Total Participants - 24
Participant age groups
Pilot partners personality types *NEW
I asked the wives and girlfriends to list their personality types, and thought maybe there is a correlation between personality types in relationship. There are pretty even numbers of A, B and AB partner to pilots. I really could not detect an overwhelming evidence to state that one personality of pilot attracts another. I did a little bit of digging on line and found and article on line in the Relationship section for MSNBC that stated that A-A couples are power couples where in couples where the male is A and the female is B type the male tends to be more aggressive in their carer for example a CEO while the female takes on the care taker role.
I am not sure how much truth there is to this statement i am a strong A and he is a strong A I am also the care taker while he is the aggressor in his career. I stand 100% behind him and support so I am a bit skeptical about that generalization. check out the numbers for yourselves and feel free to comment.
Pilot strengths and weaknesses
I asked for pilot partners to list out their pilot's strengths and weaknesses it is interesting to see that what some could see as a weakness some saw as a strength and vice versa. After combining all of the answers from one work laundry lists to little stories I came up with two pages of characteristics.
Many wives and girlfriends see the following as strengths that the pilot has.
Positives and challenges of the pilot lifestyle
- Love for flying – 11
- Travel - 6
- When he is home he is home – quality time with family - 4
- Getting to get away take time to himself - 4
- Getting to meet new people -3
- He is good at his job -2
- Good income - 2
- The time the pilot is away from home allows the partner a lot of freedom to pursue their interest such as volunteering etc. – 2
- Being a pilot is gratifying
- Adapts to change easily
- Being away from family and home -11
- Instability in the industry & furloughs -5
- Getting up early – 4
- Finding a balance between family and following dreams -3
- Being overworked / long flight days – 2
- Working with incompetent people
- Keeping up with duties when away from base
- Keeping the motivation on track when your career is derailed
- Putting himself first not trying to please everyone else
- Not becoming complacent staying prepared for emergency at all times
- Coping with different cultures if working abroad
- Internal working pressures
- Financial wellbeing after retirement
- Low pay
- Starting at the bottom
After reading the responses some short and to the point and some longer explaining the fine details of the lifestyle and why certain area is seen as a positive and other as a negative I found some very common threads that link us together and often are a doubled edged sword. It seems that you can’t have it all and thus it’s a tradeoff. You get to travel as a pilot but while you travel you are away from your family so while you are gaining the amazing experiences of seeing the world you miss the kids firsts, birthdays and holidays and your own bed. The beginning is hard and we h put in our dues but eventually the pay gets better and with time there is more security. As we glide along sometimes hitting turbulence some aviation related and some just because life is full of ups and downs here is proof that there are always two sides to each coin and where there are hardships in this lifestyle there are also positives and benefits that make it worth our while.
Some moms saw more than one issue, some kids have hard time sleeping, others test boundaries others act out by refusing to play with daddy when he comes home, throwing things, crying more. It is hard to explain to a toddler that this is daddy’s job and that he comes home and leaves but he will come home again, and that missing him is ok. I will never forget the day that my son asked why is best friends daddy comes home every night and his doesn’t. I explained it in as simple terms as I could without placing blame on his job, I don’t want my son to hate the fact that daddy is a pilot. So I said: “so and so’s daddy does come home everynight that’s right. But he also only had two days off a week when your daddy is home he is home for seven days. Is seven more than two?” Son said yes, I went on then: “See you get daddy more days” he liked that whew.
There are many ways to deal with the absent daddy/ husband pilot during the holidays here are some of the wisdom that was shared:
- celebrate when daddy is home - 9
When the children are very little they don't know that today is the actual Christmas or birthday and celebrating when daddy is home before or after the actual day works, calling to wish a "happy birthday" or 'happy anniversary" on the actual day makes that day very special. The date does not really matter being together is what is important. Celebrating with daddy becomes a tradition and sometimes it s fun to celebrate twice.
- celebrate with family and friends - 2
- celebrate alone - 1
Wives worry, then we cope – that is what must be done.
- Worry about repeat 911
- Bad weather
- Beig tired - flying log hours or red-eye
- Not getting that call or text when landed
- Hearing there was a crash without knowing who crashed (this one is made worst by the zillions of phone calls from family and friends asking if you are ok and was it “him”)
- We pray
- Call him and ask they call at least once a day to let us know they are ok.
- Try not to imagine horror scenarios
- Refuse to worry
- Trust in his ability
- Having your pilot explain things to you to help ease fears
- Remind ourselves that driving is more dangerous than flying (30,797 deaths due to vehicular accidents took place in 2009 – US Census Bureau – I do question this only seeing that per 100,000 licensed drivers the average is 16.3 to the pilot death rate per 100,000 of 70.6 which is greater - but I am not sure how these statistics were acquired)
- Force the “what ifs” out
- Tell him to “fly safe” when he leaves for work
- Stay busy
- Seek comfort from a friend
- Play on the wives support groups websites on line – those ladies get it
- Do what relaxes you