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Freight vs. Airline

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BE58 Driver

Active member
Jul 1, 2002
I am currently a freight pilot flying a piston twin aircraft with the ability to eventually get to a lear jet. My question is that I may have the chance to go to a regional airline. I currently have a contract with the company I am flying with now that I would have to buy out. Do I wait the 10 months until my contract is over and then hopefully be able to go or buy out the contract and go now. I eventually want to be at an airline pilot. Even though flying freight is a lot of fun. Thanks for your opinion.
I really wouldn't want the debt of the contract looming over my head, especially when going to a regional job. I would stay put, get some great experience and finish the contract, then go to the regional (if not in the lear yet).
Stay put

I agree. You just have to tell this regional that you have a contract that you have to fulfill, and that you hope they keep you in mind in ten months. Hopefully, they'll see that you have integrity and are a person of your word. You're still going to get excellent experience - maybe jet - and you'll be that much more employable with the regionals in ten months.

Good luck with your decision.

PS-That actually happened to me. I had agreed to a contract at ERAU and a commuter called. I told it I had just signed a contract. I sent in an update to the same commuter when I was available and I got an interview.
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Bobbysamd's correct. It would be one more discussion in an interview about honoring your commitment that you don't need. We're probably with the same outfit and I'll assume we are. I wouldn't change this experience for the world. You'll be a MUCH better pilot afterwards and try to think of any civilian flying that is more difficult.

I never really had a desire to go to the regionals, but if I did, I wouldn't do it right now. Sure, it's on the rise again, but the economy is still very fickle and unsure. Just think what the furlough situation would be should (God forbid) another attack occur. I don't mean to be a pessimist and I know we can't live our lives on whatifs, but a low seniority number in the airlines isn't where I'd want to be right now in comparison to already having a job. Plus, I'm in my first year here, logging 26hrs per week and making twice what the regionals are offering.

The grass is always greener on the other side. Good luck in whatever you decide.
Stick with the check job.

I am at a regional trying to get back to freight. I used to fly Lears flying checks and I would give certian parts of my anatomy if I could get back to it right now.

Believe me, when you get out of the twin to the Lear, there wont be much hesitation on your part to stay with it. There is too much to gain flying the jet.

Like Hyper said, being low man on the seniority list is no where to be right now, I speak from experience.

Stay with it, have fun and get that experience.
Quality of Life

First, think what is drawing you towards the "regional" lifestyle? The uniform? The flight attendants? Not loading thousands of pounds of checks a night? Flying (extensively) during the day?

Make a list of the pros and cons of both positions. Equipment/CRM/Schedules

As a new hire, you will be on reserve until ?? Commuting on reserve leaves absolutely no personal life. And, your days on reserve will probably be Friday, Saturday, & Sunday.

I am furloughed and consider myself one of the luckiest individuals because I landed a job flying checks at night in a Learjet. I work four days a week, all Federal Holidays Off, (some) jumpseat privileges, weekends off, no passengers complaining about a multitude of issues, and I am not accousted every time I pass through security.

It is important to understand who you are, what you are about, and where you are going.

Good Luck in your decision, whatever you may decide.

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