Real Answers from Real Pilots

Considering my options

Hello to all, especially the mentors who spend valuable time answering the many questions.
I’m not sure if mine is a question or not, mainly I’m just unsure what I should do and I’m hoping for someone’s brilliant input!
I’m 38, approximately 1400TT with CSEL instrument rated, currently flying an A-36 Bonaza for a construction company.
The reason for my quandary is that while I make a decent salary (60-65k) , part of my duties involve some things I’m not sure I care to do long term, climbing on the occasional roof, etc.,as well as the fact that I strongly suspect I’m near the top of my pay scale, and I really don’t want to stay at this wage forever.
On the plus side, I work mon-Friday from 7-5, with every weekend off, as well as all holidays off and paid. Also, a bonanza is a sweet plane by any standard.
So, does anyone care to weigh in on whether I would regret moving on? Or are the opportunities available at the airlines worth taking the plunge?
I definitely would appreciate any insight or advice anyone, especially those with skin in the game could offer.
Thanks in advance.

Matthew my friend, these are what we call “big boy” decisions :slight_smile:

There are pros and cons and it really comes down to what’s important to Matthew? Obviously working for an airline, after an initial pay cut of say 3-5 yrs, you’ll be back to your current salary BUT after that your earning potential will go up considerably. While working Mon-Fri is fine, that means you’re working 20 days a month. Most airline pilots only work 15 and some even less but you will be working weekends and holidays for a while and there won’t be any premium pay. There’s also the aspect of simply being a pilot. Airline pilots don’t climb on roofs nor do we fuel, load or clean planes. We fly, that is all. There also is a certain amount of volatility in the industry based on the economy, price of fuel etc. When all’s said and done it’s your call. I love my job but that’s my call.


Thanks, Adam!:slightly_smiling_face:
The funny thing is that while I DO have to clean, load, and occasionally fuel the plane, that’s also a part of being a pilot that I enjoy. It feels personal.
The roofs not as much.
Alas, I guess I’ll have to put my ‘big boy’ pants on and come to some sort of decision.
I’ll continue to lurk and learn.


It really depends on what you are happy with. I personally really enjoy flying for the airlines, I like the far away places, the diversity of the flying, the quality of the airplanes and the pay that comes with it all. That being said, the airlines are not right for everybody, it just really depends on what you want.


Thanks, Chris.
I appreciate hearing from you guys that your career choice IS something you enjoy. A lot of my indecision stems from the fact that although I don’t love my job, it could be a lot worse, and once I decide to move on I doubt I would be able to come back if I’m unhappy with the move.
In the end I’ll simply have to make as informed a decision as I can , and I’m very thankful for the effort you guys put into this forum.


No problem at all. Your job sounds rather interesting and it is certainly vastly different from the airlines. Good lick with your decision.


An update, I’ve been hired at PSA Airlines, training start date of July 3.
I really appreciate all the effort you guys expend in answering questions, including mine!
I’m excited about getting started, wish me luck!

Well that was easy!

Congrats and have fun. Maybe if you ask a ramper they’ll let you fuel the plane :slight_smile:


That is awesome! Congratulations!

The mentorship doesn’t stop there, you are stuck with us for life, please keep in touch.


Back again!
As an update, I made it through training, IOE and am now sitting reserve in CVG.
I couldn’t be happier with my decision to move on, and I thank you guys for your help.
I got off the plane yesterday and while walking up the jetway I was thinking about how unbelievably fortunate I was and how crazy much I love my job!
Weirdly enough, NOT having to do anything but fly has been really refreshing😊
Training is no joke and there were times when I wondered if I was going to make it, but in the end it came together and was so worth the long hours of study.
I appreciate the help, fellas, maybe I’ll run into one of you on the line!

Very cool Matthew and congrats! Honestly I loved my time at the Regional and miss it often. There will be challenging days for sure but the experience is invaluable.

Have fun!


Awesome update Matthew and good to hear you are enjoying your decision. A couple of quick questions about your flight time… I noticed you were a CSEL flying an Bonanza at your previous job. How much multi time did you have when hired at PSA? Did you have to rent one and fly some on your own to meet their mins or did you have previous multi time while getting your commercial? Also, any specific reason for choosing PSA? CVG base or other factors?

I had the minimum of 25 hours multi. And I went with PSA for a couple reasons- I wanted to be able to drive to work, and we have SAP.
Plus, they offered me a position😊

All excellent reasons! I’ve heard a lot of good things about PSA’s SAP.

“Plus they offered me a position” BEST reason there is!