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If You Were In My Shoes...

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I'll try and keep this short...


I did my commercial licence in the summer of 2002. It was without a doubt the best time of my life. Expensive, but didn't even blink at the cost...worth every penny.


Here I am now after having diverged from the aviation industry (in school at the UofC) in hopes of starting a life that is "more close to home". Unfortunately now I miss flying so much that it hurts.


I'm 28, live in Calgary, married and soon to start a family.


My question:


Is it reasonable to keep this dream alive knowing that getting that first job would likely have me being posted far from here? How many of you found yourselves in a similar situation and managed to make things work? I love my wife very much. I also love flying.


How much time do you guys spend away from home? Any advice on the marriage front regarding time away?


Please help me decide whether or not to keep dreaming...

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Get out while you still can!!!


You'll spend more than 1/2 your time away from home for wages that you can make doing something way more family friendly. Our industry has managed to lower the salary levels since the 70's so that now even dollars is not motivation enough for some.


In your 20's, flying is rewarding. In your 40's and up, it's just a job.


Of course, in years you may appreciate the excuse to be out of town. But if kids are on the horizon, you can never plan to be at significant events in their lives.


Have you ever heard of Aviation Induced Divorce Syndrome? It really exists.

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This is meant to be funny so please don't take it seriously.


In the old days it was: " Here's some flight reports. See you at freeze Up. No news is good news" then it was 6 weeks 2 weeks then 6 weeks 4 weeks. Now a lot of people do equal tours 6 and 6 or 5 and 5 or whatever.

All kinds of tour plans - find one that works for you. Depends if you're logging, chasing fires, towing bird or international.

Some people even fly 9 to 5 and are home every night!

Mind you starting out choices will be limited.


Anyhoo being home every night or doing tours who gets more time hands on with family?

Wife and you get up at 0630.

Drill and blast to get kids up.


You or wife leave for work. 50 minute drive.

One offspring to day care other to school

Drive to work - 50 minutes

Work in cubicle.

Drive home

One offspring from Day care other from school

Wife or you falls in door at 1830- 1900

Feed kids

Get kids home work done

Spend quality time 2. 5 minutes

Fall into bed - fall asleep instantly


Home from tour:

Wife gets up.

While she gets ready for work-

You get the kids up - make breakfast for all.

Wife leaves for work.

Drive kid to school- drop munchkin off at day care.

Go shopping for beer.

Work on bike, go to shooting range. :lol:

Pick up kid at day care and school.

Interact with kids.

( Teach eldest how to polish chrome - youngest how to carry beer without spilling same). :up:

Get kids homework done.

Work on supper.

Wife comes home.




Quality time about total 6 hours

Family vacations are easy to plan - better yet take kids away for a week each time off - give wife a real vacation.

Of course people will call you Mr. Mom and " June Cleaver" but they are just jealous. Besides - you look good in pearls.

Try that working 9 to 5


Of course this is not how it always is and while you are gone on tour it is a different story - but your wife may look upon it as a time when she only has to take care of 2 kids instead of 3.

Besides who wants to live with someone who is unhappy and rushes to the window everytime an aircraft flys by!


I had to ask these same questions once! - My wife! - She sure was pretty!- I miss her sometimes! - What was her name???

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never, EVER stop dreaming!!!


in your exact circumstances (in 1983) here's how i played the cards that were dealt to me...


i joined the largest street gang in the province of ontario and have enjoyed every single day on this job... you won't ever work with a tighter group of folks, one & all... some days were considerably more challenging than others... i managed to stay current by making myself available to a small operator on a local only basis... thanks to that operator who showed faith in a low-timer... after 19 years, i am lucky enough to be flying full-time today... complete with the same crazy finnlander that married me 25 years ago and 3 hooligans i am very proud of to boot!!


my advice is simple... if calgary is where you intend on planting your roots... take a real good look at calgary ps...



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Everything that has been said on this thread is true but I would go one step further!

Get your soon to be wife to browse through this forum and get a feel for things. I would even suggest that she get her own handle and ask questions herself because she's the one that needs to be convinced that this is or isn't a good move for the both of you. If she can't accept the kind of lifestyle flying will bring, than you' ll end up divorced because you're flying and she's miserable or, because you're not flying and you're miserable!

It can be done if you both have the right kind of personalities, and if it works, what an awsome life it is!!!!!!! :up: :up:


P.S. Calgary is awsome but the greatest oppertunities that you will encounter may or may not be there! Sometimes, small town "somewhere" may be a blessing in disguise!

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It can be done, just depends on your attitude. I started a similar question on the heli-site a few months ago as we were expecting our first little one. Base or tours? each has ups and downs. BUT there is no reason not to have a career in this industry at the cost of a marrige. I always figure that a different job is easier to find than a new family. And the new liitle guy is doing well!

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Flying helicopters.


Thanks for the advice guys. I have some tough questions to answer here. I know that my wife does not like me being away (my previous situation had me in Europe for months on end). Having said that she has mentioned that if I want to fly, then by all means GO FOR IT. I just wonder if she will be able to handle the travel (days tend to feel like months for her).


It's nice to see that there are some positive views on the issue.


PS- anyone out there want to hire a low time guy in Calgary doing base work? :P

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Re days seeming like months to her and all.


Don't want to dampen your spirits but time away is all relative you know. If in a past life you were doing 2 months away this will be no sweat. When you've been doing 2 months away at a time and then you spring (some number of weeks) on her, it'll seem like a no biggy.


Also - Wives tend to develop coping mechanisms for time away. They extremely independant and capable. In fact it's that independance that result in friction if you come home after a tour and come thru the door acting like "all is well now." She's been handling it, just nod and be supportive.


Someone said you don't have to loose marriage for a flying career. I agree. Contracts = time away - but you really can say no when the time comes. Some folks never say no (assuming you have a choice) and there marriages suffer. If you are in tune with Family and all, you'll know when to say yes and when you need to say no.

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