Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Friendliest aviation Ccmmunity on the web
  • Modern site for PC's, Phones, Tablets - no 3rd party apps required
  • Ask questions, help others, promote aviation
  • Share the passion for aviation
  • Invite everyone to Flightinfo.com and let's have fun

Best way to build time?

Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Modern secure site, no 3rd party apps required
  • Invite your friends
  • Share the passion of aviation
  • Friendliest aviation community on the web


Curtis Malone
May 6, 2002
In everyone's opinion, what is the best (Fastest) job to build time on? Banner towing? skydiver flying? Instructing? Ferrying? have I missed any?
Steve said:
In everyone's opinion, what is the best (Fastest) job to build time on? Banner towing? skydiver flying? Instructing? Ferrying? have I missed any?

You cannot boil it down to which one would be faster. It depends on a plethora of factors. Full time/Partime, big operation/little operation, you could easily build one hundred hours in a month in any of the above, it just depends on your scheduling.

Another question to ask would be which of the above would be the most VALUABLE time earned. Just about anyone you ask will tell you that although it is often the least paying, instructing will probably give you the most experience and knowledge for every hour you put into it.

the best way is whatever person will hire you;)

instucting is good if your at a busy flight school...banner towwing can probably build time quick, but in my opinion it would get boring rather quickly. You also may only find banner work in beach areas. Try 135 outfits, not sure if yu meet the mins for that.

Best way to build time

"Best" is relative. Flight instructing is the time-honored, traditional entry-level job. It's probably the easiest job to get because fewer people than you might think want to be flight instructors. People who don't want to instruct try immediately to get the pipeline patrol and banner-towing jobs. That makes those jobs hard to get because of the crowded applicant pool. Anyone who can get a legitimate, legal non-instructing job at 250 hours is very lucky.

Flight instructing can burn one out, but along the way there's some great knowledge and learning to acquire. In other words, a CFI is license to learn with someone paying you to learn. I gained an unbelieveable amount of knowledge through flight instruction, along with the hours. Once you get the hours, you are in a better position to look for more advanced jobs.

If you can stay busy, you can build a good 500-800 hours in a year's time through flight instruction. That will put you near 135 mins. By the way, the commuters pick up plenty of flight instructors who have no 135 experience when there is hiring.

Hope that helps.
The best way to build time is buy a new pen and write in your logbook until it's exhausted. Make it up. Takes an evening or two.

Building experience is another matter entirely, and this should be your primary goal. Don't be concerned with how much time you can cram in your logbook; it's meaningless and unimpressive. Concentrate on finding the experience that will give your the greatest learning opportunity and the most valueable flying upon which to base your career.

Or, you can just make it all up.
You mean 2000 hrs of towing banners up and down the same beach at 60 kts isn't valuable?

Seriously though...instruct. It doesn't pay much and can be as frustrating as it is rewarding. However, you will learn more from your students than they from you. You think you know a lot until you have to explain it a thousand different ways.

Also, those hours are respected. If I were an employer, I probably wouldn't hire a banner tower, skydiver flyer, or anyone else who performed the same repetitive task for thousands of hrs. A monkey can fly an airplane. It takes sharp people to make decisions and teach decision making day in and day out.
I 100% completely agree with Avbug- well said.... "experience" is "priceless"- Building time up is relatively very easy with a good black pen. "Fastest way" is completely irrelevant in my opinion- be concerned with honing and perfecting your skills versus the whole "time building" concept- It appears that everyone that is working their way up those "magic stairs" is only concerned with TT and the so-called "minimums" .. I find it extremely funny that a regional can say at 1200 TT 200 multi that person is "NOW" qualified because the regional says so.

It is extremely sad that in this industry a pilot is completely judged as whether he is a "safe" and competant and oops almost forgot COMPETITIVE pilot just by the total flight time that person has aquired.- Amazing that ASA and FSI proved that a relatively low time pilot could be a safe and competent pilot minus the so-called "heavenly" minimums that the regionals say one must have to be hired. (in Europe I think BA has also proven this theory correct)

Cheers to ASA & FSI

3 5 0
(still not 121 "competitive" or qualified)

Don't forget MAPD. I've seen it work. The graduates who follow their Ps and Qs and who make it through the interview and training are very successful at 300 hours. Of course, that program is heavily focused on Mesa line procedures from the very beginning and its graduates don't need much more training if they go straight to the 1900s. Most probably do. I don't know if any go directly to the Dashes or the ERJs or CRJs.

Just the same, it's amazing how much you learn from flight instructing. I know I taught my students a few things, but I have a feeling that it was my students who taught me more.
Last edited:
I chose my posting name as a sarcastic response to those "magic numbers" mentioned above, since you can be a good pilot at 500 hours and a lousy pilot at 2,000 hours.

Although building the time is important for opening hiring doors, it is the experience that you need to acquire to rise to the occaision. The best way to fully learn anything is to teach that thing, and practice it. In Judo, I had to practice a new throw 250 times, minimum. Then, I had to teach it to three black belts who were very good at acting like new students.

In aviation, teaching flying will cement and clarify concepts in ways you don't anticipate. If you want to be an aviator, teach flying for a while. A busy school will help you accomplish this quickly.

Latest resources