When is it time to pull the pin?

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Driving Rain
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When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by Driving Rain »

After 42 years as a pilot I'm leaving th profession. It was fun while it lasted, I've made a darn good living, the pay and benefits have been excellent but I've had enough! I've exactly 43 working days to go and I can hardly wait.

I came to the realization that the time to quit is when you're still happy and good at what you do. That would be me. As far as I'm concerned I'm still at the top of my game and can fly fight fire with the best of em. Will I miss the job? Sure some aspects of that's for sure. The sled I fly is such a nice bird and the comradery.

Guys ask me all the time now "what will you do?" I tell em the truth, I haven't got the faintest idea, but it won't be living out of my suitcase all summer like I've been for the past 23 years. Believe me that gets old fast. From now on I'm doing things for me.

I wanted to be a pilot since the time I could walk and I pursued the dream. I started in high school and continued on to a commercial while in collage. I've worked for only 4 companies in aviation and consider myself one of the fortunate few. If you think times are tough now you should have been in this game when I broke in in the late 60 and early 70's. You couldn't buy a job. One company fired me, another I told to shove it and quit. It makes me angry to know that 30 years ago I was pulling in wages that some operators are paying today for the same job.

If you want something enough you'll find a way to accomplish it, no matter what the profession.

I retire with a full defined benefit pension and enough money salted away that my family will want for nothing.
In the end that's all you can ask of a career. I've meet and worked with some of the finest people on this good earth. That's the memories that I'll take with me.

I don't want to be one of those old guys that identifies themselves with their profession or become bitter. I'm much more than that. I don't want to be one of those guys who keeps flying just because they can hold a medical and little else. It's time to get out of the way and let the younger guys get their kick at the cat. Have I done everything I wanted to do? I have to honestly say no. On reflection I've done more than I ever dreamed and that's better than most on this planet get.
So long and good luck to everyone.
Would I do it again... In a heart beat. :D
DR
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Airtids
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Re: When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by Airtids »

Wow!! :shock: :shock:

Congratulations. Wish it were me, but I've still got some things to do...

I remember asking one of my co-workers once who was retiring (ex Holidaire DC8 Capt) what he was going to do. He replied "I'm gonna strap a snowshovel to the roof of my car and drive south until someone asks me "What the hell is that thing?" and then go another 50 miles and stop. Forever." I thought that was a fair enough reply, and to the best of my knowledge, that's exactly what he did.

Enjoy yourself. If you've lasted 42 years in this biz, you've earned it and more.

Tids
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old_man
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Re: When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by old_man »

Awesome, glad to hear about your wonderful career and your happiness. Wish you the best in your next step.

Perhaps you could give back and become a part time instructor?
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Seriously?
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Re: When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by Seriously? »

Great post, and congratulations....

I agree that the camaraderie is one of the greatest things about this industry - it attracts some fine people, and no doubt you're an example of just that.

Good luck and have fun..... but don't leave the forum - us younger folk will still need some advice from time to time :D
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Re: When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by North Shore »

Congratulations! I hope that you enjoy a well-earned retirement. Sad that I never got to work with you.
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RFlyer
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Re: When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by RFlyer »

Congratulations on a long and prosperous career! I was wondering whether you think you might fly for pleasure around the patch, etc.
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Cat Driver
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Re: When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by Cat Driver »

Come out here and fly the Husky with me Pete. :mrgreen:

It is coming up on five years since I retired and like you I had had enough and wanted another life, and like you I had earned enough to be able to retire in comfort.

I stayed to long I should have quit after fifty years but I couldn't quit because the people I was flying for were great and I kept on saying yes I'll stay.

Give me a call sometime.

..
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toelessjoe
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Re: When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by toelessjoe »

Well Pete, it's been a slice. I'd join you in retirement but us lowly birddoggers have got the whole "freedom 55" thing happening. As in we birddog for 55 years, die, then retire. :smt040 Swing by Dryden for one last tour would ya?
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flying4dollars
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Re: When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by flying4dollars »

I think the day I quit flying, will be the day I lose all love and passion for what I do, and it starts affecting my performance. I couldn't see myself walking away from it if I still love it and am good at it, unless it was a forced retirement or personal matters (family or other) dictate that I need to hang em up.

Good on you though, and congratulations on a long and satisfying career. 42 years is a long friggin time! Enjoy retirement when it comes! If you're anything like my dad, you'll be bored as hell! lol


Cheers to you! :partyman:
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cplpilot
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Re: When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by cplpilot »

I am writing this post from across the globe and i am happy to read such incredible story!
First, CONGRATULATIONS for your retirement, 42 years is a loooong carreer. Then i would like to congratulate because stories like ours are bacoming more rare. Meeting someone that did all his life what he dreamed about since being a kid is a great example for younger generations. I wanted to be a pilot so bad bad, life builted too many barriers in front of me, i did not give up as a passion but i don't think i will ever get paid to fly... in this, i have to disagree with you, in some cases life is not what we expect.
I will make sure though to bring your post up with my son! my biggest worry is giving examples of people that made their dreams come true!
CIAO
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flyinthebug
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Re: When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by flyinthebug »

Driving Rain... Congratulations on a 42 yr career in aviation! Not many of us can boast that number of years doing what we love to do. For me, my career was cut short by a plane crash. That said, I am as grateful for the 17 years that I had, as you are for your 42 years. I wish you a happy and fufilled retirement and it sounds like you`ve planned well for it. Sometimes retirement is not a choice and is forced upon you. I LOVE hearing stories where the decision was made and the date was set...and even moreso when it all works out as we planned.

I hope were not going to lose your expertise from this forum!! You are not allowed to retire from AVcanada, its for life! lol.

Enjoy your lazy days Skipper! You earned em all!
RESPECT...FTB

PS.. Is that really Cat Driver back?? Welcome back .!!
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Re: When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by Old fella »

Congrats on joining the ranks of " been there, done that and got the t-shirts"

Do enjoy the rest of your time........

OF
:)
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Re: When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by NWONT »

Good for you Pete. I won't be too long behind you. Thats a long journey you've been on. You have had your share of battles in this business but you won more than you lost. We've shared the cockpit a few times, hoisted a few beers and had a lot of laughs and few heated arguements. You were a great guy to fly with, never a dull moment. You always knew more "little known facts" than Cliff Claven from cheers. I'm also looking forward to burning that beat up suitcase thats been by the door for more years than I can remember. Before you burn it check all the side pockets. I'm sure theres things in there that could go in a museum. Sure hope we have one more get-together before we head off into the sunset. So long old buddy.
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Doc
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Re: When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by Doc »

Well Pete, I've often had the same thought. Haven't most of us old Pelicans? If I hadn't found my current gig, I'd be joining you. As it is, my wife would make me work far harder, not "working" than I ever do at work. I'd have to renew my "PPC" on the lawn mower!
It's been nice to know you, no matter how briefly. Hell, I even almost bought your old house!
The industry will miss you. You're a true gentleman.
Take the time to really enjoy the day. Spend every moment enjoying the gift, that is life.
The SPGA is always an option.
Take care......keep in touch.
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Old Dog Flying
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Re: When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by Old Dog Flying »

Congratulations Pete on a long and rewarding career. By the the way were you one of the "Turkey" drivers that landed on 10L at YMJ NORDO realized that it was the wrong airport then departed immediately on 28R and headed East..for the right airport???? Have a great retirement and why not spread some of your wisdom among the newer generation of pilots!

Barney
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Re: When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by . ._ »

Another opening! Time to fire up the resumes, boys! :smt024

But seriously, congrats!

-istp :smt023
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The bee
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Re: When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by The bee »

Congratulations Driving Rain...
Have a nice retirement...
Live long and prosper...
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Re: When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by Driving Rain »

Old Dog Flying wrote:Congratulations Pete on a long and rewarding career. By the the way were you one of the "Turkey" drivers that landed on 10L at YMJ NORDO realized that it was the wrong airport then departed immediately on 28R and headed East..for the right airport???? Have a great retirement and why not spread some of your wisdom among the newer generation of pilots!

Barney
No, wrong guy. Never flew a Turkey? (TBM) or been to Moose Jaw in an aircraft, but it sounds like something I'd do. :D

Thanks all for your kind words and salutations. I think I should clear up a couple of things about what I plan to do in my golden years.
First of all I'm one of those Canadians that has winter in his blood. I love the white stuff. I moved to the Ontario snow belt. I'd have lots of quality snowmobile time now and plan to take full advantage of it. My job fits perfectly with that. The wife and I take the odd vacation to the south but I can't take the heat, so I know I won't live any further south than I already am. The snow shovel and blower are in tip top condition, just wish I was. :D

Take a retirement seminar. I can't stress this enough. Take two or three. The time to take them is not as you retire but while your still young and the kids are young. Preparation is the number one thing in any job especially aviation and preparation is the thing for retirement. We've all seen guys who live hand to mouth and have done SFA in the way of preparation and find themselves having to work until way past their prime in order to survive. Don't be one of those.

I've always been at heart a grass routes guy when it came to aviation. I love the little guys. I've been 3 times to Oshkosh and plan to go more now that I'm retiring. I will probably get into a partnership in a small aircraft someday but I'm not really thinking about that now. Now I'm thinking of how I'll prepare that bulletin board with all the pins, patches and aviation paraphinalia I've collected over the years and then hang the thing in my man cave (the garage).

This year I feel better than I have in years. I had my sleep apnea diagnosed and treated and that's made a world of difference. I went into this year thinking that I'd give it a couple more years and than pull the pin. That thought lasted about 2 seconds and I came to the realization that I'm ready now. We've all lost friends who are ready to retire and then die. How many Saturdays do you have left?
The last summer vacation I had was 1965. I plan on getting my fill now. This occupation demands that you give up lots of time. Your family suffers along with you. Give something back while you still have time.
Thanks again for all your kind words.
Get out while the getting is good.
DR
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Re: When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by Jack Klumpus »

Congrats man. Sounds like you had a blast.
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Re: When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by Siddley Hawker »

Enjoy your retirement DR. Your career was similar to mine. I started pumping floats in the early 60's, and only ever worked for 3 companies. :)
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Re: When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by CLguy »

Congratulations buddy, you've earned it but you will be missed. If I could only convince them to give me an early retirement package I would join you. Of course you would need to buy a faster sled!!!!

Keep living the dream!
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Re: When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by OhKiE DoHkIe »

....it MUST be the MANopause creeping in because I could not stop tearing up reading your farewell note "Pedro"...

I remember spending hours upon hours exchanging ideas and opinions and listening to you speak on many topics during those hot lazy summer days in "Noonegivesashit" Ontario waiting for the fire-phone to ring. Some of my best memories in my 20 year aviation career...have you in them.

I remember the feeling of exhilaration everytime we heard your voice over the radio when we were dispatched to a fire not knowing what other crew were going to meet us at the fire. Which always brought upon a smile onto my face at least because we were going to be entertained with funny comments and some experienced flying to snuff out the flames.

42 days left...be prudent brother. I need to see you this Christmas sometime. I have SO much positive things to tell you!!

Much Love!
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Re: When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by AMM »

Driving Rain wrote: I don't want to be one of those old guys that identifies themselves with their profession or become bitter. I'm much more than that. I don't want to be one of those guys who keeps flying just because they can hold a medical and little else. It's time to get out of the way and let the younger guys get their kick at the cat.
:prayer:

Your the man!
Hope you have a great time.
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Re: When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by KAG »

It's nice to read a positive story on here. Although “story” doesn't do it justice as those few lines are just a blip to what I’m sure you’ve experienced.
Being a sentimental guy I appreciate reading about someone who lived out their childhood dream, as I myself feel that way. I only hope to have as long a career, and still come out positive at the other side.
Enjoy your upcoming days off, and please go the hell on summer vacation.
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Re: When is it time to pull the pin?

Post by magyar »

"I don't want to be one of those old guys that identifies themselves with their profession or become bitter."


oh how i agree with ya bud!!!!
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