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Contract work

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Dec 6, 2001
My knowledge of the corporate aviation world has been limited to less than a year flying for one of the fractionals (RTA). I've heard people talk about doing "contract" work for PT 92 operators, but am clueless about how to start. I have a Beechjet Type from RTA and am in talks with a couple of Beechjet operators in the area. How does one get paid doing this kind of work, and how much? Salary, or by the day/flight time? What about recurrent training, do I pay for that on my own, or do I sign a training contract?
USUALLY you are paid by the day.... a flat amount (Jet Captain can be from $300 - $1,000 per day depending on aircraft type)...

As far as recurrent training costs, you are on your own....

Some guys can do pretty well being Contract pilots, but most guys I know would rather have the steady salary and benefits of a full time job if they can get it.

Hope this helps!

Good Luck and Fly Safe!
How are training costs handled in the case of a full-time salaried position? I assume that if it is employer paid, they would expect me to sign a training contract? But a full-time salaried position will be hard for a furloughed airline pilot to score... I would like to do the contract work until I declare the furlough terminal and make a permanent career change, which will probably take a year or so. Will I need to spring for the recurrent training on my own to do the contract work?
Training costs are almost always paid by the employer for full-time salaried positions. Most companies do NOT make you sign a training contract.

I agree that being a furloughed airline guy it will be hard to score a full time position, no company is going to want to pay to train you only to have you leave. My company spends about $35,000 per year per pilot for training. As you can see this can get very expensive to have a revolving door.

I can understand a company wanting a furloughed guy to sign a training contract.... They want to make sure they get reimbursed if you leave.... Being a furloughed airline guy is unfortunately not a good position to be in for Corporate work, it is kinda like having a black X on your back.

Your other option to possible avoid signing the training contact is to offer to resign your seniority from your airline position.
I certainly understand a company's interest in their return on the investment they make in training me, I have no problem with that, it is business. But it's too early for me to be willing to resign my seniority number in return for a salaried permanent position. A year from now that might change. That's why right now I'm primarily interested in just doing contract work. So, bottom line, it sounds like you're saying that in order to do that contract work, I'm probably going to have to pay for my own recurrent training. Is that right? Now, I'm a little fuzzy on the Pt 91 rules about jet crews. I flew as SIC on the Beechjet for RTA for 6 months before they typed me, (they just gave me the FSI ground school, then a couple of flights in an aircraft as an SIC certification, then put me on the line) so I assume I could do the contract co-pilot work without the recurrent training to update the type rating, as long as I'm flying with a type-rated captain. I would just need to meet the currency requirements, right? And what do you think would be the going rate for a contract Beechjet co-pilot, $200-$250 a day?
Yes, you SHOULD be able to do contract F/O work without doing a full Flight Safety Recurrent..... You will just need to go out and get your landings to be current as SIC...

The only problem you might run into is Insurance Company requirements... those will vary form employer to employer...

I would guess for a Beechjet F/O somewhere around $250 is the going rate....

Good Luck!
In most metro. areas there is a need for contract pilots. Many companies, 135 operators, and airplane owners like to use us to fill in as needed for their regular pilots. I would start knocking on doors, so to speak. Make yourself some business cards, print some resumes, and head down to the airport and annoy the desk people at the FBO's - they can at least point you in the right direction. I fly right seat in Lears and Citations for $300/day plus per diem. I had some time in type but no type rating. Captains in these get $400-$500/day, but it varies greatly on the operator. Also, this is usually a great way to get your foot in the door should they need someone full-time. Best of luck.........:
Thanks a lot, Falcon Capt, just one more question on the contract work concept. I've talked to an operator that may want to use me as his primary guy on a continuing basis. Is it just a matter of agreeing on per-day compensation, then just flying when he needs me? Or could I get a longer-term agreement, so that I have something I can count on? Here is kind of what I had in mind: He has said that he might fly me an average of 10-15 days a month. At $250 a day, that's $2500-3750 a month. I agree to be his guy for, say, 6 months, or even a year, and if any month falls below the 10 days of work, I get a monthly minimum of $2500. The monthly minimum is kind of an airline concept, but have you ever heard of that kind of arrangement in corporate aviation?
Thanks for all the info,
Thanks. I see you're a -727 FE like me, at least for another month before I get furloughed. Are you still on the panel, or have you returned to the corporate world?

The metro area I live in is small, Peoria, IL, so the jobs are limited. I may spend a couple of days in Chicago going airport to airport, door to door, like you describe.

You can try to make just about any deal you want. I've heard about all kinds. It can't hurt to ask this guy if he'd be willing to accept your idea of a minimum salary.

You might even try to offer a deal where he just pays you a set amount per month regardless of how much or little you fly. It really doesn't matter, its all about what they are willing to accept. Some places might even pay for your recurrent by offering you an initial lump sum of money (signing bonus), which you you could use to go out and pay for the training yourself. IRS rules could be a problem if they wrote the check for the training.

As far as seniority at an airline goes. If you eventually want to go back to where you were working before, do not resign your seniority. Another option might be for you to offer a corporate operator a training contract for a year. If you get recalled your contract might allow you to take a Leave of Absense upon recall (many do). If you do get recalled, This would allow you to fulfill your training contract and return to your airline when your training contract is up. Just another option, one I might consider when/if I get recalled.

Good Luck,

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