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Thread: Career path of an airline pilot

  1. #1
    txpacer's Avatar
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    Career path of an airline pilot

    Since the Great Pilot Shortage is finally upon us...


    30 years old. Join Company. World is your Oyster.

    31 years old. Buy Flashy Car, House and lots of toys. Get over that Military poverty feeling.

    32 years old. Divorce boring first wife. Pay Child support and maintenance whilst looking for second wife. Drink lots of beer and screw around whilst looking for second wife.

    33 years old. Repeat above for a few more years.

    36 years old. Marry young spunky 25 year old virgin flight attendant.

    37 years old. Buy another house. Gave first one to wife #1.

    38 years old. Give in to second wife to have more kids. Father again.

    39 years old. Now a Captain. Hooray! Upgrade house and buy boat and even flashier cars.

    42 years old. Wife #2 runs off with wealthy merchant banker but still wants share of house (100%).

    43 years old. Settle with wife #2 and resolve to stay away from women forever. Seek appointment as Check Captain to have something to do. Move into two bed Apartment.

    50 years old. Meet sexy singer on a trip. She loves you and says you are very "beeeg."

    51 years old. Marry sexy singer. Buy big house, boat and upgrade cars.

    52 years old. Sexy singer wants kids (not again). Resolve to get vasectomy.

    54 years old. Try to talk wife out of kids but hey presto she's pregnant. Says got sick after taking pill. Accident, sorry, won't happen again.

    55 years old. Father of triplets.

    56 years old. Wife #3 wants very big house, bigger boat and very flashy cars. Give in.

    57 years old. Make rash investments to try and have enough money for retirement.

    59 years old. Lose money on rash investments and get audited by IRS.

    60 years old. Wife #3 says you're too damned old and no fun. Leaves. Takes most of your assets.

    61 years old. Now Captain on a non-sched South American 727 freight outfit and living in 1-bedroom non-air conditioned apartment directly underneath the approach corridor of
    Miami International RWY 9.

    65 years old. Lose FAA medical and get job as sim instructor. Look forward to years of getting up at 2 AM for 3 AM sim brief in every godforsaken town your carrier can find cheap, off-hour sim time.

    70 years old. Alarm clock set by previous hotel room FedEx occupant goes off at 1 AM. Have heart attack and die. Happy at last!

    CAUTION: Aviation may be hazardous to your wealth.
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  2. #2
    texmex's Avatar
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    25 years in the Airlines now. Haven't lived it but have observed it at close range, and yes the cliche is real.

    Get over that Military poverty feeling.
    Don't understand this line. The Military guys didn't pay a cent for their license and received a wage doing so?

  3. #3
    flyrite's Avatar
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    You usually get to see the evolution of this life on the ramp at the Aerobatic contests over the years. It is hilarious, Some even make wagers on the timelines of each stage based off past history and present demonstrated temperament of the actor. As an oberserver of observers......Good thing I never made it to the airlines!

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    nightflyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by txpacer View Post

    70 years old. Alarm clock set by previous hotel room FedEx occupant goes off at 1 AM. Have heart attack and die. Happy at last!
    This FedEx guy got up at 2:30 this morning so I’d have given him another hour and a half to live at least.
    Last edited by nightflyer; 09-06-2018 at 12:35 PM.
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    Cub Special Ed's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    "There are 3 kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." Will Rogers
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  6. #6
    Willie's Avatar
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    "Don't understand this line. The Military guys didn't pay a cent for their license and received a wage doing so?


    This military guy got shot at on practically every mission in Vietnam, but you are right, I didn't have to pay for my license.
    "The sword of freedom is kept sharp by those who live on it's edge." - Scott Adams
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  7. #7
    slowmover's Avatar
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    You're right, military guys didn't pay a cent. They paid in many other ways!
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    I “paid” for my license in night traps. If it was the easy route, then everyone would do it.


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org

  9. #9
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    "Didn't pay?" I wrote a blank check to Uncle Sam for any amount up to and including my life.
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  10. #10
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Seriously....
    with the "pilot shortage", are airlines still requiring applicants to hold college degrees to be hired?
    As I understand it, it didn't even need to be in aeronautics.
    I never quite understood how a degree in literature (or whatever) made you a better airline pilot.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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  11. #11

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    A friend of mine is a Captain on one of the "Big Four." He said they dropped the requirement for a B S degree a couple of years ago.

  12. #12
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Never required a Bachelor of Science. Just a four year college degree. Same with the Air Force.
    Airlines are now growing their own. Farm teams if you will.



    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Schoeninger View Post
    A friend of mine is a Captain on one of the "Big Four." He said they dropped the requirement for a B S degree a couple of years ago.
    Last edited by Eddie Foy; 09-09-2018 at 02:01 PM.

  13. #13
    nightflyer's Avatar
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    FedEx still requires a degree.
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    Last edited by nightflyer; 09-09-2018 at 12:23 PM.
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    You left out 5 years of furlough and selling insurance or cars to make ends meet. Or as one of my classmates did, LAPD officer.

    Everyone pays their dues, some get shot at, some flying crap airplanes for crap pay in crap weather over high mountains.

    I retire in less than 30 days, and I thank God for being able to live out my dreams.
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  15. #15
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    The current pilot shortage was inevitable if you examine the evidence. Huge furloughs when the economy tanked. Some guys never came back when they were recalled. Guys that were at the beginning of the pipeline decided to pursue different careers. You don't grow airline pilots over night. I was extremely fortunate to spend 23 years flying Uncle Sam's jets and 21 years at the same major airline without a layover. I truly felt the pain of the guys who weren't so lucky. I would occasionally get FOs who were at their third or fourth airline. As Bill Rusk likes to say. Truly blessed!
    Last edited by Eddie Foy; 09-09-2018 at 02:03 PM.
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  16. #16
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Flew with some damn fine fighter pilots who were history majors. Everything I needed to know about life I learned in kindergarten. Except I never went to kindergarten.


    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    Seriously....
    with the "pilot shortage", are airlines still requiring applicants to hold college degrees to be hired?
    As I understand it, it didn't even need to be in aeronautics.
    I never quite understood how a degree in literature (or whatever) made you a better airline pilot.
    Last edited by Eddie Foy; 09-09-2018 at 02:42 PM.
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  17. #17

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    If you read some of the butchered crew reports I read, an English major can be appreciated.

  18. #18
    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeeBee View Post
    If you read some of the butchered crew reports I read, an English major can be appreciated.
    I went to an engineering school in Montana. They required Speech Com 201. Sounded innocuous enough.

    But it turned out to be grammar boot camp: Sharp-eyed TAs with purple pens; Strunk and White as the primary text. And thousands of words written and then typed out, sent back for rewriting.

    When I went to law school years later. The legal writing class was a breeze compared to that. I was always good with English, but I still am thankful to have gone through that.

  19. #19

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    Had a similar deal. I was an Aero major but had to take "Technical Writing". I remember the professor as a elderly man who had suffered a stroke. He shuffled into the class with hearing aids on each ear. He was a terror at grammar and composition. He had worked in the military industrial complex all his life. He made us compose a "bad news" letter on how a B-58 Hustler had burned to the main wheels by a hung over test pilot on New Year's day. Then he showed us how the actual letter was composed...the author was our professor.

  20. #20
    Ruffair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeeBee View Post
    Had a similar deal. I was an Aero major but had to take "Technical Writing". I remember the professor as a elderly man who had suffered a stroke. He shuffled into the class with hearing aids on each ear. He was a terror at grammar and composition. He had worked in the military industrial complex all his life. He made us compose a "bad news" letter on how a B-58 Hustler had burned to the main wheels by a hung over test pilot on New Year's day. Then he showed us how the actual letter was composed...the author was our professor.

    I hope the conclusion was it was crew schedulings BAD idea to schedule a Test flight on New Years Day....!
    "...We're fast enough to get there, But slow enough to see..."
    Fron the song "Barometer Soup". By Jimmy Buffett

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Schoeninger View Post
    A friend of mine is a Captain on one of the "Big Four." He said they dropped the requirement for a B S degree a couple of years ago.

    Strange, most of the airline guys I know are full of BS

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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  22. #22

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    Remember that the requirements listed are not hard and fast. When my line started hiring after an 8 year hiatus back in 1976 one of the first guys they hired was two semesters short of a BS degree. Equally so that line when I applied had a requirement for "1000 hours of four engine PIC turbo jet time". Not a guy in my class had that except a couple KC-135 guys who came close. Heck I had only 100 SIC turbojet. Bottom line, nothing is set in stone.

    IMHO the real reason for the pilot shortage is not that there is not enough pilots, there are not enough pilots willing to work for the pay they are offering. Why should one go through the equivalent education duration as med school only to be offered at best 60K to start and then be forced out at a fixed age. A doctor can earn until the day he dies and makes way more to start. Not to mention he sleeps in his own bed every night. If you want more, pay more and they will come.
    Last edited by GeeBee; 09-10-2018 at 03:42 PM.
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  23. #23
    nanook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeeBee View Post
    Had a similar deal. I was an Aero major but had to take "Technical Writing". I remember the professor as a elderly man who had suffered a stroke. He shuffled into the class with hearing aids on each ear. He was a terror at grammar and composition. He had worked in the military industrial complex all his life. He made us compose a "bad news" letter on how a B-58 Hustler had burned to the main wheels by a hung over test pilot on New Year's day. Then he showed us how the actual letter was composed...the author was our professor.
    hey you never know where you are going to end up in this life... We were watching a movie on the B-58 Hustler in A&P school. When that aircraft hit the line, it had just set a new speed record! I think it was New York to Paris or some such deal. Then I realized after watching it, our janitor was one of the pilots!
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