Blue Collar Pilots

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by GrummanBear, Feb 9, 2020.

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  1. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    And that's coming from a woman that has earned more respect than most men I know.
     
  2. MadseasoN

    MadseasoN Line Up and Wait

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    This topic would be better served with an annual income poll. Most pilots are pulling above average salaries.
     
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  3. woodchucker

    woodchucker Cleared for Takeoff

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    Mom left my dad (who was a pilot and when he was between jobs on that he built houses) when I was 13. We were poor! Tried college for a couple years and said screw that and joined the Navy. Although I always had a passion for airplanes I never considered becoming a pilot. After six years in the Navy with a wife and a kid went back to college to get a teaching degree. Worked as a soccer coach, ski instructor and delivered the WSJ from 1-5 am, and still made it to Calculus class at 7 am. Moved to Utah and got a job teaching math. Ten years after beginning my teaching career and my wife watching me spend money on sim flying and RC planes she suggested I should just go get my pilot license. Took me 4 long years due to financial struggles to complete my ppl. First thing I did was join a time-share outfit, paying for 50 hours for a year for access to a 160 hp 172. The flying was cheap but they jacked the rate when it was time to renew so I had to quit. Three more years of sitting on the ground looking skyward before I found a flying club that I could afford and now I get to fly a lot! Or at least a lot more. Working on my IR and thinking of getting my commercial and maybe cfi and hopefully get a job aerial mapping or something maybe in ten years so I don't have to teach forever.
     
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  4. Slavcha

    Slavcha Filing Flight Plan

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    I immigrated to USA at age of 18 and worked construction for 4 years. At age 22 sold my car to pay for truck driving school and got a job driving truck. Always want it to fly but after one visit to airport i knew i will never be able to afford it. Well at the age of 48 last may i took one hour discovery flight and it was it. I knew if i don't do it now i will never do it. Two month later having only one hour discovery flight and hundreds of hours of youtube videos under my belt i bough Pipper Warrior and now taking lessons in my own plane and enjoying every moment of it. Driving truck gave me opportunity to see most of the country in 2D, flying lets me see it in 3 dimension.
     
  5. GrummanBear

    GrummanBear Pre-Flight

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    @kath I think perhaps you’re referring more to the nuance of feelings than language. I’m not particularly #woke. As a rough around the edges, tattooed, scarred, combat arms veteran and industrial athlete, I’m a pretty crummy guy to proffer advice or encouragement to young women. It seems you are probably much better suited to provide that. When I’m trying to encourage my daughter, I don’t point at myself, but to women who have met or exceeded her goals. In general, that’s what I was hoping to see here...bootstrap stories of encouragement or advice. Thin-skinned responses aside, there are some great ones that have been posted.
     
  6. GrummanBear

    GrummanBear Pre-Flight

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    Go for it! I just talked to someone recently who went from teaching to flying to CFI. He said he hasn’t looked back.
     
  7. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Cleared for Takeoff

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    As a $78/month E-1 Air Force enlistee, I joined the Vandenberg AFB aero club and got my private certificate flying a club C-150 for $7.00/hour wet. Dual with a Lt. Colonel CFI was another $5.00/hour. Of course that was in 1964, but you don't have to be rich to learn to fly.
     
  8. smv

    smv Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Let us throw a little math at these numbers.

    At $12/hr your monthly $78 paycheck would get you 6.5 hours dual.

    Current E-1 pay is $1,600/month. Around these parts a wet 150 goes for around $130/hr and Basic instruction is $55/hr. $1,600/month would get you 8.6 hours dual.

    Looks like flying has actually gotten cheaper in the last 60 years. :p
     
  9. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    The idea that white collar means privileged or to have sufficient means automatically is preposterous.
    The idea that blue collar is somehow beneath that is even more preposterous.

    I’m truly PO’d at the original post.
     
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  10. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    Aviation is inherently a skilled blue collar job. The pedigree associated with a college degree is an American thing and complete B.S.

    Anyone that says differently is just trying to justify the wasted time and money to obtain the degree.
     
  11. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    Absolutely agree
     
  12. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I don’t consider my degrees to give me any sort of ‘pedigree’, and I don’t give a crap about white collar/blue collar status.

    But I also consider the time and money spent to get them to be anything but wasted.
     
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  13. JohnAJohnson

    JohnAJohnson Cleared for Takeoff

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    OP, you might want to define what you consider white and blue collar, to clarify and refocus the thread. Many dentists and doctors now consider themselves blue collar, and a second level manager in a welding company might consider herself as white collar.
     
  14. Walboy

    Walboy Cleared for Takeoff

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    Really? I have never heard this before. I guess I should get out more.
     
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  15. GrummanBear

    GrummanBear Pre-Flight

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    My friend and occasional mentor “X” has a nice airplane because he likes to fly and has a net worth of around $200mil.

    I’m a lumberjack. I bought a much cheaper plane because I like to fly and don’t have much ‘net’ in my net worth.

    I have a different, not better, path from my friend “X”... I was simply interested in those who have a similar path. I’m not trying to knock privilege (which we all have to one degree or another, starting with living in the USA).

    I know what it’s like to go hungry. I know what it’s like to fight, and struggle. I just wanted to hear from others like me, who had dreams bigger than their obstacles. That’s it.
     
  16. woodchucker

    woodchucker Cleared for Takeoff

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    That’s awesome. Just want to get the house paid off and vest some more years into my retirement. I get 2% added each year I work so there is still a pretty decent benefit to continuing on with teaching for a while yet.
     
  17. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Sounds like you’re doubling down on your original statement. I could be misreading your post, and I hope I am.
    If not, you are just wrong on too many levels.

    perhaps you don’t know what white collar means...???
     
  18. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member

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    I came from a white collar family, but most of my early aviation career was flying in a blue collar job (photogrammetric mapping); first as a camera operator, then as a pilot. That's what I thought you were referring to with the thread title.
     
  19. Brad W

    Brad W Pre-takeoff checklist

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    yeah that was me for sure too. As I wrote earlier I wasn't making any serious money, but I was frugal with what I had.
    Time was another thing I had more of back then, single and able to be an airport bum

    Agreed

    I can see you what you mean about aviation being "blue collar". Not so sure about the other thing being an american thing though. There have been lots of folks over many generations that have college degrees but choose to work a skilled trade/blue collar type job.... I've known quite a few. and I think any such pedigree that attaches to a degree is "seen" world wide form what I can tell.
    I think there's some sort of pedigree or mystique attached to aviatiors too.

    and one more in line I think with the OP's spirit that hits home with me.
    I've always wanted to fly since I was a little kid. I was always told that you had to be really good with math to be a pilot. I never was in school so it seemed out of grasp. Later in college I knew I could get by with that but GA flying just seemed out of reach...something that doctors and millionaires did. I'd never even met anyone that flew. Until I found out that the father of a friend of mine was a pilot and he was just an engineer. That put it into reach mentally for me.

    I started my first real job out of college in mid July. My first discovery flight was August 12
     
  20. GrummanBear

    GrummanBear Pre-Flight

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    That is the heart and spirit of the post. There is a strange number of people getting their epaulets in a wad getting wrapped around the axle of the colloquial use of blue/white collar. There isn’t even a “point” for them to miss. Just a request for stories from those who have struggled.

    19F344D1-C7DC-4366-B074-5AD84482BB3A.jpeg
     
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  21. IK04

    IK04 Pattern Altitude

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    How would you suggest the question be asked without harshing your mellow?

    There are more important things to be PO'd about.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
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  22. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    Blue vs White color? I got thru PPL, Commercial, Instrument and Multiengine while ‘blue collar.’ But the color of my collar doesn’t tell the story. PPL was while enlisted in the Navy. Flying Club had good rates. Yeah, I committed to it and didn’t waste money on to many other things to get it done. I was a Cab Driver through most of the rest. But saying I did it ‘Blue Collar,’ implying I was living hand to mouth, would be a lie. I had the GI Bill. My hat is truly off to those who scraped and sacrificed without help, be it family, scholarship or whatever. It’s an expensive pursuit.
     
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  23. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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  24. CharlieD3

    CharlieD3 Line Up and Wait

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    I was a knuckledragginboogerpickinfactorydirtball.

    My late wife dropped $10.00 fer me to get a "discovery flight." I was hooked but couldn't afford regular lessons with 3 girls.

    I puttered around at it.

    Later, I had a side business while still working at the plant... It wasn't doing well, so I packed up the shop in boxes, took it all home and put it in the basement. Sayin' "Eff it, I'm gonna get my PPL!"

    That's when I learned that 4 hours of overtime bought 1hour of dual. I worked a lot of overtime, and got my ticket.
     
  25. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    That's the first time I ever heard "blue collar" described that way.
    An awful lot of the blue collar workers I know could certainly afford to fly, IF THEY GAVE UP THEIR FISHING BOATS, but have just never been exposed to flying. I have a carpenter I use a lot. He was amazed when I told him I own a plane and my wife is a pilot. He never knew a pilot before. One day he was doing some work for me and he told me he took flying lessons. It would never have occurred to him without being exposed to it and hearing stories about it.
     
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  26. Weekend Warrior

    Weekend Warrior Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Seems to be quite a bit of B-hurt in these posts, but in the attempt to avoid the label of privilege, some people are showing some, um, well, privilege. LOL
     
  27. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Zactly what I was thinking.
     
  28. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    Exactly! Mostly a matter of desire and priority. The auto mechanic I usually go to is a pilot. Of course, based on what he charges me, he ain't hurtin'..... :)

    The "butt hurt" in the thread comes from things like this:

    ...getting wrapped around the axle of the colloquial use of blue/white collar. There isn’t even a “point” for them to miss. Just a request for stories from those who have struggled.

    That seems to imply that those in white collar jobs didn't struggle to get there, or struggle to pay for flying. You, @JOhnH , are yourself a good example of why that just ain't so. @GrummanBear is trying to clarify that isn't what he meant, but I'm sure he can see how he could have been interpreted that way.
     
  29. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Line Up and Wait

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  30. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I chew tobacco and drink Budweiser, does that count?
     
  31. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    But then again, you can teach a good coder to roof. I don't think you can teach most good roofers to code.
     
  32. GrummanBear

    GrummanBear Pre-Flight

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    Couldn’t help thinking of the Four Yorkshireman.


     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
  33. Walboy

    Walboy Cleared for Takeoff

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    I'll vouch for that. HIs wheel pants have these on them plus a gun rack on the hat rack of his Cherokee

    [​IMG]
     
  34. GrummanBear

    GrummanBear Pre-Flight

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    I don’t know, brother. Budweiser and Copenhagen, you might as well be Daddy Warbucks. PBR and Grizzly, on the other hand...
     
  35. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    You shouldn't chew tobacco. Leads to orofacial cancer. It's also unimaginably disgusting.
     
  36. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    In my defense, one never knows when you might have to shoot a possum on the runway.
     
  37. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Not the other way around?
     
  38. GrummanBear

    GrummanBear Pre-Flight

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    I’m picturing you out at the front of a phalanx of a Flying Cajun Navy, landing on flooded streets with with immediate aid: dip, beer, whiskey and bullets
     
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  39. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Jeez, I said I was blue collar, not from Alabama!
     
  40. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    You forgot my burlap cape.
     
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