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any pilots here?

Discussion in 'Jobs & Careers' started by NetMonkey, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. Mar 4, 2010 at 12:40 PM
    #1
    NetMonkey

    NetMonkey [OP] Well-Known Member

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    does anyone have their commercial helicopter or airplane license and make a living at it?


    if so, i have some questions for you if you dont mind :)
     
  2. Mar 4, 2010 at 12:45 PM
    #2
    Brunes

    Brunes abides. Staff Member

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    I don't have my commercials...but I know some guys who do. And I do make my living flying.

    Are these general consumption questions or personal/specific??
     
  3. Mar 4, 2010 at 12:56 PM
    #3
    CtryBoyInMT

    CtryBoyInMT Lifetime Member

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    I'm a Commercial pilot license holder with all the jazz ratings you can think of, fixed wing wise.

    I flew for a company that contracted with an air medical transportation company.

    I'm currently an Air traffic Controller and don't exercise the certificate much.

    I can answer some questions.
     
  4. Mar 4, 2010 at 12:58 PM
    #4
    NetMonkey

    NetMonkey [OP] Well-Known Member

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    well... general and specific :)

    i am at a point where i might decide on a career change and flying has always apealed to me. i have done some research about the various licensing and FAA requirements for pilots, but that led me to more questions :)

    so, Brunes, how are you able to make a living on a private pilots license? from what i read, you have to have a commercial license to be a "paid for hire" pilot. (unless i suppose you fly for the military).

    Brunes, do you find it rewarding? does it ever get old?

    the major thing about it (for me anyway) is the cost. to get a commercial helicopters license, its about $60-70k. to get a commercial airplane license, its about $30-40k.
    do you think the cost is worth it?
    after spending that much money, would you be able to find a job as a pilot to make a living? (i know you can be an instructor to offset flight time and make some money).

    whats a typical starting salary for a new pilot? (i know that can vary based on the region, size of the company, and the specific kind of flying/task).

    any other suggestions or thoughts for someone considering this as a career?

    thanks for you input :)

    EDIT:
    same questions for you, ctryboyinmt
     
  5. Mar 4, 2010 at 1:18 PM
    #5
    Delmarva

    Delmarva Mayor of TW

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    Prepare for a lifetime of poor paying jobs... flying is a dream of many, but the cost is definitely a barrier to entry. Jobs are sometimes plentiful and sometimes hard to find. Starting your certificate at this point in your life would be tough to find a job. You're competing with many younger kids... people your age in the job market would have hundreds or even thousands of hours over you.

    It's very competitive and the pay is relatively poor at first...

    Just as an example - a fellow alum from Embry-Riddle took his 100k education into the job market. He was offered a first officer gig with Delta Connect making 19.5k a year... try paying off those loans... :eek:
     
  6. Mar 4, 2010 at 1:41 PM
    #6
    SURFTACO

    SURFTACO Well-Known Member

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    You pretty much hit it right on the head. I am a CFII (Certified Flight Instructor Instrument), MEI (Multi Engine Instructor), and a ATP.
    I was hired by 2 different Regional Airlines when I graduated, but due to attrition/ economy I never was able to begin my airline pilot career/ dream. So I started flight instructing, building my time (hours) and was lucky enough to land a job flying Freight/ charters for a company out of Princeton, NJ.
     
  7. Mar 4, 2010 at 1:42 PM
    #7
    SURFTACO

    SURFTACO Well-Known Member

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    Oh by the way, I graduated from Florida Institute of Technology (FIT), Embry-Riddle is weak!! j/k (rivals)
     
  8. Mar 4, 2010 at 2:37 PM
    #8
    Delmarva

    Delmarva Mayor of TW

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    Booooo!! :laugh:
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Mar 4, 2010 at 2:49 PM
    #9
    BassPilot

    BassPilot Well-Known Member

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    The problem with being a pilot (like some other professions i.e. acting, journalism, etc) is that people are far too willing to suffer for their passion. Airlines can get away paying you <20K a year and treating you like shit because there are so many eager young people who's dream it has always been to fly who will accept that type of treatment. Right now and for the foreseeable future, there are way more qualified pilots than jobs available which depresses wages. I myself got a 4 year aviation degree and all of my licenses to be a commercial pilot, but after graduating and looking at the state and future of the industry I decided to take one resume out of the stack and get a job doing something completly different. I now work at a financial consulting firm and have a stable 9-5 with benefits and security I could never get as a pilot. All my friends who went to the regionals right after graduation have no quality of life and have already been furloughed on top of that.

    If you're interested in flying, I suggest you take a job that can actually pay the bills and then fly on the side as a hobby. The job is just not anything like it used to be, most of the prestige is all gone. I don't know of any pilots who would recommend getting into that line of work. I do miss it though.
     
  10. Mar 4, 2010 at 3:04 PM
    #10
    SmoothFox

    SmoothFox Well-Known Member

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    X3

    I am a A&P. Unless you get lucky you will bounce from job to job. I have been in the business for over 20 years. Just now in the last 10 do I feel somewhat safe. My brother-in-law works for Delta (A&P also) and has been lucky and not got laid off, but they did tell him either pack your bags and move to Atlanta and have a job or bye-bye. Needless to say he still is there. I DO NOT recommend any job in the aviation industry.

    A pilot is nothing more than a glorified bus-driver/truck driver. j/k :D
     
  11. Mar 4, 2010 at 3:07 PM
    #11
    SmoothFox

    SmoothFox Well-Known Member

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    x2

    hahahaha my 100th post is bashing my career
     
  12. Mar 4, 2010 at 4:17 PM
    #12
    CtryBoyInMT

    CtryBoyInMT Lifetime Member

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    Wow, I can't believe how many responses there are already!!

    I think the consensus is the same. Expect to sacrifice a LOT if you choose this career path. 10 Years ago, I'd say go for it; but right now there aren't much employment opportunities. I always held another job to pay the bills.

    I worked "on-demand" meaning no steady pay. And working for an ambulance contractor you will be called: late nights, weekends, sturgis, holidays, snowy (icing conditions), etc.

    As for pay, I was paid per day with expenses. After deductions, I believe I walked home with $260 per day. Not too shabby if you actually work 5 days a week, but I would go weeks without a call. And the more furloughed pilots came from the airlines, the rotation took forever to get back to me.

    But not to despair, Life isn't all about money. I was WAY happier flying than working in front of this radar scope. That combined with the poor management of the FAA, make for a long week. I'd go back to flying if an opportunity existed but as someone else said, I'm so far behind the flight hour curve and my experience is from over 6 years ago. I'll get passed up for some hot-shot kid who probably doesn't even know what an NDB is.(old school navigation tool)

    And since we're all flashing our schools signs:

    [​IMG]
    GO FIGHTING SIOUX BABY!
     
  13. Mar 4, 2010 at 4:30 PM
    #13
    CtryBoyInMT

    CtryBoyInMT Lifetime Member

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    SmoothFox,
    You work for the AA maintenance facility there at DFW?
    If so, any rumors of getting forced up to TUL? They've (TUL) been getting busier with the work from MCI after the closing. Just curious of the inside rumors as I have a friend that was TWA prior to AA merger. He got laid off from MCI.
     
  14. Mar 4, 2010 at 4:36 PM
    #14
    Brunes

    Brunes abides. Staff Member

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    I am a military pilot so I come with a VERY different preservative as far as the training goes.
    I love my job and most folks who fly are the same way- but it is a LOT of work. I've built up about 400 hours in the past year- Low for some specialties, high for others- but every minute was totally worth it.

    I think the other guys in the thread are more qualified to answer the rest of the questions you have....Best of luck!!
     
  15. Mar 4, 2010 at 4:42 PM
    #15
    jrobson

    jrobson Well-Known Member

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    What type of aircraft you flying Brunes?
     
  16. Mar 4, 2010 at 4:43 PM
    #16
    Brunes

    Brunes abides. Staff Member

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    TH-57C right now....I report to Air Station New Orleans and start the training for the MH-65C in April...

    And the middle of next month I take the Military Competency Exam (Helo) and I'll get my Commercial Pilot, Airplane -Single Engine Land, Rotorcraft - Helicopter with Instrument.

    Give it a few years to build some time and I'll be taking the ATP Helo and CFII tests too.
     
  17. Mar 5, 2010 at 3:43 AM
    #17
    SmoothFox

    SmoothFox Well-Known Member

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    I am a civilian doing military work.
     
  18. Mar 5, 2010 at 7:55 AM
    #18
    SURFTACO

    SURFTACO Well-Known Member

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    I agree 100 % especially that having an alternative to flying is smart move. Whether the industry is in the shitter, or loss of medical! It's all in who you know and being at the right place at the right time. Patience is key.
     
  19. Mar 9, 2010 at 8:28 PM
    #19
    usmctopgun

    usmctopgun Well-Known Member

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    Which one are you looking at actually getting? The industries are totally different, esspecially right now. I'm dual rated, CFII helo, commecial fixed wing, and there are lots of job oppurtunities out there right now for helo pilots w/ 1k hours or more. Less than that, you'll be instructing. Most helo guys go to the gulf when they hit the 1k mark, starting pay there is low 50s.

    Aviation in general is very cyclical, now is actually a great time to be training IMHO. My .02
     
  20. May 8, 2010 at 3:05 PM
    #20
    Triple D

    Triple D Active Member

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    I'm a career pilot who has taken the civilian route for flying. In high school I considered the military but the truth is that military flying just isn't what it used to be back in the "Top Gun" days. You can't just take the F-18 home to see the parents for the weekend anymore. Besides, I've always enjoyed the flying and would rather fly alot versus a couple hundred hours a year. On the contrary, the airlines definitely are not what they used to be either. The only constant is that the regional airlines pay is still horrible. Military of Civilian flying, it is what YOU make it.

    I went to one of the MEGA universities with a flight program and even did flight instructing for them for 2 years. After that I came back to South Florida to teach locally for a year. I actually just got hired by a regional airline and will begin training shortly.

    Whether you choose Heli flying or Fixed wing flying, just choose what YOU want to do. Yes it's a HUGE investment either way, but they way I look at it is that you only live once and you'd better enjoy life instead of unhappiness every day of your life...
     
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