"Airline DNA" for a career-corp wannabe?

Snakum

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I've read a few references to one possibly being stained by the wrong "DNA" for a desired career track, and so I had a hypothetical question:

Since I want to work corporate or corp/charter (though I still harbor a bit of a childhood dream of flying a 747 before I die ... even if it's from an FE desk :D), if I was able to go to a regional for a couple years to get my turbine multi time up to snuff, could that possibly say anything negative about me in the eyes of the kinds of local corporate operators I'm meeting now as a lowly right-seat, empty-leg putz in the Baron and the King Air? Or is it not really as big a deal as some make it out to be?

With the insurance requirements the way they are today, I will be sitting in the right seat (actually both seats) and logging only sole manipulator for a very, very long time. I am beginning to wonder if a couple years at any regional who'd have me might speed things up, or make things worse. :(

Danke Schon,

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Goose Egg

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I just asked this question, and I think I came to the conclusion that the regional route wouldn't be a bad way to "get around the block." The guys doing the hiring in the corporate arena realize that you've got to get your initial experience somehow. This is not to say that you shouldn't do your best to convince the interviewer that being a corporate pilot is your ultimate goal (this is certainly how I'm going to go about it when the time comes.) Listing FE writtens on your resume, for example, is a big no no (since you brought it up.)

Had a number of different opinions on this, but I have it on pretty good authority that the process listed above would work out pretty well. I think that the corporate operators just want some assurance that you aren't going to jump ship when an airline job comes along or when your number gets recalled.

-Goose
 

SkyBoy1981

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One of the primary reasons I've found that some corporate operators don't like to hire 121 pilots is that they consider us to be "lazy". I used to fly corporate, so I know how some of them are. Instead of hiring pilots based on their skill level, knowledge, or judgement they want someone who will clean their plane, hangar, cars, etc on their days off and never gripe about it. Airline pilots aren't used to such things, so they don't adapt to it so well. In general, if someone doesn't want to hire you simply because you fly for an airline, you probably don't want to work there to begin with. In my opinion, the more classy flight departments have nothing against hiring airline pilots because they know these individuals have been through formal training and are used to being a part of a crew environment. I'm sure someone will flame me for this, but its my 2 cents.
 

Bandit60

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SkyBoy1981 said:
One of the primary reasons I've found that some corporate operators don't like to hire 121 pilots is that they consider us to be "lazy". I used to fly corporate, so I know how some of them are. Instead of hiring pilots based on their skill level, knowledge, or judgement they want someone who will clean their plane, hangar, cars, etc on their days off and never gripe about it. Airline pilots aren't used to such things, so they don't adapt to it so well. In general, if someone doesn't want to hire you simply because you fly for an airline, you probably don't want to work there to begin with. In my opinion, the more classy flight departments have nothing against hiring airline pilots because they know these individuals have been through formal training and are used to being a part of a crew environment. I'm sure someone will flame me for this, but its my 2 cents.

I agree with you to a point; however, the "lazy" coporate attitude is more about the attitude you get from some of the 121 guys that have to put coffee and ice on the airplane. I dont know any legit corporate operators that have them wash cars, clean the hangar and things like that on their own time. Thats not to say their arent any.
In my opinion,the more classy flight departments will hire a 121 pilot not because of his "formal training" (keep in mind that classy flight departments have formal training as well) but because he can get along with other pilots and the passengers. It has nothing to due with their 121 experience. As you know CRM is important in the cockpit and you cant get that if you have two guys that cant get along. Any monkey can fly an airplane but you need to have the rest of it to make it work.
The corporate departments also sees the 121 pilots as weak on flight planning and weight and balances since most of that is done for you. I have actually know a capt of a major that didnt even know how to file a flight plan. From what some of my 121 friends have said, it is more common than I thought.

Keep in mind that this is not all 121 guys at all and is most likely a small minority, but I just call it like they see it.
 

SkyBoy1981

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Bandit60 said:
I agree with you to a point; however, the "lazy" coporate attitude is more about the attitude you get from some of the 121 guys that have to put coffee and ice on the airplane. I dont know any legit corporate operators that have them wash cars, clean the hangar and things like that on their own time. Thats not to say their arent any.
In my opinion,the more classy flight departments will hire a 121 pilot not because of his "formal training" (keep in mind that classy flight departments have formal training as well) but because he can get along with other pilots and the passengers. It has nothing to due with their 121 experience. As you know CRM is important in the cockpit and you cant get that if you have two guys that cant get along. Any monkey can fly an airplane but you need to have the rest of it to make it work.
The corporate departments also sees the 121 pilots as weak on flight planning and weight and balances since most of that is done for you. I have actually know a capt of a major that didnt even know how to file a flight plan. From what some of my 121 friends have said, it is more common than I thought.

Keep in mind that this is not all 121 guys at all and is most likely a small minority, but I just call it like they see it.
Agreed. I was basing my post mostly on my experience in corporate aviation and the people that I dealt with during the 3 years that I was there. I never had a problem with coffee and ice, but where I came from the duties of the corporate pilot seemed to be endless. Its good to hear that my experiences were at least the minority.
 

Jack Schitt

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Bandit60 said:
The corporate departments also sees the 121 pilots as weak on flight planning and weight and balances since most of that is done for you. I have actually know a capt of a major that didnt even know how to file a flight plan. From what some of my 121 friends have said, it is more common than I thought.

I'm sorry, but I always laugh when I hear this one. How hard is it to file a flight plan, especially with all the flight planning services available today? It's not brain surgery. So the guy hasn't filed a flight plan or done a W&B for 5 or 10 years, it'll only take an hour or so to refresh his memory.

To answer the original question, there are plenty of former regional and major airline pilots that have found a home in corporate aviation.
 

LegacyDriver

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A good Corporate Department has to be worried more about qualifications, safety, and attitude/personality than anything else. There are a lot of 121 people who are conscientious and work hard (i.e. customer service-oriented). These are things Corporate departments want it seems to me. I think it is more how you interview than where you come from to be honest. Being from the 121 world hasn't hurt me, yet, that I am aware of. I have had to learn a few things to get up to speed on this side of the fence, but other than that...

I hear all these 121 horror stories about how all these "airline guys are jerks" but there are just as many jerks in the 91/135 world as a percentage of the whole. I think it's much ado about nothing, really.

Some Corporate departments make you clean the lavs and all that stuff, but they should compensate you for it. Not all of them are like this. Some are really great.

That being said, you can do far better than being a lowly-paid F/O at a Regional. The quality of life there positively stinks.
 
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Bandit60

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Jack Schitt said:
I'm sorry, but I always laugh when I hear this one. How hard is it to file a flight plan, especially with all the flight planning services available today? It's not brain surgery. So the guy hasn't filed a flight plan or done a W&B for 5 or 10 years, it'll only take an hour or so to refresh his memory.

To answer the original question, there are plenty of former regional and major airline pilots that have found a home in corporate aviation.

Yea I had to laugh too, but it was true. A freind of mine was an fo on a flight and they didnt have their flight plan. They tried to radio operations and couldnt get thru. The ca didnt know what to do at this point so my friend picked up his phone and called FSS and filed a flight plan. The ca and checkairman that was onboard asked him how he knew what the suffix of the aircraft was and were suprised that he knew how to file a simple flight plan. Keep in mind that the ca has been with major for almost 30yrs and military before that and never filed a flight plan like that.

It was more funny than anything else. Again I dont believe personally that this is the norm.
 

CapnVegetto

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Bandit60 said:
Yea I had to laugh too, but it was true. A freind of mine was an fo on a flight and they didnt have their flight plan. They tried to radio operations and couldnt get thru. The ca didnt know what to do at this point so my friend picked up his phone and called FSS and filed a flight plan. The ca and checkairman that was onboard asked him how he knew what the suffix of the aircraft was and were suprised that he knew how to file a simple flight plan. Keep in mind that the ca has been with major for almost 30yrs and military before that and never filed a flight plan like that.

It was more funny than anything else. Again I dont believe personally that this is the norm.

Same thing happened with me one day at my old regional. We were doing a 91 ferry, had already waited an hour for a release with no luck, so I got pi$$ed off and finally said "hey dude, hand me the d@mn phone." :) Within about 1 minute I had filed a flight plan for a CRJ-700 from PHX to TUS at 12,000 ft. My 14 year captain about crapped his pants. 'Wow!!! I didn't know you could do that!!!! How did you know what route to file??? (ummmm, direct). How did you know the TAS? ALT? Time enroute? (ummmm....duuuuhh). It was pretty funny.
 

StaySeated

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I don't know if "lazy" is really the problem as much as a lack of similiar experience. The problem I see is that several 91 corp departments do a lot of long haul international flying and would rather hire someone who has done the asia/europe/south american thing a few dozen times. I had an interview at a small 91 organization in the midwest that went very well, until I opened my big mouth on the way out when I saw one of the pilots working on something. He had just finished a multiday china plan when I introduced myself and he said, "hey, what do you think of this" and handed me something that looked remotely similiar to a flight release. By the second page I was thinking to myself "why the f didn't you just walk out the door you dumbass!". I recovered and didn't look like a complete novice, but I could tell this guy was not interested in in spending umpteen hours in a cockpit giving dual over asia. It is an interesting dilema for corporate departments, the guys who have the experience are usually only available if their current gig goes under, so they have to hire an inexperienced applicant and hope that the learning curve is quick. The key is to be positive and have the right personality to fit in with the rest of the group. Good luck, I have found airline experience/employment history to be an obstacle but that hasn't stopped me from pursuing the corporate route.
 

Bandit60

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The key is to be positive and have the right personality to fit in with the rest of the group.

Stayseated...this quote of yours is exactly right. I don't think alot of companies hold the lack of international experience against anyone.
 
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