Airline Pilot Forums

Airline Pilot Forums was designed to be a community where working airline pilots can share ideas and information about the aviation field. In the forum you will find information about major and regional airline carriers, career training, interview and job seeker help, finance, and living the airline pilot lifestyle.




BBJworldwide
06-22-2017, 08:46 AM
Long time reader, first time poster here. OK, so I have this friend...yeah, right. It's me... just like everyone else who wants to ask a question but I digress. My question doesn't have to do with making a decision whether or not to separate after being passed over twice. It just happened for the first time and as history shows, I have about a 97% chance of getting my walking papers next year after the board results are posted. My family and I have already decided to turn down continuation if offered (not as if big blue has an option at this point) and move on to the next chapter of our life. My question resides in how I should ride out the next year in pursuit of getting picked up by a major. I suddenly find myself staring into a window of unknowns and the under looming threat of (heaven forbid) actually making O-5... thus, a year long effort of pursuing an offer from the outside gets shredded to bits because I would then have to remain active due to two ADSCs that would take me to 2019 (MWS initial qual and 9/11 transfer)...AND put me at 16.5 years (reference: "it's only one more assignment, right?") Yeah...don't even want to think about that now. My question to everyone is whether or not anyone else here has found themselves in my shoes, how they handled it and what they might have done differently. I'm in a great position actively flying the BBJ and about to start working apps but not exactly sure when to pull the trigger. Also, haven't been able to get a straight answer from AFPC how ADSCs are addressed under my situation. Will I have to pay them back? Any thoughts? Thanks in advance for any advice!


WarEagle28
06-22-2017, 10:10 AM
Long time reader, first time poster here. OK, so I have this friend...yeah, right. It's me... just like everyone else who wants to ask a question but I digress. My question doesn't have to do with making a decision whether or not to separate after being passed over twice. It just happened for the first time and as history shows, I have about a 97% chance of getting my walking papers next year after the board results are posted. My family and I have already decided to turn down continuation if offered (not as if big blue has an option at this point) and move on to the next chapter of our life. My question resides in how I should ride out the next year in pursuit of getting picked up by a major. I suddenly find myself staring into a window of unknowns and the under looming threat of (heaven forbid) actually making O-5... thus, a year long effort of pursuing an offer from the outside gets shredded to bits because I would then have to remain active due to two ADSCs that would take me to 2019 (MWS initial qual and 9/11 transfer)...AND put me at 16.5 years (reference: "it's only one more assignment, right?") Yeah...don't even want to think about that now. My question to everyone is whether or not anyone else here has found themselves in my shoes, how they handled it and what they might have done differently. I'm in a great position actively flying the BBJ and about to start working apps but not exactly sure when to pull the trigger. Also, haven't been able to get a straight answer from AFPC how ADSCs are addressed under my situation. Will I have to pay them back? Any thoughts? Thanks in advance for any advice!

A friend of mine was in the same position. He pursued the reserves as a TR(for 1.5 years) and was promoted to Lt Col...He was hired by an airline and after his year of probation at the airlines, there was a 3 year AGR tour that opened up...he dropped mil leave for 3 years, reached his 20 year AD time, his 3 year TIG and now is back at the airlines with a full AD retirement...he had some good timing.

C-17 Driver
06-22-2017, 12:41 PM
Do you have any C-17 stink on you and do you live and/or plan to live in the mid-Atlantic region (DE, MD, VA, NJ, PA)?


BBJworldwide
06-23-2017, 08:15 AM
Do you have any C-17 stink on you and do you live and/or plan to live in the mid-Atlantic region (DE, MD, VA, NJ, PA)?

No 17 time. Tankers and Hercs but I will most likely be settling in the northeast if I'm lucky enough to land a job that puts me in domicile somewhere between Dulles and Newark. Originally from PA.

Scraggly Heron
06-23-2017, 01:31 PM
I separated after being passed over twice and being offered continuation . I don't regret it at all, and I only had 4.5 years to go.

If you're actively flying, you're in a good position to apply to the airlines. If you have a TS security clearance, you also have options in the defense industry that will pay as well as the Legacy carriers. In either case, knowing people at the company/airline you want to work for is important.

Here's the bad news--unless you're current and qualified in the airframe a guard/reserve unit is flying, getting hired can be a challenge.

BBJworldwide
06-23-2017, 11:18 PM
I separated after being passed over twice and being offered continuation . I don't regret it at all, and I only had 4.5 years to go.

If you're actively flying, you're in a good position to apply to the airlines. If you have a TS security clearance, you also have options in the defense industry that will pay as well as the Legacy carriers. In either case, knowing people at the company/airline you want to work for is important.

Here's the bad news--unless you're current and qualified in the airframe a guard/reserve unit is flying, getting hired can be a challenge.

Would like to hear more about your transition if you are willing to share. The defense industry is something that I haven't spent much time looking into but is definitely an option. I'm currently on the fence about finishing out my 20 in a guard/reserve position. My biggest questions rely on how to best time my applications and statement of availability due to the narrow margin of chance that I be promoted on the next board...I have even heard of people submitting letters to the board who want to get out. You didn't happen to have any ADSCs upon separation did you?

Otterbox
06-23-2017, 11:38 PM
If you're actively flying, you're in a good position to apply to the airlines. If you have a TS security clearance, you also have options in the defense industry that will pay as well as the Legacy carriers.

Starting out, yes but usually by Year 3-4 as an FO the legacies pull ahead of the DoD contractors, not counting the 14-16% direct contributions to the 401k from the legacies vs the 4-5% match that DoD contractors tend to contribute.

Scraggly Heron
06-24-2017, 10:56 AM
Would like to hear more about your transition if you are willing to share. The defense industry is something that I haven't spent much time looking into but is definitely an option. I'm currently on the fence about finishing out my 20 in a guard/reserve position. My biggest questions rely on how to best time my applications and statement of availability due to the narrow margin of chance that I be promoted on the next board...I have even heard of people submitting letters to the board who want to get out. You didn't happen to have any ADSCs upon separation did you?

First thing--it's incredibly rare to get picked up for Lt Col on your second look. Not impossible, but unless your wing commander is willing to give you a DP or a significant error is found in your records, it's not going to happen. I would recommend planning on being passed over a second time and making your plans based on that assumption. Don't take this as a reflection on you worth as an officer, AF is soul crushing, and you're just a number to the people at AFPC. On the plus side, writing a letter to the board is unnecessary.

I took the devil's money, so I still had a 3 year ADSC at the point of being passed over a second time. When offered continuation, it's a take it or get out in 6 months proposition; I turned it down and was given a separation date. The AF will take back a prorated amount of that year's bonus based on your date. In my case, DFAS decided the they overpaid me about 6 months after I separated, backdated the debt, reported it as delinquent to the credit agencies, and then sent a threatening letter. (I had been into finance no less than 10 times trying to work out my final pay). My first indication of any of this was when I logged onto USAA and saw that my credit score had dropped by over 100 points.

If you don't have an ADSC, taking continuation won't hurt anything, you can still separate on your own timeline. In terms of applying to guard/reserve units, I would start making contacts now. The guys there know how all of this works, and you can have all of your application paperwork ready to go once everything becomes official.

Otterbox is correct in stating that the Legacies pay better than the vast majority of defense contractors. And Delta's 401k is probably the best one in the aviation industry. However, Lockheed will match 10% of your salary based on an 8% contribution from you, so it's still quite good. In terms of salary, having a TS/SCI is the first step in getting hired on to the more lucrative projects. My pay last year was comparable to a narrow body captain at one of the legacies. I was also very lucky to know the right people to get onto this contract.

Defense industry contractors also are not usually members of unions; there are plusses and minuses to this--no union backing you, but no union dues either, and you can move to a different job in the industry without starting out from scratch.

One significant downside is that you're not going to be the master of your own life in the same way that you can be with seniority at an airline. My project is moving from its current location to the east coast, and I'm not happy about that *at all*. There's probably a good analogy to being a corporate pilot, because in essence that's what a defense industry pilot is.

Last thing: if you fly for the airlines, you show up, fly, and leave. They pay you to fly and nothing else. In defense/corporate, you're going to be on the 40 hour workweek schedule (generally) and will be part of planning, preparation, and post flight duties.

Good luck, the next year is going to be a whirlwind for you.

H60HawkDriver
06-25-2017, 05:44 AM
Have you looked into doing TERA? It sounds like you would be a perfect candidate. Go on DFAS's website and look it up. Or google TERA. I think it'll help you immensely.

sourdough44
07-01-2017, 05:59 AM
Just skimmed through above. Why not investigate some flavor of the 'Reserves' to continue towards 20?

As you get that rolling, look for a full time job on the outside.



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