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Talking to an aspiring pilot?

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Well I was kinda in the same boat, although not out of high school. Rather it was after a couple of years in the technology industry I decided I wanted a career change. So I applied for the pilot program in the military, passed everything wich took about 8 months.

Anyway at the medical there was a minor heart issue and they denied me. Then I decide to try commercial, did my PPL and then 9/11 hit. So that was 2 strikes so far.

But desperatley wanting to get into the industry I finally looked into the ATC world and wish I had done so from the begining. Maybe suggest air traffic control as a career option. I begin school in 3 weeks.

At least maybe get the process going as it takes about 6 months to find out if you even qualify.


Hope that helps.



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Wolfman, you''re right on the money. Sure it may be tough to get a job, but people are still getting jobs. Many have said it before, but it''s not just having a licence that gets the job, it''s attitude and other skills as well. Don''t blow smoke up his butt and make it sound rosy, just relate to him some experiences and he will determine whether it''s worth it or not.


Tell him that if he decides to go ahead, make sure and be friendly to everyone he meets, learn people''s names, be agreeable and help out. You never know who might the one down the road that gives you a job recommend. Those other guys in his commercial ground school that seem like the competition could wind up being some of his strongest assets.


And I think that it is the responsiblity of us all, flight schools included, to be honest and try to stay away from opinion. Give people the straight goods and let them decide.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Right on 5X5 !! All you can do is tell them the truth, and give them as many facts as possible. Keep out the conjecture, and let them make an informed decision.



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  • 4 weeks later...

All good stuff. I went the military way, still there,it's been fantastic for experiences, places I've gone, and the people. Has equal amounts of BS as any other place.


Plus sides: It doesn't cost you any $$$, they pay you. I have the utmost respect for those of you who paid your own way and started as ramp rats or hangars sweepers just to get into the industry and move on up. As for wages, in the Air Force now top level Captain in rank, pilot guy is making around $85K, not too bad and you get a pension. I have loved it and would not trade it eventhough there has at times been tons of crap to deal with, usually from bureaucrats etc.. not the squadron life. When you eventually get out, you may not have the highest flight times but it will usually be on at least a Bell 412, EH101 or whatever replaces the Sea King, so you will have nice medium to heavy ratings with an instrument rating.


Minus sides: It is still insanely stupidly, brain numbingly long to get in. Once you do, the waiting for your pilot courses is very long, some folks taking 3, 4 even 8 years to get to wings!!! They are making inroads but it is long and depends if you come in with a degree or have to do it at RMC. You owe time in, nine years from the day you get your wings.Tally up all the time you may serve before you get those wings and you may be sort of stuck with us for a long time.


Neutral side: Depending on the jobs you end up with you won't have a ton of flying time when you get out, but plenty of leadership, management, budget management, safety courses and relevant flying courses that may be very sought after.


Bottom line, like the boys say above, he or she has to make their own decision and then give it 100%.

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