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Need Career Advice

skyrider

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At 42, I decided to catch the wave and make the career change to professional pilot. Unfortunately, the economy and 9/11 got in the way right in the middle of my interviews with the regionals. At the time, it looked like a seat at a major could be as little as 2-5 regional years away however, I'm sure looking at things different ly today.

Given my age, the fractionals appear to be a great way to get some quality years of flying in without being forced out at age 60. In addition,
the quality of life of the fracs. seems to be well liked by those who post messages here and matches up well with mine & Mrs's current priorities.

I'm currently flying 135 cargo (piston twins) PIC with the possibility of some pax charters in same equip. within about a year. In addition, some
BE200 SIC pax charter opportunities currently exist for me at the company.

Question: What would be the best way for me to build the remaining experience and hours required by the fracs? I have been thinking my best path is to still pursue the regionals, then obtain the necessary ttl.time and turbine PIC time to make the transition. Without any Corporate flying contacts, this seems like the most logical route for me to follow to the fracs. I know I'm probably missing the forest through the trees here so would appreciate any and all suggestions from the group.

Thanks in advance. Sky
 

Diesel

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Skyrider-

Your questions pose an interesting topic. What is the best way to the fractionals.

I think and other's might disagree or agree with me but the fractional buisness is all about customer service.

Flying is really the second part of the job, keeping care of the owners is your first priority. Yeah i know that sounds bad but that's the way I look at it. Customer service is what they come to certain fracs, or charter for. Anybody can go from point A to B.

Flying Cargo 135 will give you some great experience flying in bad weather. You will definetly push yourself to the limits and learn about the system better than anybody.

Getting on with some charter trips is a bonus. They will give you the customer intereaction that the comnpanies want to see. Remember it's not what you know it's who you know in this industry. So while your out doing charters and cargo talk to as many people as you see. Make yourself known that you are availiable anytime anywhere. That is what will get your foot in the door.

Usually if you keep a buisness cards with you they will come valuable because operators can call you when they need a hand, warm body, or just someone to be there.

The B200 stuff SIC is a whole different thread. Make sure you research it fully before you realize your just lifting the gear and bags.

Sure you might be looking for a quick fix but make sure you can offer pax handlng problems and the variety of going into different places every different day.

Try to pursue more corporate/charter type of flying to the fullest extent.

If you have to go to a regional. I'm not bad mouthing regionals but they serve a purpose of getting you to the airlines which is not your goal.

Sure there are a ton of commuter pilots here and they are great guys and have a ton of experience but try at least to work the charter end. The light will apear.
 

Timebuilder

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Two years ago, a pair of netjets guys told me that 135 experience would serve me best, since I would get used to being the "everything guy" responsible for the customer's satisfaction. In addition, even though fracts are part 91 (or 91k....) they operate as if they are 135's. I'm sure there are plenty of 121 guys who get hired, but it seems to me that you are doing great right where you are.

I'll see you there in sixteen months (3500 total, 2500 jet....should be no problem).
 

banned username 2

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Timebuilder said:
I'll see you there in sixteen months (3500 total, 2500 jet....should be no problem).

You are flying 1,815 hours a year???

Better check your 135 regs, I don't think they allow for that much flying... If I remember right it was:

(1) 500 hours in any calendar quarter.

(2) 800 hours in any two consecutive calendar quarters.

(3) 1,400 hours in any calendar year.
 

Timebuilder

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Sorry. 3000 and 2000 (includes the time I have now).

I should know better than to try and do math while watching the weather channel...
 

banned username 2

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Are you really going to fly the max (1400 hours) per year???

When I flew charter (Part 135) I was VERY busy and still only managed to do about 700 hours per year... felt like I was working all the time!
 

Timebuilder

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Frankly, I've asked our dispatcher to use me for any trips she can.

I'm single, and getting a late start.
 

banned username 2

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Timebuilder said:
Frankly, I've asked our dispatcher to use me for any trips she can.

I'm single, and getting a late start.

I hope you get paid per trip/per hour or something like that... either way be careful! Don't push too hard or you'll burn out fast....

Either way, good luck in your career and ALWAYS fly safe!
 

Timebuilder

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Thanks.

I'm hoping to do this expeditiously and SAFELY.
 

Lrjet55

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Skyrider

If I were you I wouldnt bother with the commuters and here are my reasons:
1. you will be hired, go to trainning and then sit on reserve making as much as the guy at McDonalds. Being 42 I am sure you have some sort of financial responsibility that doesnt rival the kid behind the counters pimple cream. As for training and reserve you can count on months to a year before you actually get to fly anything. So where does that get you.

2. The fractionals are an incredible place. Dont settle for some commuter if this side of the house is where you want to be.

3. Build your time however you can. Try and get the best quality time you can. While you are on the road try and meet a pilot from the company you would like to work for. The fracs guys are some of the best and most helpful in the industry.

4. Finally apply and be persistent! Make phone calls and let people know you are interested and serious.

As someome had metioned before the 135 and cargo stuff is much better experience than flying some commuter to the same place ten times a day. If you can drive to work every day in your car without crashing then you can fly for a commuter. I've never flown cargo but every cargo guy I have flown with has had great instrument skills.
Best of luck.
 

skyrider

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Wow, I had no idea the 135 cargo gig had that kind of perceived worth v. the regional flying. Thanks for the strong endorsements there. Sounds like staying the present course for a while and pursuing corporate/charter opportunities is my best bet.

Appears I will soon need to focus on the fastest path to Turbine PIC though. Are the upgrades to turbine PIC really that much faster on the corporate/charter side of the house than regionals? Also, I didn't think the pay in the right seat there would be any better than at the regionals ( I do have supplemental income, thank-goodness). Not that I have high expectations for salary however like to make as much as possible where possible (why not work smart !).

Comments?
 

English

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Right seat pay corporate/charter is generally better than right seat pay regional. Regional FO pay starts at between 18,000 and 21,000 depending upon the regional. Fo pay going corporate can start in the low 20,000 and go upwards from there.

PIC turbine time can also be gained more quickly flying corporate than taking the regional route at this time - that is, if you were to join the ranks of a regional today.
 

banned username 2

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English said:
Right seat pay corporate/charter is generally better than right seat pay regional. Regional FO pay starts at between 18,000 and 21,000 depending upon the regional. Fo pay going corporate can start in the low 20,000 and go upwards from there.

We start our first year guys out at $72,000, we are a Part 91 Major Corporation Flight Department... I would guess smaller ops still start guys out in the $40-$50k range...

I know of Charter Ops (Part 135) in my area (Midwest) that are starting F/O's at $35k+/year... And these guys have hired pilots with under 1,500 hours...
 

skyrider

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Try to pursue more corporate/charter type of flying to the fullest extent.

Anyone care to elaborate further on ways to persue this type of flying?

My background and exposure to date has been all Airline and this Corporate /Charter thing is a whole new animal for me. Other than networking with current collegues (most of whom are in the same boat I'm in), and walking my resume around the field (which I have no problem doing whatsoever), are there other ways to locate and connect with all the potential Corporate / Charter employers, especially those outside of my immediate geographic area?
My layovers are usually located at C stations with little to no Corporate / Charter activity so all combined, I'm feeling a bit lost in this area.

Thanks in advance.
 
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