Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Pilot's Wife?

Yes, I’m still a Pilot’s wife. It’s true, I am :-) We've been both lucky and unlucky since K lost his job 2 years ago as a Flight Engineer on a 727. He didn’t have the hours to get another job for a carrier of any kind. He got his pilot’s license in his 30’s and got the job as an FE because he already worked for the company as an A&P Mechanic and they LOVED him. So he remained unemployed during our move, and then took a few months to spend at home with his little girl, whom he had been gone from 21 days a month for her entire life (sometimes more; during training). So a year and ½ ago he went back to work, but as a flight instructor. Then a year ago he added in some corporate flying on the side, but then that became his ‘main’ job in August of this year. Last summer he was never home. He committed to being home one weekend day and one evening a week this summer, and did that. He just kept chasing the new hour requirements for his ATP. (for those of you non-aviation followers, it’s something required to fly as a Captain/Co-Captain by commercial carriers) It sucked. He kept saying ‘there’s going to be a shortage of pilots and they’ll have to revise the laws’ for months. Then, they FINALLY DID!! He had just barely the right amount of hours for the Revised ATP (R-ATP), and happens to have a degree in aviation from a university that is in the process of getting their approval to be used towards the R-ATP. That is still in process, but in the interim he got hired on by United Express. They are desperate for pilots, so they hired him knowing that they may have to pay him to sit at home until the University’s approval comes through. So a month ago he started training. The first part of training was local, so he was home every night, but laaate every night, and helped get the kids ready for the day in the morning. So they were seeing him for maybe an hour a day during the week (that is rushed of course) and maybe 2 hours on the weekend. Then on Sunday he had to go out to Seattle for his Sim training at Flight Safety. Goose is doing fine with it (10 1/2 months already!!), but Bug, well, she’s not handling it so well. Daycare has mentioned many times over the past 2 weeks that she is sad or emotional during the day. I know it’s because she misses K. She does good most of the time at home with me, and is typically pretty happy, but I know it’s because I’m around. Luckily he got domiciled here at home. Low man on the totem pole we figure he’ll get a lot of 5 day trips in the beginning (that’s their longest stints). I’m good with that, but I’m worried about Bug. For those of you left out there following me that are Pilot wives, any suggestions on helping a 3 ½ year old handling daddy being gone after he WAS home? I feel so bad for her, it’s heartbreaking. And now she wants me more than him, which is sweet for me, but tough on him. We will Skype for sure when we can, but any other thoughts are appreciated. On an awesome note, United Express has flow through to United, which is K’s carrier of choice. So hopefully a handful of years from now he’ll be working for United! AND just because……. I AM SO EXCITED FOR NON REV BENEFITS!!!! (except the first bunch of times I use it will be Kid Free until I am a semi pro at handling it LOL) Any suggestions on non reving? :-)


  1. Kids are all about routine. Bug's routine is not normal right now. It will take time, and she will adjust. Kids are resilient, and before you know it the world will be right again. I always say that it is our role as a pilotwife/mother to keep a steady routine with the kids, with and without his presence. Make her days look the same, regardless of if he is or isn't home...and this way her day will look the same and she can take comfort in that.

    This is all great news! And don't get too excited about non-reving...sometimes it is great, and sometimes you get a couple more wrinkles and gray hairs from all the stress ;-)

  2. have you seen those daddy dolls? little pillows that are full length images of their dad, front and back. They were created for military families in mind, for when daddy's are deployed- might be a good tool to utilize to smooth out transitions?