Personal View on Aviation and Its Bigger Impact

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Few passions which has dictated the direction of my life has been sports, family, friends and aviation. These passions were incentives for me on how to become happier and a better person. My first passion, sports, has guided me and my friends through temptations such as dropping out of school, and dealing with drugs. Sports was the one thing, in which kept me and friends together no matter the circumstances of the situation. I am fortunate enough to have friends who were always able to keep on track. My friends were the ones who were able to distract me from the temptations of life and guide me through the right and wrongs. I was grateful enough to have family who always inspired me to push myself towards my goals and become independent for the future goal I am aiming for. They’re also the ones who taught me to learn from my mistakes and guide me from what’s right and wrong.

Family is the most important part of my life, and my passion for them would be the highest of importance. Since childhood, one of my long dreams has been to pursue a career in aviation. It’s a dream I’ve been trying to achieve all my life. I can still till this day remember the exact time and moment I fell in love with aviation. It was the summer, before sophomore year in college and I was invited into a flight school, and test a real flight simulator. All my life I was surrounded by major airports, and the only thing I heard was either the airplane noises, or complaints about the noises being too loud. The community outlook was never positive, but it always amazed me on the functioning of the aircraft. The day I got invited, was the first time, I was able to witness a lear jet up close. I also had the privileges of sitting in the cockpit as PIC: Pilot in command. That day made me realize, I had chosen the wrong career path, and my goal was to achieve bigger things in aviation.

I quickly changed my lifestyle to make revolve around aviation. Without condoning approval from my family, I enrolled in Vaughn Aviation college of Aeronautical Science, to not only focus on how to fly planes, but the fundamentals on how the aircraft functions. After getting accepted into the program, the finances were coming out to be too costlier and out of my budget. This crushed my hopes and demotivated me drastically in continuing pursuing the career. I felt like I was midway climbing a very steep hill, and god has pushed me back at the beginning. Time went by, so did my emotions. Few months went by, I continued pursuing my initial career which was engineering, and came to a certain point where I had to convey my parents about my situation. My dad calmed me down and said to me “Failure shouldn’t be viewed as a justification for quitting, rather as a learning experience.” He informed me on how proud he was I took the first step achieving my dream, and will support my decisions in life no matter what. He reminded me on how he used to take me to random airports as a child, just because I showed a high sense of interest in aircrafts. This motivated me to work harder, and start from the beginning again.

The next month me and my father attended an aviation convention in upstate, where we were guided on different paths to pursue the career. We learned that Aeronautical college or school was not the only option, and there were different and cheaper paths. We learned that I didn’t have to attend a four-year college which was only dedicated to aviation, rather I could’ve attended a flight school and pursue it on the side. The convention focused on networking with different pilots from different countries so it could expand one’s knowledge about different airlines in different countries. There I was fortunate enough to meet, pilots of my ethnicity and religion who’ve made it big in the aviation industry. They’ve made me realize that finishing college and getting a degree opens up potentially lots of doors in the future for aviation. Pilots with a degree or military pilots are prioritized at the top of the seniority list whilst come recruiting time. This motivated me to join a cheap college and invest my money into a part 61 school.

We were asked to choose two articles in which we found interesting regarding our essay. This first article by CNN focuses on the airline industry and its shortage of pilots, particularly in the United States. According to the Federal Aviation, in 1987 there were about 827,00 pilots in America. Over the previous three decades, that number has decreased by 30%. Meanwhile, over these three decades, the demand for aviation has increased tremendously. The International Air Transport Association predicts that over the next 20 years, the need for airline pilots will double. In the early 1970’s, piloting for an airline was more a prestigious career then it is as today. The job offered high salaries and many benefits to new pilots. Even better, cadet pilots were able to join the military to receive all of there training, where when finishing, were guaranteed a position in the major airlines. Recently, this is no longer the case. This means young aspiring pilots are forced to pay for their own training, which can cost more than $100,000. This effect was caused by a great recession.

9/11 was a major crisis in which left many major airlines in poor financial crises. Five out of six major airlines declared bankruptcy: Delta, Northwest, US Airways and American Airlines. “I clearly recall a day a couple weeks after 9/11, when one of my flights, from Washington DC to Orlando, Florida, boarded just one passenger.” Pilots were then forced to drop their captain positons, and restart from the beginning as a First officer which led to a major decrease in their payload. One pilot states his salary decreased more than $100,000 in a span of days. Over a period of time, pilots then forcibly quit their jobs, leading airlines to go back to increasing their salary. They were furious into investing so much time and money, and the outcome resulting to be very nominal. In 2009, the congress has changed the major requirement age from 70 to 65 which caused many captains to retire.

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A report by Boeing states that 42% of pilots which fly under the major airlines in the United States will reach their retirement age within the next 10 years. This caused many young aspiring pilots to seek a more stable career. The greatest demand for well-trained pilots are within the Pacific and Asia region. Major manufactures such as Boeing and Airbus have been expediting their deliveries to these regions and and are expected to do so for the next 20 years. Congress also demanded to mitigate the fatigue issues which pilots face. This basically means, for a long flight, there must be more pilots rotating on the schedule in the cockpit. The airline industry is at its peak right now, and for new aspiring pilots, this is the best time to join.

For my second article, it focuses on explaining the differences in between the type of training one would like to receive. The article starts by focusing on choosing the right school which is built for you. Financially, statically, and most importantly location. Location in the sense, cheap fuel, great weather, not around busy airspaces, and clear local terrain (not around a mountainous location. There are two major parts for cadet pilots in flight training. One of them being Part 61 and the other being Part 141. Part 141 schools are set up for healthy career oriented pilots, which have the funds to pay for flight school upfront, and are limited to take breaks during training. They would have to finish their flight school from the beginning without considering of taking breaks. Their requirements for completion are a lot simpler. Part 141 refers specifically to flight schools with a syllabus which should be approved by the FAA and it includes a rigorous approval in which a specific number of students have a student-pass rate in order to maintain their flight school as a 141 status. This significantly increases the workload for the instructor and the student. With this license, students are required to log less hours to complete their flight training. Only 190 of flight hours need to be logged upon your completion. You are required to spend 120 of flight hours of training, you are not allowed to go on trips or any type of enjoyment. All hours must be focused on training.

In Part 61, you have more flexibility and availability. You are not bound to pay all up front, and required to fly more hours. You can take breaks during each stage of your license, and continue anytime you’re financially stable. If a student has a hard time during a specific lesson, you’re able to skip it and come back to it later without affecting your schedule. Part 61 focuses on providing the student with tools to decide when they want to learn, and how they want to learn. They aren’t required to have an instructor with them all times, and can self study on specific subjects they do not require much help on. Having the ability to work based on your schedule, continuation of building your career, and avoiding on taking loans are the few perks of joining a Part 61 flight school. Even though it requires more flight hours, students can still tend to keep the costs very minimal by splitting it with another pilot. Few benefits of a Part 141 flight schools are, pilots can finish at a quicker pace and are required a few total hours. Even though student might find this as a blessing, many aviation jobs require more hours, because it minimizes the liability on the company. A pilot with more hours, would considered to be more trained and put would put less of a risk on the company in case of an emergency. This is the reasoning why I chose a Part 61 school; it allows me to pay for flight school over a period of time, finish at my own pace, continue college whilst also continuing aviation, and be travel different places and be more experienced.

On November 10, 2019 I had the privilege of speaking with my Marvin and asking a few questions which had me a little confused on the aviation industry. The first question I asked him was regarding the minimum requirements on joining the major airlines, and why its so rigorous. I specifically gave an example of how a pilot can graduate with all his/her license, but needs 1500 hours to join the airlines. Marvin then responded on how the FAA changed it’s ruling in 2013, due to an accident in 2009. After investigation, the FAA ensured the reasoning for this accident, was lack of experience for the pilots who were in command. The pilots haven’t witnessed a situation, and weren’t able to make the right judgment. This accident has caused more than 50 fatalities and required the FAA to make major change to its ruling.

I then asked him on the contrary why overseas, 250 hours is the minimal requirement for new pilots. Why is it possible to get hired with a major airline such as Qatar with 250 hours? Marvin responded by explaining to me those pilots get hired as second pilot, which basically means the pilot does not have final authority over the aircraft. You are seated in the back of the cockpit and are used to overview a long haul flight. When pilots take rest, the second pilot takes responsibility, and watches over the instruments. Though these pilots are allowed to log time, they still require 1500 hours till they get the option of applying for a first officer. I later on asked him if he would’ve recommended I work in China due to the fact they're nearly paying $300,000 to their pilots. He then responded on explaining how, you have to work like a fiend, adapt to a different lifestyle, sign a minimum of a 5-year deal, learn their language, adapt your family to their lifestyle. He then went into depth on explaining the work schedule. How you’re away from home for long period of times, always maximizing your flight hours in regulations to the FAA, and life being so stressful. He made me realize, money is not the answer for happiness. You something have to give something to gain something better.

Prior to reading this article, I had minimal information on the seriousness shortage of pilot is affecting the U.S. especially in the regional airline level. According to the FAA, in 1987 there were about 827,000 pilots in the U.S. Over the last three decades, the number has decreased by at least 30 percent. This shortage has created a demand for airline pilots to increase benefits which has motivated trained pilots to join major airlines, and the demand increase yearly. This article makes me realize, that aviation is at its peak, and it’s the best time for new cadet pilots like me to join the industry. Airlines are offering a leeway for new pilots with substantial increase in their payroll, benefits, and vacation time. Different airlines, are increasing each year, which is causing different airlines to increase nearly everything to stay at superiority. For my second article, it focuses on the difference of training provided in aviation. Prior to reading this article I always had doubts if I chose the right pathway for aviation by joining a part 61 school in Florida. Albeit part 61 requires more hours to graduate, one thing major companies who are hiring focus on are cadet pilots with the most experience. This I only acknowledged after reading this article. Part 61 is more lenient for college students, students who aren’t financially stable, and students who have a difficult time focusing on some topic specifically. All these relate to me, and me realize this was the best option for me.

Speaking with my instructor was one of the best decisions I made, and I regret for not making it happening sooner. He made me realize my priorities in life, and focus on what is important to me. Running after money, working in China, was going to keep a major distance with ones who I prioritize in life. He made me realize, even though the money was great, life for me and my family was going to be arduous. Different culture, different language, different lifestyle was something my family would have to adapt to, and it was going to be a task. He also explained to me in depth the actuality of how the second officer works, and why building airtime in U.S.A is major benefit for major airlines. How they prioritize anything and everything which is done in the U.S. Working as a second officer, would only mean I would be placed on a safety seat in the cockpit, and not actually have final authority over an aircraft. He than made me realize, sitting as a second officer is not something I see myself doing, and place my focus on aviation airlines in the states.

One of the main things which changed my perspective on how I view aviation was on how globally shortage of pilots is affecting many major airlines. It made me realize that this career is at its peak, and it’s the best time for me to continue what I do and and pursue it all the way. Everything worked out, from the Aviation school I chose, to the part I chose, to the people I chose to keep closes to me. My so called “instructors” who are also my motivators, who consider me more as family, and made me realize my priorities in life. To focus on the future rather running after money. The positivity and support from my friends and family makes me want to achieve my dream even harder and at a faster pace.

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