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what kept you going to pursue your dream

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Well-known member
Jan 30, 2002
Just wondering what you guys did when you felt down and dejected with aviation, the industry or when the road seemed long and the airline dream rather far away and unattainable.

What motivated and inspired you- what keeps you going?
As this is posted on the MAJOR board I don't know if you're just looking for responses from guys at the majors, but I'll put in my 2 cents (3 cents Canadian) as a regional FO.
For me, the best inspiration to keep going was how much I disliked the "real" jobs I took to pay for my flight training (from furniture mover to corp. desk job). However you make your money, I would suggest getting something that keeps you around airplanes & aviation--even if it's washing airplanes part-time for some local airline or airport. Just something to keep you involved in aviation until you get your first CFI or 135 gig. After that, it gets easier to keep focus on flying as a goal. It doesn't necessarily make it easier to pay the bills or eat at the best restaurants, but that's a trade off you can make a call on when you get there.
I heard a saying once about getting married: "You should only do it if you can't imagine yourself NOT doing it." It seems to work in marraige, and from my limited experience the same is true with an aviation career.
I hope this helps and good luck with your flying career.
Re: Dignan

Thanks Dignan for your response. I just posted this on the Majors board since it seems the best place to put it. I had put a similar post on another website in a CFI area and all the answers I got were real smart-ass answers which were fun to read, but really didn't help. So I guess that contributed to my decision to put this post here.

Thanks oncea again for your reply.
My family has provided me lots of encouragement and support. When things were slow as mollasses, I took a computer type job, with a better salary than aviation. My brother called to congratulate me, and yell at me. He knew I needed the dough, but also the encouragement to not give up.

I worked there 6 months.

Hope your friends and family can do the same for you.
Radio-control airplane flying!

I used to go R/C flying during those slow times in my career. Now I take my (young) son to a nearby park to watch the R/C planes fly. When he is a bit older, I will teach him to build and fly. The initial investment may seem a little steep, but you can spend an afternoon "flying" quite cheap.

I also would rent an airplane for a couple of hours for a local flight. Just tooling around the sky to feel the freedom, and see the vistas. Sunrise and sunset flights were especially inspiring!

Another thing you can do is to go to your largest airport and just watch the large jets, especially in strong crosswind conditions.

If you don't feel the passion, you may not be happy in this career.:)
During my first furlough I did roofing and pool decks in Tampa. Never worked so hard for so little in my whole life. Great motivation to go out any find any flying gig to restart the dream.

If a simpleton like me can make it to senior captain at a lcc, you can do better. Hang in there and fly safe.
I was flogging away at flight instruction and occasional charter work at a small aviation company. It was right in the middle of the first Gulf war and as a relatively low-time pilot, getting a job flying a piston twin took an act of Congress. Let alone a turbine job. I was ready to quit this silly trade and go back to my college degree career field.

And then the father of one of my students, a USAir pilot, took me for a flight in his rebuilt Stearman. Flying an open cockpit airplane, wind in the face, leather helmet and all, reminded my why I started flying. I stuck with it and less than 3 years later I was flying a corporate jet for one of the most recognizable Fortune 100 companies in the world.

Thank you Tom.
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I've had the rug pulled from under me many times on cargo, corporate and airline jobs...., but for some reason I always landed another gig right away, even better gigs than before. Not typical I know.., but I was never unemployed although I lost many jobs, LOL!

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