Ex-military corporate pilots

Huggyu2

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For ex-mil corporate pilots: what was your starting salary at your first corporate job after leaving the military? I'm looking to see how good/bad the range of responses will be.
 

AIR2MUD

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Huggyu2 said:
For ex-mil corporate pilots: what was your starting salary at your first corporate job after leaving the military? I'm looking to see how good/bad the range of responses will be.
Came off active duty as a 1st Lieutenant in the guard, took a job flying corporate (albeit I fly the medical specimens side of the house) for $60,000/yr in light piston twins and single engine turboprops.
 

semperfido

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i have known a few that went directly from active duty to corp over the last 20 yrs. the salary will run the gamut and depends entirely on the operation that is doing the recruitment and all of their associated factors. having been a mil pilot probably won't change the starting salary that much if it is an entry level line pilot position. quality operations don't like to bring people in on top of other qualified people (internal equity). it just depends what the job is, and the experience of the mil person (i.e. are they retiring with lots of crew experience or after 5 yrs in a single seat combat fighter?). recently i saw a guy fresh out get 100k.

sidebar...i have flown with many mil pilot over the years and the majority were great to fly with. one thing i noticed is that they tend to be like ducks out of water for the first year as it is very different from what they are used to. then it all evens out.:)
 
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Viliamu

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Having been immersed in the hunt since separating from the military last year, I can tell you that my background has little to NO impact on either the selection process or the starting salary. The salary is what it is, regardless of your background. There are just too many qualified folks, in many cases MORE qualified, to give us mil types a leg up.

Truthfully, that's fair. While I certainly have amassed a plethora of worldwide flight experience, I am totally unfamiliar with the corporate arena (although I like some of what I see), and have no time whatsoever in a corporate aircraft.

Good luck; keep looking.
 

AIR2MUD

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Viliamu said:
Good luck; keep looking.
Just to add on to what SemperFIDO and Viliamu said, I was lucky to get this job. I was actually returning to my airline job, and had gone through the captain upgrade on the Dash-8 regional turboprop. At the end of my first month as a captain, the airline started merging two of its divisions, we lost a bunch of airplanes on our side, and we had a fleet reduction that forced me to the right seat and over 50% pay reduction. A close friend was able to shoehorn me into the corporate job because they needed a pilot right now, and I happened to have a broad range of experience in general aviation, FAR 135/121, and the military. Jack of all trades, master of...well, you get the point.

It's important that you pound the pavement to meet and greet the corporate flight departments you might be interested in. It very much is who you know in this game. Good corporate jobs are few and far between, so for those corporations selecting one guy out of potentially thousands is a tough deal. I'm new to corporate aviation (been at it about a year now) so this is an eye-opener for me, too.

The military or the airlines it is not. That's both good and bad. Whatever you do, don't get sucked into what seems like a potentially good deal without checking behind both sides of the fence. In the military, you know there is good and bad squadron and unit leadership, the same holds true in the corporate world. It may even be a little more complex because there are so many different 'masters' that a clear chain of command may get a bit murky. The better corporate departments have this figured out. For any company, it's important to have a feel for how the company is doing, and its potential for the future, if you want to have any type of career longevity there. Of course, just like in a fighter (or any other) squadron, the morale and work environment can easily change with a change in leadership. If you hang around enough to talk not just with the upper level management, but to the everyday Joe Bag-O-Donuts pilots, you'll find out the good and bad of the place. Again, like the military, a good leader will attempt to mentor and develop individuals inside the department to foster continued improvement and an eventual replacement for him/herself.

I would recommend starting a new thread with a short introduction of yourself, what you're looking for (or think you're looking for), and where you might want to live. You'll be surprised by the amount of response you get from people who will want to help you or give you pointers. Additionally, PM me, and I'll send you a list of websites that have corporate jobs on them so you can look for yourself.

Just as the other two guys said, pay range is wide, military experience isn't a shoo-in, but when you get your foot in the door at a 'dream' job, it will be worth it.

Good luck!
 

Viliamu

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Well said, Mud.

BTW, where DID you end up getting your corporate gig??
 

GVFlyer

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I went from flying Gulfstreams as an Examiner at Andrews AFB to Gulfstream Flight Test in Savannah, starting at industry standard captain pay. The other pilots who elected to remain in Gulfstreams experiences were about the same.

The guys who went to the airlines made abysmal first year airline pay and the ones who are still working spent 7 years getting to economic parity with what they could have started at as Gulfstream captains. It's ironic that the guys who couldn't get on with the majors and went to Southwest are now in the best shape.

GV
 

g4coxswain

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I'll give you a straight up answer. I retired eleven years ago and got hired as a Captain for $85,000 in the NE.
 

firstthird

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"It's ironic that the guys who couldn't get on with the majors and went to Southwest are now in the best shape."
posted by GV

What say we rephrase that, maybe to something like
"It's ironic that the guys who couldn't get on with the majors and went corporate are now in the second best shape."

My point being that not everyone who went to SWA in the mid 90's was there because "they couldn't get on with a major." In fact, SWA has had the 1000 turbine PIC min for a long time, meaning that many people hired by the majors in the mid-90's didn't even meet the mins for SWA.

Also, many of the guys I know that went to SWA in the late 90's had their choice of airlines. Also, many of the guys that went to the various other majors had their choice. It came down to each person's priorities. Now me, I've only ever had one airline interview or job offer and consider myself fortunate.

Another quibble, SWA has been a major for a long time too. The new terminology seems to be legacy (hub and spoke) and LCC, although no one was talking about 'legacies' in the mid-90's so we can let it slide.
 

GVFlyer

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firstthird said:
"It's ironic that the guys who couldn't get on with the majors and went to Southwest are now in the best shape."
posted by GV

What say we rephrase that, maybe to something like
"It's ironic that the guys who couldn't get on with the majors and went corporate are now in the second best shape."
Why do you assume corporate Gulfstream G550 captains are in second best shape? A senior Southwest captain only makes about $178K a year and has no A plan or B plan. In addition to not having a defined benefit pension plan he doesn't have stock options, a before tax executive savings plan, a discounted stock purchase plan or a bonus program which in my case is at least 10%.

If you get the right corporate job, you will make as much as a senior legacy airline captain used to make, fly better equipment to more interesting places and have a better quality of life.

And why do you assume that pilots in my squadron that went corporate were unable to go to an airline. Everyone that applied to the airlines was hired somewhere. In my case, I could start in a civilian Gulftsream job at six figures and I just couldn't see suffering the economic opportunity loss of spending six or seven years at an airline to get to what I could start at in a Gulfstream. I also have an issue with unions.

firstthird said:
My point being that not everyone who went to SWA in the mid 90's was there because "they couldn't get on with a major." In fact, SWA has had the 1000 turbine PIC min for a long time, meaning that many people hired by the majors in the mid-90's didn't even meet the mins for SWA.
The hiring requirements at my unit at Andrews AFB included 2500 hours of multi-engine jet time.

firstthird said:
Also, many of the guys I know that went to SWA in the late 90's had their choice of airlines. Also, many of the guys that went to the various other majors had their choice. It came down to each person's priorities. Now me, I've only ever had one airline interview or job offer and consider myself fortunate.
In my outfit, for the guys that wanted to go to the airlines, the preferred carriers were Delta, American, Northwest and United. The general consensus was that the pilots at Southwest worked too hard for too little pay. As I suggested in my previous post, we did have two guys go to Southwest who did not get call-backs from the majors.

firstthird said:
Another quibble, SWA has been a major for a long time too. The new terminology seems to be legacy (hub and spoke) and LCC, although no one was talking about 'legacies' in the mid-90's so we can let it slide.

Thanks... I understand that the current definition for a major is an airline doing a $ billion or more in annual revenues and Southwest certainly qualifies under that standard, but as you suggested no one was using the current terminologies in the 90's.

GV











~
 
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semperfido

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most people i know would have zero desire to work at any airline :)


...too much like work----just kidding (not):rolleyes:
 
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volunteer

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I can't figure out why anybody wants to go to the airlines these days. I have flown military, charter, airlines and corporate and my opinion is that a good corporate position is far better than the rest. Granted I flew regional airlines, but the operation is the same. The paycheck is alot less.
 

Spooky 1

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semperfido said:
most people i know would have zero desire to work at any airline :)
I would certainly agree with that statement, however one needs to realize there are a finite number of G1V,GV jobs in the world and many of them are just so in pay and bennies. Those really great jobs are taken by exceptionally well qualified pilots like GV Flyer and others with very strong backgrounds. The fact is many pilots seeking corporate jobs would not qualify for a blue ribbon Gulfstream position, while at the same time be a shoe in at an airline like SWA, AirTran etc. This does not diminish the SWA, AirTran pilots as group of professionals, but rather reflects the unique requirements of high end corporate jobs.
 

semperfido

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qualifier-- most people i know are 45+ yrs old and either too senior or too established to move to a position that wouldn't offer parity. besides, they don't have to as long as Gulfstream keeps cranking out their fine products.:)
 

firstthird

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GVFlyer,

I know very little to knowing about corporate flying. I just disagreed with your statement about SWA being for guys who couldn't get on at the majors. I tried a little irony by making another assumption about corporate jobs, apparently false. A little attempt at humor.

Frankly, from my reserver unit many of the guys who are active duty try to get the GV navy job in Andrews so that they can nab that type rating. I just couldn't let your comment about SWA pass without saying anything. Most of us are proud of who we fly for and don't like to see it run down, like you and GVs (or me and SWA).

I'd say at least half of the guys that I know who went to SWA in the mid-late 90's had SWA as their goal airline. Admittedly, post 9/11 many guys who had started at American or NWA made the move over (the 6 months after getting hired to get a type rating thing). So you are obviously right that for some pilots, SWA was a second tier airline. For the rest of them though, SWA was their first choice and they were right. I, on the other hand, was just lucky.

p.s. I hope that you guys (Gulfstream) pick up that Army RC-12 replacement contract that Lockheed has been ######## up with their E-145 partners. The were supposed to do final assembly at Cecil Field in Jax, but surprise, the E-145 can't carry the crew and equipment that Lockheed/Embraer said it could. The Gov't really ought to rebid that contract or just award it to the other bidders who I'm pretty sure were looking at a GV as their platform (American made and all that)
 

GVFlyer

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firstthird said:
GVFlyer,

I know very little to knowing about corporate flying. I just disagreed with your statement about SWA being for guys who couldn't get on at the majors. I tried a little irony by making another assumption about corporate jobs, apparently false. A little attempt at humor.
Copy that.

firstthird said:
Frankly, from my reserver unit many of the guys who are active duty try to get the GV navy job in Andrews so that they can nab that type rating. I just couldn't let your comment about SWA pass without saying anything. Most of us are proud of who we fly for and don't like to see it run down, like you and GVs (or me and SWA).
The pilots I know from the Navy Det at Andrews AFB have done pretty well. One's a MD-11 captain for Fred Smith's FedEx, another is the VP for Aviation at Ecilpse Aviation at Centennial, another is an exec at NetJets and yet another, a reservist who drilled there, is Aviation Director for Broadcom. The last was fired from Gulfstream for total squidism.

firstthird said:
p.s. I hope that you guys (Gulfstream) pick up that Army RC-12 replacement contract that Lockheed has been ######## up with their E-145 partners. The were supposed to do final assembly at Cecil Field in Jax, but surprise, the E-145 can't carry the crew and equipment that Lockheed/Embraer said it could. The Gov't really ought to rebid that contract or just award it to the other bidders who I'm pretty sure were looking at a GV as their platform (American made and all that)
Thanks, I now consult for the Big G. Most of the pilots in Gulfstream Flight Test are ex-military, principally because they don't know any better - work five days a week and one weekend a month for a buck and a quarter and a 3% percent per annum defined benefit pension plan - "Sure, you bet! Sounds like what I was doing in the military except for more pay." One of our customers offered me a position that was essentially, "Fly half as much, get paid twice as much." I deliberated for about a milisecond and took the job. I still have time to fly the occasional aircraft delivery, completion test flight, technical evaluation or assist in the sales effort for my former employer.

I was recently talking with Bryan Bedford of Republic Airlines when an Embraer rep named Mark something made a call on him. I took the opportunity to ask "Mark" about Airborne Common Sensor (ACS). He said that their current strategy was to convince Lockheed Martin to use the EMB 170. The EMB 145 was a laughable candidate for the spook aircraft - it couldn't fit three required operators or accommodate the mission equipment and if it could have would only have been able to climb to 24,000 feet. The G450 is ideally suited to the ACS mission and Gulfstream is aggressively marketing that platform to the Army.

GV
 

LegacyDriver

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Next time you talk to Brian ask him why he can't spell. Give him my *warmest* regards (sarcasm off).

:)

Does the 170 meet the mission criteria in its present configuration or is there a need to add a TON of gas to the plane? I honestly don't know what the mission requirements are in terms of range and endurance.

In fairness to EMB I think the equipment weighs more than originally predicted. There is nothing wrong with the EMB-145 as a whole.
 

LegacyDriver

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semperfido said:
most people i know would have zero desire to work at any airline :)


...too much like work----just kidding (not):rolleyes:
I couldn't agree more fido.
 
F

fokkerjet

GVFlyer said:
Thanks, I now consult for the Big G. Most of the pilots in Gulfstream Flight Test are ex-military, principally because they don't know any better - work five days a week and one weekend a month for a buck and a quarter and a 3% percent per annum defined benefit pension plan - "Sure, you bet! Sounds like what I was doing in the military except for more pay." One of our customers offered me a position that was essentially, "Fly half as much, get paid twice as much." I deliberated for about a milisecond and took the job. I still have time to fly the occasional aircraft delivery, completion test flight, technical evaluation or assist in the sales effort for my former employer.

I was recently talking with Bryan Bedford of Republic Airlines when an Embraer rep named Mark something made a call on him. I took the opportunity to ask "Mark" about Airborne Common Sensor (ACS). He said that their current strategy was to convince Lockheed Martin to use the EMB 170. The EMB 145 was a laughable candidate for the spook aircraft - it couldn't fit three required operators or accommodate the mission equipment and if it could have would only have been able to climb to 24,000 feet. The G450 is ideally suited to the ACS mission and Gulfstream is aggressively marketing that platform to the Army.

GV
Congratulations GV, I hope you will be happy in your move, understand you will be flying the WSCoD:D

Current issue of Aviation Leak has an article on the ACS project; seems that LM really didn't have a clue about the EMB-145 when they chose that platform, now they are looking at both the B737 and G550; the other Embraer option is the E-190. Besides the added weight, seems that the EMB-145 can't generate enough electricty to power the equipment.

With regards to Embraer building the aircraft here in JAX (and for Airbus, for that matter with their A330 USAF tanker project) I guess the phrase "buy American" can mean a lot of different things; from buying from a US based company that produces products overseas and then reselling them back here, to locating a factory here from a foreign based company and then sending the profits back to their country. In either case, it just weakens our country in so many different ways:(

Case in point, if we decide to get some new rides, there are no US produced aircraft that will fill the role.......Boeing cancelled the B717 (the closest) leaving our choice to either Embraer, or Bombardier if they ever decide to go ahead with the C-series. No US manufacture (past or present) can compete with them because their costs are so low; not because they build a superior product.
 
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