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I'm going to build my multi time by PFT

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Well-known member
Nov 22, 2005
ePilot22 wanted me to start a thread in here about paying for training which I think is an excellent way to advance your career and which I will be doing in the coming months.
I am NOT a teacher and certainly am not going to teach something I have little experience in, so the CFI route is out for me.
I will be attending a program (not sure which one yet) that will allow me to gain valuable experience, leap-frog over the ones who are stuck-in-the-mud doing it the "right" way (just to prove a point i thinK) and will gain the necessary foot-in-the-door so hard to comeby in this industry.
Apprently he thinks his opinion is the only one that counts, and that leads me to believe he can't afford such a program and is jealous, and that's his problem. He said I wouldnt' have the balls to post this here, so I guess I got a nice sack now dont' I??!
My views /thoughts on PFT are wellknown and since I have spoken w/potential employers about these programs and THEY HAVE NO PROBLEM with it, I have no problem standing behind my beliefs since it's only those of you on these boards who seem to have such an issue with it.
There you go.
If you've got the dough then do it. Just dont pay for a job. Thats what heats people up around here. Why pay for a pilot when ones willing to pay you? The employer may not have a problem with it but pilots trying to make a decent living are being hurt by these programs. In the end you're only hurting your own kind. Anyone who PFT is only lowering our already lowered standards and will only hurt each of us down the road when we have that experience under our belts and expect to be paied for it. Friends don't let friends PFT.
You said it yourself, "something you have little experience in". A certain university used to have a program where the student paid darn near $100,000 in training costs flying beechjets, etc. But hey, they got into the majors real low time. The result...seasoned captains didn't like a cocky, low time, know-it-all sh!t that took the easy road next to them and they got blacklisted. In case you don't know what that means or understand, refer to my first sentence.
Not trying to bust your balls or saying you're wrong, dude. You just gotta look at it objectively. Everyone takes their lumps somehow. For you, it will be debt apparently. Just don't become a lesser pilot by taking the 'easy' road that all us underpriveledged, jealous morons didn't. Make your best effort to be a skilled pilot, someone any of us would care to fly with down the road. Remember, it's a small community.
I agree dude -
I'm sure many say they're "not like that" but I'm truly not cocky at all -and never have been.
The thing is, it's only people on these boards that are anti-PFT.
I even backed off the idea of it because of them, but then did some inquiring - made some calls, even visited a couple places, and none of my potential future employers had a problem with it.
I described some of these programs and even showed one guy that website for one, and he honestly had no problem with it.
One told me, and I agree - that the CFI route is better for ONE reason - it provides more job security should something happen and you're layed off. I know there's CFI's in search of work too, but far few than there are 1100hr. guys w/not quite enough experience to get hired right away somewhere else.
So agree w/that, however this guy also said that the quality of the flying done is so much better in the PFT programs compared to spending hours in the local pattern. W/the exception of teaching instrument skills, that's pretty true too - you're teaching material that'll be used many times down the road - but so much is never going to be used.
"Howdy folks, welcome to flight 195 - today we'll be cruising at 35,000 feet and in an hour we'll be practicing lazy 8's and we'll be making a simulated short-field takeoff and I hope you've got good stomachs because we're going to do some spin recovery and power-off stalls too!;)
Of course employers don't mind that you PFT. They're all quite happy to hire people willing to work for free or less. However, other professional pilots (who may or may not have a say in whether you get hired somewhere) might have a different view.
ACtually I meant future employers as in the people who';d be paying ME down the road.
Places that require a few hundred more hours than what I've got and another hundred hours or so of multi-time - those folks!
LIke I said, PFT is not a career-choice - you'd be flat broke w/o chance of recovery!! It's a necessary stepping stone for some, like me.
It doens't hurt me or the industry and tha'ts the industry folks talking.
John2375 said:
ACtually I meant future employers as in the people who';d be paying ME down the road.
It doens't hurt me or the industry and tha'ts the industry folks talking.

Yes, those are the places I meant. They know that if you've worked for free (or less) once, then no matter what they pay you, you'd be willing to do it for less. That's why the "industry folks" (management) like PFT and professional pilots established in their careers don't.

I understand that at 300 hours you're eager for more experience, but you have a long ways to go. Relax, the experience will come and actually getting paid to fly is a pretty good gig. Just imagine when you go to a job interview and are excited about getting a flying job that pays a reasonable wage. During the interview, someone walks in and says they are willing to do the job you are interviewing for, for free. Your potential employer looks at him and says "Welcome aboard!" Not a good feeling is it?
Quoting from www.jetcareers.com

A couple definitions:
These aren't official, but just how I define them:
Pay-for-Job (PFJ): Loosely defined as a pilot paying a defined amount of money to an employer for the privilege to operate the aircraft for anywhere from nothing to a certain amount of money. We’ll refer to this as “PFJ” for brevity.
Pay-for-Training (PFT): More or less a pilot taking on the financial burden of training where traditionally the employer covers those costs.
Nothing gets the ire of a group of professional pilots like a discussion on “PFT/PFJ”. And as we’ve seen it’s come up time and time again in the forums so I decided to write an opinion piece on the issue.
It’s sad to say, but we’re really our worst enemy when it comes to compensation in the airline industry, especially on the “lower” level/timebuilding positions.
You capture a potential “PFT/PFJ” customer, fresh out of training at a flight school, FBO or academy. The leap from paying a few hundred dollars an hour for a Beech Duchess and instructor as a student trains for his multi-engine instrument rating to finding it perfectly reasonable to “invest” another $30,000-plus for 500 hours of Metroliner or Beechcraft 1900 time with the potential of being selected for a full-time position isn't all that difficult.
We’re always told that multi-engine time is worth more than gold so the allure of going just a little further in debt, deeper into the savings account or asking a well-heeled parent for another fistful of cash is a very attractive notion.
Let’s rewind the clock a bit and talk about why these programs exist.

They exist because of us.
Some of us sit around the airport café or hangar and talk about how we’d do this job for free, and how it’s not really like having a ‘real job’. Stories of working in a cubicle, in the leather tannery or down at the local "Gap" and how easy the decision was to drive down to the local flight school and inquire about becoming a professional pilot.
One day, an enterprising businessman probably overheard one of these conversations and determined that he could lease a Metroliner for a reasonable amount of capital, pick up an experienced captain and offer a program. A program created to separate the fresh multi-engine instrument certified pilot with the “Will Fly for Food” t-shirt from his cash as efficiently as possible.
The businessman will construct a business plan for a passenger or cargo airline, show his profit projections to interested investors and the money starts rolling in to finance the operation.
People that run these programs aren’t evil or manipulative.
They’re businessmen, first and foremost. You can't forget that. We live in America, not Communist Russia, we're great because we're a capitalist society.
They’re in this business to make a profit. And if they aren’t, they’re complete idiots.
Years ago, I'd say that these operators were scumbags, but considering the vast amount of information available on the internet, the fault lies squarely on our laps.
How does it hurt the industry?
This situation doesn’t exactly hurt the industry, let’s be honest about that, but you’ve got to cleanly separate the airline industry from the pilot profession.
On the industry: All financial analysts want to see is that an airline sells a seat which costs $X while selling the seat for $X+Y. The smaller the "X" and the bigger the "Y" means a positive analyst rating..
On the profession: The entry level job which would normally hire a young, neophyte pilot suddenly becomes a “PFT/PFJ” operation. Or as any good businessmen would do, look at the cost structure of his non "PFT/PJF" operation and adjust the starting pay wages to reflect the market. You certainly can't pay your brand new Metroliner FO $40,000 per year while an airline across the airport has people lined up to spend $25,000 just to get an $18,000/year job.
Why in the world would a businessman, whose only motivation is creating and sustaining a profitability pay a new Metroliner first officer a reasonable wage, while just across the taxiway, there are a few airlines that are charging first officers for the right to work there? It doesn’t make good business sense to do anything other than adjust the pay rates downward.
In aviation, crap rolls uphill. Yesterday, there were commuter airlines and a few cargo carriers involved in the “PFT/PFJ” scheme. Today, there are operations selling blocks of A-320, B-737 and B-727 time at "third-tier" carriers. If you don’t foresee that one day, without pilots learning to stand up for themselves that there won't be a global, major, national, or LCC carrier offering the opportunity to cut a check for $50,000 for a defined amount of flight time or to just get on the seniority list, you’re absolutely kidding yourself.
Then the job that you invested time, an incredible amount of money and perhaps, years of your life and even a spouse for is going to be to the level of a newspaper boy.
Just wait.
How does it hurt the pilot?
Depressed wages: Other similar airlines have to compete with the “PFT/PFJ”’s cost structure in order to keep the admiration of people with a financial interest in the airline's operation
It’s an incredible waste of resources that you could use as a ‘nest egg’. Despite what the neophytes think, a massive amount of debt is harder to pay down than you may realize and will certainly affect your career flexibility and your financial well-being.
It doesn’t help your career: While recommending a competitively qualified pilot when I was at the regionals, whenever I’d present a resume to the chief pilot, the first question out of his mouth was “…he didn’t buy any of this time, did he?” Could you imagine what would have happened to the resume if I said, "Oh yeah, Joe went down to 'Airline's R Us' in Miami and purchased 500 hours of Beech 1900 time and flew cargo for free"?
Next, airlines don’t want to be the first person that’s trusted you to operate an expensive hunk of machinery. They’re looking for someone who another employer has taken the chance to hire you, where you’ve completed training on-time and on-budget and have successfully disappeared into the seniority list. Don’t think for a moment that a "PFT/PFJ" operation, if you’re not performing well in Metroliner school, doesn’t have a profit motive in offering extra training, on your dime, to make sure you complete training.
Human resource directors know all about this.
In closing
Don't be in such a big rush. Sure, earlier in the history of Jetcareers, I'd always preach about seniority numbers and doing things quickly in order to procure one. However, in retrospect, with a few more years of experience under my belt, the best times in my career aren't the possibilities in my future career, it was the things in my past that helped get me to where I am today.
Almost more rewarding than flying airplanes are the relationships that I've built with people that I've met along the way. If you cut through the career at mach speed, acquiring unnecessary debt, "get hired quick" schemes like PFT/PFJ, etc, you're not going to have the opportunity to pause, look around a little and enjoy yourself.
Additional reading: propilot.com - A Letter to the Industry

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