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Part Time Flying

TradingPilot

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Posts
23
Total Time
300
Hey Guys,

How difficult is it to find a part time gig? Aviation is something I really enjoy. I'm currently in a university program and have about a year and half to graduate, plus a couple of years of instructing which I am actually looking forward to. Hopefully by then the economy will have turned and the media will stop bashing corporate aviation.

When I reach attractive minimums I would rather fly part time in order to attempt a career as a independent trader.

Thanks,
Trader Pilot
 

cynic

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 7, 2004
Posts
1,541
Total Time
> 1500
Pretty easy... Instruct and you will meet people. Meet people and you will find those folks that hire a pilot on a daily basis from time to time.

That's what I do. It's not much of a career. The pay sucks. The hours suck. Most of the pilots are angry because they have a job that..... sucks. I have a regular job at a University where I get paid in the six figure range. I get 5 weeks of vacation, 4 weeks of sick leave and that's in addition to all the regular holidays. I don't worry about getting laid off and as much as I like flying I just could not get that in aviation unless I worked at it for YEARS and I just got lucky.

I make enough to have some extra cash and get to fly just enough that it's fun.

My crystal ball says..... the pilot profession is not getting any better.
 

thatpilotguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 21, 2005
Posts
217
Total Time
Some
I believe that speak for many of us professional pilots when I say...if you love to fly there really isn't anything that you would rather do more...it's a bit of an addiction.

With that said, it's obvious that aviation has taken a beating the last few years. 9/11 wasn't easy on anyone, nor the aviation industry. The current economic times again have taken a bite out of the industry.

The real question is, if I had it to do over again would I...yes, and no. I love aviation, but I would do it a bit different. Rather than a degree in Aeronautical Sciences, I would pursue something more marketable should I find myself unemployed...again. It's almost a certain fact these days that if you are a professional pilot, corporate or airline, you will find yourself working for more than one or two corporations or airlines. It's rare to find a "retirement" type career position.

I like what cynic had to say...find a job that pays well and leaves time for flying on the side...then again if you want to make a career of it, and advice from those of us in it, knee deep in some cases, be aware that like anything in life it comes with challenges.

Build time, instructing, banner towing, anything that fits with your professional career. That's what I did...I did the desk job, got my rating, built time, paid bills, made contacts and found myself in an entry level position.

It's an incredibly small industry...a college professor once told me that it's as small as the fastest airplane. You will meet many people and you never know where you may run into that person again in your career. One of the first guys I flew with we hired a little over a year ago for an open position in our department. He got me my first job and 8 years later I returned the favor...

Best of luck, there is a wealth of knowledge here, and almost everyone here is happy to help!
 

TradingPilot

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Posts
23
Total Time
300
Its definitely an addiction! I stopped flying for about a year. When I transferred to this university pilots where getting hired so fast they were having trouble assigning me an instructor! Things changed fast and I decided to transfer majors in order to further pursue my other passion of trading. I became miserable within a couple of months, big trading firms don't care for business students they want engineers and quants to write code! I found out I don't need a business degree to become a discretionary trader, what i need is capital and practice. My goals is to "hedge" my career. As a trader not all years are profitable and it would be nice to know I have a part time flying gig to fall on when things get bad.
 

Lance501

Active member
Joined
Oct 6, 2002
Posts
44
Total Time
43.2
I don't want to be negative, but flying will never be something that you can supplement another career with. With a few exceptions nearly all pilots have had to put it all on the line and fly full time for five or ten years to make it to a job that your family can tolerate. You should look at the "Contract Flying" thread on this same page to see how much experience and flying diversity is out of work during these low times. These are the times that most people would be trying to supplement and flying is almost always the first to go. I you are single and plan to stay that way then I suppose you could make a run at it, but not without several years of full time flying to earn some types and A to B experience.

That being said our ideas of supplementing an income may be different, and in that case You may be on the right track.... I wish you the best.....
 

TradingPilot

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Posts
23
Total Time
300
I Thank you for being negative lance. It helps put things into perspective. I do plan on initially working full time as long as it takes until I'm at a position to secure a more flexible option. I understand the industry is in a lot of trouble right now, but I am a long time away from being able to attain a flying job. I'm trying not to focus on what things will look like in the future. I must concentrate on graduating and attaining all the necessary ratings.
 
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