First Officer Program...rip off or good

Status
Not open for further replies.

hotshot95

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2002
Posts
16
Total Time
1822
Hi !

You probably have heard something about "first officer programs".
What is to think of that ? They're pretty expensive, but you get (buy) quality(?) time. Do they include a type rating ? Is one just used as "right seat idiot" or actually given the chance of actively participating in the flight (switching legs..etc). What do potential employers think about these programs ?

Anybody that has some info about that, please reply.


:confused:
 

328dude

Still turning two
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
1,647
Total Time
??????
I'm not a recruiter for anybody, but I have heard that alot of the airlines frown on buying time.
Just my 2 cents.
 

bobbysamd

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
5,710
Total Time
4565
First Officer "Programs"

I hate to generalize, but in a word these "programs" by and large are ripoffs.

You pay a lot of money up front and you may not get to fly much, if at all. You may get to run the radios and perhaps read off the checklist. The time may not be countable as SIC time under the regs if the airplane in question is a single-pilot aircraft. Forget about getting typed as part of the deal.

Most people view these programs with great disdain, and I am quite sure employers do as well. Review of your profile reveals decent quals. I'd use my money to apply to commuters, where you can obtain legit FO time and even make Captain one day, on their nickel. Or else, train for another credential, e.g. CFI. Or finish your degree if you haven't.

Don't be suckered. Lots of luck with your plans.
 
Last edited:

Jiminmem

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Posts
205
Total Time
8000
Think of it this way: you are asking if a program is good that makes you pay inorder to work for them for no pay. How does that sounds? Trust me, there are still jobs out there. If there aren't, do you wish to spend your savings for a bunch of time that is probably worthless then?
 

bailout

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
Posts
988
Total Time
3.5
Rip Off ?? Tell that to the 300 hour pilots who are now F/O's on the CRJ.
 

uwochris

Flightinfo's sexiest user
Joined
Dec 21, 2001
Posts
381
Total Time
2500+
I remember a few years back when I began researching flight schools and Universities. I won't ramble on about my experiences, but one thing I learned is to DO YOUR RESEARCH! Visit the schools and speak with current and former students. Ask about them on forums too. I remember I almost got suckered into doing my PPL at a local school. The CFI lied his head off to me, and put me down once I told him my final decision to train during University. Do not get a biased opinion, but ask as many people as you can. I am very pleased with the school I am at now (apart from the wx and a/c cancellations), and my instructor is the greatest! I'm glad I chose the route I did, and wouldn't go back to that other school if he offered me free training. The guy didn't care about me at all, but just my money.

Also, I remember how I had come across so many of these F/O programs and accelerated programs. There are no programs like this in Canada, nor are there any academy type schools. There are college programs (no degree though), and only one University degree aviation program school, which I attend. When I saw all these adds by schools that promised right seat turbine blah blah blah, and I got so jealous. I thought that was the way one needed to go. Their adds are so deceptive, and I feel easily mislead young students. I mean, showing a guy in a 747 or similar while advertising to do a PPL is ridiculous to me.

Anyway, keep asking around. Some of the schools like ATP, Comair, and FSI apparently have great reputations. Not everyone is happy going there, however. Do what makes you feel comfortable. If money is a problem, go part 61. If not, I would prefer (this is just my opinion) a part 141- I like structure. It's all about attitude in the end though. Stay positive and persistent and your career will be a blast, no matter what you're doing.

Good Luck in your search.
 

kilomike

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
155
Total Time
2800
SIC programs are essentially "buy-a-job" programs. I recommend putting your money into going for more education and/or ratings. Bobbysamd said it best and the other posters summed it up briefly but well by saying that these programs are rip-offs. I agree.

Best wishes to you in your future endeavors.

kilomike
 

bin LAAidoff

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Posts
54
Total Time
7000
What would your gut feeling be about going to a flight school that offered free flight training? Funny how we never see that one...

Wise of you to ask your question before taking an action that will follow you forever (thanks PRIA!). I think it is pilots, not "the company" per se that frown on these ops, for good reason. From local banner tow-er to major airline, pilots will almost always play big role in your interview/hire.

Yes, as someone mentioned, there are 300 hr RJ FO's, but there are plenty that were doomed to failure before an interview even started, due to pay to play operator on resume. Interviewer has made up mind before even shaking your hand and saying hello. (Guess that means "You didnt have me at hello" for you Rene Zellwiger/Tom Cruise Fans?) Ever decide you dont like someone, before giving them a chance? We're all guilty of that in one way or another. Just look at some of the old threads this board has had-- even without taking sides, you dont want anything that contencious on your resume.
 

hotshot95

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2002
Posts
16
Total Time
1822
Thanks for all the replies guys.

Well, I think you are quiet right about those F/O programs.
They are rip offs.

But thats not the problem . I don't have acces to the US job-market since I'm from Germany. Although I was lucky to receive my training in the US, and afterwards being a CFI, forestry pilot and freightdog, my stay was limited. And now I'm hunting for jobs on the entire globe.
So, the objective is to boost my qualifications to make myself more attractive to companies.
Any suggestions on "career boosting devices" and "areas of operation" for me ?

Current qualifications : FAA ATP ME, CFI, CFII, 1800 TT, 200 ME, and long, lonely nights in thunderstorms.



:confused: :confused:
 

bobbysamd

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
5,710
Total Time
4565
Start applying

Your total time is good. You are a little light in the multi category, but you still have enough to apply for many jobs. Can you convert your U.S. certificates to their German equivalents and apply to the commuters in Europe? I know that Lufthansa has a commuter affiliate. Or can you apply to Lufthansa directly with your quals.

I don't believe you can convert your U.S. ATP to a German ATPL. You might get a CPL/IR after you take the local writtens.

My thought would be that if other European countries will accept German licenses that you could apply anywhere on the continent.

Just a couple of ideas that come to mind. Good luck with your job search.
 

publisher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 27, 2001
Posts
592
Total Time
20,000
Right for you

Frankly, I really do not like it when people label these programs as a rip off. The only question is are they or a particular program for you.

The fact is that for the most part, the things that are going to determine your success are multi engine and turbine time. If building time as a CFI is doing you any good at that, I do not know what it is.

I think that companies such as AirNet or Bank Air or similar proving grounds is where you learn. Programs like Gulfstream Academy are legitimate programs. Are they for you? I cannot answer.

To label them as rip offs is a generality that is not appropriate.
 

Freight Dog

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
2,232
Total Time
7500+
You bet it's a rip-off. Keep in mind that the time you get from these scam artists may be worthless i.e. SIC time in C-402 or C90 King Air is highly questionable at best. Prime example, we had those "First Officers" come to us at Ameriflight, and we'd fly with them warming the seat next to us. Sure, I'd let them fly, but the flight would go out whether or not they were aboard. So that alone may be questionable time to log.

Secondly, if it's indeed a legitimate FO position like the one at Gulfstream, you are effectively stealing a paying job from another pilot by paying to work.
But then again, the airline is ran by an EAL scab named Tom Cooper, so what could you expect from a scab??!
Note, I am not bashing Gulfstream pilots, only management.

Finally, if you are currently freight-dogging, keep at it. I'm sure there will be turbine opportunities along where you won't have to pay that's if you don't get picked up by Lufthansa or its regional. Patience is the key.

Good luck!
 

72Longhorn

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 1, 2001
Posts
137
Total Time
5000+
Why not bash the pilots???

Why not bash the pilots???

Without the pilots paying for the right seat, there would be no reason to bash management; other than being a former EAL scab.

I personally have no respect for someone that gets a flying job simply because he/she has a fat wallet.

It affected me directly in the mid 1990s when everyone hiring was PFT. I met all the requirements, but didn't meet the $10,000 check requirement.

I finally began flying in 1999.

my .02

72Longhorn
 

bobbysamd

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
5,710
Total Time
4565
P-F-T

I'll second that 100%! I could have been P-F-T'er, too, in the early '90s. I didn't feel that any job was worth shelling out the money; moreover, and more importantly, I have to face myself in the mirror every morning and wanted to feel that I got the job on my merits and not through my loan officer.
 

Freight Dog

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
2,232
Total Time
7500+
Heh, well... I thought my view on PFT was already known. I just wasn't trying to start a flame war and stay away from the beat old horse of PFT debate.
 

yipstick

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2001
Posts
22
Total Time
13,000
Prostitution

As long as there are those who are willing to either pay for the right seat or do it for free, then the industry will always be a breeding ground for low paying, dangerous jobs (single-engine, night, icing conditions, IFR, flying cancelled checks for $1200/month). Those pilots who are clamoring for experience should simply become flight indtructors and pay their dues with true grit and gain some true experience. If you wish to prostitute yourself, do it on the street, not the airways.
 
Last edited:

publisher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 27, 2001
Posts
592
Total Time
20,000
Right for you

This go through the grind stuff is pretty over-rated.

One of my best friends joined the USAF, flew a fighter, and went straight to American Airlines. One can say he paid his dues I suppose but as far as this CFI stuff goes, in my book it is a waste of time as far as an airline career.

To say a program is legitimate but is terrible because someone you regard as a scab started the company is BS. Is the doctor working for nothing and on 48hours in a row as an intern any different.

In the end, the only questionm should be the skills at the profession whether Mommy bought it for you worked your way up paying for lesson picking cotton.
 

Bluto

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 15, 2001
Posts
1,147
Total Time
>4000
The difference between the intern doctor and buying a seat as an FO should be clear. The intern obtained his/her position through skill and hard work. The "FO" obtained the position by writing a check. The intern builds invaluable experience and knowledge. The "FO" builds time. Talk to the people who have been involved in these programs. The vast majority that I have spoken to consider them considerable wastes of time and money. I can see why you might want to defend your lack of a CFI rating. However, especially in the current job market, obtaining a CFI rating is a very good idea. It's got very little to do with "putting in your time". Becoming a CFI is a perfect way to prepare for an airline job. I couldn't disagree with you more when you say that a CFI is a waste of time for airline hopefuls. What exactly is wasteful about building approx. 1000 hours of PIC time in a year? What is wasteful about tremendously improving your interpersonal skills, not to mention the in-depth technical knowledge? If you ever flew for a regional airline, you would notice that a tremendous proportion of the captains were former CFI's. A great deal has been said in this post about the value of a CFI. If you can't understand the valuable experience the CFI gains, hopefully the people looking here for information will.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top