View Full Version : A quick rant

30th Aug 2009, 23:07
I am fed up with feeling like I have to justify why I became an instructor and why I am NOT building hours to work in the airlines and why I really (still) at this moment have no desire to head that way. I sat in the pub fielding such comments from an ex-instructor, ex-charter pilot. Frankly, I shouldn't have to justify it and yet I still feel the need to. Without instructors none of the other buggers up there would even be up there!

Rant over (for now).:ugh:

Bla Bla Bla
30th Aug 2009, 23:40
The airline route is almost a sickness in the industry, hats of to the people who really want it and get it. However the people who want to stay in GA will always be surrounded by people who only see GA as a stepping stone and look down the nose at it.

Also there are plenty of people who define themselves by what they fly, very sad indeed and this leads to wanting to get this annoying GA thing out of the way.

Don't justify yourself to them, as they will never understand you anyway.

31st Aug 2009, 03:18
Lets start the wind up.

Stumpy is mad!

31st Aug 2009, 10:00
One assumes you must have won the lottery or are independently wealthy or have another income source.

Most of us moved on from instructing simply for financial reasons, I couldn't support a family on instructors pay (when I was full time, I had quite a good retainer by UK standards), and to be truthful these days you can't really support a family on turboprop first officer salary either.

If I could earn 35 - 50 K a year as an instructor then I would have happily stayed working as a flying club instructor, lets face it that is not very likely.

31st Aug 2009, 10:05
yes, I have a 'bill paying' part time job which keeps me afloat, and luckily shift work so I don't lose out on much flying and still (miraculously) am managing to get a whole day off a week!

31st Aug 2009, 17:25
I have been flying for over 25 years, been a part time instructor for 12 years and became a full time instructor WEF 1 April 2008. To say that I like flying is an understatement, it's in my blood. I always wanted to become a full time instructor, however I knew full well that you cannot make a living out of it in the UK, you need something else to supplement your income. In March 2008 my dream came true, I applied for early retirement, and was offered a very genereous package. I am now living the dream and realise that I am in a very privileged position. It's a shame though that many people cannot live the dream as I doubt very much that a PPL instructor will ever be able to make a decent living out of instructing without an additional income.

Luckily I have never sought status and therefore so content with my lifestyle. So if anyone feels that they want to become a full time instructor, take it from me that it is great, however be realistic and ensure that you have a supplimentary income :ok:

31st Aug 2009, 17:47
Just check out a few airline pilots on a 172 or some such thing and then remind them of their superior status when they flare at 50ft and cant hold height heading or speed without an FD , its a lovely leveller

31st Aug 2009, 23:39
I have great respect for airline pilots, but I do love it when they come for a checkride ... I've usually found that they do very well with height/heading/etc, although invariably spending far too much time head in the cockpit. However, the majority that I've flown with can't help pushing forward in the landing flare. Must work well in a 767, but quite exciting in a 172 !!

I've given up on making a decent living, but every working day I go flying with people who are incredibly excited just to be there :ok: :ok:

1st Sep 2009, 06:21

You certainly dont have to justify yourself to me, for not wanting to become a robot who cant even function without a set of SOP's.

Fly training training needs more of you people.

1st Sep 2009, 07:41
I have sympathy with Stumpy.

But lets face it, CAT these days is much like driving a train. Piloting a metal tube with a few hundred people along pre determined routes to a schedule, under the control of people you dont see apart from the despatcher at each stop.

The difference is that most train drivers are paid more than many pilots.

1st Sep 2009, 08:42
Unhinged , Im with you on this , we are never gonna be millionaires but seeing people enjoying what we do and accomplishing things they never thought they could is an excellent thing and beats the pants off another successful manchester-malaga again and again

1st Sep 2009, 09:22
I am fed up with feeling like I have to justify why I became an instructor and why I am NOT building hours to work in the airlines and why I really (still) at this moment have no desire to head that way.

Stumpyotoole, you have absolutely NO need, obligation, or requirement to explain yourself to anyone, least of all one who would question your motives for being an instructor.

If indeed you're content and happy to instruct (as more would do well to be), then you're to be commended. If only others felt the same way. Instructing is a calling, and teaching an art. Instructors administer a syllabus, where as teachers enlighten and transmit knowledge and enhance understanding. Many are instructors, few are teachers. The world does not need more instructors, but is in dire need of teachers. More on point, the world is in desperate need of teachers with a desire to be teachers. Equally on point, the world definitely can do without those who do not desire to teach, yet still endeavor to do so.

If teaching is a calling (and indeed it is) and you hear this calling and carry the burden gladly, then this not only speaks well of you, but you may rest assured that you are in your place. Perhaps those who do not understand have yet to find their place, and cannot see what's plainly before their eyes: an individual who has met and accepted the challenge of teaching with open arms and is fulfilling his own destiny. What you're offering is so much more than a short term service for a few dollars. You're opening each student up to the sky.

Man for millenia has promised what he could not deliver...the sun the sky, and the moon. The earth, as well. You are in a position to deliver to each soul who reaches out to you one of those elements; you give away the sky. You imprint upon the student the tools and the reason to take ownership of the sky with safety, surety, and the privilege to be there. In all the history of the world, only a few have ever had this privilege, though countless generations have wondered the early and looked skyward to the birds and the clouds with an unsatisfied hunger. Here you are in a position to give of yourself to others to feed that hunger and deliver what mankind has always so desperately desired.

Don't strain or stress that others might question your motivation in so doing. You're under no obligation to explain yourself away to any man or woman. So long as you feel the calling and you have answered, your reason and your reply has been made. It's enough.

5th Sep 2009, 00:32
Face it, you all want to make the big bucks and the path to that is simply large aircraft. As far as the airline pilot flaring high and not being on heading, pretty simple-his brain has been programmed for the sight picture he is used to day in day out. You might want to try to fly the MD-11 with 167 KT Vapp without the FD and see how that works out, we never turn it off because we realize the folly that could entail.
All weather flight operations are not something we take lightly, when you see a line of thunderstorms all thru your flightpath money takes a backseat.
The single best way to establish a high instrument skill level is the CFII way. It sucks that the money is not there, that's life. Be humble knowing you're giving your student the best his money can buy, he/she will be the source of your reputation. No need to justify that. The best I've flown with in 30+ years have been former instructors!

5th Sep 2009, 02:07
Amen to that, Poina. :ok:

5th Sep 2009, 06:17

"Face it, you all want to make the big bucks and the path to that is simply large aircraft."

Not necessarily.

There are still pilots in G/A who are flying twice a month or less on average and are paid more than most airline pilots. Admittedly there is no schedule in most cases i believe however when they mostly get a days notice at least of a flight, who cares.

5th Sep 2009, 09:53
Poina part of being a professional pilot is the ability to adapt ? it doesnt take a rocket scientist to think 2 seconds ahead and think hey im not flying an MD11 today im flying a puddlejumper , and gee whizz things are gonna be different , maybe that is the difference between Instructors and Airline guys , ability to adapt . maybe

Cows getting bigger
5th Sep 2009, 14:45
Poina, stop being so arrogant. There are those of us who have made 'big bucks' (or at least enough to be comfortable) and are quite happy to be professionals instructing on Cessna 172s for miserly amounts of money. That said, I totally agree with you that the FI (CFII) route is a fine route to becoming a good pilot.

9th Sep 2009, 16:30
I'm with you Stumpy

I was getting so fed up with constantly being questioned when I will be flying "proper planes", even sometimes by students on a trial lesson. I was even beginning to consider whether instruction was really for me.

But then I tought someone to land, and watched them learn from my teachings, and realised this is all I want to do. Seeing how they went from almost wrecking the nosewheel to showing real appreciation for the landing, under my guidence, was a first for me. I love flying, and i've always loved teaching, and combining the two is it's own reward for me even with the low income.

It's such a shame that there are so many instructors out there who don't want to be, and are simply waiting until they can get an airline interview. Perhaps without them all the instructor income would be better.

9th Sep 2009, 16:48
Geardownflaps - :) had to smile about the commercial pilots instructing flaring at 50ft! happened to me with an old instructor ! With them, its just about building hours, whereas those who do it for the instructing (you all deserve more money!) I find to be a lot better at the job.


9th Sep 2009, 17:06
:ok: don't worry I get the same. But then I point to what I am rated on and tell them that "this crappy old tomahawk is way more fun to fly that that festering old BAe systems built like a brick poo house turboprop, BTW they paint a yellow taxi line for a bloody reason and its not a :mad:ing road where you only drive on one side, I might add your on the wrong side if your going to come out with that excuse". (MJ makes mental note to sign ex 5 off as complete)

Pugilistic Animus
9th Sep 2009, 17:12
once again I'll say

Don't let the ground get you down!!! ---ignore the comments from the ignorant, even if they are pilots they are still on the ground WRT to you

or you can say "because I like it"


GA Button
9th Sep 2009, 21:48
Whats with all the airline pilot bashing?! I think you'll find a lot of us instruct in our spare time because we enjoyed it so much the first time round. The difference being, back then we were in dire need of financial stability as well as access to aeroplanes so moved quickly in an airline direction.

Dan Winterland
11th Sep 2009, 03:36
Good on you Stumpy. You are one of a few dedicated individuals who are benefitting the flying training system in a way that few can appreciate. There aren't many dedicataed souls who are willing to forgo the lure and lucre of the better paying jobs in order to fulfil their desire to instruct and pass on their extensive skills.

There is no doubt in my mind that there is not enough experience at the grass roots of flying training. The seeds of the current situation were sown in the late 1980s when it was decreed that all instructors should be professionally qualified. The BCPL (Basic CPL) was introduced and all had to qualify at the very minimum. This led to two things. First, those who had to study for and pass a CPL then had the route to airline flying opened to them and didn't hang around. Second, those older PPL instructors who were very good at what they were doing were forced out because they didn't want to or couln't pass the BCPL. And not forgetting all those PPLs who would probably have made excellent instructors who didn't want to be a professional pilot.

The net result was a lowering of instructing standards. I was at CFS in the early 1990s and talking to the Examining Wing Instructors (who standardised the flying schools conducting RAF Flying Scholarships) and they were unanimous in their opinion that the standard of PPL instruction had fallen markedly since the introduction of the BCPL.

It's the few dedicated souls such as Stumpy who want to and continue to be GA instructors who are keeping this industry alive.

As for airline pilots flying GA aircraft, I still do. I like to capture some of the thrills of flying something that can turn upside down and doesn't require extensive SOPs and an army of people to get airborne. I'm convinced it's helping me maintain the skills lost through years of ''flying'' a FBW wonderjet. And it's a good re-introduction to aviation reality and the basic airmanship principles which are the foundation of flying. For example, when I was being checked out on a club's aerobatic aircraft earlier this year, I asked about a checklist. The answer was

"What sort of a checklist do you need for an aircraft with a fixed prop, fixed gear and no flaps?".

Good point!

11th Sep 2009, 06:09
I do agree with you. I've been instructing for 2 years now and absolutely love it. I used to work in the UK which I found was completely useless as I didn't really earn enough money to cover my expenses. I think that's the main problem really. Now I would say that I earn pretty good money for an instructor but it's not enough considering the amount that I have invested in this career and I think most people would say the same thing, which is why they want to move on.

16th Sep 2009, 04:43
Only if you know why you like it.:ok: