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A question for all of you

CaptElmo

Active member
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I need your help. I fly a FK 27 as PIC for a cargo operator under Part 121. I'm considering jumping ship to a regional to fly a regional jet. Question is, should I stay at my current position and wait until I can get hired by a national (AirTran, JetBlue and the like). Or should I go to a regional to fly a jet, fly right seat for about year and a half and take te associated pay cut??? All your imputs and help would be greately appreciated.

Sincerely,

CaptElmo
 

Wiggums

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Changing jobs right now won’t really improve your career in the long run. You’re already getting turbine 121 PIC time, which is what you’ll need to make the jump to a major airline when hiring begins. Is there something else about going to a regional that will make it worthwhile? In any case I would make sure to get 1000 hours PIC turbine before quitting your current job.
 

bobbysamd

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Should I stay or should I go?

Stay put. There's too much uncertainty right now during times when you need certainty. Don't ever take a pay cut. Do get your turbine 121 time. Your total time is good and, I assume, your multi is proportionate to it. Stay where you are and you'll be in good shape for jobs beyond the nationals when hiring picks up.

Best of luck in your career.
 

skydiverdriver

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I say go. You could get the job at a national, but I think your chances would be better from a good regional. I suppose it depends on how much pic turbine you have right now. If you fly freight, like I did, it probably takes some time to build time in that Fokker. I left MAC for this reason, but of course, I wasn't a captain. Oh, and I just met a guy who went from the Caravan to the Fokker to get some crew time so he could go to Midway. Now he is junior to me at Comair. Go figure. Good luck to you.
 

CaptElmo

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I really thank all of you for your imput but probably I needed to add some details so that you guys can elaborate. I do have about 1,600 hours PIC in the Fokker and I interviewed and got a class date with Pinnacle. Some of my buddies have suggested me to stay put and some of you have suggested not to take a pay cut (I'll be close to 50 grand when the year is over). And then you got the problem of no getting paid during tng. at NWA Airlink. Again thank you for your comments and suggestions!!

CaptElmo
 

bobbysamd

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Stay put, anyway

It's still a step down, in terms of crew position as well as pay. I'd feel like a pig in s--t to be earning $50K per year for flying airplanes. You are senior where you are and you would be junior where you go. Why sacrifice these achievements?

I stand by my advice of above. Wait until things get better and then apply to the national(s), turbojet(s) or major(s) of your choice.
 
Last edited:

TurboS7

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Enjoy your job and stay where you are. There is nothing nastier than being junior and not moving anywhere. Your senority right now means a job, go somewhere else and you will be the first to go. Flying freight is neat, FA's are a real pain in the neck, plus you get to see the sun rise and the sun set. Enjoy.
 

PilotOnTheRise

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Not an expert, however, I would think leaving the 121 job in which you are getting PIC time in a turbine to go fly SIC in a jet would be the wrong decision, based on how things are currently. I would stick with the job you have now, build the time and later down the road go to a JetBlue, AirTran or even a regional.
 

profjetpilot

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Capt. Elmo,

Do what YOU think is best for your career. Only you can determine if the pay cut will be worth it. In the long run that pay cut can turn into a pay raise. It can also propel your career to the next level. I am in the same situation as you except I made the move a couple of years ago. I already have the turbine PIC, but I know I am going to be here for a while. I would'nt have it any other way! The scheduled flying is great and 10 or more days off in a month is also nice. The pay could be better, but our contract was negotiated in Memphis, TN. The pay is geared toward that domicile. If you have a positive attitude you can do well anywhere you go. You have a tough decision ahead. I wish you luck.

Profjetpilot
 

Diesel8

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Do NOT go to Pinnacle if you are PIC now. I am at Pinnacle now, and I can tell you that you will be making a big mistake. The paycut is Immense, and contrary to whatever they might have told you in the interview, the upgrade is a LONG time. I have been here over a year, and it's looking like it will be two years -plus some till I upgrade, and then I'll be riding the couch. I suggest you stay put. This company was a great place about a year ago, prior to 9-11, when things looked good, but now we are going though some growing pains. There are many pilots who don't have the time to upgrade, but that is changing. The last two bids went fairly senior, 200-300 out of 550 pilots. Don't expect to upgrade for awhile here. The pay is rough (19$ an hour, 75 hour guarantee), the work rules...they will make you feel right at home if you flew freight. The guy above said he was happy with ten days off a month...I think that explains everything. I'd be happy to change positions with you any day of the week.
 

DoinTime

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Yeah Pinnacle is pretty much the bottom of the barrel. The only thing we have going for us is aircraft deliveries and as soon as the remaining Saabs are gone those deliveries are actually going to represent growth. When Mesaba gets their next contract signed (probably sometime in the next 1-1.5 years) the whipsawing will turn against us in preparation for our next round of contract talks. If people here think it is bad now just wait until we don't have any new airplanes coming our way. You just may be able to get a upgrade fairly quickly but you would then be looking at 4+ years of reserve all to be making the same as what you are making now. If you think its a pretty sh*tty thing for a pilot to have to pay their way through training, they are just getting you prepared for whats to come.

If you want to fly a jet apply at some reputable companies first.
 

skydiverdriver

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I would leave MAC, because few people get good jobs out of there. For some reason, many passenger airlines seem to discriminate against freight guys, even though they are great pilots and the experience is excellent. I don't know anything about pinnicle, but I would leave MAC for a good regional that is growing and has lots of jets. You have a good job and can be picky, but look at where your friends are going, and that should tell you what to do. I know FedEx won't hire MAC pilots, but if you went to another airline first, they might. Ask around, see if any MAC pilot has EVER gone to United or American or Delta. I knew one that went to USAir, but he's probably furloughed now. Honestly, if you allready have 1000 pic turbine, you should go somewhere that you wouldn't mind staying for a very long time. I know it's a pay cut now, but over the long run, the pay will be better than MAC, and your chances of going somewhere better will be greatly increased. You also will make a LOT more friends, since you fly with so many more people at the pax airlines.

PS, be careful what some people tell you on this board, as they don't even fly for an airline, and never have. Good luck to you.
 

skydiverdriver

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PS,
I see a lot of the answers people give you say that senority is good, and it is. However, there is essentially no senority at MAC. It has no union, and they hire captains off the street ahead of you. A junior person can keep a domicile, even if a senior person want's it. Some people assume that senority is the same at every airline, and that's not true. I know street captains don't affect you since you are a captain, but it sure does affect the FO's. Most good regionals have a union, that protects your job and senority. I personally wouldn't ever go to a non-union airline, even a good one like Skywest. Just my opinion, and if I were at Skywest, I would stay there, but I wouldn't go there after knowing what I know now. Also, 121 at MAC is not the same as a passenger airline. It's 121 supplimental, which means no dispatchers. I feel safer knowing a certificated dispatcher is watching out for me, and is just a radio call away. Of course, I used to be a 121 domestic dispacher, so I guess I'm partial.

So, just be careful if you think all 121 is the same, or that senority is the same at every airline. It isn't. Good luck to all.
 

Britpilot

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skydiverdriver said:
PS, be careful what some people tell you on this board, as they don't even fly for an airline, and never have. Good luck to you.


You are so right and airline senority is everything.
Three years to upgrade in the CL-65 sounds good to me ( Just ask the Eagle guys how long to upgrade in the 145) and I would rather be a reserve Captain than a line holding FO. But that's just my opinion.
 

DrvA320

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I say stay where you are.

You are putting 121 PIC into your logbook - the most valued time you can aquire. It doesn't matter squat that the motors are turbine and not turbojet.

Why take a pay cut and start all over again at another carrier just to end up putting the same quality time in your logs?

Unless of course you think you would rather retire from the regional carrier (worst case senario - if you can't move on) than where you are presently employed.

If you goal is to get on with a National carrier, then I say stay put.

Good Luck - whatever you decide.

drva320
 

COEX-FO

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Or should I go to a regional to fly a jet, fly right seat for about year and a half and take te associated pay cut??? All your imputs and help would be greately appreciated.

Right now, I would stay at MAC (sorry Skydiverdriver as I know you are also ex-MAC) unless you can get on with Southwest, Airtran or JetBlue. They are the only ones worth leaving for. Leaving for a regional (especially Pinnacle) is a big mistake.

When I left MAC for COEX, I expected to be upgrading right about now. It's probably going to be a year (or two) more until that happens. Thinking upgrade in a year and a half is, at best, the mins. At COEX new hires will be right seat for years!!!!

The majors are not hiring for the next few years until recall of furloughs and business picks up.

I used to fly that CSG route for MAC. Aside from the night shift, it's a good job, better than an FO on reserve at any 'regional' airline.

Remember, MAC pilots have gone to most regionals, Jet Blue. AIrtran, Northwest, Midway (oops) and most others.

It's not out of the question to go directly to a major (in a few years) with all the PIC Turbine time you are getting each week.

Just my opinion.
 

Britpilot

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I do not know much about the freight side of things, but is there much variety in the flying you do or is it all the same basic route? That could get a little boring also all the 'vampire" time you put in.
I still think that 2-3 years to upgrade to a jet with a National airline is not bad and who knows what will happen at COEX and others or the industry as a whole. It all comes down to what you want to do for the next few years, your own personal situation and do you ENJOY what you are doing because that is still the most important factor. Too many people out here were so focused on their "career" and getting to a major that they missed all the fun and are now either furloughed or possibly looking at furlough. The so called Regionals are not a bad place to be at the moment, with new aircraft deliveries and hiring continuing and even profits being made. Now there's a concept.
 

skydiverdriver

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COEX-FO

Okay, I agree with most of what you say, but doesn't it bother you that nobody has ever gone to a good major out of MAC? I dont' think he would lose anything by going to a good regional. Yes, he might be on reserve for awhile, but perhaps if he picked one that doesn't have a long wait for captain, or a flowthrough that is pushing people back. I have nothing against COEX, and some others, but just because you don't feel good there doesn't mean he would feel the same if he went to Comair or ASA or ACA. Some regionals have very little reserve, quick upgrades and a pretty good future, if you get stuck there.

Well, just my opinion, which is what the man asked for, and thank you for yours.
 

COEX-FO

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Re: COEX-FO

I'm actually quite happy at Express. 9-11 changed a lot here but that's just the breaks. In retrospect, I had an offer at ASA as well but choose COEX because at the time it was the correct choice (for me).

I was only at MAC for six months (perhaps you don't remember but you were quite helpful to me in getting that job) and I flew with this Captain for three months myself.

I still think he is better off at as a CA at MAC than Pinnacle as an FO. Quality of life stuff and pay being two big reasons.

The only pilot I personally know at MAC that went to a major went to NWA. Unfortunately he was furloughed.

Rigth now, with the hiring market as it is, building PIC in F-27 will do more for a major career than starting over in an RJ! I think so, anyway.


Fly safe!

skydiverdriver said:
Okay, I agree with most of what you say, but doesn't it bother you that nobody has ever gone to a good major out of MAC?
 

enigma

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Elmo, you didn't state your goal other than working for a national somewhere down the road. From that, I assume that your goal is to fly people. Here's me two cents. The pax industry is bad news right now. Yesterdays conventional wisdom is out the window. We all know that the big money and easy schedules come with the majors, or rather they used to. A year ago this time, I'd tell you to go to work flying people. Now, I say find a job that you can be happy working for five to ten years. I consider myself extremely blessed to be working for a company that pays reasonable, and have a contract that dictates a decent work environment. Because, I don't think that any of those big money jobs from yesteryear will be coming my way anytime soon. Nor will one be going the way of more than a couple of hundred guys a year who happen to get on with JB, SWA, FedEX.

Bottom line, the upward mobility in the pax industry is on hold. I say don't go to work for a company with poor pay and work rules(Pinnacle), because you will probably be there for more years than you expect.

I'll defer to SDD about MAC, but as to box haulers in general; Spirit has a bunch of you. Along with the normal mix of retired Generals, Colonels, Corporate jet drivers, five year military vietnam era guys, commuter dogs, and guys who had bad luck at Midway (original), Braniff, EAL, PanAm, AirFlorida, PrivateJet, etc. Freight Dogs make good people pilots, and I don't really think that it is a stigma worth worrying about.
Good Luck,
8N
 
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