Leaving aviation

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garfield
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Leaving aviation

Post by garfield » Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:10 pm

Hi,

Does anyone of you ever tough of leaving aviation? I guess everyone did!

Is there anyone here who did it an was happy with his decision?
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Re: Leaving aviation

Post by ditar » Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:29 pm

I have often thought about it. But then I realize I like working only half the month and am not sure I would like to go back to a 9 to 5 job. I've been out of my original career for so many years that it would be an uphill battle to try get back into it. And with a mortgage and kids to feed retraining for something new isn't an option. I know I would miss flying most times too.
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Re: Leaving aviation

Post by YNYTS » Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:38 pm

I left aviation a few years ago. flew for 10 yrs before pulling the pin. gained a lot of experience, and just the thought of starting back at the bottom with a new company and a pay cut, flying a bigger machine just didn't do it for me. I left and never looked back, started a new career making 100K a yr to start, and now I just rent a plane and fly on my own terms. I work about half the month and make double what I was making flying, and I only spent about 25 nights away from the family.
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Re: Leaving aviation

Post by single_swine_herder » Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:42 pm

Yup, I thought about leaving aviation, and had solidly made my mind up that I'd had enough of travelling around the countryside as if I were living in a Gypsy Wagon while trying to get "the right kind of time, training, and experience" so I would no longer have to be working for criminals.

A couple of them had screwed me over far too many times. Although I was doing what I wanted to do since I was about 5 years old, I was done, done, done, with the business, almost killed myself a couple of times while trying to satisfy some scumbag operator who would have made more money if I were dead in the airplane.

I was going to go to university and become an Electrical & Electronics Engineer..... another childhood interest that should pay well enough that I could buy a nice Piper J-3 with wheels, skiis and floats and fly for fun on blue sky days.

That was about 35 years ago. I was just waiting for university applications to open up, and I was going to be gone.

Then came a lifeline with a life preserver attached that had been tossed by Transport Canada Inspector Dave Brophy, who told me of a great job, and recommended me for it.

From there on out, my career changed for the better, and because of that break, I continue to do what I've wanted to do since I was five.

Many people drop out along the way for many different reasons, some who stick it out never manage to find a decent situation regardless of what they do or who they know, some seem to do absolutely nothing but manage to grab the brass ring and live a charmed life.

If you look for justice in this business, or think it is like a chemistry lab demonstration experiment predictable outcome by getting the right mix of ingredients .... it ain't gonna happen.

People often ask me "when are you gonna retire?" My answer is that I retired when I was about 23, left my previous career, and started in aviation.

As the expression goes .... "your mileage may vary."

There is the story.

SSH

Edit ..... one of the best bits of advice I received was "Don't limit yourself to only flying airplanes. This is a big industry that needs good people and you can carve out a good living by finding what fits."
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Re: Leaving aviation

Post by DanWEC » Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:26 pm

YNYTS wrote:started a new career making 100K a yr to start, and now I just rent a plane and fly on my own terms. I work about half the month and make double what I was making flying, and I only spent about 25 nights away from the family.
Out of curiosity, do tell! Almost sounds like a spam email. ;)
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Re: Leaving aviation

Post by Meatservo » Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:29 pm

I don't know how to do anything else. :(
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Re: Leaving aviation

Post by complexintentions » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:15 pm

Ditto.

Besides, I have friends in a wide variety of professions and everyone pretty much thinks the grass is greener doing something else.

If you can't find a measure of enjoyment in being a pilot, fer feck's sake, you probably won't be terribly happy in some other job. Unfortunately most don't discover that until it's too late.

Human nature is the problem, not the job.

*rubs chin wisely, while nodding slowly*
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Re: Leaving aviation

Post by JBI » Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:35 am

I left and then returned to flying. After 4 years up north I left my airline on good terms to go to school. Two months after I left, they went out of business. I enjoyed school and stuck with it for another 4 and a half years getting a professional degree. I worked in an office for 5 years. Made great money, but while I was home most nights, really didn't have that much quality time off: I was answering emails on my honeymoon in Italy! I would work Monday to Friday usually 7 or 8 until 6 or 7 (or later) and usually go in one day a weekend (sometimes both). My wife and I figured we usually got one weekend home each month. Plus the thing was, although some of the work was interesting, most was pretty boring.

A couple of years ago the opportunity came up for me to return to flying. Although it's been a pay cut, I'm way happier. Not saying everyone should follow my lead, just commenting on my experience.
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Heliian
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Re: Leaving aviation

Post by Heliian » Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:53 pm

I was just considering that again today!

After being berated and constantly shit on by anyone with more "seniority" than me, being labeled "not a team player", working ridiculous hours at the last minute and then being told that after finishing at 0330 that I was lucky to get the following day off and should expect to work more on the weekend because of such, I certainly felt like getting out of this ridiculous business.

We should all be so lucky to be working for our respective employers as without them we would just be another idiot on welfare with no prospects :roll:

Licensed now for 15 years and fully fed up.

The only thing that keeps me doing this is the requirement to support my family but at some point the scales will tip and lifestyle will come before finances. I'm also stuck in a dead end job, unless there is a mass exodus of people with more seniority, I will never be allowed to fill any of the higher functioning roles.

I have a "dream job", but it's not my dream, somebody else's with less imagination.

But hey, the struggle will be the same no matter what industry right?

REALLY, the only way to find out if the grass is greener is to hop the fence and check it out.

Best of luck in all of your endeavors!
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Re: Leaving aviation

Post by xsbank » Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:05 pm

The ground worker had had a long day, dragging fuel hoses around, emptying cargo and baggage, filling up more airplanes, sliding on the wings trying to deice them, carrying barrels of oil and spilling hydraulic fluid on his jeans. The old captain, watching the young guy work his butt off, finally witnessed the hose popping off the sewage drain in the tail of an airplane, blue water and shit falling all over our hero. The captain couldn't help himself, he handed the guy a towel to wipe off his head and says "how much are you making doing this job? Can't be very much? Why don't you quit and find a real job?" The ground guy just stares at the Captain and says "what? Leave aviation?!"
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Re: Leaving aviation

Post by Deaner172 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:11 am

I always wanted to be a pilot.

When i was young i worked my but off on the oil rigs. I had my fill of being young and foolish. I was also tired of the ups and downs of the oil industry. My first year i was sad to see all that money i was loosing out by going to school. The second year the price of oil was cut in half. Most of my friends working on the oil rigs were out of work. Aviation has taken off in Canada.

Short answer try something else before you invest in aviation. You will appreciate flying more.
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Re: Leaving aviation

Post by Pat Richard » Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:19 am

Heliian wrote:I was just considering that again today!

After being berated and constantly shit on by anyone with more "seniority" than me, being labeled "not a team player", working ridiculous hours at the last minute and then being told that after finishing at 0330 that I was lucky to get the following day off and should expect to work more on the weekend because of such, I certainly felt like getting out of this ridiculous business.

We should all be so lucky to be working for our respective employers as without them we would just be another idiot on welfare with no prospects :roll:

Licensed now for 15 years and fully fed up.

The only thing that keeps me doing this is the requirement to support my family but at some point the scales will tip and lifestyle will come before finances. I'm also stuck in a dead end job, unless there is a mass exodus of people with more seniority, I will never be allowed to fill any of the higher functioning roles.

I have a "dream job", but it's not my dream, somebody else's with less imagination.

But hey, the struggle will be the same no matter what industry right?

REALLY, the only way to find out if the grass is greener is to hop the fence and check it out.

Best of luck in all of your endeavors!
WOW, sounds like somebody has come full circle. Wasn't too long ago a much different talking Helian was promoting aviation.
Heliian wrote:HA, don't be discouraged mon ami! Look outside the box and at the bigger picture of aviation itself. Just because air canada sucks doesn't meant that AME's are going the way of the dodo, there are many other sectors to work in like GA, military, helicopters and a hundred other small airlines. Hard work and attention to detail will set you apart from the rest and yes, you'll have to work in the salt mines to start but as you progress with your career things will get better. If you don't mind working up north, you can make upwards of a 100k after a few years, find yourself a nice local girl, settle down and retire to the bahamas early, only to go back to work a year and a half later because life is too good and you have nothing to complain about anymore. Good luck to you on your journey.

P.S. An E license can go a long way these days, but start with the M1 and don't waste your time/money on the EASA B.S. from bcit unless you plan on going to europe tomorrow. Most guys i meet over there want to come work in canada, the grass is greener I guess.
Heliian wrote: Yes, it will take a few years of hard work. my first apprentice gig was 25G's a year, first licenced 40g's, worked in the south for pretty much that. When I went to work up north, I was living there full time so technically I was always home, only a few tours a year into the bush and I met a really nice girl who had moved there too. I almost broke the sunshine club a couple of times but it required 14hr days, only 2 weeks off a year and busting my a$$. I grew sick of it after a couple of years and went back down south where I can expect to make about 75K a year. This is all in the helicopter industry but my buddies whom I went to school with who are now in fixed wing started off better but plateaued pretty quick, a couple of lucky guys got DOM and PRM jobs which pay a little better but it's more work. If you are big into aviation, go for it, it's rewarding and job satisfaction is high, you can travel the world and meet all types of interesting people along the way. As much reasearch you do and comments you read won't replace the real world experience, dive in head first, tough it out. Being an AME is much cooler than an auto mechanic or a desk/computer jockey or workin at McD's or the oil patch(yuck).

Good luck to you and if it doesn't work out, I'll have the royale with cheese! :)

Welcome to reality and the dark side.
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fish4life
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Re: Leaving aviation

Post by fish4life » Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:21 am

I find it ironic you joined aviation for stability.
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Re: Leaving aviation

Post by Heliian » Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:52 am

Yes pat, the struggle is real.

I had a rough day because I hate working for other people. It doesn't matter what industry.

My one bad day this week does not reflect on a lifetime of enjoyment.

Thanks for reminding me of my positive self though.

:P
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Re: Leaving aviation

Post by Troubleshot » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:26 am

Left aviation 5 years ago. I was an AME making $33/HR with 12 years experience and several large aircraft endorsements. I now work in renewables (Wind/Solar) and make a lot more money with better benefits...no night shifts, see the fam everyday, etc...

Don't get me wrong, I love airplanes...but I think I enjoy them more as hobby now than I ever did actually working in the industry. Some people don't like the 9-5 but I do, I started playing in a hockey league again, got back in touch with friends that I never used to see, home for my kids activities...man I could go on and on.

I guess it would have been a harder choice if I was taking a pay cut but when you luck out and make better money to boot...it was really a no brainer for me.

The transition was not really hard except for being really scary. I was scared because I was basically giving up everything I was good at and experienced with...not to mention I had a family to support. Anyway, that is my 2 cents.
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Re: Leaving aviation

Post by Pat Richard » Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:14 pm

Yeah, was a little shocked to read it. You most definitely wouldnt be the first one.

As for the topic at hand, from a mech's perspective, bail ASAP from this industry. I just had two fellow long time AME friends bail with more than 20 years each in experience.
I think the drivers tend hang on longer because potentially they can do well for themselves and they love flying/being a pilot.
i don't see that with very many mechs. Most after 10 plus years are happy when nothing is broken and just DI's are needed on a grave yard shift.
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Re: Leaving aviation

Post by Meatservo » Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:36 pm

I would say you're right. It's probably harder to give up when you're a pilot because you can remember when being in the air was so thrilling, you'd have almost literally done anything to be given a chance to do it. The lucky ones are the people who still feel that way about it, for some reason. But they are the ones who are the most easily taken advantage of. Same with the guys who love fixing stuff- I know a few engineers who felt the same way but it's rarer. Ususally the ones who hang on the longest are the ones who are in charge of some old crate that is on the verge of being retired, needs a bit of ingenuity and understanding to keep it going, and the engineers and pilots are all pals, hanging on for love of the machine itself. I've seen it happen.

Anyway, troubleshot, if you don't mind a bit of a segue, how did you get into the solar/wind racket? sounds fascinating. I have a friend who gave up teaching school in order to get into that line of work, but he's always been a bit enigmatic about how he got into it in the first place.
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Re: Leaving aviation

Post by Troubleshot » Tue Oct 25, 2016 5:44 am

I got into renewables basically by trying to figure out how my current skills/education could be easily transferred to a new industry. wind, solar, etc. is a fairly new industry and there isn't any real trade certification (yet) so I knew I wouldn't have to overcome that hurtle. The funny thing is my company is full of ex-aviation people, hell my CEO was evolved various VP roles at Beech, Bombardier, and Lockheed. Also, my boss was an A&P for years so he knew I could do it when he seen my resume come across his desk....he loves aviation people. The position I was hired for was Operations and Maintenance Manager and 5 years later I have been given two promotions, I am now the Regional Director for Canada, sounds fancy but basically I oversee all our assets in Canada and report to our office in the states.

The industry is interesting and it is neat to be apart of an advancing technology. I have personally been involved in the development of new turbine designs, which is very cool. I don't take credit for anything, I just offer up my suggestions to help increase reliability. The funny thing is you get noticed for exceeding expectations and rewarded. I was never (I repeat, never) even told "good job" in aviation....but there were plenty of times I deserved an "atta boy". Some people feel they don't need any "pats on the back" and I was one of them until I started to receive them, I was really surprised how much it made me want to push harder and really do my best...crazy I know.

I have no idea what renewables will look like in 20 years from now, but I am glad I am here. The advances in technology year over year is mind blowing.
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Re: Leaving aviation

Post by Meatservo » Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:03 am

That sounds awesome. Congratulations- I know what you mean about getting positive feedback once in a while.
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Re: Leaving aviation

Post by bizjet_mania » Sun Nov 06, 2016 6:46 pm

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Re: Leaving aviation

Post by trey kule » Mon Nov 07, 2016 12:12 am

Short answer try something else before you invest in aviation. You will appreciate flying more.
It may be a short answer, but from my experience in aviation, wise words.
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Re: Leaving aviation

Post by single_swine_herder » Mon Nov 07, 2016 6:16 am

trey kule wrote:
Short answer try something else before you invest in aviation. You will appreciate flying more.
It may be a short answer, but from my experience in aviation, wise words.
Yes .... as impossible as it may seem .... there are other jobs worse than those found in aviation.
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Re: Leaving aviation

Post by Smitty » Mon Nov 07, 2016 6:41 am

FWIW...I was laid off for about a year and I found out one thing...the real world sucked. In spite of all the industries downfalls I learned that there was way more upside and I came to appreciate the job more than ever.

Came back to work for a great company and haven't looked back.

Just my own experience.
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Re: Leaving aviation

Post by SuperchargedRS » Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:22 am

Nope, if you're thinking of leaving it, I'd wager you got into it without having your eyes wide open.

For me, no, but I have gotten into other side profession, some of which not aviation related, being a one trick poney ain't a good idea no matter what you do.

There are also, crazy talk here I know, non airline jobs which are quite nice.

I fly for a living, make good money, work every other week, single pilot in a great airframe (not a multi crew kinda guy), make a positive difference in people's lives, and am home every night, I also work out of the same airport I have my personal hangar at :mrgreen:

Besides right now would not be the time to leave, things are just starting to pick up over the last couple years.
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Re: Leaving aviation

Post by schnitzel2k3 » Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:09 am

The 'holy grail' most pilots seek requires sacrifice after sacrifice after sacrifice to get to the top. Sometimes you just have to find a little corner of the industry and not necessarily hunker down, but just enjoy the pleasure of doing what you're doing and ignore the 'grass is greener' instagramers and FB posters, because even at the top end, you're sacrificing something (it's likely your health on a 14 hour overnighting HKG turn).

I still consider myself as being young in this industry, only about 5 years now. I got into aviation in my late 20's. I'm not at a major airline, but I do have an application into one. That being said, I'm not in any rush to leave my current employer as they treat me very fair. I have wanted to be a pilot since, goodness, I was in junior school. I have a degree outside of aviation, and I have worked outside of the flightdeck, so I know the other side of the coin. I've done the 9-5 and remember celebrating the weekend, and dreading monday.

I have friends (non-aviation, and mostly through my wife) who I talk to on a regular basis and when I hear them describing their day, they continue to remind me why I chose my career. I am so thankful for what I have experienced in aviation (the good, the cold and the occasional bad). It has made me the very appreciative SOB I am today.

That being said, I've seen some of my aviation friends walk away after a solid 10+ years of hard work (some very talented and big losses to the industry, and some not so much).

It all came down to the same feelings of progression, money and quality of life.

End of the day, the majors don't offer a competitive enough package to lure a lot of these experienced drivers, many of whom were making just shy of 100k. With packages starting at the mid 50's, and QOL a rough go for the first two seniority years, it's tough to sell that to anyone's spouse. The guys and gals who are 'happiest' are the ones at the regionals who are conditioned for the step up.

If I have to council anyone when entering the industry I always say, what is your goal? If it's airlines, then my advice it to get your butt to the regionals because otherwise your eyes are too wide and open to step over to the majors, and you're more likely to give up on your dream (obviously there are exceptions). The earlier people make those sacrifices, the easier the transition. It's the pilots who wait 10+ years that have the hardest transition, and they are more likely to make a choice based not on heart but on head. Wait...that came out wrong.....

To anyone leaving the industry, you have your reasons, we wish you the best with your new career. It is sad that an industry that lives in our dreams as a child has been mutilated into a beast, for many, as an adult.

Cheers,

S.
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