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Old 03-19-2007, 01:23 PM   #8  
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Joined APC: Jan 2007
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Default Some thoughts

Originally Posted by RedBaron007 View Post
I was wondering what everyone's thoughts are on taking a systems training program. I'm thinking of this as not only a way to get into the game a bit earlier, but also an opportunity to better learn the systems of the aircraft and know the airplane better once I would get hired. I understand the lowered minimums are a contentious subject, and respect everyone's opinions on them. While I understand that getting into the business too early while I'm still inexperienced is a risk, there's also the risk of being behind the ball while everyone else is getting their f/o slot and I'm still flight instructing (not that that wouldn't be a valuable experience too, but not as aggressive a career move). Anyway, the more specific questions:

1. Is there anybody on here who's done the training? What're your thoughts?

2. Does it look bad just doing the systems training while not having done it as part of college? I'm doing flying separately from my college degree, so I have something to use as a backup. Is the training then looked at differently than if it were gotten while someone was getting an aviation degree?

3. Is it too restrictive to only get CRJ systems training? The regionals I'm most interested in have the CRJs in their fleets, so that's how I chose that aircraft.

4. Does anybody have anything else to say about getting the systems training?

5. Is there a particular place anyone would recommend for doing this training? I see that ATP and PanAm Academy both have programs (that seem to be vastly different), but I thought there might be some others out there.
  • I am sure there are lots here that have done the training and many that have not. We can let them all chime in.
  • It does not look bad doing systems training separately from college courses, many pilots and interviewers like to see a varied background in candidates. It is always good to have a backup in this industry so a different degree than aviation can be a good thing. The question I think you are really asking is ďshould I do a jet training programĒ Well. Iím not sure. Letís find out if it would benefit you but first we would need some more information about you. What are your hours, where did you get your flight training, was it structured, what is your educational background?
  • It is not to restrictive to get jet training based on an airplane but I feel that for you to really get the most you should be taught advanced systems based on an aircraft but general enough to demonstrate the basics and fundamentals of how those systems operate in any jet.
  • Yes. These types of courses are not for just anyone. Many pilots say donít do this type of course because ďthe airline will teach you everything you need to knowĒ well if that were true then the airlines would not have any minimums and there would be no reason for the legacy airlines and major cargo airlines to have such a competitive market for pilots. The fact is that airlines do a great job of teaching new hires about their operation, the aircraft, and the company SOP. Many pilots say these type of courses are not needed because they made it and didnít have this training. Well when many of us were hired the minimums were at 1000+ hours and most pilots had 1500+. Thatís a big difference depending on your background.

Here is what I think, just me. If you are a very low time pilot 300-800 hours then you might benefit from one of these courses. Do some research. You want to find out who teaches the classes, who hires the students, who set the standards, and what is the cost. I feel as a low time pilot a well planned and organized advanced jet program can teach a pilot how to learn. It can demonstrate the fast pace of training and allow the pilot to adapt their study habits to be successful in such a accelerated training cycle. Also, this give the pilot a good working knowledge of the basics of jet systems, operations, and automation. When you show up at the airline you can understand the classes better and be a more effective first officer.

Now if you have 800-1500 hours then maybe you are not a good candidate for this class. Its really not up to me to make that judgment. You need to compare your training experience to the expectation of airline training and make a responsible choice.

Many pilots feel as if getting hired and passing your type ride is the end of airline training. We carry people, lots of people. Those include moms, brothers, sisters, and grandparents. It would not be the attitude of a responsible pilot to stop learning just because they have the bare minimum knowledge to pass a check ride. Even if you are in a 777 its not time to stop learning. I donít know everything about flying and thatís why I study and continue to learn more and enjoy doing so. NOONE knows it all.

You have to see where you fit in. Not all programs are good and not all companies will have your best interest in mind. Be sure to look at the big picture and see if the course has a good tract record, is affordable, and use good common sense. Now I donít know if I answered your question but I hope you will be able to answer it better yourself after looking at your training background and your goals.

One other thing, these courses should not be done just to get an interview. That would be an expensive interview. Thses courses should be done for the resons stated above, to be better prepared and more proficient as a pilot and to reduce the chance of failure for a lowere time pilot while allowing them to be a more effective first officer. If the program has an additional benefit of an interview well then thats ok.

Good Luck
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