Sunday, May 08, 2005

Stuck in Traffic

I didn't tell all of yesterday's story. Steve Badger did explain why he would reject a pilot with my time. It's not pure capriciousness. It's not that he figures I'm calcified with bad habits. It's not personal in any way. He doesn't even hate me. Anonymous guessed it in his comments.

It costs a company a significant amount of time and money to train and qualify a pilot, and Steve wants people who will stay more than a year. He told me that given my current total time, after a year with Badger I would be hired away by Air Canada or WestJet. I gaped at him in bafflement.

"With no significant multi command time?"

"They don't care."

"They'd put a pilot on a Boeing before she had commanded anything heavier than a Ford Explorer?"

"They don't care. They train people."

I picked up my logbook that night to fill in the day's flights, and realized that all the fun had been sucked out of that task. I haven't made an entry in it since. How did time become my enemy?

When I started, I had a plan. I was going to get my licences, get an entry level job, work my way up to a multi-engine IFR job on a two crew airplane, and then work there for four or five years until I had some decent command time. I thought that all the years I've been stuck in entry-level jobs were like being stuck in downtown traffic trying to get onto the freeway. Perhaps I've not been stuck stationary in traffic, but have been driving along a farm road that, although slower moving, parallels the freeway, so that when I do get onto the freeway I will be that much further ahead. Steve Badger thinks so.

I'm afraid that all the freeway entrance ramps are behind me. And I don't think this farm road gets all the way to where I want to go. Maybe there's another entrance ramp up ahead. Or maybe there will be a spot where no ditch or trees separates the farm road from the freeway, and I can just cut over across the shoulder and accelerate to highway speed. I can't see how I'm going to get an airline interview, get through an airline interview and a simulator check without more multi time and commercial IFR experience than I have.

I'm waiting for one of my mentors to get back from a trip so I can ask his advice on refolding my road map.


Lord Hutton said...

Be patient. It'll happen. Or join Air Canada

Greybeard said...

I'm sure the system works pretty much the same in Canada as in the U.S.:
The Feds don't control the system nearly as much as the Insurance Companies do!
Believe me dear, they cannot afford to turn you loose in a machine until you are qualified and comfortable doing it!
Keep plugging.....all will come your way when the time is right!