- Nov 26, 2001
- Total Time
USA Jet was the finest DA-20 operator in the business. Our training programs were good enough to train anyone who had basic flying skills. USA Jet did all of its training under Part 121 N & O; the DA-20 had 5 weeks of full time ground school prior to starting sim training, which ran one week and 25 hours for F/O's. All DA-20 F/O's received 25 hours of supervised IOE prior to being released to line operations, we observe 100 min time in seat for pairing restrictions and in the past have turned down trips because of only low time pairs available. USA Jet had not hired a Captain off the street since 1998. We have had pilots go to major airlines and tell us, except for fancy bells and whistles, the USA Jet training was as good as they got at their major. DA-20 maintenance was conducted under Part 121, crews were not forced to fly what they considered unsafe airplanes, and a pilot could write up anything and put it in the logbook. We had been inspected many times by both the FAA and outside audit companies, they came away with the same findings: USA Jet was one of the finest operations they had ever seen. We did it right and stood by our standards which went well beyond that required by the FAR’s. While in full time ground school pilots were paid full pay of $35 K per year to start. We have program on track for 6-figure pay in 6 years for all Captains. 10 hard days off every 28-day bid period. We established the policy of hard days off and gave the pilot the option of being flown home or getting additional pay for selling their days. No training contract was required, if you did not want to work for us, we would let you go. We had a very low turnover and the pilot who left went to better jobs. We had the highest guaranteed pay of any on-demand operator flying DA-20 sized equipment. We introduced more days off, increased pay, and hard days off to the on-demand industry. Our completion had to match us in order to attract pilots. We raised the bar. All of this excellent came with a cost and its was cost not being carried by our competition, in the end we were not competitive in the on-demand business. Faced with a choice of cutting pay, cutting days off, getting rid of expensive training and maintenance by going back to the 135 ride along program and abandoning our excellence the company did not lower the bar. BTW I know a lot of people think it could have been differently. To all who were cut, you have great skills, you were fantasic employees, you will succedd in this business, do not let hard feeling eat you up.