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Which path would you choose?

lancair1

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little
Faced with the following options to pursue, which do you think would be the most beneficial and get me to the jets/decent pay the quickest?

I'm 24, have a bachelor's degree, and part 141 commercial (just over 200 hours w/ 60 m.e.)

My goal is to fly for united, delta, etc.

1. Flight instruct @ a college and get 400 hours per year.
=tons of knowledge, graduate credits, aerobatics, gliders, decent pay, multi engine if I stick around for more than 2 years.

2. Flight instruct @ a 61/141 school and get 900 hours per year.
=maybe a few instrument students eventually, very little knowledge or multiengine time, good pay.

3. Fly pipeline and get 1500 hours per year.
=great pay, tons of hours, little new knowledge, TONS OF HOURS

4. Fly sic in a 135 cargo operation and get whatever flight time I can.
=best education I can imagine, no pay, ifr every day

I really need to start narrowing this down. Thanks!
 
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citdrver

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Well my man,

Here is what I think:

1) You have no time, so take a job that will provide you with the most time as possible.

2) PIC time is king

3) You always learn when flying.....the coment about pipeline flying I feel is inaccurate, you will learn tons flying 1500 hours in a short time frame.

4) One friend of mine gave me some good advice: "Go for the best equpment in your job choices", i.e. nice multi-engine turbine in the 135 deal, than do that

Good luck, you are very fortunate to have this many choices!
 

bobbysamd

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Eeny, meanie, miney, etc. . . . .

Choice No. 1, definitely. One of the great things about flight instruction is that it's a license for you to learn. It's unbelievable how much you will learn when you're teaching others a subject(s). You'll benefit greatly from the other opportunities you described for Choice No. 1, in particular the aerobatics and gliders. Will the place get you glider ratings on their nickel? If so, so much the better. I know two people with glider ratings who got jobs because of their glider ratings. In addition, hiring is slow right now, and you'll acquire the multi you need in time. You can enjoy the experience instead of feeling frantic all the time worrying about building time and multi quickly to take advantage of a hiring wave.

The graduate credits are also a consideration. It's nice to earn something tangible for your efforts apart from the flight time. Also, the decent pay is a major consideration . . . .

The 135 SIC choice is not a good one. You need PIC and PIC multi. It also helps to be paid. :rolleyes:

Hope that helps a little. Good luck with your decision.
 
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JetPilot500

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Do the pipeline then, when you are done doing that for the day, go instruct too. Build as much time as you can.

This is basically what I did, Traffic Watch in a C172 and Instruct. The traffic watch was fun because I got to fly left seat, the CFI was good because I learned a ton.

FLY FLY FLY, and when you are done with that, FLY SOME MORE! You can relax and enjoy life later!

Good Luck!
JetPilot500
 

Timebuilder

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The most obvious answer to me is "where you can get hired".

Recently, I mentioned a pre-9/11 conversation with the department head at Duke Energy. He has resumes on his desk from guys with 5,000 hours waiting to fly pipeline. I was stunned.

As Bobby said, choice number one is a good one. Contacts. Alumni. Networking. Master's degree. Flying. Learning. Stick around and get the multi time on someone else's dime (dime to the fifth power....) and more great experience. By the time you are finished, you'll be ideally suited to move ahead in aviation. I wish that I had been smart enough to do it this way, and at your age. I wasn't.

GO FOR IT!
 

skydiverdriver

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Get your CFII, and do them all! Insruct for awhile, and if it's not giving you what you need, try the pipeline thing. I think a variety of experience is good, and cargo is one of the best. We used to fly in all kinds of weather, and I learned a lot from some of the old crusty cargo captains. The rule is to get the heaviest and dirtiest time you can get. Heavy is obvious, but dirty means IMC and weather. Pipeline patrol is probably a dead end. I have met pipeline guys with 9000 hours in a Cherokee, who can't get even a regional job. But, sometimes VMC only stuff is pretty good. I know a few guys who flew skydivers in King Airs and Casa's, who went streight to the big planes.

Like the other guys said, get what you can. I spoke to an instructor the other day who told me there were instructors under every rock these days. I guess a lot of them are furloughed from the airlines. Get whatever you can, and then never give up on getting something better. That is how you move up. Good luck.
 

Timebuilder

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ACE said:
Go to Airnet

According to Bob (who told me this on the phone) Airnet is looking for those with a CFI, II, MEI background. The poster abve has just received his commercial.
 

avbug

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the road not taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

~ Robert Frost
 

daviator

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My advice is go with option #3. Get your 1500 hrs of PIC and with the money you've made buy 100 hrs of multi-engine time and then apply with a commuter ( one that has jets if possible). Good luck!
 

Dep676

My Glock is bigger!!!!!
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Pipeline

Go with the pipeline gig. Get as much time as you can. You never know when things could break and you want to have the time to move on. Think about it 1500 a year vs. 400 a year. That's a no brainer. Get in one year what is going to take you 3 and half years the other way. Good Luck in whatever you do.
 

Caveman

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"2. Flight instruct @ a 61/141 school and get 900 hours per year.
=maybe a few instrument students eventually, very little knowledge or multiengine time, good pay."

Personally, I'd choose option #2 even though I think you have mischaracterized it somewhat. This is the traditional way that most of us chose and it has stood the test of time. If you hook up with the right school there will be plenty of instrument students and plenty of ME time and you won't have to wait two years to take advantage of the ME time. I'm not sure what you mean by the comment 'very little knowledge' at a 61/141 school. Your students will have to meet the same PTS standards and take the same FAA writtens as any college student.
 

lancair1

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Thanks for all the responses, if anyone else has any other opinions please add it!

My comment about the knowledge I'll gain at a 61 school is relative to being at a school with aspiring professional pilots. I really want to have the opportunity to teach beyond the private level if I instruct.

I am starting to agree with those of you who suggest the pipeline gig. After looking all across the nation, it seems that you need the 1500. I haven't had a single person tell me that they will allow me to start flying their cargo with 700 hrs of TOP QUALITY time.

I wish I could dabble in each, but I want to get to the jets soon than later.
 

Timebuilder

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About twenty months ago, I searched high and low and never found a pipeline gig. If you find, one, send me a private. I'd like to hear who I missed.
 

Speedtree

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Instructing is definitely more work and if you take it seriously, more rewarding. Having done it for almost 3 years full time I can tell you that after about a year you will wish you were flying pipleline and although I've never had a similar job, after about a year you will wish you had something with more variety.

Instructing will force you to keep current. Pipeline lets you fly left seat. I remember after a few months of busy instructing I was happy just to be able to hop into a plane and taxi it down to maintenance.

All in all, if you are a motivated individual, it probably doesn't matter. I would go with what gives you the most hours, the most money, the best company to work for, or the opportunity for the most advancement. Not necessarily in that order of priority. Decide which one is important to you and follow through.
 

Guam360

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If the 135 gig is a:
1. crew environment and,
2. turbine,(multi)

I would go for the 135.

second choice would be the Total time gig, 1500 in a year.

you alresdy have the degree, get out there and get some real flying experience.

flight instruction...blah, blah, blah.....?
 

bobbysamd

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Pipeline jobs

Everyone talks about getting a pipeline job - as if these jobs are easy to get and will fall into your lap. Truth is, they are as hard to get as a commuter jobs. There are just soooooo many low-timers (and a few higher-timers, too) trying to get what are really very few jobs. You see these jobs advertised in such pubs as Air Jobs Digest and Trade-a-Plane. You apply, and never hear anything.

Just a little perspective to keep in mind. Instructing is realy the easiest entry-level job to get.
 
3

350DRIVER

lancair1-
Since "we" were in such agreement concerning the "gun issue" I thought I would lend my $.02-lol (maybee u won't be so "agreeable" concerning this issue)....I would reccomend highly "IF" you can go the CFI/CFII route do it since most if not all employers are going to want to see that you have instructed to build "experience" THEN latch on with a 135 operator for your multi-engine flight "experience"....I am 23 years of age and fortunately have over 440 hours of turbine time logged as well as a pretty nice 135 company record.(training, flight checks, etc..) I went this route and for the most part I have been pretty pleased with my progress since my dream has always been to fly for a major airline one day BUT with todays hiring I think I have a veryyyyy long way to go now however I do strongly feel that when that day does present itself (IF it does) that I will have a pretty solid and well diversified background in aviation as well as a nice resume... The best part (in MY opinion) of 135 flying is the vast and overall experience & knowledge which you will gain in somewhat of a "standardized" environment working as a "crew"..I have found that this has helped shape ME into a pretty well rounded pilot. However with that being said I still feel that the only reason that I was given the opportunity in the first place was due to my CFI/CFI tickets since I do feel that this did open the door- You are still going to need a tad of "luck" since most 135 operators now seem to be shying away from the lower time pilots for right seat gigs due to the wonderful insurance reqt's which seem to be the deciding factor these days. Our company for example is "now"looking" for SIC's with prior turbine experience as well as prior 135 flying preferred since once a pilot hits the magic 135 PIC minimums they do expect you to upgrade immediately without any delay due to the jets that we also have on our ticket. There are still many many 135 operators out there however that are still hiring low time pilots for SIC gigs- IF you play your cards right then I see absolutely no reason why you wouldn't be able to land a 135 SIC job at a relatively low amount of flight time....

Once again this was "MY" choice of routes to go and as you see their are many many ways to obtain your ultimate goal(s) which mostly depends on YOUR personal preference, I just thought the route I picked would leave me sitting pretty after awhile (still to be seen).... IF you do choose to fly 135 on your days off you can still flight instruct which will help you build your total "experience" time up and before you know it you will then be right at 135 PIC minimums and comfortable with the upgrade as well as being a "qualified" 135 PIC-

At 23 years of age I like my odds and whatever route you do choose "I wish you wind at your six and dreams come true at your twelve"....

C H E E R S

3 5 0

any questions that I may be able to answer ask away.....
 
3

350DRIVER

The 135 SIC choice is not a good one. You need PIC and PIC multi. It also helps to be paid

As much as I usually "agree" with Bobbysamd in 99.99% of his posts I must disagree with the philosophy pertaining to 135 SIC time as "useless" and "not a good choice".....

1)In "most" cases YOU (atleast I) are working for highly respected, safe, and known 135 flight department who ensure that the person occupying the right seat IS properly trained, and is a safe & competent pilot.- I do not agree that "multi-pic" is that important to pass up a part 135 SIC position due to the fact that quite afew 135 outfits are operating equipment that do NOT require a type rating which in return YOU are able to log ALL 91 legs as PIC time. (ex- King Air 90's, 100,s, etc, etc,etc..yada yada...(IF anything this "experience" is looked upon as "valued" and a "good choice"...

2) Also the "91 legs" you will be given the opportunity to fly left seat in turboprop equipment which I do not believe that many other opportunities are out there for "low time pilots" to be able to not only log PIC turbine time BUT also the "experience" factor which one obtains is "priceless" in my opinion..

3) I cannot see any better multi-engine PIC time than having "turbine" time in the logbooks. (my opinion)....

4) POTENTIAL for future upgrade is pretty good as well as better and "heavier" equipment to follow. As soon as I hit the "magic" 1200TT and other 135 PIC minimums are met I WILL take the 135 PIC check ride. Also the jets which we operate I will soon transition into the SIC position in the very near future. I am not aware of "too many" "lower time" pilots being given this opportunity...

5) I can't see how flying as a SIC for a 135 operation can be looked at as a "negative" by any future employers IF the position is "legit" and the SIC is properly trained as well as a formal 135 SIC check ride passed....

ALL of our SIC's are paid a very fair amount of money per trip, per diem, expenses all paid, etc, etc, etc,...... I do realize some 135 outfitters are "renting" the right seat out EX> Tab Express which I cannot see a pilot "BUYING" or "RENTING" the seat out..... IF you are fortunate enough to find a 135 company willing to train and PAY you for your services and in my opinion I would jump at that opportunity in a heart beat...

The networking that you can also accomplish flying 135 in my opinion are "priceless" and your name will get out there and plenty more opportunities will present themselves...

look VERY carefully at this "possible" opportunity that you may or may not have before making any immediate choices pertaining to your future.- I strongly feel that in business especially in aviation you will have plenty of competition and it is ultimately up to YOU to make yourself stick out and more marketable, more "qualified" than the next guy which could be a factor in a future job offer as well as you obtaining your ultimate goals... Right now supply is well exceeding the demands so you can most definately expect fierce competition in the job market and in my opinion 135 time is just as good IF not better than anything else out there at this point in "your" ballgame...

Once again good luck to you..

C H E E R S
3 5 0
 

lancair1

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Thanks for all the great advice!

I may end up re-hashing a few of the topics here, but:

I have often heard that in the first 1000 hours the seat time is necessary, but that it doesn't really matter what you are flying.

Does anyone have an opinion on the value of sic/some pic time in a 402 versus flight time instructing or flying pipeline? Or does the opinion above stand true that I just need the time and experience of sitting in a seat for a thousand?

If you had 200, and were offered 500 in the next year as 135 sic in a 402 would you take that over flying 1,000 in little cessnas?
 
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