I'm interested in your guys input. Aviation and relationships. And ATC Career?

wessidemike

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Posts
13
Total Time
230+
I'm 24 years old and just finished my CFI, Well almost.... I had my checkride today and became another statistic for the 80% first time failures. I think I’m an above average stick and very capable instructor. Although I need some work on the FOI’s. But I'll get em next time. Like all of us I Love to fly. I have about 10 hour in a twin and around 300 TT. So I’m low time and I haven’t invested my whole life into aviation. Although I hope to keep it in my life. My problem really occurred to me today as I was talking to the FAA examiner. Something about the divorce rate of pilots came up and we started talking about it. He said he wasn’t' surprised at the divorce rate. When pilots are gone as often as they are, they seem to grow apart from their family and especially their partner. Anyone else find this true???? My father was a 747 captain for two different International Company’s. He retired at 54. I’m just starting to realize how unhealthy his relationship was with my mother. And also with us kids. I don’t want that to be in my future. So I’m at a point where I need to decide what I want, and how I want to live my life. I want to continue Flying, and I enjoy Instructing so I see that as a way to keep it in my life and still be able to feed my self and my family. But we all know you can’t make a living as a flight instructor. I’ve thought about ATC before, but have no idea if my personality or traits would make this a good option for me. I know being a pilot gives me an advantage over non pilots. But how well do the two mix?

So I guess I have two questions. How are relationships in an Aviation lifestyle?
And what type of characteristics are best for an Air Traffic Controller?

If there are any ATC guy out there I’d love to hear first hand from you about your job.
AIM Wessidemike
Yahoo Wessidemike
 

Av8rPHX

The Dude abides...
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
Posts
323
Total Time
enough
Do a search on the boards for "AIDS" and you may find some of the answers to your questions on here. Bottom line, it comes down to how strong your relationship is and how much trust there is between both parties.
 

DorkProp

Dork No More!
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
271
Total Time
3.14
Good pay, good schedule, early retirement, government pension. Sometimes I wish I went the ATC route.
 

smellthejeta

The plane I solo'd in
Joined
Mar 31, 2003
Posts
588
Total Time
afew
DorkProp said:
Good pay, good schedule, early retirement, government pension. Sometimes I wish I went the ATC route.
I'm in the process of going the ATC route. It ain't all pretty and roses, and the hiring itself is just as cyclical as flying.

Bottom line over why I chose ATC over flying: Career wise, it is much more stable. I won't have to worry about BK's and what not, and the most important thing is that I won't have to worry about how many companies' pay scales I'll be sitting at the bottom of. You know, like what happens when Skyway was iffy, guys went to the bottom of ACA's pay scale. ACA went iffy, so guys went to the bottom of Comair's pay scale. Now that Comair is iffy, whose bottom payscale are those guys going to go sit on?
 

414Flyer

Down with Chemtrails!
Joined
Jan 20, 2002
Posts
4,948
Total Time
4200
yeah I think I would have gone ATC if I could do it again. You will have better financial security, better home life most likely, can actually buy a house and start investing, and plus you can fly when you want to, instead of when someone else wants to.
 

dhc8fo

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 30, 2001
Posts
402
Total Time
lots
A handful of ORF ATC guys fly corporate all the time when they are off. You can have the best of both worlds. I have to agree with the others....wish I had done it too.

HOWEVER, it is not impossible to have a great relationship and be a pilot. It all depends on the type of flying you end up doing, the company you work for, and the woman you marry.

Good luck.
 

414Flyer

Down with Chemtrails!
Joined
Jan 20, 2002
Posts
4,948
Total Time
4200
Its not impossible, but it sure can be an uphill climb.

I know a tower guy that has flown corporate also on the side. He is a former AH-1 pilot who once extracted out an F-4 crew to during Nam on the fold out ammo doors.
 

Vector4fun

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 25, 2003
Posts
796
Total Time
1700
Gotta watch that flying for hire stuff while employed by the FAA. You can get yourself in trouble several different ways, especially flying on days you're supposed to be in front of a radar scope.

As far as AIDS goes, I personally know two controllers who've been divorced 4 times, and another dozen that have split the sheets more than once. I don't consider the job all that tough on family life, you are home every day, but some wives crab because their husbands can't be off every holiday or have to work mids. Crap, it ain't like we left on a 6 month cruise with the Navy....
 

pilotmiketx

Registerd User
Joined
Jul 13, 2003
Posts
345
Total Time
oodles
My job has been great for my marriage. I get a little space and she can do her own stuff when I'm gone, and when I get home I tear it up. Then when I'm off for 3 or 4 or 5 days, I can bring her lunch at her office and catch up on the honey-dos and we train together (we're both triathletes.) My trips are rarely more than 3 days, so when I went to school for 3 weeks and then left on a week long trip, that wasn't fun, but it's not the norm either.

I'm not sure what the divorce rate is, but it's between 50 and 70% depending on who you ask, so if your relationship doesn't work you can always blame it on your job, but there's probably more to it than that.
 

JediNein

No One Special at all
Joined
Apr 28, 2002
Posts
1,256
Total Time
53 wks
Aviation Induced Divorce Syndrome: 3 controllers -> 3 wives each
15+ pilots, 2+ wives each, most currently unattached. One said the wife even got the dogs the last time (now that's cruel, 'specially to the dogs!).
 

Fly_Chick

Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2004
Posts
311
Total Time
~1300
Go with your heart. If you truly want to fly, fly. Other things will follow. One thing that is important is to have some one who backs your committment. You do not want to have regrets, or feel you are sacrificing yourself for someone else. You are so young, there is so much ahead of you.

As far as relationships, find someone who really wants you to have what you want (and vice versa).
 

Princedietrich

Retired Starchecker
Joined
Oct 27, 2004
Posts
1,437
Total Time
Enough
The thing that I hear most about pilots and relationships is that if a male pilot finds a gal he likes, he should buy her a house and never talk to her again because that's how it'll end up anyway.

For female pilots, well I guess you'll get someone to buy you a house.
 

Lrjtcaptain

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 28, 2002
Posts
927
Total Time
2000+
Let me just put in my two cents....yeah, good money, benefits...etc....but the govt is no cake walk. The FAA can be a tough agency to work for! There are thousands of people in CTI's now and thousands waiting to get hired. The FAA is in the process of throwing the majority of the new hires into ARTCC's with a predicted washout rate of about 40%. If you want to get involved now, know its not gonna be a cake walk. Learn what you have to learn, do what you have to do and don't be a statistic. IF you know you can make it you can, you have to have confidence to get through what lies ahead. 100% academy passrate practically. Get to your facility, and they'll wash you. The FAA isn't playing games. They are laying off controllers for the dumbest things like stupid medical certificate issues, yet the sup's and atms....no problems there. FAA staffic and mangement, excellent place to be in the FAA's eyes, but remember Maid Marion Blakey hates us and so does GW. Bush
 

starvingcfi

CpApAwM
Joined
Dec 12, 2001
Posts
662
Total Time
4300
why get married anyway? it's just gonna end up in divorce. 'lease' a woman. 18-21...preferrably. once a year (say...on her b-day) trade her in for a new one.

it's the wave of the future :D
 

Flyingdutchman

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 29, 2002
Posts
1,571
Total Time
today?
Yeah it sucks. I broke up with my girlfriend for a job overseas, and I still regret it. Made that mistake twice now. Damn chicks, Ill tell ya they are dangerous for your mind!! women.... - sigh -
 

jafo20

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 29, 2004
Posts
235
Total Time
some
It's tough, but you can have your cake and eat it too.

If you want a stable job, you could get a degree in something that pays (ATC, egineeering, business, etc.) and keep your hand in aviation flying a Caravan, King Air, PT Charter, etc. Of course, you'll be working two jobs.

Here's another thing:
Who are the rich dudes who fly around in P-38s or F-86s? They're doctors, lawyers, etc. You could have a happy home life, earn huge stacks of cash, walk past some skinny, bald dude sleeping on an FBO couch, step into your Mig-17 and do an airshow routine. Is that really such a bad fate?

Finally, you just got socked on a CFI ride by the FAA. Some FSDOs are worse than others. In fact, I hear rumors that MKE FSDO fails ALL their guys (somebody check me on that). Don't worry about this affecting your career or anything.

I aced my exams passed my checkrides, and, professionally, I'm a spectacular failure! I'll wager a dollar that you'll be able to buy and sell guys like me inside of five years.
 

smellthejeta

The plane I solo'd in
Joined
Mar 31, 2003
Posts
588
Total Time
afew
Lrjtcaptain said:
There are thousands of people in CTI's now and thousands waiting to get hired. The FAA is in the process of throwing the majority of the new hires into ARTCC's with a predicted washout rate of about 40%.
Not sure where you got your numbers, but they aren't nearly that high. I'm guessing there are around 1500 people MAX waiting to get hired. As far as who's in school, the last GAO report I read (okay, it was a couple of years old) said that there was about 800 students graduating every year (or in the program) from the CTI schools collectively. That report was rather informative; did you know some schools only have 25 students in an ATC graduating class and some have like one or two (namely Hampton University or whatever its called)? My school is number four in terms of graduation numbers, and our capacity was limited to about 40 per year. Yes some like Beaver and Purdue have upwards of 100 a year (but not much more). Remember, there are only 13 schools in the country that train ATC. That 800 is sure to increase, but I don't think it will increase to the point the schools are graduating MORE than the FAA is forecasted to hire every year. Right now, most people in the programs have *wanted* to be there. Now, with the publicity the job is getting, you are finding people solely attracted to the pay. They still have to do three things to graduate from the CTI school: 1) actually graduate, 2) Pass the AT-SAT, and 3) Get a reccomendation for hire from their school. In other words, schools shouldn't be letting "schmucks" get hired.

Second, that 40% washout may have to do with that direct hire program. Right now, they are taking about 100 people off the street at each of the centers, giving them the AT-SAT, and sending 60% or so right to OKC. I'd believe a 40% washout with a system like that; I don't quite believe a 40% washout of people with a solid aviation background.
 
Top