When did Airnet become the place to be? It seems like every CFI in the world wants to go fly night freight. Is flight instructing that bad? I'm not taking anything away from the Airnet guys, they work hard, but I can't imagine why someone would leave a good CFI job to go bust arse flying single pilot frieght when the end outcome will probably be the same; a regional job.
If you want to fly for an airline than just wait a little while. Things will return to normal shortly. Just my opinion though. Flame away, I'm interested to hear why guys think they need that kind of time to get a job.
I think given the choice a regional airline prefers to have a pilot with 135 experience. When times were good cfi's could get interviews. Times aren't so good, hence the need for 135 experience. Some of these cfi's probably have seen a reduction in flying and are looking for ways to pay bills and continue to build time.
Once things go back to normal, hopefully soon as you said ATRCA, who will have the better looking resume a CFI with 2000hours of watching someone fly, or someone who did the CFI thing for 1000 hours and then flew 135 for another 1000 hours. That maybee one reason to choose AirNet or similar 135 companies over instructing.
But I think AirNet has some other positives. The pay is more than many regionals. This is my first year and I'm on pace to make about $29K this year. Not many CFI's will do that or first year regional pilots. I think I made about $15K as a CFI.
We also have an opportunity to upgrade to the Lear, and pre 9/11, many of the Lear pilots skipped the regional thing and went straight to some of the majors. That is what my original plan was, but now it seems like it will be forever until I have a chance to bid a Lear spot. But hopefully things will return somewhat to normal soon.
On top of all that, 135 flying for any company is better flight experience than instructing. I think I learned more my first week on line flying into Airports like BOS, and IAD, then I did instructing for a year flying into little tiny uncontrolled airports in the midwest.
Of course Airnet has its negatives, but doesn't every company in any field of work. I'm happy where I'm at for now, and I think most other Airnet pilots would agree.
Those are all good points, however I can tell you that where I work, 135 time was not required to obtain employment, in fact, I would venture to say that about 90% of our new hires were
CFI's with little or no turbine time and no 135 experience. Who knows, I'm not infereing that Airnet is a bad choice, I just dont think it is as necessary as some may think. Times are tough now, but it will get better. I think by this time next year some of the larger reqionals will be hiring again. Some (ACA, Comair) are hiring now. Good luck.
BTW, I personally think that flight instructing in some of the best time you can get particularly those who do a great deal of instrument instructing. I can usually tell who flight instructed and who did not when I fly with folks on the line. CFI's are good pilots. Just my opinion though. See yah.
Don't forget that many people prefer being home EVERY night and off EVERY weekend.
I will never be as proficient as I was when I was at AirNet/U.S. Check. Flight instructing is fine, but when you get that occasional night of 6 approaches to 1800RVR, by yourself (it DOES happen) - you will really learn where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
When you get the big interview, that experience is golden.
What are the chances of getting on with Airnet? Is there a high turn-around rate. I know that the industry is slow right now, but what is the average? I was thinking of myself, after the commercial and multi, and just skipping CFI. I will not ever fly for a major (personal reasons, including a background)
I agree that CFI's do make some of the best pilots as I did that prior to coming to Airnet. I learned alot, but I just felt I wanted to get more hands on time. After I had 1200 total I received a job offer with Airnet and took it, and turned down several interview opportunities with some regionals. Many of my fellow instructors thought I was crazy for taking the job with Airnet(Now I wish I had gone to the interviews for the sake of the experience if nothing else). Had I taken a job with a regional, I most likely would be among the furloughed pilots now.
At the time I was hired by Airnet, I had 1200 hours, but only about 200 of them were me flying the plane. The other 1000 hours were instructing. I didn't feel ready to take control of an RJ or any other turbine powered plane a regional would stick me in. But now, I definately have learned alot and have the confidence. Of course I know many people go straight from instructing to the regionals, which is fine for many, but for myself, it's been a great learning experience getting in different types of flying. And that first night of shooting 6 or 7 approaches solo to 1800 RVR while picking up icing will definately put you up that learning curve. I probably wouldn't take my students up in that in a C-172 for a lesson(Trying to be funny).
I think the reason people are wanting to come fly with us is because we are hiring, which is not happening too much other places. I have noticed that people always want to go where the hiring is, no matter who it is.
Also, from a more personal note, this is the best freight company to fly for. We are paid the best, as was said above, we make more than we would at the regionals. Our schedules get us home every night/day, plus most of us have every weekend off. Oh yeah, don't forget that we don't fly on holidays... something you could only say after many years of regional work if you are lucky.
As you pointed out though also, i don't think flying 135 is "necessary," but it definately develops a better pilot than instructing. It is one thing to sit and watch a student do the same maneuver over and over, and another to actually be out on your own with your life always in your hands. I too instructed before coming here, and i did learn a lot of stuff, but not nearly as much as i have out on my own. I talked to a furloughed eagle guy the other day who is now flying for a company in Dallas who said he never realized how much harder it is to fly on his own than to fly a two man crew or instruct. It is always easy to turn to the guy next to you to ask for help if something happens, but on your own you have no help, just you and the airplane. It requires a great deal more attention and thought to fly single pilot.
Oh yeah, one last thing...what's a regional? Everyone here leaves for the majors.
Your points are valid. I instructed for over 1000 hrs myself. 300 of them in twins and 625 in instrument training/twins (I have a filter on my electronic logbook, I'm not THAT anal). I'm very comfortable flying and was the instructor that would always chase IMC conditions, going as far as refusing to sign off until they had time in actual. That said, you will never get better real world experience then this kind of flying. Nighttime; always on the backside of the clock (we don't have to go into the exponential increase in risk on this one), single pilot (even having a human, pilot or not, with you lends a calming effect to the subconscious), approaches to mins on a regular basis (try flying into JAX @ 6am Mon. - Thurs among others.....it's in the middle of a swamp), wishful luxuries such as an autopilot don't exist on the rattle traps that I get to fly (but they're as safe as they can make 'em), and no dispatch to hold your hand and make decisions for ya.
Just some points I had on my mind, but I've done both and although I learned a ton from instructing and would certainly do it all over again, flying in the conditions we do doesn't really compare to flight instructing.
"I was thinking of myself, after the commercial and multi, and just skipping CFI."
They won't even look at you without your CFI ticket(s). It is strongly preferred there.
You will fly single pilot the entire time you are in the props, unless you are assigned an SIC or you have jumpseaters with you.
The types hyper put above are correct, except that we have retired our Aerostars as of 4 weeks ago. It's pretty bad when only one type of aircraft is 1/3 of the MX expenses including the Lears. Maybe we will be able to make our quarterly's now.
The majority were going to Southwest, with others going across the board, including American, Delta, UPS, Fedex, and so on. There are a bunch of guys who were supposed to leave after 9/11, but obviously for now they are here waiting for classes to start up again.