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SkyWest Pilot Career Program????

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Well-known member
Jan 6, 2002
I joined the SkyWest "program" awhile ago that offered UVSC kids an interview with less time. The program is back up with a price and an interview. Below is an E-mail I recieved and pasted it here so it looks choppy. Would any one recommend this career route? SkyWest is my dream airline.

This notice is for the students who enrolled in the SkyWest/UVSC Pilot
Career Program last year. SkyWest has just approved the training
curriculum of the Pilot Career Foundation (PCF). Once you have completed the
training program that is outlined in the letter below, PCF will
schedule your interview. Because of the number of students in this program
(232), SkyWest requests that there be a 6 month window inwhich to schedule
the interviews. All scheduling will be first come first served. This
guarentee of an interview is valid until January of 2006.

If you recently have joined the Pilot Career Foundation, a simular
program with a regional airline will be offered to you shortly. (Likely
within the next 60 - 90 days.)

March 9, 2002

Dear SkyWest/UVSC Pilot Career Program member,

During the last year the airline industry has gone through a crisis
that few could have predicted. No doubt you, like many others, have had to
reevaluate your career path and how you would achieve your goals.

About a year ago you joined the UVSC/SkyWest Pilot Career Program.
Because of liability concerns raised by the State of Utah’s Attorney
General’s Office and Counsel for SkyWest, the program was interrupted, but
not forgotten. Your membership has been transferred over to Pilot Career
Foundation (PCF), a non-profit, 501 (c)(3). The new name of the airline
preparatory program is the “Pilot Career Program”. About six months ago
you should have received a letter from SkyWest Airlines inviting you to
interview with them. Then came September 11th. Now that the initial
uncertainty is over, SkyWest is again inviting you to interview.

What is SkyWest requiring of you?
1. A two or four year degree from a Regionally Accredited College.
2. Commercial/Instrument/Multi-engine ratings.
3. 750 hours Total Time.
4. 100 hours multi-engine.*
5. Additional 100 hours instrument (including simulator/hood).
6. Certificate of Completion from the Pilot Career Foundation.

*The twenty hours in the “level A”, full motion simulator that you will
receive in the Tier III phase of training can be logged as multi-engine
and turbo jet time.

In order to receive a certificate of completion from the Pilot Career
Foundation, you must:
· Furnish PCF with a letter of recommendation from a PCF member flight
school. If you do not have a letter of recommendation from a PCF member
school, you may take a Tier I check ride upon arrival at a Tier II
school. The cost of the Tier I check ride is not included in the price of
the Pilot Career Program.
· Complete the Pilot Career Program Tier II phase of training, which
consists of:
1. Eight hour ground school consisting of:
a. Crew resource management
b. Airline procedures
c. Introduction to the AST Hawk II
d. Flows
2. Sixteen hours in an AST Hawk II FTD including:
a. Crew resource management
b. Airline procedures
c. Emergency procedures
d. Loft training

3. Four hour Standardization Advancement Check ride (SAC).
Student must pass this check ride before proceeding on to Tier III
phrase of training.

· Complete the Pilot Career Program Tier III phase of training:
(Training is based on two-student crew.)
1. Eight hour ground school consisting of:
a. Trainer Orientation
b. Basic Instrument Scan Technique and Maneuver Review.
c. Orientation Skills
d. Navigation Skills
e. Flight Management and Instrument Approaches

2. Twenty hours as NFP Captain and FP First Officer
a. Ten hours in B-727 level A, full motion flight simulator
b. Ten hours in B-737 level A, full motion flight simulator

3. Oral Interview Preparation Course

There are currently four flight schools that offer the Tier II phase of
training and one Tier III School. (See attached list.) Training is
based on a crew of two. You may team up with someone you know or ask the
Tier II or III school to assign you a sim partner.

You may notice that there are some changes in the program. The Tier II
phase of training was designed by Pam Mannon, Director of
Standardization and Training for PCF. (Pam wrote the EMB-145 training program for
Continental Express and was also a check airman). The Tier III phase of
training was designed by Bo Corby, who is a Captain for North West
Airlines. Capt. Corby is also on ALPA’s Training Committee. The Tier III
phase of training is similar to the training his company gives to North
West pilots who come to him after failing an upgrade check ride.

Cost of Program: $4,795 (This does not include room and board while in

Completion Time: Two weeks

Start Date: You may call a Tier II school at any time to schedule your
training. All training and the SkyWest interview are based on first
come, first served.

Projected 1st Interview: After April 1st

The Disclaimers:

1. The certificate of completion does guarantee you an Interview with
SkyWest Airlines at SkyWest convenience, no longer than 6 months from
time of request.
2. It does not guarantee that you will be hired.
3. Once hired, your class date is between you and SkyWest.

4. In lieu of the SkyWest interview, you may opt to interview with any
of the regional airlines that PCF has a letter of agreement with. You
will be notified of any future agreements. Interviewing with another
regional negates any future obligation of an interview with SkyWest.
5. Once you start the Tier II training, the cost of that phase of
training is earned in full, there are no refunds.
6. Once you start the Tier III training, the cost of that phase of
training is earned in full, there are no refunds.
7. The Tier II and III flight schools are solely responsible for
determining if you have passed their phase of training.
8. PCF, the Tier II and III Schools will do everything reasonably
possible to help you succeed, however they do not guarantee that you will
pass any phase of training.
9. If you fail the Tier II or III phase of training, you may apply for
additional training, however, you will be responsible for all
associated costs.
10. If you fail the airline interview, you may apply for additional
training from either the Tier II or Tier III School, however you will be
responsible for all associated costs and there is no guarantee for a
second interview.
11. PCF will not recommend or provide a certificate of completion
unless you have successfully completed the Tier II and III training program.
12. The original $195 enrollment fee that you paid has been earned in
full and is not refundable, regardless of if you choose to pursue the
Pilot Career Program or not.

Procedures: Prior to scheduling the Tier II phase of training, you must
send a check to PCF for the entire program fee. The Tier II School will
confirm with PCF that you have paid the program fee and you are one of
the 232 original members of the SkyWest Pilot Career Program. Your Tier
II School will contact the Tier III School to schedule your final
training. When notified by the Tier III school of your successful
completion, PCF will schedule your airline interview. Interviews are based on
first come first served.

Note: PCF is willing to schedule your SkyWest Interview prior to your
taking the training once the Program fee is paid and your Tier II and
III classes have been scheduled.

Make check payable to:

I cut the rest out from here, thanks to anyone who read this much and commented!!!
My thoughts

I have always thought of Skywest as one of the best regionals around to work for, but I have to say reading about this program they are endorsing has dropped my opinion of them just a bit. I guess programs like this have always come along when the hiring slows down and the mins go up. I guess I would have to say if Skywest is the place(and only place) you plan to work then you better do the program. I personally wouldn't put that kind of money into one and only one job. I feel things will turn around in the future and the best strategy is to just get general work experience and flight time and you will still get an interview the old fashion way, and probably at more than one place. My biggest suggestion to up and coming pilots right now is to GO TO SCHOOL. Its a great time to finish the 4 year degree, and instruct or something while you do it. I never did finish mine because I was chasing the flying jobs that came along. Best of luck! And don't forget, we fly these things because it is fun. Always keep it that way!!
My thoughts

I don't think very much of this at all and I do not think very much of SkyWest. It is not P-F-T because you haven't been hired. However, it sounds very much like pay-for-interview to me. That is, if you pay the $4.8K (and complete the training) you will get the interview. And, then, you are not guaranteed that SkyWest will hire you. You might receive consideration from the other airlines with which this PCF has agreements, but, again, no guarantees. You will be out the money which you could have used to earn a CFI, a legitimate credential with which you can work and build hours. It's a crapshoot. Sorry, this sounds like a scam to me.

I tried for six years to get an interview with SkyWest. Even if this "program" had been around when I was in the market I wouldn't have forked up the cash because I felt that I should not have to buy an interview. My quals eventually met and exceeded SkyWest's mins and rated an interview. Moreover, my persistance in sending updates and fresh apps over six years should have been a clue to SkyWest that I really was interested in working there and was worthy of an interview. If it really was a decent company, it should have been perceptive enough to recognize that all of my apps and updates, sent to them for six years, was a clear indication of my interest and enthusiasm - that is, if it really was a decent company. It would have cost them only their time to interview me and to give me a chance.

I agree 100% with Sewertube. Take the $4.8K and spend it on college and/or flight training. Hiring is in a lull and will be that way for a while, so your best use of the time would be to earn your degree and start building time. Eventually, you'll build enough time to receive legitimate consideration from the commuters, including SkyWest.

Good luck with your decision.

P.S. By the way, to underscore my point above, SkyWest's requirements in 1988 were 1000 total-100 multi. I didn't quite meet those requirements then, but I exceeded them only a year later and doubled, tripled and quadrupled them. I even had a former student who got on there walk in a resume for me. I still never heard from them except for their polite little postcards. :rolleyes:
Last edited:
Perspective is the key!

Please keep in mind that hiring trends come and go depending on the market. Be patient and things will turn around. Don't just throw money at the situation. I wholeheartedly agree that there's no substitute for building quality time. Further your education and make contacts at your local fbo. Programs like the one Sky West is offering always sprout when times are tough. I'm currently on furlough from one of the majors and as tight as the market is right now I'm not going to allow anyone to take advantage of me. Keep flying and be patient! All the best, K
What do PFT critics have to say now,would you call skywest all sorts of names,as you have done to gulfstream et al, or are you going to be partial.
The difference.....

Skywest isn't getting paid by anyone or making money by having F/O's pay a fee to sit in the right seat. Skywest isn't offering employment to those who do this program.

I'm not defending this program, however. I doubt Skywest will hire any, or many, from this deal. Why should they when there are so many well qualified guys in the pipeline?

What bothers me is some flights schools or universities or training facilities or....whatever....are using this program as a way to sound like THEY have THE pipeline to Skywest. To me, this reeks.....

If you want to throw all your eggs, or money, into this basket.....then go for it. Let us all know how it turns out in a couple of years.
I have to agree with 727 on this. It sounds like some school is offering training and asked Skywest to give them intreviews at the end of it all. Doesnt it say something about interviews with other regionals in there also? Take the money and finish college and get some quality flight time.
Also, have you contacted Skywest directly and asked them about this?
slow down, folks....

before everyone bashes the hell out of skywest even more....

the UVSC program was started way before 9/11, back when everyone was afraid they wouldn't have enough pilots to fill their airplanes. skywest thought it would be a good idea to set this program into motion to help ensure at least another source of pilot's who were a little more qualified than your average CFI off the street. skywest doesn't make any money off the deal.

i'm not endorsing the program in any way, but it is NOT PFT.
9/11 has changed all that pilot shortage talk... and i think rather than bailing on the program entirely, skywest has decided to try and make good on what it started. sure, there are way more qualified folks out there right now to choose from, but they don't want to screw the folks who already started the program at UVSC.

for what's it worth, i agree with most everyone else who posted about using your money elsewhere... don't put all your egg's in one basket. -sr.
Well, here we go again,
Skywest's participation in this program was started to consider any and all sources of pilot candidates. This is not PFT, Skywest was hiring pilots with 1000&100. There were issues with these low time pilots not having crew/airline type experience, and taking longer to come up to speed.
They usually did, and are fine airline pilots.
Save your money, go to school/finish the degree(non aviation), get a freight/135 job, flight instruct, deliver airplanes do whatever it takes to get your time built. Build your logbook with quality experience, make your own decisions as PIC. Above all enjoy the process, some of my finest memories involve the pre-121 experience.ex, Me, TU206G, 600 nm south of San Diego enroute to Guadalaraja IFR/IMC and the clouds all around me are "green"
I don't know what level they were, but 4hrs later and an ILS to 2000msl
at Matzalan, what an adventure!
Remember it's the journey, not just the destination.
ps, try getting weather in mexico

Be VERY VERY careful! It MAY be a legitimate and worthwhile program, but as the other posters have noted, the red flags abound!

Before the Skywest pilot message board bit the dust, there was a tremendous amount of discussion about the first version of the program. Accusations flew back and forth that the program was promising things that had not been approved or agreed upon by Skywest, and the program was scrapped.

Check this and other message boards or any contacts to see if you can find ANY pilots who were actually hired by Skywest out of this program.

Also, maybe try and p.m. Andy Neill (a Skywest pilot who is active on this board). Andy kept a close ear to the ground about the program during its first go-round.

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