Trucker to Airline Pilot

desertdog71

Girthy Member
Just curious, why?

With well over a decade here I see a common theme... person dreams of flying, joins JC, interacts a lot and pulls info, gains networking contacts, gets starter job, gets career job, stops JC. I remember when you joined and I enjoyed watching your journey and now that you’ve gained success, people, like the OP here, could certainly use your help.

We’re you wronged here in some way?
I was told about this thread by another member and its why I responded. Several folks here know how to contact me, and many people have sought me out for different things over the years. I'm more than happy to help anyone who asks.
 

Freightshaker

Well-Known Member
Update:

I just wanted to check in with you guys/gals, it's been a crazy year in aviation with all of the accidents thus far. Currently I'm taking lessons out of KLHZ and training in a Cherokee 140. So far it's been a positive experience, it took me a bit to get landings down, but once it clicked it clicked. I started training on the 172 but switched to the Cherokee because it has better availability at my school. Right now I'm looking at soloing very soon. The only thing I have to do is make a visit to the AME, which I plan on making an appointment this week. I just had a medical for work, but I've got to set some cash aside for my flight physical. It's been tough getting lessons in, with weather systems rolling through the carolinas every weekend, but I seem to to be retaining things OK when I can't get them in. I've been browsing the forums here and I've been hitting the books, it's nice to finally be making progress. I appreciate the community and the information here on this site, it's been a big help keeping me motivated and moving along with my training. I'll make sure to keep this thread updated as I move forward.

Dan
 

Oxman

Well-Known Member
Damn! that must have been hell , especially crossing the bridges and tunnels during rush hour , I drove a cab in Manhattan for 2008 to 2014 , now im working on my CPL :))
It had its moments. There were days that I came home with a tunnel vision migraine and easy days as well. But I was always dirty from loading and unloading boxes by hand from the street onto the truck. I got to see some unbelievable apartments on Park Ave and CPW. I made a delivery to Geraldo Rivera's office to deliver a painting. Cool group of people on his staff then. They gave me an $11 tip. And one day in the late 80's I made a delivery up way past 125th St. I was the only white guy for blocks. I walked into a local pizza place and you could hear the needle on the record scratch. Everyone looked up at me. A tall, skinny high school kid in torn jeans and a dirty white t-shirt. I walked to the counter and said I'll have 2 Jamaican beef patties and a coke. They put their head down and went back to eating. I've had a gun pulled on me on JFK when it was mob run as well. My fault, I was running my mouth back to some one on where I parked my big green box truck. I would bounce around from Queens, Brooklyn, LIC to Manhattan and back every day. Here I was 18 years old doing all that with out complaining and getting a sense of accomplishment for a hard days work done. The cargo docks of JFK were my daycare as a kid. Single mom. By the time I was 12 yo I was driving a fork lift loading freight onto trucks.

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Mohand

Well-Known Member
It had its moments. There were days that I came home with a tunnel vision migraine and easy days as well. But I was always dirty from loading and unloading boxes by hand from the street onto the truck. I got to see some unbelievable apartments on Park Ave and CPW. I made a delivery to Geraldo Rivera's office to deliver a painting. Cool group of people on his staff then. They gave me an $11 tip. And one day in the late 80's I made a delivery up way past 125th St. I was the only white guy for blocks. I walked into a local pizza place and you could hear the needle on the record scratch. Everyone looked up at me. A tall, skinny high school kid in torn jeans and a dirty white t-shirt. I walked to the counter and said I'll have 2 Jamaican beef patties and a coke. They put their head down and went back to eating. I've had a gun pulled on me on JFK when it was mob run as well. My fault, I was running my mouth back to some one on where I parked my big green box truck. I would bounce around from Queens, Brooklyn, LIC to Manhattan and back every day. Here I was 18 years old doing all that with out complaining and getting a sense of accomplishment for a hard days work done. The cargo docks of JFK were my daycare as a kid. Single mom. By the time I was 12 yo I was driving a fork lift loading freight onto trucks.

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Thats a Hell of a story ! you should write a book :) , driving a cab in the city was very hard , I got robbed about 15 times , twice at gunpoint , the last one broke the camels back ,in Long Island city queens , summer of 2014, I was shot in the leg , I swore not to ever drive a cab again !
 

Oxman

Well-Known Member
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Thats a Hell of a story ! you should write a book :) , driving a cab in the city was very hard , I got robbed about 15 times , twice at gunpoint , the last one broke the camels back ,in Long Island city queens , summer of 2014, I was shot in the leg , I swore not to ever drive a cab again !
Believe it or not, there's a method to shooting someone in NYC. If it's in the leg, it's a message. If it's above the waist they're trying to kill you. I saw this a million times in Brooklyn.
 

Freightshaker

Well-Known Member
Update: October 5, 2019 I soloed In N12902 out of LHZ.

It's been slow going and I'm making progress. I've really only been able to fly once a week, so that's why it's taking so long. I've struggled with some of the aeronautical knowledge and airspace stuff, but I finally got all that down. That hardest part so far for me has just been the studying and trying to find time do it while working 60-70 hours a week. I've learned the main thing is just to stick to it and push through. I don't post here often, but I'm on this forum daily trying to read and learn as much I can. The people here a great and I want to thank you guys for helping me stay motivated through my training!!
 

Freightshaker

Well-Known Member
Does anyone know what’s standard practice in a part 61 school for billing students? I was doing a solo cross country this weekend and racked 1.6 on the hobbs, to which I was charged as dual. My instructor explained that this was because it was a supervised solo so that made sense to me. However on top of that I was also charged 1.4 hours of ground. I had the aircraft blocked for three hours, I arrived at the airport spoke with my instructor for 20mins and was off. By the time I landed and and was back in my car and leaving I had spent a total of 2.5 hours at the airport. I was still charged for 3.0 hours of flyingdual/ground instruction. Am I wrong for thinking that this isn’t appropriate?

I’m currently at about 30hrs right now, and I’m on my fourth instructor with this school, my current instructor thinks I’ll be able to take my check ride sub 50 hrs. Most of my time left that I have to complete is all solo time. This is the first time in my training where I feel like I wasn’t charged correctly. I’m currently talking to one of my old instructors who’s at a different shop in town and I can fly with him again at a much more affordable rate and I got a long with him the best out of the instructors I’ve had. It would be great if any instructors could chime in on best practice for charging students before I leave my current flight school. I’m close to finishing up and want to avoid making big changes but I don’t know if I can afford to stay at my current school.
 

srn121

Well-Known Member
Does anyone know what’s standard practice in a part 61 school for billing students? I was doing a solo cross country this weekend and racked 1.6 on the hobbs, to which I was charged as dual. My instructor explained that this was because it was a supervised solo so that made sense to me. However on top of that I was also charged 1.4 hours of ground. I had the aircraft blocked for three hours, I arrived at the airport spoke with my instructor for 20mins and was off. By the time I landed and and was back in my car and leaving I had spent a total of 2.5 hours at the airport. I was still charged for 3.0 hours of flyingdual/ground instruction. Am I wrong for thinking that this isn’t appropriate?
Talk to the chief flight instructor/owner/manager. They should be able to check the tapes and verify, but may have policies in place these days for minimums and the like which I find a bit unlikely, but who knows. I got overbilled by a bad CFI, the owner refunded my money after viewing the video camera, verifiying the timestamp and a few weeks later that CFI was fired as he was a piece of crap who'd been screwing over a lot of students. He also was irritable and yelled at me which I'd never had a CFI do ever before or since, fast forward a few years later and I was making well more than him and ahead of him on TT. If you wait too long they likely won't have the footage supposing they do have cameras in place.

It sucks as a student as you have less experienced CFIs than ever before and you don't necessarily know as a student what makes a good or bad CFI as they seem like super pilots with nothing to do, but notice all your mistakes from the right seat. I lucked out and got the best two CFIs the flight school had after that experience and continued to work with great ones as I finished all my ratings, but I know if I had a jerk like that off the bat maybe I'd have given up like so many other people do as this industry forces people into CFI roles they're not ready for or good at to get to the next step in their careers.
 

DeltaAlphaNovember

Well-Known Member
Does anyone know what’s standard practice in a part 61 school for billing students? I was doing a solo cross country this weekend and racked 1.6 on the hobbs, to which I was charged as dual. My instructor explained that this was because it was a supervised solo so that made sense to me. However on top of that I was also charged 1.4 hours of ground. I had the aircraft blocked for three hours, I arrived at the airport spoke with my instructor for 20mins and was off. By the time I landed and and was back in my car and leaving I had spent a total of 2.5 hours at the airport. I was still charged for 3.0 hours of flyingdual/ground instruction. Am I wrong for thinking that this isn’t appropriate?

I’m currently at about 30hrs right now, and I’m on my fourth instructor with this school, my current instructor thinks I’ll be able to take my check ride sub 50 hrs. Most of my time left that I have to complete is all solo time. This is the first time in my training where I feel like I wasn’t charged correctly. I’m currently talking to one of my old instructors who’s at a different shop in town and I can fly with him again at a much more affordable rate and I got a long with him the best out of the instructors I’ve had. It would be great if any instructors could chime in on best practice for charging students before I leave my current flight school. I’m close to finishing up and want to avoid making big changes but I don’t know if I can afford to stay at my current school.
I'm not trying to be a dick, but your instructor charged you for dual and he was not in the airplane with you? I've never heard of that anywhere I've done flight training. And as far as charging you the full 3 hours, it sounds like they are ripping you off. I would ask one of the higher ups at the place you are training.
 

Freightshaker

Well-Known Member
I'm not trying to be a dick, but your instructor charged you for dual and he was not in the airplane with you? I've never heard of that anywhere I've done flight training. And as far as charging you the full 3 hours, it sounds like they are ripping you off. I would ask one of the higher ups at the place you are training.
You are correct sir, I get that feeling too, prices have started to go up with my new instructor as well. He’s a “nice” guy, but I believe he’s over charging. I just wanted to consult with people who have been through the training and have also instructed. I think I’m just going to leave the school and follow one of my older instructors to his new shop. But I understand that could be a can of worms as well. There’s a lot of drama at my current school, I’ve stayed because they’ve been affordable for the most part.
 

B767

Well-Known Member
Maybe things have changed in 16 years, but I was never charged instructor fees while soloing. Nor did I charge as an instructor when a student soloed.
 

srn121

Well-Known Member
There’s a lot of drama at my current school, I’ve stayed because they’ve been affordable for the most part.
I haven't followed your progress, but if you're on your 4th instructor at 30 hours your probably going to end up taking more time than you'd think. A bad instructor can always lowball the amount of hours he thinks you'll need and continue to inflate it as if you're only one or two lessons from a signoff. Unless you've stretched this out over a long time that many instructors isn't a good sign at all unless you personally opted to or had a very difficult schedule to work with. I think the national average for ppls is closer to 60, but I may have made that up.
 

srn121

Well-Known Member
Maybe things have changed in 16 years, but I was never charged instructor fees while soloing. Nor did I charge as an instructor when a student soloed.
I can't remember if I was billed for it, but on my first solo my CFI stood out on the ramp with a handheld radio so I wouldn't have a problem with being billed, unless it was a solo cross country then I'd just expect to be billed for ground before hand reviewing my flight planning and a bit after.
 

Freightshaker

Well-Known Member
I haven't followed your progress, but if you're on your 4th instructor at 30 hours your probably going to end up taking more time than you'd think. A bad instructor can always lowball the amount of hours he thinks you'll need and continue to inflate it as if you're only one or two lessons from a signoff. Unless you've stretched this out over a long time that many instructors isn't a good sign at all unless you personally opted to or had a very difficult schedule to work with. I think the national average for ppls is closer to 60, but I may have made that up.
This has been a year long saga, I have a tough schedule with work. I’m trying to get this PPL knocked out and decide how I’m gonna finish the rest of it. So that’s the reason for multiple instructors. I feel pretty confident with my flying though.
 
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