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Mark Fulbright
Name: Mark Fulbright
Company: Mesaba Airlines
Position: First Officer
Current Aircraft: Avro RJ-85
Age N/A
Country USA

Airline experience: yes
Corporate or fractional experience: no
Cargo experience: no
Military, government, or law enforcement experience: no

Mentor profile:
I began flying in 1983 from a small military aero club and soloed the same year. It was great because there wasn't the pressure of a timeline to finish the program. Real stick and rudder flying. I was in the military at the time and it took several years to finish my private license due to deployments and work. Several years later I go out of the military and had decided I wanted to make flying a career. I worked hard and got my Instrument/Commercial/CFI-II and started working as a flight instructor. Around 1991 I had enough time to meet the hiring minimums at most commuters, but no one was hiring. To pay my bills I left aviation for 4 years and worked in an office in the real estate industry. I hated it! But I was determined to make flying a career, but needed to make a little money in the meantime, so I got an Aircraft Dispatchers License and got back into the industry this way. It took a little longer than expected, but 3 years later I applied and was accepted in 2000 for a First Officer position with my current company.

Favorite thing about flying:
Takeoff and Landing and the pilots I fly with. Great bunch of people.
Disadvatages of being a pilot:
The pay and the time away from home.

What you would have done different:
I would have stayed in the industry and worked as many jobs as it took to pay the bills. The 4 years away hurt my career progression.
Advice to aspiring pilots:
Keep working hard and don't listen to the naysayers that say it can't be done. Use your instincts.
Problems encounterd along the way:
There's not a lot of money to be made early in the career. Learn to live on a budget. Don't take on a lot of consumer debt - credit cards, etc. And certainly don't live on credit cards. This is a long journey and a very tough road to travel, but worth every mile. You really have to love and enjoy flying or you will be a very miserable person doing it.

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