so you want to be a pilot … hers-12398

I’m on a graduate list from the flight school I got all my advanced ratings.
about 3-4 times a year I get an email from a 30-40 year old that “has a change of heart” and wants to pursue flying as a career, my response is usually in the order of what you posted John.

I lost my shirt at my flight school.
no, really, it burned down the night I soloed!
Not only is flying not nearly as much fun in general, but salaries for those of us trying to make a living are not just level with 20 years ago but down quite a bit. None of my airline buddies plan on staying to age 65, they are sick of it.

All of this stems from the pilot who says “I will fly for free” or “I will fly for next to nothing”.

I mean you have flight schools out there Gulfstream Air, ASA, who you pay to work for. If all of the pilots out there stood up together and said this is BS, we could get something done. I’m talking flight instructors to commercial pilots. I always hear “well the airline IDU is union”, well contract pilots should stand up too. As a matter of fact, the only pilots these days making any money are contract pilots at 3-400 a day. Agree?

or $1000 a day for a Gulfstream or Big Falcon.
I never understood guys who undercut what the company was advertising just to guarantee getting the job. It hurts all of us.

At the risk of being hissed and dissed, if you want to make a living flying a plane then you’ll have to put up with low pay for a while.

As for those who pay to play: For a person wanting to fly for a living, which would make more sense: paying for hours and just flying or paying for hours and flying in an environment he would be flying in professionally.

I do like what some foreign (i.e. non-USA) airlines do. They’ll take people without any flying experience and train them from private to ATP. Singapore does (did?) this.

For a while, sure. But we are talking about pilots who have 4 or 5 years with the airline plus the time put in before that. What other profession requires a degree then only pays $38,000 in the fifth year? Heck, you’re better off being a garbage man in Berkeley.

I have a friend that is a very senior 777 F/O, he prefers long haul because of the days off and by being senior he gets first choice on the lines every month. He told me he found a 20 year old pay schedule then added what was then the COLA adjustment. He said he is making 35% less than that old schedule calls for. He blames management, the union, the government, practically everybody except Fidel Castro. Before you say it, yes he still has a job which is more than can be said for some of our contemporaries.

Anyway, I wonder about a company that advertises for a pilot with 3000 hours, 1000 of multi-engine experience then only pays $32,000 with no benefits. I don’t send them resume’s.

The key here is for lots of people not to send resumes. Unfortunately, that’s not realistic because many people need jobs. That’s the same thing as me. I’m unemployed. I have great skills. Many of the jobs that I’m qualified for pay $10 to $12/hour, compared to $33 for my previous position doing basically the same thing.

Agreed, shotguning resumes just gums up the whole process.

The most annoying is that state troopers make $100,000!! The only requirements they bring to the table is being able to read and write (a little) and drive a car. Another reason so many states are broke!!

What’s even more annoying is that the California state troopers, according to my friend there, retire after 25 years with 100% of their last salary!

Myth: Police and firefighters retire at age 50 with 90 percent of pay.

Fact: CalPERS records indicate that over the last seven years, safety workers who retired at age 50 with 30 years of service represented 1 percent of all those retired. The reason very few ever would receive this level pension is that they would have had to start working age 20 to earn 30 years. Most start their safety careers at age 27, 28, or 29.

Twelve percent of all public safety members are subject to the 3 percent at age 55 formula. They would need 37.5 years of service at age 50 to get 90 percent, and would have had to start working at age 12.5 to earn 37.5 years. And 7 percent of all public agency safety members are subject to the 2 percent at age 50 formula. They would need to have 45 years of service at age 50 to get 90 percent, and would have had to start working at age 5 to earn 45 years.


Majority of Chinese airlines get students on contracts and send them to the US to learn all the way up to commercial and then they go back and get trained for the specific jet under the airline and start flying. A lot of foreign countries do this, theres like 27 different countries represented in a flight school under government contracts at a flight school I know of.

Singapore does it to but they sent their candidates to a school in Perth, Australia.

I’m sure a lot of different foreign airlines do it.

Foreign militaries (and ours too) do much of the same thing. Lots of Saudis, Norwegians, Germans, etc come here for military flight training. Basic flight training (in a T-6A or a T-34) then advanced in a militi-engine a/c and then with just a small amount of total time (MAYBE 200 hours) then it’s off to their final training squadron. The fact that civilian flight training was so expensive turned out to be a blessing in disguise for me. After I realized I couldn’t afford it, I went talking to the military recruiters. Couldn’t be happier. And for you guys that aren’t satisfied with your civilian flying gig…IT’S NOT TOO LATE! Many of you guys are young enough to make the age cutoff and you probably already meet all the requirements (degree, etc.) Look into. So many people scoff at the idea of being in the military, and I’d have to say that it’s foolish.