Real Answers from Real Pilots

"Waaaaa, I was only going to make $50k my second year"


If any of you were wondering why I get cranky every now and then it’s things like this little gem I came across.

Staying At The Regional Level
(Erik) #2

I had the same thought from the video, and wanted to remind the fellow that perspective and preparedness play a large role in how one experiences anything. To his credit he puts out very well edited flying videos on his YouTube channel, but I think his critique of the airline life is a bit one sided.


What a loser. Yes, sometimes it can be a bit rough in the beginning, but a Captain at a major airline can easily make $300,000 per year, but you have to pay some dues (which aren’t even that bad) to get there.



His opinion is his opinion and he’s entitled to it. That said in order to fly for a Regional you must be 21. That means you’re an adult. You can vote, drink, join the military, have a family etc etc etc. One of the reasons this site exists is to help people decide if this career is for them. Every one of his complaints are commonly known through out this industry and we don’t try and sugar coat anything. It’s called “due diligence”. If he didn’t do his research than shame on him. More important he did say there were many things he liked (the travel, the flying, the equipment and crews) BUT there were also things he didn’t like. Well I’m terribly sorry that EVERY aspect of this career isn’t absolutely perfect. It’s called life.

Oh and btw, don’t like commuting? Then don’t.



I was thinking about this more, this guy complains about his wage at length, but what he is failing to consider is that he was at the lowest level of the airline industry, essentially an apprentice. One can only expect to make so much when they aerie brand new to an industry and on top of that $50k your second year is actually pretty decent for an entry level position in any industry. In contrast to this, my girlfriend has a Master’s Degree, has been teaching for thirteen years, and makes $50k.

His outlook is very short sighted. I hope he enjoys being a CFI in ten years when all of his buddies are making bank and flying to Rome and Paris.

(Daniel ) #6

This is speaking the truth, Chris.

(Andrew Lopez ) #7

@Adam @Chris if his hours are duty are 12.5 why is he only getting paid for 6?



Because pilots only get paid for actual flight time. If you’ve got a long “duty” day with long breaks or delays, you’re only get paid per diem ($2-3hr) while you’re sitting but again you’re really only getting paid for flight time.


(Peter Banning) #9

The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced this entire thing was a publicity stunt for his YouTube channel and Flight Instruction business. His channel has over 4,000,000 views. He makes some decent income from that alone.

He seemed to be a little wishy washy about the income aspect. Surely he knows how big of a payday he had coming to him in a just few years when he gets to a major. He then goes on to mention that he’s going to spend the next 10 years “living” - presumably spending a lot of money and not making a ton - and he doesn’t care if he has to work until the day he dies.

I appreciate the candid review of his life as an airline pilot, but he’s either incredibly short sighted and didn’t do any research prior to joining PSA, or he has a different motive all together. He’s clearly an intelligent person who has spent a ton of time and effort on his Flight training videos, which makes me think there must be more to it.



You may very well be correct and if that’s the case then kudos to him for getting the attention and creating a method by which he can live the lifestyle he desires without working. I’m not completely sure that’s entirely the case.

Years ago when I was hired at ExpressJet I was down right giddy! (I still am). I was a first year FO at a Regional (basically the lowest man on the totem pole) BUT I was an airline pilot! This was the culmination of a ton of work and sacrifice but it was also the realization of a dream. The dream not only to fly BUT to get paid doing something I love (the secret of life IMHO). After I had upgraded and had the opportunity to fly with many new FOs. I would always ask how it was going? Happy? etc. and sadly, far too often I was given responses like “it’s ok”, “not as great as I expected” and my FAVORITE “it’s a job and it kinda sucks”. Now I’m not going to blame these responses on youth, the generation, or even expectations. No, I don’t think that’s it. What I think is it’s many new pilots have no point of reference.
Here’s a typical exchange"
Me: Hmmm, so what did you do before this?
New Peckerhead: I was an instructor
Me: and before that?
NP: I was in school
Me: So you never had a REAL job
NP: (all pissy and defensive) flight instructing is a real job!
Me: No, it’s what you did to get here, not to feed your family or put food on your table.

You see the guys on the ramp throwing bags in the snow in the winter and 100+temp in the summer. That’s a lousy JOB. Working 9-5 in an office, factory etc, day in and day out, doing the same thing looking at the same 4 walls, that’s a lousy JOB. I could go on but you get the idea. I actually believe that you should have to work ANY other REAL job for at least 2 years simply to give a person some perspective and some point of reference before becoming a pilot (obviously that can’t happen but I can dream). Is this job perfect? No but compared to EVERY other job I’ve had (or can think of) it’s pretty darn close. But I suppose compared to sitting on mom’s couch blogging or playing X-Box it is work and does require some responsibility and I guess that is kind of lousy :wink:

Btw, no one has mentioned his cutting short his preflight because he needed food. You don’t cut corners on this job and if that means delaying a flight you do but this guy wants sympathy or an award for it. That of course requires being prepared to stand up and say so vs trying to keep your head down or heaven forbid doing a little better planning.


(Tony) #11

I watched that video just hours after he posted it and couldn’t believe he walked away from his position with the regional. Especially after watching the video of him starting the job and talking about why he chose the regional he did (had several offers) I don’t blame him for taking the road less traveled by, if that’s where his heart is. It’s the “new peckerheads”:rofl: who are currently sitting right seat on a regional and complaining about it that makes me roll my eyes. Many of us older peckerheads are 10-20 years into a job, career, owning a business and thinking about how to liquify any equity, assests or savings we have to get into flight school to pusure the aviation dream…and in the meantime, watching these youtube aviatiation and flying videos lol :roll_eyes:

(Jeremy Headrick) #12

Yes!!! What he said about these new peckerheads. Sounds like he just needs to plan a little better and he would be good to go. Plus how he get based in Charlotte as a new FO?

(Don) #13

He makes the comment, “I can always go back to the airline”. SMH.



The really sad part is in today’s environment he’s right. A few years back he would have had a hard time getting hired again but today the demand is great. That said he’ll never regain his seniority and while he may be making money and having a grand old time I’m willing to bet he’ll be kicking himself later. He’s not the first pilot to decide the Regionals aren’t for them and try another route. EVERY one I’ve ever met regrets it daily.




I visited Mr Peckerhead’s website and I believe you’re correct. Being an airline pilot is far too much work and he was hoping for some free advertising for his website. Again that’s his decision, I wish him well and I’m also glad the chances of me being locked in a cockpit with him has gone down dramatically :slight_smile:


(Peter Banning) #16

Adam, that was going to be my next point… I’m sure every pilot he would have been working with is THRILLED to not have to be trapped in a cockpit with him if he was truly that miserable and so bad at planning ahead that the “line at Starbucks” had him stressing out about how he was going to be able to eat. :rofl:

(Michael Taft) #17

I have served 9 years in the Navy doing some pretty awesome things and some not so great things. I’m now working a desk job, staring at a computer screen day after day, and all I can say is this guy is nuts! A real good case of PPP (Piss Poor Planning). I’m with Adam when it comes to aviation. To be able to fly an aircraft and get paid to do it with an office view that tops any CEO in the country (besides those CEOs with a G5 and fly it :stuck_out_tongue:) is by far the ultimate job (in my perspective of course). There is always the “nitty-gritty” when working with ANY company.

I’m starting my journey to that right seat next year with ATP and I’m looking forward to fly with those who enjoy aviation as much as I do. If they don’t. I think I may have to give them a good “talkin” too. :wink:

(Joshua Molleur) #18

I’m glad I’m not the only one that raised an eyebrow at this. I respect Jon and have used his program and videos during my flight training and learned a lot from them. However when I listened to his complaints I couldn’t help but shake my head and think that he didn’t do enough homework regarding the job or industry, and he needs to take some notes from Dave Ramsey and learn to budget! I’m 6 years into a career and just now making about $50k a year, and I’m really doing ok. I know getting into the aviation business is a long road and I will likely take a cut for a while, but eventually it will be worth it. I have dreamed of the day I get paid to do what I love for a long time, and don’t understand those that seem to under appreciate the position. Compared to 20-30 years ago, when a new regional pilot was lucky to see $30k their first year, I think we’re doing ok and have definitely made improvements.

I read other forums full of gripes and complaints, and all I can think is that it’s perhaps the modern millennial generation expecting everything for nothing, or just people who have been around aviation for so long, they lost sight of what makes the job so special.

(Elias Zwillenberg) #19

You’re looking at it all wrong, Sir. From my perspective this is exactly the kind of guy we don’t want in the cockpit of a passenger plane. When you’re looking for a financial adviser and stock broker get a guy who’s motivated by money. When you’re looking for a pilot look for a man or woman who is motivated by keeping everyone on board happy, healthy, on time and calm.

Before I even knew what money was I was on a flight from EWR to SFO on Continental airlines (yes, I have three grey hairs) and the flight attendant asked me if I wanted to see the cockpit. Hell. Yes. I. Did. Didn’t hurt that my stepfather was an aerospace engineer, but that thing looked cooler than the USS Enterprise and the pilots just looked like the most put together guys I’d ever seen and all smiles. The captain gave me a little toy airplane and the copilot gave me those cheesy wings. I still have them somewhere. That’s when I decided I wanted to fly. I don’t mind telling you they wouldn’t let me at that point, something about not being able to reach the rudder. Pff, whatever.

I’ve been waiting a month now to get my medical cert letter and I’ve had plenty of time to think about it and I can honestly say that if I were only going to make 50k a year for the rest of my life I’d rather do it in a cockpit than behind a desk or in a field or orchard. Not that I won’t fight for every extra penny, but the true and honest fact is that I could right now move to Thailand or Guatemala or Trinidad and veg out like a bum and date college girls and eat like a king for the rest of my life and never work again and I still get excited thinking that in about two year I’ll be the guy giving some kid a toy airplane that makes them look up at the sky and say, “someday,” whenever they hear a jet engine.

Well. Someday is sooner than later.


Continental Airlines, taking me back to my roots :slight_smile: