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Any former cargo pilots?

SpatialD

Fed up
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Okay, I know this is flamebait, but bear with me please.

I currently fly on-demand freight from the right seat, and I'm about to bust through the magic 1200 hour barrier. I'm just taking a last-minute look at all the options before my next move. What I know for sure is that I don't want to stay with my current company, and ultimately I'd like a job where my only major concern is flying the airplane (no loading, flight attending, toilet cleaning, wrench turning, etc.) But don't get me wrong, I'm not above doing some real work - as my current job demonstrates. Just daydreaming a little here.

I'm pretty sure I don't want to go to a regional for what seem to be obvious reasons, but I'd like to hear from any former freight dogs who've made the switch - call it due diligence. What've you got to say about it now?
 

Captain Overs

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I wouldn't stay away from a good regional opportunity. All you have to do is fly, unless you get to an airline that has the 1900. Good luck in whatever you decide.
 

328dude

Still turning two
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I did on demand frieght type stuff before going to a regional. Actually, I kinda of miss the good ol days flying FRB runs in the Moo 2. However, I made the switch and I'm ok with it, but I commute which is bad. If you don't have to commute, don't. If your single, move to your base.



Enjoy the frieght days. You will miss them.
 

USC328

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I've said it before and I'll continue saying it. Freight flying is the best flying you will ever do. You will have a blast. I worked for AirNet, so I was with a very reputable company. Flew the Baron, Chieftan and Caravan all at the same time based out of CMH as a floater. Since I'm single, it was easy to live that life style and enjoy being in Miami one week and Boston the next. I went on to float on the Lear 35 out of CMH/LCK and APA in Denver. Left with an 8 on 6 off schedule, but the nights were wearing on me. Long term pay, believe it or not, is better at the regionals, but first year pay is kick *** at AirNet. I made $42000 first year flying a prop. However, I worked my butt off. Flew 5th nights (time and a half) collected lots of travel pay and per diem as a floater. Yet, I got to see ALOT of the country. Surprisingly, I had a great reputation with dispatch and they were all a great group of people. Alot of companies gripe about dispatch, but those guys at AirNet were great to hang out and work with. They even gave me my preferred airplane when I asked. The pilots at AirNet were like a fraternity. WE HAD A BLAST AT WORK. We would play basketball in the hanger in Columbus on layovers and have some pretty good poker games too. Since the pilot group does not exceed 250, most everyone knew everyone. Especially all the pilots that flew through CMH/LCK for the city meet.

IF you can find a gig like that, you will really enjoy yourself. I'm currently at SkyWest, but only been here for 3 months. Sitting reserve gets boring, but I look forward to holding a line in the future and meeting alot of the guys/gals in my domicile. Working during the day has been a blessing, but I will never regret my time at AirNet. If you can get hired there, DO IT. They are looking for pilots. Just tell Craig Washka that Purvis sent you. He and everyone in dispatch and most of the pilot group know who I am. Good luck!!

USC328
 

imacdog

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I enjoyed flying seaplanes more than flying freight in a Cessna 310, and I enjoyed the 310 flying more than my current job as a regional pilot. The 135 PIC time does make you a better pilot.
 

Sam Snead

Roger, Roger.
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Flew single pilot IFR for 10 months. When I look back it was the most fun I've had as a pro. pilot.

I would recommend getting 500-1000 hours of PIC in somethng at least as hefty as a Chieftain before moving on to fly the RJ, or corporate. You'll be glad you did.
 

Way2Broke

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imacdog said:
I enjoyed flying seaplanes more than flying freight in a Cessna 310, and I enjoyed the 310 flying more than my current job as a regional pilot. The 135 PIC time does make you a better pilot.
Where did you get the float expereince if you don't mind me asking. Sorry to hear about your furlough.
 

TinGoose1

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From my experience flying freight, it can be a little more slip-shot than the regionals. I flew for a freight/check company and was glad to move on. 135 freight will absolutely make you a better pilot, but don't stay long enough to get violated for something the company is doing wrong. I know that there are some good freight companies, but not many at the level that your flying at. Make the move and be glad for the experience. Take care and good luck with your decision.
 

Salty Pirate

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121 after 135 on demand is a joke.

I made the move after 3 years of on demand freight. For the last year and a half I have been at ASA and it has seemed like a vacation. I sit back and laugh at the guys bitching at ASA, mostly trust funders who went straight from training to a regional thinking they have now idea at all. You won't believe the stress that the pager causes until it is gone. Just to be able to got out to eat with my wife or cook dinner with out the threat of being interupted is priceless. I took about a 15-20k pay cut and wouldn't go back for any amount of money. Don't get me wrong, I am glad I flew on demand freight but more glad that it is over. Oh and by the way Airnet is nothing close to on demand freight. Nothing is. Until you have lived 24/7 with a 45 min wheels up call out you haven't flow freight.
 

SpatialD

Fed up
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Salty Pirate said:
Oh and by the way Airnet is nothing close to on demand freight. Nothing is. Until you have lived 24/7 with a 45 min wheels up call out you haven't flow freight.
Yeah, I wish I worked at Airnet! In fact, they're pretty high on my list of potential next employers. I'm doing the whole 24/7 on a short leash thing, and I'm not ashamed to whine about it a little 'cause it sucks.

Thanks everyone for your replies - they've all been very helpful. This is exactly the kind of feedback I'm trying to factor into my decision. Please keep them coming.
 

tjsatter

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Airnet is nothing close to on demand freight. Nothing is. Until you have lived 24/7 with a 45 min wheels up call out you haven't flow freight.
I hear ya, Reliant had a 30 minute wheels up, 20 minutes show. A 20 minutes radius of MEM is like Mogadishu. first murder of the year was around the corner from my crashpad. I would'nt have been surprised to see a "Blackhawk Down" on my way to work after the fukkin pager went off.

Although the Falcon was a LOT more fun to fly and the freight didn't bitch. Still, I'm a lot better off now.

tj
 

fsworld

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Salty Pirate said:
I sit back and laugh at the guys bitching at ASA, mostly trust funders who went straight from training to a regional thinking they have now idea at all. You won't believe the stress that the pager causes until it is gone. Just to be able to got out to eat with my wife or cook dinner with out the threat of being interupted is priceless. I took about a 15-20k pay cut and wouldn't go back for any amount of money. Don't get me wrong, I am glad I flew on demand freight but more glad that it is over. Oh and by the way Airnet is nothing close to on demand freight. Nothing is. Until you have lived 24/7 with a 45 min wheels up call out you haven't flow freight.
I couldnt agree with you more! I had the same 24/7 45 minute call and now that Im at ASA I cringe when I think about being oncall and how in the world I put up with it for the 4 months that I did. And then I hear these guys bitching at ASA and how its so bad. I guess any first job is going to be a let down because its not perfect, if only they knew how bad it could be...
 

Trogdor

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I miss my freight job every day. Like others have said, just be careful when picking the company you are going to work at so you don't get violated, killed, ect. I would definately recommend getting some freight time before going to the regionals. Have some fun flying while you can.
 

SpatialD

Fed up
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Trogdor said:
I would definately recommend getting some freight time before going to the regionals.
I'm getting a lot of this kind of response, with the assumption that I'll end up with a regional at some point sooner or later. In that case, I'd rather get started on the seniority thing now. If I don't, I doubt I'll ever go to a regional in the future because I can't live on squat much longer with five mouths to feed.

So I guess the real question is whether to do the RJ thing at all, or get some PIC cargo time and then on to wherever that takes me. I can't imagine going back to $20k in the right seat at that point. I'd be more inclined to go for $40k in the right seat at NetJets or something like that by then.
 

RichardRambone

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How about Airnet vs. ACC? I've heard both are good companies to work for but pay is a consideration. Im doing allright now but dont want to take a big pay cut once I move on if I can avoid it. I could either stay and build up to my 135 mins and try for an airnet spot (30-40K/year), hopefully upgrade to a Lear F/O (more towards 50K I think) or apply to ACC and try and land an F/O spot (19-25K/year), take a pay cut but upgrade to CA relatively quickly (around 40-50K) in a twin turbine. I want QOL more than anything but pay is a priority if I can grab it. I dont expect anything grand but a decent wage would be nice. What would you do?
 

USC328

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As a Lear FO at AirNet, I actually was on track to make LESS than I did on the props. Lear FO, your hourly wage in your second year will be $14.42. If you have a base pay run, you will make: $14.42 X 40/wk = $576.80 X 52wks = $29,993.60.

You'll have to get a pretty good rigging run or one with a Good 5th night in order to get in the $50K range. I know Lear captains there that are only in the 50K range a year now, and they have been with the company for 4-5yrs. First year pay is good at AirNet, but the upgrade and yearly raises are not as good as a regional. Consider yourself informed.

USC328
 

SpatialD

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Yeah, I'd really be beating a path to AirNet's door if I could get into some kind of turbine before 2500 hrs. Seems like a damn good piston job, but I'm leaning toward whatever will get me some multi turbine PIC soonest as I've still got one eye on the long term benefits.
 

Captain Morgan

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I used to work for Airnet as well, flew out of Birmingham. Hey Perv... what's up?! I left after a year because there is no growth at Airnet, and yeah the nights sucked after about 2 months... Anywhoo, I really do miss flying small high performance piston a/c... I'm at Expressjet now and loving it though, so I don't think i'll be going back if I can help it. I guess, just do it, enjoy it and move on...
 
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