View Full Version : Does aviation make you a nasty person?

Luke SkyToddler
23rd Jul 2001, 14:14
Well I'm gutted people ... just been dumped by yet another long term girlfriend ... a girl I really loved ... because of my constant putting aviation before the relationship :( All she wanted was an indication of when this constant living apart, financial hardship and uncertainty about the future would end ... a not unreasonable request ... and I couldn't give it to her because (unless I jack this flying business and get a normal career) then I don't know myself!

Since getting my CPL/IR in '96 I've been hammering the CVs and updates, brown nosing industry types left and right, instructing my ass off to get the hours and doing all the right things for over 5 years now and still as poor as a church mouse with no RHS light at the end of the tunnel. And it SUCKS :(

I have been lying in bed thinking about it this morning and reluctantly come to the conclusion that I am a nasty, selfish and obsessive person compared to what I used to be before I heard of aviation. Back when I had less worries I would never have blown off a girl like that for the sake of any damn fool job or career, but now I don't even care that much, all that my life seems to revolve around is getting that flying job. It has to be a totally unbalanced and unhealthy way to run your life, I'm sure any psychologist could tell me the same.

I wonder if there's a comparison between flying and drug addiction, I don't know if anyone saw that guy in the documentary on Channel 4 a few weeks back who had blown a hole in his nose from repeated cocaine use and his doctor was like "you've got to stop or you'll have no face left" and then he said to the interviewer "well it's not life threatening, I'll stop if it gets serious"!! It was blindingly obvious to most normal people that he was as mad as a sack of rabid dogs for keeping on doing what he was doing, but he was totally oblivious to it himself.

Pretty morbid post from a normally up beat chap like myself I know. All my mates keep saying 'hang in there you'll get the job soon', no doubt they're right but in the bigger scheme of things, I do wonder if we're all just being lemmings together?

23rd Jul 2001, 14:33
Mate - if a women (and this applies to most careers, interests etc) does not want to help and support you as you would do for her then the relationship has no future.

She just wasn't the "one" for you - time will move on, you'll feel better and meet someone new, lifes fookin magic like that :D



A7E Driver
23rd Jul 2001, 14:43
I don't think aviation is that much differnt from any other major profession. How much sacrifice (of personal life style) do you think doctors had to make to get through all the years of schooling and internship? How about architects? Lawyers? And I can tell you from personal experience --- even the fat cat investment bankers in the city work 80 hour weeks. It takes a "special" partner to hang in there through the long years of little reward. If she left now --- she did you a favour. Now get back to your flight manuals and back to work with 'ya mate.

23rd Jul 2001, 15:55
Just think back to before you started your flying training. You saw this huge hurdle and went for it. Then after all the blood sweat and tears you finally got your licence. Unless your Mr Prefect, and can breeze throught exams, understand everything first time and manage a good home life you're just Mr Average. You have had to be focused on the task in hand which might have seen to her that your not paying enough attention and that your loosing interest.

Most of the women Ive been involved with dont see all the effort that goes in to flying. They just think that you jump in and go flying every now and then. Then arrive home with a 400 invoice. Trying to get that illusive job is the worse ever (Im still trying) but people do change - thats a fact of life. Why do you think that you're a nasty person? Just because you are trying to fulfill your dream career? I think you should not be taking a look at yourself, it should be at your ex-girlfriend. She has the problem not you.

Cheer up, you'll get that first job soon enough. And when you do please recommend me too!

Women; you cant live with 'em, or kill 'em!


Harold Bishop
23rd Jul 2001, 16:05
Cheer up mate. Although this may appear a pain in the ar~e try not to worry. It is not aviation that makes us a nasty person, it is chasing an ambition that can make you that way. Especially when you put in all the effort you have to keep getting these knocks. But be assured you are not alone, it happens in all lines of work. I used to work in the city in corporate finance, around 75 hours plus a week, it sucked and I lost a long term girlfriend, and had no licence or any chance of a flying job at the end. Hang in there and just become more determined, remember what does'nt kill you, makes you stronger. Or so they say.

23rd Jul 2001, 17:30
Luke Mate

I sympathise

The problem is effective use of TIME

This whole 0hrs to Airline mallarky
takes a whole load of money and TIME

Its harder to quit than to carry on - you
have invested too much of both

You could be only one call away from that job ..

In theory the girlfriend should support you but flying on the other hand can become obsessive and other things are ignored.

Sometimes its helpful to have a rest .. because it can help one to see things in perspective .. but .. remember

.. winners never quit and quitters never win..

Deputy Dog
23rd Jul 2001, 18:44
Sounds like you have got AIDS, Aviation Induced Divorce Syndrome (not the other).

Would you be happy in a 9->5 in the city with her, kids, car and no flying? It would eat away at you sooner or later or you may just end up resenting her. You need someone who will stand by you !!!

23rd Jul 2001, 19:06

I don't think aviation makes us nasty people, but I would say that it does make us selfish. We must be selfish to spend all that amount of time and money on ourselves, but what other way is there of doing it?

Best regards, GT.

23rd Jul 2001, 19:27
I think a career in aviation makes you extremely focused and yes, selfish. You have to be single minded and if there's someone in your life who doesn't support you 100% then the relationship will suffer.

I've had experience of this firsthand. When I started learning to fly it caused a great deal of tension as my focus turned to aviation and has never left it since! My partner took it all very personally and he couldn't understand why I'd changed overnight.

If I am honest I would have to say that flying has changed me - in some ways for the worse but in other ways for the better. Now I have the attitude that this is who I am and if someone can't deal with it, too bad. But then again, someone could argue that proves that I am a self absorbed and utterly selfish person! :D

24th Jul 2001, 02:00
Luke, I'm very sorry to hear it's all gone pear-shaped. Is it because aviation makes us bad people? NO, but we are, as a group, fairly self-centered, goal-oriented and a bit blinkered. We don't see the chaos we cause in the lives of those around us until it's too late, and they'll never appreciate the single-mindedness needed to qualify for, get, and maintain this lifestyle because we can't share it with them, unlike almost any other desirable job.
It's a fact of aviation life, I'm afraid, and it's not often because of straying eyes that relationships fold for aviators - although we're as susceptible to that as any other group in society. It's not right to say that 'if she loved you enough, she'd support you', because this career path is uniquely demanding on partners. Relationships that would survive elsewhere can't take the extreme stresses that this job puts on them.
Believe me, I know. I've lost two wives and my children because of my chosen career.

24th Jul 2001, 08:04
A friend of mine quoted the statistic (lies, damned lies and statistics??!) to me that the divorce rate in aviation is somewhere around 60%. So, it obviously takes a huge toll on relationships, as does any job that requires a lot of focus. And then of course, there's the enforced separations due to shift work - the need to live virtually separate lives because your schedules just never coincide. I suspect it's just the nature of the beast, and takes a huge effort and very understanding partners to keep it all on track. Good luck in the future.

24th Jul 2001, 15:40
If the above are typical, is the answer Yes Anyone share my impression that pilots tend to be arrogant and intolerant?
P.S. Do you agree that many Wannabes seem to be 'worst of breed' (cocky, gobby, spoilt, young Archers) who will, hopefully, never make it?

Token Bird
24th Jul 2001, 15:48

Thank you, you are so charming! Wow, stunned,


Capt Wannabee
24th Jul 2001, 15:51
No not really. Practically all of other Pilots and Wannabees I have met have been really nice down to earth people.

I hope all the other wanabees I have met make it - just as long as I make it first. Damn I knew I was getting Selfish!!

[ 24 July 2001: Message edited by: Capt Wannabee ]

Little Miss
24th Jul 2001, 23:25
Its not just men that find this problem with relationships and aviation. I had the long term boyfriend and set off to do my CPL and IR thinking that it would be ok. One year later and visits home every weekend to see him it wasn't working, i dumped him only to have him say that i didn't see him enough and i should be home all the time. You see its a dream to fly and to some people its a very long time to fullfill that dream, you deserve to be selfish sometimes. Not all the time but sometimes. Don't worry about the girlfriends, i find the more you keep them informed, eg. explaining what an ILS is and why its not "just like riding a bike" the more support and understanding you get.

oh yeh query, really inspiring you were a wannabe once and people need support not insults.

26th Jul 2001, 21:04
Just been reading of Lukes troubles. Conclusion I've reached is that you're no nastier than the average bloke, but you're greedier. You don't only want the thrill of flying but you want a high salary for doing it - which is understandable. However, on top of all this, you want a woman, and no ordinary woman at that, she's got to be a raver whose daddy has oodles of dosh. For her part, she'll quickly learn that she's left the families executive pad for a couple of rooms on a council estate, full of Oxfam furniture and a fella who - in moments of passion is liable to say "God, I made a hard landing today".
Luke, there's only one solution. Shack up with some old biddie who looks like Whistlers mother and who is looking for a soft niche and will spend her time while you're up in the clouds - knocking back Guiness in the Dog & Duck. Be assured, your slippers will be warming by the fire, you'll have bangers and mash as nauseum and if you - as a non-smoker - don't mind finding strange packets of fags on your dressing table, you'll have a life long chum whose demands on your Perf 'A' in the bedroom could well lead to an early exit from aviation!

26th Jul 2001, 21:22
Just count yourself lucky you didn't work for Cabair - otherwise I would be handing over the gun now! Well, at least I don't think you do..........

Wee Weasley Welshman
26th Jul 2001, 21:42
Aviation certainly has its costs and rewards. Its much like profit/loss account.

On the one hand I have missed hundreds of good nights out, holidays and fine times with my school year chums because of weekend volunteer flying and being away on courses or not having money due to training. On the other hand I have met hundreds of great people through flying and made a wide circle of good friends from a diverse geographical, social and personality backgrounds.

I've lost at least two girlfriends through aviation but then I've made at least one and gained plenty of 'good times' from others. You'll find the airlines a particularly target rich environment when you get there Luke...

Aviation has cost me a small fortune but then my wage slip now is pretty good and in the next five years will probably suppase my best expectations.

I've suffered rows worry and confrontation at home in the family because of the time, setbacks and money aviation was costing. But know it gives me a great buzz to watch how proud my family are explaining that I'm an airline pilot...

As I said - profit and loss.

In the end it has balanced very nicely in favour of aviation for me at this point. I am sure Luke that it will do the same for you in the near future.

Good luck,


27th Jul 2001, 02:03
After careful reading of your post, it seems to me that you suffer from a typical pilot's personality. Pilots tend to be goal oriented, concrete thinking, highly focused individuals. We tend to like technical issues and dislike emotional "fuzzy" issues. It takes a particular type of mate to be able to live with that. This last lady does not seem to be that type. Right now you are focused on getting that magic first job. Like many of us, you are focused on it to the exclusion of almost everything else. There is nothing wrong with you, that is just the way you are. I hope you do find what you are looking for. Good luck.

27th Jul 2001, 03:38
Bummer, Luke Old Bean. Come and get pissed on Sunday....it could be worse, you could be in my shoes.
(As most people won't know but Luke does, I'm getting married on Sunday - so you see it really could be worse).

27th Jul 2001, 04:48
Yeah,nice one query.Luke has shown he has a lot of guts and determination,and clearly has had to make sacrifices.We all have.It must be gutting to go through what he has,and still not have a R.H.S job, but believe me it IS worth it,stick it out mate,you will get there! And ignore any comments from query who obviously does not have the balls or the determination to do what you have done,and clearly resents you and every other professional Pilot for it!!!! :cool:

27th Jul 2001, 10:14
I would guess that Query is somewhat narrow mindes. He's a computer engineer with hobbies listed as using the internet. Sad B******

27th Jul 2001, 10:34
Luke SkyToddler,
Join the line,,, Flying have taken me around the globe in search for the right job. Now 14 year down the track I am flying A340, the problem is that I am still 5600nm from home. The minute I started there was no turning back, u feel that u are getting closer and closer and hopefully next phone call is going to do it for you.

Luke I wish u the best of luck and don’t worry, pilots are not nasty or more selfish than the average population. JUST MORE DETEMINED


28th Jul 2001, 02:43

at least you have this hartbreaking experience while trying hard to land a great job and future life. I lost my lovely girlfriend while trying hard to get a job in an investment bank. In my case it was not worth it, in your....YES

Good luck!

28th Jul 2001, 05:55
Am I ever qualified to comment on this one...

I'll spare you my own house of women/aviation/breakup horror stories, but will pontificate with some wisdom (or what passes for wisdom in my empty little skull)...

Aviation is a competitive field, and it is a dream. The world is full of dream-stealers. Don't ask me why, it's just that way. A lot of people, even in your own family, secretly want you to fail. Sick, but true.

Also sick is that many women (i.e. girlfriends) will also want you to fail. I ASSURE YOU, that if you quit flying and took a job as an accountant just to placate your woman, she STILL would have left you. I've seen this happen over and over and over again. You will come to forks in the road in which you must choose between a woman and your dream (aviation). That's all there is to it. There are three billion women in the world...how many flying jobs are there? Which is more scarce?

Many women will emasculate you, then hold you in contempt for being neutered.

Once you're a pilot with a good job, though, the tables turn. Your ex-girlfriend will be fit only for the company of boring office workers; cubicle clones. Their lives will be hum drum, boring, slow motion death marches. Do you want to live like that?

No. You're better than that. So don't let them pull you down.

I GUARANTEE YOU, after you get the flying realm going, the whole woman/relationship realm will work itself out for the better. It's some kind of law of nature.

And you will have the last laugh, because women love chasing pilots. You can indulge that happy fact for all it's worth when the time comes.

Stick with flying. It's hard to woman woes off your mind, I know, and I'm not suggesting you can, by sheer will, keep her out of your mind. But I am suggesting that you focus on flying...the rest will take care of itself. It always does within this context.

great expectations
28th Jul 2001, 15:58
This is a subject thats in my mind too.. and im a girl... Making a commitment to aviation is i guess like making a commitment to a person. Your personal options become very limited. But every great dream has its price. GE xx

28th Jul 2001, 20:29
Sorry to say it mate, but she could have been a bit more supportive.

I now that any girl who wind up with me is going to KNOW that side of me and she better decide if she can live with it or not before bringing her toothbrush over.

What I CAN and will do however is be REALLY REALLY nice when we are together so she'll remember what it is she's waiting for when I ....FLY!!!!


Pilot Barbie
28th Jul 2001, 21:04
No! Aviation does not make you a nasty person and I think you are complete loser and tosser for even suggesting such a thing ;)

Seriously LST, do you have any choice now but to carry on? You have come this far... Yes it is an addiction, the only relief is more of what you need i.e.: aviating!

It seems bleak now but there will be other "one true loves". You have to give it the rocking chair test..... when you are old sitting in your rocking chair would you regret it if you did not pursue your flying dream? We both know the answer to that one.

Flying also caused friction in my relationship, but for the opposite reason. Through circumstances and location I had all but given up, but my other half badgered, nagged and pestered me into following it through. 5 countries, 5 assorted licences and 14 years after I started, it has finally come to fruition for me and I fly a lovely chunky jet. Being new to this, when I don't feel like backing down the airstairs in nervous terror, I feel a wonderful almost zen like happiness and peace. No I'm not crazy. Just doing what I was supposed to do. As you will. ;)

29th Jul 2001, 20:45
Dear Luke,
Uncertainty about the future doesn't end when you get the job you want. Any girl who wants to be with you has to understand the freedom that comes with flying and its inherent uncertainty. there's plenty of flying girls out there, so don't give up man! Check out Richard Bach.
Good Luck.

Luke SkyToddler
30th Jul 2001, 05:16
Cheers guys. Have spent the last couple of days engaging in the time-honoured tradition of sulking about the house in a Black Sabbath T shirt, cursing the shallow fickleness of all women, drinking cheap cardboard box wine by the gallon while listening to hours of huge hair metal guitar solos at ear splitting volume, and feeling much better now.

My apologies for unloading all that soppy melodrama on you all ... in fact I'm not too worried about the replacement of the girlfriend or the gaining of the RHS in the long term. I was just having a bitch about the fact that the pursuit of aviation at some stage makes misogynists out of us all, even those of us who don't necessarily aspire to be one.

Besides ... you should SEE the new girl who started at the flying school today :eek: :D

30th Jul 2001, 05:42
The above confirm my impressions

30th Jul 2001, 05:52
ozzy! ozzy! ozzy!

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