Real Answers from Real Pilots

Life choices

I’ve always wanted to be a pilot since I was a sophomore in high school. I wanted to graduate College before I did flight school, which I have done (2018). When I graduated, I found that the location in STL closed.
Fast forward 3years, and I’m married with 2 kids (#3 due in January). At the age of 26 I still am obsessed with becoming a pilot and having a long career in aviation.

I recently discovered that SUS is opening and MKC has an ATP school. I have a friend ghat lives about 15 mins from MKC, but I’m struggling with being away from my wife and kids for 7 months and missing so much. So my questions are…

  1. how did you KNOW aviation was the route for you?
  2. how do you handle being away from your loved ones for that long (wife owns a daycare and can’t move to KC with me)

Aron,

These are of course personal decisions only you can make and each individual is unique. That said here’s my take:

  1. This was fairly simple for me. At some point I determined that I needed to do something I really enjoy and get paid for it to be happy. The 2 most consistent interests for me were aviation and music. I wasn’t that talented a musician but I had gotten my Private Pilot license and not only did I enjoy it, I was pretty good at it too so I took the leap.

  2. That was a little tougher. I had 3 young children at home and wrestled with being selfish. First I concluded it would be better for my children to be without a miserable dad for a few months, than be stuck with a miserable dad forever. Second (and this may sound a little corny) but I thought about my dad and grandfather. My father was away from us for 4yrs in the military and I wasn’t too messed up, and my immigrant grandfather came to America by himself for many years, leaving his family to make a better life and future for them. Me being away for a few months was by comparison a very minor abandonment.

Adam

3 Likes

Adam,

Thank you for the insight! I’m just so tired of always putting off flight school. I’ve been unhappy and “lost” for years and haven’t been able to find what I’m supposed to do with my life.

Then don’t! :wink:

Adam

Aron,

While I can’t speak to what it is like to be away from family for that long since I did flight training when I was single, but I can at least answer your question about how I knew that aviation was the right choice. I talk about it in my bio, but in summary it started with a curiosity, which lead to an intro flight and that was all I needed. Of course I talked to as many pilots as I could to gather as much information as I could just to be sure, but it had been something that I had considered for a few years before realizing that there was actually a way for me to make it happen. That’s when I found ATP which in a way acted like a launchpad to where I am now.

I think the best way to figure out if aviation is right for you is to take an intro flight at the very least. You may need a few lessons if you’re still not sure.

Tory

1 Like

Thanks Tory! Yeah I’ve got my 3rd lesson scheduled my first one I was sick so I didn’t fully comprehend what was happening lol

Aron,

My situation was a bit different than yours as I are up in an aviation family. I think when I realized I wanted to fly though was about halfway through my business degree. I realize that Could not just sit at a desk all day, living the “Office Space” life, so I decided to try flying.

I was young and did not have a family to be away from. I will share this with you though, I grew up without a father and think I turned out alright. Military parents routinely deploy for six months at a time, your family will be fine.

As your wife cannot move, are you okay with being a life long commuter?

Chris

I don’t see a problem commuting at least for the time being! lol I live 20 mins from KCOU but I do know the daycare isn’t what my wife wants to do forever; we both own it with her mom and it is her mothers dream. So, I assume when I do get a bid, my wife will be more open to moving.

Aron,
There will never be a “good time” to uproot your life and start a new career. That’s why you hear guys starting flight training at 30 or 40… but before you know it, you’ve lost more time.
You’re absolutely right though, you don’t want to risk so much unless you KNOW it will be worth it for the future your investing in. So first, start with that intro flight. I grew up in an aviation family and used to roll my eyes at family holidays when they spoke aviation lingo for hours. I wasn’t the least bit interested let alone passionate for aviation. Fast forward ten years, and I’m dissatisfied in my job and looking for a way out. My dad suggested we go fly and that was it…. I couldn’t wait to get back up in the sky. From there, a passion was born. After that, I knew I was ready to take the leap: quit my job, move across the country back home for flight school and start the grind. I’m now at Skywest Airlines and I still find myself thinking, how lucky am I to be here and doing this as a career. I hope for you, once you take that intro flight you find the same clarity that propels such a massive life change. I promise you if you’re that passionate about it, you won’t regret it.
-Hannah

1 Like

Ok I love this thread because it’s how I have felt the last few years as well! I’m all about career growth, and I know my current job/industry doesn’t provide the same growth, opportunities, pay, etc., that the airlines will offer. It sets up my family even better than where I am now.

Plus, I get to travel and that’s one of my favorite things to do.

Mat,
Glad to hear it! Have you started your flight training yet? If not, what’s your plan? We’re here to help!
-Hannah

2 Likes

Hannah,

Working on getting appointment scheduled for my medical. Closest examiner is about a 45 minute drive from me so gotta find time during my work week to get there. After that doing my intro flight and getting a start date scheduled!

1 Like

Sounds like you’re right on track! Let us know if you need anything… next to add to your list, working on the PAR written:)

I second Hannah’s advice on the written tests. Taking any written tests ahead of your start date is completely optional, but a good investment towards shoring up more time during your program to focus on other things. No need to delay your start date for this reason though. If you don’t have time to get any written tests done the program has time built into it to allow for all tests to be completed on-time.

Tory

#same brother! I’m in Construction Sales right now and my company doesn’t have much upward movement.

1 Like