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Returning to flying?

Old 28th Apr 2014, 12:58
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Returning to flying?


Chaps i'm in need of some advice. I am a former bus pilot, i joined easy back in 2003 and left in November 2008.

To leave the profession that i had wanted to be a part off since being a child was very hard but a family member was diagnosed with a terminal condition and it fell to me to become a full time carer. Five years later i'm free to resume living my life.

I want to come back, i know what i must do to come back but the question is should i? I've been offered a job by a friend with a hedge fund and well to put it bluntly the money is tempting me. I loved being a pilot but the industry has changed so much, i'm just wondering if it is still worth it?

I'm not sure what advice i'm looking for, i just needed to talk to someone
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Old 28th Apr 2014, 16:44
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Putting it bluntly, I'd say Aviation as a whole also has a terminal condition
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Old 28th Apr 2014, 16:49
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Returnofaking what you have done has been a massive act of selflessness and I take my hat off to you for doing that with all the difficulty and heartache it must have caused at times. Personally being in the industry myself, in all honesty (and if you have a job with a hedge fund lined up) I would avoid it at all costs.

The odds are now ridiculously and perversely stacked AGAINST guys with experience. It seems that instead of wanting competent people with thousands of hours in the logbook they (airlines) would far prefer to take some guy with 20 hours on a Seneca and an MCC. I've even heard rumours of Virgin starting a zero to hero scheme, if true then that's the death knell for this profession as a whole. A sickening development which is a true recipe for disaster (especially hearing some of the stories about some of the cadets' stick and rudder skills at the low costs).

The long and the short of it is the career is becoming less and less rewarding and all movement in the industry has been all but destroyed by the big flight training schools. The industry is in a desperate state.
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Old 28th Apr 2014, 16:55
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It's a very good question. To answer honestly I would say take the job with the hedge fund. You will make a lot more money and you could probably afford to fly privately if you really wanted to which is a lot more fun and enjoyable.

I never thought I would ever be saying this to anyone, considering I have been very lucky in aviation and do enjoy the job generally. What worries me is where it's all heading. The industry isn't getting better, it's getting a lot worse as the years go by. Where will it all end up? And keep in mind that I work for a UK Major out of LHR on long haul where we see fairly good T's & C's in comparison to a lot of other carriers around.

The daily abuse and lack of respect from airport security, the stupid hours we work, anti-social rosters, constant battling with the company over Pay, Pensions, roster agreements, the list just goes on. Make some good money and enjoy a nice life. I don't think the pay and conditions vs all the hassle in the job makes it worth it anymore.

It's only my opinion and I am sure you will get many others, but the very best of luck with whatever you decide to do.


P.S. The above 2 posters are 100% on the nail. Guys with experience are a dying breed and airlines are not interested.

Last edited by Busbar; 28th Apr 2014 at 16:59. Reason: Comment on previous posts
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Old 28th Apr 2014, 19:44
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You say the industry has changed so much, but you joined easy in 2003 and left in 2008. What change are you talking about? It's not as if you remember flying in the 80's! Sure, things have changed. The easyJet you join now will put you on a random roster for a few years. And the pay will be somewhat less I think, and it will take a bit longer to get that permanent contract.

But once you're in, you're in. It's the same company as before, just a bit bigger and a bit more mature. Leadership is solid. People still leave now and then for BA, or Emirates or Virgin. But most stay.

So what's holding you back? If your life experience has changed the way you view the profession, then fair enough. But only you can make that evaluation. The job is basically the same.
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Old 29th Apr 2014, 01:35
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Firstly, to echo Plastic787's sentiments, you are to be commended for your selflessness over the last 6 years.

Secondly, without hesitation I would say take the financial position, 100%, I have links to the financial sector and I'm afraid aviation just doesn't compete on most levels. However, your desire to fly is still there, so over the next month talk to the operators that interest you and, if they show no interest in you or you have doubts about what's on offer, then bye bye commercial aviation, just do a bit of private flying to scratch your itch.
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Old 29th Apr 2014, 02:25
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Take the hedge fund job. Make money and eventually buy a Cirrus and enjoy the sidestick you formerly used on the Airbus. That way you can have your cake and eat it too....

Good luck!
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Old 29th Apr 2014, 02:39
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Take the hedge fund job but keep your rating active by completing an LPC - "you never know"...
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Old 29th Apr 2014, 04:21
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I would also say take the hedge fund because you have not been working for five or six years and probably drained your savings if you had enough for six years.

I just wanted to add one thing more that above it was said that experienced pilots can't land a job, and I see the new freebies also can't land a job because of the different odds and ends that I'm sure you know of, then I'm wondering who is really get all the jobs in this profession. if you are a newbee, they tell you you don't have experience, blah blah... and then when you are experienced they don't need you either becuase you are too experienced and they need money, then are there really that many guys who are paying to fly?
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Old 29th Apr 2014, 04:28
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Wow, it sure depends on which side of the pond you live on. There are regional airlines cold calling anyone with an ATP to get them to go fly for them.

All the airlines are ramping up hiring. At American/US Airways we are anticipating hiring 100 pilots per month for the foreseeable future.

I'm sure working for a hedge fund is lucrative. I also hear it involves long hours and a high rate of burnout. You will have to decide which lifestyle suits you. Since you left Easy for a selfless reason they should be happy to have you back.
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Old 29th Apr 2014, 05:23
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Gents, i really appreciate all your comments. I've got a meeting with my former employers in a couple of weeks they have been most kind. We're going to pop into a sim and go from there. Depending on what they say i will make the decision but all have you have given me much food for thought, thank you!
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Old 29th Apr 2014, 06:42
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Take the hedge fund job which will involve graphs and indicators of where various industries are heading. You won't find many aviation indicators pointing towards a bright and shiny future. You've made your decision to leave for the finest of reasons and you deserve everyone's respect. Well done to your hedge fund friend for offering an escape. There are many pilots enduring their job because they are trapped by mortgage, family etc. but you're already out so good for you. Try not to be a victim of the burnout mentioned before but if you are, go and be a pilot again.
As someone said earlier, keep your licence current, make lots of money, buy a share in a Cirrus. Job done!
Very best of luck.
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Old 29th Apr 2014, 07:26
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This is a simple one. Hedge fund 100 times over. Best of luck to you!

P.s I'm a current Capt with Ezy and is HAS changed since you left.
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Old 29th Apr 2014, 08:09
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Hi returnofaking,

Take the hedge fund and go in the weekend flying.

I also left aviation industry last year because it was getting insane. Like a previous poster have posted: companies are no longer looking for experienced people but for young fresh newbies. That was also my experience and frustration when i was still flying.

This industry is rotten to the bottom. I have no regrets about my decision. The only thing i m missing is the take off and landing with the jet. That's it. I left the banking industry for aviation in the late 90's. BIG mistake!!

If you want to choose for quality of life: take the job.

Good luck!!
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Old 29th Apr 2014, 08:16
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To leave the profession I wanted since I was a child was very hard
That my friend says it all . Go back to flying the bus. its worth it if you really like flying. Forget the doomsayers . Pilots always crib about everything nowadays. And remember in this economy even a hedge fund can go sideways anytime
Good Luck.
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Old 29th Apr 2014, 08:35
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I don't think it'll be what you expect or what you left behind 6 years ago.

After 25 years in this industry (not all flying), I'm generally in a constant state of frustration by the attitudes, bull and uninspiring "wonder-kids" I'm surrounded by! My experience counts for nothing, nor is it really respected.

I still enjoy flying and wish to continue, but my long-term plan is to leave the airlines. You have an opportunity to start again with a clean sheet, why not have a serious look at other options of professional flying, maybe on a part-time basis that you have control over, whilst enjoying the hedge-fund job?

My advice: avoid the airlines at all cost!
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Old 29th Apr 2014, 08:48
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Here's the real answer.

Go black to flying by all means, but avoid doing so in the UK.

If confined to the UK, for some reason, take the money job.
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Old 29th Apr 2014, 12:30
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I'd go back to flying. All the money in the world is not worth it if you're not doing what you love. And since you said you've wanted to do it since childhood (me too), you now have a second chance at working a job that you're passionate about.

I've known plenty of folks who have careers making a lot of money and are the most miserable SOBs I have ever talked to. Simple, they are stuck in jobs that may pay very well but it is not their passion.

I may not make what a hedge fund manager makes working here at AA, and I am a strong Unionist who fights the good fight for the best contract possible.... But I am living my dream career and still having a blast flying 737s in my 15th year.

Do it and don't look back! And enjoy the ride.
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Old 29th Apr 2014, 13:27
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Five years later i'm free to resume living my life.
by entering again this industry, you will not be free anymore.. I mean you will be living for the airline not your life.

Good luck to you, just be aware and come back with big open eyes.
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Old 29th Apr 2014, 13:30
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If flying is all you've ever wanted to do, then I say stick with it. Particularly in view of the fact that your previous employer seem to be doing the decent thing and are having you back in for a chat and a sim check. It's rare to find that sort of commitment from an airline these days, and I must say, I am impressed that easyJet are being so loyal.

Many of those giving their opinion regarding the hedge fund option probably haven't worked in both finance and aviation. I have. Aviation is infinitely less stressful and more fun. I too lived to fly when I was young, but couldn't afford to go integrated and so I saved and did several jobs in finance, marketing and even some bar work. As soon as I had the money to train, I did, and I've never looked back.

This industry is cruel now, but when the flight deck door shuts, it's still the best job in the world, and it's one that I don't have to take home with me at the end of the day.
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