Throughout the time that experienced pilots have seen, what is the most stressful/difficult part of the job and what is the most common reason a pilot may be fired and/or quit? This may be a bland question or common, but I feel this is not commonly asked.
Most pilots fall out of the industry for personal reasons (checkride failures, lack of funding, etc) prior to joining an airline.
Once at an airline many stay for a full career. Some pitfalls that force people out are economic downturns leading to loss of jobs or a loss of medical for health reason.
As for being “fired or quitting” at an airline… I’d say training failures (usually during initial when a new hire, loss of medical or a very serious incident/accident).
Most pilots do not quit aviation all together given the huge investment and passion to fly. Some limit flying once senior to focus on family and/or an outside business venture.
For me its the following:
Difficult/Stressful: newhire training. Once you get past that I don’t believe the job is either.
Fired/Quit: early on some pilots quit as they really didn’t do their research and understand what the job entails but that’s rare. As a former union rep I can tell you the #1 reason pilots get fired is bad or inappropriate behavior. Getting drunk on overnights and harassing flight attendants are 2 biggies.
I find that the most stressful part of the job can be balancing the commitments at home and making the schedule work, such as holidays, etc. I am usually able to make it all work, but it can be complex.
I have seen people get fired, but only in initial training and because they really were not prepared (this guy built his flight time flying circles in the sky and not via flight instructing). The people that I have seen quit were in love with the idea of being an airline pilot, but really had not done their research and had no idea what they were signing up for.
Hi, a follow up question regarding new hire training and how challenging it can be … is this also based on the type of aircraft and airline training provided, etc? Will it be more challenging for a FO newhire at a Part 121 regional jet vs. on a Part 135 single-engine piston (hired at 500 hours)? For example, curious on the differences in FO training at HA vs Mokulele for inter-island flying. Appreciate all your insight, as always…
Of course it is! A Cessna Caravan isn’t much more than a big 172 with a turbine engine. Flying a jet into the flight levels you’re moving twice as fast, dealing with pressurization, crew, packs,and many other complex systems. Frankly it’s day vs night.
What advice would you give someone for 121 training who is skipping the regionals?
If you’re flying some kind of jet you’ll get educated on the systems so you’ll really just need to focus on the regs and procedures. If not it’ll be a huge learning curve and you’ll simply need to work your butt off.
I do not think there is a huge difference between regionals and majors when it comes to training. All airlines have to have their training syllabus approved by the FAA, so there is a certain standardization across the industry. My advice would be to make sure you have all of the flows, memory items and limitations memorized before starting training.