Impressions???

Nappy

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Here's the deal.
Hired about a year ago into a large cabin Int'l aircraft. Very good but not great pay. During the interview owner states that he anticipates 250 hrs/yr usage and expects to get 100-150 hrs/yr in charter. Company managing the aircraft says it'll just be two pilots for the balance of '04 but owner has agreed to three pilots beginning '05. BTW the other guy was hired a few months before me and told the exact same thing.

Now here we are July '05 and still no third pilot. Owner hrs look like there going to be more like 300 to 325 for the year and charter is right about 150 hrs/yr. Doesn't sound like a lot of flt. time but owner trips are usually long Int'l type and were spending 12-14 RON's/mo on their stuff alone. Throw in the wonderful world of charter (waiting for the phone to ring) and its getting to be a real drag. The management company has gone to the owner numerous times and about the third pilot but only pushes so hard, (obviously doesn't want to lose the mgmt fee) but I've been to the meetings and they're sincere in their agreement on the need for a third crewmember. We'll have worked every weekend this month and the first one of Aug, every holiday since Thanksgiving last year.

I realize I'm fortunate to have a good paying job in this climate but WTF??????? Do you all think I biatching about nothing or should I start looking for a new gig? Curious as to what others think.
Thanks!!
 

empenage

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Hmmm.

We fly 1200 hrs. a year with the Global with 4 guys. 10-16 RON's in a row not uncommon. On call 25 days a month, 24-7 for those days. World wide. No charter.

The benifits are top notch, the pay is average. We get 5 hard days a month in a row off ( we dont get to pick them). If push comes to shove they will get a temp to cover the plane.

You should have at least a third pilot and a list of good temps in a pinch. It sounds like the owner is being cheap or the management company is dragging their feet.

Talk to them again. It's better to talk to them then get pi$$ed off and build walls. That will just make the job worse.
 

Brett Hull

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Have you approached your boss about ditching the management company and making one of you guys Chief Pilot? You could still keep the airplane on the management company's charter certificate if he's that concerned about offsetting costs.

If you could talk the boss into operating like a traditional flight department instead of under the management company's umbrella, maybe that would give you guys more control over staffing (but undoubtedtly more administrative work).
 
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HMR

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"The bigger the airplane the bigger the suitcase".

Nappy- You need to push for that third pilot or at least get a good contract guy. I think you'd be surprised how easy it is to find a contract guy, especially for long, multi-day trips.

Bottom line is: CHARTER SUCKS!

FWIW-It might be worthwhile to look at how much your boss is really "saving" by keeping the plane on a 135 certificate. My airplane used to be on charter. My CP and I showed the boss how much extra it was costing to keep the plane under a management contract. We took over management and re-negotiated hangar, fuel, MX, etc. We saved a bundle and the boss has never looked back. Now, we've gone from averaging 25 days a month with multiple RON's to 5 days a month, 1 RON, no pager and a schedule set 60-90 days in advance. Check it out.

Good Luck!

*EDIT*-Brett types faster than I do.:)
 

Brett Hull

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HMR said:
*EDIT*-Brett types faster than I do.:)

Yea! And don't forget it! :D

But the most important question is obviously: Are you guys hiring? :cool: And what is this "schedule" that you speak of? :p
 

semperfido

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Brett Hull said:
Have you approached your boss about ditching the management company and making one of you guys Chief Pilot? ).

good way to lose your job. obviously a very touchy affair. be careful with that advice :)
 

SLFLYHI

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HMR said:
"The bigger the airplane the bigger the suitcase".

Nappy- You need to push for that third pilot or at least get a good contract guy. I think you'd be surprised how easy it is to find a contract guy, especially for long, multi-day trips.

Bottom line is: CHARTER SUCKS!

FWIW-It might be worthwhile to look at how much your boss is really "saving" by keeping the plane on a 135 certificate. My airplane used to be on charter. My CP and I showed the boss how much extra it was costing to keep the plane under a management contract. We took over management and re-negotiated hangar, fuel, MX, etc. We saved a bundle and the boss has never looked back. Now, we've gone from averaging 25 days a month with multiple RON's to 5 days a month, 1 RON, no pager and a schedule set 60-90 days in advance. Check it out.

Good Luck!

*EDIT*-Brett types faster than I do.:)

First of all: you're right - charter totally sucks. As far as keeping the airplane on Part 135 or not, the size of the airplane totally matters as far as taxes are concerned. If you're flying a $20m Gulfstream/Falcon/Bombardier, putting it on 135 avoids the sales tax of the airplane which can save many millions of dollars. If you're talking Citation II/Learjet/Westwind, you're right - unless they're chartering the heck out of it, you can manage it yourself cheaper if you know what you're doing.....
 

gern_blanston

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Nappy said:
Do you ... think I biatching about nothing...?
Yes. You're a charter pilot, for crying out loud.
You will need a 3rd guy or a good contract guy soon, though.
 

G100driver

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Time2Spare said:
. If you're flying a $20m Gulfstream/Falcon/Bombardier, putting it on 135 avoids the sales tax of the airplane which can save many millions of dollars. .....

Register the airplane in a state that does not have sales tax.
 

Duderino

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Time2Spare said:
First of all: you're right - charter totally sucks. As far as keeping the airplane on Part 135 or not, the size of the airplane totally matters as far as taxes are concerned. If you're flying a $20m Gulfstream/Falcon/Bombardier, putting it on 135 avoids the sales tax of the airplane which can save many millions of dollars. If you're talking Citation II/Learjet/Westwind, you're right - unless they're chartering the heck out of it, you can manage it yourself cheaper if you know what you're doing.....

Not sure but, don't you have to do 51% charter over a two year period in order to benefit from this tax break?
 

Gulfstream 200

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All charter operators promise extra pilots down the line, they very rarely ever produce this 3rd or 4th pilot. They tell the owners they can get by without it..."we can use contract guys". Problem is they want YOU there for the owner flights and then rarely get the contract guy for the 135 flights....my favorite...the "pop-up" charter that follows the 4th long weekend in a row at the owners vacation home...lovely. Be nice to have another crew!....

remember, the charter company is there to impress the owner with thier cost savings measures. Dont ever think they (or the owners) give a $hit about YOU or the fact that you have not been home for a weekend or holiday in 6 months. They will give you a few lines of bull$hit and you will be back in ASE or PBI the very next weekend (after that charter during the week)....gotta justify this expensive airplane and your paycheck you know...

As far as approaching the owners about leaving the charter compnay. I have seen this many times and have NEVER seen it work out in favor of the pilot.

If you cant take the charter, say Thank You and get out of the charter business.
 
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HMR

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Gulfstream 200 said:
As far as approaching the owners about leaving the charter compnay. I have seen this many times and have NEVER seen it work out in favor or the pilot.
It was one of the best decisions we've ever made. YMMV.
 

Gulfstream 200

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good for you guys! I have seen more than a few guys fired or blackballed for trying that. Its risky to try and run off with some guy and his plane which he may very well sell in a year, now you are back looking for work...with a bad reputation.

you work 5 days a month and 1 RON?.....wow!...sounds good.

Hope it lasts.
 

HMR

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Gulfstream 200 said:
you work 5 days a month and 1 RON?.....wow!...sounds good.

Hope it lasts.
It's true. Just had three weeks off, flew yesterday. Our next trip is two weeks from today. On the rare occasion we have a multi-day layover, we're welcome to bring our significant others.

I know you've been skeptical of my job's longevity in the past. Anything can happen. Our boss is young and in a business that's not affected by swings in the economy. The A/C is a necessity for the family's privacy, safety and convenience. We handle the domestic trips. The extended family owns larger A/C for the international ops.

FWIW-Every pilot we know-PT121, 91, 135- has offered to come work for us.

My CP and I are currently helping the boss with some research. He wants a report on the best place to keep our A/C over the next 15 years. Seems to be as stable as anything in this business.:)
 

Gulfstream 200

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Oh Im not skeptical...I know nothing of your job. All I was saying is that working 5 days a month is pretty darn nice. Some desire to fly more, I myself can certainly think of many hobbies to keep me busy the other 25 days a month.

I hope he does not get run over by a car....you will have a hard time replacing your gig.

can you share what kind of business he is in that is never affected by the economy? just curious...
 

HMR

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Gulfstream 200 said:
I hope he does not get run over by a car....you will have a hard time replacing your gig.
As I said, "anything can happen". Thankfully, he's quick on his feet.

Gulfstream 200 said:
can you share what kind of business he is in that is never affected by the economy? just curious...
I don't want to go into details about the business on a public message board. Of course, every business is affected by the economy. I would've been more correct to say our flight dept. isn't affected by downturns in the economy. It's a relatively small expense in relation to the value the boss gets from it.


Back to the original topic: Too many pilots complain about their jobs. If you don't like it, do something about it. There are GREAT jobs out there. I'm a relatively low-time guy and I had no problem finding this one (got if off of FlightInfo). Nappy- Good luck with your decision!
 

501261

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Gulfstream 200 said:
As far as approaching the owners about leaving the charter compnay. I have seen this many times and have NEVER seen it work out in favor of the pilot.
There certainly is a risk to doing this, and while I have never done it, I had been approached by a couple of owners during my 135 days. I also have first hand knowledge of two operations that have successfully made the transition from managed 135 to a owner 91 operation.

The big thing here is to have all your ducks in a row. The management company has legal documents with ramifications if the owner breaks the agreement. What has happened is a pilot comes along and tells the owner that he can save $100K by managing the airplane him/herself. So the owner goes to the management company and says "I want to break my agreement as Pilot 'A' is going to manage my airplane", and the management company comes back and says that's fine, but you will owe us $200K in lost charter revenue. Guess what happens, Pilot "A" is on the street looking for a job, with a bad reputation.

The people that had been successful with the transition, have had owners that really didn't need the charter business, they simply "hooked" up with the charter company because it was their first and only forte' into private aviation.

Certainly a move to be cautious about, but it certainly can be done and very successfully at that.
 

Snakum

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can you share what kind of business he is in that is never affected by the economy?
Heroin? :cool:
 

Makesheepnervus

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5 days a month, 1 RON...

Jeez, HMR, you have to rub it in don't you!

What's next, you gonna tell us that the boss also throws in a company car as well as an on call 5'6 110 lb 21 yr old massage girl!

BTW, did JT ever get a hold of you?

MSN
 
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