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CFI to Corporate

averyrm

Why not!??
Joined
Nov 21, 2002
Posts
41
Total Time
1500+
Hey all, I'm currently a CFI at a pretty nice FBO making a pretty decent wage (It is possible!). My goal is to fly corporate eventually, but right now I'm enjoying what I do. I tried the search function, but couldn't find a thread I seem to remember about where to go from here.

I'm getting my MEI here shortly (as soon as weather and MX cooperate) but I have limited opportunities to gain multi experience.

I'd love to get into the right seat of something in a year or two (still building hours as a CFI) and I'm wondering what would be the best way to go about that.

I've been looking at Airnet and other 135 operators, thinking that it would be a good way to build the multi and experience needed to get into a good corporate gig.

Has anyone gone from CFI to corporate and have any advice or experience to share as to what would be a good route to go? I don't get to meet many corporate operators as I'm based at a small field, so short of beating down the doors and introducing myself to people in the area I'm at a loss for any good networking ideas. I realize that going straight from CFI to corporate is pretty difficult these days with the more experienced pilots on the market, and insurance requirements.

I'm also looking to stay somewhere near Ohio (lord knows why) so I'm limiting myself further.

Thanks in advance.
 

SkyBoy1981

Bring a towel!
Joined
Jul 17, 2004
Posts
1,482
Total Time
5000
Well, corporate jobs are all about who you know. Its really as simple as that. I got hired into the right seat of a Citation when I was a CFI with 800 hours (pre 9/11). The primary thing that got me hired was that I had met the Chief Pilot and talked with him on numerous occassions while I was hanging around the airport. The only thing I can tell you to do is get out a bit, visit some other airports, or do something to meet more people in the field. Airnet or other 135 freight outfits may help, but a lot of Corporate CP's tend to hire people that they know before hiring someone off of the street.
 

gear_guy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Posts
438
Total Time
6000+
I went from CFI to Corporate. My first job was a lear F/O at 700 hours. I just put my resume out there and got the call. I am sure he had plenty to choose from, but somehow I got the job. I hear that it's all who you know. But I have not personally experienced that...yet. I am sure that it does help. Just send out resumes to all the people you want to work for. Be persistent. And DO NOT develop any bad attitudes. Personality is a huge deciding factor for corporate flight departments. It is kinda likw a family in many ways. Actually, I think I am with my peers more than my family.
 

AA717driver

A simpler time...
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
Posts
4,911
Total Time
+/-13k
Make sure all your cross countrys with students go to airports capable of handling jets or even get a NBAA guide and find out who operates what near you. With your time, anything would work--piston twin, turbo prop SIC, jet SIC. Anything.

Wear a dress shirt and tie on the cross countrys and carry a stack of resumes. Good luck.TC
 
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Flying Illini

Hit me Peter!
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Posts
2,291
Total Time
6000
As mentioned above, get your name and face out there. Do whatever it takes (except that, that's just gross :) j/k!) and always be prepared, you never know when you will meet someone that may help you make your dream come true.
I was hired as a Falcon 10 FO with 550TT. I was hired by a company that was on the field where I was CFIing and I had dropped by to keep my resume current and to keep my face fresh several times over the course of 6 months. It finally worked out.

Good luck.
 

Dinger

due for recurrent.
Joined
Oct 13, 2004
Posts
245
Total Time
------
Whatever you do, don't do it for free! There are too many operators out there who's priority in hiring an F/O is how little they will work for. I know that your level of experience doesn't scream for top dollar, but do not let them take advantage of you. Not only does this put you down as a professional pilot (and you are a professional pilot), but it also lowers the bar for ALL of the pilots out there. I don't necessarily support wages and salaries that push the 300k mark, but I certainly don't like to see "how low" we can go.

Hopefully the industry will be recovering in the next few years and the hiring will be back, maybe not to 98-2000' numbers, but it will be back. When that happens, you will suddenly find yourself much more competitive due simply to the number of ATP rated pilots with a lot of jet experience that are no longer "in the running" for the same right seat position that you desire. Don't take this as a suggestion to forget about it for now, because even if you don't get hired, you will be making important contacts. These are the contacts that will need another right seater a year or two down the road because the former UAL 757 F/O on furlough in the right seat now will go bye-bye at the first opportunity.

Be persistant, but more importantly..........be patient.
 

HMR

I Live by the River.
Joined
Dec 18, 2001
Posts
1,048
Total Time
100+
Illini and Gear Guy- Are you flying corporate or charter? If you guys got a good paying PT91 corporate job with 550 & 700TT, Good Work!

averyrm- Learn as much as you can about the IFR system while you're still instructing. Smile and keep a good attitude. Get to know your students. You'd be surprised how many of them have a friend or neighbor who's a Chief Pilot or CEO of some great company. I was given multiple job leads from my students. I got hired, with a student's help, into the left seat of a King Air (PT135) with 1300TT/500Multi. 1200hrs later I found my PT91 dream job.

Good Luck!
 

na265

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 27, 2001
Posts
272
Total Time
4300
I went from CFI to corp. I had 1700tt and 100multi. I started PT then went FT after about 1.5 yrs. As was said earlier, it is about who you know. Get out and meet as many people as you can.

The biggest jump for you will be systems. The speed of the new ac will seem intimidating at first. Just wait till you pick up that airplane book and start to see how all the lights and buttons corespond with each other.

Good luck, it can be done, don't give up, 265
 

Gearmunky

Far Beyond Driven
Joined
Aug 5, 2004
Posts
195
Total Time
------
Let them come to you

Averym,

If you have the time and the capacity get a job as a ramp rat. The net working is incredible and you'll learn who to work for and who to stay away from. In your situation everything seems like the best thing, but it's not. Also, you'll get to build a friendly relationship with customers you know have the airplane you have a shot at (King Airs, Cheyenne, Navajo, etc.) They're not going to look at you unless you have some multi time, but when you get it someone will notice you through conversation or something else and throw you a bone. When you get that first opportunity go buy some new clothes, wash your mouth out with soap and be as professional as possible. Treat it like its the last job on earth.

Like the others I was hired at low time also. I think the best thing you can do is to diffrentiate yourself from the rest of the pool of applicants with your personality. That is often a more deciding factor than time. Be confident, but not arrogant and be fun to fly with. Don't let some crusty old guy tell you that you have to do it a certain way, because that's the way he did it. There's a million ways to make yourself and a million ways to screw it all up.
Keep it up and things will work out for you and remember to have fun or it ain't worth doing.
 

gear_guy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Posts
438
Total Time
6000+
HMR said:
Illini and Gear Guy- Are you flying corporate or charter? If you guys got a good paying PT91 corporate job with 550 & 700TT, Good Work!

HMR- Strictly Part 91. I have never done Part 135.

gear_guy
 

Low and Fast

Active member
Joined
Nov 23, 2003
Posts
43
Total Time
Plenty
It can be done! Some instructing jobs lead to great coporate jobs or at least great opportunities. I personally work for a company that takes the most senior CFI's from our Flight School and moves them into the King Air 200 right seat with a minimum of 1200 TT and a few other requirements. Then again with corporate aviation (sometimes) the guy thats standing in the door when the need for a pilot arises is the one that gets the job. Good luck and keep building those hours and get to know as many people as you can possibly know!

Low and Fast
 
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