Thursday, July 2, 2009

"You're a pilot, you make tons of money!"

In the airline industry there are hurdles after hurdles you must meet to get further in your career as a pilot. One of those hurdles is experience in complex jet aircraft. The catch is, rarely will one hire and pay you to fly that type of aircraft unless you have previous experience in such aircraft. It's a "catch 22". So how does one get experience to get the job flying the aircraft that needs experience? Well one way is to have a really rich family that will buy you the time in the aircraft. Another way is to pay for it yourself with enormous loans. How I did it was to be a lucky one who signed with a training contract to work for pennies like most regional pilots do. Yep you heard it, I signed a training contract to work for 21,000 a year for three years to gain the experience of complex jet aircraft. Why might you be asking? Well it's because I didn't have the former options. No rich family, and already I've exceeded my debt to income ratio by 4 to 1 because of my training and college, so no loan officer will even glance at me. That left me with a training contract.

"Where are you going with all this and Why might someone pursue this career?" you might be asking. Well, us pilots jump though hoops just to get this legacy dream job because we love and are addicted to flying.

Please think about how much your life means to you when you're on a family vacation or a business trip. Is it worth 21,000 a year? Think of how hard these regional pilots are working and for such little money. Go ahead, tip the pilots when they're greeting you good by after the flight. They will appreciate it and it'll provide that pilot a little cash to buy a coffee or a burger to keep their attention span going.

Recent poverty rate and guidelines

The 2008-2009 poverty threshold was measured according to the HHS Poverty Guidelines[14] which are illustrated in the table below.

Persons in Family Unit48 Contiguous States and D.C.AlaskaHawaii
For each additional person, add$3,740$4,680$4,300

SOURCE: Federal Register, Vol. 74, No. 14, January 23, 2009, pp. 4199–4201[15]

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