Friday, July 6, 2012

Barely a 4 day

I start a 4 day today....kinda.

It's my only 4 day of the month. I have to report to the airport at 2:30PM. On Monday morning I am scheduled to walk off the plane at noon.

So I get most of the day off today and half the day off Monday...barely a 4 day.'s still 3 nights away from home.

The trip is worth 19 hours. It's a 3-2-2-3 trip. Each number is how many legs I will fly per day. Not too bad.

My daughter turns two next month. She gets smarter by the day.

She can pick up on the cues when I will be leaving on a trip. When I've been around for more than 2 days she gets clingy. She follows me room to room all day.

This used to bother me until I did some "pilot math".

The average middle class dad works 8-5 Monday thru Friday. He sees his kid from 6PM to maybe 8PM when the kid goes to sleep. The next morning the kid goes back to daycare.

I only work 3-4 days a week. Most of the time just 3 days. The other 4 days I see my kid all day long. True the regular dad is home every night, but I, using my pilot math, see my daughter more hours per week. keeps me happy.

There have been several articles lately about the impending pilot shortage and how pilots are a in a great position to make a lot of money. Hope it holds true. Though it doesn't really matter, it would be cool to make more money than my wife!

Finally, neat video of lightening striking an aircraft on the ramp.



  1. Do you think there really is a pilot shortage?  I a Private Pilot, about ready to ditch my IT career (cubicle).. almost 28 yrs old, and am well aware of the airline industry (crap pay at regionals, instructors, 1500 hour rule, etc)  I'm trying to justify the 50k in training.  I have money saved, but is it worth it do you think?  I love to fly and travel.. but I also have to make a living...

  2. It's a huge bet on the "pilot shortage". I think there will be a "pilots market" soon. As far as a shortage? Well it depends on how one defines shortage. Will there be two pilots on every flight deck of every US Airliner? Yes. Will the airlines be running thin on pilots with few spares? Probably. Will airlines go out of business because there aren't enough pilots? Doubtful.

    Here's my opinion of the impending "pilot shortage". This opinion is all based on my Bachelors of Arts in Photojournalism AND Sociology, 10 years works in IT, almost 5 years at an airline and the fact that I recently stayed the night in a Holiday Inn Express.

    I think the pool of ATP qualified applicants is going to be incredibly small. The cost (financial and physical) of attaining the experience to meet the ATP requirements are huge. The ROI for the $50K is going to be small for years. Consider that myself on year 5 pay (at a reputable airline) will make maybe $45K this year (including pay, per diem and such). Next year when I hit year 6 pay I might make $47-48K. Not a small sum...but not a lot either.

    First year pay at my airline is around $26K. It's a horrible bet of $50K to make $26K eh? But of course I'm in this for the long term. Long term projections have me making $65-$70K AT MY AIRLINE when I upgrade to Captain (I'm assuming in the next 2 years...but that's an assumption).

    When I go to a Major airline I'll make around $90K after the first year. First year pay at most Majors is really small. Second year pay is a huge jump.

    This is a fairly wishy washy post....but there are no real experts in predicting the future. There are lots of opinions, facts, and known truths that "experts" and arm chair...errr..flight deck pilots like myself formulate.

  3. Thanks for the input.  I would be in it for the long haul as well.  I can go a few years without making a lump sum  (Even though I prefer it wasn't that way, especially considering the fact that pilots are responsible for 1000's of lives every day.)  I just don't see myself working in IT forever.. The prospects of being on call 24/7 as a network engineer (which would be the next step in my career), working every week AND weekend for upgrades, patching, backups, repairs, etc. doesn't appeal to me.  Not to mention will I ever make 100k + in an IT job?  Could happen, but probably not likely.  I'm competing with a lot of people much smarter than I am, and much more dedicated.  Cloud computing is taking over, so lot's of small company IT jobs will be eliminated...  Tablet's are taking over laptops...  IT is becoming ever more buy, throw away (don't bother having someone around to fix) and vendor management.  So that's my dilemma.  I have no kids, I do have girlfriend, and I moved back home when my apartment lease expired (with intentions of getting a house, but will wait on that until stable again).  Fact of the matter is - I love flying, and I don't love fixing computer problems.  (I'll always love technology, but not being forced to fix a bunch of ungrateful rich peoples' self created problems.  I also hate the cubicle.  I'm burned out!)

    Thanks again!

  4. Great post as usual.  Interesting pilot math - and glad the numbers work out for you to be "present" in your daughter's life.  Nothing like it.
    The lightning strike video is fascinating.  There is a piece of debris that's ejected from the lightning exit point by the nosewheels, arcs through the air and lands to the left over by the baggage trucks.  Any idea what that is?


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