I just read a story about a pilot from my area who was killed in a small airplane accident. She was a CFI and it seems the student pulled up too hard on some maneuver. The article had a link to her Instagram account, which was absolutely full of pictures and videos taken from inflight.
Now I have no idea if this contributed to the accident, but I can tell you that the cockpit of an airplane is no place for such things. If you are playing with your phone, you are not flying, if you are grooming yourself to look good for the Instagram video, you are not flying, if you are trying to get the best angle possible for the shot, you are not flying.
If you want to be a pilot, by all means be one, if you want to be an Instagram influencer, keep it separate from work.
Airplanes are very safe, when flown by properly trained pilots who are focused on flying the airplane in a responsible manner. As soon as you let something else become a distraction, or even worse your primary focus, there is an element of danger that is introduced that can have fatal consequences.
This young lady and her student are dead, I will be willing to bet significant money that she was using her phone at the time of the accident. For all of you current and future pilots out there, save the phone and the Instagram posts for your overnights.
I personally know one of the controllers at that airport who transferred from the airport where I trained. Very sad for all involved.
So very sad.
Couldn’t agree with this more. Being a pilot is awesome. We get it, everyone wants to share it. But do it safely, on the ground, with the parking brake set and the engines stopped.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “I just have to share this now”, take a minute and re-ass your priories. What’s more important to you, your social media following as @pilotX or your certs, your career, and sadly your life?
My father was a crop duster and he crashed (and walked away from) 3 planes. He fit every hazardous attitude except resignation. No social media in his day, but each accident was due to doing anything but focusing on flying, too close to power lines while flying underneath them, chasing coyotes, having his girlfriend (my mom) sit on his lap in a single seater…. Luckily I can learn from his mistakes.
Holy…flying UNDER power lines? Is that standard for crop dusting? Even if it’s legal, that sounds wildly unsafe.
Crop dusters are a different breed for sure. My Uncle started out as a crop duster in the 70s before moving on to United flying 747’s. His last year he held seniority number 1, pretty awesome. No under power line flying for him! My dad used to say when he was crop dusting he would tune out the stall horn because it was constantly going off with all the insane maneuvering they were doing. Hard pass for me!
Has accidents ever happened at ATP during training, whether catastrophic or not?
Yes, they have. Keep in mind that ATP is by far the largest flight school in the country. They fly hundreds of thousand of flight hours every month. With his kind of exposure to flying, things will happen. That being said, ATP’s safety track record is second to none in the industry and the company’s primary focus is always on the safe completion of each flight.
Before you complete Indoc as a brand new CFI with ATP, you will be briefed on the few accidents that have occurred over the course of the last 20 years. The point, to talk about what happened and learn from it. It’s also a reminder that what we do every day is dangerous and safety must be the first priority in everything we do.
Id like to applaud you for your questions. We get hundreds of questions regarding pay, DUIs, tattoos, haircuts, what’s the best Major, is it ok I didn’t start training in the womb, do I really need a degree, REALLY?, no seriously REALLY? I’ve read what you’ve said but REALLY?, I grew up in a state that has a University, does that count? my mother was in college when she gave birth to me does that count?,etc etc, but actually very few regarding the rigors of the program or safety. For some people these days seem to take the training and the safety of flying as a given.
We’ve spoke about the intensity of the program. As for safety, as the others have pointed out, ATP has an outstanding safety record spanning over 4 decades. That said there’s a very famous saying “Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But, to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect.” What we do is serious and eventually people will literally be putting their lives in your hands. Having a healthy respect for that is a good thing.
As crazy and this may sound to anyone, I’m not too concerned with pay, though. What’s more important to me is the passion, and love for this field. I want to succeed and prosper as a pilot. I haven’t started yet, so I don’t know how stressful the material is going to be for me, but I will keep in mind to keep my mind on the goal and that should be enough to keep me going.
I have friends who left some amazing paying jobs where they were making somewhere in the 100k bracket because they were depressed and took on other jobs that don’t even pay half of their old salary but they’re completely happy.
I’ve done my research and it shows that starting pay isn’t great for pilots. Also the scheduling isn’t great. It sucks being in reserve and that sort of stuff…but that’s part of paying your dues. Once I get hired by an airline, that’s an accomplishment on its own that will make me happy and proud to finally have my foot in the door, and everything else from there will get better.
I’ve read the threads about the questions you mentioned and to be honest, I wish the best to anyone looking to turn their lives around and whatnot. And again, to me, if you’re really looking into this as a career your passionate for, money shouldn’t matter. Find a way to succeed and get to where you want to be and everything will work itself out. I feel like if you’re too concerned about pay, schedules and that sort of stuff, then you’re in the wrong place. You’ll never work a day in your life doing what you love doing.
Sorry, got sidetracked! It’s just a bit concerning to me when you hear about a catastrophe and stuff like that, you know? It becomes a bit concerning, that’s all. It makes you wonder, this could happen to me…I fly one of those small planes too. Its good to hear that ATP is very safe. Let’s hope it stays this way.
I am not sure what you are making now, but I would argue that starting pay for regional airline pilots is actually very respectable. Take a look at Piedmont’s first year rates, $90 per hour equals roughly $90k. per year. Not bad for first year.