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Another career change thread but by a different person

Discussion in 'Changing Careers' started by steve_r84, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. steve_r84

    steve_r84 New Member

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    I'm 32, own a home and have a live-in girlfriend of 3 years whom I'll be slipping a ring on the finger in the next year or so. We have no children but are looking to have kids within the next couple of years. I'm a $35-$40k/yr inside sales guy in metro detroit. My girlfriend is a $30k/yr bakery manager. I can only check the "some college" box as I have no degree and the same for my girlfriend. My college credits are probably wasted because it has been about 7 yrs since my last class but I'll be confirming with the community college in the coming days. Im sure im only 2 or 3 classes away from a 2 year business admin degree if the credits can be validated. I'll be honest in saying that I'd only be intetested in wrapping that up and not pursuing a bachelor's degree.


    I've made a few smart decisions in my life, especially managing debt. On top of that, a couple of smart, and probaby lucky, home purchases and sales. In my current state of affairs, I have about $90k in equity and a mtg payment of only $750. We've got about $300 in car payments between us and then about $200 in student loan payments (which can be deferred if need be). That's it for debt, that and utility payments. That said, we don't have a very solid liquid savings account, just a few grand at a time. Most of our savings are wrapped up in retirement accounts (we both put 15% of our income into 401ks). A new addition to income is the $450/mo I'm getting from my younger sister for the next 6-12 months while she lives with us. She just wrapped up a master's in psych and found herself with an $1100/mo student loan payment so we're kind of helping her out while she's helping us out if you will.


    Now that you've got some of my black and white facts, here's a bit about me and my passions. I am very in tune to the arts and music. I have a dream for a small business that I'm calling Refine Detroit which is already technically established with llc paperwork, tax id and a well drawn up business plan. I'm finding it very difficult to put much time and resources into this right now because, well, I'm working for somebody else making peanuts. It's difficult to transition full time into this endeavor because of the "what ifs" and I'm a very planned and reserved sort of person. I believe this will be a life long endeavor but, nonetheless, I do not yet feel ready to dive headfirst into this. I'm actively searching for a business mentor at the moment, somebody who can help guide me through this. Until I have that relationship established and a more secure feeling, I will be committing little resources into this at a time.


    My other passion is flying. I have no idea where it's come from but I've always been captivated by flight. I look up every time I hear a rumble in the sky and I've had many dreams of flying. I've been skydiving a few times but have never flown at the contols of an airplane unless, don't laugh, you count microsoft flight sim x. I guess that I never thought of flying as a career but more as a hobby that I'd get into as time comes and I've become more established.


    Ive got a good friend in his mid-30s who is a 7 year captain for jet blue. He knows that I've always wanted to fly and he's been encouraging me very persistently of recent to start pursuing it as a career. He tells me of the pilot shortages which are coming and how those can provide a solid career outlook in the coming future. He also tells me that he truly believes ive got the personality for it. He wants to offer me instruction for $0 because he's a damn good person who wants to help a friend...and he loves flying. The kicker is that we've only got a few months before he moves to Florida so we'd likely only get through my ppl and an instrument rating, and that's ambitious I think. He's already spoken with a local 141 school about becoming an instructor there on the books but only to instruct me. I'd pay them for their rental and they also expect a small cut of what he would normally be getting for ground and dual. I'd still be saving several bucks this way though.


    From that point, I'd have to work with another instructor on obtaining my multi and commercial. I'm leaning towards flying as a career because I need a change. I need something more technical in my life, something more challenging and rewarding. Atop that, I see a great advantage to having blocks of free time to continue developing my small business. I've read stories of many pilots who take advantage of this time to run a business. I've done lots of reading already on the subject of a career change but I am now interested in what other people, preferably pilots, have to say about my given situation at hand. I feel that I'm leaning pretty heavily but I guess that I'm looking for some sort of validation. Let me know what your thoughts are.


    I know that there are many forums with even more threads about the topic but everybody has a different situation/story. I challenge you to read through my situation and to offer your guidance, your cautions and your expertise. I'd love to especially hear from pilots that may have followed a similar path into a successful career.


    I really appreciate everybody's time here. Thanks!
     
  2. Hacker15e

    Hacker15e Virtue Signaling Intersectional Nonbinary Otherkin

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    Sounds cliche, but you only live once. If you really love to fly, and feel like you'd rather do it as a career than a hobby, then go for it.

    Just take the time to educate yourself on the financial and lifestyle realities, and realize that you're not alone in taking this ride, as your family will be with you every step of the way. I took a $100,000 pay-cut for a year to transition out of my previous career into my current one at the airlines. I prepared for that financial hit for about 3 years prior, getting debt free, socking money into savings, and having a plan for those lean times.

    The airline industry is one place where pilots can (eventually, with time and seniority) have enough time to run a business on the side.
     
  3. drunkenbeagle

    drunkenbeagle Gang Member

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    Well, if you and your instructor pal are serious, you might want to look into buying a basic airplane and using that instead. The PPL and instrument are most of the instruction hours you will end up flying. (The commercial and CFI are much faster and cheaper once you have 250 hours). Most of the expense is in the PPL, IFR and those 250 hours.

    Renting a plane (even at a good price) for 250 hours will be about 40k. You can buy an ugly but otherwise airworthy plane for 25k, fly 250 hours for about 20k in a year, and sell it for about what you paid for it. Best case it would cost about half as much, worst case - lots of expensive stuff breaks - you would still come out even, or slightly ahead. The more simple the airplane, the less there is to break, by the way.

    Either way, if it is what you want to do, get started on the PPL and see if it is something you really want to do. The good news is that you won't make much less than you make now as a CFI or airline new hire. At least as a CFI, plan on moving to Florida or Arizona for a year or so though...
     
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  4. awbmof

    awbmof Well-Known Member

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    If you go down this road, don't skimp on the pre-buy. However, if you do this right it is a viable option, speaking as cross country time-building Cessna 140 owner. I am also using my plane for CFI maneuver practice so I don't have to spend $$$$$ on a complex airplane till later, even a simple plane can help get you get started on your Commercial and CFI tickets. Even with some unanticipated maintenance, I saved about $3K last year versus renting a comparable tail wheel airplane. Plus, having your own plane gives you a lot of training schedule flexibility.

    Don't bother buying anything complex or a twin, those bills can add up very quickly. Once you get to that point, rent, flying club or finding an opening in an existing partnership is your best option.

    Good luck on whatever you decide.
     
  5. drunkenbeagle

    drunkenbeagle Gang Member

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    Yeah, I would not consider anything complex. Truth be told, even an IFR equipped plane is overkill - you don't need a GPS, ILS/GS - it is just more expensive stuff that can break. You can just do most of the cross country / hood time in a basic VFR airplane, and rent something IFR equipped for the 15 hours dual you need for the instrument rating. I would kill two birds with one stone, and do the instrument training in a rented complex aircraft - you'll need the complex time for the commercial certificate anyway, and an Arrow is about the same cost as an IFR 172. (that's exactly what I did, worked out great).
     
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  6. steve_r84

    steve_r84 New Member

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    Wow, you know I never gave thought to outright purchasing the plane. This seems like it can really be the ticket as long as i don't run into any maintenence issues. I've already got enough of those with my dodge charger's 2.7l engine capping out on me at 77k miles just last week.

    @drunkenbeagle, when you say that this is what you did, are you referring to the whole idea or just the portion where you rented the Arow to knockout 15 hrs of complex as well as instrument?
     
  7. drunkenbeagle

    drunkenbeagle Gang Member

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    I did all of the commercial and instrument requirements more or less at the same time.

    Owning a plane can be a whole separate headache by itself, and yes, there are very real risks of expensive maintenance items coming up. That said, I have seen it work out for plenty of people.
     
  8. dbrault17

    dbrault17 Well-Known Member

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    Where in Metro Detroit?
     

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