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Honest career advice needed...

Flying Illini

Hit me Peter!
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Posts
2,291
Total Time
6000
I've decided to put this out there and I could use some input from those more experienced than myself.

I was very fortunate and got hired into turboprop and jet aircraft at very low time. The unfortunate part is that after 2.2 years with the company I've only flown 700hrs. and my time still remains in the "low" category. Don't get me wrong, this job has provided me with opportunities I would not have had otherwise. I have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge and I even earned a type rating. However, I would like to be able to put myself in a position to fly at a "career" job, a strictly 91, corporate operator in the future but at my current rate of flying (approx. 320/yr) it will take me another 5+ years to have enough time where my resume doesn't get tossed immediately and probably 10 years to be competitive. I've considered Frax work, but I don't meet the minimums anywhere.

My question is this, what would be a good direction to take? I am definitely not opposed to flying freight (sounds like fun and a one of a kind, great experience), nor am I opposed to flying for the regionals. I would like to stay in multi-engined aircraft and building PIC time, as always, is also important (I realize that the regionals don't equal quick PIC time building). I think that I need to address all of this now since I'm still young and my wife and I don't have a family yet.

As far as possible jobs that I have tossed around, CHQ (their bases are near where I would like to be), SkyWest, Air Cargo Carriers, Empire, Airnet...Any other ideas?

Any suggestions would be appreciated as would any stories from those of you have have experienced something similar to what I am trying to do.

If any of this makes sense, I'd appreciate some honest replies.

Thanks,
FI
 

citabriapilot

V Murdda...
Joined
Apr 13, 2004
Posts
361
Total Time
7,500
You could probably get on with Ameriflight and be put right into a Beech 99 with your previous turbine experience. Find the right run and maybe become a training captain and you could be pushing over 700 hours a year easy.
 

Almerick07

Professional Surf Bum
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Posts
407
Total Time
.02
Checkout Airnet, decent pay and with turbine experience you'll probably be put in a caravan. But it is PIC and a buddy of mine who did it upgraded to a lear in about 10 months. I am not sure what the upgrade time is to capt. but I know they are growing like crazy so it has to reasonable. Fly at night while youre young and dont have kids to worry about.
 

pullmyfinger

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 4, 2004
Posts
64
Total Time
5200
Id say Airnet would be an excellent way to go, youd have to deal with the piston twins for a while but the company is run well, mainenence is top notch and the pay is really not bad at all.

There are lots of snakes in the freight world. Thinking Scary Air right now... who treat their pilots like dirt, run you for 20-30 hour duty days on occasion and mantain their equipment with cargo tape.

Good luck on your search.
 

Geronimo4497

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 19, 2004
Posts
591
Total Time
2300
It sounds like you have a pretty good gig going there. IMO, if you want to stay 91, I would stay with the outfit that you are with now for as long as possible. From what I have seen, most good corporate departments like to see a commitment with previous employers, not jumping from ship to ship to ship. If you are not flying that much, I assume that you have a good amount of time off between flights. I hate to even suggest it, but what about freelance instructing on the side? Just a thought.
 

landlover

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 1, 2005
Posts
1,365
Total Time
5000+
how'd you start flying a turbo prop with 500 hours? was there any issue for the insurance?
 

Flying Illini

Hit me Peter!
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Posts
2,291
Total Time
6000
landlover said:
how'd you start flying a turbo prop with 500 hours? was there any issue for the insurance?
Started with 550TT, as far as insurance, I'm not privvy to all the details but our insurance co. has been with this co. for a long time and if my co. says it's OK, then the insurance says it's OK. 3 months after I was hired (2 months after I started flying the King Air, I went into the Falcon 10 and I assume the insurance issues shook down the same way.

To the previous poster:
I'm not looking to jump from ship to ship, I would really love to find a career place while I'm young! My thoughts right now is that I'm still young, my wife and I, although we own a house, we do have the flexibility to move and I would like to up my TT quickly (with good experience). I definitely don't want to raise red flags for possible future employers when they look at my work history but I also don't want to sit and muddle along only flying 1000 hrs every 3 years while I'm looking for that "career" job. Once I have that job, I don't care how much I fly, but until then... Freelance instructing has crossed my mind but without a schedule, it's tough to schedule students and even then, I would probably only be adding 50-100 hours or so a year.

Please keep the posts coming, I appreciate anything I can read. Thanks for taking the time to respond.
 

Jack Schitt

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2003
Posts
189
Total Time
8000
Flying Illini said:
Started with 550TT, as far as insurance, I'm not privvy to all the details but our insurance co. has been with this co. for a long time and if my co. says it's OK, then the insurance says it's OK. 3 months after I was hired (2 months after I started flying the King Air, I went into the Falcon 10 and I assume the insurance issues shook down the same way.

To the previous poster:
I'm not looking to jump from ship to ship, I would really love to find a career place while I'm young! My thoughts right now is that I'm still young, my wife and I, although we own a house, we do have the flexibility to move and I would like to up my TT quickly (with good experience). I definitely don't want to raise red flags for possible future employers when they look at my work history but I also don't want to sit and muddle along only flying 1000 hrs every 3 years while I'm looking for that "career" job. Once I have that job, I don't care how much I fly, but until then... Freelance instructing has crossed my mind but without a schedule, it's tough to schedule students and even then, I would probably only be adding 50-100 hours or so a year.

Please keep the posts coming, I appreciate anything I can read. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

Many quality Fortune 500 companies look beyond numbers in a logbook. They look for quality individuals regardless of flight time. Just look at your current situation! You sound dedicated, now it's just a matter of meeting the right person to give you a boost up the ladder. The grass may look greener on the other side but be careful, there might be some dog schitt in there.

Don't worry about flight time and insurance mins. That's all a bunch of b.s. unless you're trying to land your first job.
 

Hawker rider

(gold)Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
249
Total Time
enough
What I can tell you is probably the hardest choice you will be confronted with.

Have a truly honest sit down with your wife about where she would want to spend her future. My wife would have followed me everywhere she once told me, but that move across the globe isn't very much needed for her now that I have that "career job".

Once you see what directions of the country/world you both can have a nice future,look for the job that will get you or keep you there.

As far as hours is concerned, do what you love most, not because you want to be an "airline pilot" I think there is a lot more gratifying jobs out there that will not make you become a 25000 hour pilot, but will get you to work each day with a smile on your face.

you can always try to network and get a bit of hours instructing during the weekends, or in your off time. A job with the regionals will make you hours too, and will let you also see what it would be like to work for an airline, without making the commitment to stay there the rest of your life.
 

pilotmiketx

Registerd User
Joined
Jul 13, 2003
Posts
345
Total Time
oodles
If you're making decent money and you have some sort of job security I'd stay right where you are. 320hrs/year is pretty good for corporate. Maybe even a little above average. Try not to fall into the "grass is greener" syndrome. In your job now, you are in the position to network with other corporate operators. If you want to stay part 91, start making friends on the airport where you're based. There's a good chance your next job will come to you.

As far as networking goes freight is good if you want to hang out with freight dogs all day and maybe the UPS driver. I flew freight and it was instrumental in getting my corp job, but not because of flight time, it was because I'd been to 135 ground school (stoopid insurance company.) My guess is with some PIC jet time and multi turbine time, a lot of folks won't care about your total time.

Why be so concerned with your flight time? You got hired to fly a King Air and Falcon with really low time, so don't you think there are others out there who could hire you with not-so-low time? Those operators rarely have to advertise for an opening, it's all word of mouth. (I work for one, so I kinda know how it works.)
 

Geronimo4497

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Posts
591
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pilotmiketx said:
If you're making decent money and you have some sort of job security I'd stay right where you are. 320hrs/year is pretty good for corporate. Maybe even a little above average. Try not to fall into the "grass is greener" syndrome. In your job now, you are in the position to network with other corporate operators. If you want to stay part 91, start making friends on the airport where you're based. There's a good chance your next job will come to you.

As far as networking goes freight is good if you want to hang out with freight dogs all day and maybe the UPS driver. I flew freight and it was instrumental in getting my corp job, but not because of flight time, it was because I'd been to 135 ground school (stoopid insurance company.) My guess is with some PIC jet time and multi turbine time, a lot of folks won't care about your total time.

Why be so concerned with your flight time? You got hired to fly a King Air and Falcon with really low time, so don't you think there are others out there who could hire you with not-so-low time? Those operators rarely have to advertise for an opening, it's all word of mouth. (I work for one, so I kinda know how it works.)

What he said........
 

viper548

Well-known member
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Dec 30, 2004
Posts
2,090
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6800
I'd stay where you're at. It's hard to break into corp. flying and you're already there. You're where the connections are at.
 

Almerick07

Professional Surf Bum
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Posts
407
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.02
Given your situation I would do the same despite what my last post stated. Stay where youre at and network, a lot of companies need people to fill right seats for a trip or two. Send out resumes and network, an example is Ive got a company who calls a couple of times a month to pull gear in a King Air. Its only worth 10 or so hours a month but time is time and money is money. I understand your "on call" status so it may be a little challenging to time the trips but could be done.
 

semperfido

Keep Humpin
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Dec 5, 2004
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if you like your job then stay put at least 4-5 yrs and develop a track record.:)
 

Gulfstream 200

Database Expert
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Posts
4,574
Total Time
18,550
STAY PUT.

Dont sweat those "mins" you hear about at corp jobs. They always make exceptions....and excpetions happen to guys with great track records, solid references, and strong corp backgrounds.

Dont go fly freight at this point. Not knocking the experience but its not always the best thing to have on a corp resume. People want to see steady job(s) of flying execs, not checks.

fly as much as you can, get permisssion to do side work if avail, etc....but stay the course you are on.

FWIW, my fist "corp" job or two was landed when I had less than the advertised mins and less than the "insurance' mins.

Dont sweat it, you are in the right place.
 

lawnghawla

New member
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Sep 25, 2005
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13,600
I would stay put for awhile too. If your desire to is to stay in a 91 operation~ enjoy the ride for a couple years, build some experience, and establish a reputation as a dedicated professional. It usually all works out for the best! Good luck!
 

banned username 2

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Geronimo4497 said:
It sounds like you have a pretty good gig going there. IMO, if you want to stay 91, I would stay with the outfit that you are with now for as long as possible. From what I have seen, most good corporate departments like to see a commitment with previous employers, not jumping from ship to ship to ship. If you are not flying that much, I assume that you have a good amount of time off between flights. I hate to even suggest it, but what about freelance instructing on the side? Just a thought.
EXCELLENT ADVICE...

pilotmiketx said:
If you're making decent money and you have some sort of job security I'd stay right where you are. 320hrs/year is pretty good for corporate. Maybe even a little above average. Try not to fall into the "grass is greener" syndrome. In your job now, you are in the position to network with other corporate operators. If you want to stay part 91, start making friends on the airport where you're based. There's a good chance your next job will come to you.
MORE Excellent advice...
 

some_dude

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2004
Posts
430
Total Time
342000
I agree with the folks telling you to stay there. Everyone I know, including myself, has gone through a period where they think things are going too slowly, they're never going to upgrade, etc etc. If you stick it out, good things should happen.

With 1200+ hours, you are probably not that far from upgrading to PIC in the King Air, if they like you and you're doing a good job for them.
 
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