Real Answers from Real Pilots

General Question

Im a little quiet on this form as i do not post much, so I decided to say something. My question is, is there another way to see if becoming an airline pilot is your true profession. Im 16, a junior in highschool, and ever since my childhood I wanted to be anything from a garbage man, to a police officer, in the army, doctor, etc. You name a profession, I probably wanted to be it. Now that im blessed to have found this career, I was just wondering if there another way to “confirm by belifs” besides and intro flight (which I have already taken). I just wanna make sure my mind is focused on this profession and not persuaded by another. Hopefully this makes sense.

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Melek,

Great question and I want to thank you. Everyday we get posts on here that say “I’ve never flown (or have flown once) but I KNOW I was born to do this job and I know I’ll be AWESOME at it!”. Drives me nuts. The truth is none of us know for certain. This wasn’t my first career or even my second. I’ve had quite a few until I found the one that fit. I’ve always been a firm believer in that you really need to LOVE to fly to do this job. Many people disagree. The fact is there are plenty of pilots that don’t and do well but they’re just as unhappy as someone working a 9-5 going nowhere. If you have no passion for something, no matter what it is, sooner or later it’ll get old. I recently saw a post on FB from an aviation group where somewhere said describe your job in 3 words. I instantly thought “My job’s awesome”, “Love my job” etc. I was really shocked at how many said the exact opposite. “Hate my job”, “Poor career choice”, “Scheduling owns me” etc. It’s all about perspective and expectations. For me as I said I love to fly and that’s all I wanted to do. The fact I get paid well to do what I love is amazing to me but I’m also realistic about the job. I just upgraded and I knew initially I’d be on Reserve. That’s how it works. My sim partner hasn’t stopped complaining about how unfair it is, he has to do early flights, bla bla bla. Again it’s all perspective and expectations.

As for you I’ve written a bunch but haven’t really answered your question. No one knows exactly what they should be doing until they’re actually doing it. Best you can do is read as much as you can about things that interest you (I think this forum is great for that). Ask questions, weigh the pros and cons and then make you best guess and try. Hopefully you’re right but if you’re not nothing is a life sentence. As I said I had many careers before I found the one that fit. Hopefully you’ll do better but I’ve also learned a lot and had a good life so I can’t complain.

Adam

Thank you sir for the response, When I was little I love to go on an airplane, but never thought of flying one, until a flight from miami to new york, that flight sparked my interest, after that, I looked up some videos, bought a simulator, it went from being a hobby, to it being a profession( i find listening to music connects me to being a pilot). I will continue to do my research on this profession, speak to pilots whenever I get on an airline and will see how it turns. I have 7 years until I even think about applying for an airline, so the benefit is that time is on my side. I really like what you guys, its very helpful, and happy to have found do on this forum, and continue to be active in it, and let you guys know what other questions I have

Melek,

When I was quite young I wanted to be a trashcan, too. I thought that the guys that got to hang off the back of the truck had the coolest job in the world, part of me still envies them and wants to get a ride someday.

As Adam said, the best thing you can do is to ask as many questions as possible and spend some time reading our “Flying the Line” section. If when the time comes you still are not completely sure, you could get your PPL before signing up for a fast track program like ATP’s.

Chris

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Thank you chris for your response. I will consider getting a PPL, problem is the expense, and the time for me to do it. I may just wait until im done with school and then do training. Good things comes to those who wait. So ill be patience. Thanks for the response

Melek,

I personally think that waiting until after college and then doing all of your flight training at once is the best approach. It offers a better chance of success.

Chris

I was looking for a good place to ask this somewhat random question so I figured “General Question” would do. Please forgive me if I seem dumb or ignorant for asking, but I was wondering, lets say a commuter can’t make it to base for their 4 day trip (assuming they made a good effort to get to work twice*), will the reserve pilot take the whole 4 day trip? Or does the line holder have to commute to whatever the destination of the first trip was?

Typically the reserve pilot will take the whole trip and the original pilot will begin reserve days themselves once they actually get to their base. Of course this all varies from one airline to the next.

Thanks Chris!