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RossThomson

Should I continue?

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Hi everyone, I am taking flying lessons and obviously want to be a commercial airliner pilot, and I'm not stupid, so no smart reply's, yes? :( I currently have 13 hours in the PA-38 at EFC (Edinburgh Flying Club), The question I am asking is, due to the current circumstances of the recession and such, should I continue and waste money only to face unemployment or should I continue, if I should, can you explain why? And if I shouldn't then can you explain why aswell?Thanks alot guys! Hoping for a bunch of replys. :D

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Well, I can say follow your dreams. I for one,always wanted to be a pilot, but my parents wouldn't let me. Instead, I am a chemical engineer. I make lots of money, but have a very boring life. That's why I spend $6,000 on a computer for FSX and $1,000 a year to fly in a 767 Level D simulator at flight school. But you also need to realistic, with a job - no money, no money - no women. If my kid wanted a degree in philosophy, art, dancing, I'd shoot him. Your education MUST lead to a viable job. Being a pilot will afford you a nice lifestyle and jobs will eventually be there as the aging work force.

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I am sorry, but I don't know as "not stupid" as you say you are so I can't know if my answer is too smart. If I was a young scottish pilot I would tell you to give up, in the hope that you would be one less person competing for the same job as me. With 13 hours, you already know how to fly and you already know if it is just something you like doing, or if it is your life. Don't worry about recessions, they come and go and rarely last more then a few years. And it doesn't really matter if you are a qualified pilot, chemical engineer or road sweeper, unemployment is always a risk. Reduce the risk by making sure you have as many pieces of paper as you can get that say you are good at what ever it is you choose to do.

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Well it's very competitive. Very expensive to get your licenses. Chance are that it will cost more than $6000 for just your private. You will start out at the bottom of the barrel in regional airlines. You will make less than minimum for a few years. You will NEVER be home to be with your family. By the time you're sixty will you start making some decent money and only maybe as there is not much job security. You will hate dispatchers and you will despise the airline you're working for because they overwork you, push you to the limit of your flying time, and threaten you with your job if you don't comply. Other than that the airline pays for the type ratings ($40,000 a piece). So that's worth something. And you get to fly. However, you will just start seeing flying as a job and not something fun anymore. I know I sound very pessimistic, but I've talked to many pilots and most of them agree. I was once going to become a pilot and I may still do it if I don't end up settling down too much after I finish my engineering degree.

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Follow your dream and move to India, Australia or the Middle East after you got your ATP licences: plenty jobs out there!

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I will preface this response with "I am only speaking from a perspective of us carriers"It is a complicated question to answer. Steven is right, my father flew for 27 year in the United States and hated everything about the job except the actual flying. He always said he hated is job until he sat down in the cockpit. He also said living out of a suitcase for 2/3 of a year gets real old real fast. That said, he is now retired and every day he misses it. Flying was his dream job.I too wanted to be a pilot but chose not to and went into engineering instead and here are the things I tossed around in my head before I made my decision.Do you want a family someday? Keep in mind you are gone ALOT. You would miss holidays, birthdays, special events, etc. However, pilots typically get good travel benefits so your family and kids could do things most people can't. I traveled more, saw more places, and experienced more things prior to 16 than most people do in a life time.Does money mater? You have the potential to make a lot of money (you work your butt off for it). But you might never make it out of the regional airlines which are notorious for underpaying their crews. Airlines frequently have their ups and downs, between recessions, layoffs and strikes you at least need to be prepared to work another job outside of flying if something happens to the industry.What really drives you to flying? If it is being at the controls then there is no other way to fill that void in your life. If it is money or travel, it can be achieved through other jobs as well.That is what I went trough to make my decision. I dont know if this helps you at all, but I hope it will.There are few jobs that offer so much, yet ask so much of you, as being a pilot.Finish getting your private license, you will never regret having that. And if my dad were to tell you anything, he would say make sure you have a back up job for the days when things are bad.

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Thanks everyone, flying is a passion, I want to do nothing else. You see Thomson or Thomas Cook pilots, and they all seem really happy, I mean they must have to for passenger reasons.It's just I want to fly, but there aren't as many pilots replying as I thought there would, could that mean something? Or they just can't be bothered.So, I don't mind spending 2/3 of a year in a suitcase (Or out of, in this case) or spend alot of time away from home. I want to fly and I will do anything to do it for a living.So thanks everyone!

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Thanks everyone, flying is a passion, I want to do nothing else. You see Thomson or Thomas Cook pilots, and they all seem really happy, I mean they must have to for passenger reasons.It's just I want to fly, but there aren't as many pilots replying as I thought there would, could that mean something? Or they just can't be bothered.So, I don't mind spending 2/3 of a year in a suitcase (Or out of, in this case) or spend alot of time away from home. I want to fly and I will do anything to do it for a living.So thanks everyone!
Also, keep in mind things out of your controll and desire will dictate if you have a career or not. These include nerves of steel that are needed and you will not know until you fail, global finanances and catastrophic events. After your pay for for your training in loans you will be fully accountable for them in the likely event a failed flying career occurs. Additionally, airline pilots have a 50% devorce rate.For me I had my commercial pilot check ride scheduled 2 days after 9-11. Not being able to fly 3 three months until the airport was secure and relentlessly mounting bills caused my failed career attempt. My desire for a flying career, cant' overcome the relentless realities of finanical responsiblities. Unless you want to sleep in your car or a cardboard box, and eat at the Salvation Army, etc. Yet, 10 years later I'm still paying on flight training loans and will be continued for another 20 years.Good Luck.Best Wishes,BB

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.It's just I want to fly, but there aren't as many pilots replying as I thought there would, could that mean something? Or they just can't be bothered.!
If you want pilot response, again, go to pprune.org (professional pilots rumor network), or for a US (mostly) perspective (jetcareers.com). You find mostly pilot there and a few simmers, here you will find mostly simmers and a few pilots (at least a few professional pilots).After all, I don't go home and simulate being a program manager, I'm sure not every pilot wants to go home and simulate being back in their office :) (Robert being a known exception :) )

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I am a CFI/CFII/ MEI at a flight school, which I believe if you want to be competitive , the flight school is the way to go. I am looking to enter the regioinals in a few short months. With regards to money, part 141 (Flight Schools) is great because you can get a private certificate, instrument rating, and a commercial certificate in under 120 hrs. if you study your butt off. If you want to fly professionally that's great but I would recommend a backup plan. I am currently working on my MBA while I instruct, getting hours as well as a backup plan. Take absolutely any opportunity you can to fly. As you progress through your training and get a multi-engine rating, get your multi time up because that is the most valuable flight time on earth when it comes to hiring. The job market is getting better, well it couldnt really get any worse, and pilots are getting hired again. Instructors at my school are getting hired like crazy and southwest airlines, american eagle, as well as corporate are cleaning out the place.Take care of your body because your health is incredibly important and that is a reason to have a backup. Definetly at least get a college degree.Finally I wanna say this, you might not get the glamor job working for Delta or UPS (where captains can make over $200,000 a year), but you will, most likely, NOT starve and you will survive and have a comfortable life. It's an exciting career and it is like none other. Keep going with flight training and see how it goes. One thing is for sure, you have to live for flight, work and study like crazy, take all the hours you can get, and you have a good chance. One of my former instructors got hired by a regional airline in Wyoming making about $16/hour but you have to start somewhere. The good thing is that it only gets better from there. Once you get in the cockpit of even a regional airliner like the EMB-120, you will not regret it and dont care how much money you can make. I would do it for free if i had to. When youre in the air, its you and your officer, the finally authority and sole manipulators of the flight controls, you are the boss in the air. Few things in life are as empowering.Good luck and enjoy it, so far for me it has been a great experience and I do not regret it.- James Hantemen

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"Follow your dream and move to India, Australia or the Middle East after you got your ATP licences: plenty jobs out there!"As others have said... go to pprune.org and you will see what the situation is regarding pilot jobs. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of low/high time pilots in Australia with no job!

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Follow your dream, but have a backup plan. I live in the united states where hiring for pilots is unheard of in the airline industry right now, but because i know that, i am currently taking coures at the Mchigan Institute of Aviation and Technology to be a A&P mechanic while still being in the 11th grade of High School while my High School pays for $20,000 of the program. My main point is that when I get in the indusrty and want to become a pilot, if I were to ever get laid off there would be a backup carrer that still makes lots of money and doing something that I love AVIAITON. FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS its your life dont let anybody let you think that you are stupid for trying to go to the impossible, make the most of your life but have a plan B.

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I started down this route and got half way through my commercial ticket before realizing that $100k+ is a lot of debt for an uncertain future and meager pay if I'm lucky enough to get a job. The glamor days of being a pilot are over, welcome to the age of being a glorified bus driver. Now I'm a graduating Computer Science major poised to make 3-4x what I would have made starting out as a pilot, which will give me plenty of time to pursue personal flying interests.In the end though, the decision is entirely up to you.

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In the end do what you love, but realize the consequences of what you do. For me I love flying, but I also love engineering. I even postponed to finish up my private to do college. Now I may of been in a fantastic situation with what I love to do, but if you do pursue flying make sure you have a backup. See at this point in time I see myself getting a commercial and maybe doing instruction, but other than that flying is going to stay purely recreational to me.In the end I say get your private and instrument rating.

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Or join the military cause they pay for schooling? Well at least in Canada they do, and that's the route I'm taking.

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Yes, I think it's a different story in Canada.We have a lot of small airlines that fly up north. While the pay is not the best, they are hiring and it's a great way to build your hours. They usually make you work on the ground first. I know quite a few pilots for these small airlines and they say that the wait times to get into the right seat are becoming less and less and a fast rate. The demand for pilots is going up. I believe that part of it has to do with some of the people in this thread where they might have got half way, then quit. There are less and less people getting into aviation, and now we're having all the old pilots (who got into flying during the Cold War and such) retiring, I'm sure we will see a lot of positions opening up. Some could complain about the price, but as many have said, follow your dreams. If you like what you do, you won't work a day of your life. The money will come. Oh, and all the pilots (Canadian) I've talked to love their jobs, and I'm talking about pilots for small airlines flying up North and big airlines flying all over the world.Aaron Penner

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