For most people pursuing a career in aviation, it’s easy to explain the background of how they were introduced to aviation and why they wanted to be around things that fly. It is definitely a harder challenge to lay out future plans and goals. As an individual who decided to commit a significant amount of time, effort, and money towards an aviation education, I feel that it is important to have a general plan of what job or goal I am trying to reach.
From as young as I can remember, my main objective was to become a pilot for a major airline. Over time that idea has evolved into flying as a first officer for a regional, before transitioning and upgrading to a captain on a wide-body aircraft for international routes. This was definitely a motivating factor that caused me to pursue a university degree and flight training in a Part 141 environment.
Before that can happen though, I need to find a way to log approximately 850 more flight hours. An important distinction that I want to clarify is that I don’t want this time to only count for filling up pages in a logbook. I’d like to experience several different aspects of flying, and I want to expose myself to situations outside my comfort zone that push me to improve my skills and knowledge.
First, I hope to achieve this by becoming a certified flight instructor. It is a well-known principle that teaching a subject greatly increases your own knowledge about the topic. I am hoping that instructing other students will make me a more proficient pilot, allowing me to talk fluently and confidently about “difficult” topics. I also love the idea of being able to guide a new student through the process of becoming a pilot, and I am especially looking forward to signing off a student for their first solo flight.
After flight instructing for several hundred hours, I would like to try flying for a charter company or small corporate department. I think it would be ideal to have more cross-country time, and I’d like the experience of working for a company that did a lot of regional flights.
Obviously there is no way to accurately predict how the next several years will turn out, and most likely each step will not progress in the set order that I am hoping for. Regardless, I believe it is still important to have this general plan, and hopefully it provides meaningful goals to work towards. It has also helped me significantly to be able to describe what I want to do in life when talking with relatives or other professionals in the industry.
It’s encouraging to look back and see how specific people have helped and supported me to get to where I am right now; it’s exhilarating though to think about everything else that is still yet to come.