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Free First Officers!

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Well-known member
Nov 28, 2001
Someone on PPRUNE found this ad on the internet and posted it on their forum, to say the least most members were quite shocked.

"Use free first officers for your transport aircraft. Reduce your operating expenses! We provide F/O's typed in the A/C of your choice. They will fly for your company NO SALARY or any other COMPENSATION, plus we pay a fee for your company.
Contact Stephen Hoinville at
TEL 1-305-278-0012
fAX 1-305-378-8925"

They make pilots look like a bunch of chumps. Imagine lawyers working for free or poverty level wages in order to get litigation experience so they could make it to the "major" firms and hopefully get paid the "big" bucks for a few years before being forced to retire. It wouldn't happen. They are too smart for that. There has to be some way to stop this madness!
Mt first thought was to call or fax and tell them what I think about their company. But after second thought, I didn't want to stoop to their level.

Unfortunately, there will always be companies out there like this because they will always have people willing o participate in "pograms" like this.

P-F-T, again

We have, shall I say, a spirited debate going on the Eagle Jet International thread, below. Run a search for it if you can't find it readily.

This kind of BS slays me and kills me. What ever happened to pride and accomplishment in this world? Not to mention exploitation.

Lawyers actually do work for free on some cases. At least in Colorado, attorneys are supposed to work a few hours annually pro bono. It is for deserving clients who otherwise couldn't afford legal services. Obviously, this is not the same. Attorneys generally set rates commensurate with their experience and training, and what the rates are in their locality for attorneys with similar experience and training.

Great post, actually.
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What a joke. PFT is alive and stong. It is truely sad that companies will take advantage of pilots even though thousands are out of work right now.

I don't know what's worse, the companies that operate and thrive from PFT or the pilots that participate.
This is rather sickening to me. I would like to see one of the pro-paying to fly types on here support this.
After reading that I almost got sick.... What a true absolute DISGRACE to the entire aviation community. Pay For a Job, Pay for a "right seat" is alive and well and since their are plenty of people/pilots who are ignorant to "aviation" this is going to continue and get even worse than it is now.... IF I am ever on a hiring board God help me if anyone is fortunate enough to have me interview them and I find out that they went through one of these ridiculous buying time, buying the right seat programs.- If it is the last thing I do on the face of this earth I will make their life worse than they ever could have imagined...

"FREE" First Officers- this is disgusting folks and a disgrace to everyone who is an "ACCOMPLISHED" aviator who did things the RIGHT way and has EARNED the right to get "PAID" for their hard work and dedication... Anyone who takes part in these programs OR is tied into them should have their head examined and probably should be deemed unsafe to be a pilot due to "insanity" and other mental issues....- - - To put the icing on the cake these right seat "buyers" post on this board and want a pat on the back for "selling" themselves out for "NOTHING" or so called "experience" which they are getting.....

If enough pilots works together and get enough signatures on a petition we can make some headway somehow..... On the bright side of things their are enough 121 drivers who frequent this board who are also on the interview boards that are against these PFJ programs that I am sure they will show these guys the door when they apply to the regionals....In my opinion these programs need to be stopped since in reality these companies ARE taking jobs away from people who have "EARNED" the right to these jobs INSTEAD 300hour "wonder boys" are allowed to "BUY" the right seat for 250 hours in the 1900 at Gulfstream...- I would never wish my worst enemy a flight on a Gulfstream, God forbid the PIC becomes incapacitated and your life is in the hands of Mr. 300 hour "wonder boy"

These programs are a complete "JOKE" Bottom Line.....
the funny thing is all these low time know it alls will respond and try to "justify" how these programs give you the time and experience while they are "needed" on the flight deck... HA too funny!
I have a great idea, If there was some way that you could find out what companies were using "free pilots", you just pass it along to the PAX and ask them how they felt about the pilots working for free, hhmmmmm.

But on the other hand, it just might degradate our proffession even more if something like that was done.

There's no real solution is there?

PFT blows baby!!!
This should be moved to YGBSM. I too am shocked that this company is bold enough to put out an ad like that.

While I consider myself a professional, I'm not too high and mighty to do something. I suggest we all send this company an email telling them how impressed we are with their program. Maybe even post that ad to a few more public boards or start a chain mail to get the word out. Eventually passengers will hear about it.
Pay for Interview

While we're at it, let's do something about these scams. Buying an interview. When submitting an app and an application fee, tons and tons of updates, more apps, submitting more updates, and walking in updates won't do it for you.

Mesa had a deal in which you take your ATP ride with them, with their examiner, and pay him and them to take the ride. If you passed the first time, you got an interview. Notice I keep using the second-person and "pay." Yes, if you paid and passed the first time you were interviewed. If you PAID and failed, you were rechecked but got no interview. I seriously doubt that the examiner was disposed to giving a fair practical, even though you PAID, because he was working for Mesa. I will say in all fairness that there were people who passed on the first try. Quite a few failed on the first try, too.

I can't remember for sure, but didn't Comair run a similar program at one time?

I'd sign the petition to ban P-F-T and pay-for-interview, but it's still free enterprise and a free society. Education and enlightenment are the keys.
I gotta weigh in on this one ...

First of all, PFT sucks. I would never do it, even if I could afford it, because I have more self-respect than to work for free and I'm going the CFI route because I want to learn. It does, indeed degrade the profession and those who participate should have to live with the consequences of that decision.

All that said however, based on what I've learned ... there are NO consequences for PFTing. Let me say again ... nothing bad will happen to you in an interview or in the cockpit if you PFT. When I started flying again last year I talked to current or retired captains and FOs from US, AA, ACA, COEX and CAL. PFT was not only a non-issue with everyone I talked to - even though all of them went the CFI route - without exception the major captains agreed it was the best way to get thru the system quickly. Their words ... not mine. As long as there are wannabes who will pay, companies like Tyler and Eagle will be there to cash the checks. I have probably spoken at length to 50 regional, national, and major flight crew and I have never had one single person hear of PFT being an issue in an interview or on the line.

You guys - not me, I'll be flying corporate :eek:) - have the ability to set the price to be paid for pilots who prostitue themselves to shady operators like EJI and TJ. I've been listening to bitching about PFT on various forums for four years now, why hasn't someone tried to make a difference if it's so universally despised? What can you guys really do about it? Any ideas? I'm sincerely curious because I think it stinks!


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