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Rich (quasi) P-F-T ad, Part II

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Well-known member
Nov 26, 2001
or . . . another reputable flying magazine sells out.

The May Flying has a two-page article on TAB Express, www.tabexpress.com . The article begins on page 56. Remember that outfit from its March ad that proclaimed the following in the banner:

"Men & Women WANTED to Supply US Airline Pilot Shortage" "Airline First Officer Starting Positions Are Now Available for Zero Time to 500 hour Pilots and Pilots with over 1000 hours. (Ages 21-50)." "Express Direct First Officers are the Standard by which Airline Applicants are now measured."

Turn to page 12 of the May Flying and what do you see? Yes, you guessed it. Now, the banner says:

"The Airlines Have Resumed Hiring" "Non-Experienced Pilots Needed for Training" "Ages 21-50"

Well, I'm 51 now. I guess I'm SOL. :rolleyes: :( :rolleyes:

The article isn't bad and it makes the place sound like a sort of graduate school of flying until you get to the first paragraph on Page 56: "In February, TAB Express began operating on-demand charter service under Part 135. Students fly as first officers to log time in the real world. (emphasis added)

Is the FO a required crewmember under their certificate? If so, and you have to pay for your training at the school, and the place carries pax or freight, then it certainly sounds like you-know-what.

The article closes by stating that TAB "has bridge programs with several airlines, including American Eagle, Chicago Express . . . and Island Air . . . pilots who successfully complete the training will be given an interview." Pay-for-interview, too.

I wonder, again, how many people complete the program successfully? Is the "tuition" refunded if those who wash out? What is the washout rate? How many students actually get on with a real 121 or 135 operator after completing the "program?"

I would say that I like the idea of doing a commercial-multi-instrument in a Kingair or Cheyenne to get early turbine experience. That might be unique and marketable. Something like that might give someone an advantage over those with the same hours but only in recip. PIC is the key, as always.

Once again, though, gimme a break.
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Very good questions and I don't know enough about their company ops specs to lean one way or another.- One thing is certain however and that would be that the cost is astronomical and I am not sold on the idea that it will make you any better or a more safer pilot by doing this program.... Why must a pilot "have" to go through this program to fly right seat in an aircraft type certificated for ONE pilot as all King Airs are?- Why don't they "HIRE" a CFI coming up through the ranks train them as a SIC and PAY them??- MONEY- - - Extremely intelligent management if you ask me and I hope this is not a trend that other 135 flight departments will consider.....food for thought as well as spending that much money for a pretty basic and easy turboprop to "learn" to fly.- Their company ops specs may dictate that a SIC is "required" on board the plane but I dunno that. It would appear to an outsider that their ops specs DO require a SIC on board and in return they are given the initial 135 ground school, training and finally a part 135 SIC check ride so they are getting that "magic" (FT105) piece of paper as a "reward"for the amount of money they are spending but once again I am "assuming" since I am not familiar with Tab Express..

Not only is the "student" paying for the "experience" BUT I would almost bet any amount of money that Tab is also charging customers for having 2 "qualified" pilots up front.....

Why not "rent" the right seats out in all King Airs and "establish" a Tab Express program since NOW the operator can make loads of money....kinda mind boggling but from an economical stand point it makes clear sense just sad in my opinion since you pay so much to get to where you are as a Commercial pilot the last thing one would wanna do would "buy" a program that promises the world- -

Where is it written that turbine time is required to get a job at a commuter or any other flying company?

Everybody I know had ZERO turbine time when they got their first turbine job.

A jet or a turboprop are much easier to operate than say a DC-6 or even a 402. It takes a lot more skill and knowledge to safely fly single pilot IFR in a 402 than in a Learjet.

I would rather hire someone with serious 135 IFR piston time even if its single engine than some 500 hr wonder with 250 hr of turbine time from GIA or TAB Express.

Who would you trust with your 5 million dollar jet?
I agree 100% with flydog-
A King Air is a very easy airplane to fly as are the systems to comprehend. EFIS and the FMS in the 350 took a few flights to get use to but for the most part I think the twin Commanche was a harder to plane to fly than any King Air I have flown. At 15000 MTOW, 3611lbs full fuel, full pax, and bags still handles like a baby- I would have to agree that many of the operational concerns, limitations, engine out characteristics,etc,etc, are more imperative and a "sharp" stick must be at the controls in some of your twin piston airplanes- I don't know why their is so much "praise" given to Turbine time, you DON'T need Turbine time to get to the regionals its only a "plus" IF even that if you have the "turbine" time.....If I was on an interview board I would most definately give that job to a pilot who flies single pilot IFR part 135 in a Baron or other twin over a pilot who did the "Tab Express" "Experience" with Turbine time.....

Tab Ex used to be out of VRB and some of the old carcasses of the planes are still laying around their old hanger.

Very interesting operation. The article made me laugh my arse off.

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