Currency and hiring

P3Steve

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I've enjoyed reading this boards for a while now and it's time for me to post. Hopefully some of the wonderfully experienced people here can provide some insight to my questions. Many thanks in advance.

I conciously took the rest of this year off after leaving the Navy in April to persue some priorities in my personal life. Of course this has kept me out of the cockpit for the most part. I did this fully knowing currency is king in aviation, I just

I have flown about 60 hours this year in light aircraft and got 25 hours in a 737 sim in August getting my type. I flew copiously my last few years in the Navy, so my three year total flight time is still around 850. For the record, my total time (military and civilian mix) is 3900, with 2600 heavy turboprop, of which 1600 is turbine PIC (P-3). I'm also a military and civilian instructor. So, a fairly solid resume, I believe, but the currency issue is bugging me.

My main question: Have I screwed myself out of getting hired directly by a major being (mostly) out of aviation this year? Or do I still have a chance? How does one sell the decision in an interview to take a number of months off and devote it full-time to family, friends, and personal goals?
 

Rick1128

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Currency is an issue with most employers. While the majors are for the most part not hiring in the forseeable there are several carriers hiring in the supplemental area. The major issue with currency is that operators want someone that will not cost them too much to train. Your recent 737 type will help in this area.
 

Draginass

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The problem is competition in this current job environment. JB and SW have thousands of apps, many from people that have a lot more (and current) flying time, and in jets, than you do. Further, they have lots of part 121 experience, which you don't. While flying light airplanes shows continuing interest, from a practical aspect, it's really irrelevant. With the exception of SW, nobody cares about a type rating without 500 hours of actual flying experience to go with it.

The plus is you're a military aviator, but then again there's lots of those guys out there furloughed from major airlines right now. I also assume that you don't have any bad-baggage following you from the military.

I think you're best move is to work your buddies that are already at airlines like JetB, SW, AirTran, and Continental and get them to walk your resume through. As just another resume in the pile, I don't think yours is anywhere near the top.

Look into the second tier companies, especially freight, like Kalitta, Atlas, etc. They like military pilots and are more likely to give you a chance at an interview. At this point you need to get flying again, and you can't be too particular what and for who. You could apply to a regional, but FO compensation is so abysmally low that it's a joke.

Good luck. I was in your shoes about 7 years ago.
 

pilotyip

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Pinnacle is looking for 200 pilot s before Christmas based upon his presentation at Air Inc. I know it is starvation wages, but it is 121 time and that currency combined with your military background will open doors in the future. Perhaps you might make Captain their in a short period of time. I ran into the non-recent thing when I was out of active flying during the 80’s ended up going to a regional.
 

semperfido

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Since you have made the "break" already consider going in a diff direction....may i be so bold as to suggest- use VA benefits and go to Grad School in some kind of Intl studies and also learn foriegn language at same time. The "major airlines" have been and will be ravaged for some time.
 

P3Steve

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Yes, grad school is another option i'm looking at - but honestly - i have no idea what i'd want to do! an MBA and get into Aviation Safety Consulting or something with the FAA - who knows -- haven't researched it too thoroughly. My last tour with the Navy was in Holland and i speak Dutch fluently -- unfortunately without an EU passport, cracking the job market in Europe is probably more difficult than getting a good flying job.

on the bright side flying wise -- i should pick up a Navy reserve flying job over the winter - either C130s, 737s, or G-IVs -- so, some more heavy time --

thanks for all the insight so far - i'll look into some of those 2nd tier companies too - have some friends who do that as well - any other thoughts?
 

semperfido

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P3Steve said:
Yes, grad school is another option i'm looking at - but honestly - i have no idea what i'd want to do! an MBA and get into Aviation Safety Consulting or something with the FAA - who knows -- haven't researched it too thoroughly. My last tour with the Navy was in Holland and i speak Dutch fluently -- unfortunately without an EU passport, cracking the job market in Europe is probably more difficult than getting a good flying job.

on the bright side flying wise -- i should pick up a Navy reserve flying job over the winter - either C130s, 737s, or G-IVs -- so, some more heavy time --

thanks for all the insight so far - i'll look into some of those 2nd tier companies too - have some friends who do that as well - any other thoughts?

i was thinking more in terms of chinese and working for a US Company BUT if you get a chance to fly a g4 then by all means do it. that could be a valueable card to have. :)
 

P3Steve

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semperfido said:
i was thinking more in terms of chinese and working for a US Company BUT if you get a chance to fly a g4 then by all means do it. that could be a valueable card to have. :)

yep -- i'm having a bit of 'paralysis of analysis' -- too many damn options to explore -- thankfully i'm single with enough cushion in the bank to have some fun exploring them -- but it won't last forever -- i have to pick a lane to drive in, so to speak --

hmmmm... maybe fly the G-IV half time and go to grad school / learn chinese with the rest of my time, if the airlines don't call me when my studies are done, off i go -- ta da... :)

i do know a french girl who speaks chinese and sells products to China out of Paris -- doing very very well - and lots of travel back & forth... FYI...
 

L'il J.Seinfeld

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L'il J.Seinfeld said:
Steve--in regards to the question of why you took time off after you left the Navy, I have a simple response for you. Tell the interviewer that after 4+ years of an unparalleled ops tempo in the military you decided to take a well-deserved break. I recently made the transition and got 2 of my top 3 choices (UPS/SWA). Network all you can, but you'll probably get calls from Atlas/Gemini based on your resume alone. I think you'd be nuts to go to a regional. No offense intended towards those at the regionals now. Don't sell yourself short and assume that every single furloughee would be hired before you. Their experience trumps you, but you offer an employer a clean slate. You would have no negative transfer from other 121 operators to unlearn. IMO military flying is 10X more complex than 121. Again, I am not insulting 121 folks I just feel military flying is much less scripted and dynamic. Also, consider a USAFR unit flying KC-135s. That can keep you paid while you job search.
 

typhoonpilot

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Hey Semperfido:

How about a pilot who speaks Chinese ? My International studies fall into the category of " Du wan juan shu, bu ru xing wan li lu ".

TP
 

inline

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L'il J.Seinfeld said:
L'il J.Seinfeld said:
Steve--in regards to the question of why you took time off after you left the Navy, I have a simple response for you. Tell the interviewer that after 4+ years of an unparalleled ops tempo in the military you decided to take a well-deserved break. I recently made the transition and got 2 of my top 3 choices (UPS/SWA). Network all you can, but you'll probably get calls from Atlas/Gemini based on your resume alone. I think you'd be nuts to go to a regional. No offense intended towards those at the regionals now. Don't sell yourself short and assume that every single furloughee would be hired before you. Their experience trumps you, but you offer an employer a clean slate. You would have no negative transfer from other 121 operators to unlearn. IMO military flying is 10X more complex than 121. Again, I am not insulting 121 folks I just feel military flying is much less scripted and dynamic. Also, consider a USAFR unit flying KC-135s. That can keep you paid while you job search.


Wrong. Military pilots are very good, but they're no better than well trained 121 pilots. In fact many former military pilots who flew large planes in the service have to actually build up time in a less desirable flying job in order to meet the minimum hourly requirments for many major carriers, so your premise of superiority is nonsense.
 

11thHour

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While I'm not at the "majors" level, I did a similar thing and left a job at a regional 3 years ago due to personal life issues that sound similar to yours. I haven't been flying for most of that time. Those accomplished, I'm trying to get back into the industy, and it's been a bugger due to recency of experience. I even completed a multi atp checkride recently hoping it would help things along in the interview, to show them I'm current and up on things, but still it sucks to see them hire folks with half my time and qualifications, simply becuase I don't have the 100 hour in 6 months a lot of these places want. Bah!

In any case, I wish you luck and hope it works out!
 

pilotyip

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Known quantity


We prefer to hire military pilots whenever we can, about 35% of our pilots are military trained pilots. Military pilots may not be the best pilots in the world, but I will tell you one thing. They are a known quantity, and they do not present training problems. The have been pre-screened, they have been through a demanding training program, and they have been training from day one to be an aircraft commander. Every flight they fly is a training flight.
They are easy to train because they do as they are told, they study, and they succeed. This is not to say civilian background pilots do not do the same. But the military pilots are a consistent product, where as the civilian pilots present a much broader range of capabilities. We have hired 124 military pilots with one failure over the last 8 years; we have hired 175 civilian, with 37 failures over the same time.
 
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