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How do you keep pushing?

Old 16th Sep 2020, 13:11
  #41 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: 4 seasons hotel
Posts: 234
Watch this

Hope it give you a lift.
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Old 16th Sep 2020, 13:39
  #42 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Brexland
Posts: 84
Give it up, you don't want it badly enough. And what I mean by that has been covered over the last three pages but if you can't handle it now you won't find any comfort when you get into an airline and realise you have to start from the bottom all over again, put up with all of the shit posted above, jump through every hoop and try not to piss off any mid managers along the way (which is the hardest part as they are usually worse than the worst tin pot GA owner), hope the place dosent go bust or you don't kill anyone, to one day maybe get a shot at command, which if you don't pass will leave you stuck in the RHS for the rest of your career slowly morphing into the worst type of FO we have all come accross....

Or.... you could 'suck it up', as you stated in your original post, and get after it.
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Old 16th Sep 2020, 15:03
  #43 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 1998
Location: Ex-pat Aussie in the UK
Posts: 4,937
"Well you've never experienced a downturn so get used to it". True, but this is like no other downturn before it. If anything I'd argue people are underestimating how long it's going to take before all the senior guys in GA that were ready to move on see any light at the end of the tunnel. I think the ones that are underestimating it are lying to themselves, because what other option is there. To accept that your career will now stagnate for the next several years whilst you're stuck on the bottom rung is a tough pill to swallow.
Well, some of those higher up the ladder will give up and drop off the ladder. If you have a current job in this environment I would hold on with both hands, personally.

1970s Hijackings
1978 American de-regualtion
1989 pilot's strike.
2001 Sep 11 attacks.
2008 Financial collapse.
2020 Covid pandemic.

Happens every 10 years, as a cycle.
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Old 16th Sep 2020, 16:03
  #44 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 57
Posts: 71
Sometimes a move is needed.

I was (and I'm not inventing this) nipping into cafes or dodging out of view to vomit on my way to work, two, maybe three times a week, clearly not a healthy situation. Sometimes you have to admit the truth to yourself. We are not all in the right job, and we are not all as tough either mentally or physically as we would like to think. I am far from being part of the snowflake generation either, I've been through a fair bit of sh1t in my time on the planet, but after 20 years in an organisation which succeeded in grinding me down, the best thing was to leave. As things go, the CEO, COO and around a dozen colleagues of similar time service left within roughly a month of each other. Good luck, and put your well-being ahead of the rat race.
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Old 16th Sep 2020, 21:35
  #45 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 8,319
Agree with TLDNMCL. I’ve never vomited but there are some jobs in some organisations that are literally toxic. If you are stuck as the sole breadwinner with a wife, young kids and a mortgage, these jobs will try to kill you. The best advice I can give is not to put yourself in that situation where you are “locked in” and can’t escape.

...Hence my advice to stick to trades and/or operating your own unique business, invest in your self. Do something that others can’t or won’t do and don’t overthink things. ‘high wire acts” CEO, airline pilot in Australia dependent on seniority, specialised middle management skills in tiny industries, etc. should be avoided.

I know two guys who have just sold their businesses pre covid and who have started new ones as hobbies - that are growing as we speak! So don’t despair. Then there is an acquaintance “J” who works in construction as a sub contractor, he is in his early 30’s, he flies his own jetranger wearing steel capped boots, flouro vest and tradie shorts! There is life out there but you won’t find it working for a boss in some big company!

I recommend watching the movie ‘Kenny” It portrays a better life than trying to be an airline pilot.
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Old 16th Sep 2020, 22:03
  #46 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 168
Well said Sunfish. Could not agree more. After the holocaust of 1989, I started out on my own and have never regretted it. It has been hard at times but every morning you wake up knowing that whether you succeed or fail is mostly down to your own decisions.
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Old 16th Sep 2020, 23:03
  #47 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Maningrida
Posts: 34
Does sound a lot like you’re frustrated which is very understandable given the uncertainty of the industry (and life generally at the moment!).

Many good points have been made here already So no need to add too much.

I would encourage you to do what your gut is telling you. Aviation is cyclical. There will be a peak again, followed by a trough.

Personally I think the narrative of ‘do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’ is very rare in long-term employees. Most passions, that turn into a profession, become cumbersome jobs. It’s human nature.

Even at ‘the top’ your gripes won’t get any better. Whatever flying job/rank you hold now, you’re going to be there for a while (5-10 years perhaps with the surplus of pilots). I strongly agree with others that if you are not enjoying the industry at this point in your career now, it is a great chance to get out.

Once it all bubbles-out, everyone wants the best lifestyle for their family trade-off for money. Do whatever gives you this in the long term.

All it takes is for some grief to appear in your life and the important things (family, security and true friends) will quickly become clear.

All the best.

Last edited by dontgive2FACs; 17th Sep 2020 at 04:57.
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 00:58
  #48 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 99
This is not a pleasant industry anymore. Consider other options and most definitely outside the Republic of Victoria
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 01:29
  #49 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 3,393
Andy G - Ive got a couple of mates that ended up in rotary wing SAR and have always seemed to be pretty happy with what they do. I suppose thats because they are helping people who are having a really bad day.
plotplot, your OP makes for sad, sad reading and fully understand where you're coming from. Your main issue would seem to be the ungrateful employer for whom you toil, of which GA has plenty.

As Andy suggests there are some good jobs in GA available. Was very fortunate to spend my time in GA doing corporate transport, worked a fortnight roster, four days off, 7AM to 5:30PM with two nights on standby for emergency call outs (effectively giving six days off as call outs were extremely rare), well paid, still missed some Xmas etc. Those sort of jobs do exist, albeit few and far between, from what little I know our local EMS operator seems to run very tight ships, rostered well in advance, well paid, good machinery, good maintenance, and as Andy mentioned, satisfaction from helping people in distress. You're still subject to the period of the contract re employment, but if the contract changes hands, with the accumulated local knowledge, its likely you'd just need to change uniform. Unlike the airline industry, you're pretty much insulated from the economic ups and downs as well. As with all things in life, not for everybody of course.

Sincerely hope you can find your happy niche.
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 08:19
  #50 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Melbourne
Age: 64
Posts: 335
“After four years of slogging away in GA, I've hit a wall and I don't know if I want to be a part of this profession anymore”

Quoting from your original post. Uuumh .......4 years slogging in GA ? That’s a minimum.
Did you do your homework?
The number of life long career opportunities in GA are like rocking horse sh*t.
Most pilots get into GA for one reason only. To get into a Major and fly a jet.
It has always been hard ,it has always been a crap shoot . Only a few make it all the way , but is it worth it if you win ? Absolutely.
And no , I have never vomited on my way to work.
Despite what some non-professional pilot pseudo expert contributors have said , committing to a career as a Professional Pilot is absolutely worth the effort and commitment. I might be naive , but I still believe it is a noble profession. The industry has been destroyed by accountants and HR departments , not by the job itself.
The COVID crisis is bad, very bad , but not unprecedented by any stretch. 1989 had me out of the game for over a year.
Plenty have had it worse.
How much do you want it ?
Thats all you have to ask.
George Glass is offline  
Old 17th Sep 2020, 08:54
  #51 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: London
Posts: 282
but I still believe it is a noble profession
Hahahaha. That did make me laugh.
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 08:58
  #52 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Melbourne
Age: 64
Posts: 335
Originally Posted by OutsideCAS View Post
Hahahaha. That did make me laugh.
So , who ,exactly , do you entrust your family to ( if you have one ) when you put them on an aircraft ?
Or are you oblivious ?
I know I’m showing my age but there is a difference between what HR thinks of you and what you yourself believe to be true. Professionalism maybe ?

Last edited by George Glass; 17th Sep 2020 at 09:19.
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 09:50
  #53 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Oz
Posts: 491
Those 4 years of GA that you hate now night end up being the most fun you have in your career!

I recall my time in GA; 2 years pistons and 5 multi crew turboprob as some of the crappiest people/locations to work for/in but you make lifelong memories and in reality they create character and friendships that you’ll look back with positivity.

I recall a guy from my flying school. He got his licenses and instructor rating. Guy never got a start, mainly because he never perused anything HARD. He waited for something to fall in his lap, and well it never did. Whilst the rest of us worked leads and some ended up in some outback town somewhere, he gave up and ended up paying for an endorsement and ICUS at some place and when that ended he gave up.

Life and the journey along it isn’t always going to be a case of handouts and giveaways. It takes grit and perseverance to succeed in anything.
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 10:31
  #54 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: The wrong time zone...
Posts: 687
I don't often agree with Sunfish, but, on this one, I agree wholeheartedly, he is absolutely correct - learn a trade - wish I had!
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 10:46
  #55 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Wherever the work is...
Posts: 123
Work is only a small part of life in the scheme of things.

Do whatever you need to do to enjoy life outside of work.

Look at the big picture. The most important things in life are not in the Cockpit.
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 13:55
  #56 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 8,319
George Glass, I wish I could agree with you. The problem for you, as I learned around 1980, is that the bean counters want a dividend for the cost of all that new technology and that dividend is taken as cheaper pilots. In other words, your profession is being dumbed down and that will continue. The same is now happening to medical staff.

You have already seen the consequences for example the san francisco crash by a copilot who couldn’t manually land the aircraft. while the immediate response is a call for more stick and rudder skills, you and I know that the manufacturers long term response is more sophisticated automatics.

Look at it another way, the history of all technology is to de skill and automate. Airline piloting is no different. Get out now. You will just be a glorified bus driver shortly. Technology is going to depress your skills wages and bargaining position.

Do something that cannot be automated.
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 14:19
  #57 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 80
I loved my GA flying. If it wasn’t for the money that my wife now enjoys, I would go back to GA tomorrow.

I suspect that if you don’t enjoy flying GA, then you won’t enjoy flying jets either.

Jets are not more enjoyable than GA. The money is better, and you might get to live in a Capital City (if that’s what you want), but the hours are awful, and you will work most precious days such as birthdays and Christmas.

You might stay in some nicer hotels, but your wife and kids won’t be there with you. It is a lonely life in that respect.

Most of us do it because we love the flying. If you don’t love flying after 4 years, you certainly won’t love it after 20-30 years, no matter what jet you are flying, and how much you are earning.

There is also considerable down pressure on airline pilot wages and conditions. What I earn now, you probably won’t earn in 20-30 years time.

So I would have to repeat what many others above have said, if you don’t love it enough to put up with all the crap that goes with it, then it is not the job for you.

Alternatively, give yourself a reality check. Are you expecting too much from life? No-one loves every minute of their job. If such a job existed, it wouldn’t be a job. You only get paid because no-one else is offering to do it for free!
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 19:49
  #58 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 40
I've been there....

Not going to tell you what you should do, rather tell you about my experience.
I'm an aircraft mechanic by trade. Did my apprenticeship and then left straight away to take up flying. Rather than go up north i did instructing for a year and then moved onto low level survey work for the second year. I would have to say, I've never had so much fun! Especially the low level work. Got to see most of Australia! This was all 12 years ago.
Unlike most, I had zero desire to go to the airlines. I wanted to stay in GA.
So why did I leave only after 2 years? I must say my employers were great and I flew well maintained aircraft. I was effectively my own boss doing the survey work and would make all the calls.
I left for a few reasons. Poor pay, sick of living out of a suitcase, spare time spent in country towns <10,000 people, rarely seeing family and friends.
It was hard for me knowing I spent $70k on flight training just so I could earn as much as someone at Coles... so I left without another job lined up. I said to myself I'm done with aviation as a whole, not just flying.
Being unemployed for a few months I ended up taking a job in aviation. Been with this company for 10 years now and have moved up the ranks. Have excellent conditions with a base pay on par with a Qantas 737 FO, with overtime available if I want to earn more.
Do I love my current job? Hell no. I don't hate it but I don't love it. I do enjoy the overall package which is why I'm still here after 10 years and will continue to be so.
Like most I still look up when a plane flies overhead and do miss those awesome adventures you have with flying. They are priceless.
Now my job is just a job. I work to live, not live to work.
I still fly but it's as a hobby.
Hopefully hearing everyone's experience helps you with making your own decision.
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 20:45
  #59 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: UK
Age: 45
Posts: 42
Originally Posted by Sunfish View Post
Some people are hung up on the word “professional”. They have an emotional need for status. I grew up in an age when people looked up at professionals with university degrees and looked distastefully at “trades” and tradesmen. It was an understandable but short sighted idea. People assumed that “professionals”, (a) made more money and (b) were happier.

This was and is BS. while I was still a ragged university student, young tradesmen already had their second or third car, were paying off their first house and were thinking of wife and kids. As a professional engineer, I was at least six or seven years behind the kids who were apprenticed and earning at sixteen in terms of establishing an independent lifestyle and my own household. I have NEVER made up that gap and neither have many other professionals. It’s called discounted cash flow - you might pick up a six figure salary as a professional at the peak of your earning powers but that doesn’t make up for the years of relative poverty and stress to achieve it.

Furthermore there is a unique Australian associated problem - income tax. The tax scales don’t have any compensation for risk, investment and the stress involved in earning that big salary at all. You are better off earning less if you can get stable long term perhaps undemanding work rather than trying to make big bucks on the corporate high wire where one slip and....,,

‘’Try and forget the status / power / snobbery angle and find something that is personally satisfying.

I still remember the constant stream of suicides as students jumped off the ming wing when the tension between what they wanted to do and what their parents expected them to do became just too much.

That my friend, is a spot on post.

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Old 18th Sep 2020, 01:03
  #60 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Australia the Awesome
Posts: 218
Keep your chin up


Some very poignant stories below, Aviation is not for everyone.

I got into GA at about 26, (late ‘90’s) not that late, but I’d done some fun stuff before it, and some really shitty jobs too.

It was almost 10 years before I was back in an Eastcoast city with an “Airline”. (Which went bust inside 2 years)

What helped me through GA was that I wasn’t straight from school/flying school, and it wasn’t my first time out of home. I’d been on the dole, worked a bunch of jobs, traveled for a few years, and it was a long search for my start. I truly believe those experiences were what kept me going through the hard times in GA.

GA can be a drag, but it can also be a heap of fun too.

I worked/meet a lot of pilots in your situation, you are not alone, and I feel for you. They also thought everything would be better when the got into an Airline. For that reason they didn’t stop to enjoy themselves, and some days it is hard to find the enjoyment.

But, for some of them, unfortunately, the shiny Jet Job hasn’t solved all their problems, and all of us find ourselves either stood down or unemployed at the moment. I’m back doing one of those “shitty jobs” again, Landscaping, and reminiscing of those 14 sector mail runs, all day sit at the airport in a remote community, struggling to get night hours etc.

I know what I’d rather be doing for $150 a day, and it’s not pulling weeds.

The AFAP has an Assistance program, they also have a mentoring program, these might be of some use to you to help you in this tough time. Sometimes, as you have done, reaching out might be the first step towards making some Positive changes.

Good luck, and most importantly, look after yourself, there is a lot of life ahead to enjoy when all this craziness is behind us.
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