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Old 02-21-2012, 07:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I have a bit of a puzzle I've been trying to solve as of late.

- I have a great job with a solid company. I make over $80K a year.
- I will be finishing my MBA in December 2012 and getting married in May 2012.
- I have a CFI/CFI-I/MEI and I am about 400TT/100ME.
- The company I work for owns & operates a nice midsize corp jet.
- There are currently 3 pilots, but one is going to retire in the coming couple years.
- I know the pilots well and get along great with them.
- I know the owner's of the company and get along with their kids (my age).
- The insurable mins for this jet are about 1500TT/1000ME/750Turbine according to the insurance company, but there is a stipulation that the pilots can waive that if they feel the SIC is competent.


I am struggling if I should go and hit the CFI thing hard and get my time and go to an airline, or take the slower route and work toward my ATP while staying at my current job. I am hoping once I have an ATP and maybe 500ME that they'd type me on the jet and I'd do my current job mixed with some pinch-hitter SIC flying on the jet. I know time is everything with the airlines so I hate to wait 5 years and have it not pan out on the Part 91 side. I also hate to leave the stability and money now, but don't want to be blocked out by the HR5900 coming down the pipe for Part 121 so I was hoping to make a decision once I finish MBA school in Dec. Any words of wisdom?
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Finish your MBA, become company president and fly in the back, enjoying the catering and wine. Seriously!

You will spend several years as a CFI making 1/3 of what your making now; maybe get stuck in the hamster wheel of regionals at the same salary in the hope of getting a spot at a major. Or spend those years getting time hoping there is an opening at your old company and compete for it.

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Old 02-21-2012, 07:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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First ... as I've started one of my 10 posts on this site, free advice is worth what you pay for it! ... Please keep that in mind!

From what you wrote, you know that you're worth at least $80,000 a year doing what you're doing. Who knows how much more once you secure your MBA (congrats on that!). Have you looked at the pay scales of the regionals. You'd make more money instructing than you would flying for a regional as an SIC.

I know that money isn't everything, but ... as you pointed out ... leaving what you have now for a less paying and uncertain future ... is just that. It's a lot less money and very uncertain.

I have no idea how old you are but, I do know that you're about to take on a personal obligation besides yourself (ie, getting married). What's worth more? Chasing the flying dream (which you can do now on a slower pace) and lowering your life standards below to which you've become accustomed ... or, fly for fun? Make money, take your bride on weekend cross countries ... and do instructing on the side.

But, here's the real kicker ... what does she think? What does she want you to do? If she's willing to support you (with her eyes wide open) towards the flying goal -- go for it. If she's not ... well, you have choices to make!

I probably didn't help ... but, I do wish you the best in your decision ...
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you really enjoy your current job, that's a big factor. I'm currently a line service tech and love my job and the company I work for. It's definitely making me stall on getting my CFIs. I also earn more now than I will with many regionals for the first few years.

I think if you can stay in close contact with your current company you would probably have a good shot at getting the job in the future, but you may get stuck on reserve for a year with a regional and get no time while your current company needs to fill the position. You should ask your company if they could hold off on hiring that new pilot in the future and wait for you, practically of course. Or talk to the pilot that wants to retire and see if they could time it with you so the transition would be seamless.

That's the great thing about good companies, they usually work with you as much as they can.

This is of course the best case scenario, but it never hurts to ask and if they like you the odds of something like that happening will increase.
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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With 400tt, I don't see any regional besides Great Lakes being interested. The regionals are gearing for the 1500hr rule which goes into place next year. With that, regionals are hiring guys with around 700-1000hrs. Remember, if you're hired say tomorrow, it'll be mid summer before you start IOE. That leaves less than a year to get you to 1500hrs. With monthly credit averaging 85hrs, (although you'll probably be on reserve) you won't make the deadline of 1500.
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If this isn't a troll post, you would be making a huge mistake leaving that job to earn poverty-level wages. Like someone said above, get you MBA, and become company president and fly in back. Or as company president buy your type when you are making a gazzilion dollars and fly the company aircraft yourself.
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luv2Rotate View Post
With 400tt, I don't see any regional besides Great Lakes being interested. The regionals are gearing for the 1500hr rule which goes into place next year. With that, regionals are hiring guys with around 700-1000hrs. Remember, if you're hired say tomorrow, it'll be mid summer before you start IOE. That leaves less than a year to get you to 1500hrs. With monthly credit averaging 85hrs, (although you'll probably be on reserve) you won't make the deadline of 1500.
I guess my plan would be to go as a CFI in December full-time (I'll probably be around 650TT/130ME). If I got with AeroSim or Transpac I'd probably be around 1500TT by HR5900 or shortly after.


PS- what is a 'troll post'??
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Life is about choices, most of the big ones are not easy.

It's not easy to walk away from a $80K job for a $20K job as a regional F/O, cross your fingers and hope you get an airline job. And if you do, your boss might not welcome you back if you decide being an 'airline pilot' on food stamps sucks. And then there's the wife...I hope she's got a good job, but will she re-locate and keep it?

There is no easy answer, if it were easy, everybody would be doing it. Have you talked to your present boss about flying the corporate jet if/when you get the time? Have you talked to the other pilots, about doing some flying with them, or how to build some time while keeping your present job? Maybe they know some other part 135 or 91 ops. where you can build some time on the weekends.

I was watching Jim Cramer this morning talk about how the Dow has Finally made it above 13,000 for the first time since 2008, he claims that is a "Sign" that an economic turnaround is coming, in 6mo. time he said.

And next Dec. the Major Airline pilots who were supposed to retire at age 60, will be turning 65, so hopefully that will (finally) start some replacement hiring, and if Cramer is right (and he's been very wrong before) and the economy DOES turnaround, there might even be some 'growth' hiring. So right now might be a good time to be getting your hours in, to be ready a year from now, if/when the Majors finally start hiring, either for growth or for retirement replacements, or if we are lucky, for both.

This career field has always been about the boom-bust cycles. Well, we have been in the -Bust- mode for quite a while, so a Boom should be coming....

But where do you want to be in say, 10 years? Flying for a Major? Then you'd better get started building time.

Or flying the company G650? Then you stay where you are, and beg for time from the other pilots until you can get hired on as a pilot there, part time or full time.

Or doing the CEO thing, riding in the back?

The CEO thing pays a lot better, if it's money you are after.

There is no easy way, we have all made similar choices and had to live with the results, and not too many of us get a "Do Over" if it doesn't work out. But with the MBA in your pocket, and some job experience, you might be able to return to the corporate, 9-5, M-F world in 5-10 years, if the airline gig doesn't pan out.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Be VERY wary of mentioning to your boss or the Chief Pilot/DO your thoughts about continuing in your current job and "pinch hitting" in the airplane...some managers don't look too kindly upon that as it 1. can set an unrealistic expectation in upper management for pilot duties & responsibilities and 2. could take away a full-time flying position.

Talk to the current pilots and tell them you want to make a shift into professional flying and see what THEY have to say about it.

If I were you, I'd keep the day job that pays the bills and will allow you to spend time with your new wife...and fly whenever you can to build your time.

This career is hell on personal lives AND marriages, and while I love to fly, I would never sacrifice my QOL and income to the level you would have to...with no guarantee of future success.

Good luck...
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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If you are bent on Flying, go buy a Cub or a Pitts S1 and keep your day job, weekends and holidays off.

I've had much more Fun flying those than the 777 or any other 'airliner'.
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