Near my desk, I have the scrawling, childish cursive of a third grader framed on the wall, so I can see it every day. The painstaking, yet still messy script reads, “I’ll fly jets. I want to fly planes and I love planes because I fly them all the time.” It also reads, “My Autobiography, Miss Johnson’s Third Grade Class, By Reid Columbia.” After writing about my family, my pets, and my favorite color, I wrote on the very last page, page 10, a vision for my future flying jet aircraft. I was eight years old.
Airplanes are a fixture among the average American childhood. The iconography of aircraft and aviation are omnipresent in movies and cartoons, and most kids have an airplane somewhere in their toybox. Or perhaps they have one in their hand at all times. Even when running at top speed, kids seem to involuntarily extend their arms to the takeoff position. So what happens between eight and eighteen? Where does this magnetic desire to fly go? Why aren’t there more pilots? More on that later.
Particularly when meeting strangers, or chatting with acquaintances, I’m asked a pretty predictable set of questions.
One popular one is: “Do you ever get scared?” I usually respond, “Yes, but I close my eyes.”
The reception to that answer is mixed.
Another question is: “So, you were in the military?” This question is asked perhaps more than any other.
After speaking with innumerable people, I can’t help but think that this number one question is significant and might help answer my earlier question, “Why aren’t there more pilots?” While this question is, of course, very nuanced, such a widely held societal belief may be very telling. I had a leg up coming from an aviation family; I simply knew that multiple avenues existed to become a pilot. I also knew that it was attainable. Yes, I could pursue a track in the military, but I could also try a four-year college or also a training program at the local airport. Even if someone is interested in flying, most people don’t know where to start or what opportunities exist. In addition to these roadblocks, external factors not limited to the September 11 attacks, regional airline pay, and changes to experience requirements have contributed to a professional pilot shortage not seen in recent history or perhaps, ever.
Enter GoEightOh. At GoEightOh, we exist to help you fly jets. While we primarily focus on business aviation, aviation careers often follow a circuitous route. To land a dream job flying some of the most technologically advanced aircraft in aviation and travelling to amazing destinations all over the globe, careers often wind around. Call it a circling approach. For that reason, we don’t limit our conversations to strictly business aviation, and we may discuss piston aircraft, airlines, or even military aviation. The bottom line is that there are 1,000 ways to get to the top of the mountain. Or more appropriately, to get you in the flight deck. Most people only know one. There are as many distinct routes in aviation as there are fulfilling and exciting jobs. At GoEightOh, our mission is to help people simply begin, or further, their jet careers. We provide information, tools, and resources to help both the aspiring pilot still in school and the line pilot who is reaching for the next, better opportunity.
When I was eight, I said, “I’ll fly jets.” Now, I’m saying to you, “I fly jets. You can too.”
Cleared direct your dream job.