Real Answers from Real Pilots

Woman as a Pilot Questions

(daisy caez) #1


I have a few questions regarding pilot life.

  1. Pilot Shortage? Is this the truth? If so does this mean you get to limb the ladder “sonority” faster?
  2. How bad is your schedule/base when you first get hired on?
  3. When you are on reserve how long does it last before you can start picking your schedule?
  4. Commute? What if you don’t want to live where your base at? How hard does that effect your life? I live in Springfield, MO 65804.
  5. Average starting pay?
  6. When you start off as a pilot you usually work for regional airlines right? What would be the closes ones for me? Springfield, MO



Please take a look around the forum, especially the FAQ section as much of what you asked is answered there. Then please feel free to come back with your remaining questions.




As Chris said, check the FAQs but for a couple of quick answers to a few of your questions:

  1. Absolutely. Simply visit the recruiting websites of any Regional and you’ll see how real the shortage is. I’m the past we pilots were begging just for an interview, now they’re begging us. I get emails daily with offers.

  2. Bad is a subjective term. When I was hired I was so excited I didn’t care what my schedule was like. You’re schedule won’t necessarily be bad but chances are it won’t be what you want so that could seem bad. If you look at my last schedule post I was complaining about being used and abused but after I posted I realized it wasn’t that bad. Def expect to be working holidays and weekends.

  3. Really depends on movement at your airline. Could be weeks, could be months, could be years. That said again things are really good now so it shouldn’t be more than a few months, BUT know it could be.

  4. There are hard commutes and there are easier commutes. Depends where you’re commuting from and where you’re commuting to. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve never had to and every pilot I know who does has at least a few nightmare stories. You can also count on losing days off for the commute every month.

  5. See FAQs.

  6. Check under domicile.


(daisy caez) #4

Hi Adam,

Thank you so much for extra information. I am overwhelmed with all the information to research.

Would you know the following information:

  1. Does Springfield, MO have a base for regional airlines?
  2. How long did it take you to finally start picking the schedule you wanted such as Christmass off etc?



To my knowledge there are not any airlines with pilot bases in Springfield, the nearest would probably be MCI and it would be limited at that.

It can take several years to get the kind of schedule you are talking about, but it is impossible to put a hard number on it as so much can change and affect this.




I believe Chris is right on both questions. There are no Regionals based in SGF so you would be commuting if you stay. As for holidays you can’t put a time on that but I’d say easily we’re talking years (unless you bid Reserve). Honestly I stopped even trying.


(daisy caez) #7


What would you rate your overall stress rate with this job? At home and during work? Do you take work home with you?



The job certainly has its stressful moments, but I wouldn’t say that it is too much. From time to time, emergency situations can pop up that might seem stressful, but with proper training they are easily managed in a calm and cool manner.

There is very little take home work with this job other than occasionally studying manuals or completing online training.




Different people handle and get stressed from different things. First let me say one of the greatest benefits of being a pilot (in my opinion) is the fact we don’t take our work home with us, ever. You park the plane and you are done. There’s no homework and no reports (unless you messed something up). The only time you’ll really do anything at home is once a year for recurrent training as most airlines do much of the training online vs having you come in to class.

As for the on the job stress that can be a different matter and that really depends on you. If you Google “most stressful jobs” airline pilot is always on the list but honestly I’ve never understood that. I’m not an “adrenaline junky” nor a thrill seeker and I’m not trying to sound “macho”. Flying is my “happy place” (I actually got a Samsung Gear watch last year and it’s got a built in HR monitor. Fun fact my HR is lowest when I’m at work). Not to get overly philosophical but life is stressful. Family, finances, relationships are hard, flying is very simple by comparison. You’ve been trained and know how to operate your equipment. You have a flight plan that tells you exactly how to get from A to B. Even if something breaks we’ve been trained and we have procedures. Again I never really understood the stress? That said again people are different and I have seen pilots respond “inappropriately” (ie, get OVERLY excited when something doesn’t go as planned). Only you know your personality and how you respond to these type of situations (or maybe you don’t and will find out).


(daisy caez) #10


You and Chris are such great guys. I love your perspective and honest answers.

Now for a hard question. Some say this and some don’t but…would you say being a pilot effects your personal relationships? Opinions? Thoughts? Life experiences? And by all means… no pilot needs to answer this.



I think whatever job a person does effects their relationships to some degree. That said flying isn’t the average gig and does offer some unique challenges, or benefits depending on your perspective. Obviously the big one is we travel. Some see that as potentially problematic (particularly if there are trust issues), for others it affords some space. In the beginning, before a pilot has built some seniority there’s the weekends and holidays issue. If you have an understanding partner it’s not a problem, if not is can be. Thing is (at least in my mind) that sums up any relationship. If your partner is understanding and supportive it’s all good, if not it doesn’t matter what you do, the relationship will suffer.




Any job will have an effect on relationships, including this one. Being a pilot does involve a lot of time on the road, but it also offers a fair amount of time off. I have used that time to spend serious quality time with my children and take them places that they would not otherwise be able to go to. Keep in mind that plenty of other jobs require extensive traveling as well. At the end of the day, it is really what you make of it.


(daisy caez) #13

Hi boys,

Adam and Chris…this gal is officially starting her pilots career this summer. I started off in the Radio/TV world (as the director of operations) and then business ventures and now look at me…becoming a pilot at 29 years old. This is the best mid-life crisis (joke).

Thank you gentleman for answering my questions (even those you guys already answered) means a lot.


Daisy Caez

Ps: if I have more questions il harass you some more.



Congratulations on choosing a start date. Let us know if you have any questions along the way.


(daisy caez) #15

Hi guys,

Just wanted to drop in photos of my aviation beginning


Pretty cool. Thanks for posting.

(Ray Thomas) #18

where is this FAQ section. I can not seem to be able to find it?

(Tory) #19