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Regional for a career

BGSM

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I am in the job market and trying to explore all my options. Background is Part 135 night freight, aerial survey, corporate pilot. 4000tt 1000 multi 650 turbine PIC (C-208)

Currently flying the 208 but my life is crappy. I flew less than 100 hours last year all low level When not scheduled to fly I have to sit at desk in basement office for 40 hours a week. I am paid well 65K, plus pension medical etc. but sitting there month after month I feel like the guy from the movie Office Space its driving me nuts. Some people think its bad choice to leave based on pay, stablility, etc but I am realy unhappy.

Flying is my second career been in law enforcement for years. I am 45 so I don't think I will ever make to the majors. I know first year pay is pretty low at all regionals but what can you expect in years 2,3, and 4. If I do decide should I go to the regional that has fastest up grade to so get paid more since majors most likely happen. Will I ever make 65+ at a regional if you make it career ? I weighing my options and looking at regional, corporate, med flights etc. Over pay is the biggest priority... yeah I know shoud of picked another career LOL.

I would appreciate any suggestions and feed back on what route to take
 

General Lee

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Your age does not disqualify you at a legacy. Most have learned not to hire all new pilots at the same age, because then they all retire at the same time. So, you still have a shot. Most huge retirement numbers at the 3 big legacies come later this decade, so you have time now to go to a regional and position yourself for a legacy or a Low Cost Carrier (Spirit, Frontier, Virgin America, JetBlue, Southwest). Don't go to a Regional planning to stay there. The top guys will be staying because they don't want to start over, leaving you with so-so QOL. Go to one that is expanding, try to get some 121 time, and make the jump to a legacy or a Low Cost Carrier. The Regional industry is sinking, and the top at each regional airline will ride it down. Good luck, and I will PM you.


Bye Bye---General Lee
 

Freebrd

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Oh boy, BGSM is in for it now! Lol the great Jenny Leigh dispensing her wisdom.
 

General Lee

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Oh boy, BGSM is in for it now! Lol the great Jenny Leigh dispensing her wisdom.

So, would you suggest him going all the way to Vietnam for SIC time? That was probably the craziest thing I have ever heard. For SIC time? Huh? That was idiotic. He hopefully won't ask you for advice. Muy loco!


Bye Bye---General Lee
 

SkyNation

U.S. American
Joined
May 11, 2006
Posts
953
Total Time
12:34
Go to a regional you can be happy at if you're stuck there. As a captain at the right one you'll make 100K+ in time. With all the movement that'll happen in coming years, you could easily make captain at any number of regional gigs that have decent pay. Again, chose one where you can honestly say, 'If this is my last job, that's fine with me.' Then try for a major
 

Varmint

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Feb 24, 2004
Posts
551
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I am in the job market and trying to explore all my options. Background is Part 135 night freight, aerial survey, corporate pilot. 4000tt 1000 multi 650 turbine PIC (C-208)

Currently flying the 208 but my life is crappy. I flew less than 100 hours last year all low level When not scheduled to fly I have to sit at desk in basement office for 40 hours a week. I am paid well 65K, plus pension medical etc. but sitting there month after month I feel like the guy from the movie Office Space its driving me nuts. Some people think its bad choice to leave based on pay, stablility, etc but I am realy unhappy.

Flying is my second career been in law enforcement for years. I am 45 so I don't think I will ever make to the majors. I know first year pay is pretty low at all regionals but what can you expect in years 2,3, and 4. If I do decide should I go to the regional that has fastest up grade to so get paid more since majors most likely happen. Will I ever make 65+ at a regional if you make it career ? I weighing my options and looking at regional, corporate, med flights etc. Over pay is the biggest priority... yeah I know shoud of picked another career LOL.

I would appreciate any suggestions and feed back on what route to take

For once, I agree with General Lee.

I don't think it's a good idea to plan to stay at a regional. You may think you have it good when you are there....but...you will only realize how bad it was in the pay, scheduling, and treatment realms once you leave for more well managed establishments.

Plan on 2 or 3 years max even just as an FO. The second you get hired at the regional level, I recommend immediately putting applications in at every legacy and low cost accepting them and update monthly until you are hired at one.

Regional airlines suck....plain and simple. If you want a faster upgrade and a bit of a once in a lifetime adventure consider applying overseas. They have positions from Dash 8 on up open.

www.parcaviation.aero
www.crewresourcesworldwide.com/‎
www.rishworthaviation.com/‎
 

IBNAV8R

Stand-up Philosopher
Joined
Jul 3, 2008
Posts
843
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9:30
Whether you plan to stay at a regional or not, make sure it's one you can stand long-term and one that will likely be in business for 20 years (or as long as you might be stuck there).

I'm thinking at 45, especially just starting in the industry, there is no reason to think you will be stuck at a regional for the rest of your career. The landscape for a 50 yo captain living in base, bidding well and making $100K+ is a bit different than a 50 yo capped at the top of regional FO pay, getting crappy lines and commuting.

I strongly suspect that you are in a good position to make the jump. The industry is about to change heavily in favor of pilots.

My experience is that people making a career change have a much better grasp and perspective on the "suck" of airline life v. the real world. Make the best of where you are and enjoy.
 

Flyin2low

Indentured Servant
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Jan 7, 2006
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360
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46000
I would go to PSA Airlines. They are adding like 40 new aircraft to their fleet. Almost all of the pilots are being flowed up to USAirways really quickly creating lots of movement upwards. Get in now at the beginning of the wave. You could be at a major airline in 5 years.
 

SAABaroowski

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Jan 13, 2013
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Your age does not disqualify you at a legacy. Most have learned not to hire all new pilots at the same age, because then they all retire at the same time. So, you still have a shot. Most huge retirement numbers at the 3 big legacies come later this decade, so you have time now to go to a regional and position yourself for a legacy or a Low Cost Carrier (Spirit, Frontier, Virgin America, JetBlue, Southwest). Don't go to a Regional planning to stay there. The top guys will be staying because they don't want to start over, leaving you with so-so QOL. Go to one that is expanding, try to get some 121 time, and make the jump to a legacy or a Low Cost Carrier. The Regional industry is sinking, and the top at each regional airline will ride it down. Good luck, and I will PM you.


Bye Bye---General Lee


100% spot on
 

Russ

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Jan 16, 2002
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731
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Friends may not, but timing might. There's a lost generation of pilots at regionals that had no intention other than to do our time honorably and move on. 9/11, the economy and age 65 took care of that. Get into your 40's, make your peace with making 100K as a Capt and get a schedule that allows you to see your kids grow up. Not what I had hoped for, but that's life.
 

Kaman

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Nov 26, 2001
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947
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8.2
I hear you Russ...Life just doesn't go how we would like, or plan it to. I feel fortunate to have been able to get a little taste of flying, but I am a bit burned out...
 

SkyNation

U.S. American
Joined
May 11, 2006
Posts
953
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12:34
Friends may not, but timing might. There's a lost generation of pilots at regionals that had no intention other than to do our time honorably and move on. 9/11, the economy and age 65 took care of that. Get into your 40's, make your peace with making 100K as a Capt and get a schedule that allows you to see your kids grow up. Not what I had hoped for, but that's life.


^^^^this is the reality of TONS of dudes I know
 

General Lee

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^^^^this is the reality of TONS of dudes I know

But you know, it's an excuse. With pay rates rising at all three legacies, there really is no excuse. Senior RJ pilots should start saving NOW, because they still have a couple years where they had "better" throw their stuff in or they will be on the back side of a hiring curve. DL's first year rate starting next Jan 1st will be $71 an hour, and 2nd year, depending on the plane type, could be close to $90 an hour, and then it keeps climbing. Within 3-4 years, you are back to where you we're pay wise, but now you have better benefits, better retirement (whatever is 15% of your monthly pay check is ADDED by the company to your Fidelity fund---you don't have to add a dime--the company does it all)

It's great that guys like Russ want to be around his kids all the time, but guys like that need to also think about their own retirements. The Regional benefits are shrinking, and the legacies are getting stronger thanks to Consolidation, meaning contracts will become better too. It takes a couple years of lower pay and a bit of time on reserve, and then you are set. Especially when each legacy will lose 5,000 pilots each to retirements. No excuses. Even age isn't a factor anymore, the legacies don't want everyone hired at the same age, then they retire all at the same time too, like in the next 10 years....

Now if it's because they don't think they could pass an interview or a medical, that's another thing....


Bye Bye---General Lee
 

Russ

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I'm afraid it's not as clinical, easy a decision as you make it sound. I'm not busting your chops because a lot of what you say is true, but until you walk a mile in my shoes you'll never understand the process every Capt with 15 plus years has to go through. If I was single, I would be chasing a major as you suggest as I would have 18 years at a major. If others didn't mind commuting, they might. If they didn't mind being on reserve with Tuesdays and Wednsdays off they might jump ship. If you don't mind being on the bottom of a seniority list should something catastrophic happen to the economy, then they might go. That mortgage check is due if I have a job or not.
No disrespect meant, but you can't understand the balancing act that makes what you think to be a no brainer a complicated decision.
 

General Lee

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I'm afraid it's not as clinical, easy a decision as you make it sound. I'm not busting your chops because a lot of what you say is true, but until you walk a mile in my shoes you'll never understand the process every Capt with 15 plus years has to go through. If I was single, I would be chasing a major as you suggest as I would have 18 years at a major. If others didn't mind commuting, they might. If they didn't mind being on reserve with Tuesdays and Wednsdays off they might jump ship. If you don't mind being on the bottom of a seniority list should something catastrophic happen to the economy, then they might go. That mortgage check is due if I have a job or not.
No disrespect meant, but you can't understand the balancing act that makes what you think to be a no brainer a complicated decision.

And I purposely tried to generalize, not trying to pick on you Russ. Sure, everyone is unique, with unique circumstances. But, overall, even senior Capts should make the switch, but saving a bit prior is a must also. Nobody likes a pay cut, but a year or two of lower pay suddenly turns into many years of higher pay and better retirement.

Sure, there is ALWAYS a potential situation that could SCARE you into not doing anything. A natural disaster. A terrorist attack. But, since 9-11, the last major thing that caused legacy retraction and furloughs, a few things have changed the direction of this industry.

First, Consolidation. 8 big airlines turned into 4. Consolidation will create stronger airlines, less inclined to furlough pilots on a whim. Stronger airlines will grow to compete globally, helping everyone who works there.

Next, bag and change fees. Passengers seem to accept them now, and they weren't around pre Bk for most airlines. Those fees add billions in profits, paying down debt and other obligations. It also allows the legacies to make money to order new planes. You need new planes to compete globally.

Lastly, retirements. All 3 legacies will have to retire 5,000 each within the next 10 years. That means more upward movement than EVER. Each Widebody Capt that leaves creates lots of movement below, and DL for example loses around 800 pilots per year for 4 straight years coming up here, and then 650 the next year. About 4000 in 5 years to age 65. (2020-2024). If someone were to get on on in the next couple years, you would be set. Each year like the above, you would be able to jump up a couple plane types or sizes. With 141 retirements this year, DL is already having new bids every 45 days or so. What will it be like when 800 leave? Now think of that movement for 5 years in a row. The only thing stopping huge movement is a seat hold, and for a new hire it's one year for your initial assignment, and then two years for any AE, or advanced entitlement you WANT. It will probably be the same at AA and UAL. Not so much at SWA due to fewer overall retirements, and only one plane type.

So, things have changed a lot since the 9-11 downfall. High oil has killed the 50 seat market and Regionals are unlikely to get scope relief from stronger mainline pilot positions at the bargaining table. Higher profits mean fewer concessions. Mainline pilots instead are finally flying smaller mainline planes (DL717s, AA319s), replacing the RJs on many routes.

Things are changing for the better, and senior RJ pilots should consider change, save up some money, and take the plunge. Look at the 77 Mesaba flow ups. They are starting class or have started recently. Those guys were senior CR9 Capts, and I would think they are very happy with their situations, coming in at the very beginning of a BIG hiring wave. You guys have time, save some money and throw in those apps. Good luck.


Bye Bye---General Lee
 

Russ

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I would disagree saying the 50 seat market is dead. It's not. Nothing like it was 10 years ago, but there's a viable market for them.
 

wms

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At one time the regionals were a viable back up, now they're a dead end.
 

General Lee

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I would disagree saying the 50 seat market is dead. It's not. Nothing like it was 10 years ago, but there's a viable market for them.

Not in SLC. Ed Bastian said in the conference call last week there won't be any "single class" RJs in SLC in a couple years , meaning unless someone plans to put a first class section in the -200, it's GONE. You probably fly the UAL side, but I have a feeling each Legacy CEO is planning to park almost all 50 seaters sooner than later. Gas is still way too high to justify the expense. Throw in a lack of pilots at most Regionals, and those 50s will be parked first so they can crew the 70/76 seaters. It's already happening Russ.


Bye Bye---General Lee
 
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