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Networking in aviation industry

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Well-known member
Nov 25, 2001
I know that networking (having connections) is one of the most important things in the aviation industry when it comes to finding a job. Well, I am a little worried, because outside of my instructor, and the FBO manager where I fly, I don't hardly know anyone that well. I am getting to know the head guy of my school's aviation dept. a little, but other than that, that's about all. I chat with my fellow aviation students in class every now and then, but I only really see them in class, which isn't really enough to build a friendship with any them to where I talk to them all the time.

I know that there is no specific answer to these questions, but how can I build connections in the industry? and which connections are the best kind to have? How have all of you made your connections? Did you get your job with connections, or was it just luck?

Hanging around the AP

Just hanging around the airport can be very helpful. Ask corporate pilots (if your airport has corporate activity), for some advice, and they should be more than willing to offer it to you. Hanging around the airport can be a wonderful way to network your self. Good luck.

I've made many a friend doing a little 'post flight' in the local hooch parlor.

Seriously, just strike up a normal human conversation with people. All the pilots I've ever made good friends with just want to have a normal, good ol' time away from the job. It works wonders.

We (pilots) have a strong advantage in the networking arena...we move around alot and meet people all over the place. I've had three jobs in as many states in the past 4 years (climbing that ladder!). All of the people I've been privledged to work with remember me...and I remember them. The point is, as time goes on and you move along in your career, its inevitable that you will make strong friendships (as long as you're not a prick) that will pay off down the road. Aviation is TRULY a small place. The CFI you work with today will be your ticket to a dream job tomorrow.

When the time comes, don't forget to repay the favor.


P.s. You asked which connections are the best to have - the answer: ALL OF THEM. Every job I've gotten has been through a connection. Like I said, aviation is a VERY small community. Never burn a bridge, no matter how rude the other guy is. What goes around comes around.
I posted a thread on this board about a billion years ago asking if anybody wanted to act as a safety pilot for me. One guy replied and we've been fly'n together for a few months now. In another 5 years we'll probably both be working for some commuter outfit or hauling cargo. When he calls looking to hop over to whatever company I'm flying for he'll already have a friend at blah blah airlines - and vise versa. It's good to meet other people in the industry; but it's great to fly with them. Who knows maybe this will be the person that interviews me at my first real flying job. On second thought, he may not want to interview me if he's flown with me.;)

I fly Angel Flights as much as possible. I would much rather fly the dead leg with another person just for the conversation. I rarely find people that can actually make it down to the airport. I hear alot of "I've got this to do..... or I've got that to do......" I don't get it. This is free PIC time; and I don't realy care who wears the hood at this point.

So right there are a couple of things off the top of my head that anybody with a PPL can do to get in a flying airplane and start logging those memorable flight hours together.

I'm a low timer (350tt). I believe that those of us just starting out should help one another as much as we can. We're going to be working together some day, lets go ahead and get started. I usually end up learning at least one good thing from every pilot I fly with. As such, If you find yourself in the Seattle area and want go fly'n drop me a PM.


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