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Good or bad career move??

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Well-known member
Nov 3, 2005
OK, I need some help here. I'm currently a CFI and have recently been offered a co-pilot position. The plane I would be co-piloting is a King Air 350 operated under part 91. The chief pilot is typed in the aircraft and I am not. The chief pilot is not a CFI. The plane and chief pilot are single pilot certified, but the owner wants two pilots at all times.

So here are my questions:

How will I ever log time in this aircraft? Asking around I have gotten various answers, and the only one that made sense, was to log the time as "Additional Crew". This time wouldn't count towards my total time and couldn't be used for currency. I would simply log it to show future employers my experience.

Is there anyway I can log this time towards total, multi, and for currency?

What would the airlines/charters/fracs think of this experience? If I have 800 total time, and 800 "additional time", would I be laughed out of an interview?

Thanks for any comments
(e) Logging pilot-in-command flight time. (1) A recreational, private, or commercial pilot may log pilot-in- command time only for that flight time during which that person -- (i) Is the sole manipulator of the controls of an aircraft for which the pilot is rated;
If the owner wants two pilots, doesn't he want two type rated pilots?

What good is a second pilot if he/she knows nothing about the type. I'd ask for at least an initial type and possibly recurrent training every 6-12 months.

If you can get the type, no worries...without it, what good does the second person do anyway?

Plus, I'd think the insurance would go down with two typed pilots too.


Well I think it's a good move for a company to have two typed pilots. However, I've also seen companies that have a second pilot with low time be equally capable with in house training. Low time pilots are very fresh out of school and have good habits and are very trainable. A second set of eyes during approaches, someone to read a checklist etc.... This is why many Part 121 folks have 500 hour guys flying right seat.

I've checked out a lot of folks with 3000 hours or more who are an embarrassment. They are very sloppy, lazy and have lost that edge they had when they started.

Now from the point of view from aviator1978, it's a great opportunity if they should choose to hire him/her. They get a chance to learn more complex systems, learn what to do upon icing encounters and get quite familiar with DP's and STAR's. Also how to deal with their clients.

It's a no brainer, if they are willing to hire then off I'd go!

4300 hours
Flight time

You can log yout flight time as whatever you wish. You just can't use it for currancy or a rating. Let the next employer decide how they wish to value your time there. I would just log it as SIC and leave it at that. Perhaps you could get an MEI then you could log it all as duel given.

isn't the 350 a two pilot airplane, requiring an SIC?
This is actually one of the more interesting quandaries posed around here for a while. A low-time CFI with an opportunity to continue CFIing or take a job where the time he logs is basically unlogable. [Hummmmm, he said as he stroked his beard.]

I was actually in a somewhat comparable situation. It was almost 40 years ago, back when I just had my PPL and nothing else. I had the opportunity to ride shotgun in an Aztec. The owner was new to the airplane and he was just looking for someone to sit in the right seat and help out with things like the radio. Over a period of a couple of years I got around a hundred hours. A couple of years later I was given the opportunity to get my multi in that same airplane - they were getting ready to trade up and it would be mine to use for the cost of gas "IF" I could get insurance on it while I did my training. I had an aircraft insurance salesman friend who went to bat for me. He contacted the underwriter and told them of my "experience" in the Aztec. The underwrite had me make a notation in my logbook stating what I had done and that the time had not been counted towards my total time, etc. After that I was good to go.

There is obviously some value to be had in flying shotgun in a KA350. If nothing else, it puts you in a situation where you have your feet in the door should an advancement opportunity arise. However, you've got to remember that the FAA really has very little to say with who gets to fly what in today's world - it's actually those pesky insurance companies. Those pesky insurance companies get a little particular who they let fly multi-million $$$ airplanes. I'd hate to see a low-time guy like yourself get in a position where they quit building "useable" time - to be competitive in today's job market you've got to have an ATP and you've got to have a few thousand hours. Remember that.

I can think of several reasons not to do it - basically, it only gets you sidetracked and will, at best, give you some limited advantages. I honestly don't have a recommendation. Hopefully, they'll give you an opportunity upgrade and get typed in the NEAR future. Otherwise, I think I'd say thanks, but no thanks. How's that for dancing around the topic?

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I think the crux here is that 800TT and 800 "additional time" isn't going to help you in the eyes of the insurance companies. If you're not insurable, then anything else is a moot point.

Sounds to me like you're not considering the regionals. If that's true, then you need to keep working on your loggable time. I'm not sure that I'd give up a CFI job logging real time to gain non-loggable right seat time in a 350. Certainly the experience in the 350 is valuable, but at the end of the day you're going to need more total time.

As a data point, my first non-instructing job was as a contract pilot on a Cessna 340. The insurance company wouldn't even look at me until I had at least a thousand hours and a few hundred multi. I'd keep instructing.
pilotyip said:
isn't the 350 a two pilot airplane, requiring an SIC?

Depends on whether the captain has a single-pilot type rating, or one that says "SIC required" (or something like that)

Fly safe!

he probobly wants 2 pilots for insurance purposes. You can also have two PIC's at the same time. Let's say the Captain is under the hood in VFR conditions, you are a safety pilot therefore you are a required crew member so you can log PIC and the captain can log PIC. However one pilot will be assume PIC responsibilities if something should happen, and that would be the captain.

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