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Fresh out of college -- Job Ideas?

BoDEAN

Cabo Wabo Express
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May 4, 2002
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I am currently finishing my CFI training. I am currently looking for places/ideas on building hours to get me into the commuters. I have a BS in Aviation Science, Commercial Pilot Certificate (Airplane Single/Multi Engine Land and
Instrument Airplane), and about 320 total hours.

My question is this. What are some of the best places on the web to get exposure to jobs where I can build hours? Also, does anyone have any tips they could pass along? I need about 500 total hours to get in with American Eagle, then I plan on moving to American Airlines (I had an internship with them). I look forward to getting my CFI, but right now, I just want to be working in the aviation industry and getting some more exposure, and possibility building hours. I am working a regular job, and miss the hours that I got in college.


Any tips, advice, websites would greatly be appreciated. BTW- This is my first post on the forums, so I want to say Hello to everyone =)
 

Wiggums

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Finish your CFI and then get a job instructing. You'll be glad you did when you figure out that Eagle isn't hiring for a long time no matter how many hours you have.

Welcome to the real world.
 

FlightTraker

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Get the instructing job. That is about all you can get for now. Getting a job at an airline with 500 hours won't happen for quite awhile, if ever again. Right now there are alot of pilots on the street with lots of hours and jet time that can't find work. So be an instructor. It is a great learning experience, and you will be getting flight time.


FlightTraker
 

sweptwingz

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Gobs
You have several options...

You have several options to explore for time building as a low
time commercial pilot. Some of these include:

1. Pipeline patrol

2. Ag Flying

3. Aerial Photography (ASCS farm survey)

4. Banner Towing

5. Sightseeing rides

6. Instruction


In my opinion, your best bet right now is to get your CFI and
instruct. You can always use it as a "back up" system
during lean times. By the way...this IS the lean times as far
as hiring goes. Good luck to you.
 
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1900cpt

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Not to be rude, but how do you think you will be able to get on with eagle with 500hrs?!? If its a bridge program, with all the guys/gals furloughed...i dont see it happening.

As everone else said, get the cfi and teach for a while, it is experince that you will not get any other way. There are also all the things that sweptwingz listed.

Good luck.....

1900cpt
 

BoDEAN

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My internship with American Airlines brought my requirements with Eagle down :p
 

Floyd94

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*****
...not to mention a drive through attendant... the golden arches is always a great place to start a career!!
 

Ty Webb

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First of all, congratulations on your graduation and your accomplishments to date. Unfortunately, as I am sure you are aware, you managed to hit the job market at one of the lowest possible points in the cycle.

I was as lucky as you, back in 1990. The guys who graduated the year ahead of me went right to the regionals. A few even went into the F/E seat at Pan Am. Then, Braniff shut down. And Eastern. And Midway. And the "feeders", which is what we called them- Midway Connection, Eastern Express, etc. and all of a sudden, there were over 10,000 seasoned airline pilots, who were even taking jobs flying cancelled checks and flight instructing. Pretty depressing stuff. I actually went a few years without flying at all.

Then, little by little, around 1995 or 1996, things started moving again. My friends who had been lucky enough to hire into one of the few regionals were starting to talk about upgrading, after 3 years in the right seat of a B1900 . . . . . Soon, things were going fast and furious, and jobs were more and more plentiful. Eagle, by the way, shot me down in 1996- wouldn't even interview me, because my 1500tt/500multi wasn't "competitive". One year later, they were running ads in NEWSPAPERS saying, "Pilots! If you have 1000tt and 100 multi, American Eagle wants to talk to you"!

The irony of ironies is that, in May of 1990, I had moved to FL, and that summer I sat out on the beach in the afternoons, studying for the F/E writtens. Then, in 1998, I found myself on the same beach, studying the ATP written . . . . too funny.

Anyway, what's the moral of the story here? Well, don't know that there is one, but if you want a flying job in this market, you're going to have to do a lot more than send out resumes blindly. You're going to have to network hard, and be willing to make a pest of yourself.

Work a summer at Line Service at a busy jet FBO and really bust your tail- many guys I know got their first flying job that way. Also, try http:\\raa.org and look in the membership directory, See who's operating equipment that requires a SIC, like a DC3, Metro, B1900, EMB120 etc. Talk to the folks at Airnet about their PAID F/O program, when you meet their minimums. Whatever you do, though, don't BUY a SIC job- it can come back to bite you. Find a job that pays, even though it ain't much.

Another word of advice- hush up about the Eagle/American thing- you'll only be insulting prospective employers who are willing to hire you NOW, to say nothing of pissing off pilots who are furloughed, and are much more competitively qualified for that position than you are right now.

Good luck.
 

j41driver

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Eagle???

With over 300 pilots on furlough and no call backs in sight, Eagle is not going to be hiring pilots any time soon, let alone 500 hour pilots. Several years I would suspect. Additionally, I personally know 3 Eagle pilots who were NOT furloughed but quit in the past month or two because the company is not a good place to work. Get the CFI and instruct. Things will get better.
 

Simon Says

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I remembered a time a couple years back that United only required a commercial instrument and 250hrs. That does'nt mean your getting on with those mins.

An internship does not garantee you anything. In fact it hurts you when you figure out American is not interesting in hiring you so you have to put your aplication into ATA or Airtran. They will inevidablly ask the question of "If you want to work for us so bad why did you do your intern at American?"

Gizbug this board is brutally honest. If you want to hear that there is a pilot shortage you better log off this board now and log onto AvCareer. Like everyone else. Get your CFI and teach. Or be all you can be and go the military route. You are going to need some serious time before you will be competitive.
 

bobbysamd

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Low-time commuter hires

Getting on with a commuter with 500 hours total time? You must be kidding! Go get your CFI and instruct. Flight instruction is the easiest entry-level job to get. I realize that people suggest towing banners, patrolling pipelines, etc., but, believe me, the competition is fierce for those jobs because everyone and his brother is trying to get them, too. Your CFI is a real, tangible credential that says a lot about your quals.

Don't believe for a moment there is a pilot shortage. Pilot shortage has to be one of the biggest sophistries ever foisted on anyone. I appreciate Ty's remarks greatly. In the late '80s, hiring was going great guns and Kit Darby of FAPA fame had proclaimed a pilot shortage. I already had been flying for several years. I was not happy with my current job, so I sought advice, finished my ratings and fired off resumes. I finally got a job at ERAU and instructed. The mins of the day were 1500 total-500 multi and an ATP. As I became ripe, the Gulf War and a recession virtually stopped hiring. I had five interviews but was not hired. As Ty said, the Eastern and Braniff shutdowns didn't help matters.

Take it one step at a time. Build experience. Build multi time. Get your ATP. Perhaps by the time you're ripe the furloughees will have been recalled and hiring will resume. And, don't tie yourself to one company. Keep your options open.

Best of luck.
 

azpilot

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I met a guy who went through the ERAU program and was an FO in a Saab 340. My buddy was the captain. This kid had about 500 hours when he got hired at Eagle 2 years ago. We calculated that he was about 11 years old when we were first in college and had no recollection of the previous hard times in the industry. He said "Yeah, I have heard from people that back in the 90's it was hard to find an instructing job let alone anything else." So timing is everything and now timing sucks. I seriously doubt Eagle is going to use any interns for a long time. It might help you get a job when they start hiring again but I bet you will need additional hours. Like others have said I have had friends who had 2500 hours including turbine time and couldn't get on at places like Mesa and Eagle 5-6 years ago. Things will turn around but it will be a slow turnaround and yes you better network or I wouldn't expect getting a job with any of the regionals. Too many people walk friends resumes in and the others go in the trash.

Good luck but don't believe what ERAU, if that's where you went, told you about the "exciting aviation industry" or what any magazine says.
 

bulfinch

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AZ... I feel for you bro. This time last year I was in EXACTLY the same position you were in. Well almost. Right now your probably so happy to have the prospect of leaving God forsaken Prescott looming in the future you can't see straight. You just can't wait to get that CFI maybe throw on a II and heck your already 100K in debt so go for the MEI as well. I mean...WOW... your a Riddle grad and getting a job should be a snap right. At least that’s what they’ve been feeding you for the last 4 years. Oh yeah and with that internship you'll breeze right into a class date as soon as you hit 500 and 1. Maybe Lisa will even walk your app down to HR for you.

Bad news.

I'm one of the luck ones and I’ll feel extreamely lucky if I instruct for less than two years before I can get a cargo or charter job let alone move onto a regional.

I'll help you out and make a priority list for you....

1. Your mantra needs to become "I will go ANYWARE to take a flying job". Think you'll just look for a job in area X because that's where your girlfriend lives... wrong wrong wrong. I know so many people that are pounding nails our filling grocery bags because they couldn’t or wouldn't move far away.

2. Get a job as an instructor. Don’t be too picky now. Recall priority 1.

3. Network. I'm able to log between 60 and 80 hours a month partly because I'm lucky but mostly because I network. (We’re not hiring… don't ask)

4. Settle in for the long haul. Our chances as low timers of moving on anytime soon are a pipe dream at best.

5. Have fun. You endured Stanfield to be where you are now. If you obsess on getting to a commuter you'll never appreciate how much fun you can have just flying around in small planes. All the glory and heartburn that comes with better bigger jobs will come in due time.
 

PUflight

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I know this will probably throw everyone into a loop. But before I begin let me say that I AM EXTREMELY LUCKY. I just graduated from Purdue University, a similar aviation powerhouse to ERAU. Did an internship at UAL, so any of you ERAU guys can probably figure out who I am, since I was the only Boilermaker. And I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview at a regional, and was placed in this regional's hiring pool, with an expected new hire class of August 2002. All of this with way under 500 hours, so I guess I was in the right place at the right time or something. I know this doesn't guarantee me a job by any shot, and I will continue using that wonderful CFI this summer. Long story short, be lucky that's all that counts right now!
 

qwerty

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I never thought I could say this. I must be getting old and bitter but how can 300hr pilot fly an airliner coming out of the normal training programs out there?
 

azpilot

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The only way I even lean towards the 300-500 hour mark being acceptable is based on the training you followed and the aircraft flown. If someone has 300-500 hours in Bonanza's and Barron vs 700 in a 152 with 100 multi in a light twin I think the person flying the better equipment is more qualified. If the hours were under the hood or a lot in actual IFR in CA. for example vs AZ. I think there is something to be said for that as well. Yes there has to be some line where a certain amount of total time is required but you then need to look a lot deeper at what aircraft was flown and under what conditions.

- AZPilot
 

slapstick

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I'd agree. Quality of flight time, not just quantity, counts. 300 hours is certainly low, but much more respectable with an education like PUflight's (B727 sim time, intensive coursework, indoc classes, internship).
 

Ty Webb

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Guys, don't get too carried away here. 300 hours, or 400 or 600 it is a very small bit of experience. Sure, having acquired it in a Part 141 flight training program is good, but you have really only begun taking baby steps here. The FAA won't even let you fly cancelled checks in a C172 until you get 1200tt!

141 time is good, but most 141 programs are so structured that they don't allow for much actual IFR. I had friends who were CFII's at 141 University programs before they had a single hour of actual. I had to take control of an airplane away from a newly-rated CFII one night because he got spatial disorienation and started to lose control. Why was I able to fly it when he wasn't? Becasue I had scarfed up every scrap of non-141 flying time I could, and had actually been out flying IFR in the system, even sitting in the right seat on 135 flights, waiting for any Part 91 empty legs.

If you think you are ready for that regional job, and somehow you are offered one in this market- be sure of what you are doing. Some guys with 500tt or less have made it through some regional's training and progressed to the line, but many have also washed out, and I guarantee you it is a lot harder to get someone to take a chance on you with a training failure on your record, which, thanks to the PRIA, you must report to each potential employer for the next ten years!

Don't be so eager to get a regional job that you don't learn what you need to at this step of the way, including patience. Strive to master what you are doing now. Work as a team. Fly each flight with little to no deviation. FLy your ILS approaches within 1 dot at all times- and then ratchet up the speed, because you'll be doing 'em at 170+ kts on a regular basis, and anything more than a 1 dot deviation on the G/S or one half dot on the localizer will be a missed approach in the 121 world. . . start briefing each approach out loud. DO a before takeoff brief, including abort items, an emergency return plan, and decide who does what in the event of an emergency "I'll fly the airplane and handle ATC, you run the checklist items" etc. In other words, use this time to prepare for the future, instead of justy trying to get in the door.

Good Luck
 
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