Flying is an exciting career; as exciting a career could possibly be. Every day is different, and there are great opportunities to meet people and travel. There are probably more misconceptions about flying than any other career. A few of these misunderstandings should be cleared up before one decides upon a flying career.
. Pilots make more money than they can ever spend. Senior captains of airlines or corporate operators do make very good salaries. They have a lot of experience in the industry, and a lot of seniority with the organization they work for. A pilot, especially a senior captain has a great deal of responsibility; millions of dollars worth of aircraft, and hundreds of lives. The first job a pilot works at will most likely have a very modest salary. One has to work their way up and prove their ability. Like other professionals, pilots earn their salaries.
. The autopilot flies the airplane, not leaving much work for the pilot. Modern airliners and corporate jets have very sophisticated autopilots. They fly the route they are programmed, and many can even land an aircraft. Most of the training aircraft do not have autopilots, and this is when the pilots learn to fly. Even on airliners, autopilots are a convenience. The pilot is still responsible for the safety of the aircraft, and must be able to react in an emergency or abnormal situation. The autopilot just keeps the pilot from having to hand-fly the aircraft for the entire flight.
. Becoming a pilot involves a large financial investment. Becoming a pilot is one of the most expensive careers one can possibly train for. To spend this money, one has to want it badly.
. Irregular shifts/ work hours. Aviation is a 24/7, 365 days a year profession. This includes holidays such as Diwali, Christmas, New Years, and all others. Although a pilot’s time off make actually be greater than a lot of other professions, it is highly irregular. This also means being on call 24 hours a day for a few weeks of the month. There will be no guaranteed time off to be with friends and family, especially for less senior pilots.
. Stressful work environment. Landing and taking off at busy international airports, and following air traffic control instructions can be very stressful. Keeping a tight schedule, responding to the airline’s demands, while doing your job efficiently takes a lot of effort and stamina.
. An exciting career. Few careers in the world offer the excitement of being a pilot. Every day, every situation is different. Different destinations, different weather, meeting all kinds of new people are part of being a pilot. Very few careers provide this.
. Opportunity for travel, on and off work. Airline and corporate pilots have the opportunity to fly to destinations all over the world. Airlines usually have reduces or even free airfare for their employees on their vacations. Even charter pilots have the opportunity to travel to different cities all the time.
Once you truly decide flying is for you, there is no turning back! If you want it bad enough, you will meet all challenges, and do whatever it takes to be successful. Like every career in the world, flying has its good and bad points. Like every professional, one must take the good and the bad. If flying, or an aviation career is in your blood, there has never been a better time to get a career going!