Paul_Havelka

Son wants to become a professional pilot

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Read with interest all the replies.  Very close to my experience with my son.  Here's the story:

Took his first flight at 16 when the local flight school Owner stopped at our table at lunch.  Invited him for a flight.  Upon landing he said "that's what I want to do".

Made a deal with him - I'll get you an airplane to get your time - you finish college in 4 years.  Bought a Grumman AA1B for $21,000.  He got his time, his ratings, and finished in 4 years.  Right after graduation got hired at American Med Flight.  Flew for 3 years.  Got hired for Lear 45.  Flew 45 and 75.  Flew for 3 years.  Last 2 years been Chief Pilot on Lear 60.

Several key items:

1.  Got his instrument rating early.

2.  Hand flew the Grumman for almost 500 hours.  Made him a great stick and throttle pilot - no autopilot.

3. Got his degree.

And ... sold the Grumman for a nice profit.

The education (BS Economics from UNR) was a big part in all the process.

Good Luck!

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One thing I've recently gleaned from pilots around me is that if you want to be home every night and live in a nice place far away from the big city, then working as a light-aircraft freight pilot (Cessna Caravan, Metroliner, etc) or fixed-wing medevac is the ticket. The pay scales at CSA Air Inc. (MAC-FedEx affiliate based out of KIMT) top out at about $85k/yr from what I heard. Not bad for making a few Caravan trips after a day of fishing, trapping, or hunting. Regardless, he would need the 1500hrs to get into these firms. One caveat is that I heard that CSA Air Inc frowns upon young aspiring pilots that quit in a heartbeat and screw up their operations. 

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2 hours ago, tigers2007 said:

One thing I've recently gleaned from pilots around me is that if you want to be home every night and live in a nice place far away from the big city, then working as a light-aircraft freight pilot (Cessna Caravan, Metroliner, etc) or fixed-wing medevac is the ticket. The pay scales at CSA Air Inc. (MAC-FedEx affiliate based out of KIMT) top out at about $85k/yr from what I heard. Not bad for making a few Caravan trips after a day of fishing, trapping, or hunting. Regardless, he would need the 1500hrs to get into these firms. One caveat is that I heard that CSA Air Inc frowns upon young aspiring pilots that quit in a heartbeat and screw up their operations. 

There are ways to be at home every night at an airline too. Bid day trips is one way.

Or bid WB FO short call and only be gone maybe 4 nights a month... in my case at least.

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There are ways to be at home every night at an airline too. Bid day trips is one way.
Or bid WB FO short call and only be gone maybe 4 nights a month... in my case at least.


But then they would have to live near a major metropolitan area. Commuting to work via airlines sucks. I do not know this personally but grew up with kids whose parents work for Northwest airlines and commuted to Minneapolis and they weren’t even pilots.

My point is that one can be a pilot and make a liveable wage yet live the free life in a remote area without the hustle and bustle of the big city. This seems to be more popular with younger folks today.


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My brother is a SWA Captain based in Denver. He lives on 37 acres about 50 minutes from the airport. And after 15 years at Southwest, he sure makes a good living, and works when he likes.

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Driving 50 miles? Traffic, crime, Oddball people, yuck.

I like being far enough away from a big city that the only way to reasonably get to one is by air on the rare occasions I must visit them.

Granted we still seem to have “the walking dead” (zombie methheads) in the little towns around my digs.


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32 minutes ago, tigers2007 said:

Driving 50 miles? Traffic, crime, Oddball people, yuck.

I like being far enough away from a big city that the only way to reasonably get to one is by air on the rare occasions I must visit them.

Granted we still seem to have “the walking dead” (zombie methheads) in the little towns around my digs.


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You using dial up?

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Me on the other hand, I like living in the city. The new place in Denver is walking distance from the city center. But then we like being around people, and interesting people are even better. We like being walking distance from any number of coffee shops, pubs, restaurants, etc. Once we're home, we can park the car and still go out and enjoy the great company of friends without ever getting in the car.

We were all of 3 miles from downtown Austin, and so in Denver we're a bit closer.

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So a little update to this. My son has decided to stay at home and work full time while going to school part time at the local community college and pay as he goes for his flight training. Our flight instructor has already offered to give him some work once he gets his cmel and is even offering to take him on some of his trips with him to get an idea what his type of commercial flying is like. My son and I have also been talking about what he should look for in a full time job and he is going to start hitting up all of the local fields to see if there are any A&Ps that might be looking for help. If he is able to get on with an a&p I told him that it is possible for him to end up becoming an a&p himself all while getting his different certifications to fly whatever it is that he wants. This would allow him a much broader scope of work in an industry where both pilots and mechanics are in dire need. He liked this idea as did I (I’m hoping he can become a Mooney expert and tinker on dad’s future plane with that “I raised you” discount )

Little $h!t is also likely to be going to OSH with our instructor as part of his birthday gift from the wife and I. What a way to turn 18. And hopefully he’s already a newly minted private pilot by then.


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1 hour ago, steingar said:

Best advice I could give the spawn of the OP is to marry wealth.

Wish I had done that!

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 The people are great the flying is still fun and you can get large groups of days off in a month  . If you can earn a living doing what you love to do then go for it. Getting paid to run away from home.

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+1 for working closely with a pilot.  Log the time when possible.

+1 for working closely with a mechanic.  Log the time when possible.

Some of the most Mooney knowledgeable people on MS are both.  You can see it in their signature lines...

Some MSers list all of the ratings they have... it takes time and effort to collect them all...

Some of the coolest MSers have a business... they are Mooney pilots, and mechanics, and have a maintenance shop... :)

Aim High!

Best regards,

-a-

 

 

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Welcome aboard, @creekratjr!

Visit early and often.

Ask questions.  Lots of them.

Post pics. Review them before posting... you will see why.

There are a few people learning to fly the first time around here...

The rest are still learning to fly, better....

Enjoy the hunt, or is it the battle?

Best regards,

-a-

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