My story - and thanks!

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My story - and thanks!

Postby Landis » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:19 pm

Back in 2006 a computer-oriented friend of mine told me I should check out a podcast about airplanes, something he knew I was interested in. I'd heard of podcasts before but didn't really have any interest in downloading something amateurish with just talking. But I'd humor him and check it out. You guys were talking about, among other things, a little radio controlled helicopter. I enjoyed the show, purchased one of those toys, and proceeded to download the 4 or 5 earlier podcasts I'd missed.

Back then I was a private pilot with about 180 hours over the preceding 10 years. I was self-employed as a photographer and cartographer and surviving financially but never likely to make enough money to fly. Your podcast kept me thinking of flying and got me out to the airport a couple more times a year than I had been.

About a year after I started listening to the podcast, my wife and I talked it over and we decided that since I wasn't likely to make enough money to fly whenever we wanted, that I should pursue it on a professional level.

I got a loan and signed up at a puppy mill. I studied my butt off before going and made sure I showed up to every lesson well prepared. Six months later I had my multi, instrument, commercial single and multi, CFI, CFII, and MEI and about 350 hours.

As just about everyone knows, the only job you're actually qualified for with only 350 hours is pretty much teaching others how to do what you've just barely learned. I enjoyed flight instructing but the schedule and getting the work was difficult. I really started building time when I started doing traffic watch, flying reporters over the busy roads in the early mornings or late afternoons. After a couple years doing that and instructing I took a job doing aerial survey. Not a real time-builder, but it paid the bills. Finally after 3 years of getting really good experience flying mostly single-engine Cessna and adding about 3000 hours to my life span, I applied for a job with a regional airline.

Early this year I attended initial training for the Canadair Regional Jet. Two months later I had a fresh SIC type rating on my certificate and flew with 48 passengers on my first ever landing at SFO and in a jet. Now I'm sitting in the back of an Airbus heading home from a trip that had me flying all over the midwest and while I was listening to the most recent podcast, I thought I should take a moment to tell you my story and to thank you guys for the encouragement and support to follow my dreams. It's not been an easy road, and it's sure not to be that easy for the near future. Reserve schedules and first year FO pay leave quite a lot to be desired. But, hey, I get PAID to do this!

Who knows where my career will lead, but I can be certain that I will definitely keep my roots in general aviation. I'm going to keep flying with CAP as much as my schedule will allow and because of my non-rev privileges I'm pretty sure my wife and I will both be attending AirVenture for our first times this year. Perhaps we'll even run into you guys and some fellow listeners.

All the best,

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Comanche Sue
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Re: My story - and thanks!

Postby Comanche Sue » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:31 pm

Landis - Great story and especially good to hear a positive 'climbing through the ranks of aviation' story. Thanks for sharing it. Sue

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Re: My story - and thanks!

Postby jarheadpilot82 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:38 pm


As a professional pilot for over 30 years, and an air line pilot for almost 24, it never ceases to amaze me how pilots get from Point A to Point B in their careers. Whether it be the military route (my way) or the civilian route (your way), it is a road that requires paying some serious dues in one way or another.

You should be proud of your accomplishment, and I wish you the best in your flying career.
Semper Fi,

Terry Hand
Athens, GA

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Re: My story - and thanks!

Postby jackhodgson » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:57 pm


Congratulations on your impressive, and admirable, accomplishment. Obviously you did all the heavy-lifting here, but I'm glad that we could play a small part, as cheerleader, in your pursuit.

Stay in touch, and thanks for sharing this with us.

// Jack

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Re: My story - and thanks!

Postby davidsflying » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:52 pm

Congratulations Landis. I'm just finishing my CPL and going on to my Multi IFR and possibly my instructors rating. Fortunately in Canada we don't have that 1500 hour regulation to be an F/O though it's a minimum of 800 before anyone will look at you still. Glad to hear you're happy with that decision I hope I can say the same thing in a few years!

Dave Higdon
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Re: My story - and thanks!

Postby Dave Higdon » Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:30 am

Landis!! Way -- to -- go!!

You prove a point pressed again and again to many people along the way from where I started to where I sit: with drive, determination -- a goal -- we can accomplish amazing things and fulfill fantasies many would hold as unattainable. That we played even a tiny roll in your journey would be as gratifying as it gets in my business...and humbling beyond all else.

Congrats on achieving this part of your dream...fill us in again when you hit your next high point...and thanks for sharing with us.

The best of wishes to you for your continued lifespan extensions!


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Re: My story - and thanks!

Postby Landis » Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:58 pm

Just a quick update - yesterday I passed the big one and got my Airline Transport Pilot with PIC type rating for the CL-65 (CRJ/Challenger). So thrilled and relieved to finally get here.

Also, it was fantastic meeting you all in person at AirVenture this year. My first trip and it was definitely one to remember.

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