Tonight's reality came crashing in and made my Ironman goal seem so insignificant.
My husband's dream of being an airline pilot was a multi year goal that required going back to school in his late 30's, surviving 9/11 and working his way up from small turbo prop aircraft to being a first officer in a jet to being a jet captain. The last few months have been scary ones for him. He has fended off layoffs, math calculation errors made by his first officer in the cockpit that could have cost him his job if he had not had caught it, and ground personnel at some airports with the personality of a raging pit bull. Tonight, he found out that his airline had been fired by American Airlines and will no longer carry passengers for American at the end of 2008. This is a large blow to a regional carrier and it isn't because of bad service but because American simply can not afford the fuel and has to cut back on flights. It means this small airline loses 10% of its flying and this could mean the end of a career for my husband at Trans States Airlines.
At this point, the chances of him totally losing his job are very slim but the chance of him losing the captain's chair and returning to a first officer position is very possible. This means a drop in pay and a more difficult commuting life. More work, less pay and less time at home. None of this is good news.
We spent some time brainstorming what we could do next. What would be the best move? We have six months before these changes occur so we can fend off a disaster if necessary but where does a pilot go when there are so many pilots looking for work? The answer I found was not very good...they usually go overseas for work and that means moving or weeks without seeing you family. Thats a tough choice.
So, for now, we are just weighing our options and getting the information we need to make the right choices. It makes 140.6 miles look pretty easy.