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How do we encourage new aviators?

Well, how do we? 19 year old pilot has some interesting ideas. ( More...

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preacher1 6
This article says a lot. This forum has been chastised as of late because there are a bunch of young or non aviators coming in here amongst seasoned veterans. These are the ones that used to come around to the FBO hangar flying sessions to try and pick up on a morsel or 2. Those sessions are becoming fewer and being replaced with these forums. They must naturally mind their manners and show a little respect, but as we wail and moan about the younger generation, we must be prepared to pass on knowledge gained over the years to those that do want to break out of the mold and do better, rather than discourage them.
conmanflyer 1
preacher, why the heck do you always hafta make sense? Like reading your comments/opinions on squawks! I guess I am considered part of a younger generation, at the age of 21, and I agree nearly wholeheartedly with Michael Janik's opinion. When I started high school, I had already wanted to fly. My high school of choice so happened to be on the Sun n Fun grounds in Lakeland, Florida. I got a bunch of motivation, and still do from the [Old and Retired] volunteers there - many of whom were pilots, but many were just there for the aviation. Meeting everyone throughout my mere 5 years of aviation makes aviation something appealing for me to continue in.
WtfWtf 2
Every job I ever had, I worked at so I could fly.. Even the college degree I worked my ass off for was ultimately to fly. All of those things have one thing in common, however: None of them have anything to do with flying. I'm currently a Computer programmer, with an IT degree.. We have to ask ourselves however, is this OK? I have spent all of my 20s trying to afford to fly and press on to follow the dream.. I even put off relationships, starting a family, buying a house, starting a life so I could land a career in aviation. Now in my 30s and what changed? Nothing. I still don't have the flying career and I still don't have any of the other things previously mentioned. Add to that now I face a test that determines whether or not I can hold my medical cert (Tens of thousands of dollars of training hanging in the balance). From where I'm standing, if you weren't born into money, then you will have a long road ahead of you, similar to the one the author and myself had. Even then you might not make it. I have to admit tho, a part of me would be OK with failing this test and losing my Medical cert.. Because then at least I can finally put closure to this ghost-chasing, and start my adult life and actually plant some roots, since my current job pays a good livable salary. Can't say the same about the first 5 to 10 years in an aviation career, and that's only if you managed to stay out of debt along the way.
Most people think I'm nuts for sacrificing what I did, both material, mental, and time (the lost decade of my 20s going to night school and working full time and still living paycheck to paycheck because of it.) I'm starting to think they were right all along.

Moral of the story? If you want to attract people to aviation, stop making it inaccessible to all but the rich-born kids.

If however, by some small chance this DID work out in the end for me, I'd feel pretty damn happy about my life.

I can't think of too many other career fields that require a "startup" career to serve as both a backup plan, and a source of funding for the "goal" career of aviation. Even doctor residents get paid 70 grand a year plus in their "training" phases.
preacher1 2
Because of a secrecy agreement, and some ALPA bashing by the fie folks at DAL, I could not write under my real name so FA never published this but it is pretty timely. Take it for what it's worth:
It was November of 1968, 45 years ago. I was a young USAF airman at barely 18. I had crewmember status on account of being a flight medic, working rescue a big part of the time. With Davis-Monthan AFB at Tucson being a big training base, incidents and accidents happened frequently and we stayed busy. I spent my
spare time off base and to make a long story short, fell in with a self-made millionaire. He had 2 planes, a Lockheed Howard (forgot their model# but it was an old Navy taildragger), and a C182, plus he had a corporate pilot with little to do. With 363 flying days a year at Tucson, and at no cost, with free instruction and time, it goes without saying that I was in the air daily. It didn’t take long to gain a pocketful of tickets, with everything except turbine time. It took a lot more effort over the next 3-4 years to stay halfway current, as I left the gravy train at TUS and went to ABQ, then overseas to South Korea. After I got out in early 1972, I only knew a couple of things for sure. I wanted to remain in Western Arkansas and I wanted to fly for a living. The wife and anyone that knew me said “you’re crazy”. They said you will have to make a choice but that you cannot have both. I worked a multiple of odd jobs for about a year and came across a multi-million dollar company nestled up in the Boston Mountains of Northwest Arkansas, with Air Operations headquartered at FSM. They had a 707 and C421. I got hired as FE on that 707 in 1973 and that started a career. As the 2 above me retired, the left seat came in about 10 years. In 1986, the 707 traded for a 757 that I flew until I retired from full time duty in 2009. After my retirement, the 757 traded for a 767, a CRJ200 came on the scene and the 421 traded for a King Air. As I had done some fill in in my off time, I was brought back in December of 2012 to handle the CRJ and hire and train an entirely new crew over this last year. During my offtime, I went full time into a truckline I had cofounded in the 80’s.

All that to say this, there is no right way or wrong way to get you into a cockpit. Much has been said in recent times about NETWORKING. Let me tell you that it is not a new idea, just being re-invented because of new technology. I wound up with a dream job and have been blessed, but it was because I was in the right place at the right time and had people sincerely looking and trying to help me. There was a stack of apps for the job I got, but I was the one that got the call for the interview. After I got helped I have tried over the years to help others. The hardest time in the whole process was that time in between 1968 and 1973. Flight time was not as expensive back then but wages weren’t as high either, so the % wasn’t a lot different from today and it was very rough coming out of a pocket that didn’t have much in it to begin with. I am sure it is more than rough today as young pilots try to make their way through the steps. The military, for a good while, has offered tuition assistance on certain career fields such as medical and other specialized stuff, in exchange for service of varying lengths. I think that the Airlines are going to have to start doing something similar as things are getting too expensive for an individual to shoulder the entire burden with no guarantee of a job. It is one thing for a young person, or old for that matter, to learn how to fly and get to that point, but when it starts to look like career time, there has got to be a way for somebody to help pick up the tab and I don’t think this 1500 hr. rule is going to help. I think there are going to have to be some certified training programs set up of some type so there can at least be some light at the end of the tunnel instead of another plane on the runway heading toward you.
This article is spot on, and while I can't totally relate, I know where he's coming from. I don't have time in a single engine, but as an aeronautics major just shy of 21, I feel that now is the time to keep the interest. My concentration is in ATC, but I have always believed that if all people in the industry have time in aircraft, even a private, it will make the connection between people that much better. We take courses across all disciplines of the industry, and sometimes I wonder why, but it is all to provide the best we can when we all settle in to our respective sides. The disconnect between younger and older is there, no doubt, but if the people here continue, there is still hope for the younger generation that runs in to you guys.
william peers 1
I think all pilots do a great job. but get the od one they are under paid.
WtfWtf 0
Pay a non-poverty wage and help cover the training.


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