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If You Were In My Shoes...

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This industry has been subjecting pilots and engineers to wages far below what they deserve for the work they are doing. I have personally seen carpenters and electricians make far more money then most people in the industry do. If a family life is the most important to you than you should look for something that makes you happy with your family.


If you are however an "aviation" freak, then you should check out ATC. You will still have contact with the aviation industry and make a descent living while staying in the aviation industry while maintaining a family life.


Just another 2 penny's

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Sharkbait, your 'old days' must have been a long time after mine because we went out in May and came home in October or November. I can remember missing about half the Grey Cups back 'then.' What's this candy-assed 6 and 2, 6 and 4 stuff??? ;)


And Heli-Raiser, there's nothing easy about making your decision. I know that having my kids grow up, essentially without me, was hard on me (but probably easier on them). Sure, I loved what I was doing, but I really didn't know what I was missing, until it was too late. I can't honestly telll you if, given the chance, I'd change it. I think the only right and wrong is your own right and wrong, and nobody else can tell you what'll work for you. Just try to understand what you'll be giving up, then make your choice and be happy with it, come **** or high water! B)

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****-Raiser -----I live outside the city where the lots are at least 5 acres. Being like the country I know all my neighbours real well as do all the wives. Allow me to describe my neighbours and what I call "transportation alley" hereabouts. One is a long-haul trucker; one is a retired Air Canada Captain of "Gimili Glider" fame; one travels extensively for a major drug firm; one goes all over the world for Wardrop Engineering building bridges, dams, etc; one runs his own electrical firm with contracts in the Arctic and he spends months on end onsite supervising. ALL are married with kids, with only one on their second marriage. ALL have been maried for 15 yrs plus and all kids vary widely in age. Last but definitely not least, we recently lost a neighbour who moved because his Regiment, the PPCLI, picked up their local HQ and move to another small city. I never knew him well because he was hardly ever at home, was away for periods of up to a year at one shot and we all know why/where that might have been.


It takes a special breed of woman to be any of those wives, including my own. Perhaps you have that kind of wife, I don't know and perhaps you don't either because neither one of you "have been there" before. It's been my experience that the wives get the blame for giving us a hard time about being away on too many occasions, when many times the real culprit is us. We want to stay in the business, but are tired of missing this or that, living out of suitcases for decades, restaurant menus become a blur because they become basically all the same and it all starts to wear on us........so many of us use the "well the wife......... as an excuse. So your biggest enemy may well be yourself and not your wife or kids. Tons of kids grow up with no problem at all with dad doing what has been already mentioned here, so don't fret that. Kids can get into trouble and be problems with dad at home every night, so you have no guarantees on nothing. You got the same instruction manual on how to raise kids as I did when they left the hospital after birth........we got none........you got some good basic ideas and "ad lib" the rest of the way. Like Downwash said, it's a personal thing and what works for one, doesn't work for another.


If you check around you nowadays in most communities, you'll find lots of folks in lots of professions and trades who spend as much time away from home as you will and in some cases those "tours" are not dictated by some law ordering a maximum of 42 days, that comes out of some Federal government office in Ottawa. Divorce? According to the latest stats, 63% of Canadians marriages end up in divorce anyway and that can happen whether you do 9-5 or 42 days out 10 days off or any other combination.

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Well said Downwash:

Fixed wing was - see you at freeze up / breakup.

I remember leaving home Jan 4th and getting home 15 th of May - ( **** wheel skis) Left again June 3rd on Floats I seem to recall. Got the same bed back in Lac Attila.

When I started at TQH it was 6/2 in Jimmy's Lagoon ( more likely to turn into 8/1 ). Didn't take bean counters very long to figure out that by asking every guy to extend once or twice a year pretty soon you have saved 2 or 3 pilots and engineers.

Tours got shorter later.

Of course if you went tramping after fires, bird towing or whatever the tour was negotiable. Let's see - I was doing inertial survey in the Gaspe in the summer of 1980 been on bonus since June - replace me? Ha - I wouldn't even call and tell them where I was. What a great summer!

Depended what you wanted to do.

Just a note but I believe the people employed today by Hydro Quebec in James Bay now work 1 week on 1 off. ( travel on work days ). Oh and don't forget the regular yearly vacation too! It would feel pretty silly to be up there 6/2 working beside them would it not.

Many moons since I have been there but perhaps someone can confirm that.


your Chum



Sorry been wanting to do that Chum pun for a while.

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Your key here is to make a decision either way and decide to live with it and never look back with regret...a husband and father who is away some of the time yet who is fulfilled, happy and without regret is far-and-away better than a tortured man who is in a job he hates and feels he never had the opportunity to fulfill his dreams; this will most likely lead to resentment of those things you love the most. Believe me.


Being a girlfriend of a low-timer who has a few years ahead of him paying his dues and working for pittance before getting that almighty job that will take him away on fires etc for extended stretches, I waiver on my opinion on this daily. Of course I want him home to live all those important moments in life with me and our children (when we have them) and of course I feel lonely when he is away for months at a time, but what I have to remind myself of is this: This man needs to live his life to the fullest he can imagine. Imposing a lifestyle on him that just wasn't in the cards for him is like caging a wild animal (to me, anyway).


You didn't mention your wife's opinion about this so I guess you will need to discuss your dream with her. Think, would you want her to follow her dreams even if it took her away from you? I distract myself while he's away; hey, if she needs any ideas, I can give her an endless list (I've made them before for this exact reason). Some women just really can't stand the idea of raising a family along; these women have their minds made up and there's not too much you can do to change it.


I'm not saying that following your dreams will be easy, but from my experience, living with a pilot who isn't flying is no-fun and maybe given the choice, perhaps your wife would understand and even embrace the time you are away...because it makes it that much sweeter when you come home.


It doesn't mean you don't love her if you decide to follow your dreams. On the contrary, you love her so much you need to do this so she has the good fortune of living with a husband who is fulfilled, sucessful, happy and really THERE when he is at home.


Just one girls opinion.


By the way, I've tried stamping my feet and begging him not to love flying so much...didn't work.

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  • 4 weeks later...
I know that my wife does not like me being away (my previous situation had me in Europe for months on end).

Obviously this is an important factor that must be taken into account.


Having said that she has mentioned that if I want to fly, then by all means GO FOR IT.

I don't know your wife, but in my experience wifely comments like this should never be taken at face value.


It is easy for someone to say something vague like "go for it", but unless you have spent considerable time discussing precisely what this would entail, I suspect that your wife most likely has no idea what sacrifices would be involved.


Additionally, if you want to pursue a flying career then you would be well advised to think long and hard about specific benefits for her. If she agrees to something just to please you, some degree of resentment is almost inevitable (she might not say anything, but that won't mean that she isn't angry and unhappy).


Apparently the fellow that wrote Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus is a charlatan, but there seems to be a fair bit of truth in the book.

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Im bassed in Europe. Is the work situation realy so diferent in Canada?


I've been flyng a while now, My current job includes pipe line, aerial type work, some tours and instruction.


I'm normerly free most weekends (My Choice, I could work 7 days per week if I wanted) I live 5 minutes from the airport where I work and get to go home nearly every night to my girlfriend. Every now and the I have to spend a night or two away.


Surely there a jobs in Canada like this.

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