Leave GLA for SKW? Now a good time??

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Hello everyone.

I have this dilemma, and am asking your opinion.

I'm currently an FO at Lakes, and have an offer from SKW (crj). I don't care about bases, and will probably have the seniority to upgrade at lakes within the next 8-12 months (things have slowed lately).

I came to lakes chasing the fast upgrade, but have since realized that few people have moved on to anything better than Skywest, PSA, Chautauqua, Kalitta, Expressnet... Sure, a few people have gone to Fedex, Southwest, Am West...but they all knew or were related to someone there. I don't have a very good network set-up (previous job at a part 61 school).

So, while I love the flying and airplane, and hate the company (who doesn't?), and I knew about this when I first came here, I did not realize that so few people have been able to land any solid long-term jobs (is there really such a thing anymore?) out of lakes.

If you were me, would this still be a good time to jump ship and head for SKW? Again, bases are not important, I'll live in domicile regardless. Has the hiring boom ended at SKW, am I going to park in the right seat for 8 years? I know current upgrade in the crj is about 1.5-2 years at ORD. What is the average monthly attrition? Looking down the road, and the current shakeup at NW and DL, would this be a good career move, in you opinion?

Thanks in advance.
 

Mookie

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absolutely yes...just ask the 200-300 former lakers here at SkyWest.

Mookie
 

UALX727

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If it were me I would stay for the PIC time. Get 1000 hours PIC under your belt and then you will have many more opportunities to choose from later on. I know it is bad there and all but tough it out just a while longer if you can. The PIC time is a requirement for AirTran, and they love commuter guys, especially 1900 drivers.

I'm not sure about Skywest. Seems like with this ASA thing as well as Delta's problems you may get there and get furloughed. Good luck.
 

Speed Turd

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OverspeedCowboy said:
Hello everyone.

I have this dilemma, and am asking your opinion.

I'm currently an FO at Lakes, and have an offer from SKW (crj). I don't care about bases, and will probably have the seniority to upgrade at lakes within the next 8-12 months (things have slowed lately).

I came to lakes chasing the fast upgrade, but have since realized that few people have moved on to anything better than Skywest, PSA, Chautauqua, Kalitta, Expressnet... Sure, a few people have gone to Fedex, Southwest, Am West...but they all knew or were related to someone there. I don't have a very good network set-up (previous job at a part 61 school).

So, while I love the flying and airplane, and hate the company (who doesn't?), and I knew about this when I first came here, I did not realize that so few people have been able to land any solid long-term jobs (is there really such a thing anymore?) out of lakes.

If you were me, would this still be a good time to jump ship and head for SKW? Again, bases are not important, I'll live in domicile regardless. Has the hiring boom ended at SKW, am I going to park in the right seat for 8 years? I know current upgrade in the crj is about 1.5-2 years at ORD. What is the average monthly attrition? Looking down the road, and the current shakeup at NW and DL, would this be a good career move, in you opinion?

Thanks in advance.
MY observation here! Seems like the industry has reached capacity. The only way to get growth is to replace. It is very possible that places like SKY CHQ could have 8000-10000 pilots in the 10 years. Especially if ALPA doesn't get it together. There are alot of people in denial in this industry and think they should make 500K/year, but those days are gone! There is not very muck risk in the job today, and there are flight schools churning out pilots by the thousands. Textbook economics folks!
 

Rogue5

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UALX727 said:
I'm not sure about Skywest. Seems like with this ASA thing as well as Delta's problems you may get there and get furloughed. Good luck.
SkyWest has never furloughed a pilot in its history.
 

Capt.LongThrust

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Rogue5 said:
SkyWest has never furloughed a pilot in its history.
You, my friend, have not been in this business too long have you? Never is a long time.

Now for the original question. My advice would be to stay and get the PIC time. This opens the door for more opportunity. You will probably never be this close to an upgrade as you are now. I had buddies at lakes that went over to AWAC, hoping for that quick upgrade. They ended up rotting away in the right seat of a CRJ for four years. They finally did upgrade and were finally making $55 an hour. The thing you will find is a regional is a regional. The schedules and legs flown are mostly the same. Now I have worked at lakes, so I do feel your pain. I know about the junior man, low pay, the list could go on forever. Just be careful of the greener pasture.

As far as networking, it is never too late. Every person you come into contact with can help you or hurt you down the road. Keep that in mind. Also keep in mind that Lakers are highly respected in this industry both as pilots and the fact that they can deal with the BS any company can throw at them.

Please don't take this as boasting but it took me under four years to go from a 1900 f/o (flying to Worland) to a 757 f/o (flying to Maui) at a major. Only 2 and half of that was at GLA. Remember the choice is yours. Also consider this is a bad time in this industry. Just make sure you position yourself when the hiring wave starts again.

Good luck.
 

Rogue5

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Capt.LongThrust said:
You, my friend, have not been in this business too long have you? Never is a long time.
Don't quite get your point "friend," but the fact remains the same.

Just something to consider when making a career decision...
 

PBRstreetgang

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Hello,
Remember, nothing is guaranteed, where do you wanna be when/if the music stops? Lakes or SKYW? 1000PIC will get you where? The ability to stand in line with thousands of other pilots, some furloughed with multiple type ratings and many thousands of hours in something other than a 1900. It seems that the people who are getting on at the few carriers who are hiring have the 1000PIC met, but also have the networking thing nailed down. The guys who are singing the praises about 1000PIC are guys who were hired at the majors when a pulse was the only requirement and the guys who are chasing the 1000PIC and listening to the former with rapt attention and slogging around a 1900 or EMB for $hit pay and workrules. For every guy who gets hired with 1000PIC and no other large experience there are 100-1000s who are applying without success. In other words do what will make you happy in the shortterm and will help the longterm plan come together as well.
PBR
P.S. I have flown with a few Lakers and they all were happy with the decision to come over to SKYW.
 
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Dave Benjamin

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SKYW is a great move. The only thing I'd be concerned about is a potential integration with ASA that could delay upgrade for a junior guy. SKYW management has publicly stated that they intend to operate the 2 carriers separately but I have heard rumors that the ASA union leadership may file a single carrier petition that could force integration. Again that's only a rumor and I have yet to speak with anyone from the ASA MEC. If anyone from ASA knows about it please post what you know.

I'm not so sure PIC time at Lakes is going to translate into a bunch of job offers. You're competing with a lot of guys that have 1000's of hours of glass jet time in the RJ or ERJ. For pax airlines you're looking at WN, AS, B6, CO, and possibly Airtran or Spirit. For WN it's going to be $7K just for the shot at an interview but they don't seem to mind hiring turboprop guys. Not sure about CO but the domciles are unappealing for many. Plus they seem to be hiring guys without PIC anyway. AS is a crapshoot. It's historically been a tough nut to crack. I do know some turboprop captains that have gone there though. B6 seems to prefer glass jet time.

There are many opportunities on the freight side but I know some carriers aren't going to be impressed with 1900 time.

One undeniable advantage of SKYW is you'll never fly an aircraft without an APU installed and you'll have 1 or 2 of the best FA's in the industry. The final question is if you get stuck at the same carrier for the next 5-10 years would you prefer where you are now or SKYW?
 

TEXAN AVIATOR

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I think that if you can handle it, I’d stick with Lakes for some PIC before jumping ship. I'd guess upgrade at SKYW could be a long time if they integrate the two pilot groups, which is something to consider. If I were considering any regional, SKYW would be one of the two most desired on my list.

TA
 
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eight8kcabpilot

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Overspeed--
I too am an FO at Lakes. I posted a thread on here about a month ago under the Majors section asking a similar question. I figured I would ask some more experienced guys and I got a completely different answer. I have now decided to stay to get 1000PIC. Here is why.

1. Forecasted upgrade times are not always right. You may be able to upgrade at Lakes faster than you think and if you leave for SKW, it may take you 5 years.

2.Flying at Lakes will make you a better pilot. No autopilot. Flying around thunderstorms into mountain towns. There are a lot of ex-Lakers out there at Majors (I bet a few are on hiring boards) that know this. Lakes is like a Fraternity. Just go to one of the Christmas or Haloween parties. There will be ex-Lakers that fly for majors there.

3. It is difficult to compete for a job at a major if you are up against guys with 5000 hours of jet time. However, it is still who you know that will land you a job there. The way I look at it, I will leave once I get 1000PIC, and if I go to another regonal at least I am qualified and I can send out resumes to majors while I am sitting in the right seat. That's when I will really start networking. How crappy would it be if you left for SKW and then later met a really cool UPS pilot that wanted to help you get a job there and you didn't have their minns?

4. You will never complain about your future jobs. They will all be better than working at Lakes. Just read some of the threads on this site. You can't tell me that there aren't a lot of spoiled FO's flying an RJ with >1000 total hours complaining that they should be making more money (I know most of you guys arent, but I am trying to make a piont). They have never had to "rough it" like we have had to at Lakes.
The wierd thing is, I hardly ever hear of Lakers complaining about pay. We knew what we were getting into when we took the job.

well, that's all i got. Good luck with your decision.

cccccccceeeeeeeeeeeyyyaaaaaaaaa
 

viper548

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I agree with eight8, get your 1000PIC first. Currently upgrades at SKW are a bit less than 2 years, but there has been a lot of hiring in the last two years. If hired on today, who knows it could be one year, could be 5. There are about 2200 pilots at SKW, those around 1500 are upgrading at SLC in the EMB and ORD in the CRJ. If you have the 1000 hours PIC you at least meet the mins if someone offers to help you get on at a major.
 

Capt.LongThrust

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eight8kcabpilot said:
Overspeed--
I too am an FO at Lakes. I posted a thread on here about a month ago under the Majors section asking a similar question. I figured I would ask some more experienced guys and I got a completely different answer. I have now decided to stay to get 1000PIC. Here is why.

1. Forecasted upgrade times are not always right. You may be able to upgrade at Lakes faster than you think and if you leave for SKW, it may take you 5 years.

2.Flying at Lakes will make you a better pilot. No autopilot. Flying around thunderstorms into mountain towns. There are a lot of ex-Lakers out there at Majors (I bet a few are on hiring boards) that know this. Lakes is like a Fraternity. Just go to one of the Christmas or Haloween parties. There will be ex-Lakers that fly for majors there.

3. It is difficult to compete for a job at a major if you are up against guys with 5000 hours of jet time. However, it is still who you know that will land you a job there. The way I look at it, I will leave once I get 1000PIC, and if I go to another regonal at least I am qualified and I can send out resumes to majors while I am sitting in the right seat. That's when I will really start networking. How crappy would it be if you left for SKW and then later met a really cool UPS pilot that wanted to help you get a job there and you didn't have their minns?

4. You will never complain about your future jobs. They will all be better than working at Lakes. Just read some of the threads on this site. You can't tell me that there aren't a lot of spoiled FO's flying an RJ with >1000 total hours complaining that they should be making more money (I know most of you guys arent, but I am trying to make a piont). They have never had to "rough it" like we have had to at Lakes.
The wierd thing is, I hardly ever hear of Lakers complaining about pay. We knew what we were getting into when we took the job.

well, that's all i got. Good luck with your decision.

cccccccceeeeeeeeeeeyyyaaaaaaaaa
Brother you have hit the nail on the head. That sums it up perfectly. I have seen 1900 guys fly circles around the 5000 hour "jet guy". The fact is you learn to fly as a 1900 captain. The jet guys just learn to push the right button at the right time. Good luck man, keep that attitude and you will go far in this industry. Once a Laker always a Laker.

CEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
 

ampropilot2b

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Leave Lakes unless you like it! There are too many people at Lakes that took the bait for the 1000hr PIC, only to go to Skywest and be in a position to get another 1000 PIC long before moving on to a "major". You need to be someplace you can be happy. If that is Lakes, by all means stay. I was at Lakes before Skywest and I can tell you its a no-brainer. You can't even put the two companies in the same category. Skywest is to Lakes (Regional Airlines), what a G-5 corporate job is to a navajo corporate job. Quality of life, pay, technology, maintenance, corporate culture, etc. are so far ahead of Lakes its not even funny. You are at Lakes which probably means you came from a cargo job or flight instruction (like I did), take the next logical step and go somewhere well managed, with good job securtiy, and growth opportunity. This is just a job, albeit the best one ever, but still something to pay the bills.

I wouldn't however leave if you haven't completed your training contract. You don't want to headache or possible black-balling that could lead to. Good luck. You can't really make a bad decision when you are doing what you like!
 

Cardinal

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Leaving Lakes is a leap of faith. Staying at Lakes is a leap of faith. I'm taking one of those leaps. Just do a year by year, realistic progression on where you think you're career may go after either decision. Is there attrition/deliveries that will allow me to upgrade at the other carrier? Because Joe Blow upgraded in 1.5 years DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU WILL. In fact, it probably means that you won't: he timed it right and got in prior to the growth and rode the wave. You can't chase growth that already happened. Do you have a long term plan to escape Lakes? I've said it before, to do the Lakes to Major transisiton you need contacts, networking skill, contacts(!), or remarkable charisma. In the absence of one of those, leave now while you still can. There are many who made the "right" decisions for a decade and are on the street right now (FurloughedAgain). Then there are those that made all the "wrong" moves and everything ended up peachy. You won't truly know if you made the right decision until you turn 60. Remember our friends who just left for another CRJ operator, only to discover that furloughs await them? Things change in an awful hurry, and even faster in BK court. Bottom line:

You never know.
 

N813CA

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Piedmont had never let anyone go when I went there, and guess what Comair had never let anyone go when I went there as well. Don't let that make you feel safe.
 
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