So you are 4 years in since you got your CPL, and are on the King Air 200. How are you finding it as a career now? Are you still happy you made the change in 2008? What do your future prospects look like? What opportunities do you see ahead of you? When you speak of lifestyle, can you tell me what your lifestyle is like?
How do I find it, well the King Air is an impressive machine when you are coming off a Beaver. The jobs have been paying the bills for the last 18 months or so. For the 2 1/2yrs prior to that, without my wifes job, the mortgage and everyday bills would have been impossible to pay and I had relatively minimal debt when finishing the MIFR and a wife that can manage an extremely tight budget and still allow us to live.
Am I happy I made the change? Yes, I am one of those guys that went to air shows when I was 4-5+ years old and said I am going to be a pilot. It was not on a whim or a newly found love that had me get into it. Although the first couple of years were an extreme test of my marriage and my resolve to be a pilot, I feel like I appreciate what I have now so much more. But as I said, even this change is not without sacrifices. I had to leave my wife at home in SW Ontario pregnant with our first child, or children I should say (2), to sell our house and hold her job until she is able to go on mat leave in September. I rent a small room in NW Ontario in a small house with other roommates for the first time in 10yrs and with that added expense, again have to watch every penny until we relieve ourselves of the mortgage in SW Ontario.
Future prospects and future opportunities tie into where I am at right now. This is by far the best company I have ever worked for, in any vocation. Hands down, the best. The people, the airplanes the company culture, the work etc is exceptional. it has been a bit of short term pain, as described above for some very good long term gain. So my future prospects look to be staying here in a good town in NW Ontario flying a king air 200 for a long time. I had the visions of going to Air Canada or WestJet eventually, but when other opportunities arose (the beaver job and now this) for lifestyle needs and desires they were pretty well unbeatable and my outlook on the profession and my path changed fairly dramatically.
So what is my lifestyle like? Hopefully the others at the company will not get upset for divulging how great it is and let the secret out. Right now I work a few days per week, flying 75-250mile legs mainly with a schedule that is impossible to believe so lets just say it will allow me a lot of time with my wife and children when they move up in the fall. The Cp and the line pilots are some of the kindest men I have ever come across all with unique personalities but everyone is on the same page and on board for continuing the company culture. Everyone helps and encourages each other and none believe they are above anyone else, The CP just wouldn't allow it.
Prior to the arrival of myself and another line pilot, the last pilot hired was 4yrs ago and it's looking like he is a lifer along with the other fossils sitting next to us that have been there for 10-20-30yrs. (sorry Doc ). I really can't see myself going anywhere else anytime soon, lifestyle over metal. Having said that, the king air is a pretty cool machine and certainly no slouch.
I hope that helps!