Mid-South pilot hopes to teach others, curb nationwide pilot shortage

Alan Mullen (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Alan Mullen (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Pilots across the nation are in high demand.

Alan Mullen, who has flown airplanes since he was 16 working as a pilot in the navy and even for FedEx, knows just that.

"It requires a certain amount of discipline and skill and responsibility, and I just enjoy all of that," Mullen said.

Mullen is helping to create the next generation of pilots for Crew Training International Professional Flight Training in Germantown. Experts say worldwide airline use went up six percent last year.

In order to meet the demand, Boeing estimates there will be a need for more than 600,000 new pilots over the next twenty years.

"If learning to be a pilot and developing the experience you need took a month, it would be possible, but it takes a year," Mullen said.

Once you complete that training and the hundreds of hours of required flight time, you can make good money. Alan says a starting salary is between $40,000 and $70,000. That's in addition to bonuses that sometimes top $20,000. The reason is mainly the shortage of qualified candidates

"It's like going to the NFL Draft and there's only three tight ends and you're one of them," Mullen said. "We need more tight ends than that."

It's an exciting career that can allow you to travel around the world while getting well paid in the process.

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