Escaping 121

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I'm sure I'm not the only one to ask, but here goes....

Just getting fed up with the 121 options out there. Where would be a good place to start job hunting for a coporate gig with no contacts?

Any web site suggestions would be great, if you think that would be the way to go. I know, I know.... its all who you know, networking, etc., etc., just curious where to start my journey.

thanks
 

say again

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I would (and did) frequent the local airports often. Get your name and face out there so if a job does arise, they'll know who you are. That is the first step to corp. aviation. WHO YOU KNOW!!!!
 

HawkerF/O

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2 things that hurt 121 guys without them knowing it is if they have a B737 type without ever having a 737 job (SWA, Here I come as soon as I get the time) and having the F/E written completed (Fedex, Here I come to sit sideways as soon as I have the time). If you have either of those on your resume, take it off before sending it to a 91 operator. What helps a 121 guy is if they have a job already instead of being furloughed. Most 91 departments will have reservations about hiring a guy that is furloughed, as he will potentially take a hike as soon as he gets called back. It happens more than you think. Remember the Comair guys that NJA hired during Comair's strike? They went back to Comair after just a few weeks for a contract not much better than they went on strike for. Also, dont be shy about letting the potential employer know that you are not afraid to get your hands dirty and you are no stranger to hard work. I have met so many 121 guys that whine about having to hump bags, going back to serve the pax, not having a hard schedule, yadda yadda yadda. 91 Corporate and 121 Airline are 2 different worlds, so you have to make sure you let these people know you want to leave 121 cause you are bored showing up and the plane is ready to go and you don't have much responsibility or any extra duties. You appreciate your time at the airline cause you got a tremondous amount of experience with winter ops (snow, ice, stiff X-Winds to contaminated runways, etc), but you are not content just flying your trip, walking away from the airplane, and going home until it's time for your next gig; you want to be in an environment where you can contribute to its smooth flowing operation and success (read office duties). Also, you are right, a lot of the time it is who you know, not what you know, but I and many others I know found their current or a previous jobs going into it cold, not knowing a single person in town, much les the flight department. One last thing: The Chief Pilot at some corporate operator is NOT going to be impressed with your Boeing type ratings. He gonna think you were just swinging the gear, the PIC did all the flying, and the auto-land and autopilot did all the flying if it was your leg. He might ask how it was flying big iron like that, but you are by no means impressing him with your 757/767 intl experience. It's like the guy that goes to buy a race horse. The owner turns the horse loose in the paddock and the horse gallops at full speed right into a tree. The would-be buyer interjects, "HEY! What's going on here? You must think I am a fool. You are trying to sell me a blind horse!!!". The owner says, "Blind???? That horse ain't blind; he just dont give a FU#K!!". Same with the CP And your airline time; he ain't gonna give a fu#k. Odds are he tried to fly for the airlines and got the thanks but no thanks letter, so you might be struggling from the word go as he might be bitter about the airline guys that did make it. Now, go in there with your Boeing time insisting you are worth every penny of the 70K you are demanding, informing him of what an asset you are cause you can clean up this flight department, letting him know you'll be needing a hard schedule cause weekends and holidays are days you don't work coupled with the fact that you can't be gone all time cause you have a wife and kid, and that wet-behind-the-ears cocky attitude; you'll find out just how fast 'Homey don't play that', cause Homey don't hire guys like that. Good luck to you.
 
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Spooky 1

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Your not telling us much about your 121 time. International, cargo, or maybe just regional in nature. All fine, but each one brings a little different flavor to the applicant. Do you have some type ratings? Give a few more clues and maybe there is something, somewhere that we can point at, or at least share a hint or two.
 

CapnVegetto

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HawkerF/O nailed it. Another piece of advice......get something corporate on your resume, and get out of 121. Most corporate operators are very wary of hiring a pure 121 guys simply for the reasons that Hawker said, plus a few others. If you get a 135 gig or something like that, and get some corporate experience on your resume, and maybe a type or two, you'll find that it'll get a LOT easier. Find a charter job, even if it's sitting right seat, and start getting some corp time. Minimize the airline stuff on your resume. If you have any previous corp experience, highlight it. My old boss used to tell me he'd NEVER hire an airline guy, for every reason that Hawker said. He'd say that it took him hiring 2 at another company to teach him the lesson to never do it again. I'm a former airline guy myself, and I know how it is. Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot you can do about the airline mantra in some folks' eyes except get as far away from it as possible. :) Of course, these days, as bad as the airlines are getting, it's getting more and more commonplace for someone to do what you're doing. It might be getting easier.
 

BenderGonzales

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I agree that it's all who you know, but if you find the right operator and get that corporate dream job -- it's better than you ever imagined it could be.

Best kept secret in aviation.
 

FlyFlyFly

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I would recommend that you change your thinking on the whole matter.

People will most likely not be receptive to someone "escaping 121". There has been alot of great advice on the thread thus far. I would add that getting crystal clear in your own mind on what you want in a job, and then begin looking for it. Taking a job just to get out of 121 will probably leave you very unfulfilled and just as unhappy as you are now in a short time.

I would suggest putting to paper what you want.

Here are some thought starters:

Equipment
Schedule
Pay
Benefits
Vacation
People
My Values
Company Values
Destinations
Responsibilities
Development

I can guarantee you that if you at least get clear on those few, and submit it to paper, it will not only help you find the job you want, but it will help you interview stronger.

Most employers want someone with a plan. They know that happy employees are ones that take responsibility for their own lot and ask for help when they need it, as opposed to the ones that sit back and get pissed when their needs are not met.

Good luck with the transition and keep us informed.
 

macdu

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FlyFlyFly has some great advise. Put it to paper and really look hard at the type of individual you are. Most of my flying has been in the 121 environment but after getting furloughed I luckily landed a corporate gig in my hometown. It turned out to be a real eye opener. Needless to say I think I reinforced all this guy's prejudices about hiring a "airline" guy. Oh well, I did my best. He gave me a chance and it paid the bills for a year. We parted ways with a sour taste left in both of our mouths. Our personalities were 180 degrees apart. The point(s) is corporate jobs are as different as the companies that operate the planes, some awesome, some crappy. But corporate is very very different from the "pretty much everthing is done for us" 121 environment. As I have seen on this board and experienced myself, finding a dream corporate job is like trying to hit the lotto. IMHO
 

Diesel

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You might want to try a fractional. it's a blend between having it all done for you 121 world and the corp/charter world.

Plus it comes with the union fight just like the 121 carriers. :)

You might want to do that for a little while and then you have a free type.
 

AA717driver

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I was really open-minded when I made the switch last year. But it's taken nearly 18 months to get comfortable with the job and all the stuff it entails.

You have to look at this as changing career fields. The 91 job requires such incredible flexibility and the ability handle a wide variety of tasks--it's nothing like 121.

Getting paid what I was as a capt. for a major airline was like stealing from the company. Getting paid what I am now--I'm getting ripped off! :D TC
 
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HAWKERF/O - No, don't have 737 type, but did take written back in 2000 when every major still had at least one guy sittin' sideways. Haven't flown heavies.

EVERYONE ELSE KIND ENOUGH TO RESPOND - Been at ASA for seven plus years. Flown EMB120, then went to crj and then trasitioned to crj 700. Have about 5500hrs 3000 pic in RJs. (50 & 70)and am applying to all Majors and cargo. Just wondering, considering the state of the Majors/LCC, fuel costs, furloughs, etc....if it would be a safer option to try the corporate road. Seems like the starting pay, benefits and schedules at the bigger companies are about the same as what i'm making now . . .$74 an hour or 70k a year. Obviously, F500 companies would be great, but i am GUESSING they are as hard or harder to land as the majors.

That being said, which would be the first direction to go? Are there better sites / other sites than this listing jobs? I have seen some people on these boards mention fly to 350 or something? Any other webboards or sites with more info?

Again, just trying to make the first step here. Thanks again for any suggestions.
 

BenderGonzales

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There is no "safe" option in aviation. You simply have to prepare for the worst -- all the time.

That means instead of buying the boat and the big house and the sportscars and the airplanes... put some cash in the bank. Have 6-12 months expenses in liquid assets. Pay off your cars and, if possible, your house. (Once the house is paid off it doesn't take much $$$ to pay for electricity, insurance, and heat)

All that being said, i've done both airline and corporate and I prefer corporate.

So here's a list of the top Fortune 100 (from 2003) to get you started. Revenue is in billions of dollars:

1. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Bentonville, Ark., 1, $258.681
2. Exxon Mobil Corp., Irving, Texas, 3, $213.199
3. General Motors Corp., Detroit, 2, $195.645
4. Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, Mich., 4, $164.496
5. General Electric Co., Fairfield, Conn., 5, $134.187
6. ChevronTexaco Corp., San Ramon, Calif., 7, $112.937
7. ConocoPhillips, Houston, 12, $99.468
8. Citigroup Inc., New York, 6, $94.713
9. International Business Machines Corp., Armonk, N.Y., 8, $89.131
10. American International Group, Inc., New York, 9, $81.300
11. Hewlett-Packard Co., Palo Alto, Calif., 14, $73.061
12. Verizon Communications Inc., New York, 10, $67.752
13. The Home Depot Inc., Atlanta, 13, $64.816
14. Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Omaha, 28, $63.859
15. Altria Group Inc., New York, 11, $60.704
16. McKesson Corp., San Francisco, 20, $57.129
17. Cardinal Health Inc., Dublin, Ohio, 19, $56.830
18. State Farm Insurance Cos., Bloomington, Ill., 21, $56.065
19. The Kroger Co., Cincinnati, 18, $53.791
20. Fannie Mae, Washington, D.C., 16, $53.767
21. The Boeing Co., Chicago, 15, $50.485
22. AmerisourceBergen Corp., Chesterbrook, Pa., 24, $49.657
23. Target Corp., Minneapolis, 25, $48.163
24. Bank of America Corp., Charlotte, N.C., 23, $48.065
25. Pfizer Inc., New York, 37, $45.950
26. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., New York, 26, $44.363
27. Time Warner Inc., New York, 29, $43.877
28. The Procter & Gamble Co., Cincinnati, 31, $43.377
29. Costco Wholesale Corp., Issaquah, Wash., 33, $42.546
30. Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, N.J., 34, $41.862
31. Dell Inc., Round Rock, Texas, 36, $41.444
32. Sears Roebuck and Co., Hoffman Estates, Ill., 30, $41.124
33. SBC Communications Inc., San Antonio, 27, $40.843
34. Valero Energy Corp, San Antonio, 55, $37.969
35. Marathon Oil Corp., Houston, 52, $37.137
36. MetLife Inc., New York, 38, $36.261
37. Safeway Inc., Pleasanton, Calif., 41, $35.553
38. Albertson's Inc., Boise, 35, $35.436
39. Morgan Stanley, New York, 40, $34.933
40. AT&T, Bedminster, N.J., 22, $34.529
41. Medco Health Solutions, Franklin Lakes, N.J., new to list, $34.265
42. United Parcel Service Inc., Atlanta, 43, $33.485
43. J.C. Penney Co. Inc., Plano, Texas, 42, $32.923
44. The Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich., 51, $32.632
45. Walgreen Co., Deerfield, Ill., 45, $32.505
46. Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Wash., 47, $32.187
47. The Allstate Corp., Northbrook, Ill., 44, $32.149
48. Lockheed Martin Corp., Bethesda, Md., 56, $31.844
49. Wells Fargo & Co., San Francisco, 46, $31.800
50. Lowe's Cos. Inc., Mooresville, N.C., 60, $31.263
51. United Technologies Corp., Hartford, Conn., 49, $31.034
52. Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., Decatur, Ill., 71, $30.708
53. Intel Corp., Santa Clara, Calif., 58, $30.141
54. UnitedHealth Group Inc., Minnetonka, Minn., 63, $28.823
55. Northrop Grumman Corp., Los Angeles, 99, $28.686
56. Delphi Corp., Troy, Mich., 53, $28.096
57. Prudential Financial Inc., Newark, N.J., 57, $27.907
58. Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., New York, 48, $27.745
59. E.I. du Pont de Nemours, Wilmington, Del., 67, $27.730
60. The Walt Disney Co., Burbank, Calif., 61, $27.061
61. Motorola Inc., Schaumburg, Ill., 59, $27.058
62. PepsiCo Inc., Purchase, N.Y., 62, $26.971
63. CVS Corp., Woonsocket, R.I., 68, $26.588
64. Viacom Inc., New York, 66, $26.585
65. Sprint Corp., Overland Park, Kan., 54, $26.202
66. Sysco Corp., Houston, 73, $26.140
67. Kmart Holding Corp., Troy, Mich., 39, $26.032
68. TIAA-CREF, New York, 89, $26.016
69. American Express Co., New York, 69, $25.866
70. New York Life Insurance Co., New York, 65, $25.700
71. International Paper Co., Stamford, Conn., 64, $25.200
72. Tyson Foods Inc., Springdale, Ark., 72, $24.549
73. Wachovia Corp., Charlotte, N.C., 70, $24.474
74. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., New York, 75, $23.623
75. Duke Energy, Charlotte, N.C., 118, $23.483
76. Honeywell International Inc., Morristown, N.J., 78, $23.103
77. Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, Ill., 85, $22.763
78. Best Buy Co. Inc., Richfield, Minn., 91, $22.673
79. Johnson Controls Inc., Milwaukee, 86, $22.646
80. BellSouth Corp., Atlanta, 77, $22.635
81. Ingram Micro Inc., Santa Ana, Calif., 76, $22.613
82. FedEx Corp., Memphis, 83, $22.487
83. Merck & Co. Inc., Whitehouse Station, N.J., 17, $22.486
84. ConAgra Foods Inc. Omaha, 50, $22.053
85. HCA Inc, Nashville, 90, $21.808
86. Alcoa Inc., Pittsburgh, 82, $21.728
87. Electronic Data Systems, Plano, Texas, 80, $21.596
88. Bank One Corp., Chicago, 79, $21.454
89. Comcast Corp., Philadelphia, 157, $21.263
90. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., Springfield, Mass., 84, $21.076
91. The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, 92, $21.044
92. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., New York, 98, $20.671
93. WellPoint Health Networks Inc., Thousand Oaks, Calif., 103, $20.360
94. Georgia-Pacific Corp., Atlanta, 74, $20.255
95. Weyerhaeuser Co., Federal Way, Wash., 96, $19.873
96. Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, Ill., 100, $19.681
97. AutoNation Inc., Fort Lauderdale, 93, $19.381
98. The Williams Cos. Inc., Tulsa, 196, $19.246
99. Supervalu Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn., 81, $19.160
100. Cisco Systems Inc., San Jose, Calif., 95, $18.878
 
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2000flyer

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barbiejet4life? said:
Again, just trying to make the first step here. Thanks again for any suggestions.
Seeing as how there is a definite competitive edge in corporate hiring right now (guys moving up, crossing over from 121/frax, etc.) you might consider trying to give yourself a different route.

If I were you, I'd seriously consider trying a head hunting firm. Probably one of, if not the best out there is Janice Barden's API, http://www.apiaviation.com/. Check out the website and what she offers.

Unless you're the luckiest guy on earth, sending out hundreds of blind resumes will do three things. 1. Probably end up in the round file. 2. Deplete your bank account. 3. Increase your frustration. I'm certainly not saying your not hirable. You've got excellent credentials. However, as others have said, you have the 121 "stigmatism" attached to you right now. Since the beginning of commercial aviation, nearly every pilot aspired to be an "airline pilot." Thousands have been furloughed over the years and moved to corporate only to return to the airlines when times rebounded. It's an ugly stereotype indeed, but one you'll have to cope with. Don't let it get you down in the least. Keep plugging away and meet as many corporate pilot's as you can.

Simple rule when meeting a chief pilot at an FBO. Do not start the conversation with "Hi, are you hiring?" Get to know them first. Let them get to know you. Stay friendly and do your best to keep in touch. Joe chief pilot may not be hiring today, but down the road he may be and that could be the goose that lays your golden egg!

Get to know operators who might use you on a contract basis (if you're airline will allow you). A part time gig on a Citation might go a long way to a career in corporate aviation.

One last rule of thumb. "It's always easier to look for a job when you have a job!" Keep your chin up and keep making contacts. It will take some time but you'll be rewarded down the road.

Good luck!

2000Flyer
 

LegacyDriver

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The main thing is just hope you get lucky. Timing is everything in Corporate. The best way to time things right is to keep those resume's going out the door. A buddy of mine is the DO for a big Corporate/Charter firm. The thing he said that keeps people in the short stack is a continuous update of the resume' every month or so. If they don't hear from you for awhile they assume you have been hired elsewhere and put your stuff in the round file.

Persistence, connections, and luck are what it is all about.

I couldn't get into Corporate world until I did the Air Ambulance thing first. I think the "121 Hangover" as I call it hurts a lot of pilots for all the reasons these other folks have mentioned... If you can find a place that hires day-rate co-pilots (I did that, too) that's a start. At least you can say you have some Corporate experience...
 

Bjetset2

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Corporate

Corporate really is the best kept secret going. I am pursuing SWA, and ONLY SWA, because my Part 91 job is VERY good. I was just turned down by SWA and the year wait to re-apply will not be painful at all. Not going anywhere else.

I would encourage anyone who is unhappy to make the switch. There is a wide variety of Part 91 operators out there so do your due diligence. If you find the right place you won't regret it.

Good luck to all.
 
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mobie

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corp. jobs and 121

I flew 121 for 38 years for a major, the first 30 or so years were great and then everything started going down hill. Retired at 60 with a lost retirement and started looking for a corp. job with no luck, got rid of the 121 stink by going to a 135 operator and now am getting ready to start a real 91 job with a good QOL and pay.

I did keep my hand in 91 flying on he side all of my 121 years and that helped.

121 even with a major is nothing that it once was, a good to great 91 beats it hands down at this time. Will the tide turn? who knows.

Mobie
 
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Thanks for all the replies!

I am going to a job fair tomorrow in FLA, a two day job fair in Daytona(FREE at ERAU 10-3pm), and another one in Nov. in Atlanta (AIRINC). I went online and found an NBAA convention in Orlando next month as well. Are the NBAA conventions worth a look?

Are there any job posting/pay rate sites for corporate aviation?

Again, thanks for the help. Its definitely given me a new outlook on the whole career.
 

AA717driver

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I've never been to the NBAA (too junior :( ) but if someone says it might be worthwhile, just go in business casual, start small and have a stack of resumes IN CASE THEY ASK. Don't start shoving resumes at people.

I'd start with the King Air's and work up. Ask for people's opinion on how to get started. Same as you've done here. I believe most people will offer good advice. And, you might even get into the AV Fuel party! :eek:

It wouldn't hurt to buy a few hookers for the CP's...;) TC
 

Bankangle

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AA717driver said:
I was really open-minded when I made the switch last year. But it's taken nearly 18 months to get comfortable with the job and all the stuff it entails.

You have to look at this as changing career fields. The 91 job requires such incredible flexibility and the ability handle a wide variety of tasks--it's nothing like 121.

Getting paid what I was as a capt. for a major airline was like stealing from the company. Getting paid what I am now--I'm getting ripped off! :D TC

Now that is funny
 
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