Pilots are great – flying is amazing and you can get really well paid to do something you love
The Lady loves to fly and really enjoys travel. I on the other hand have never had the same enthusiasm for air travel. After all, the bus they ship you around the airport on has more space than the cramped metal tube that you fly in. But I do love the views out the window when I fly.
No Fly Zone
It feels a bit like COVID has made everyone’s life a no fly zone – you’d have to be optimistic or at least brave to go ahead and book air travel for any point in the future. Friends of ours are planning trips at Christmas and where flying is involved, they all have Plan B.
We flew this year to England for a 10 day holiday before the Master went to school. It was a great holiday but there was still uncertainty over if/how/when it would go ahead. Covid can change everyone’s plans quite rapidly as we’ve all seen. We went to a great aviation museum in Bristol and even went on a Concorde! (Stationary)
The jury is still out on who’s cooler, pilots or steam engine driver.
I don’t know what the prognosis is but, I suspect that over the next 5-10 years air travel will be permanently decimated. Airline carriers won’t be profitable, routes will be cancelled and regional airports will get run down or closed and runways turned into car bott sales on Sunday afternoons. Anyone been to the Nene Valley (Northampton) recently? The used to fly to Gwent, Fleetwood & Barnstaple but now it’s just Gillingham, Portsmouth and private flights.
Save the Aviation Industry
The recent budget had a very confusing tax cut for domestic flights – a cut in aviation duty to encourage us to leave our homes and not take the train/bike/bus/car and instead jump on a flying aluminium tube. Thanks Rishi – good to know that government policy is consistent with your Net Zero targets!
So Back to Pilots
What I like about pilots is that you can’t really do any overtime, you can’t really take any work home with you and it pays really well! There’s a pilot training school near me and I’ve spoken with the pilots a few times (I wanted to show my son the Master that girls can be pilots too – so I’ve gotten to know a few of them as they walk to the airport). It’s something that you need to train a long time. You require a lot of experience, personal development and attention to detail. You have people lives in the palm of your hands!
I also like pilots because my blog has been picked up by the BALPA (British Airline Pilots Association) forum BALPA Forum – Index page – so keep reading my pilot pals!
Wages for Pilots
Pilots do seem to get extremely well paid and unlike say taxi drivers, bus drivers or lorry drivers, they don’t have to work as much. So it’s a nice job with a strong union behind the pilots to ensure that things are done properly. Anecdotally, a number of pilots at Ryanair are LTD contractors who work but not as employees. And when an airline pilot can tick every box in the tax payers list (20%/40%/45%/personal allowance/pension allowance) it’s understandable that you can either go buy a decent Porsche, get an expensive wife and a massive money pit of a house OR you can save that money, invest wisely and before you know it, you’ll be flying for pleasure instead of to keep up the payments on your new yacht/wife’s botox/kitchen redesign.
So pilots, if you are reading this, when it comes to money, please keep your feet on the ground.