Why choose aviation as a lifestyle?
Aviation is not a career like the others, work schedules, facilities, induction courses, selection processes, risks, priorities, etc, etc. Everything is different!
You don’t choose aviation, it chooses you. It is a vocation is a taste for the unknown, for risk, for adventure, for having the opportunity to have an office with windows of dynamic environments, for not seeing the working days and even the working weeks in the same way. When one chooses to fly (or rather, The Flight chooses one) either as a Pilot, Crew Member or even if it is linked to the maintenance area, office or ground support staff. Life takes on a different tone.
First of all, it is important to clarify that within the educational classification it is a non-formal career, therefore it does not give a degree, not a university degree, not a technical one, not even a technological one! (sorry for the top-guns convinced that they are the most). It is within the cataloguing of art or craft (and honestly, as in any guild if you see some artists that not even to describe them). However if it is an expensive race that is around 120-140 million pesos to opt for a license OACI Commercial Pilot Aircraft (PCA). This is necessary if you want to work for a commercial airline.
The reality of world aviation is that there is a need for pilots in all companies. But experienced pilots with clear requirements in terms of proficiency in the English language (minimum ICAO 4 out of 6 possible), experience in twin-engines preferably and a minimum total of 1000 flight hours. For the undecided teenager or parent concerned about what to do with their child this information can be confusing. But to make it easier for them, what is important to understand is that before investing a considerable amount of money, for the average Colombian employee, in an aviation career the process is like this:
Depending on the seriousness of the school chosen and the punctual payments of the total training. In an average of a year, year and a half the new pilot will be ready to present his brand new resume with 200 total hours to the increasingly demanding and scarce processes of the big commercial aviation companies in our country.
To get a global idea of the current situation of the aviation career, each process (once or twice a year) that a company opens is to recruit 10, maximum 20 pilots. Currently in Colombia there is an average of 2,000 to 3,000 resumes of pilots with few hours (200 to 500hrs total) and an additional of about 1,000 pilots with experience over 1,000 total flight hours. No survey of English levels.
The standard is obviously for any recruiter, the age, the level of English and the total hours (not necessarily in that order). When you have the group chosen for process, come the knowledge evaluations, psychological tests, the check in flight simulator to observe, not only their skills but their attitudes and it is important that the second with “C”. To finally choose the best qualified and start flying as a co-pilot and understand that it is really this life that beyond the dark glasses and the donaire to parade through the corridors of the airports, involves exhausting days of monotony, stress, little time off, endure personalities and geniuses (even smells) in the cabin that are not as nice as seen in the photos.
The first year, as in most things in life, everything is new, learning, enjoyment, experience! Everything is manageable, everything is tolerable, everything is understandable and accommodating. That I had free this weekend but they changed the schedule “Do it!! that’s what we are paid for! “… That the captain arrived as a bad-tempered and not even greeting “Normal, we all have difficult days!”… That we are hung up on the itinerary and touched eating chips and soda for lunch “at night I have dinner locked and there is no drama!
That I had only scheduled two flights back to my city of residence and ended up spending the night in Cartagena “Better to fly more and additional delicious the sea … and so I could list Nmil situations that arise within the operation of the line and one premiering the only thing you see is positive things. But when the year passes, for some the two years and already the 25-30 routes that makes its airline, including the one to San Andres, Panama and Miami, no longer they know them only by heart but they stop being new and the flight operation becomes a routine and repetitive work things change color …
Already the 21 days flying or available at the airport with only 9 days of rest, distributed in series of 2 or 3 days without guaranteeing weekends begin to weigh … It is at that precise moment that the vocation is what emerges, to enjoy the passion of feeling defying gravity, to admire sunrises, sunsets, jungles, mountains and rivers no matter how many times I have seen them, to feel the power roar of those engines in the hand and take that great metal bird in flight and enjoy it in the year 15 as in year 1.
Undoubtedly the remuneration is good, if compared to the qualified professionals of other careers who go out to earn a minimum and to fulfill schedules of 9-5 in an office that does not move…. if 30 routes with time become monotonous, I would not like to imagine what one would do with my brain!
Before you choose aviation as a career, do your homework, do your research, understand that after getting your PCA license you can spend 2, 3 and even 5 years waiting to pass or be called to a process and it is normal to see a high percentage of discouraged kids and parents, starting to study a college career after finishing your aviation course and you know something? it is the best decision! because if you add a professional degree to your resume, immediately within the standard is better positioned to the graduates who come with you.
These letters are not intended to disillusion you or make you faint before your dream of flying. On the contrary, they are aimed at giving you a slightly broader view of what this wonderful world contains. But it is literally only a little, there are too many things to mention, regional aviation, private aviation, the international market and many other aspects that surround this parallel universe of pilots.