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Still gona change careers?

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Well-known member
Nov 29, 2001
For those of you trying to switch careers (form the desk to the airplane, not the other way around :))…….

How have things / plans changed for you while the industry is in a slump?

What are you doing to keep a positive attitude? Do you have any kind of mentor that provides encouragement and guidance?

How are you getting the flight hours in while holding down that fulltime job and family?

For what it’s worth, I have an old beater of an airplane. We’ve taken the kids aero-camping, I got my commercial rating in it, fly Angel Flights, and stay IFR current. I’m currently at 350tt, instrument and commercial rated. Was thinking that I’d put it up on the market after I have 500tt, take whatever money is left over and get all of my instructor ratings. Sure would be nice to have somebody further along in this process to bounce ideas off of. Thanks for the time.

I currently work full time at a desk. I teach part time. I can fly about 15 hours a month. I'm thinking of making the career change in April. I'm glad I didn't do it a year ago as planned as I'd be out of a job now.

I'd recommend getting the instructor ratings ASAP and forget flying your plane. First, instructing actually pays a bit, and that is far better than spending money. Second, you will meet other pilots as an instructor and if you have any hope of getting a job that’s likely to be it. The buddy system (cronyism will also work) is the only way to go in aviation.
I'm Still Going to Enter the Field

You are aksing a good question. You are way ahead of me in the process so I can give a view point from someone who has a family and is at the beginning.

What motivate me? Looking at a glaring screen all day and sitting at a desk. I had rather look at guages and listen to talk about ALPA and how the unions suck. :)

I am going to give it my all and see where the road leads.

I am looking at training for an airline career right now is like buying stock. Everyone was getting into Cisco when it was 90-100/share. That is not the time to buy stock. The time to buy is now when everything is in the toilet. Many good bargains. Same for training(I guess)I feel like the training schools have cut back their profits to train pilots right now. I have definitely priced out some reasonable training programs and negotiated with them because these flight school class sizes have been cut in half.

I am scared crapless to jump ship right now but I'm goning to do it because my heart is pushing me to take this one gamble. I have a long term vision for a flying career so it's not going to be easy. I will always be able to program boring machines and troubleshoot problems chasing 0's and 1's so if I go back part time it's an option to pay bills(or the training loan payments)

I hope that networking will payoff and my abilities will be recognized so I can get a job.

Good Luck to all of the schmucks like me on this board.
I made the jump just a couple of years ago, and I know how you feel. I can't tell you how many times I gave up on this career, and now I'm having a ball. Just don't give up, that's the best advise I can give you. If you don't have a BS degree, go get one now during the slump, and instruct part time. It's way easier to get one if you are going full time, then trying to cram in school while working a flying job. Anyway, I saw in the USA Today, today that college grads are more employed right now than high school grads.

If you allready have a degree, see if you can find an instructing job. I agree with the previous guy about that. Also, when you get here we don't really gripe much about the union. Mostly we talk about women or the coffee machine being broke. Hope you find all you are looking for. Good luck.
Seattle -

I'm in a similar situation as you, although a little farther along. Unfortunately, I'm pessimistic. I think we're out of luck for several, if not 4-6 years. I've essentially resolved myself to not being able to make a change without suffering too much pain (loss on income, relocation(s), duration at entry level job...) for my family.

Before the collapse, I was realistically expecting to go directly to a regional airline and making capt after a year or two. That, itself, would cause minimal disruption to my family, getting me to a sustainable job pretty quickly.

Everything was looking good for me about a year ago. I was called for an interview the first week of Sept. Obviously, they called back and cancelled a couple of weeks later. By some major stroke of luck, I came up about a week short of resigning (this) my present job to instruct full time. I had health insurance lined up, an instructing job and one airline interview. I was ready to take the plunge. Fortunately, I still have my "desk" job... and probably will for the next 20-25 years.

Since then, I've continued instructing part-time. More for fun and to earn a few $$ than building time. I probably average 20 hours a month. Some dual and the balance on my own for fun. How do I get this time? A generous wife and a lucritive(sp?) job.

As for keeping in touch, I know several airline pilots. The one who was instrumental in getting me the interview has taken a LOA. The others I know are all still working, fortunately. They're all talk pretty optimistically, but they're just being polite. The majors have some serious house cleaning to be done if they want to get financially healthy. The regionals would be a nice place to fly, but they're full of flowbacks and have hundreds of pilots already furloughed. Freight - well, all the out of work folks want to fly there.

Sorry, but I'm expecting the worst and hoping for something better. good luck to you.
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I'm working as a pizza delivery guy and using the money my parents saved for my college education to pay for training for my PPL-IR-CPL-CFI. once I have the CFI, I plan on going to community college part time while building experience as a CFI. How realistic is that??
HexWRX said:
...once I have the CFI, I plan on going to community college part time while building experience as a CFI. How realistic is that??
Might be a good idea! At least with the CFI you can earn some money while flying and going to college. Would you rather instruct for $10/hr or deliver pizza?!?! I've done both - no question what's more fun. Also, get a non-aviation BS or BA - something you can pay the bills with (accounting, engineering, medical anything, etc). Trust me - you'll be so much better off not having all your eggs in the aviation basket.
Thanks for the advice, Aggiepilot. I had planned on getting something non-aviation specific, like electronics, computers, or something. I am probably going to go with electronics, since I have an interest in them, and I'm sure alot of that knowledge will carry over to avionics maintenance/repair whatnot. At least then, if I couldn't find a job as a pilot, I could get a job with a company that did employ pilots, so I could do some networking.

as for which is more enjoyable, pizza delivery or flying.. well, I can think of many things far less enjoyable than racing around in the WRX, listening to my cds, and getting tips and $7 delivering pizza.

but I can count on 1 finger the things I enjoy more than flying, and even that gets tiring after awhile, and its even harder to do as a career

By The Way... Are you a current A&M Student? If so, know any good FBOs over toward San Antonio/Austin?
I'm going to have to come up with some kind of plan. Flight instructors that aren't connected to a school, FBO, club, or own their own are getting a bit thin in the ribs from what I can see.

Let me bounce this off y'all. Spend one more summer of fun in the sun building time/experience in my little clunker, then sell it. Take the money to get at least the initial CFI and a C-140, PA Pacer, what have you. Total package....... say $25000. Instruct on the side (tail wheel sign-offs shouldn't take as much of a commitment on my part as full-on ratings). I get the ME, CFII, and MEI as the money presents it's self. Think this is marketable?

"Hi, insurance company? Ya, I'm a new CFI and just got my tail wheel indorcement. I want to flight instruct in my C-140. How much is it gona be?"

Uh, I don't know if they would allow that. It wasn't too clear, but what I meant to say was, after getting my CFI, I would work as a CFI (at an FBO or wherever I found work) while _attending_ community college as a student. I dont think they'd let me be studying comp. networking while instructing PPL-101. Also, What is the likelyhood of a college aviation program hiring a CFI without a college degree...?

I'm thinking about getting a bucket, a sponge, and a cardboard sign that says "FREE CFI WITH CAR WASH, $8"

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