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Getting back into aviation.

Discussion in 'Changing Careers' started by Midwest pilot, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. Midwest pilot

    Midwest pilot Well-Known Member

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    I graduated from one of the flight schools that some of you went to back in 2008. I put my flight and maintenance skills to work till I was laid off in early 2009. Unfortunately for my flying, I had already found my future spouse. So I looked for flying jobs that were close by, but flying jobs were hard to come by in 2009. So I took an industrial maintenance job, and have made really good money ever since.

    I have been watching the skies for years now. In a dumb ass move I let my CFI expire back in 2010, with the hope that some day I'd get my CFII to reinstate it.

    Fast forward to the present. I want to get back into flying (full time). I'm married with two kids, and a mortgage. Good news is that my student and car loans are almost paid off. I am located about an hour and a half away from MSP, and I'm hoping to get on with one of the regionals once I have enough hours. Thankfully my degree qualifies me for the 1000 hour RATP. So only 500 hours to go.

    I have been studying my butt off to get my CFII which will reinstate my CFI and MEI. I have a current BFR or whatever we call them now, and IPC. I have my FII and IGI completed, and the flying is coming back really quick.

    So the question is this, are there any jobs that would allow me to fly full-time and still stay married? Here in the Midwest there is not much flying in the winter time if I were to flight instruct full-time, air survey would require me to be gone too long, and there don't seem to be many 135 FO jobs around. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Screaming_Emu

    Screaming_Emu Whale Barista

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    This part depends mostly on your relationship and less your job.
     
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  3. Midwest pilot

    Midwest pilot Well-Known Member

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    Ok let me rephrase, is there a job that would allow me to see my family consistently? I.e. Commutable?
     
  4. BigZ

    BigZ Well-Known Member

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    Look around, there will be a contract FO position somewhere. If it's once a week, or once every two weeks it's great - you won't feel like you can quit your day job for it.
    I started at about the same point where you are, 550 hrs I think. Flew 'Van part 91, then mysteriously found myself in the right seat of a Citation I, then Bravo, then CJ, Ultra, CJ2+.
    I'm flying part time, about 4-5 days a month, enough to scratch the itch. If you can combine a part time like that with your current job, I'd say that'd be the best of two worlds. Going to the "entry level pilot pay" from a normal job can be quite a hit, especially with a family, I did that for a little while and would recommend against it. But then again, I state that for me it's a hobby gone weird and I don't claim to be a professional pilot.
     
  5. Midwest pilot

    Midwest pilot Well-Known Member

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    I've been sending apps to the local part 91 and 135 operators. I might just have to finish up this CFII I'm working on and instruct part time till I have enough hours for the airlines. The first year pay is almost survivable with a dual income family. How do you become a 'van driver at 550TT?
     
  6. BigZ

    BigZ Well-Known Member

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    Networking - and I'm one charming individual. On the serious note, just go knock on some doors.
    Money is one thing, but junior airline FO positions weren't created with family in mind. Haven't tried it myself, but a friend did with one kid and another on the way. That didn't quite work out.
     
  7. BigZ

    BigZ Well-Known Member

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    PS Look into buying an airplane. I have an airplane, that really helps and it's cheaper than being an airline FO.
     
  8. Midwest pilot

    Midwest pilot Well-Known Member

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    I'll keep my eyes open for any airplane deals. I can't say buying an airplane hasn't been on the list for a while.
     
  9. BEEF SUPREME

    BEEF SUPREME Well-Known Member

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    Why the hangup on 135 and 91?

    Why not 121 and just bid the minimum amount? I'm sure people can advise on "what airline can I work the least at and live in the Midwest and not have to commute."
     
  10. Midwest pilot

    Midwest pilot Well-Known Member

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    500TT. I can get hired part 91 and 135 before I can get hired 121. When I get to 1000 TT I can get my RATP. I do plan on going to one of the regionals based out of MSP and just bidding the min.
     
  11. modernicarus

    modernicarus Well-Known Member

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    “Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.”
    - Babe Ruth
     
  12. Screaming_Emu

    Screaming_Emu Whale Barista

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    Huh?
     
  13. BigZ

    BigZ Well-Known Member

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    Airplane ownership is a deeply rewarding experience. For the most part anyway.

    Cost - that depends on where you are, metro area t-hangar can be north of 800/mo, further off of the beaten pass 300ish/mo
    Tiedown - again, say 60 to 150/mo
    Insurance. Depends on your tt, hull value etc. Talking private use here, commercial use (which includes flight training) is whole nuther animal. Say 850/year to more realistic 1500/year for Midwest pilot to 3000 if he gets something weird and experimental. Still talking smaller asel stuff.
    Fuel - don't fuel up at the expensive places, unless you are getting a fleet discount (which some of us might if you've worked for a flight department long enough and your boss is cool). Figure 4/gal.
    MX - that really depends, but Midwest pilot says he's in maintenance, so his hands are better bolted on than the average Joe (no offense to anyone named Joe) and he shouldn't have a problem finding an IA willing to do the "owner assisted annual", which will run you say 600 vs the regular 1800 plus parts. If MP has his basic A&P and picks up an experimental - better yet, free condition inspection, don't need to be an /IA.
    So something like a 172 will run you:
    100/mo tiedown * 12 = 1200
    Insurance = 1500 for the first year or two, then say 1000, couple hundred less if hangared (on a side note, I find it amusing that my $180k hull value airplane insurance is half of what it costs to insure my Passat)
    Fuel - the assumption is you want to fly a lot, but if you retain your day job and just do weekend flying, you are looking at 50 hours a year average. If you really make a point, make it a hundred. At about 200 your wife will tell you there's more to life.
    For the sake of the argument, let's use 100 hrs. 100*8*4=3200.
    Maintenance - budget 2000-3000 initially, then it goes down a bit. My last couple of annuals were around 400-500 (owner assisted annuals), next one will be more - the mags are coming up for an overhaul, will change tires etc.
    Soo
    1200+1500+3200+2000=7900

    I make money flying to spend money on flying. On the flip side, my daughter only got to go fly once with me on the "work" plane, but "logged" north of 40 hours in her first year of life, from Key West to NYC, in our airplane.
     
  14. Finny

    Finny Well-Known Member

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    How much multi time do you have?
     
  15. Midwest pilot

    Midwest pilot Well-Known Member

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    67 MEL. Also, I can rent a VFR 172 at the local FBO for about $91 and an IFR Arrow for about $142 (based on prepaid block time). So if you don't add in a loan payment on the airplane, the break even point is 92 hours a year (For a 172). If you add in a loan payment it's probably more like 170 hours a year.
     

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