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flyman27

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I am one of the poolies at Skywest. I am currently a Checkairman on a metro for a cargo company in the northwest with 3200hrs and almost 1700 PIC turbine. I have an AA but need to finish my BA. Can a guy like me stay where I am, make decent money(50K), afford to finish school make it to a major or should I do the regional thing, starve, work 3 other jobs, etc? My main concern is that I have finacial obligations that I cannot cover on first year pay at Skywest without working other jobs as well (family). What do you guy's think. What's important to hiring boards and what scores you an interview to start (whatever year that's going to happen!)
 

Boeingman

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A lot
flyman27 said:
I am one of the poolies at Skywest. I am currently a Checkairman on a metro for a cargo company in the northwest with 3200hrs and almost 1700 PIC turbine. I have an AA but need to finish my BA. Can a guy like me stay where I am, make decent money(50K), afford to finish school make it to a major or should I do the regional thing, starve, work 3 other jobs, etc? My main concern is that I have finacial obligations that I cannot cover on first year pay at Skywest without working other jobs as well (family). What do you guy's think. What's important to hiring boards and what scores you an interview to start (whatever year that's going to happen!)

Sounds like Skywest would be a step back, financially, time available for your education and loss of initial PIC time.

Turbine time is turbine time no matter where you get it. PIC turbine time is golden as well as getting that BA to give yourself an edge. The guys I know involved in hiring put some emphasis on prior 121 ops, but they look at other things as well in your flying background, like the check airman experience.

A guy that works for me is a regional guy, very junior, always broke on the salary. I give him as many hours as he can handle, but it never seems to be enough to make ends meet. Not a great position to be in when you put a school schedule in the mix like you want to. And should for that matter.

If I were you I'd stay where you are, keep getting the PIC experience on a reasonable salary and finish your education.
You might decide to go the military route later or need a degree for a career change later in life.

My 2 cents.
 
Last edited:

publisher

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Stay

I think that you stay where you are.

Right now you are getting a better step forward than the regional would be. Especially now that the time involved to move on has moved way up.

Stay on the school path and build the time. You would probably do better with an intermediate stay at a fractional, or some other company than a regional. You are already getting everthing you would get there unless you were capt in rj.
 

bobbysamd

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Should I stay or should I go?

In my .02, it's a no brainer. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Just because you're in the pool doesn't necessarily mean that you will be hired.

You have a good deal going. Northwest is a nice place in which to live. Finish school, build your turbine PIC time in the Metro, as opposed to SIC turbine in whatever at SkyWest, and keep your ear to the ground. Maybe if and when hiring really loosens you can apply directly to the majors.

I like Pub's idea of trying the frax after a while. I believe you're already qualified for EJA, depending on your multi. Your Metro type is a plus.

Gosh, Publisher and I agree on something again!
 

generaltso

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I think finishing school should be your top priority. Get that BA out of the way. I think a lot of people that go to the regionals lose sight of that. And then when the majors start hiring again, they have the hours but not the degree. And I imagine it is a lot more difficult to get the time, money, and motivation to get a degree when you are Captain at a regional.

Also, HR people don't really like "lateral" moves in jobs. But I don't think moving to Skywest is a lateral move. HR departments do favor 121 time, obviously, because that is what they run. But your check airman experience is a definite bonus.

I am not sure how quick the upgrade is at Skywest, but with your hours you could go somewhere and upgrade pretty quick if you wanted to. Then your building 121 Captain turbine PIC time, which is one of the most valuable times that the majors look at. It doesn't matter if your flying a B1900 or a CRJ. It's 121 turbine PIC.

But with your finances, it would be tough to do the move right now, and I wouldn't work extra jobs to try to do it.

My vote is stay, for now... and most importantly get that degree. Then if you think you can get a decent 121 job somewhere, and you can afford it, go for it. But don't go somewhere where you won't upgrade until 5 years (American Eagle). With your experience, an FO job at a regional should be fairly easy to get, so don't think that just because your in the Skywest pool you should take the job.

Good luck to you!
 

Fr8Dog

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Cargo rules!!! I would say stay where you are. I know when my regional calls me back and I am getting turbine PIC in a Beech99 I am not going to go back and fly as an FO in a Beech1900. Good luck to you.
 

generaltso

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Fr8Dog:

I don't know all the variables, but if I had the opportunity to build 121 Captain PIC time with a minimal investment in time, I would do it.

For instance, when the regional you are furloughed from recalls you, what will the upgrade time on the B1900 be and how much seniority will you have? In other words, how long after the recall you can you upgrade to Captain? Of course this may vary based on the aircraft they recall you in to, but if it is the 1900 (Skyway?), I would go back.

Even if you have to spend a 6-12 months in the right seat, I would go back. Why? Because 121 Turbine PIC is better then freight turbine PIC (when applying to a major).

When the majors start hiring again, it will be very competitive and you want to have a leg up. Some airlines use a point system (UAL) to put a value on your hours. It is stupid, but it is what they do. and 121 PIC time will get you more points then freight PIC.

Like I said this depends on the variables in your situation and your goals. if your goal is not to get to a major (pax) airline, then ignore everything I said.

Either way, good luck to you!
 

AZaviator

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Stay

Flyman27, I agree with the other posts, in that you should stay where you are at. If I were in your shoes, I would stay and get my B.S. degree. By the time you have that finished, you could even look into some airlines such as Airtran, Alaska, or Frontier, who might be hiring by then and could be a little more stable than the majors. With your hours, you could even consider SWA.

Unless you aren't happy with things at your current job, I'd stay if I were in your shoes. Sounds like you already have a good thing going and are pretty happy there.

Juuuuuuuuuuuuuuust my opinion.

Good luck!
 

flyman27

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Thanks Guys this board rocks! Your answers are what I was thinking but you never know especially if you think you may be missing an opportunity. Thanks for everyone's input
 

Andy Neill

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If you decide to pass on SkyWest, I hope you tell them when you get your call for class (if not sooner) and not when they call you wondering why you are not in class. That would be poor form.
 

flyman27

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Precisly. That is why I am soliciting opinions now so I have some idea of what to say when they call. Skywest is an excellent airline. Everyone I know that works there enjoys their job and loves the company. I also like the way they fly. Unlike Horizon they tend to be airspace concious and will do things to expedite flow as opposed to clogging it up. Don't worry Mr. Niel, Camielle will be the first to know.
 

F/O

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What were you saying about Horizon? Please elaborate...
 

flyman27

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I have numerous examples. Mostly the Dash guys. I was #5 for T/O in Redmond OR behind two Skywest EMB120's ,Ameriflight SW4 and a Citation. Visibilt was Clr and a mil. Watched the Portland Horizon Shuttle fly up the airway, the 30DME Arc to the ILS and land. Took him 10min. I don't think the tower guy realized he could let us go once he had him in sight, but he did try to coax them into cancelling. Another one went missed with a 2000' overcast in Lewiston Idaho throwing 5 aircraft into holding for 30 min. Skywest will cancel at any time if they are VFR and have the airport in sight to let aircraft depart or start appraoches. In 2 1/2 years of flying the northwest I have never seen any Horizon aircraft do anything but plug things up. I have friends there and give them constant grief about it. One of them told me they have a list of many things requires before they can cancel and sometimes it's easier just not to so they don't violate their op specs. Skywest seems to be eager and willing to get the job done safely and efficiently.
 

skyboat

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Uh, I believe most 121 operators will not cancel IFR just to allow someone else to T/O or to commence an approach. Perhaps I'm a minority but its not worth it.

This is a very common scenario. You are going into a field late at night. The tower is closed. It's much easier on everyone to just cancel IFR 10-15 miles out, right? So we do that and switch over to advisory. On landing we hit a deer (coyote, cow, wildebeast, whatever), veer off the runway and bend a lot of metal. Who is going to iniatiate search and rescue. Sure not ATC. They are done with us.

Same scenario, but this time we see the obstacle and go around. Now you're going back into controled airspace, trying to find a frequency, perhaps the weather is marginal, you're calling ATC, they're confused, you're staying low to remain VMC in unfamilier terrain at night. No, it's just not worth it to me.

There is a reason why an airlines ops specs are very restrictive about when you can cancel or depart VFR to get a clearance. Plus we all get paid by the flight time, right?
 

AWACoff

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I agree. We aren't flying around a 172 anymore boys. We are responsible for the lives of paying passengers. Is there a time and place to cancel IFR...yes. But in 121 ops, many times it isn't justified. On the canceling note...at least we don't forget to cancel like some of the brand new 135 guys. Holding over the VOR at IMT at midnight at the end of a 14 hour duty day isn't exactly fun just because some new kid forget how to cancel after landing his Caravan. How many of you guys flying 121 have current VFR charts on board? At Lakes we almost always did but at Air Willy, no aircraft have them that I know of. Kind of hard to cancel IFR when you legally can't (ie no charts).
 

flyman27

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Talked to Plato at Air Inc Career Fair last year. For those of you who dont know who he is, he had just retired as Delta's head of HR. Said I had a pretty competitive resume pre 9/11 but since everyone wouldnt be hiring for at least 3 yrs what did I want to do? Every RJ captain was till building PIC jet time so what would be competitive? Did I want to keep flying middle of the night cargo, in funky equipment and wx? I got the call for class two days later and was in ground school two weeks later. Upgraded to captain in 8months. I love skywest! Best descision I ever made. Sweated out that first year FO pay though!
 

Cardinal

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Thanks for the update, it's nice to know how these things turn out after a year or so.
 
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