Realistic goal???

RM7599

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I will begin my flight training around the first of June and my goal is to make it to the majors someday. I would like to be flying for a major in 8 years. Does this sound like a realistic goal. I already have a 4 year degree so all I will have to do is flight train. Any input would be great.
 

generaltso

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"so all I will have to do is flight train"

That is funny. Yeah, as soon as your done with your flight training you should be good to go to get on with a major.

You have much more to do then the flight training. After you get all your ratings, you will have to build time to get to a regional. A lot of people instruct to get this time, while others find jobs at 135 flying right seat and then to the left seat once they have enough hours.

Then, you should get on with a regional some time... build your time in the right seat and then hopefully pass the training to upgrade to Captain. Now you will fly a few years as Captain, trying not to bend any metal or create any unnecessary paperwork.

Then, if you are dedicated, and lucky enough (yes, there is PLENTY of luck in the timing of getting to a major), you will get an interview at a major. Competition at this level is stiff, but hopefully you will get the job.

So, you have a lot more to do then just the flight training. Put that thought as far out of your head as you can. You are about to enter the world of aviation, it is a great place, but there are a lot of ups and downs. Ups - your first solo, your private, soloing your first student, getting your first regional job, upgrading to captain, etc. downs - failing your checkride, failing your medical, failing your captain upgrade, not getting hired, having an incident/accident, etc.

Your goal to make it to a major is a great one. I think more people should have that as a goal, instead of settling with a regional job. But it is a long road.

As far as years go, we will have another prosperious time in major hiring sometime in the next 8 years... that is without question. So if you can ready yourself, you can get an interview.

In my opinion getting on with a major is 90% who you know and 10% what you know, others may say different. Knowing people can help you get the interview, knowing yourself and your stuff can help you pass the interview.

Don't worry, as you go through aviation you will meet many people, and make many friends. Some of these friends will continue on to bigger and better things. One of the things I have discovered about the aviation industry is that most airline pilots know the hardships one must face to land a job, so most of them will try to help. I have had airline pilots I don't even know offer me advise on career planning. Why do they do this? Because someone helped them, and they pass it down.

Anyway, sorry to ramble. But yes, 8 years is a reasonable goal.

Good luck.
 

RM7599

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Hey, thanks for all the advice! I didn't mean to come off as sounding like it was going to be a cakewalk. I know I will be working my butt off to attain my goal, and that is fine. All I meant was that I have my degree out of the way......just one of the many hurdles out of the way! Thanks again for your opinions and $.02 worth
 

de727ups

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Huh?
8 years

Before 9/11, I would say that was reasonable. Looking at it now...it's harder to say. Maybe push everything back a couple of years but that's no reason to be discouraged or to quit. Be the best you can be at every level on the way up and hope for the best....it's good you have the degree done already.
 

generaltso

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Some follow up advise is... if you have a 4 year degree I assume you have some type of career/job. Try to hang on to this job as long as you can.

You should be able to work a job and get all your ratings, through CFI/II/MEI (flight instructor stuff)... if your dedicated and can manage your time. Don't rush through your training, your not going to miss any hiring boom by taking your time and doing it right.

The key is, if you have job security don't give it up. What if you don't like flying? What if your not good at it?

I think some people get the flying itch and then want to make a career out of it. That is fine, but I think it is also fine if you get your ratings and buy yourself a plane and fly just to enjoy flying. When you fly at an airline it is a job. Sure it may be a fun job - but it is a job. Flying at your own pace is, in my opinion, a lot more relaxing and enjoyable.
 

bobbysamd

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Zero time to Majors in 8 years

Lemme tell you something. Everything will have to fall into place perfectly for you to make it to the majors in eight years. For one thing, you will have to time it around a recession (sarcasm intended). During the '90s, we had the longest peacetime economic expansion in 50 years. There is no question that aviation hiring is tied to the economy. Odds are, it will be more like short peaks and short valleys.

For another thing, you will face plenty of competition for a precious few number of jobs. The airlines are something like the major leagues of flying, depending on your point of view. Look at it like getting to the major leagues of professional sports. Plenty of little kids start out playing baseball. Maybe one in a thousand gets a major league tryout. You need to face reality now. There is no pilot shortage and the airlines' H.R. departments are overflowing with resumes from well-qualified pilots.

Finally, you need a lot of luck. Plenty of highly-qualified pilots try for years to get an airline job and are never interviewed.

Give youself a little more than eight years. On the other hand, you might make it in fewer than eight. Just another .02. Good luck with your training.
 

Vandal

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But Iiiiii want an Ooompa Loompa nowwwww!

:)
 
3

350DRIVER

"so all I will have to do is flight train-"--- "jeeez sounds so easy huh??- - Well if you go to Gulfstream and "BUY" a right seat gig then it sounds possible- hell you get 200+ hours in a 1900 ... or other part 135 First Officer jobs..hey people on this board "BUY" jobs so why not you"??!!! lol
 
S

Snoop

Lighten up on the guy.......

Hey RM7599, don't let this sarcasm get to you... EVERYONE of these guys had the same dream at one point and had to ask the same **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED** questions to get the same **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED** info you are lookng for. Now the sarcastic big shots feel they need to step on those trying to get a foothold on their dream..
350Driver, I don't know what you fly, but it sure as hell doesn't give you ANY right to bust someones balls. You were there once, just like all of us...
P>S> Don't buy your job.
 

NEDude

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Personally I think the next couple of years will be a great time to start your flight training. That is based on past history holding true.

In the early 80's aviation went through a downsizing and many pilots were furloughed. I know an old Air Force C-141 pilot who could not land an interview back in the early 80's. But later in the 80's pilot hiring picked up and people were able to move up quickly. The nineties were a repeat on the 80s. In the early part thousands of high time pilots were on the streets. But by the late 90s, 500 hour pilots were being hired to fly regional jets.

Now in the early 2000s, we have thousands of pilots on furlough and very few are hiring. If history holds true, hiring will pick back up in the next few years and be strong for four to six years.

I think someone who begins training in the next couple of years will be well positioned to be hired by regionals at the start of the next hiring boom, and thus be in a strong position (yes I know it will still be hard - but were talking relative to the current market) to be hired by the majors in the middle of the hiring boom.

Just a piece of advice, one that a TWA captain gave me ten years ago as I was beginning my pursuit of an aviation career: Be prepared for a lot of ups and downs in your career. This TWA captain had said he had lived through four furloughs, two airline bankrupcies, three mergers, several union imposed work slowdowns, a couple of base closings, and several jumps up and down from captain to F/O as his various airlines have grown and shrunk. This industry is far from a cakewalk. It is a tough, heartless, gutwrenching way to make a living. But he did say after all of that, he couldn't imagine doing anything else for a living.

I am still very low time and still in the beginning of career. I did spend several years away from aviation after I got my certificates. But thus far I have been through two furloughs and begun to see the darkside of this industry. But the upside of this industry cannot be beat. And thankfully I have been recalled by one of my airlines so my career will be back on the upswing starting Monday.

Good luck in your training.
 

FLYnMONKEYS

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More than likely no. Many of the majors won't start interviewing again for 2-3 years, and when they do there will be plenty of people from defunct airlines, commuters, and the military. BUT, if you are a woman or minority, then I would say you have a better chance. We all know that minority groups get interviews with much less experience. If you are a white male you'll need at least 5000 hours and a type rating to get an interview (based on pre 9-11). By then it may be more. The good news is there are many quality regional airlines out there to build your experience. While at a quality regional you will enjoy flying state of the art equipment, great pay(not majors pay but more than most people make), and the opportunity to fly with some of the best pilots in the world. Not a bad place to be while you wait for your chance at the bigs. Eight years? I don't know, maybe longer but enjoy it.
 

RichardFitzwell

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You'll get there...

RM7599,

If you want it bad enough...you'll get there.

If this board was around in the late '80s and the same question was posted, I'm sure there would have been a lot of people to say, 'no way in 8 yrs.' No one could have predicted the amazing hiring cycle of the '90s.

I feel there is a lot of opportunity for someone starting out right now. Keep your sh1t together and stay focused on your goals.
 
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MetroSheriff

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350DRIVER said:
"so all I will have to do is flight train-"--- "jeeez sounds so easy huh??- - Well if you go to Gulfstream and "BUY" a right seat gig then it sounds possible- hell you get 200+ hours in a 1900 ... or other part 135 First Officer jobs..hey people on this board "BUY" jobs so why not you"??!!! lol
350Driver,

Based on the a/c you've flown in your 1100 hours, we can tell that you really came up the hard way through the school of hard knocks. LOL
 

FL000

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350DRIVER said:
"so all I will have to do is flight train-"--- "jeeez sounds so easy huh??- - Well if you go to Gulfstream and "BUY" a right seat gig then it sounds possible- hell you get 200+ hours in a 1900 ... or other part 135 First Officer jobs..hey people on this board "BUY" jobs so why not you"??!!! lol
I think what he meant was that of the two major career hurdles, he's already gotten one out of the way. Now he can concentrate on flying rather than history and calculus. He's asking the reality of an 8-year goal. That doesn't sound like someone who thinks he's going to be in a GV while the ink's still wet on his COMM. In the future, try not to be such an elitist prick.
 

sabreliner

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RM7599 said:
I will begin my flight training around the first of June and my goal is to make it to the majors someday. I would like to be flying for a major in 8 years. Does this sound like a realistic goal. I already have a 4 year degree so all I will have to do is flight train. Any input would be great.
I'm sure you can tell by the wide variety of responses, that THERE IS NO ANSWER to your question. Who knows if someone starting from scratch can be at a major in 8 years. There are too many variables. I thought I'd be in prime contention for a major job in a year or so, and now look what has happened.

Pretty much all you can do is go for it if you love it. You may never get to the majors, but you can still have a great time doing it.

Remember though, no matter how bad things look, NEVER SELL YOUR SKILLS FOR LESS THAN THEY ARE WORTH. (ie- never buy a job!!)
 
3

350DRIVER

RM-
On a more serious note minus the sarcasm, yes it is possible and with a determined mindset you should have no problems. The key word is "persistance" which you will need alot of, add in the hard work by you and you should be at a major in that time frame IF they will be "hiring" which always seems to be hit & miss


good luck to you

I wish you "wind" at you six and dreams come true at ur twelve
 

RM7599

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Hey, thanks for all the great advice! Yes, I realize that it will take a lot of hard work and determination, and I'm ready for that. I also know that this industry is very cyclical and there are many variable that I will be faced with along the way! However, I will get there, even if it takes me 16 years!!! Thanks again and safe flying!!!
 

inline

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Assuming you're young enough, go into the military and fly. It's a known fact that these people are usually the first hired by the majors.Why? They have a support network in place, a lot of former military are in a position of power and influence at these companys and they take care of their own.
 
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