Previously, I have published an article about why you should become a pilot. It was all about advantages of being an aviator. However, everything has its own disadvantages too. Here we may discuss about the disadvantages of becoming a pilot. If you are about to start your career as a pilot, don’t get disheartened. This is just for your information about the hardships every pilot may have to face at any point of time.
1. Enthusiastic flying will become boring
How long can you watch same mechanical parts while you are in a cockpit? Flying will become boring eventually, as you wont find anything new or unusual in your career. You will face new challenges but those challenges are in fact not new but just repetitions of what occurred earlier. I mean, the career will seem mechanical once you get used to it.
2. You don’t fly as fast as you think
I know, you fly very fast, really faster than anything on road. However, there is no or very far reference points for pilots to judge speed. We judge forward speed by the backward motion of surroundings. What if there is nothing moving backwards? We don’t feel any speed. In flying the reference points in your surroundings are far and seems stationary. It is only your air speed indicator (ASI) which lets you know how fast you are flying. This makes you feel bored as time goes by.
3. Pilot training is very expensive
This doesn’t apply to you if you own a BMW or an Audi. For others, this will be applicable. Flying training consists of 200+ hours of flying which costs around 25 lakhs Indian Rupees (15,000+ $) which makes it one of the most expensive careers to start with. However the expense do not end by this as you have to spend more on uniform, books, exams etc. Make sure that you have a good source of income before getting enrolled as a trainee pilot. Bank loans can prove a stupid decision, if you fail in getting job as soon as you get the license.
4. Your expenses grow faster than income
You cant imagine a pilot driving a cheap car or riding a 200 cc bike. As your career demands high possessions, you should be more spending. You might not be earning as high in the beginning to meet the expenses. This demands for a second income source too.
5. You should be blessed by birth itself
A pilot should be fit and complete by physical and mental aspects. Bodily defects like color blindness etc. are not acceptable and will be rejected. Some hereditary diseases also make you unfit at times.
6. Accidents can bring more tears
Major surgeries, diseases and accidents can make you permanently unfit for flying, as a pilot should be completely fit, physically and mentally to fly. However you can continue as a ground class instructor even if you are unfit for flying.
7. You should be a good boy too.
Legal issues like police cases can result in invalidating your license at any point of time. However you can go for an appeal, but your license will be suspended till the issue is resolved.
8. You cant smoke, drink or use drugs at ease
Drinking, smoking and using psychoactive drugs are strictly prohibited while or before flying. This will be checked before flying and you can be denied flying if you are suspected of using such things. It is said that eight hours distance from bottle to throttle, which means you should not drink at least 8 hours before flying.
9. You wont earn as much as you think
You may have heard of six figure salaries earned by pilots. However this is not the case in real scenario, with every pilot. You go through a step by step increment of salary like- first officer>co-pilot>captain>check pilot etc. and salary increases eventually. This is the case with instructors too. That is why it is not such an earning job as you might have heard.
10. You cant be at home at your wish
Aircrafts are fast and can bring you home near to you in a few hours. But this is not the case while you are working with an international airlines. You may have to stay in foreign countries for a few days before getting a return trip. This makes it hard for you to reach home as you wish.
11. You wont be able to visit exotic places to which you fly.
If you work with a tourism operator, you might think that you can visit exotic places as per your wish. But the reality is you need to take rest inside four walls before planning the return trip and you may never visit and enjoy the destination where you have flown to. This is not the case with every operator or pilot, but it can happen so.
12. Silence in cockpit is boring but you have to manage
As per rules, the only reading material available to you in cockpit is the POH (pilot operating handbook) and related manuals required for the specific flight. Anything like novels, stories etc. are prohibited and you cant even watch your favorite movie in ipad. The only thing to watch about it the needles and gauges. This make a 6 hours journey seem like a 6 days journey.
13. Your listeners need not understand what you say.
You may have stories about wonderful thunderstorm experiences and jokes which might have occurred during your flight. You may have seen aurora borealis enroute your destination. But if you try to explain it to a common man, who might be a fan you have got, you will be disappointed that he cant even understand the basics of what you say. Explaining jokes will prove boring and there will be no juice to laugh at.
14. Lives of passengers are in your hand and decisions
You will have to take sudden and accurate decisions while flying, to survive. If your decision prove stupid, lives of the passengers, safety of the aircraft and even your life will be at risk. That makes piloting, one of the most responsible jobs in the world. There are lot of equipment to help you in taking wise decisions. But the fact is that equipment can fail and it can happen at times. Even redundancy mechanisms can fail in emergency, making it tough to land safely.
15. Every news about air-crash can make you afraid
This is true, unlike the case of road accidents. We hear about 100s of motor accidents everyday and won’t get disheartened reading them. But air crashes are rare and results are almost disheartening. This affects performance of pilots and may even lead to false decisions.
Hope this article was interesting and accurate. However there are a lot more things you will love at, being a pilot. If you have enough adrenaline in blood, go ahead and be a wonderful aviator.