Well, not yet. But I'm going there. I am changing my life from an average manager to an airline pilot.
TLDR: Go fly!
I'm writing this at 36000 feet while Aeroflot A330 flies me to JFK from Moscow. This is my fourth flight to the US in the past 12 months. This week I will have my commercial and multiengine pilot check rides. This will be the end of a first step of becoming a professional pilot - something I wouldn't believe just 2 years ago. They say money is the force that makes airplanes fly. But it also takes passion. And support from family. Just over two years ago I was a 31-years old well-paid manager in the booming Russian Internet industry. I had a childish dream of flying, and I shared it with a woman I'd just started to date. But I had never made a single step towards my dream before. She wanted me to be happy so she gave me a present - a 30 minutes ride on a powerful soviet propeller-driven Yak-18T. And that was the beginning of a new me. I married this woman, we're expecting a baby in a month. I became a private (amateur) pilot. Later I quit online industry and focused on flying, that was half a year ago. It took me quite some time to make this decision and then a nice amount of money to move that direction. I know that now for some years I won't be able to earn as much as I used to. But I love flying. Being a good pilot is all about studying, improving, learning, advancing. I hope that in a few years I will address my passengers as a captain, and my speech will be loud, clear, friendly and informative - that's what I've been always missing as a passenger. If you haven't done so, call to the nearest general aviation airport and ask them how you can have an introductory flight with a local flight school or club. In Russia you can find a list at my hobby website, just google for "avialog". Some principles I would like to share: - Avoid bad people in your life. It's better not to engage in any business with a moral bastard. Life can be much better if you focus on good people and, of course, on your family. - Family is important. It's so good when somebody's happy to see you back at home. Especially when you're a pilot. Also, people trust you more. - Better leave politics to politicians, don't let them brainwash you. Don't believe all the media reports about Crimea. If you're not there, don't judge. Be more skeptical and read more history. - You will be a solid person if you respect others and don't tolerate disrespect to you. - Impressions during travel must be shared. Travel the world, judge less, listen more. - Believe in science and human mind. We fly because of science, not prayers. - Flying makes you feel happy and alive. Go fly! Quite a few readers of this email know me personally, so I'm sending Privet! (Hi in Russian) to them. I hope I didn’t sound too much like captain obvious. Send me an email with any kinds of questions or thoughts.