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A question for all of you

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Active member
Aug 4, 2002
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.


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.
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.
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.
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!!

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.
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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.
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.
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.

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.

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