, or even if you just fake it in front of your students there's a much better chance of landing that part 91 corporate gig.
 

MissKittyKat

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Posts
516
Total Time
5,000
Hi I just read your post, and please let me offer some encouragement!

Don't ever give up your dream, Successful people forever work at their dream. Success doesn't always mean money. It may mean a goal like loosing weight.

Did anyone read the article featured in USA today a few months back that passengers flying on jets was going to double in the next ten years! That means that there is a future job for you!

There will be many people retiring from aviation in the next few years. A Dispatch license is a great way to land a job with a Fortune 500 Corporate job, and work on your flying on the side, perhaps this could be a long term goal for you while working on the flight hours.

You have nothing to feel bad about, but hey at least you don't have PMS like me. Sounds like your very determined! KUDOS for you and go for it!

Luck happens to everyone. On my Global Express both guys are younger than me, but probably had the required time. I would go for the CFI and get the hours, that is what is important, I once flew with a guy who was mopping floors at Wendy's and the next day he was a pilot, did he last? No he lied on his resume and couldn't land a plane for crap. Best wishes to you and your comarades and hey just apply somewhere, go for it! But don't give up aviation!

MissKittyKat ( Best of luck to you) hey I used to live in FLL and just bought a new condo in Boca! PM, maybe I see you someday!
 

Groundpounder

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
Posts
705
Total Time
Enough
I get along with people very well, and I have great customer service skills, and I want to have happy students that know what they are doing. I'm tasked with doing training at the FBO, and I think I do a good job with that. I'm just a bit nervous that I won't be a good CFI, and it will just be another $5k down the tubes.
 

gern_blanston

Airport Bum
Joined
Apr 26, 2005
Posts
345
Total Time
16,000
EDUC8-or said:
I wouldn't go into instructing with the attitude that you will be "stuck" being an instructor. I had a few CFI's like that and they were the worst. They were very open about the fact they had to instruct to move on and could tell me anything about the fancy RJ they wanted to fly, but didn't know squat about what I really needed to know.
EDU is exactly right. You should become an insurance salesman or something rather than an instructor. Instructors who don't really really enjoy instructing do themselves and their students a huge disservice.
 

PGH STEEL

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 31, 2004
Posts
53
Total Time
9500
Do the Instructing thing for a bit and build that total time up or you will be in a FO seat for many many years to come adding 300-500 hr a year
in a 91 gig. just my .02
 

k_EAT=ho_ME

Closet User...shhhh!
Joined
Jun 18, 2005
Posts
128
Total Time
~2300
To paraphrase that old aviation axiom about it taking three things to make an airplane fly, money, something and something :D (aerodynamics was never my strong suit), here's my version of what it takes to get from fresh commercial ticket to airline pilot:


You gotta have one of three things to go from 250 to employable: access to a big bank account (not necessarily your own), a wife/husband/parents (hopefully your own) to support you during 1,000 hours or so of flight instructing wages (particularly in a small market), or really good industry contacts.


Nothing wrong with faking your "love" of flight instructing, but remember, it is a solemn duty to do it right, without fail, every time, period. Tough to fake the love (of the job, not the student, you better be able to like the student), but possible.

It is also possible that you won't like the step after instructing any better than instructing. I know a lot of folks think that's a given, but it's not necessarily so.
 

Groundpounder

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
Posts
705
Total Time
Enough
gern_blanston said:
EDU is exactly right. You should become an insurance salesman or something rather than an instructor. Instructors who don't really really enjoy instructing do themselves and their students a huge disservice.
How many people get their CFI's to instruct for the rest of their careers? I didn't mean to sound like I wouldn't like it, or come off like I am just doing it because I have to, I just don't see myself doing it for a long time.
 

MissKittyKat

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Posts
516
Total Time
5,000
Groundpounder, the reason I enjoy to offer encourement to you is because, My financee has been flying since he was 14 years old, he used to sneak out of the house to get flight time. He grew up in Long Island and got his license in Zann's Airport, somewhere like that. I don't know can;t remember, he is now 55 and still has his CFI and tells any pilots that he is an instructor first, he has taught so many people to fly (sorry he has not instructed any ladies) He has been teaching for so long, and that was his dream and still is, to teach people to fly.

It took me 12 years plus to become a flight attendant, no airline would hire me, because I'm too short, can't reach the overhead, never mind lift a 100pound raft out of a bin! But guess what I never gave up! ya, I did work for airlines as an agent but only corporate will hire me!

So, please look into all the options, and your determination will get you there. Hey by the way my trip was very long! But I was so happy to be on it! It was my lifelong goal too as a child to either be an astronuat or flight attendant, and I took the flight attendant route!

Again, Best of luck to you!
 

Groundpounder

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
Posts
705
Total Time
Enough
k_EAT=ho_ME said:
You gotta have one of three things to go from 250 to employable: access to a big bank account (not necessarily your own), a wife/husband/parents (hopefully your own) to support you during 1,000 hours or so of flight instructing wages (particularly in a small market), or really good industry contacts.
What do you mean by industry contacts?
 

Dan CFI/CFII

I'm a dippidy doer
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
Posts
347
Total Time
a bit
Quick bit of persepective for you bud...

I've been unemployed for longer than you've been "grinding away" in line service.

I am BY NO MEANS an old salt, or even remotely experienced. I have to grow a goatee to even have a chance at not being carded. I have had passengers ask for an older crew.

First off, I'm amazed that anyone could think their worth so great that with ~350 hours that any flying job would be theirs other than as a CFI. I'm even more amazed that there are flying schools that allow anyone to believe such (and I fully realize that they are about their scrilla).

Don't think that instructing is bad. If I could, I'd be instructing on the side right now. Go get your CFI ($5000, that sounds like a rip off to me though). Get the heck out of Florida. Go find an FBO at an airport that only has a few wanna be pilots hanging around (as opposed to the few dozens you probably compete with now). Make a name for youself by not worrying about the next step. Trust me, the next step can easily be a letdown. Make yourself happy instructing, and frankly, the next step will step on your toes and be a bit of an inconvenience.

Like I said, there are many, many more experienced chaps than I out there, but I got my CFI, did that on and off for 4 years, worked as an A&P on King Airs for a while, and had to leave that to find a job on the "career track" in the right seat, with a relatively quick upgrade in sight--and was laid off. After months and months of looking, I landed another right seat gig.

From the time that I first got a paycheck as a professional pilot (CFI) to now, I've been unemployed as such more than I have been employed. But the "off periods" have been a lot of fun. I've worked in youth camping, I've been a handyman, I drove buses in a ski town for the winter (and got to shred a lot), I've restored a few old trucks, and I've been the envy of all I know while the aviation industry has decided my services aren't needed.

You don't need encouragement. You need to stop thinking of flight instructing as boring, crappy, or whatever you are thinking it is. There are parts of it that can suck, but that comes with nearly every job.

And once you've given flight instructing an honest try, after half a year to a year, I'm sure that you could find another job if you wanted one bad enough.

Good luck to you. But realize who you are competing with for those jobs. Until recently, I was in the market for a job, and I've fueled my share of planes, I've cut my arms with safety wire, I've ridden through more student landings than I can recall, I've been through 10 hour flying days, I've loaded a few thousand pounds of boxes when it's freezing out--and I'm still just a scrub (hanging out the right hand side of my best friend's ride, trying to holler at me).

Whatever man, just do it with a smile.

It doesn't necessarily get better, but it gets different.

Dan
 

k_EAT=ho_ME

Closet User...shhhh!
Joined
Jun 18, 2005
Posts
128
Total Time
~2300
Groundpounder said:
What do you mean by industry contacts?
Well, I didn't have any, so I'm only speculating. But, for example, there's a guy at a nearby airport with a CJ that seems to have a revolving SIC. I know the owner doesn't really enjoy paying for the co-pilot, but grudgingly does.

I don't really want to encourage anyone to whore themselves out to greedy rich guys to avoid getting time in a more respectable manner, like instructing, or dropping meatballs or towing banners, etc. But we have probably all heard of a pilot getting legit (though possibly not deserved) right seat in something Part 91 that actually required a right-seater, because he or daddy had contacts.

I recommend marrying a gainfully employed woman who thinks pilots are noble, cool and sexy. Let her pay the bills while you teach. This worked for me, but did involve much kowtowing and suck-upping. Oh, and yes, my wife does need glasses.
 

FN FAL

Freight Dawgs Rule
Joined
Dec 17, 2003
Posts
8,573
Total Time
7,000+
Groundpounder said:
I've wanted to fly for as long as I can remember, and I've been trying to reach this goal for a long time. I got my Multi commercial Insturment almost a year ago, and moved from New Hampshire to down here in Ft Lauderdale, with the goal of getting some sort of flying job. I haven't had any luck getting flying time, so now I am going to start working on my CFI. I don't really want to instruct, but I don't see any other way of getting flying time. So I am going to invest about $5000 more into my flying career, and I hope something comes of it. But, I am going to take a huge pay cut from working line service, and I am going to have to try to work full time and instruct part time.
So what do I have to look forward to? Those of you that are 'succesful' how long were you stuck being an instructor? How did you make enough money to be able to feed yourself? What kind of flying job did you get after being a CFI? My goal is to get a good part 91 corporate gig, how can I help myself toward that goal at this point?
Last but not least, was it all worth it?

Sorry if this is a bit rambling, but I'm just feeling a lil' depressed, and need a good kick in the rear.

P.S. Oh yeah, most of the guys I worked with in line service that were working on their ratings at the same time that I was are now flying, two at Comair, one just got hired by CoEx, and another is flying a G4.
Hey Dan, give Wisconsin Aviaiton a call? Maybe they could use a CFI and you could work on your ratings there...seen it happen. Good luck to you man!
 

k_EAT=ho_ME

Closet User...shhhh!
Joined
Jun 18, 2005
Posts
128
Total Time
~2300
Dan CFI/CFII said:
Get the heck out of Florida. Go find an FBO at an airport that only has a few wanna be pilots hanging around (as opposed to the few dozens you probably compete with now).
The rest of the post was too long and I didn't read it ;) , but this part is excellent advice.
 

Gutenberg

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 19, 2005
Posts
160
Total Time
6500
My CFI candidate went to the FSDO for a seminar for prospective CFI's, the first thing the Fed made the guys do was teach the class how to tie a shoe. So,as MsKittyKat's fiancee knows,and this very experienced Fed was trying to relay to these guys, teaching skills are paramount. (and in many cases, independent of flying skills).
 

Goose Egg

Big Jens
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Posts
1,719
Total Time
3k-ish
There's a lot of good advice in this thread, but Dan makes some exceptionally good points...

Dan CFI/CFII said:
First off, I'm amazed that anyone could think their worth so great that with ~350 hours that any flying job would be theirs other than as a CFI.
I'm not sure what "scrilla" means, but even with a couple hundred more hours than that, the same applies to me.

$5000, that sounds like a rip off to me though.
Amen!

Make a name for youself by not worrying about the next step. Trust me, the next step can easily be a letdown. Make yourself happy instructing, and frankly, the next step will step on your toes and be a bit of an inconvenience...You don't need encouragement. You need to stop thinking of flight instructing as boring, crappy, or whatever you are thinking it is. There are parts of it that can suck, but that comes with nearly every job...It doesn't necessarily get better, but it gets different.
Agree 100%, and may I submit further that if you aren't happy as a CFI, you probably won't be happy in other flying jobs. That's not necessarily true in all cases, but every flying job you have will require you to perform certain duties, i.e. actually work for a living. The days of joy riding and having an instructor focused on your progress (that is if your instructors were any good) are rapidly coming to an end. Every job will suck a little, and if you have the ability to enjoy it anyway, that speaks volumes about you. Ironically, one of the few sucky things about my instructing job is all the complaining that some of the other instructors do! Now out of the nest with ye!

-Goose
 
Last edited:

EDUC8-or

These Nachos Are Good
Joined
Dec 6, 2002
Posts
326
Total Time
>1
Groundpounder said:
I get along with people very well, and I have great customer service skills, and I want to have happy students that know what they are doing. I'm tasked with doing training at the FBO, and I think I do a good job with that. I'm just a bit nervous that I won't be a good CFI, and it will just be another $5k down the tubes.
Don't get nervous until you log your first dual given. If you're worried about being a bad instructor you should study like crazy and practice teaching in your free time. I know one guy who set up two chairs side by side in his dining room and put his dog next to him to practice teaching. Sounds weird, but the guy was an excellent CFI. Think about all of the good and bad instructors you had through the course of your flight training. Combine the traits of the good and think to yourself how you won't be like the bad. But don't be worried about not being a good CFI, if you study hard and truly learn how to teach that shouldn't happen.
 

navigator72

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
913
Total Time
1700+
My .02 cents worth
There are other ways to build flight time. I got my first job flying jumpers with 300 hours and logged 350 hours flying meat bombs. Was it a dream flying job? Heck no..... but it was a blast....
Go to dropzone.com and check the classifieds listings for the skydiving jobs.
You could always tow banners along the beach..... I've never done it but it looks kind of fun flying low and slow along a beach watching the sharks attack the kiddies.

How about flying fire patrols?
Get a list from the Dept of Conservation of who has the fire patrol contract in your state..... I flew 3 years worth of fire patrols and logged a ton of cross country time this way.

You could always fly scenic tours..... It's kind of late in the season to be looking for scenic tour jobs but it's an amazing way to network (you would be amazed at the amount of pilots who take scenic flights).

I agree with the other posters who have said get out of Florida (too many pilots down there).
Be willing to pack your bags and move at a moments notice. Realize that you aren't going to become wealthy flying these jobs.

Goodluck
 

Groundpounder

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
Posts
705
Total Time
Enough
I want to get the heck out of Floiduh, it stinks down here. I'm from NH, and I'd love to get back up there, but I didn't think there were any jobs up there. But, I guess I could be wrong.......
 
Top