13 Flight Training, Flying & Aviation Career Questions — Motivation Monday #5
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13 Flight Training, Flying & Aviation Career Questions — Motivation Monday #5

January 28, 2020

Hey, aviators. Welcome to another Motivation Monday. It’s great to have you here, and today we’re
going to have a shorter session because I am leaving Alaska for three months tomorrow
morning, and we are going to be traveling all over, going to be going to Salt Lake and
Las Vegas to visit family, then I’ll be spending a couple months down in Southern California,
Ventura County in particular, and then Florida for sun and fun, Texas for some collaboration
with Aviation101, Josh Flowers. So lots in that timeframe that I’ll be doing,
lots of content coming, but I’m trying to get one last episode done here with my beautiful
background lighting that I’ve created recently. But Motivation Monday is for aviation training,
aviation careers, flight training, maneuvers, questions you have as a community, as an individual
even, about something you’re struggling with in aviation or something you want a little
bit more information on. So coming from a certified flight instructor
myself, I can share that information through here. I take these questions through Instagram. I ask every Sunday night, “What questions
do you guys have?” So please go there each Sunday evening if
you have any questions, Monday morning, and ask those questions and I’ll be happy to answer
them on Monday. And so here’s this episode. You can go back and also check out the previous
episodes. Please subscribe, like, and remember that
you can also go down in the comments and communicate, and you can also see the description where
you can search the different questions that are answered in this particular Motivation
Monday. So enjoy it, and I will see you guys in there. “Are they’re well-paying aviation jobs that
allow you to be home with your family every night?” I would say that if you’re wanting to be home
with your family every night, kind of doing more of a nine to five aviation job, you’re
going to be probably in the lower paying range of aviation jobs. Airlines obviously have their own schedules,
and you build up through your seniority, so this is definitely an area where you’re going
to make some sacrifices. Now, for me, I actually decided myself that
this was something that was very important to me, to see my kids grow up and to be with
my family. I think there are plenty of families that
do well in aviation, even with the schedule. I think it just depends on how you do things
as a couple and how you make things work, to where you can do the airlines or other
forms of other forms that is not nine to five and do just fine, but it just takes quality
work together to get that to work. However, I’m a flight instructor. That’s definitely a good nine to five type
of thing you could do. It might even be a little bit more flexible
with that, where maybe you’ll have flexibility during the days with your family, but then
at nighttime, in the evening, when people get off work and can do their flight training,
you can work then. So there is some flexibility there, but you
do have more of a home base. So I would say that in aviation overall, there’s
definitely this way that you can kind of shape your career however you want it. There’s plenty of opportunities in aviation. You may not be a pilot per se, but you may
have some other aspects that you’re bringing into it. But pure pilot jobs, it is pretty hard to
get the nine to five type of job, although it is not impossible. “Going into the military. Do you suggest commercial? Have 135 hours and about to get instrument.” I’m not entirely sure what the best path would
be for the military. Obviously the military will pay for a lot
of your training, but they also will probably look well upon you already having flying hours
and it’ll give you a leg up on those that are in fight school as well or whatever with
you that don’t have any idea what to do. So I would say it kind of depends, but in
terms of what I know, military flying is way different than civilian flying. So there will be a lot of crossover, just
because airplanes fly how airplanes fly, but there’s also going to be a lot different in
how everything works. So that’s a toss up. I would probably ask a military pilot that
rather than me, but it is definitely something that I think could help. Just kind of depends on what type of flying
you’re going into. “Transitioning to a new airplane in the middle
of private pilot training. Good or bad?” I would say I’m pretty indifferent on this. It really depends on the type of airplane. I think if you’re going to go from something
that’s a basic trainer, like say a Cherokee 140 or a Cessna 172, and go up to a 182 that
has a constant speed and some more performance, then yeah, you’re going to be dealing with
a lot more, and that could be a bit of a leap. But I would also say that airplanes fly the
way they fly and you can always learn in that type of plane. It might just take more hours to do it. And I know plenty of people that have learned
to fly in a 182 or something larger that is a complex airplane, so it just depends, and
it might take more hours, but it is what it is, and if that’s what you choose to do, that’s
totally fine. “I’m almost done with my commercial license,
then will start my multi IFR. So I’m thinking to get my university degree
while …?” Probably while you’re going through training or while you’re continuing that. So this is a common question of whether to
get your your training at like a university, or get it through a local flight school. And I really like the path of getting your
degree separately from your flight training. Flight training ends up being a little bit
faster that way, ends up being cheaper that way, and then you can be employable faster
and still have your degree by doing something like that. I know of people that have even worked in
an aviation job while they are still going to college, working as a CFI. So that’s another good way to do it, to actually
support yourself as a pilot. You’re building hours, but you’re still in
college, so that’s a great way of doing it. “What are your thoughts on flying corporate
versus regional to build time for majors?” You know, it’s interesting, because I think
that for the most part, majors are going to look upon crew time and actual airline time
a little bit more favorably than they would single pilot time in the corporate world. That’s not to say that you can’t make the
leap from one to the other, so I think it kind of depends. You’ve got to evaluate your options here. I think the great thing about the corporate
world is you’re going to get a different view on aviation than you’re ever going to get
in the airlines, and so what you learn there is something different than just being in
the airline mindset your entire career, and I think there are some advantages to that,
just to have a bit of a different twist on your experience and have a different feel. Because what if you were always in the airlines,
say regionals, and then moving up to majors, and maybe it’s just not for you, but you never
really have that taste of a different type of job? So what if really your heart is in the corporate
world? So I would say that trying both would be a
good thing, but also that the majors look upon actual airline time more favorably than
they would the corporate time. I know friends that are corporate pilots that
have technically way more hours than the regional pilots, but the regional pilots get hired
rather than them, so there’s a bit of a disparity there between the two. But just think more holistically, big picture
on shaping your career and what that could mean. If your eventual goal, and you know that your
eventual goal is to fly in the majors, it’s probably best to go through the airlines or
through the regionals. “Is going for commercial instrument rating
you recommend buying a plane?” You know, I get this question a lot and I
think it really depends on how much of a barrier you want to set up for yourself. So for an example, a really quick story is
I had two students last year. They were both on track, basically the same
time, moving the same pace toward getting their license. One of them got bogged down in the thought
of buying an airplane and completely stopped his training because of it. The other one continued his training and got
to becoming a private pilot, okay? That’s when he bought an airplane, in that
transition between private pilot and finishing his training and being rated as a private
pilot. He made it all the way. The guy that stopped flying is no longer flying
right now from what I understand. So make sure it doesn’t derail you. It’s a whole different subject to approach
buying an airplane, because you got to be very careful, and make sure you’re not buying
a lemon, and you got to do pre-buys and all sorts of stuff. In terms of affordability, absolutely. It’s a fantastic way to make your training
very cheap to get there, but it can also be a burden for people that kind of stops them
in their tracks, in their progress, and prevents them from moving forward. So that’s kind of my advice there is, yes,
it is a good way to do it, but it can also derail you from progress, from actually making
progress moving forward. Hope that makes sense. Good question. “Thoughts on the tail beacon, wing beacon
versus something like a GTX 335 for cheap ADS-B solutions?” Personally I have a Stratus ADS-B transponder. I really like it. It is solid. It works really well. It’s definitely kind of middle of the road
in terms of what’s out there for ADS-B solutions, but I really like it. It does a great job and works quite well. That said, I think we’re in a time now where
those that have delayed getting their ADS-B transponder mandate done are typically those
that are very cost conscious, and I would say that whatever you’re going to do, find
a way to do it and move forward. And there are plenty of solutions out there
that are fairly affordable to do. So I like the idea of the tail beacons, the
wing beacons, et cetera. I think that’s a creative idea, to get that
done. I do like the extra things that I get with
our ADS-B transponder because the Stratus gives you an AHRS which actually then gives
me synthetic vision through foreflight and a bunch of other tools as well. So that’s giving me a lot more information
than simply living up to the mandate. So you’ve got to balance that as well. If this is a time to make that leap and maybe
upgrade the technology in your cockpit a little bit, that may be a good, good way to go. Personally, I like what I’ve done. I feel like it’s middle of the road and it’s
good. And again, my transponder, the one I use,
go check it out, is a Stratus ESGI. I do get this question probably weekly when
I do these Motivation Mondays. And, “What is your longterm goal?” Honestly, my longterm goal is right here,
doing what I’m doing, creating aviation content for the community that they can use and that
can help them move forward. I make money from doing ground school and
checkride preparation courses that you can find at angleofattack.com. That’s how you can support me and this company
and our mission. But really this is what I love to do. I love to teach. I have a small fight school here in Homer,
Alaska that I teach real people. I don’t teach a ton of students. I’m not totally busy with my flight school
because I have the online thing as well. It’s a pretty good split. But I love teaching real people. I love seeing real people make leaps and bounds
in aviation and also inspiring and encouraging people to move forward, so I try to make content
that’s easy to digest, modern, looks good, and I’m doing that with the backdrop of Alaska
and I think it’s working out pretty well. So this is my plan. I enjoy being an instructor and educator and
I hope to help you guys along and be part of this journey together. Okay. This is a really good question and a very
important thing to find. “So as someone who has no contacts, how do
I find a mentor within general aviation?” And I actually just did a podcast that I’m
going to be releasing within the next couple of days, and it’s titled How to Get Back Into
Aviation. Basically if you fall out of aviation, how
to get back into it and get moving forward. A major part of that podcast, my podcast is
called AviatorCast, is finding a mentor and connecting yourself to the local community
and actually going and talking to people. And really there’s no way to avoid it. We, as pilots, we’re all basically adult age,
okay? And we need to be adults about approaching
people at our local airport, finding out who’s who, making connections, going to different
clubs, and meetings, and organizations and training seminars, et cetera, and meet people,
and you will find those mentors through that process, okay. Now, that’s not always something that is just
in-person, although I will emphasize it is so important you get over your fear and your
shyness and you do that in person, but it can also be done digitally. It can be done digitally through social media,
to find mentors there. I will say that the best way to do it is in
person. Those are the type of people that can line
up flying experiences potentially, and eventually you’ve got to go that way, but do everything
you can to reach out and grow your network and that’s how you can make it work, and please
don’t make excuses that you simply have no contacts. I’m not saying that’s your problem, that’s
just you stating a fact, but go out and reach out and get to know people and that’s how
you’re going to make it work. I do get a lot of questions about flying jobs
in Alaska, and here’s one. “Are low time jobs in Alaska easy to come
by? I’ve been doing research but can’t really
find much.” You know, there are a lot of people that want
to fly in Alaska. The jobs here are quite competitive. You’ve got to have good experience, you’ve
got to be like a hearty, outdoor type of person to survive here, and I think that it’s kind
of the intangibles that these companies look for. Do you have a tough mindset where you can
survive the Alaskan lifestyle, and you’ll stay here for a number of years if they invest
in you? Those are the types of pilots they seem to
reach out for. The jobs like Raven or Hegland, they are highly
competitive, and even friends that I know that have been in aviation here for a long
time, have thousands of hours, even for them it’s competitive. So I would say yes, there are low time jobs
if you’re willing to do instructor jobs and some other type of jobs, but it is quite competitive
and you will be expected to be kind of a survivalist, in a way, where you can survive life in Alaska. That’s something big that they look for here. I really don’t know how else to say it, but
it really is those intangible things that they look for. They really look for fit more than your qualifications. “I’ve had a couple of pilots recommend getting
commercial after private pilot and before instrument to be able to make some money.” That’s an interesting one. I guess I’ve never heard it phrased that way,
to actually make some money. Here’s the thing, though. If you’re going to get your commercial pilot
license at the minimum of 250 hours, there’s a lot to burn there between the minimum hours
for private pilot, which is 40 hours, and the minimum hours for commercial, part 61,
which is 250 hours, so you’re talking 100 or 210 hours there that you’ve got to basically
build time. Where instrument is nice to get done in that
timeframe, is you’re actually building the time and getting something done out of the
way to build toward that 250 hours. So while it may be true that you could build
250 hours, get a commercial job and use that to go toward your instrument, I feel like
it’s better to struggle through it and get your instrument done as well, and so you’re
hireable at 250 hours with your instrument rating as well, so you don’t have those limitations
on your license. Interesting question. “Ever flown a warbird? If not, anything in the works?” I was able to fly with the the AeroShell team
at AirVenture in Oshkosh last year, and it was amazing. They were in formation, they did a couple
of aerobatic maneuvers, and it was really cool. Really, really cool. I never really considered even what something
like four Gs would feel like, and it was amazing. Had a really good time, actually put up a
YouTube video of that online. You can go check that out, but very cool experience. I flew in that. I flew in That’s All, Brother, which was in
the main wave of the invasion on Normandy, was the first DC-3 ahead of that wave. There was a wave the night before, so technically
it wasn’t the first, but in the main invasion force it was the first one to go in. I was able to fly on that at AirVenture as
well. Very, very cool experience. Flew on a Beach 18 once, which was very cool,
and also a T-6, an original T-6 SNJ. “How easy is it to get your complex and high
performance rating?” Very simple. Takes a number of hours. Really isn’t that complicated. That’s why it’s more of an endorsement rather
than a rating. It is an endorsement, so your instructor can
sign off on that. Really quite simple to actually go through
that. Guys, I think I’m going to leave it here. I will try to answer your question separately
if I can find some more time today. Again, I’m leaving for three months tomorrow
morning with my family. We’re leaving from Alaska to go visit family
and get outside before the busy flying season in the summertime, so if you want more questions,
if you want to see more of this type of content, please go to YouTube. You’ll find these Motivation Mondays on there. I’ve done two or three of them already. I’m planning on being committed to this every
Monday, and last week’s will be posted basically today, so I do have one to post for today. I’ll do that, and then this one you’ll find
next week on YouTube. But go there, subscribe, stay in touch, keep
asking those questions. I’ll do my best to get in there and answer
your questions just directly to you. Since I couldn’t do it here live, I’ll try
to chip away at that off air, but I appreciate you guys being here. If there’s anything I can ever do for you,
please don’t hesitate to write me and ask me a question. It helps me stay sharp as an educator, and
I can potentially help you move forward. Again, thanks for being here. Please share the message of Angle of Attack. Share this with your aviation friends out
there that you think it might be helpful for, and I will see you guys next time. Until next time, throttle on.

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