Airline Pilot Forums

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ChuckMK23
06-18-2017, 02:18 PM
OK broad, no **** career question

52 year old former Naval Aviator - 3500 TT
ATP Helo
COMM MEL & INST AIRPLANE
First Class medical, blah blah blah

120 Airplane REAL PIC hours (80 MEL, 40 SEL)

Have not flown professionally in almost 20 years
Had an on again, off again affair with General Aviation as family and career permitted! I self funded and squeaked in my COMM MEL in the late 90's

Put app in for a regional RTP program and immediately got interview - (thrilled)

So is the concept of "industry motivation" still a hiring consideration by regionals and majors? Timing was always off and now market forces are in pilots favor - I am shocked at the severity of pilot shortage. The last 20 years I pursued a digital/technology career successfully and make over $160K.

Said regional was very supportive in my application for RTP, and I am excited about the chance to fly again, professionally. Heck to fly a jet would be awesome and worth it for first year pay at 60K

But will my 20 year gap from flying professionally be "forgiven" - should I be able to get 12-13 years of flying with 5 years at a major and retire at 65?

Thank you for entertaining the question - school me if I am delusional!


155mm
06-18-2017, 05:28 PM
Thank you for entertaining the question - school me if I am delusional!

120 fixed wing, haven't flown for 20 years! Yikes! Really?

Sorry, I don't mean to sound like a prick but at least go down to the local flight school and get a Flight Review in a Cessna or something. A lot of things have changed in twenty years! Certainly don't expect a Regional to spoon feed you either. It sounds like they will hire you and roll the dice but they won't just pass you if you aren't up to speed! That could be a career stopper with a permanent stain on your aviation records!

As far as possible getting on with a major? Of course, but nothing is guaranteed! I've been flying with a few "Rotorheads" lately that flew a couple years with the Regionals. Great guys and and good sticks! Good Luck!

Whiskey4
06-18-2017, 08:05 PM
120 fixed wing, haven't flown for 20 years! Yikes! Really?

Sorry, I don't mean to sound like a prick but at least go down to the local flight school and get a Flight Review in a Cessna or something. A lot of things have changed in twenty years! Certainly don't expect a Regional to spoon feed you either. It sounds like they will hire you and roll the dice but they won't just pass you if you aren't up to speed! That could be a career stopper with a permanent stain on your aviation records!

As far as possible getting on with a major? Of course, but nothing is guaranteed! I've been flying with a few "Rotorheads" lately that flew a couple years with the Regionals. Great guys and and good sticks! Good Luck!

RTP will give him the opportunity to build up from the 120 to 250 hours PIC fixed wing time. That should suffice for currency. Having not flown in 20 years is a bit tougher. I'd recommend Everything Explained for the Professional Pilot (book). Take a read through the AIM as a refresher. Some regs and procedures (ex: Climb Via during departures) have changed/updated. Flying is the easy part...managing the flight requires knowledge and currency. Respect the effects of the gap, refresh your overall knowledge, and you should be fine.


rickair7777
06-19-2017, 06:38 AM
Even a couple of years ago, a mil pilot with a significant flying gap would have had to to overcome some doubts with a major hiring board. But today it seems that anyone with mil wings, and the required mins and currency should get picked up quickly by a legacy.

Hacker15e
06-19-2017, 10:01 AM
So is the concept of "industry motivation" still a hiring consideration by regionals and majors?

The regionals definitely do not care about that currently (reference the back-flipping measures they are going to in order to usher anyone qualified through the door these days).

Still unknown with the majors/legacies. Although their hiring "bar" has dropped in the last three years, they are not even close to actually feeling the same shortage that the regionals are. The big gap in professional flying time might still be problematic today, but that issue's importance is surely dropping every day as the hiring pools begin to thin out. Remember also that most of the airlines also had a significant bias against rotor guys for decades, and it is really only the current desperation of the regionals that has driven them to (quite smartly, IMHO) tap into the pool of mil-trained helo drivers. That "enlightenment" about rotorheads probably hasn't hit the application review teams at the majors quite yet.

Certainly given the time you will spend flying at a regional building more fixed wing time and turbine PIC time after upgrading to Captain and before you are really eligible to move on to the majors, the gap in professional flying will likely be an insignificant issue given your other qualifications, as probably will your primarily-helo military flying background.

It is a good time to be making the jump back in -- welcome back.

bennet00
06-21-2017, 07:43 AM
Chuck - I am a Naval Aviator preparing to retire early next year, who last flew in Sep 2009. I am preparing to go the regional route, and have been doing a ton of research and networking.

Bottom Line Up Front - Yes, you can get hired even though you have been out of the cockpit for 20 years, and it is going to take some work.

I have anecdotally heard of people in recent hire classes who are in your same situation, 57 year old lawyers who have been hired, etc. Do not underestimate the attractiveness of the gold wings. You have proven once you can complete the training. I was at a hiring fair two weeks ago, and every regional I talked to said I would get an interview immediately after applying. (I have 2350TT, all heavy jet ME, CFI/CFII/MEI/Safety Officer/Ops Officer/NATOPS Evaluator, CRM Facilitator, etc...) .

Having said that, it is time to get in the books. There are a lot of great resources out there, and here are some that I recommend.

Everything Explained for the Professional Pilot - Read this cover to cover, and use as a reference when studying. (also available as an ebook for iPad)

Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge and Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators - Going to have brush up on your aero....

FAR/AIM 2017 - Use as a reference and learn 91.175 cold.

Instrument Procedures Handbook - I would also do some of the Jeppesen chart tutorials found online, and hire a local instructor to sit down with me for an hour or two to go through jeppesen approach plates and how to brief them.

I also purchased the preview package from ReadySetTakeoff.com. Many gold wingers have used this website to help get hired by the majors. Also look into Emerald Coast Interview Consulting. Many people recommend their service. I personally am not going to use it, because I have heard interview prep is slightly frowned upon right now by hiring boards, and they can tell and will ask if you have used an interview prep service. If you make it to the interview, they want to know the real you, not canned answers. I haven't done it yet, but I will use Checked and Set to review my apps prior to publishing.

Good luck, and hit me up if you have other questions.

Sliceback
06-21-2017, 09:31 AM
I'd pass on Aero for Naval Aviators. I'm looking at it right now and there are a couple of newer choices that IMO are better and are a more efficient use of your time and brain cells.

Read the AIM.

"Fly The Wing." Jim Webb & Billy Walker. Some of this is too indepth. like mach buffet and bank angle charts (Aero for Naval Aviator has the same stuff). But it would be a good review, or introduction, to a lot of airline type flying. Some of the Jepps plate are the old format. The newer format, standard industry wide and what you're expected to be able to brief, has the missed approach procedure above the plan and profile view. The old Jepps format has the missed approach procedure below the plan view.

Ace The Technical Pilot Interview - Gary V. Bristow(2002). I'd skip over the propeller and gyroscopic precession stuff. But it contains a lot of stuff that applies to the level of knowledge you'd be expected to know.

Airline Pilot Interviews - Irv Jasinski(2002, revised 2011). A review of pilot hiring interviews.

Handling the Big Jets - D.P. Davies (1973). Popular. 1973....I prefer Ace The Technical Pilot Interview as it's newer (2002).

I havn't read Everything Explained for the Professional Pilot. It looks like a good choice as does The Turbine Pilot's Flight Manual. They're 2013-2015 books and should cover the latest changes.

Good luck.

E2CMaster
06-21-2017, 01:19 PM
Even a couple of years ago, a mil pilot with a significant flying gap would have had to to overcome some doubts with a major hiring board. But today it seems that anyone with mil wings, and the required mins and currency should get picked up quickly by a legacy.

I wish this were true.

Hacker15e
06-21-2017, 05:31 PM
I wish this were true.

Are you still flying ISR?

The only former mil dudes I know who are current, but aren't getting calls from the majors, are flying ISR.

Since 2014, every single similarly qualified dude I know who went to the regionals instead moved on to the majors within 2 years.

E2CMaster
06-21-2017, 08:02 PM
Yep. Still at L3. Guys are getting hired out of here, but not me

That said, a friend just spent 3 years at Wiz, and came here because of no call.

Sent from my 2PYB2 using Tapatalk

E2CMaster
06-22-2017, 10:17 AM
Are you still flying ISR?

The only former mil dudes I know who are current, but aren't getting calls from the majors, are flying ISR.

Since 2014, every single similarly qualified dude I know who went to the regionals instead moved on to the majors within 2 years.

Is there some sort of ISR Stigma now? When I left active duty, I couldn't even get a call from a Regional (I was a mostly helo guy with about 1200 FW when I left AD) but guys with 2500-3000 FW hours were leaving ISR to go there.. Now I have 3400ish FW and I got called by Southwest last year (not hired) and not a peep out of anywhere else since, to include ACMIs like Atlas and Kalitta.

Apps on file with every major and a few ACMIs (ones where I could live on their pay indefinitely)

UAL, DAL, AA, FedEx, UPS, HAL, JB, Atlas, Kalitta. Not even so much as an email.

Guys are still leaving here for majors, but it's usually the guys who just left the military and needed currency.. Do one or two rotations and bail. It's created a weird grouping where you have the less than two year "Noobs" and 4+ year "ISR Lifers" around here.

That said, there are a few guys who after being broke at the regionals with no calls for 3-5 years have now come here, to not be broke.

If I knew for sure a regional was a .95 Pk to be at a major within 18 months, I could swing it.

It's the 2-3 years at a regional that would break me financially. They are getting better, but still hard to get by if you aren't retired from the military or have a spouse with a decent job.

To the OP, sorry for the threadjack, couldn't think of a better place to respond to Hacker without it being lost in the background noise.

Hacker15e
06-22-2017, 11:30 AM
Is there some sort of ISR Stigma now? When I left active duty, I couldn't even get a call from a Regional (I was a mostly helo guy with about 1200 FW when I left AD) but guys with 2500-3000 FW hours were leaving ISR to go there.. Now I have 3400ish FW and I got called by Southwest last year (not hired) and not a peep out of anywhere else since, to include ACMIs like Atlas and Kalitta.

Apps on file with every major and a few ACMIs (ones where I could live on their pay indefinitely)

UAL, DAL, AA, FedEx, UPS, HAL, JB, Atlas, Kalitta. Not even so much as an email.

Guys are still leaving here for majors, but it's usually the guys who just left the military and needed currency.. Do one or two rotations and bail. It's created a weird grouping where you have the less than two year "Noobs" and 4+ year "ISR Lifers" around here.

That said, there are a few guys who after being broke at the regionals with no calls for 3-5 years have now come here, to not be broke.

If I knew for sure a regional was a .95 Pk to be at a major within 18 months, I could swing it.

It's the 2-3 years at a regional that would break me financially. They are getting better, but still hard to get by if you aren't retired from the military or have a spouse with a decent job.

To the OP, sorry for the threadjack, couldn't think of a better place to respond to Hacker without it being lost in the background noise.

I don’t think there’s a stigma, no, but I think that it is not nearly as attractive looking on a former mil guy's application than regional training/experience is.

This is total speculation; I am just reporting what I’ve seen with a couple dozen guys over the last three years that I have known and watched make the choice to do one over the other. I made that choice myself (I retired from the AF non-current and in a desk job), and went to the regionals, spent a year there, and moved on to a current career gig at a major.

For some reason, the majors are valuing that 121 time substantially with military dudes who don’t otherwise have “hire me now!”-excellent resumes along with currency/recency.

I know for certain that there is the “able to succeed in a 121 training program” factor with the majors liking to see regional time. Unfortunately military flying doesn’t acutely match the 121 flying environment and we’ve all read/heard horror stories about “that guy” who was hired straight from the military and doesn’t learn/adapt to the 121 world well and is generally both a nightmare for the training department and the Line Check Airmen. Having a 121 training cycle on a former mil guy's application pretty much eliminates that question in the interviewer's mind.

My pure speculation is that there’s a not-so-small “humble enough and dedicated enough to a career at the airlines to swallow their pride and go to a regional” factor involved, too. There’s some purely anecdotal evidence for this, that it shows the airlines that you can stow your rank and turn-and-burn flying experience in the map case and be a happy, functional, safe crew member with a 25-year-old regional Captain. We know from most of the “military vs civilian” threads here on APC and the YouTube videos like the former F-15 F/O hung up on the checklist ("Logbook....") that such prejudice exists, and that this ego piece is a concern for the airlines hiring military dudes. I was certainly asked about it at more than one airline interview, and I'm sure my demeanor in answering the question was a barometer on my attitude and ego.

There are even previous mil dudes who have been able to mend big black marks on their flying regords with time at the regionals. I personally know guys with multiple Q3s (not sure what you Navy guys call checkride failures, but that's a USAF checkride bust), guys who have crashed airplanes and been found at fault, guys who have been grounded by FEB/FNAEB, guys who have Art 15s (Captains Mast for the naval types) or other punishment, etc, and who the majors initially wouldn't touch because of that stuff on their application. All of those guys I know of went to the regionals for 12-24 months, and are now on to major airline jobs within 2 years.

You make an important point with the helo experience: traditionally none of the airlines (even the regionals) have put any value whatsoever on mil helo time. I think all of us former military folks know that this is a really ridiculous bias, and that mil helo guys have a tremendous amount of airmanship and have succeeded in demanding training programs and operational environments, but none the less the airlines have not been interested for decades. Fortunately in the last year the regionals have become desperate enough that they took a chance on recruiting rotorheads and seem to have had a lot of success with them. Unfortunately, that need hasn’t hit the major airline level yet, so former helo bubbas still need things on their application that make them attractive to the majors, and I suspect that 121 time is the foremost of those things. The good news is I think airline career prospects are rapidly improving for former rotorheads, but still not enough to leave the mil and walk directly into a major airline job without other previous 121 experience.

I completely understand the financial risk involved in the decision: I had to support a family of four on a take-home pay during my year at the regionals of about $17,000. Fortunately, as you mention, I had mil retirement to bolster that, but even that was only a total of about 30% of what I’d been making as an O-5, so it was a big monetary hit. Since I was in a desk job before retiring, I knew that there was a stint at the regionals in my future, so I saved up as much $$ as I could during those three years. Based on talking to guys that knew more than me (guys like Albie, who have helped thousands make the transition and have lots of anecdotal data), I financially planned on two years at the regionals, and chose to go to a regional that had a quick Captain upgrade and Captain pay that I could financially handle for several more years if no major airline job was forthcoming.

Yep, I burned through nearly all of my saved cash during the year at the regionals (and my first year pay at the majors)…it hurt to watch that money go away, but that is what I saved it for so it served its purpose.

There is certainly a lot of evidence that going to the regionals is a door that the majors like to see former mil guys walk through, and likely partially because of how much of a risk and challenge it is financially and to the ego. I can't proclaim something like a .95 Pk, nor give a hard-and-fast timeframe, but I think it is a 1-2 year path that has worked for a lot of guys with similar resumes as you.

I don't know your financial situation, but I'd think that with the phat checks from the ISR gig (and it looks like you're still a reservist, too) you could rathole away a couple years' worth of "burn through" savings, and choose a regional whose Captain pay is sufficient enough to sustain you financially for a year or two beyond that if things went sideways. If a "career" job didn't materialize for you within 2 years, I suppose you could always go back to the ISR gig?

Old paradigms are changing rapidly in the airline hiring environment, so maybe this one will change soon, too, but just reporting what I've seen and experienced in the last few years.

E2CMaster
06-22-2017, 11:42 AM
My first year ISR was at a "Less than Reputable" ISR company (Avenge) that cut pay and rotation days, so it took the first year plus at L3 (good pay) to dig out of that hole.

Previous to Avenge I had been laid off three times in the preceding two years, so that's been a hole to dig out of.

I'm in the process of trying to build up a warchest to survive regionals like you did. Does take a long time to dig out a hole after burning all your savings and then getting into debt after being laid off a couple times.


Reserves are basically beer money. I'm in a unit with no planes and no money. So we get 48 Drills and 14 days AT, and not a day more. Guys I know in VR (C-130/C-40) squadrons can make well into the 30s just burning up their IDT drills, and AFTPs, and more if they go on orders.

I'm trying to get into a C-130 unit, but I'm senior as all get out so it's not likely, but I put a package in because I'm at least going to try to get in a C-130 or C-40 until I'm no longer legally allowed to try.

Brillo
06-22-2017, 11:58 AM
I don’t think there’s a stigma, no, but I think that it is not nearly as attractive looking on a former mil guy's application than regional training/experience is.

This is total speculation; I am just reporting what I’ve seen with a couple dozen guys over the last three years that I have known and watched make the choice to do one over the other. I made that choice myself (I retired from the AF non-current and in a desk job), and went to the regionals, spent a year there, and moved on to a current career gig at a major.

For some reason, the majors are valuing that 121 time substantially with military dudes who don’t otherwise have “hire me now!”-excellent resumes along with currency/recency.

I know for certain that there is the “able to succeed in a 121 training program” factor with the majors liking to see regional time. Unfortunately military flying doesn’t acutely match the 121 flying environment and we’ve all read/heard horror stories about “that guy” who was hired straight from the military and doesn’t learn/adapt to the 121 world well and is generally both a nightmare for the training department and the Line Check Airmen. Having a 121 training cycle on a former mil guy's application pretty much eliminates that question in the interviewer's mind.

My pure speculation is that there’s a not-so-small “humble enough and dedicated enough to a career at the airlines to swallow their pride and go to a regional” factor involved, too. There’s some purely anecdotal evidence for this, that it shows the airlines that you can stow your rank and turn-and-burn flying experience in the map case and be a happy, functional, safe crew member with a 25-year-old regional Captain. We know from most of the “military vs civilian” threads here on APC and the YouTube videos like the former F-15 F/O hung up on the checklist ("Logbook....") that such prejudice exists, and that this ego piece is a concern for the airlines hiring military dudes. I was certainly asked about it at more than one airline interview, and I'm sure my demeanor in answering the question was a barometer on my attitude and ego.

There are even previous mil dudes who have been able to mend big black marks on their flying regords with time at the regionals. I personally know guys with multiple Q3s (not sure what you Navy guys call checkride failures, but that's a USAF checkride bust), guys who have crashed airplanes and been found at fault, guys who have been grounded by FEB/FNAEB, guys who have Art 15s (Captains Mast for the naval types) or other punishment, etc, and who the majors initially wouldn't touch because of that stuff on their application. All of those guys I know of went to the regionals for 12-24 months, and are now on to major airline jobs within 2 years.

You make an important point with the helo experience: traditionally none of the airlines (even the regionals) have put any value whatsoever on mil helo time. I think all of us former military folks know that this is a really ridiculous bias, and that mil helo guys have a tremendous amount of airmanship and have succeeded in demanding training programs and operational environments, but none the less the airlines have not been interested for decades. Fortunately in the last year the regionals have become desperate enough that they took a chance on recruiting rotorheads and seem to have had a lot of success with them. Unfortunately, that need hasn’t hit the major airline level yet, so former helo bubbas still need things on their application that make them attractive to the majors, and I suspect that 121 time is the foremost of those things. The good news is I think airline career prospects are rapidly improving for former rotorheads, but still not enough to leave the mil and walk directly into a major airline job without other previous 121 experience.

I completely understand the financial risk involved in the decision: I had to support a family of four on a take-home pay during my year at the regionals of about $17,000. Fortunately, as you mention, I had mil retirement to bolster that, but even that was only a total of about 30% of what I’d been making as an O-5, so it was a big monetary hit. Since I was in a desk job before retiring, I knew that there was a stint at the regionals in my future, so I saved up as much $$ as I could during those three years. Based on talking to guys that knew more than me (guys like Albie, who have helped thousands make the transition and have lots of anecdotal data), I financially planned on two years at the regionals, and chose to go to a regional that had a quick Captain upgrade and Captain pay that I could financially handle for several more years if no major airline job was forthcoming.

Yep, I burned through nearly all of my saved cash during the year at the regionals (and my first year pay at the majors)…it hurt to watch that money go away, but that is what I saved it for so it served its purpose.

There is certainly a lot of evidence that going to the regionals is a door that the majors like to see former mil guys walk through, and likely partially because of how much of a risk and challenge it is financially and to the ego. I can't proclaim something like a .95 Pk, nor give a hard-and-fast timeframe, but I think it is a 1-2 year path that has worked for a lot of guys with similar resumes as you.

I don't know your financial situation, but I'd think that with the phat checks from the ISR gig (and it looks like you're still a reservist, too) you could rathole away a couple years' worth of "burn through" savings, and choose a regional whose Captain pay is sufficient enough to sustain you financially for a year or two beyond that if things went sideways. If a "career" job didn't materialize for you within 2 years, I suppose you could always go back to the ISR gig?

Old paradigms are changing rapidly in the airline hiring environment, so maybe this one will change soon, too, but just reporting what I've seen and experienced in the last few years.

Hacker, nice post. Appreciate the time you put into a thoughtful response. Some good perspective.

Otterbox
06-22-2017, 01:43 PM
If a "career" job didn't materialize for you within 2 years, I suppose you could always go back to the ISR gig?

Old paradigms are changing rapidly in the airline hiring environment, so maybe this one will change soon, too, but just reporting what I've seen and experienced in the last few years.

When I left my ISR gig, I received a letter in the mail from the security department stating my clearance would be held in good standing for two years after my resignation date, so in theory one could run back to the ISR world if the regionals didn't work out (I actually know someone who did this recently... <$900 a paycheck sitting reserve was too stressful for his family to manage and the comfort of a $150k a year job was too much to not go back to).

The paradigm is shifting rapidly indeed- I got a call from a buddy who attrited from the Phase 3 of UPT today saying a regional is going to pay a bunch of money for him to finish out his ratings and put him on a pathway program to fly with them.