The life of an airline pilot! Is it worth it?

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RANCID
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The life of an airline pilot! Is it worth it?

Post by RANCID » Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:05 am

I made this thread to get the “real deal” on the life of an airline pilot. I want honest answers.

I know for a fact becoming an airline pilot can have many, many benefits. Let’s see, well you get a high salary, you could find yourself spending the night in Paris, you can go places and see places that people have to pay for and sometimes don’t have enough time to see. I know the benefits but I also know some downfalls.

First off I know it’s very expensive to become a pilot….anywhere! Lots of other things like actually getting the job, seeing your family rarely, etc.

Here are some questions I have….

- Is it really a dangerous career?

I know the statistics but what if something goes wrong? What are the chances of an engine failing, because on an airplane if something goes wrong that takes time to fix, you may not have all that time. It’s also hard convincing my parents that I want to become a pilot when it’s usually rated one of the top 10 dangerous careers almost everywhere? How can I convince them it isn’t (if possible)?


- What are the chances of being hired by an airplane and getting that paycheck to live on?

One thing I read almost everywhere is the “getting in” part. What if you don’t get in? Then what? Airlines can’t hire millions of people and I’m guessing tons and tons of qualified people are applying every year, which makes it that much more difficult. I don’t want to be a 38 year old just getting into a company like Delta and wait 12 more years on top of that become a captain at 50. Then I have only a couple years before retirement. Do you really have to have grey hairs before you get to become a captian? If ever?


- The schedule?

It’s always nice to explore the world but without your family it can take a toll. How long do you spend living in the air? How often do you get to see your family.


- Relocation relocation relocation?

Say I live in Toronto and my dream job lives in Orlando, do I have to move. Do airlines really have people relocate everywhere or else they don’t get the job?

These are questions I’m itching to have answered and I want the real deal as I want to make my decision soon. I love flying but I also love a lot of other things, like seeing my family often and not having to live in an unknown city just to put food on the table. Thanks once again……..

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a little food for thought...

Post by groundsquirrel » Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:52 am

A little food for thought. It doesnt have to be an airline. There are also corporate and charter pilots that have a little more routine in their lives.
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Post by Exxman » Thu Jun 30, 2005 6:50 am

Being a pilot, commercial or private is a lot less dangerous than...let's see...being a musician.

You see, all jobs or professions carry with them a degree of danger and require sacrifice. It's up to the individual's choice in what they want out of life and how they expect to achieve it. I toured a lot, spent tons of money on making music (more than I did going to college/university for sure) and put myself in some pretty dangerous situations almost all of the time. Driving for 52 hours straight in snow piled up 3 feet, icy roads, rain, wind. Then there are the occupational hazards and whatnot. Would I do it again?? You BET! I love it and can't do without it. So...your choice. If you want to be a pilot, then you have to make sacrifices and bite the bullet now and then. Lots of jobs require that so ours is no different. The goal is to try and put enough cash together to retire on and not worry about anything anymore. It's not the destination that is important...more the journey.

Whatever path you choose, try to do what you love doing and try to get paid for it!!

Exx

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Post by Max » Thu Jun 30, 2005 8:50 am

  • How safe is it? - the safety aboard an aircraft you're flying is mostly up to you. How good are you with your copilot, how well do you know airplane systems (hardware), how thoroughly you check the maintenence reports, and how do you approach a situation; Because that is usually how an emergency appears, either you and your copilot are bad in coordination and you lack communication, or some faulty maintenence, or you simply approached a situation as simple as Fuel Imbalance and made it a lot worse. But again, if you(and your parents) saw every single car crash that happened in your Country only, convincing them how dangerous that is wouldn't be a problem. The problem isn't that it is dangerous, the problem is that it is lethal. If you run off a road in your car, you will probbably get your car damages and maybe a few bumps on the head (unless you drive off a clif), but if you run off a runway with a jet, you will get killed mich easilly.
  • Chances to get a job? - Again, it can really vary from country to country. In the States you probbably won't get a job with AA or PAN AM right after finishing education, but again, there are so many airline companies (small charter or tour companies) that are looking for people just like you. Young, ambitious, willing to make a sacrifice for their goal in life....
  • Shedule? - This is a question nobosy can answer actually. It can be really variable. Carriers like Delta have routes over the Atlantic, and over to China, Japan.... and those flights do take time, and a pilot that is stuck with a rouse such as that will ive more in the air then on the ground.
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Post by Fettler » Thu Jun 30, 2005 5:29 pm

Hey Exxman, I am a full time musician too. I appreciate that my job carries advantages and disadvantages, but danger? (then again, electrics + water + human conductor= danger I suppose!)

You are right though in making a link between the worlds of airline pilot and musician. Both require lots of dedication, practice, commitment and sacrifice. If you can't put the effort in then don't do it.
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Post by Pilotwannabe » Thu Jun 30, 2005 6:14 pm

The level of saftey I guess can partly depend on the pilot. If an engine goes it could be fatal, as it was with the 2 "test pilots" that took their RJ up to the service ceiling at 41k and both engines went out, they couldn't get them started. Then again, have you ever heard of the Gimli Glider? Both engines on a 767 went out, couldn't get them started (no fuel) and they landed it safely, with the only injuries coming from going down the escape slides. If you haven't I suggest you read about it, it's very inspiring.

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Post by michaelcraddock » Thu Jun 30, 2005 6:20 pm

Where can we find that storey mate?

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Post by Pilotwannabe » Thu Jun 30, 2005 6:39 pm


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Post by livin737 » Thu Jun 30, 2005 6:47 pm

you can find a daily life as a pilot at www.jetcareers.com
that answers schedule

how safe is it??

i saw a magazine recently and it said the chances of
having a plane crash is about 5~10%
but usually mechanical faliures
rarely human errors

there was a article about a plane that
was approaching the gate slowly but
it wouldn't stop, the plane just kept
on going so eventually the plane
hit the terminal and pretty good damage was
given to the plane and building!!!

to me flying airplane is a pretty safe job but really stressful
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Post by wheelright » Thu Jun 30, 2005 9:09 pm

the chances of having a plane crash is about 5~10% but usually mechanical faliures rarely human errors
Are you sure about that? I believe that human error accounts for a larger percentage of crashs.

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Post by livin737 » Thu Jun 30, 2005 10:52 pm

yes i am shure
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Post by wheelright » Fri Jul 01, 2005 12:16 am

Are you absolutely, positively, beyond a mearest shadow of a doubt sure about that? :)

Hint: Do a Google on "Nall Report".

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Post by 7e72005 » Fri Jul 01, 2005 1:04 am

Well I don't mean to brag but I'm taking flight lessons and I'd say it can be dangerous. Like sometimes an unexpected failyur can happen or your plane could be highjaked ect. But you will also have to work some late hours. On the other hand you do get to see great places and if you really like your job then your in good shape too. But first befor you go hopping on a plane thinking that you'd like it I have some flight lessons first so you don't spend all you money.
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Post by 7e72005 » Fri Jul 01, 2005 1:07 am

having a plane crash is about 5~10%
Well I wouldn't say that because shoure crashes rairly happen but when they do almost everyone dies. And mabey faylers are human error most of the time but thats not stoping you from a sudden death! :roll:
Well thats my word in it for now.
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Post by livin737 » Fri Jul 01, 2005 1:50 am

sorry but i shouldn't have put crashes
it should be like anything goes wrong, plane gets damaged,
something like that

mostly mechanical errors i say or nature thats a big one we missed
but is that part of human errors

like say there was crosswinds, the plane landed but
the tip of the wing hit the ground and that tip broke off

would that be human errors or nature's fault????
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Post by wheelright » Fri Jul 01, 2005 1:00 pm

According the the 2003 Nall Report, about 76% of all fatal and non-fatal AC accidents were attributed to "pilot error". Only about 15% were attributed to mechanical failure and 9% to "other" causes (whatever that is).
like say there was crosswinds, the plane landed but
the tip of the wing hit the ground and that tip broke off

would that be human errors or nature's fault????
That would be human error. A pilot should be able to handle landing in a crosswind. If the crosswind is too high for a particular AC or the pilot is not confident, he/she should make the judgement to either request a more appropriate runway or divert to another airport.

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Re: The life of an airline pilot! Is it worth it?

Post by abdullah1980 » Tue Jul 19, 2005 7:25 am

RANCID wrote:IIt’s also hard convincing my parents that I want to become a pilot when it’s usually rated one of the top 10 dangerous careers almost everywhere? How can I convince them it isn’t (if possible)?
Yes Dude, Same happend with me, I couldn't make my mother agree to let me join the pilot courses.. I waited for 2 years before joining the degree college because I was hoping that she will change her mind ..but no success.

Now I am 25 years old & working in petrochemical plant as SAP Basis Consultant & earning a good $money$... but whenever I flying my Airbus A-340 in FS2004 I am feeling that flying is my right place not a huge room with Dell servers.

& talking about dangour, personaly , I prefer die when flying my aircraft & doing what I love than in my comfortable bed .

Guys ... If you got the chance to be a pilot & you love flying then just do
it... chance never comes twice...

Thank you all....

747-4Captain

Flying as a Career

Post by 747-4Captain » Thu Dec 29, 2005 2:34 am

Before considering a career as a pilot consider the following;

I have been flying commercially for 35 years and a number of my friends and associates have been killed on the job. Being cognizant of this as a career issue just shows good sense. Let us not forget that fellow United pilot Jason Dahl was among the many pilots and flight crew members and passengers killed 9-11-01. I have lost fellow pilots in my Navy A-7 squadron, in the corporate world and in the majors, and have had a few close calls myself. Consider that to get to the hiring stage you will be doing your most dangerous flying, both because the aircraft are limited, sometimes indifferently maintained, (Let me tell you about the ball peen hammer my mechanic found in the tail of my Cessna 152 Aerobat sometime) and because, let's face facts, you have yet to know what you're doing.

You, like medical doctors, you are going to spend a great deal of your life and somebody's money before you get the big airline job. If you are not now well under 30, my advice is to see if you can get into nursing school. Many, many of my co-pilots will retire before I do because they were unlucky enough not to have fallen into an airline job that hasn't gone bye-bye since deregulation.

So, if you are young enough, smart enough, lucky enough, healty enough and, I'm taking it for granted here that you will work your ass off for 10+ years, you cannot imagine doing anything else you may have a shot. As for me, I'm glad I did it, but then I did and was all those things and then some.

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Post by planesmart2 » Thu Dec 29, 2005 2:52 am

I belive it is worth being a pilot, but its alot of work. Its great when you get to tell people you are a pilot, they treat you like a super star, so is it worth it? You bet. 8)

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Re: The life of an airline pilot! Is it worth it?

Post by Archoes » Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:55 am

A pilot career turns out to be dangerous when one neglects to take all precautions. There are sites that tell how important to have a sufficient sleep a day before the flight. This should be strictly implemented. The health of the pilots is also at risk because of the exposure to the whole body scanners in the airports.
Last edited by Archoes on Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The life of an airline pilot! Is it worth it?

Post by harkonnen » Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:57 pm

yassir. Just ask 'Sully' about his interesting day on the Hudson river.
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Re: The life of an airline pilot! Is it worth it?

Post by rd » Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:48 am

harkonnen wrote:yassir. Just ask 'Sully' about his interesting day on the Hudson river.
Well done my good friend, well done.

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Re: The life of an airline pilot! Is it worth it?

Post by skipperdan » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:27 pm

Here is a link for a "Free Six Month Membership to "Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association" AOPA. You do not have to be a Pilot or Student Pilot to qualify for this offer.

https://flighttraining.aopa.org/apps/st ... bAod5X3qDA
I AM NOT A PILOT. I JUST LOVE AVIATION.

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...Attended two day class conducted by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center
...Completed training for Flight Line Marshall, Flight Release Officer, and Mission Radio Operator.

You should visit your local Civil Air Patrol Squadron and complete an application for membership.
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