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Masterless Samurai
Nov 26, 2001
Hello everyone, I want some opinions from the people here on my situation. I currently fly under part 121 in a DHC-6 as SIC. The company I work for is fairly stable and is a decent job but we only fly on average 45 hours a month with 10 off. There is room to advance to larger A/C but this doesnt look like it will happen within the next year. Captain upgrades are easily 3-5 years away for the DHC-6 to say nothing of the larger aircraft. Pay is about industry standard.

On the other hand you have somewhere like Great Lakes where I will get paid s***, but I will fly much more and the possibility of a captain upgrade is measured in months (I hope) and not years. I realize the value of even having the job I do right now but I also see the value of getting some PIC turbine time for down the road. My end goal is the majors (or the fractionals, havent made up my mind yet).

All this assumes that I can get hired (or even an interview) but in my situation, what strikes the people here as a rational decision? Just looking for intelligent opinions. Thanks

If you leave Era be sure to let me know, I'll take your job in a heartbeat to get out of the CFI'ing gig.
Positive move v. lateral move

Someone noted in another thread this week that we work in a dynamic environment and make major career decisions based on inadequate and unverifiable information. In other words, we make educated guesses and hope for the best. I did that a couple of times when I was in the biz.

You may be risking leaving a decent job to go elsewhere, expecting a quick upgrade. However, people might stay put and now you're stuck in a place you hate and for lousy pay and no better crew position. Then, your record shows you've made a lateral move, which could be a strike against you.

I'd stay put for the time being and keep an eye on the majors. For the time being, upgrades will be slow nearly everywhere. The majors drive hiring and right now the majors are doing little hiring. Once hiring picks up at the majors and you see rapid upgrades at the regionals, you can make your move. In the meantime, you have a decent job. Decent jobs are hard to come by in this business. Who knows, that upgrade at your current company may come faster than you'd think.

Something else you have going for you is you're building 121 time. Although it's SIC, it's still valuable. You need to build some more time, but nothing says you can't try to market it to companies that are your destination.

Hope that helps a little. Good luck with your decision.
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Alaska makes a good point

Heh. Since I'm the master of pointing out the obvious...PIC time is fairly important in making it to the airlines. But--

your friend Alaska makes a good, albeit sarcastic, point. If you leave your fairly secure job in a weak job market know that there is absolutely sombody that will take your job in a heartbeat.

So what? you might answer, I'll be on to bigger and better things. Yeah but, I'll answer, I've known a few people who made a move to what they thought was better, had a change of heart, tried to return to where they were and found nothing there for them any longer.

I suppose the point is this: You don't want to be a career co-pilot; building PIC time should definitely be a short-term goal. But when you make this move you should know that it'll probably be for better or for worse and there will be no turning back.

And I guess that's exactly what Bobbysamd had already said. Like I said: I'm the master of pointing out the obvious.

Best wishes.
If you dont have any problems with the current job...stay.

If the money is good/ok/liveable...stay.

Like the others said..it is pretty unstable right now....dont leave the sure thing for the "might happen/could happen" job.

Not to slam lakes, but they are not the best company to be going to. If you were going to ACA or somewhere a little better, thats a different story.

Dont forget...are you going to have to relocate for the new job, get a crash pad, commute??? That makes it even tougher. Im not saying you shouldnt interview....go ahead, you can always turn the job down.

Also, just because the other company says that you can/will upgrade in a few months doesnt mean it will. Stay with the sure thing....build some more time...even if it is sic or not.

PIC turbine will come, dont be in a huge rush...be glad to be where you are now. Just like alaska said, he will gladly take your job.

There are more PIC options in the bush. If you have/get your ATP and have some actual IMC there are several companies in SW that are hireing.....
Probably heard it before, but don't leave a job till you got a better one to go to. The worlds pilot job market is still fragile, the job you wish you didn't have now is the one you wish you had when not flying.

Fly safe and happy job hunting.

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