Monday, October 29, 2012

Five years later

Today is my official 5 year anniversary of being at my airline.

I still remember sitting in my office chair at home back in March 2006 playing Microsoft Fight Simulator. In front of me was a flying magazine opened to an ad for All ATPs.

At the time I was working for a software company making decent money, but I wasn't happy. I had just changed jobs as my previous job was fixing computers in the retail field. It was me, a tool box and a work van (actually a Pontiac Aztek!). I wasn't happy at all. That job was supposed to be temporary. I got it after being laid off as a teacher in 2001. Four years later I was still there. The move to the software company was supposed to be a step up to a more professional job.

It was more professional...but I wasn't happy. Heck I was miserable.  My wife knew it

Anyway back to sitting in that chair.

My wife walked in and asked what I really wanted to do. I told her I wanted to fly.

She said then go fly. I told her it was just too expensive.

She said to either go fly or shut up about it and that she would help pay the way.

In May of that year I went up for my first flying lesson.

It's been a bumpy 5 years.

I've been up...I've been down...both physically and emotionally.

I flown all around this country, Canada and Mexico.

I've landed in 30 knot+ direct crosswinds that challenged all of my abilities.

I've flown with Captains that taught me a thing or two about flying and the industry....both good and bad.

I've been awake for 20+ hours and been so tired that I didn't remember landing....or what city I was in.

I've lost count of the number of hotel rooms I've stayed in....but I do know The Hyatt Place and Doubletree hotels are my favorite.

I've taken my family to all four corners of the United States, Hawaii, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Germany, and the Caribbean.....for next to nothing. My wife and I have traveled in First Class seats that normally cost $5,000 and paid just $200.

Hopefully 5 years from now I will be at a major airline....or at the least a Captain at my own.

Finally a quote from an episode of Louie which had Joan Rivers as a guest star.

This is Joan Rivers talking to Louie about the comedy industry....but it fits many other jobs including flying:


"Listen.  I wish I could tell you it gets better. but it doesn’t get better.  You get better.  You think it’s been easy? I’ve gone up, I’ve gone down.  I’ve been bankrupt. I’ve been broke.  But you do it. And you do it because…because we love it more than anything else. That’s why you’re doing it.  You want a real job, honey, there’s a million things you can do.  But what we do is not a job…sounds so stupid…what we do…is a calling , my dear.  We make people happy.  It’s a calling."




  1. Congrats on 5 years! I really love reading your blogs. I currently feel the way that you did back in 06. I'm in my early 30s, I currently work a dead end job, but I very much would love to fly commercially. I got my private license last year, started working on the instrument, logged half the required x country, passed the instrument written, and ran out of money. Of course other financial obligations and my lack of large income has prevented me from continuing on with my flight training. I am aggressively looking for another job that pays better so that I can continue on with my training. Until then, I continue to play Microsoft Flight Sim, watch youtube videos on airplanes, read your blog, and figure out how to make this happen. Reading your posts are not only an interesting day to day look into the airline industry, but they're also inspiring for low time pilots like myself to keep pursuing this dream.

  2. Congratulations on five years. At the end of ten... who knows; the world may have stopped flying - or you could be a very senior flyer. In today's (pilot) market, some savvy FOs are staying at the regionals as a career choice, especially some slightly older pilots. (Starting over - again - at forty may not be a great choice...) In any case, congratulations and best wishes. Your posts are much enjoyed! -C.

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