Opinions or throughts on what to do with my experience

TheTwoTen

New Member
I'm at a bit of a crossroads, and I thought this might be a good place to get some insight from other aviators. I'll try to keep the backstory short, but it explains why I am where I am...

Back in 09 I graduated with a 4 year degree in aviation. Dumped me right into the crash/airline bailouts. Not a job in sight, and yet the student loan companies of course said "we'll start taking payments, thank you very much. Oh you have no income? We don't give a flying diddly - pay up sucker, our books look horrible these days" That s*** stung - hard. Those following years were a nightmare struggle. That, combined with a less-than-stellar experience with instructors, my school, and examiners (eg, one of many: the DPE on my CFI ride telling me "wow! the tower really sandbagged ya there!" only to hand me a pink slip later) left me very... skittish about the industry, to say the least. So much so that I ended up going back to school (admittedly, partially to get the collection calls to give it a rest for a little while, but mostly to broaden my options) and got an MBA, pretty much completly abandoning the idea of doing anything in aviation.

Now... in the mean time, things in aviation as we all know picked up, and I did end up instructing for a few years, some part and some full time. To make a long story short, I gained experience and ended up working for an photo/video company that specialized in aerial and basically run the ops now. I say "photo/video that specializes in aerial" as opposed to "aerial photo/video" company on purpose, because we do plenty of work that doesn't involve aviation. So I have a lot of photography and video experience (shooting while I fly, or doing the heli-with-doors-off thing).

In addition to all this, I started a side thing with a guy I met in biz school that consults small businesses (well, we try to, but of course most small businesses don't have money to spend on consultants) we even wrote an app that basically boils down an entire MBA... again, another long story but it hasnt (forgive the pun) gotten off the ground, and recent events have made this effort look likely to be dead in the water.

But, here I am, having an MBA with a concentration in marketing from a good school, 2800hrs TT, 1k dual given and 1.5k flying this complex centurion to dang near every airport big and small within 1000nm of Chicago, managerial experience running a crew, loads of VPs/CEOs/Executives of huge corporations giving me plenty of praise, photos in NYtimes, discover, WSJ, Science mag, blah blah blah.... Sounds like things should be good right? Weelllll... the guy I work for is very anti-marketing and pretty much refuses to grow the company. And these days, with all the tech changes swirling around, he makes it impossible to compete with all these tech-savvy people doing drone work or similar operations cutting into our main gigs. He's very proud of the fact he's never had to market and always got work via word of mouth and sees my MBA as some sort of effort to "prove him wrong" in a rather adversarial stance. Yes, he's an old guy, you probably gathered that (nothing wrong with old guys, but some of them can be difficult to change their ways, and this guy is definitely one of those). He's a guy from the film era and he doesn't even like photoshop (but then we lose business to someone else that photoshops in a clients preferred sky, things like that). I don't mean to rag on him, hes a good dude personally but hes a nightmare rather difficult to work with and this just isn't working out like I'd hoped, and after years of trying to make it work and watching things slowly erode, I need a change.

So heres where I ask for help: I'm just looking for some spark of an idea as to what the heck I should do with myself. I have such an eclectic resume - I feel like I'm the classic example jack-of-all-trades, master of none. Pilot (with plenty of time, none of which is twin turbine... or even twin...), a business masters, a healthy photo/video portfolio... these things are never really combined, except in rare cases like the thing I'm doing (and I've explained the trouble with that). I've never really been interested in the airline life (I have a dog, I'm not really into being gone for long stretches, etc) so I'm not really prepared for that, but am I being silly for avoiding them (or something like them, corporate, idk...) at this point? Is there some other aviation-related field that anyone might suggest or that I'm just blind to? I would really love to put my MBA to use in the aviation field, something that would take advantage of both skill sets, but thus far I've yet to find anything aside from something like chief pilot (which comes at the end of a career of general flying) or other veteran-tier positions like that.

I'm mid-30s and I'd really rather not have to bite the bullet and start at the bottom of any of these fields... airlines or marketing or other biz field... but its starting to look more and more like thats just what I get for not just sticking with it 7-10 years ago. Ugh. Maybe I just need to hear it from others to just man the F up and quit screwing around.

Sorry for the long post, I tried to keep it short without missing any important details (and am happy to fill in gaps if I left any), bless your heart for reading it all if you made it this far for some all-but-anonymous goof on the internet

(also, AMA for anyone who doesn't really have any advice for me, but wants to avoid a decade of wasted time* lol)

*I mean as far as career advancement. My time doing aerial work has been an amazing experience personally and, while its done little for my retirement account, I'll never be upset for having had the opportunity to experience and see what I've seen and done.

 

obx

Well-Known Member
Sorry, I don’t even know what you’re asking. Plenty of places were actually hiring in ‘09. Maybe none that you wanted to work for, but there were many hiring. Now that the industry is doing great, you want someone to tell you what to do with an MBA, 2800 hours, a boss you disdain, and what sounds like some aerial photo experience? You don’t seem to want to go to the airlines—which is fair. But what do you want? You sound like you’re looking for someone to tell you what you want and how to get it.
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
You'd be a great asset as a corporate pilot and MBA guy (whatever they do), I'd think. You just need to find the right fit. I'd focus on finding out what the right fit could be and see how you could fit in as a pilot. I have an ex-controller friend who does a little right seat contract flying. You have WAY more flight experience than he does except he has some twin time. I think that might be what will hold you back a little. I'd get your multi rating, at least. Just for the resume. You might have to bite the bullet and get a regional job just to pad your flying resume to look attractive as a corporate pilot.
 

jtrain609

I'm a carnal, organic anagram.
Sorry, I don’t even know what you’re asking. Plenty of places were actually hiring in ‘09. Maybe none that you wanted to work for, but there were many hiring. Now that the industry is doing great, you want someone to tell you what to do with an MBA, 2800 hours, a boss you disdain, and what sounds like some aerial photo experience? You don’t seem to want to go to the airlines—which is fair. But what do you want? You sound like you’re looking for someone to tell you what you want and how to get it.
I wasn't halfway done with my furlough in 2009.
 

CUTigerPilot

RJ Scum
Maybe look into places like Cirrus or Textron (Cessna, Beechcraft, etc) and see if they need someone with your skills. I’m sure they are always looking for pilots with a business, marketing, sales background.
 

milleR

Well-Known Member
Take what you know about the industry, leverage your experience and connections, find the angle that makes you unique and start your own gig.
 

Pilot Fighter

Well-Known Member
There's a demand for pilots. There's a demand for bus drivers. There's not a big demand for either bus drivers or pilots with MBA's.

You might find a niche piloting gig that has some administrative or management responsibilities but the fact that somebody has combined two jobs often says something about the operator and job security.

It sounds like you are looking for the next big something and don't know what that is. If a flying career was your passion or priority you'd be flying.

You are going to struggle finding a flying gig going up against folks that really want a flying gig and are willing to make short term or long term sacrifices.

With your educational credentials and your self-limiting thoughts on aviation careers, you might be best served in the corporate world.
 

TheTwoTen

New Member
(ok side quandry, jetcareers.com was coming up as 'server not found' and I had a friend check, they said it was up, so I turned off my home wifi and turned my mobile hotspot on for my desktop to connect to, and now it comes up no problem? If I return to my home wifi it acts like its down, am I missing something?) Anyway, now that Im back lol...

Sorry, I don’t even know what you’re asking. Plenty of places were actually hiring in ‘09. Maybe none that you wanted to work for, but there were many hiring. Now that the industry is doing great, you want someone to tell you what to do with an MBA, 2800 hours, a boss you disdain, and what sounds like some aerial photo experience? You don’t seem to want to go to the airlines—which is fair. But what do you want? You sound like you’re looking for someone to tell you what you want and how to get it.
The "too long, didnt read" version is: I'm just looking for suggestions or ideas what someone can do with both business and flying experience, or if its not worth the effort to combine them and just go down one route or the other. Also, as far as jobs in 09', I guess you can say that but everyone I graduated with struggled the same way. Thats just the way it was for newbies, not sure why you seem irritated by my saying that, but thats how it was.

You'd be a great asset as a corporate pilot and MBA guy (whatever they do), I'd think. You just need to find the right fit. I'd focus on finding out what the right fit could be and see how you could fit in as a pilot. I have an ex-controller friend who does a little right seat contract flying. You have WAY more flight experience than he does except he has some twin time. I think that might be what will hold you back a little. I'd get your multi rating, at least. Just for the resume. You might have to bite the bullet and get a regional job just to pad your flying resume to look attractive as a corporate pilot.
Hmm, corporate flying, how is the situation with corporate looking these days? (I'm 110% out of the loop, apologies for my ignorance). Ideally I would, at least eventually, have one foot in the cockpit and the other in the office, do you think there are situations available (at least at some point) like that? And you mentioned contract flying, can you explain a little bit more about that? And I do have my commercial multi, just that I only have like 17hrs (which, if it were an issue of getting up to 25 or something, I would just fork out or bug someone to sit in and get that time. Something more like... 100-200hrs would be tougher, though perhaps still doable).

Maybe look into places like Cirrus or Textron (Cessna, Beechcraft, etc) and see if they need someone with your skills. I’m sure they are always looking for pilots with a business, marketing, sales background.
Those are good ideas actually, Im going to look into that. Thanks for that!
-Edit- I've already started contacting some of these types of organizations, this really has me thinking!! I'm sure there are other opportunities or ideas like this (where I might be able to put both my aviation experience and business experience to use simultaneously) but companies like this are certainly appealing! Sometimes you just need someone to tell you even if it seems a bit obvious in retrospect :bounce:

Take what you know about the industry, leverage your experience and connections, find the angle that makes you unique and start your own gig.
This is tricky, right now my "area of expertise" is, what I feel, of fading value... just seeing the rapid change of the photo industry and how its gotten so much more inexpensive, I fear the writing is on the wall. Also, I just don't have the capital or collateral to be able to get a loan for the equipment I'd need (and I'd be pretty worried the way things are going I'd have a hard time making a go of it if they continue). I'm also a bit worried about what happens when 'see and avoid' is replaced with 'sense and avoid' and whether the rules for drones become even more lax, particularly the 400' rule... once that happens, I really don't think an airplane will have that market cornered anymore and virtually any joe shmoe will be able to get the views you need a plane for at the moment. But I understand your point, I'll have to think on it and maybe theres something I could do.

There's a demand for pilots. There's a demand for bus drivers. There's not a big demand for either bus drivers or pilots with MBA's.

You might find a niche piloting gig that has some administrative or management responsibilities but the fact that somebody has combined two jobs often says something about the operator and job security.

It sounds like you are looking for the next big something and don't know what that is. If a flying career was your passion or priority you'd be flying.

You are going to struggle finding a flying gig going up against folks that really want a flying gig and are willing to make short term or long term sacrifices.

With your educational credentials and your self-limiting thoughts on aviation careers, you might be best served in the corporate world.
I will admit, I'm not the guy who wants to fly just to say he's a pilot. There are a lot of to-the-core aviatiors that look down on people like me as a "filthy casual" because I didn't want to live in a cardboard box for a the better part of a decade, all the same by now I've probably seen more airports and been in more think-on-your-feet situations than many (not all of course) every day career pilots and been at my current position for a number of years, so at this point I don't think its really fair to imply I'm not willing to sacrifice or buck up and stick to it. And I'm not sure why you said I'd be flying if I wanted to be, I am flying as a main gig, during the summer I'm in the plane all day 5+ days a week (or well, I used to be anyway, things have slowed this year) and I do plenty of winter flying as well.

Really all I'm asking is for ideas where I might be able to exercise my interest in the business world in conjunction with my aviation experience. I don't know what I'll get with making a thread like this. Maybe everyone will say "you dumbumb, go to the airlines" and if so, well ok. But I've already gotten some good things to think about or avenues to consider pursuing. I'm just gathering opinions and insight from people that have been at it for a while and might have a perspective that I just don't.
 
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TheTwoTen

New Member
Do you have a multi engine rating? Unless you want to fly a TBM or PC12 that would be a good place to start
I do have my commercial multi, but a paltry amount of time at it. This is fixable, though, and I would just need to have a good idea of how best to efficiently tackle the issue.

There are many exciting careers in the waste disposal field !!!!!!!!!!!!!
I mean, thats really always been my dream job, how did you know?! But alas, dreams are just that...
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
I think you could learn more about Corporate flying by searching this forum. I'm just a box hauler so no first hand experience. As far as contract flying, my friend got into because he had a connection. It's really just networking and putting yourself out there. Again, a word search at the forums here might give you an idea.
 

TheTwoTen

New Member
I think you could learn more about Corporate flying by searching this forum. I'm just a box hauler so no first hand experience. As far as contract flying, my friend got into because he had a connection. It's really just networking and putting yourself out there. Again, a word search at the forums here might give you an idea.
I will do just that, thanks

(ps if anyone else can chime in on the subject, please do!)
 

roundout

Bus Driver
(ok side quandry, jetcareers.com was coming up as 'server not found' and I had a friend check, they said it was up, so I turned off my home wifi and turned my mobile hotspot on for my desktop to connect to, and now it comes up no problem? If I return to my home wifi it acts like its down, am I missing something?) Anyway, now that Im back lol...



The "too long, didnt read" version is: I'm just looking for suggestions or ideas what someone can do with both business and flying experience, or if its not worth the effort to combine them and just go down one route or the other. Also, as far as jobs in 09', I guess you can say that but everyone I graduated with struggled the same way. Thats just the way it was for newbies, not sure why you seem irritated by my saying that, but thats how it was.



Hmm, corporate flying, how is the situation with corporate looking these days? (I'm 110% out of the loop, apologies for my ignorance). Ideally I would, at least eventually, have one foot in the cockpit and the other in the office, do you think there are situations available (at least at some point) like that? And you mentioned contract flying, can you explain a little bit more about that? And I do have my commercial multi, just that I only have like 17hrs (which, if it were an issue of getting up to 25 or something, I would just fork out or bug someone to sit in and get that time. Something more like... 100-200hrs would be tougher, though perhaps still doable).



Those are good ideas actually, Im going to look into that. Thanks for that!
-Edit- I've already started contacting some of these types of organizations, this really has me thinking!! I'm sure there are other opportunities or ideas like this (where I might be able to put both my aviation experience and business experience to use simultaneously) but companies like this are certainly appealing! Sometimes you just need someone to tell you even if it seems a bit obvious in retrospect :bounce:



This is tricky, right now my "area of expertise" is, what I feel, of fading value... just seeing the rapid change of the photo industry and how its gotten so much more inexpensive, I fear the writing is on the wall. Also, I just don't have the capital or collateral to be able to get a loan for the equipment I'd need (and I'd be pretty worried the way things are going I'd have a hard time making a go of it if they continue). I'm also a bit worried about what happens when 'see and avoid' is replaced with 'sense and avoid' and whether the rules for drones become even more lax, particularly the 400' rule... once that happens, I really don't think an airplane will have that market cornered anymore and virtually any joe shmoe will be able to get the views you need a plane for at the moment. But I understand your point, I'll have to think on it and maybe theres something I could do.



I will admit, I'm not the guy who wants to fly just to say he's a pilot. There are a lot of to-the-core aviatiors that look down on people like me as a "filthy casual" because I didn't want to live in a cardboard box for a the better part of a decade, all the same by now I've probably seen more airports and been in more think-on-your-feet situations than many (not all of course) every day career pilots and been at my current position for a number of years, so at this point I don't think its really fair to imply I'm not willing to sacrifice or buck up and stick to it. And I'm not sure why you said I'd be flying if I wanted to be, I am flying as a main gig, during the summer I'm in the plane all day 5+ days a week (or well, I used to be anyway, things have slowed this year) and I do plenty of winter flying as well.

Really all I'm asking is for ideas where I might be able to exercise my interest in the business world in conjunction with my aviation experience. I don't know what I'll get with making a thread like this. Maybe everyone will say "you dumbumb, go to the airlines" and if so, well ok. But I've already gotten some good things to think about or avenues to consider pursuing. I'm just gathering opinions and insight from people that have been at it for a while and might have a perspective that I just don't.
It sounds to me like you might want to pursue a career in aircraft sales. It won't pay as much as an airline career but it is a much more interesting job.
 

GypsyPilot

Well-Known Member
I’ll be honest. To me it seems like you’re pretty thin on experience, both in aviation and business. An MBA with a little bit of experience, including an unknown app that nobody knows about, isn’t going to do much for you.

Time to pick a path, put in the work, and get experience. Once you become an experienced professional pilot or have a strong resume in the business realm, you’ll probably discover for yourself what you want to do.
 

Flyinthrew

Well-Known Member
-Get 8 more hours of multi.
-Get hired at the regional of your choice. I know you don't want to be an airline pilot, but stick with me here. Your current path sorta sucks so any solution is better than what you're doing.
-Upgrade in about a year at most places.
-With a good enough resume, get hired at Allegiant, and live in base.
-Allegiant doesn't do overnights. A huge percentage of their flying is out and back. They don't pay DFAU money, but it's really pretty good.
-Put your photo/video/MBA to work in a drone business the other 16 days out of the month that you're not working.

You're a pilot. Fly airplanes for money. Pursue other interests as well. Profit.
 

TheTwoTen

New Member
-Get 8 more hours of multi.
-Get hired at the regional of your choice. I know you don't want to be an airline pilot, but stick with me here. Your current path sorta sucks so any solution is better than what you're doing.
-Upgrade in about a year at most places.
-With a good enough resume, get hired at Allegiant, and live in base.
-Allegiant doesn't do overnights. A huge percentage of their flying is out and back. They don't pay DFAU money, but it's really pretty good.
-Put your photo/video/MBA to work in a drone business the other 16 days out of the month that you're not working.

You're a pilot. Fly airplanes for money. Pursue other interests as well. Profit.
Allegiant not doing overnights... not going to lie, that sounds pretty appealing. And I don't need to get the absolute best pay out there, I agree with that. Thanks for this advice, I'm going to look into this as well. Out of curiosity, are there any other regionals that are similar (maybe not all out-and-back, but maybe a higher percentage or majority?)

I’ll be honest. To me it seems like you’re pretty thin on experience, both in aviation and business. An MBA with a little bit of experience, including an unknown app that nobody knows about, isn’t going to do much for you.

Time to pick a path, put in the work, and get experience. Once you become an experienced professional pilot or have a strong resume in the business realm, you’ll probably discover for yourself what you want to do.
I'm not trying to pretend I'm some veterian of either (or any) field by any means, but like I was saying I would love to find something that would take advantage of what "thin" experience I do have (which is where my interest and drive would be), but I appreciate the opinion all the same, as I just like to hear what people think is the smartest route. I'm collecting opinions and I would not resist the notion of just hunkering down an joining a regional or something if thats what everyone really thinks is the smartest route.
 

obx

Well-Known Member
Also, as far as jobs in 09', I guess you can say that but everyone I graduated with struggled the same way. Thats just the way it was for newbies, not sure why you seem irritated by my saying that, but thats how it was.
Well, you seem to have a much better perspective on the hiring landscape in 2009 than I could ever offer . . . so, good luck. Hope that you find what you’re looking for.
 
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