Really Need Advice

TBlake22

Well-Known Member
Alright guys, this will probably be a little long so I apologize in advance.

I'm 22 years old with a high school diploma, 50 hours & a PPL. The closest flight school to me is about 2.5 hours away and I planned on starting the rest of my ratings in September & even signed a lease to an apartment back in January.

I've always been a homebody..I love being around my family. I also have a serious girlfriend of 5 years, & she's already graduated college while I'm sitting here trying to figure out what to do with my life. We'll be getting ready to settle down here in the next few years & start a family. I have a job landscaping that usually runs from March through November of most years so I at least have an income.

Lately I've really been questioning whether or not I want to make the sacrifices it takes to become a professional pilot. Being away from home & family, not making any kind of money, etc. The airlines have never appealed to me, the schedule, the starting pay, and just the overall lifestyle..I'm sure most pilots don't say "hey I want to fly for so & so and make 20K a year, living on food stamps". I've always wanted to fly corporate, charter or something along those lines where you're home more. If I knew I could land a flying job somewhere close to home, I'd do it in a heartbeat and this wouldn't even be a question. But obviously nothing like that is promised in life.

I know one thing & that is I am passionate about airplanes. I absolutely love airplanes & everything about them. I feel like a little kid when I'm at an airport or see random planes flying around in this small town. I haven't found anything else in life that I'd rather be doing besides being around airplanes in some sort of way. So I'm torn..do I want to give up on a dream that I've had & settle for a job doing something I don't love, and only fly for fun on the side or suck it up, finish my ratings & eventually move away from my family even though I know I'd hate it? That's where I'm torn..I know nothing will interest me as much as aviation. I feel like it's too late to go back to college & get a degree so I kinda feel forced to finish out my training.

Sorry if this ran on too long..hopefully it made sense. Any advice would be appreciated..I know I'm not the first person to struggle with this.
 

proxima3003

Well-Known Member
I was in a very similar situation. It was a hard call, but I left a decent job for aviation. My thought process was that I would try, and if it doesn't work out, I could always do something else later. I knew it could potentially waste several years of my life, but I knew that I would grow old and forever regret not trying.

Five years later, Im at a regional. Went though (and currently going through) some difficult times, BUT I have no regrets. Looking forward to better QOL and always trying to stay positive.
 

Clint H

Just Tryin' to Get Off the Ground
I had very similar feelings, too. Loved aviation, but questioned the reality of it. After getting my PPL, I walked away for several years to finish a degree and try to start an IT career, but I wasn't happy. I kept trying to convince myself IT was a smarter career choice, but at the end of the day, my heart wasn't in it.

A friend finally gave me this advice:

"Fast forward your life ten years. Do you see yourself sitting at a desk, hearing a plane fly over and wishing you were in the plane, or do think you would be in the plane flying over and wishing you were at the desk?"
That spurred me to at least try flying again, and thanks to a lot of help from friends (and, I am convinced, the goodness of God) I went from PPL to CFI in less than a year through a local part 61 school.

The choice has to be your's though. Don't be worried about letting people down, getting in over you head, etc. Take the emotions out of it, and honestly answer if you want to make the sacrifices and live with the decision.

No matter what path your choose, focus on one step at a time, surround yourself with good people, and work hard. You'll get to where you want to be.

-Clint
 

Autothrust Blue

"Blakeley's face was grave."
I was in a very similar situation. It was a hard call, but I left a decent job for aviation. My thought process was that I would try, and if it doesn't work out, I could always do something else later. I knew it could potentially waste several years of my life, but I knew that I would grow old and forever regret not trying.

Five years later, Im at a regional. Went though (and currently going through) some difficult times, BUT I have no regrets. Looking forward to better QOL and always trying to stay positive.
"If you want to fly airplanes, fly airplanes."

Right, @jtrain609?
 

Pietrantonio

Well-Known Member
Believe me, if it's truly something you always dreamed of doing, you probably will regret it if you never pursue it. I made a lot of sacrifices for people and worked a lot of point-to-point jobs to make ends meet. But, I always had this urge to fly. No matter how hard I could surpress it, it would find a way back. Here I am, 15 years later after getting my PPL, about to take my IR check ride.
The moral of the story, do what you love. You have to wake up everyday to report to your job or career. If you have a supportive girlfriend and family, that's even better as you progress down this road. Work hard, study hard, and fly safe. All the best with your decisions.
 

knot4u

Repeat Offender
If you are mechanically inclined you might consider getting your A/P certs. You'll get to be around aircraft and airports for a job and be at home most nights. I can't say I would recommend it because it's not easy and you'll have to pay your dues just like any other job in aviation, but if you're good at it and stay with it you can make a decent living and have a reasonable QOL. And there is an upcoming shortage of mechanics that isn't a rumor. Plus if you want you can fly for fun, double bonus it's fun and makes you a better mechanic.
 

jtrain609

Uniting the black vote.
"If you want to fly airplanes, fly airplanes."

Right, @jtrain609?
It's true, ain't it @Derg?

But the reality is that you've got to want it. If you want it, it means that you need to finish the degree, finish the training, and get it done.

As I said in another thread, there are people that get it done, and there are people that make excuses.

What do you do when the chips are down?
 

Shiftace

Beating up the pattern in a Piper.
Do what you love. No worse feeling than working a job in an industry that you hate. If flying planes is what you wanna do, go do it.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
It's true, ain't it @Derg?

But the reality is that you've got to want it. If you want it, it means that you need to finish the degree, finish the training, and get it done.

As I said in another thread, there are people that get it done, and there are people that make excuses.

What do you do when the chips are down?
It's true.

Outside my professional circles, I often find myself surrounded by those that want to accomplish something, but haven't drawn the connection between perseverance and success. If the first thing you do in the morning isn't directly related to achieving your ultimate goal, you really don't want it.
 

Pachong

Well-Known Member
I'm gonna be the "negative" guy and say that you would need to want it a little more in order for you to get all of your other ratings, build the required experience and CFI, etc. It's one long expensive road that requires sacrifice.

You said it yourself, you're a homebody. That's fine. You wouldn't want to be one of these guys I fly with that feels trapped into the profession with "no other skill set" while you catch him staring into his iPhone watching the video of his daughter blowing out the candles for the fourth time for the trip.

That said, you could find a million jobs revolving around airplanes that don't require moving. Mechanic, dispatcher, etc.
 

H46Bubba

Well-Known Member
If you want it bad enough, you'll find a way to make it happen. I'm 37, I have a full time job at a big southern based airline, I'm working on finishing my degree, and I work on finishing up my flight training... when I have the time and funds to do so. I want to fly for a career. I've sat a desk long enough!
 

Mike Wise

#NewSchool
Alright guys, this will probably be a little long so I apologize in advance.

I'm 22 years old with a high school diploma, 50 hours & a PPL. The closest flight school to me is about 2.5 hours away and I planned on starting the rest of my ratings in September & even signed a lease to an apartment back in January.

I've always been a homebody..I love being around my family. I also have a serious girlfriend of 5 years, & she's already graduated college while I'm sitting here trying to figure out what to do with my life. We'll be getting ready to settle down here in the next few years & start a family. I have a job landscaping that usually runs from March through November of most years so I at least have an income.

Lately I've really been questioning whether or not I want to make the sacrifices it takes to become a professional pilot. Being away from home & family, not making any kind of money, etc. The airlines have never appealed to me, the schedule, the starting pay, and just the overall lifestyle..I'm sure most pilots don't say "hey I want to fly for so & so and make 20K a year, living on food stamps". I've always wanted to fly corporate, charter or something along those lines where you're home more. If I knew I could land a flying job somewhere close to home, I'd do it in a heartbeat and this wouldn't even be a question. But obviously nothing like that is promised in life.

I know one thing & that is I am passionate about airplanes. I absolutely love airplanes & everything about them. I feel like a little kid when I'm at an airport or see random planes flying around in this small town. I haven't found anything else in life that I'd rather be doing besides being around airplanes in some sort of way. So I'm torn..do I want to give up on a dream that I've had & settle for a job doing something I don't love, and only fly for fun on the side or suck it up, finish my ratings & eventually move away from my family even though I know I'd hate it? That's where I'm torn..I know nothing will interest me as much as aviation. I feel like it's too late to go back to college & get a degree so I kinda feel forced to finish out my training.

Sorry if this ran on too long..hopefully it made sense. Any advice would be appreciated..I know I'm not the first person to struggle with this.
You are not the only one. I'm no jedi, but here's some advice I can give from what I've learned so far.

1. Do what makes you happy.
And do what ever it takes to make that happen. Everyone's solution is different. For me, I've planned to save money from my busy life in the music industry, so that if I ever switch over to the airlines, I'll be able to enjoy the first few years comfortably. If you want to fly, figure out a way to make it work!

2. Do not make decisions based on love.
Things change, people change, and its always a gamble when you build your life around a relationship. The best relationships I've seen are the ones that come naturally, allowing you to be who you are (in this case, an aviator).

3. Save money
just do it.

If you ever have 2 hours to kill, check out this cool 1,284 slideshow by Ryan Allis called Lessons From My 20s, you may find it helpful!
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
I have a friend that does air ambo out of a lower cost of living area. Wife works as a school teacher. Three kids. Makes decent enough money to be happy. Fireman schedule. I'm sure very few days away from home a year. Would have had a great shot at the airlines but I don't think he was interested in some of the sacrifices. To each his own.
 

Boskru

Well-Known Member
You're 22. Have you considered the military? It is a tough road but you'd be paid to learn how to fly instead of paying and you'd have a job as soon as you're done training.

I also echo the A&P route. I've got mine and although I'm not using it right now; its a good back up in case things go badly on the flight side. You can make a good living as an A&P and you're rarely away from home overnight to do so.
 

TBlake22

Well-Known Member
You're 22. Have you considered the military? It is a tough road but you'd be paid to learn how to fly instead of paying and you'd have a job as soon as you're done training.

I also echo the A&P route. I've got mine and although I'm not using it right now; its a good back up in case things go badly on the flight side. You can make a good living as an A&P and you're rarely away from home overnight to do so.

Never considered the military. I know it wouldn't be for me.

I'll look into getting the A&P certifications. It seems like a good way to still be around airplanes daily but not have to be gone 3/4 of the time.
 

TBlake22

Well-Known Member
I'm gonna be the "negative" guy and say that you would need to want it a little more in order for you to get all of your other ratings, build the required experience and CFI, etc. It's one long expensive road that requires sacrifice.

You said it yourself, you're a homebody. That's fine. You wouldn't want to be one of these guys I fly with that feels trapped into the profession with "no other skill set" while you catch him staring into his iPhone watching the video of his daughter blowing out the candles for the fourth time for the trip.

That said, you could find a million jobs revolving around airplanes that don't require moving. Mechanic, dispatcher, etc.

And I appreciate posts like this because it's the truth. I could easily see myself being the guy with the iPhone Lol.
 

knot4u

Repeat Offender
Whatever you decide, make sure you continue with your other hobbies. All aviation all the time makes for a very dull person.
 

SeanD

Well-Known Member
Whatever you decide, make sure you continue with your other hobbies. All aviation all the time makes for a very weird person.
FIFY This! No doubt, have other interests. Airplanes are cool and all but so are a crap ton of other things.
 
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