An interesting short blog post from a good friend of mine (wishing to remain anonymous) who wanted to write about the fact that a lot of experienced flight crew (and other aviation professionals) are (due the impact of this pandemic) throwing in the towel and quitting the industry to concentrate on other ventures, specifically drones, even based on the rather tenuous aviation links. Evidently, it might not be the best course of action.
“Airline Industry to need 200 Thousand Pilots by (insert year approximately 10-15 years ahead of date of the article.)”
Those of us in, or interested in, the aviation industry, will have seen such headlines multiple times. Generally in the aviation press, such as Flight International, or even more so in the glossy Flight Training magazines that commercial aviation training organisations litter around their public areas. Come and train with us, it’ll be worth the huge outlay, they’ll be screaming for pilots just like you the second you step out the door! is what they are trying to tell prospective students / customers / victims. Occasionally, these claims will make it out into the general arena of a normal Newspaper, drawing apocalyptic visions of airliners gathering dust with no-one to fly them.
If you asked a “freight dog” pilot about his job, he’d tell you it was the best kept secret in commercial aviation, and most definitely the flying job to be in. Ask a pilot working for the passenger airlines about freight flying, and he’ll tell you it lacks any kind of glamour, and is where all the pilots with no people skills go. Now we are in the deepest depths of the Covid pandemic, It’s not difficult to imagine which pilot is having the last laugh!
If I said to you that I was going to quit my secure job, invest all my savings, or remortgage my house to start a new career, you’d probably raise an eyebrow. If I then told you that my chosen industry was difficult to get into, volatile, unpredictable, offered very little in terms of job security, and would have an adverse affect on my family and social life, you’d call me insane!
I was really enjoying writing about my experiences in dealing with a fear of flying, and then subsequently learning to fly etc. (I have another blog post nearly finished), but I have had many conversations recently with fellow pilots who are dealing with life in lock-down as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Aviation is a very volatile industry and is one of the first to be affected when there is any kind of financial hiccup in the world economy. Unfortunately, we are in the midst of the worst since the Second World War.
If you’ve read my previous posts you’ll know that after not really having any success with a fear of flying course, I took a trial flying lesson to see if that would help with my problem. After the experience I was still left with with this inexplicable fear, but I strangely enjoyed it to the point where I wanted to learn to fly and especially now I’d purchased a log book and had one flying hour written up in it! Another eleven hours and I could legally do a solo flight if I’d developed enough skill. The lad with the fear of flying going solo – that would be some achievement!
Back in 1999 I went on a fear of flying course to help me get over an inexplicable fear of flying I didn’t even know I had. As mentioned in a previous post, it was an experience, but didn’t resolve the problem, I still had this desire to keep my feet firmly on the ground. My wife of the time (bless her) persevered and convinced me that a trial flying lesson might be just what I needed to knock this irrational fear well and truly on the head. She found a flying school at a local airfield, made some enquiries, and then booked a one hour trial lesson for me.
I never knew I had a fear of flying until I got married!
I used to love going to the airport as a kid to watch aircraft take off and land, but I never had the urge to visit other countries, and as a result never really wanted to travel by aeroplane. I guess the reason was because I was brought up in a single parent family and we were considered poor. Putting food on the table was challenging enough for my mum so holidays even in the UK were never going to happen. That didn’t bother me as I still had a pretty good childhood!