Afraid of “loosing that loving feeling”

Because of a few days of bad weather in the valley and a couple days off for our anniversary I am finding myself in a very contemplative mood and a bit concerned that I’ll loose the loving feeling I have for flying and the science of flight.

For a bit of background, the program I am in is very fast paced and while that’s been great for learning, it’s become more of a slug than I expected with early mornings, hours in study and time and ultimately attention away from my family. I see the other instructors and they too seem to be in a slugfest with their logbooks to rack up the hours and tolerate their students, when what they really want, is just to get to the airlines to finally start their careers. Now let’s be clear, one does not go into a career in aviation to become a flight instructor, it’s merely a nasty (1200+ hr) speed bump on the road to their dreams. Which, the longer I am in the program I am beginning to really question the logic of.

As mandated by the FAA (and transport Canada) pilots wanting to fly for the airlines have to accumulate a total of 1500+ hrs flight time before they can even apply. However what that ends up looking like is actually “flying” about 300 hrs and then sitting in the right seat as instructor for over 1200+ hrs – most of the time not even manipulating the controls. While I can appreciate that the best way to master a concept is to teach it, is pretty clear that for the vast majority of instructors they have lost the loving feeling for flying and are they really becoming better pilots?

So here is little old me (38 yrs young) with a burning passion and intrigue for aviation, nearing the end of my private license, finding myself really wondering how I can keep my loving feeling for flight while still allowing me to pursue this career change that I so desperately need. Do I stay in this intensive program and slug it out like all the others or do I slow down the frenzy and pace the program to a more appropriate pace for who I am and what I need in my life right now?

Big questions and not nearly a big enough coffee to work this out today.

Tomorrow I return to my solo cross-country flights and I am happy to say that very excited about those. Three full days with 3-hour flights to both enjoy the flying experience and to further contemplate my options.

Here is a photo that I found to inspire me to continue…

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