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-Entering my last year- blues

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-Entering my last year- blues

Old 9th Apr 2007, 05:30
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Yep...all true

But, honestly, I really can't see myself doing anything else in life and still being happy.

If, someday, for whatever reason, I have to give up flying, I'll find something else to do in aviation.

Aviation is not for everyone...it's for only the ones who love it. (The same can be said for medicine, teaching, etc.)

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Old 9th Apr 2007, 05:30
  #62 (permalink)  
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as bad as it may seem...

there are still those of us out there who can't wait to get to experience all of that

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Old 10th Apr 2007, 02:29
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"There are still those of us out there who can't wait to experience all of that."

Just as well, Brian, otherwise air transport would have a very bleak future!

But, to change the nature of the thread for a moment, I can't help wonder what it is that you are going to experience. Will it be what you expect; will it even be what you want? Will it in any way be recognisable from today's perspective?

Piloting seems to change in complexity at an alarming rate and I am hopelessly beyond trying to understand much of the technical stuff that Ppruners talk. Just how much complex can things get and yet remain manageable by the average human?

I am sufficiently ancient to have flown from Croydon (not Transport) and knew Capt. Ollie - in fact, he autographed my copy of "A Million Miles in the Air" which he wrote in the 'thirties. I also knew "Flaps" Rendall who also flew the big Handley Pages before the war. These machines and the ones I started on were dinosaurs compared with what we now have. All this makes me desparately old! Given the exponential nature of aircraft dvelopment and concomitant pilot workload, I'm glad I no longer have to "keep up" but I do wonder how the coming generations will cope.

Perhaps it's just me - managed to adjust from DF to ADF but when we had TWO ADFs and the circular computer, that was almost my limit! But should you embark on this avian adventure and subsequently approach retirement with some misgivings and a little trepidation, then I suspect it all would have been worthwhile and I, for one, would gratefully settle for that.

Good luck, my boy.
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Old 10th Apr 2007, 03:44
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Terrifying thread in some ways. The thought of not being able to fly makes me feel ill.
I envy those that have made their peace with the inevitable. Flying is just part of me. Flying is not what I do, itís what I am when Iím there. Being forced to live earthbound without knowing that I can leave anytime and go flying darn near sums up my personal definition of hell better than Dante or Bosch could define it on their worst days. There is no other process like flying. There is no other feeling like flying. After all the physics, mechanics, and other intellectual navel gazing, there is something magical about popping up through a cloud or flying across miles of prairie fields or having the northern lights dancing and crackling away just off your wing on a winterís night.
So, maybe Iím destined for hell. Iíve already had a good long tour of heaven so if thatís the price, itís a pretty good deal.
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Old 10th Apr 2007, 12:50
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There's a post somewhere above referring to a 69 year old instructor. My PPL instructor is 81 years old! He started his career with the military, then moved through BA's predecessors and BA itself, then on to Singapore for five years post his BA retirement. Then he took up full time instructing and examining - has been ever since. He's sharp as anything and has provided many many students with years worth of annecdotes from which we've all learned to be sensible safe pilots (well, mostly!)

I know instructing is the current route to the airlines for many young pilots, but if more retired pilots took it up they'd be able to continue enjoying flying at someone else's expense, students would benefit from their years of experience and the airlines may be forced to take a more serious approach to ensuring an ongoing pool of skilled new starters.

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Old 10th Apr 2007, 21:41
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Double back, I retired about 5 months ago. I was willing and able to have gone on longer but the age 60 barrier stopped me. I used to live and breath jet fighters and then the airliners and could not even comprehend not flying for a living. Now in just this short time I have not missed the job once. When a massive snow storm brews I just smile. When the thunderstorms are raging I welcome them. I have currently started a project of a homebuilt high performance 4 place light aircraft. When it is finished is when it will be finished. At least for me the building and those that you run into for help is what it is all about. The actual flying, well, I don't care that much. I used to, but not that much anymore. I know I will enjoy flying it out to the coasts a few times and staying away from any large airport. Going at my pace and not worrying about security, mechanicals, stuffed to the gills aircraft, etc. etc etc. As I do get older it will be a great legacy to hand down to my son.
I always heard folks tell me that there is not enough time in the day once you retire. I always thought that odd. But to tell you the truth, there is not enough hours in the day. Retirement is wonderful. I don't give a second thought to the airlines and the greedy nerd accountants that run them. Good luck in your last year, and don't let complacency sneak in till after you retire.

Last edited by JustAnothrWindScreen; 10th Apr 2007 at 21:55.
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Old 11th Apr 2007, 09:37
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If only a publication would be created of collective experiences and lifes lessons and documnented by a gaggle of retired airline proffessionals .I think such a publication would be priceless and a rich source of knowledge to those still experiencing such a profession.It probably woyld be a set of encyclopedias but I would certainly buy every one.....Please do it...
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Old 11th Apr 2007, 10:10
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All here, to echo cammron's last, please do it. From someone who is a mere 'wannabee' and admits to having a rather (and possibly misguided) sentimental view of the business, I would love to read such publications.

Best wishes to all

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Old 6th May 2007, 23:30
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Like Double Back, I had a 36 year career with a major european airline. I was a jet F/O at 20, Captain at 35, compulsorily retired at 55. It was a fantastic and varied career, but I didn't really think ahead to the 'full stop' at 55 years old. Codger sums up exactly how I feel about flying - I did not want to stop doing it. I don't care about the long and difficult hours, interminable problems, problematic passengers, you name it... I actually like the challenge of those situations and the satisfaction of winning against the odds, I really enjoy getting those tons of metal and trusting pax where they want to be.
I did not stop commercial flying at 55, as there are many opportunities out there to enjoy a different culture, language,lifestyle and location, while learning a whole new range of operational skills which are unused or forgotten in the major airlines. The last five years have been richly rewarding in all respects, and to be honest, do you really want to retire at 55 years? I have a half built kit plane to finish, it will be my magic carpet...but...... maybe it can wait a bit while I and others show that 60+ commercial aviating is going to happen.
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Old 7th May 2007, 08:48
  #70 (permalink)  
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Well said that man! Back into it again at 57 and loving it! There's no other job I want to do, no other skills i want to learn or desire to restart in something else. Maybe if I have to grounded with medical problems, but I can't imagine what else I would enjoy. As for the aging of the world's population and the dumbing down of education systems- I detect sometimes kids have appalling gas in their education, by the time we reach 65, hopefully as long as you are fit and alert, maybe in the next 10 years there will be yet another extension to flying licences as the youngsters are beginning to not 'cut the mustard', and although enthusiasm may be there, essential education is lacking. We may be needed more yet!
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Old 7th May 2007, 11:31
  #71 (permalink)  
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Retirement NOW!

D Back thank you!
Best ever thread...
Quote from "Mary P":
Good or bad dream?
I had a bad dream last night.
In it was the FAA, crew scheduling, bad schedules, bad management, self-serving union, unserviceab le aircraft equipment, changing weather, no extra holding fuel, ever-changing procedures, endless flight manual revisions, dead heading in the middle seat, broken luggage, lost luggage, nasty jump seat agents, crabby Old 170 lb. female ramp agents that were axe-handle wide, all-nighters, foreign countries, sleep deprivation, mergers, seniority squabbles, company threats, food poisoning, no food, bad coffee, bidding, pulled away from my family for weeks at a time, fleabag hotels, late cabs and maniac cab drivers, bidding vacation, waiting for gates, weather, low visibility approaches, aircraft de-icing, PCs, Gestapo check airman, medicals, commuting to and from work in unspeakable weather, the parking lot from Hell, parking lot buses, inter-terminal busses, spring break, Christmas rush, Easter rush, I dare you announcements, insurance, drug and alcohol testing, noise v iolations, customs lineups, dry cleaning, terrorism, security passes, rude security personnel, high gas/oil prices, small pay raises, rush hour traffic, that infernal alarm clock, crash pads, catching cold away from home, lackadaisical crew members, sexual harassment threats, co-pilots implying that they are a gift to aviation after being there three years, back biting, gossip, cell phones, aircraft cram courses, plus laying my job on the line several times a year with simulators, endless procedural memorization and Annual Recurrent Training days.
Then I woke up and joyously found myself still retired!
Question: Do a lot of pilots out there feel this way?
I feel exactly this way.
15 yrs of expat jobs killed my love for flying! I did not choose to leave my homeland - my a/l went under.
I am 43 but I am ready to go tomorrow. Still need to fly for another 7 though, so I can sail round the world like Immelmann wants.
My Dad's buddies all died within 2-3 years of 60. The lack of stress just killed them.
People say best 10 years of your career are 50-60. I would say the money we save between 50-60 pays for surviving untill 70.
Is this what I want?
If you guys that happily flew untill 65 can spare a few quid from your WELL DESERVED pensions, send me a PM and I will give you my bank details, so I can retire

ps: Only thing I still love to do is to "get stabilised" at 300' from a real tight visual... This keeps me going untill the next check gets to the bank.
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Old 7th May 2007, 13:37
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Last week I got an email includings pics of an Israeli 747 that overran the tow truck...the accompanying text, if true, is just appalling: it says its was the last flight of this captain.
Boy, do I have pity with this poor fellow, ending his career in this way. That scares me. And these things can happen in just one moment of inattention.
I might skip my last flight....

But all these answers, advises keep me thinking, I did not make up my mind yet. Plus I have someone else that has a say in my future to take into account...

Just came back from a 24h stopover in Houston, slept badly. On the return flight, fighting sleep, I wondered whether I like this to continue to do after retirement.

Btw, my flightcase, stowed in the back of the crewbus from the hotel to apt in IAH, was launched on the highway because the driver did not lock the door properly.
Contents got spread all over the highway, together with my copilot's bag.
My Notebook PC and cellphone are goners, Samsonite flightbag crushed. I just stay wary, no use in getting upset, it's just material stuff, but do I HATE these situations.
Now I have to reinstall all the software, and sh%t on a new PC, another week down the drain because of neglect from someone else. Brings nothing.

On the bright side, I just entered my "summer" holidays.
Am a big time model aviation flyer as well, coming weekend a large meet, I am really looking forward to it, makes me forget all this crap. Being amongst people I chose to be with, not directed to.

Next week in a C172 all the way to Spain, from Holland, preps give me a (pleasant) headache!

Maybe I just have no time enough to work after retirement ........
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Old 7th May 2007, 14:35
  #73 (permalink)  
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Longhaul gets tedious as you get older, and as you get older the sleep gets worse! I found although I was flying the worlds best plane (747-400), I wasn't enjoying the flying anymore. I would recommend if you do fancy flying on, do something different. I've gone from worldwide longhaul widebody to medium haul narrow body. Flying a 737 around Europe to holiday destinations, down to Africa, even across to Canada. Totally different, and interesting and fun because of its novelty value, which will take years to wear off. It's variety that makes it interesting.

You really need to get out of it for 6 months to know if you want to come back. If you don't miss it, well great- enjoy your retirement! But only you will know what the voices in your head say to you. Yes, I have 'voices' in my head! They're saying 'get your ass out there and get earning! Retirement lasts a LONG time (hopefully), and there's not much use deciding in 5 years that you'd like to fly jet airliners again!' You could be retired 30 years. Time enough for golf and sailing and gardening another time. Use your constructive years while you can (unless you really want out).
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Old 14th May 2007, 16:56
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Hi Double Back
Good to hear your story about a guy who really loves his job, hassle and all! There is another way after 60 and I guess it is 60 we are talking about and not 65. I am ex Big stuff but fly for an ex jet co. with a world wide AOC. Proper mx., proper flight time limitations, great destinations with good allowances. Why not do a job share for a few years with another captain. Half pay for 15 days of availibilty (= about 6-8 days flying per month). Pay would be about £30k plus allowances. My company would pay for training for 3 years commitment on a Hawker. You would get to fly with good young P2's and be able to pass on 40 year's worth to the young guys, I like it. If you are interested get in touch.
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