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Twin or Single: Airline Flight Time

doclarse

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Jun 28, 2002
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400
I am wondering whether I should purchase a twin-engine aircraft or a single-engine aircraft to build flight time for an airline job. I attended one of the academies in FL and have over 130 hours in an Aztec, but am wondering if I would get noticed by Skywest, Horizon, etc. with low total time if I had a lot of multi time. I did get hired by Eagle, but with current situations there, I have very little to no hope of ever hearing from them (although I continue to update my file as they are currently my only option).

I am currently working on my CFI to build time that way, but was also looking at purchasing an aircraft for pleasure flying, ie visiting friends / family and vacations.

Thanks for any input.
 

V-1

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May 24, 2002
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In my opinion, multi time is much more valuable (and expensive) than single time. I doubt many quality regionals would look too hard at an applicant with 120 hours of multi (or 400 t.t.) these days. I think Comair will with their academy graduates, in order to support that division.

If you're planning to buy an airplane to build time, be sure you can document every hour you fly it somehow.

Best wishes.
 

Andy Neill

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At SkyWest 1 hour of PIC multi turbine Part 121/135 crew operation in the weather in the last 3 months is worth 16 hours of Part 91 VFR single pilot in a single engine piston flown more than a year ago as far as getting an interview goes.
 

wil

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I just had an instructor ride up with us to XNA last weekend- he told us we have Delta, US Air, and United pilots in training at ASA! Do you really want to commit that kind of money given the bleak outlook? And, does flying yourself around for 200.00 hamburgers make you competitive?
 

bobbysamd

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Buying time

I agree with Wil. It's just like it was eleven years ago. Just change the name of the airline from Delta, USAir and United to Eastern and Pan Am. It's hard to compete with people like that, even with good multi time built through employment.

It's not worth it to buy an airplane to build time. Maintenance alone will eat you alive. Use your money to get your CFI and build the time that way. Chances are, you might hear from Eagle. Moreover, if AE thought you were a good applicant, so will some other commuter, eventually.

Good luck with your plans.
 

wingnutt

...recognize this?
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Mar 31, 2002
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...you were hired by AE with 400TT :confused:
 

doclarse

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Jun 28, 2002
Posts
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400
Yes, I was hired by AE with 400TT. The program I was in (whether right or wrong), gave you the opportunity to interview with AE IF you knew your stuff and were a good pilot. The negative side to the whole thing is that upon completion of the program, you only have 400TT and no CFI, so are not marketable anywhere else. But I'm working on that part...:)
 

doclarse

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Thanks

By the way, thank you to all who have chipped in with their $.02. While I must admit that I do have the bug to buy a twin and tool around in it, I think you guys might be right that it's not the way to go at this point. Maybe sometime in the future...
 

bigsky

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On the other side of the coin you cant wait until the job market is right to begin your training. Start now and when things are going good you will be where you need to be. Obviously if your financials allow you to buy a twin that is the way to go- without any doubt! Is it as good as 135 or 121 time or even cfi?.. I guess not but it is a step in the right direction.
By the way as a former captain for Amer Eagle I flew with a lot of interns from the bigger schools who only had 500 hours. And at that time Amer Eagle had the highest minimums of probably anyone in the industry(commuter)
 

Hubie

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doclarse said:
Yes, I was hired by AE with 400TT. The program I was in (whether right or wrong), gave you the opportunity to interview with AE IF you knew your stuff and were a good pilot. The negative side to the whole thing is that upon completion of the program, you only have 400TT and no CFI, so are not marketable anywhere else. But I'm working on that part...:)

400TT and an Eagle newhire, what program was this you refer to?:confused:
 

doclarse

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Jun 28, 2002
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I was attending Airline Training Academy. I know that tends to be a nasty phrase around here, but at the time it worked for me, especially since I already had a private license and didn't really have too much time to build for an instrument rating. The airline prep portion of the Academy was really the only part I could recomend, although I got lucky and had a great CFII and MEI. Having the possibility to interview at 400TT, if you know what you're doing, is what obviously draws most people there.
 

Aviator

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I recently looked into buying an Apache to build multi time and decided against it. The maintenance is outrageously expensive. Many A&P’s refuse to work on them. If you move up to a C-310 or Senica, the purchase price is higher and your fuel consumption increases dramatically. If you have less than 100 hours multi time, it is almost impossible to find a company that will insure you. I finally did find one that would; but was $3500/yr after I had 25 hours in type. Another factor is that it would take a long time to sell it given the current market conditions for older twins. I would suggest that you finish your CFI and then obtain the MEI after that. Get your twin time that way.

If you have the means to finish your advanced ratings and buy a smaller single engine aircraft; I would highly recommend the Grumman AA1’s. IMHO it’s the most fun and economical production aircraft available. You can find one that is IFR equipped with a low time airframe/engine for 22-25K. Through the owner’s club (www.aya.org), my insurance is $400/yr after a checkout with an AYA designated instructor. Fuel burn is 6 gal/hr. It’s VERY important that you do a thorough pre-purchase inspection. If you are mechanically inclined, there is a surprising amount of work that can be legally done yourself. My last annual was $175 since it was owner assisted. As I like to say, it’s nice to have a plane that you can afford to fly as much as you want.
 

brett

An office with a view
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Dec 3, 2001
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Don't knock the Apache. They are old, and have many systems which will require attention, but with this mx properly budgeted and planned for it's still an economical way to build time in your own plane, flying when and where you want to go. Not true at all about trying to sell one. We just bought one four months ago and had a hard time because every (good) one we called on sold in the first day! We finally got lucky and found a very good bird that had not been advertised well.

Runs great on auto gas and the insurance isn't too bad split with a partner. The more you fly the cheaper the insurance is per hour since it's a fixed cost.

Our plane costs $78 per hour to operate including fuel, hangar, maintenance, prop ADs, and insurance. I've owned two other newer planes and this one's not any worse for mx/reliability. You just have to be careful, get the right one, and get a pre-purchase inspection from a mechanic AT A DIFFERENT FIELD than where the plane you're considering is currently based.

Anyone wanting to buy an Apache for time-building can PM me and I will give pointers on what to watch for and send a copy of a questionnaire to use when evaluating prospective purchases.

All that being said, I would start with a C-150 or PA28-140 if you are low time. Get a few hundred hours single engine experience first. It will be much cheaper and help keep you from busting your rear in a twin.


- Brett
 

brett

An office with a view
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Dec 3, 2001
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Follow up to my earlier post:

I forgot in your original post you had 130 hours PA23 Aztec time. In this case you would be right at home in an Apache and insurance would be cheaper.

One thing to watch out for going from flying Aztecs to Apaches - BE SURE you know EXACTLY how to sump the fuel system. It's different, and the Apache is bad for water in the fuel system.

- Brett
 
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