White Flight!

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Do you want a meaningful, rewarding career and to retire as a millionaire?  

Now that I hopefully have your attention, let me enlighten you about the best job in the world: Airline pilot. And right now is the best time to become one due to corporate expansion and retirements.

Let’s start with the bad news. The training is expensive. To maximize learning retention and to complete your training in the shortest amount of time, I recommend a 141 school. Don’t worry about what that number means yet. The program I recommend is offered from ATP Flight School. The last time I checked, the cost was approximately $83,000. Yes, a hefty sum. But the school accepts education loans just like any university. And here is the amazing part: If you are over the age of 23, you can achieve all your ratings in roughly nine months. It will be like drinking from a fire hose (a common saying in the industry), but it’s eminently achievable.  

Another option is to apply to an aviation-specific program at a university: The most prominent ones are at Purdue, the University of North Dakota, and Embry-Riddle. However there are many other smaller aviation programs at other universities such as Arizona State University, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee State, and Southern Illinois. They are all highly respectable programs, but with the significant demand for pilots I don’t recommend them due their cost and the limiting specialization of the degrees offered.  

Once you gain your ratings, what can you do with them? Most likely you will take off as a flight instructor, possibly even at the school where you trained. After just nine months, you will be paid to teach students full-time who are just starting out like you did so recently. After roughly a year or so, you will likely get picked up by a regional airline as a first officer. An example would be Horizon Air, a regional subcontractor to Alaska Airlines. After you proceed up the seniority list (everything is based on seniority), you can apply to become a captain at the airline. And after a period of time as a captain, you can then apply to a major airline of your choice, such as FedEx, United, Southwest, and Frontier.  

Once you land your final airline, your progress is all seniority-based. You cannot be passed over for promotion due to anti-white quotas. If you want to enter a management role, however, there are major diversity initiatives being implemented in that sphere. Major airlines have flow-through programs available, so that once you have been at a regional airline for a specific period of time, you can “flow” directly to the major airline that owns the regional, thus bypassing another interview process. This is a rare in a corporate world where Whites are being de facto blacklisted from new hiring and promotions.

What do you need to become a pilot?  You need to pass a Class I medical exam from an aviation medical examiner (AME). There are a few disqualifiers such as color blindness, types 1 and 2 diabetes, or a bad EKG, but these aren’t mandatory until age 40. You generally have to keep healthy. But a new development is that you no longer need a college degree; they are increasingly only recommended. It helps to have one, but it can literally be in ANYTHING. I have coworkers who have degrees in education and literature. Remember though that if you lose your medical certification, you cannot fly. But there is insurance against loss of medical, just in case. TLDR: if you’re in relatively good health you’ll be fine.

If you are a recreational drug user or heavy drinker, this is not the industry for you. All crew members are subjected to pre-employment drug screening, plus random screenings at the end or beginning of a rotation (trip). They can be via urinalysis or breathalyzer, the former for off hours, the latter to detect alcohol consumption outside the recommended abstinence period prior to flying. However, if addictions develop while employed, there are ways to find sobriety, after a period of grounding, and return to the cockpit.

Some additional considerations: a clean record helps immensely, although it is not an absolute requirement. If you start your career at a major airline with no felonies, DWIs, or serious traffic violations, you’re set. But any of these can be disqualifying when applying for a pilot position in either the corporate or commercial industry. In other words, if you were already hired at Delta but then ran into one of these issues, due to labor protections in a heavily-unionized workforce, there are ways to stay employed. However, if you were doxed as a thought criminal, I’m not sure what the outcome might be.

A helpful characteristic for becoming a pilot is perfectionism, or a “Type A” personality. You must believe that while others can make mistakes, you cannot. And you’ll find yourself in good company: Perfectionism is a predominantly White male trait. A very high percentage of pilots I’ve worked with are at the very least civic nationalists. The conversations I have with coworkers these days are quite candid. They even wander into fedposting territory. The management, however, are typically globohomo toadies.

Let’s move on to the amazing benefits from becoming an airline pilot. First, shekels. There is an industry-standard resource called Listed there is every single airline that is currently hiring; they are usually in major cities. It shows the pay rates: Multiply the pay rate times 1,000 to approximate the annual salary. It details the retirement options each airline offers. Regionals use a 401k, but majors, such as United, have a defined benefit contribution of 16% of pay up to the maximum allowed per year. (Last year was roughly $56,000.) And the two major freight airlines, FedEx and UPS, still offer a pension.

And of course: you get FREE travel!  You, your wife, your kids, and your parents will also enjoy free travel when space is available. And as a pilot you enjoy access to something known as a Jumpseat. This is a seat, or seats, that can only occupied by a crew member for either the airline you work for or another airline with whom your company has an agreement, and based on seniority. More free travel.

Finally, when you’re off-duty, you’re off. You don’t have to answer emails or answer your phone when the company calls, unless you want to pick up more flights and make more money. Some airlines offer double pay if you make yourself available on days off. This is often too lucrative to turn down.

I will not sugarcoat the negative aspects of the job, either: The industry is cyclical. Hiring used to be hit or miss. After 9/11 there very few new hires anywhere in the piloting world. I was lucky just to be employed during the lost decade.

Yes, you will be gone from home often. I spend roughly half the year away from home. The divorce rate is high in the industry. None of my children wants to enter the piloting profession or to marry pilots themselves. I constantly encourage them to reconsider, but so far without success.

The final negative is a big one: This is a dangerous profession. Not necessarily while operating as a commercial pilot, but especially in the beginning when you’re least experienced, or if you fly small planes locally. I have lost more acquaintances from small aircraft crashes than I have to car accidents – a sobering reality. Most if not all my incidents have been in small aircraft, including engine failures and near-midair collisions. This reveals another common pilot trait: We aren’t afraid to die, and we don’t lose our cool in an emergency situation. We run to the fire, not away from it.

If the prospect of decades of office drone work or hard manual labor gives you pause, I recommend starting your journey with these resources:

You can also contact me at I will happily provide general insights and tips. But I won’t tell you where I work, or help you with your tests!

Best of luck to all of you wise, brave, and competent enough to venture down this path. It is challenging, initially expensive, and time-consuming. But you could do far worse than this noble profession in this mad world.
 – Lindberghsghost


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