Saturday, March 20, 2010

Instructing Pictures

Here are some pictures I've taken as an instructor:

Mountain waves visible by fog.

Arrival into Burbank on a dual cross country to the IMAX theatre to see Dark Night.

IFR departure enroute for a PPL checkride.

My student doing a good job on a constant-speed climb.

Flying into Catalina on a dual IFR cross country.

Lake Tahoe airport enroute in the Seneca from Reno.

Enroute in an Arrow to Oceanside, California.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Another Milestone

1000 hours is something of merit, but doesn't really go as far as a number. Recently, however, I've accumulated 1200 hours, which actually means something in the aviation world. As per FAR part 135, 1200 hours is the total hours required to fly for "commuter and on-demand operations" (i.e. charter and cargo). I've always thought of making one of these career choices my own, but it never became a reality until now. The schedules aren't as set or "normal" as the airline world. Cargo flying schedules are usually late through the night, while some charter is "on-demand", where the pilot is basically on call. Having a family makes these schedules difficult to maintain.

It seems that slowly the airlines are starting to improve financially. This is a good sign that there will be soon some movement. I'm not holding my breath, nor am I disappointed, however. Those who second guess flight instructing as a career, are missing something. It's definitely not the best paying gig, nor is it consistent, but if it were, I'd be here to stay. Flight instructing makes day to day flying the unexpected, it never gets dull.

I think the negativity that's being projected out there today by pilots is from those pilots who've always thought flying as an image, not as something they enjoy. When they realize the "job" part of the career isn't as new and glamorous as they thought, it's projected negatively. Sure, one wants to get paid and respected accordingly, but what job do these become reality on a day-to-day basis? I got into flying because it took me to a place where nothing else could. I know making it a career will make it less "magical" in the end, but the enjoyment, at least, keeps me sane. I think pilots deserve extreme respect and financial compensation due to the commitment and money it takes to become one. I've spent years and thousands of dollars to make it where I am and I think it deserves every bit of respect and compensation. With any job, we'll see if that stands.

I'm a devout musician as well a pilot. I've always asked myself why I haven't gone into a career in music. It seems to be similar to flying, though, more confined. I always thought doing something I loved, playing music, as a career would ruin that pleasure. I guess I'm glad I found flying as something I really enjoyed, because it allowed me to pursue that as a career, rather than music. I think I saw flying as a more lucrative/feasibly possible career than music, maybe I was wrong.

Thanks to all those (few) who read this blog. I hope it's enough to at least inspire someone to go for their dream.