A: Billy – This can be a challenging question to answer. Many factors play into how, when, and how many pilots the airlines hire. The biggest factor is the economy. In a strong economy where people have more money to spend going on vacation or traveling for business, flying is in higher demand, so airlines need pilots and hiring increases. When the economy is slow, people spend less money on vacation, and the airlines hire fewer people and demand higher qualifications. Other big factors include FAA policy and corporate finances. A
few years ago the FAA extended the age pilots were forced to retire at, allowing pilots to stay on the job longer, which resulted in the airlines hiring fewer pilots. The hiring process has caught up to that rule change, but the rules are always subject to change. The financial health of an airline plays a big
role as well. An airline having a hard time earning a profit isn't likely to hire more pilots. In summary, how hard it is to get hired by an airline depends on how well you are prepared/ experienced/ educated and a combination of these other factors.
-Sarah Staudt, Aviation Tech Specialist-AOPA's Pilot Information Center
How did you learn about AOPA AV8RS?
By searching for aviation pages on Facebook
A friend or family member
AOPA Regional Manager
Presentation on Aviation
At an event
By friends sharing posts on Facebook
Working among the clouds
Aerial photography, video job is fun, fast-paced and challenging
Bobbi Zapka isn't a pilot and isn't in the military. But she often spends her days working in the back seat of a F-16 or T-38 or in the back end of a C-17, often with the ramp and door open.
Zapka is chief of the aerial photography department at Edwards Air Force Base. She says every day on the job is different.
"We mainly use high-speed digital video, shooting 200 frames a second or more, of whatever test event is taking place so the engineers can analyze it and compare it with their data," she says.
Meet AOPA AV8R, Spencer Anderson
Spencer Anderson's parents knew he was interested in aviation, but they didn't know how their son would feel about actually flying. So shortly after his 11th birthday, they treated him to a glider flight.
"I stayed up for 45 minutes," he recalls. His dad tried to pay for the flight in advance so they could leave as soon as he was done. But the managers told his dad they didn't have to pay if he didn't come back."
You guessed it – they had to pay.
Want to be featured in the AOPA AV8RS Member Profile Column? Email email@example.com for an application!
'Girls need flight plans, not fairy tales'
Girls with Wings encourages girls to reach for the stars
Lynda Meeks struggled to find her nieces clothes with airplane pictures in pink, instead of the usual boy colors.
"There was never anything that appealed to girls, " she says. "So I decided to start embroidering airplane outfits for girls, and selling those to family, friends and strangers."
As she sold her clothes, women began telling her stories about how they wanted to be a pilot when they were small, but someone told them that girls weren't pilots.
That's all it took for Meeks to take action. She started speaking at career days, to Girl Scout troops and in schools, with a message that girls can be pilots and good ones at that. Her interactive presentation was so successful that it morphed into Girls With Wings, which officially began in 2005.
Branson, family first to experience space in Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo in 2013
Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson and his family will be the first tourists to blast into sub-orbital space on the maiden voyage of SpaceShipTwo in December.
According to CNN, Branson's adult children, Holly and Sam, will accompany him on the two-hour voyage, blazing a trail for other space tourists to follow.
"It'll certainly be the most momentous moment of my life and my children's lives," Branson told CNN. "It'll be very difficult to ever cap it. Anyone who has ever been into space says the same thing."
Flugtag makes for fun "flights" at first national Red Bull contest
A flying fuel pump nozzle. A fairy atop a speeding tooth. A soaring pirate ship. A pizza that you can really toss. Or a stone pyramid that converts into an alien spaceship.
No, you're not imagining things. Hundreds of thousands of people will get to see "aircraft" like that and more at the first national Red Bull Flugtag taking place in five cities across the nation on Sept. 21.
"One day. Five cities. Hundreds of flying ... or not ... machines. Be part of the biggest splash in aviation history," promotes the Red Bull website.
Women make up half of 2013 astronaut candidates
Want to be an astronaut someday? The job requires you to pass a physical, be a U.S. citizen with a bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics, and have 1,000 or more hours logged as a jet pilot.
Solar-powered plane flies across country; tear in wing fabric adds drama to flight
After a two-month journey powered only by solar power, Solar Impulse HB-SIA's last leg across the United States should have literally been a breeze.
Instead, the flight from Washington to New York on July 6 was filled with drama and tense moments after the plane was discovered to have an 8-foot long tear in the fabric of its left wing.
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association ♦
421 Aviation Way ♦ Frederick, MD 21701-4708 ♦ (800) 872-2672 www.aopa.org/av8rs
Questions? Comments? Send them to AV8RS@aopa.org.
Contributing Writer: Barbara A. Schmitz
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.