Aviation Careers - circa 1980

Traderd

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Can't explain why I would still have an issue of Air Progress dated August 1980, nor why I would pick it up and read it, but it has a several articles concerning aviation careers and I thought I would share some of the information. If it was before your time, this is how it used to be. If like me, it was at the start of your time, well, the more things change...

The articles were written by Timothy R. V. Foster and covered most every aspect of the industry; airlines, military, crop dusting, corporate and even "whirlybirds". Here are some recommendations from 1980. He looked at where one should be by age group:

14-20: Obtain as many piloting qualifications as possible. Get your CME and CFI by 18. Obtain as much education as possible as you will "require a college degree" to work for an airline(Pilotyip?). Take any job possible to be close to those who may hire pilots; line boy, aircraft cleaner, taking reservations for flight schools. In general, he advised those in this age group to "get where aviation is" and kiss ass. Well, not exactly, but kind of.

21-30: You should have your degree, all ratings and have a job as a flight instructor, air taxi or charter pilot. Build time, more time and then some more time. Apply to each and every airline, work your contacts and again, kiss ass as required.

31-40: Still a chance to be hired by an airline. Should definitely have your ATP. Notes that many pilots in this age group will be ex-military and are well positioned for the airline job.

41 and up: Better have a job already or have your own plane. Otherwise, he said to consider going to a international carrier. He gave some examples of available jobs at the time with requirments -
Sudan Airways - F27 captains. 1000 hrs in type with ATR
Saudi Arabian Airlines - L1011 captains. 2000hrs PIC,with 500hrs PIC widebody.
Pakistan International Airlines - 707/720 captains. 500hrs PIC in type.


As I recall, there wasn't a ready path for the 250 hour wonders back then. I'm not sure if there was even PFT at the regionals. Hell, I can't recall if they were even called "regionals"; seems they were called "commuters".

As for cargo, he wrote a piece titled "They Fly By Night" Focused on FDX. Gave these stats:
FDX owned 32 Falcons, 5 737s, 15 727s, and (no number given) MCD DC-10s. Noted that FDX was buying 23 more 727s from Eastern (had they gone under by 1980?)

Said that FDX had 421 pilots employed with about 15,000 pilot resumes on file. About 8,600 were considered to be good candidates by Bill Rose, who was said to be in charge of hiring at Federal. Even gave an address to reach Mr. Rose, but no phone number.

The article noted that cargo flying was not generally well paid, except that FDX tended to pay as well as the airlines. With the smaller operators, he said one could expect to earn <$20K as a captain on ME equipment. Wonder how that compares to 2010 $$'s. Didn't mention UPS. I have no idea of your history, but I would guess UPS had air ops in 1980. Maybe not. He quipped that if one was having trouble landing a job with an airline, commuter or corporation, maybe one should try the "fly by nights."

In an article on the FE certificate by Randall Brink, the author wrote the following:
"Beyond the ATP, there are basically two additional add-ons to the license that are great assets to the pilot seeking what has been referred to as "The Best Job In The World" (This job descrition no longer seems to be the consensus opinion). The add-ons he mentioned were the Flight Engineer - TurboJet certificate and a Type Rating in a transport category aircraft such as the popular Boeing 737. He did not mention SWA :)

There was also a flight test/ad for the Duchess. Listed for $107K.

Ah, the good old days.
 

727gm

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Hell, I can't recall if they were even called "regionals"; seems they were called "commuters".

Noted that FDX was buying 23 more 727s from Eastern (had they gone under by 1980?)

I think "regionals" flew real airplanes like Fokkers, Convairs, BAC-111's, DC-9's, and 727-100's, and had names that, after scope surrender by the majors, have now been co-opted by low-paying penciljet and little turboprop operators.

No. Eastern went down in March 1989, and "Eastern" went out in 1991.
 

Quimby

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The article noted that cargo flying was not generally well paid, except that FDX tended to pay as well as the airlines. With the smaller operators, he said one could expect to earn <$20K as a captain on ME equipment. Wonder how that compares to 2010 $$'s. Didn't mention UPS. I have no idea of your history, but I would guess UPS had air ops in 1980. Maybe not. He quipped that if one was having trouble landing a job with an airline, commuter or corporation, maybe one should try the "fly by nights."

Looks like UPS Airlines started in '88.
 
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