I’m a big fan of being a part of the pilot community online, whether it’s reading blogs, forums, following pilots on Instagram and Facebook, or par-taking in groups on Facebook. It’s a lot of exposure to aviation on a daily basis. Recently, it’s been working against me in a way. I see many pilots getting to fly often, gain new ratings, or just have adventures. I want the same for my flying, but it’s not in my best interest financially and career-wise right now, and that’s a hard thing to cope with when seeing these things all day every day on social media.
In a moment of passion, I’d most likely drop everything, take out a loan and fly until I have all the ratings I want (which will probably never end). But what good does that do to my future? Pretty much nothing, it hurts me in the end. I could do that, get myself in debt, have fun for a year, and then be struggling the rest of my life to repay my debt and barely fly.
It’s been said in my blog before, and for someone who is pretty impatient, it is in my best interest to remind myself again: life is a marathon. You can’t sprint the entire way, but have to conserve your energy to make a fantastic finish. Flying is also a marathon. Jake imparted some knowledge on my recently when I said how much I’d love to earn more ratings at this moment in time. He told me the first 300 hours of flying are the most fun, why rush them? You won’t get to experience that type of learning and experimentation again after those hours. They’re not something to waste and hurry. He wish he could do it again and take more time. Find the perfect airplane to get his complex in, instead of settling for the Piper Arrow his school had. Maybe go the route a friend went and found an airplane that got him his complex, tailwheel, and high performance endorsements all at once. He doesn’t remember what airplane his friend found, but I want to know because that sounds like an awesome airplane!
I know for many of us, especially me, it’s a struggle to wait for what you want. I have to keep telling myself: doing it right will make it more enjoyable than doing it in a hurry. While I intend to make aviation my career, I do not want to be a pilot for a career. Even as a career, most pilots I know, say it isn’t worth getting into debt for it. That’s probably the best advice for aspiring pilots: don’t get into debt for flying. Jake routinely flies with captains who are still at a regional airline in their 40s and have lots of flying debt. It’s an unstable and unpredictable career. You can say you’ll be different, but you don’t know how the industry will change in a heartbeat. I’ve seen it first hand with Jake’s career, and he has absolutely no power over it. Well, the only power he has is to be responsible and be ready financially for anything. He’s now instilling that within me.
Every one has hurdles in their training, most commonly a learning plateau or money issues. It’s through hard work and patience we can overcome those hurdles. It’s hard not to get discouraged like I have been recently, but looking to the future and focusing on what you can do in the present helps.
I do feel stuck on the saving up money part since I’m currently waiting to see if I’ll be moving across the country, but I can focus on reading the instrument books I have. Even though it now seems like it’ll be awhile before I can formally start training, I can always save that knowledge and be prepared for it. It will also help me as a dispatcher, so win-win.
It may be the littlest things that can satisfy you until the future, but you can always find something.