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Airtran Class Update

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Well-known member
Nov 25, 2001
This is not a rumor, it is reality (as of this week, and you all know how that is subject to change). According to the folks in the training dep't there will be no new hire classes for the rest of 2002. Right now Jan/Feb is the new target for new hire class dates.

The reason.....well it looks like the -9s are going away (for real....no really they are going away this time) and an increased rate. Supposedly they will all be off the property by Nov 2003. The goal is to move the current -9 folks over to the 717 for the rest of the year, then bring in the newbies.

I heard this straight from training, they cancelled the Aug class. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
I can confirm that the August class was cancelled, as I was scheduled to be in that class, as well as classes in Feb and Apr, which were also cancelled, due to early retirement of the DC9s and the transitioning of pilots to the B717. I was told that we were not being put back in the "pool", but that we will remain placed in a "class" that has no date, and when they have a confirmed date, then we will be on our way...again.

I will be interested to see how many of the original "poolies" from Feb, 2002 will still be around in Feb, 2003. I will definitely be one of them, since my ultimate goal is working at AirTran, and I will wait as long as it takes. It helps that I'm still working. Most of the others were not.
Hang in there, Flx . . .

I interviewed in May, languished until August on someone's desk (without hearing a "yes" or a "no". FInally, got the call in August for an October class, and gave notice to my employer, just in time to ask for my old job back when the October class cancelled post- 9/11. Thankfully, the delay was short, and I was in class by early Nov.

The good news is that the hiring process is nothing like the rest of the company experience. Once I got in the door, things happened on-track. I was done with training and IOE within 90 days (with several weeks off for T-giving, Xmas and New Years off), and was holding a line by the next month.

While I am sure the delay is frustrating as hell (I remember calling home a couple of times a day "Did AirTran call? Did the mail come yet?") past experience has shown that things change very quickly, and it will probably go from "Not hiring for a few months" to "Get some pilots in here for a class starting Monday!".

Hope to see you here soon.


Just to let anyone who did not make the Airinc. Seminar in ATL this weekend aware...

Spoke with Jill Nidifer about their hiring preferences and was pretty disappointed. She said that they are pretty much only interviewing guys with 121 PIC. I told her that I went from corporate straight to a major and had not upgraded (and probably won't for a while) to Captain but did my two types and PIC jet and 727 time help offset in any way my lack of 121 PIC and she pretty much indicated it did not. So I asked her if Airtran would prefer my resume if I resigned and went and flew say a, caravan, for Mountain AirCargo (I think they are 121?), and she said that they would prefer something a little heavier but basically...yes. I thanked her for her time and told her I'd continue to update. I have at least two LOR's on file, maybe they'll give me shot somewhere in the future. I'd resign my seniority for Airtran, no problem, but I just can't resign it to go fly for someone else in the hopes that then, maybe Airtran will call after I have whatever the magic PIC 121 min time is. Anyway, just thought anybody who meets the quals would appreciate the info. I think really think their gonna continue to be a player.

Wow, that seems really weird.
As a former 91/135 guy, let me start by saying that I thought that my 135 jet PIC experience left me well prepared for AirTran. I have, however, noticed that they definitely do have a strong preference for 121 pilots, and, lately, because of projected upgrade times, that has shifted to a preference for 121 PIC's. With plenty of 121 PIC's out there, they are not hard to find.

Unfortunately, many 121 pilots have an outdated view of what 135 jet training is like. While a few Part 135 operators still train in the airplane, the better ones send both pilots to FSI or Simuflite every 6 months, and use the same SOP's, call-outs, and profiles as a 121 operator, and the accident statistics show that the 135 and fractional operators are doing an outstanding job.

My guess is that if you have an AirTran pilot who is actively "working" your stuff (ie. calling Jill and Greta when interviewing starts again), you will get an interview. If you have 91/135 jet PIC and also 121 SIC experience, sounds to me like you can command a jet, and know 121, so hopefully, you'll be able to help them recognize that fact too, without having to stand up and beat on the table with your shoe, like Kruschev . . . . .
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Wow Kruschev flew 135? (LOL) Ty thanks again for your post. Like I said before I'm committed to the long haul with Airtran, for the job itself as well as the interview. It's too bad that I may get passed because of the current requirement but, as much as I'd like to be there right now, I have been around the block enough to know that these things just take time. I'll just keep plugging away and patiently knocking on the door. In the mean time, I appreciate you keeping us posted on Airtran happenings.

121 PIC Time?

I gotta ask. Did Jill give any indication where us military guys stand? I would venture to say that with a part 121 PIC experience requirement, AirTran just eliminated virtually every military pilot. Most military pilots have good experience-not too much unlike the experience one gets from 121 operations. Oh well. I guess I'll give up flying PIC in a 320,000# aircraft all over the world so I can fly the caravan for Mountain Aircargo as well. (Before all you caravan pilots start sending me hate-mail I am only KIDDING!!).

Thanks in advance.
Military Time


I can't really remember what Jill said about it but most of the guys in the past and Fed Ex this time specifically mentioned that they look at military time much the same as 121, especially if it is heavy time. Makes since to me.

You know I thought the same thing when she said that. The answer is I just don't know. If there is no subjective evaluation of the resume to try and have comaparable but not neccesarily "identical" requirements for an interview invite, then I'd say they did just eliminate ex-mil guys as well as a good number of Execjet, Flightoptions, and other guys that have very similar experience. I can guarantee that guys flying civilian are using training and procedures that are totally parallel with the 121 flying. For that matter a lot of transport military flying is flight trained in the same facilities and by the same companies, (FlightSafety, et al.) as their civilian counterparts. I hope it's not that way but who knows?

Good luck.


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