Need help and advise on going Corporate

Saluki Dawg

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I really could use some help and advise on getting into Corporate flying. I was a Capt at the regional I fly for, but was recently displaced back to the right seat and it looks like I will be there for quite a while.

The reason I chose 121 over Corporate was because I had a very bad experience when I did an internship right after College with a Fortune 500 flight department, which really soured me wanting to go into Corporate flying. Because of the dismal state of the airline industry, I find myself now reconsidering Corporate flying again.

Right now I have just over 3000TT, ATP, 4 year Degree, ERJ Type, etc. I don't however have any Type ratings in Bizjets, and was wondering whether or not any companies would even consider someone like myself. Any help or advise on how to get into Corporate flying would be greatly appreciated.

BTW, I am current, and am flying about 75 hours a month right now as a FO.
 

flydog

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This is what most companies look for when they hire a pilot for their own airplane:

1. A type rating so they dont have to pay for it

2. Simulator current so they dont have to pay for it

3. 4000 hrs to be an FO and 10,000 for Captain so they get the best insurance rates. If you dont believe me check the corporate FO jobs in Climbto350, Avcrew and AEPS. Some even want an A&P so you can fix their airplane on the road

4. Someone who will work in the office the 28 days a month they dont fly to answer the phone, do jeps, clean the floors, wash the airplane, etc.

If you are lucky the owner can afford to keep the airplane and flight department longer than a year or fire you when its time for your sim recurrent and replace you with a guy thats current

It is extremely rare that a corporate operator will hire someone off the street and type them unless they are extremely high time, older or retired and in no danger of defecting to an airline, or maybe its a favor for a friend or employee of the owner

In addition more and more corporate operators are seeking to use contract pilots to fly their airplanes. Even the 135 operators are using contract pilots. Probably has a lot to do with the availability of fractional pilots who have a lot of days off, are simulator current and typed.

My advice if you like bizjets is go to EJA or Flight Options

If all that sounds harsh well hey. Welcome to not having a UNION
 

54fighting

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Saluki Dawg-

I was a CA at COEX for 5 yrs and left for a large 91 operator. I'm kicking myself now, even with the current state of the airlines.

PM me, I'll let you know how "green" it really was on the other side.
 

Gulfstream 200

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Gee sounds like Flydog has had some pretty rotten experiences in corporate aviation, sounds more like "charter operator" rather than corporate flying, to me.

Good corporate operators dont expect you to fund ANYTHING, nor be current or typed in their aircraft. They hire the PERSON. period. This person is usually refered through someone else at the company.

Be in the office 28 days a month??? Gee, my company DOES NOT ALLOW us to be in the office, even if by some crazy reason you wanted to be....we are responsible for the Jepps on the aircraft we fly, thats it. We average 10 days of work a month, longest trip is usually around 7 days, 3 weeks vacation to start, great 401k benefits, and experienced GIV/GV/Global pilots make 150K easily....

No, corporate flying is not for everyone (Flydog) You dont have UNION behind you (Thank God, ask any regional pilot how GREAT unions are while he makes 50K a year after 4 years and pays DUES..) You will make more money in the majors in the long run, if you are lucky enough to camp there for 25 years, Job security?? the boss selling the airplane?? Gee....I would be more worried about United selling thier 757s these days...how many corporate guys are out on furlough?? Its not the best job in the world ...but corporate flying can be fun, but the wrong corp job or charter gig can be bottom of the barrel...

Summary, please dont think corporate flying is anything like the previous post. Send out resumes, pursue any contacts you may have. I personally think you wold do better in the majors over the long run, after all you have put a lot of time in the regionals it seems..going regional to major is much easier than corp to major...you get used to making a little money and flying nice places...you have put your time in at the regionals, why not wait and move on instead of starting at the bottom of corp world...and rest assured hiring will pick up in a few years at the majors.

Good Luck
 

flydog

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Gulfstream 200 if your company need a Westwind Captain let me know. I need a job like yours
 

Gulfstream 200

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As a matter of fact....check your private messages.
 

banned username 2

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I have to agree with Gulfstream 200.... Flydog's depiction sounds more like a BAD Charter job than the "typical" Corporate job....

Send me a Private Message if you have any further questions.
 

GVFlyer

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Corporate vs. 121

I dunno. I could have gone to the airlines or to corporate aviation when I retired from the military, but the economic opportunity loss of taking 10 years in an airline to reach what I could start at in a corporation made the airlines a non-starter, for me, at least. Most of the guys who left Andrews when I did made the same decision.

If you get the right job, in the right airplane, in the right company you will make as much as a senior airline captain, have better hours, go more interesting places and fly much better equipment.

In the Pfizers, the 3M's, and the Proctor and Gambles of the world, everybody retires a millionaire.
 

Saluki Dawg

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Thanks for all the great responses. You've all given me some great insight that I didn't have before and I really appreciate it. It looks like I've got some thinking to do before I make my decision. Luckily, I still have a flying job that I enjoy, which gives me the luxury of time to clearly think about what I want to do.
 

Ty Webb

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Well, guys, this string is very interesting to me, having just left corporate (91 and 135) for a National airline.

To me, we have to compare apples to apples. Good corporate jobs are probably equivalent to a good National job. Great corporate jobs are equivalent to the majors, and the bottom jobs are probably the air ambulance and the regionals.

Having said that, it all comes down to what kind of a person are you, and what would make you happy? The best job is the one that suits you the most.

If you like knowing your month in advance, if you like the seniority system versus merit, if you like getting your flying out of the way in 3-4 long days, you may be more of an airline guy. If you like flying 1 or 2 legs a day to more out-of-the-way places, like to hang out and play "paid tourist" and like to be more involved with the planning and operations end of the aircraft, a corporate gig might make you happier.

The best jobs probably combine the best elements of both- efficient, economical operation of equipment in an environment conducive to happy employees.

Good luck
 

Gulfstream 200

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Could not agree more.
Excellent Post, it all comes down to the lifestyle you wish...

Sometimes I envy the $$ my buddies at the majors make, but I certainly dont envy thier schedules (they work many times harder than me) nor do I envy the nightmare commutes some of them make. Heck, flying a 737 around the USA for the next 25 years would surely bore me to death.....
but each his own!
 

UAL727

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Gulfstream200

Nobody should envy the guys at the majors..Grant you I do like flying for them, before the clipped my wings, but the headaches are sometimes more than even the money is worth..

Wondering if the company is going to furlough and once past that if they are going to take back pay, or violate contracts and if its not that than wondering when the Crew Scheduler is going to give a a dropped day with no pay because you did not call back in time..

Again I do enjoy the flying, but sometimes wonder if flying corporate would be easier..Unions can sometimes be more of a pain.
 

ksus

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Saluki Dog
I agree with Gulfstream 200 , there are a lot of corporate dept. out there that are legit and very professional like, actually an ex-saluki works for Flight Options with no jet time or any type.
Good Luck making your decision!!

Former Saluki

"All dawgs go to heaven"
 

banned username 2

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Don't confuse Flight Options with a Corporate Operator... That is like comparing apples and oranges...

Flight Options, EJA, FlexJet are all Fractionals... not Corporate Operators....
 

Gulfstream 200

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Falcon Capt is VERY right!
There are major differences between Corpate operators and Fractionals....
all depends on how you choose to live but you will be hard pressed to find a Corporate pilot who would leave to work for a Fractional....its usually a big pay cut and much harder work!!
 

Oldtimer

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Saluki Dawg said:
I really could use some help and advise on getting into Corporate flying. I was a Capt at the regional I fly for, but was recently displaced back to the right seat and it looks like I will be there for quite a while.

The reason I chose 121 over Corporate was because I had a very bad experience when I did an internship right after College with a Fortune 500 flight department, which really soured me wanting to go into Corporate flying. Because of the dismal state of the airline industry, I find myself now reconsidering Corporate flying again.

Right now I have just over 3000TT, ATP, 4 year Degree, ERJ Type, etc. I don't however have any Type ratings in Bizjets, and was wondering whether or not any companies would even consider someone like myself. Any help or advise on how to get into Corporate flying would be greatly appreciated.

BTW, I am current, and am flying about 75 hours a month right now as a FO.
 

reepicheep

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I can understand where the poster of this topic is coming from.... I'm current Part 121 (US Airways), still have a job (for now) but before 9/11 and especially since 9/11 I've made a commitment to positioning myself elsewhere. For someone like me with absolutely no corporate experience at all, it has been difficult to get anywhere. With so many years in the airlines all my contacts are in this arena and without a type and currency it's pretty tough to even get someone to talk to you.

The good news is I live in a pretty lively area for aviation (Southern Cal.) so with persistence I hope to eventually find someone who will give me a shot.
 

CE650SC

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don't give up if you want to fly corporate! There are a ton of jobs out there, the problem is that corporate operators are affraid to hire ex-ailine pilots because they are affraid they will leave again when things turn around. If you are currently employed by the airlines it should be a little easier for you since they will know you left on your own, because you chose to make a change. We hired a guy like that, he was working for a cummuter and wanted out, so our company gave him a chance.

Unfortunately you really do need to network well to get a corporate job. All the other stuff in the begining of this post is a crock! You don't have to have a type (it helps but it's not a must).
You don't have to wash airplanes or do all kinds of office work. You don't have to have 10,000 hours or have an A&P. There are some rotten corporate jobs out there where they make you do all that, but don't go to work for them.

I think one of the biggest problems we have in our industry that people take those rotten jobs when things look tough, and then when it gets better they move on. If pilots would quit taking the jobs for little pay and way too much work, things would change. It has always amazed me that my friends that went to Med school didn't have to worry about working for 25k a year with the hopes of making 150k. They went to school knowing when they finished they would make a great salary and they just had pick a specialty. I don't have one friend that went to law school or med school that is worried about how they will take care of their family next month. But I have all kinds of close friends who are pilots and they have spent the last 10 years working to get to the majors and now they aren't sure if they'll have a job next month, and the thought of going back to work for $35k a year is tough. But we've done it to ourselves, we've always thought of corporate flying as a steping stone and now the world has changed and so has our industry. Let's change it now and make it better for all of us.

All that to say, there are good corporate jobs out there. They don't pay as well as the airlines, but it is getting better. You don't have to have 10,000 hours to get the job, you just have to be a good person with the skills required to do the job. Don't take the job that pays little and requires much. Make those SOB's pay for a professional. If we would all quit taking the bad jobs, the bad ones would go away. Let's take care of each other, and in the end those of us who do this because we love it and it is all we have ever wanted to do will be the only ones left and the pay will have to go up because there will truly be a shortage of pilots.

(I hope that helps?) PM me if you need help, I'll give you any leads I know of.
 

CL60

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Corporates

FlyChicaga,

There are many good corporate operators out here with varying operating practices. Most fortune companies operate utilizing SOP's and adhere to 121 flight and duty time regs. (Among other things). They pay very well depending on the equipment and consider their pilots to be at a level equal to a mid-level executive in the company.

As for a salary range, work your way up to a Challenger, big Falcon, or Gbird and you will make plenty of money, have great bennies, bonuses, expenses, etc... I know of places that start FO's as low as $66K the first year and pay as high as over $200K / year for management pilots. Bonuses can vary greatly. 20% is not unusual but some companies pay much more.

You do not need a type! Legitimate operators don't think twice about sending people out for multiple type ratings the first year if needed. E.g., my first big fortune job was with a company that made a clear profit of over a billion dollars my first year. Think they hesitated when they heard a type rating would cost them $22,000 plus pilot expenses? The operating budget for the department that year was $14 million or so.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are also the lower end non-fortune operators that can't really afford to operate any aircraft. They pay as little as possible and offer little or no bennies at all.

FYI, 70 hours a month / pilot for corporates is pertty rough. If you fly around 40 hours a month, you can pursue a personal life. I fly two or three days a week and am not required to come in when I'm not flying. Most nights weekends and holidays are spent at home and I enjoy an occasional international trip. If you find the right job, it is a great career. Unfortunately, our secret is slipping out and everyone wants in on the action now.

Good luck,
 
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