breaking training contract

eight8kcabpilot

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Currently a GLA FO and am considering breaking the 15mo training contract to go to a better regional. Is this going to look bad if I ever try to get on with a Major? Should I stay here and get 1000PIC and then leave? I actually like it here (except the pay of course), but I don't know what would be best for my career. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

TriJet

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I don't think breaking a training contract will have any effect on your chances with a major.

But, if you are flying left seat, I wouldn't leave until you have the 1000 PIC.

I have friends who got on with commuters that don't upgrade people very fast, and they're on their 6th year and still not logging a single minute of PIC.

So, Lakes might just be the place to do it.

Good luck man.
trijet
 

Guitar Guy

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eight8kcabpilot said:
Currently a GLA FO and am considering breaking the 15mo training contract to go to a better regional. Is this going to look bad if I ever try to get on with a Major? Should I stay here and get 1000PIC and then leave? I actually like it here (except the pay of course), but I don't know what would be best for my career. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I don't know if it will look bad, but you might ask around and see what stories you can dig up about Lakes going to court to get paid back. There could be some nasty repurcussions on your credit report that could hurt down the road, perhaps not for getting hired at a major but when you buy a car or home.

If you like everything but the pay, then welcome to regional airline flying, particularly as an FO. Lakes is the lowest-paid regional in the country but if you go to anywhere else, you are still looking at years until upgrade. I don't know how long you've been at Lakes, but you are almost certainly closer to upgrade there than you would be if you left today for another carrier.

If you can stomach the low pay for a while, I would recommend staying and getting at least 1000 PIC. There are a lot of people who've gone from Lakes to flying for AmWest, SWA, Alaska, etc., so consider that, too.
 

Capt.LongThrust

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Yep I would wait for the jump. Like the earlier post said the 1000 PIC is hard to come by these days. You will also find that the regionals are all alike, if you know what I mean. I too, have seen many a buddy leave lakes only to rot in the right seat of an rj for 4-5 years. The PIC hours get you the job, airlines could care less about SIC hours. The thing you have to remember about lakes is once you do upgrade, it only takes a year to get the 1000.
 

crashpad

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I second Longthrust, plus staying at Lakes has the following advantages:

Fastest upgrade
Faster PIC time building
Hair growth on chest
Hair growth on palms
Enhanced bladder control
Chicks from Chadron, NE will think you're a stud
Learn what Flight Attendants go through with passengers on each leg
Fly with guys named Nubuhtu


BTW, today's my 8 year anniversary and I met my wife on a 1900.
 

Socalplt

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Stay with Lakes and get the PIC.

Just what regional are you referring to?
 

eight8kcabpilot

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First I want to thank you all for your input. Socalplt- I was thinking of Chautauqua, SkyWest, or Expressjet. Chautauqua and Skywest currently have ~2 year upgrade times. Expressjet is probably 4-5 years, but the company is secure. Here at lakes it is just hard to make a living. I had to pick up a second job at a restaurant just to pay the bills. As for the training contract, it is $7,500. I would just take out a loan and pay it so it wouldn't hurt my credit. My thinking is if I make 21K my first year at another regional, I would not be hurting that bad financially because I am only making 15K this year. Therefore I would only be out $1,500.
 

Bigbeerbelly

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Career

Just my advice, but don't leave until you get the PIC time. At least 1500 hours. You will have that in your logbook and it will feel a lot better being at the bottom of a seniority list knowing that you have something other than TP SIC in your logbook. Jumping to a regional to make money is not a good idea. You will very likely be on reserve in one of the most expensive areas of the country, making a lot less relative to what you are making at GLA. However, if you want a long career in the regionals - go ASAP. Seniority is everything. The question really is, where do you want to be in 5 years? Southwest or Skywest?

Good luck,

BBB
 

Guitar Guy

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eight8kcabpilot said:
Chautauqua and Skywest currently have ~2 year upgrade times. Expressjet is probably 4-5 years, but the company is secure.
Be very leery about "projected upgrade times". Those can change very quickly, sometimes for the better but often times for the worse. I have friends who were hired years ago at another large regional with promises of upgrading on an RJ in "less than a year". Those same people are still waiting to upgrade after 3 years.

I truly understand your position at Lakes as I flew there for 4 years. But if you think you are getting close to upgrade, tough it out if you can. You'll get a noticable pay increase (though the level still is low for a 1900 PIC) and you'll start logging PIC time. Going to another carrier might allow you to stop waiting tables but it might well slow down your overall career progression.

Honestly, best of luck to you with whatever decision you make.
 

viper548

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Skywest CURRENTLY has upgrade times of a bit less than 2 years. It may be different if you're hired on now. Current growth is thru Feb 06.
 

JetScreamDriver

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Tough it out man...

Stay put.

I work for a similar carrier, flying similar aircraft, but only for the next week.. That is because I toughed it out for only 3 years. And yes I had to work an extra job (actually I had 3 jobs for about a year). After only 3 years I'm out to AirTran. Folks who opted for the RJ are not only still in the RJ, but in the right seat.

Don't tell me you can't afford 15k a year. My tax info showed 14,300 for a year as FO from my airline. I'm not single either, my wife stays at home with my kids.

Sacrifice? Yes. Worth it? Holy friggin' crap yes.

On another note, I do know that majors will look at these things sometimes. I've done recruiting and hiring myself. It wouldn't look good to me if you skipped out on the contract. It would show that you are cheasing $$$ and would do it again if you had the chance. Not that you would, but it appears that way.

Blue skies!
 

DisrespectedJ32

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Stick it out.

19-seat TP guys with 1500-2000 hours turbine PIC are getting harder to find these days and the big guys like to hire guys with 19 seat TP time. One major airline chief pilot told me that if they could (this particular airline), they would only hire 19-seater types.

They know that you will not flunk out of training since you have been flying w/o an autopilot, and probably have a stellar instrument scan. They also know that you won't complain about doing more than 4 legs in a day, or going above and beyond since that is what you do every day.

Besides, if you leave, the recruiters will look down on the fact that you aren't willing to stay at a job for very long. They will think you do not have any commitment to your job, lack motivation, and will be very worried about your commitment to them.

You have a chance in a lifetime to upgrade right away and get the time you need to go to a major. Don't throw it away, only to rot in the right seat of an RJ for the next 5+ years. They can never take that Turbine PIC away from you.

Think about it.

J32

p.s. - The market for regional jets is starting to shake-out. If you have your heart set to leave, be very careful. You might wind up owing GLA $$ AND being furloughed.
 
Last edited:

Well-hung Start

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Don't worry about training contracts!

An airline is not going to take a pilot to court....they are a business and they will lose money if they try that.

You cannot squeeze water from a stone.

Why would a company take a broke pilot to court to seek a settlement on which they can never collect?

The "contract" for training is hot air....an intimidation tactic meant to act as a disincentive for any pilot to leave while they are raping you by paying you $15 an hour to put your ass on the line.

I am unaware of any attempt by any airline to use the courts to collect "training" costs. A few letters, maybe, but no further than that. If anyone knows otherwise, please advise.
 

Pilotbob3

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Upgrade times

never think what it will be...think what it might be......my upgrade at TWA was to be 5 years...guess what...im furloughed! lol Eagle was to be 2 years....it took 4.5 years for my award, which was awarded the DAY i left for TWA! lol hey i have to laugh!!
 
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