Flight plan

My flight plan....

My blog is to inspire and motivate those who have a love for aviation. I will attempt to virtually open the flight deck door and allow a peek behind the scenes.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dreams meet Reality...

So you want to be a pilot? It's a tough go, and is it worth it? Hell, yes!

I have 7000 hours bouncing around in turboprops in the most weather infested parts of Canada...the East Coast...hoping the majors would call pilot Doug to the big leagues. It's not for the faint of heart and here is a video depicting where reality and dreams intersect...
...near midnight after six legs..... :)

But like the video says..."maybe not the glamourous life they had in mind, but the next best thing!"

Captain D will be off to Cozumel this weekend. One leg there and one leg back. :)


Jonathan said...

Thanks for this great video, Capt'n D ! Shows what's ahead of me in the years to come, if I find out how to get (any kind of) "that very first job".
Take care

From the Flight Deck said...

Jonathan. Yes, one can't go down the road in being a pilot without knocks along the way.
But your passion will keep the dream going. It's that simple....I think. :)

Captain D

Bas said...

Thanks for sharing once again! I've heard all about it, still the drive and passion is bigger then ever.

On dutch related 'how to become a pilot' forums I see a lot of people with 'pink' sunglasses' thinking big salary and only 2 years of study. Reality is so much different. On one side I'm glad I know all about the not always so glamorous life. It even made sign up for the 4 year aviation studies as a 'back up' instead of going to flight school immediatly. On the other side, those pink sunglasses are really attractive.

It's also called the 'BSJ' Syndrome, or Big Shiny Jet Syndrome. The world of aviation is a weird industry, where else in the world would you have to pay to fly as a job? Yes, it really happens these days... Glamorous days are over...

We shall see what the future brings, this might seem like a negative rant but it's reality. I want to work in the aviation industry for sure, with becoming a pilot as a big priority. I'm not the kind of persons who pays 216.000$ for an education and sit at home for a year!

getjets said...

"Eye opening video"....The "Pay" differential....is staggering!!!!
when it comes to Aviation,in this case,that early on....the reward....comes not,in dollars..but a Passion you can't describe...and the financial aspect.....well..."Peace" had to of been made with that....already!!

Great to see, all aspects...including family, and the woman's point of view included...an appreciated post Captain Doug!!!!!

Highlighting as well, your "rocky road" traveled..and dedication and sacrifice leading you, and probably down right "stubbornness"

Maybe you just have to get so "pissed off" at obstacles...that you lose the "fear" and whoops... success!!!

Qualities that can serve us all well..in life and why didn't anybody tell me that proverbial "rocky road" has cliffs too,and maybe ya ought to look up, to see what might be rolling straight for ya...no matter sometimes 'down you go...pick your Bum up, give it another go....or lay around and get run over!!!! the choice is ours!!!but what do I know...except...when it comes to my the rocky road...I sure have racked up some serious "Frequent Flyer Miles"....lol

Safe trip to Mexico....
miss twa

Christer said...

Thanks for posting Doug! Always interesting to have an insight into the realities of a flying career for us on the other side of the flight deck door.

Have a safe trip to Cozumel and back-is it a new airport for you? Just sitting in the United club in SFO watching an AC A319 fin 268 push back from the gate- pretty sure it's not you this time.
Someday our paths will cross airside though!

Take care and thanks again for the post.


From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Christer. How does the United Club compare to the Maple Leaf? (This is where you suppose to say, "there is no comparison") LOL

Yes, I've been to Cozumel a few months ago. The runway and taxiway all are newly paved. Too bad they didn't put in an ILS. Oh well, can't have everything. :)

Glad you liked the "other side of the door" post.

I have my fingers crossed I'm going to get a refund. Taxes! YUK!

Christer said...

I much prefer the MLL, for real:)

YWG's and Regina's are a little small, but the YA Red Carpet Clubs are typically crammed full of people, and worn around the edges. amenities are also better in the MLL with salads and soups and such. But hey- any lounge is better than no lounge at all:)

Best of luck with the taxes and have a safe trip. I gotta board a UA A320 for IAH, then onward to CLT.


Pilots said...

Back in 1969 I had a chance to get on with the majors, along with a group of my peers. I passed on that and went to fly for a corporation.

Funny thing, all of my friends wound up with at least 3 layoffs during their careers, and one (who flew for Eastern) wound up as a sim instructor for United in Denver after Eastern folded.

Me? After 7 long years flying DC-3s, Turboprops and Biz Jets I gave it up and built my own aviation insurance business which I sold in 2004.

A pilot's life can be tough, but there is no better fun to be had anywhere.


All Things Aviation

From the Flight Deck said...

Christer. Just found out I got a refund but the boss already has it spent for backyard projects.
Three things you can't escape in life: death, taxes and the "boss."LOL

And like you said...any lounge is better than no lounge. One day you'll have to show me one.

Enjoy the flights.

Christer said...

Congrats on the refund! Guess the backyard projects would come from your paycheck anyway, so consider the refund a bonus:)

We're sitting on a 320 that's gone tech. In 15 minutes they'll have made a decision whether to go or cancel- last attempt at a system reset for an alarm in the flightdeck- crossing my fingers!


Christer said...

And yes...one day we'll hit up a lounge.

From the Flight Deck said...

Christer. Now you are starting to sound like the "boss." LOL

Here's to that reset!


Christer said...

Uh oh! I'll stop there then:)

Well, after deplaning and almost changing flights, we got a green light to go. Now let's hope the flap issue was actually rectified;)

From the Flight Deck said...

Christer. Who needs flaps? They are overrated. :)

From the Flight Deck said...

Getjets (Miss TWA)

It's true, perseverance wins but stubbornness is a also a qualifier for success. Being pigheaded, not taking "no" for an answer with a little bit of naiveness thrown in helps as well. :)

But I don't know of too many careers that come with an easy beginning, smooth ride and a happy ending. Either they are lying but if it's true I want my money back. :))))

As far as pay and what not, my company is going through negots now. And that includes us pilots. As far as how it is going going, I'd rather not say but
you may hear the "seatbelt sign go on."

I love your rocky road reference to "frequent flyer miles."

From the Flight Deck said...

JetAviator7. Thanks for sharing your story. Love it.

When I fly...I always ask where they flew before AC. Some of the stories and hardships you hear...well
no wonder divorce is high in this profession.

I hope the aviation insurance business was good to you!

Again, thanks for giving us "your take" on things.

Captain Doug

getjets said...


from your friendly neighborhood "APU"

From the Flight Deck said...

Dear "APU"

Crew sked just called and asked if I would fly to Alberta and back tonight.

With all the projects the wife has planned it's good timing ti make some overtime.

So while the "boss is counting sheep," (noticed I didn't say snoring) lol Captain D will be watching stars twinkle through the night on a "red eye" back.

So no more Mexico...it's "head west young man."

Although I noticed they received lots of snow yesterday. Glad it will be a "pit stop,"


getjets said...


Dennis said...

Great Video. I have a question: How much earn this kind of pilot?

From the Flight Deck said...

Dennis. If you look at the salaries of the recent crash of Colgan Air, a similar airplane and
company, the F/O starts off between $16,000 to $20,000 and the captains make about $55,000.

Colgan salary

Don't get into this profession for the money...become a plumber instead. :)

Captain Doug

Dennis said...

Rear one, that is unbelievable. Even bus drivers earn more. On it no humans can live, are in Canada also like that. Here in Germany a pilot earns at a regional airline starting from about 2800 - 4000€.

From the Flight Deck said...

Dennis. Yes, a new pilot starting off in Canada is also paid very low wages. It's part of the package...I guess?

Captain Doug

Anonymous said...

BSJS? We didn't realize there was Big Shiny Jet Syndrome. SJS or BSJS. Looks like someone has it! There isn't anything wrong with flying a prop for 10+ years in hopes of being an FO on a shiny jet. You just need more PIC!

The Host


Captain Doug said...


I quickly scanned your website. Neat stuff.

Shiny Jet Syndrome....that's a good way to coin this disease many of us have. :)))

Captain Doug