Pilot shortage: Why now is a great time to launch an aviation career

Pilot shortage: Why now is a great time to launch an aviation career

The headlines tell the story:

  • “Is America’s airline industry headed for a major pilot shortage?”
  • “Business Aviation Not Immune to Pilot Shortage”
  • “Airlines expected to need 117K pilots over next 20 years”
  • “Who’s Going To Fly The Plane? Forecasted Global Pilot Shortage Could Limit Future Air Travel Options”
  • “U.S. airlines go on a pilot-hiring spree”

Major newspapers, television reports and trade publications have sounded the alarm based on a recent studies by aircraft manufacturer Boeing and another from the University of North Dakota that found the need for trained pilots is at an all-time high.

A combination of attrition through retirement and a lack of prepared flight students has led to a critical shortage that has been years in the making and will take years to solve.

Forbes recently reported that 42 percent of pilots flying today will retire in the next 10 years. The Boeing study found that U.S. demand for new commercial pilots between now and 2036 stands at roughly 117,000. Forbes wrote:

“That’s equal to 16 new pilots a day entering the U.S. airline industry every day, or 5,840 a year, for 20 years continuously. To put that in perspective, U.S. carriers combined never have hired more than about 5,000 pilots in a single year, and have done that only a handful of times over the last 40 years.

For added perspective, hiring 5,000 a year would be equal to hiring as many pilots in just three years as giant American Airlines, the largest U.S. airline – and the largest in the world – has on its current payroll.

If the law of supply and demand plays out as one naturally would expect airlines likely will be raising pilot pay substantially and steadily over the next 20 years in order to attract the many new pilots they’ll need.”

 Commercial flight training is rigorous with the FAA requiring 1,500 hours of training to be a first officer in addition to passing instrument rating and other tests. But it’s also rewarding with a great career and a wide variety of options on how to put your expertise to use.

We can get you started by taking the first steps toward your dream with a private pilot’s license in roughly 55 hours of in-flight training.

After that, there’s no telling how high you can fly.

Give us a call today at (517) 552-1101, send us an email at info@flywithcrosswinds.com or visit us on the web here to learn more.



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  • Too… expensive!!!! But on a side note those 2 ladies on the photo are pretty ☺️☺️☺️

    • Flying is expensive, there is no way around that. However, for young people looking at this as a career it is now a very lucrative career choice. You can finance your training through loans or student financial aid. Complete your FAA ratings efficiently, instruct to build hours and get a pilot job within 3-4 years. As Dan said, starting salaries are good now along with bonuses and pay goes up relatively quickly as you gain seniority. It’s all about getting your training done quickly and efficiently so you can get hired.

    • Crosswinds Aviation lol

    • There are many ways to decrease the expense Christian. It takes some planning and work, but it’s doable. I did it in my 30’s while raising 3 kids. If I did it, anyone can.

  • No better time to become a pilot. Crosswinds is an excellent flight school that will explain the process and prepare you for a lifetime aviation career. The aircraft at Crosswinds are modern, equipt’d with the type of avionics you’ll need to move up the ladder into commercial aviation.
    For those desiring a career, becoming an aviator is nearly a guarantee of an exciting job. Currently, many of the airlines are hiring pilots right out of school and placing them into a mentored, progressive track to the pilot seat of one of their airliners.
    Many of these companies are offering a substantial hiring bonus to help with your training costs.
    It’s not to expensive to become a pilot when you include all the current benefits.
    PS on a side note…those two pilots in the photo look very smart to me.

  • I’m colorblind

  • Crosswinds aviation is not just another flight school. I took my training with them and quickly felt the dedication of ownership and the instructors to be the very best. Learning to fly later in life has fulfilled a life long dream and words cannot describe the joy of taking your check ride with an faa examiner and he shakes your hand and says “congratulations, you are a licensed pilot”. I owe every aspect of my pilot accomplishment to crosswinds aviation and the friendships I have made along the way I hope will last this lifetime. My only disappointment is that I did not learn to fly earlier. The dedication to students, the aircraft maintenance, ownership and staff….first class.

  • Chris, if you drive a car and you can detect the color of traffic lights you can learn to fly. Many blue eyed males have a certain degree of colorblindness. You simply take a color light test from the faa and you are good to fly at night, no problem.

  • Nick said that’s Light Sport and it’s a seater. But it’s a very nice plane.

  • Low pay, gruelling hours until you might “land” a decent job.

    • And the problem is???

    • That low pay you mention is not the case quite so much after you’ve got a few hours under your belt. Not many careers that have you making a good amount until you’ve put in the time & gained experience. Aviation is becoming a better choice than 10 years ago regarding pay. The industry is in need on a number of career paths. If someone wants to fly, there is a way. I see young people working it out in one way or another every year.

    • The pay is directly relative to the passion and effort put forth.
      ie…like any other job

    • Many professional pilots at our airport. You go thru the military and the starting pay is much better. You start at ground zero and after you pay for all your ratings and types you can then start to accumulate hours. Guess what? If you’re hired you get paid to accumulate those hours, you don’t have to pay to do it. It may take awhile to start making bigger bucks but what doesn’t ? Fly cheap for a few years and move on to something better. One of my best buddies flew 747s until they dropped them from their fleet the beginning of this year. He started pumping av gas at our airport when he was 14. He is now flying 777s. You gotta start somewhere.

    • Greg Palinsky I know who you’re talkin about but I can’t think of his name

    • Robert Kiacz Jeff S.

    • Greg Palinsky thanks

  • Griffin Tengel

  • If you have a pulse you will get a job, and the signing bonuses are good right now and salaries have come a long way. There is also a shortage of mechanics. Now is the time if you want a career in aviation.

  • There’s a pilot shortage because the business screwed them for so long word got out its a shit job.

  • Join the Air Force America needs pilots. We are way under staffed