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Westwind Flight School (Allegheny)

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Where's Pancakes House
Nov 26, 2001
I was flipping through Flying magazine and am always amazed about these schools advertising right seat direct for its regional airline affiliates. It makes me sick to my stomach.

What got me, was the Westwind advertisement about twin flight instructors saying they were going to get on with Allegheny. To bad Westwind is so out of the loop that they don't know Allegheny has furloughed pilots.

Good luck to you guys on the street at Allegheny, I know many of you have been through two furloughs.
I'm not familiar with Westwind however there are reputable flight academies (AKA the Florida pilot factories) out there that send their 500-hour graduates to the right seat of a regional and have been doing so with a fair amount of success for years. Do you think there an animosity among other applicants because the lower time pilots have essentially bought their way into a job and thus moved to the front of the line? Granted, they don't have the total time experience of 1200/200+ applicants however I'm not familiar with any regional airline incidents accidents that involve one of these pilots. I know one school that has lower time graduates getting interviews and slots while their own instructors aren't even getting a call back - interesting psychology in this market!
I'm not certain, but wasn't the crew that slammed the jungle jet in ROA graduates of just such a "bridge" program for MESA?
No, the ad had a pair of twins, both CFIs, flanking a hot ex-UAL F/A who was doing her pilot training. In it, the kids said that they had a great time at Westwind, completed their training on time and underbudged, and were now close to a regional airline job, hopefully with Allegheny.

I see several flaws in that ad:

1. Both kids are 21. Knowing that it would've taken 8-10 months MINIMUM to go from 0-time to CFII/MEI, plus approx a year of flight instructing to get competitive with the regionals, they must've been 19, and possibly 18, when they starting their training. Well, if they started their training at 18 or 19, they probably didn't go to college. In 2000, it wouldn't have mattered to the regionals if you didn't have a degree, but this is 2002, pilot applicants are aplenty, and not having a degree is one way to weed applicants out.

2. The kids say they grew up in California, yet their dad flies for Allegheny, who are based in the Northeastern part of the country. It is plausible that their father commuted to whereever he was based with ALG, but I can't imagine him having been much of a presence their in raising his kids because he'd have been wasting all his time commuting...

3. Speaking of Allegheny, they traditionally have hired 'high' time applicants, ie people with 135 or 121 backgrounds, and not as many from the CFI ranks. I know when I applied to them at a job fair a couple years ago with 1250 TT & 300 ME, I was told I was not competitive. This was in 2000, when EVERYBODY WAS HIRING in huge quantity. Yes, their are exceptions to every rule. But in this job market, I would suspect they can get the people with the backgrounds they want.

4. The kids can't be that smart if they say they want to go to Allegheny. USAirways' financial situation is questionable. If they go under, what will happen to the USAirways Express franchise and the 9 or so companies that make it up? If these twin CFIs were as in tune to the industry as they claim to be, they'd be wanting to go to somewhere like Comair, ACA, Skywest, which are hiring, have RJs, are growing, offer upgrades in the forseable future, and not someplace like ALG, where pilots are on furlough and others are jumping ship. I say that with no disrespect to ALG because it has been a solid career regional for a long time. I have the utmost respect for the pilots & other professionals who work there. I simply would not want to hedge my career bets there.

when i first saw that westwind ad, it looked vaguely familiar somehow.

if you've got the july issue of flying, check out the FlightSafety ad on page 51, then go back and look at the westwind ad on page 18.

-picture framed by red and blue borders with similar content
-detailed text below the picture with same background color
-same color and similar font for school name
-bottom stripe same color

westwind also seems to be jumping on the nepotism bandwagon. "my dad's the director of ops, but i got the job because of flight safety."

almost as sad as all the schools touting their connections to American Eagle for the past 9 months.

hang in there, fellas.
i know those two twins...and they just got daddy to pull some strings for them at ACA. should be starting there pretty soon, if they don't try and land another seminole with the gear up again.

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