He wrote it last year, and I'm not sure why I didn't come across it sooner. I don't generally find myself agreeing with a lot of what he has to say, but this did ring true:
"Pilots must have a gypsy soul to survive. That may not be new, but it's particularly true as the downturn bites. Ideally, pilots should have no family ties beyond mum and dad. If they acquire a family en route, every member of it has to be incredibly tolerant of the pilot's chosen lifestyle. "
I have to agree. The best way to get through your pilot training and the first few years of employment is to be single, no doubt about it. Of course, many relationships DO survive this period (ours, for one) but it's a tremendously difficult time, and not one we care to remember. Many relationships failed during my husband's ATPL training, for a number of reasons: distance, money worries, inability to spend time together due to pressure of work, stress generated by fear of not getting a job at the end of it all... You get the picture. Then, even if a job does come up, it's usually low paid, and could in fact be anywhere in the world! I remember my husband applying for jobs in India and the Far East. Luckily for us it never came to that, although of course we have now had to make the move anyway, although thankfully later on in his career when he had enough hours to secure a job with a serious, legacy airline. I feel we've both discovered a bit of our "gypsy soul" in the last few months. This isn't a career for the faint hearted.
I digress, but Learmount then goes on to talk about how airlines in general are taking the piss at the moment when it comes to pilot recruitment, going so far as to expect pilots to self-fund their own type-rating BEFORE offering them a job (so called pay-to-fly schemes, which are now very common - amongst them Thomas Cook and Ryanair, and I imagine many others). In fact, Ryanair have stopped recruitment at the moment for experienced First Officers, preferring instead to take ab initio students, as this MAKES THEM MONEY. Don't even get me started... grrrrrr....!
So to elaborate - don't marry an airline pilot - unless:
- You have an incredible amount of patience
- A solid job that earns decent money
- Don't mind doing a lot of stuff by yourself
- Don't mind moving all over the world
- Are a dab hand with ebay/ freecycle/ putting up shelves one-handed/checking tyre pressures
- You have a great sense of humour
- You're a very trusting sort of person... AND
- You love him more than anyone else in the world.
And to be honest, if that's the case... You should be fine. Really. There are times when it will all drive you crazy, but I promise, it WILL be worth it. Honest.
And remember - marry the MAN, not the pilot. If you marry him just because he's a pilot, you'll be very disappointed!