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.




The Count
09-05-2017, 07:10 AM
Hello aviators and thanks in advance again for the advice...

I'm an Air Force pilot with an ATP looking at career options now. I was planning on retiring at ~21yrs (2020) out of an inactive flying job, but then saw (thanks to your all's replies to my first post) how important recency plays into the equation at the majors.

So, the AF has offered guys like me a second bonus at $35k a year, which essentially would commit me out to 2022 (2 years past my current commitment). It's tempting because the intent is to get pilots into cockpits meaning that I'll likely end up in a cockpit after my current non-flying tour. So, I have two plans...

Plan A: Retire from my non-flying job in 2020, roll the bones on a major and likely(??) end up at a regional for X months before being a candidate for a major.

Plan B: Take the bonus, do a flying assignment and retire with recency in 2022 at which point I'll be more marketable for the majors.

Thoughts?


FlyBoyd
09-05-2017, 08:57 AM
It's tempting because the intent is to get pilots into cockpits meaning that I'll likely end up in a cockpit after my current non-flying tour.

Thoughts?

Intent? After all these years you still believe in intent?

Nothing is guaranteed except the fact you will be locked into two more years doing whatever they want you to do. Now if that aligns with what's good for you remains to be seen.

Sliceback
09-05-2017, 12:30 PM
Get out. Regional currency will be achieved in about 3 months. A year of regional flying post retirement gets you 500+ hrs.

It's a 20 yr retirement career. Last years will be $300,000 or more. Taking a $35,000 annual bonus, at the expense of 1-2 years of $300,000 along with being 500-2000 guys more junior for 20 yrs?

The hiring demand will be up, and supply is forecasted to be tighter, in the coming years. That increases the odds that an airline might take you without flight currency.

Currency at one point at "100 hrs in something at least commuter size." For some companies that's dropped away completely or to "anything". Join a flight club and start applying with 100 hrs of currency at least six months prior to retiring. Keep current, and above the 100 yrs in the last year curve, while applying. There's a thread about the timeline, and steps to take, transitioning from AD to the airlines. Search 'albieF15'. I think it's his thread.

AD guys in no flying jobs, but who were flying on the side (CFI's, etc), have gotten hired. Some non current AD guys have gotten hired. I've heard one or two airlines don't require currency for O-6 and above. That might drop lower, perhaps any retiree(?), as the supply/demand curve tightens.

Staying in doesn't add up.


sailingfun
09-05-2017, 12:32 PM
Hello aviators and thanks in advance again for the advice...

I'm an Air Force pilot with an ATP looking at career options now. I was planning on retiring at ~21yrs (2020) out of an inactive flying job, but then saw (thanks to your all's replies to my first post) how important recency plays into the equation at the majors.

So, the AF has offered guys like me a second bonus at $35k a year, which essentially would commit me out to 2022 (2 years past my current commitment). It's tempting because the intent is to get pilots into cockpits meaning that I'll likely end up in a cockpit after my current non-flying tour. So, I have two plans...

Plan A: Retire from my non-flying job in 2020, roll the bones on a major and likely(??) end up at a regional for X months before being a candidate for a major.

Plan B: Take the bonus, do a flying assignment and retire with recency in 2022 at which point I'll be more marketable for the majors.

Thoughts?

The hiring standards the airlines use in 2020 will be very different from today. Get some time flying anything you can at the base flying club or local airport and you may well be good to go.

Sputnik
09-05-2017, 12:32 PM
Stay in if you want, don't if you don't.

I would say if you are extending solely for chance to leave current.....might not be a great plan. Not sure the program you are speaking of, but in general the AF wants rated guys to stay in...often for staff.

All things being equal, punch asap and you will get multiple offers from regionals. Pass training and fly line for a few months and you magically become very attractive to the majors.

Guys have been hired non-current as well, so don't rule it out.

What happens if you extend, and they put you in a non flying job. Would you be ok with that? Goes back to my first question.

kme9418
09-05-2017, 01:16 PM
You could extend for 2 years and they could give you a one year remote (flying or not...whatever) to thank you for your service. Or you could be in a "flying" job but be put in charge of (name an FGO job) and still not have the 100 in 12 that is needed to go directly to most majors. Then you wasted 2 years. Go to the regional, get current in 3 months, then be at a major within a year. Don't look back.

ugleeual
09-05-2017, 04:41 PM
If you can retire out of a flying gig then YES... if not depends on how you see the hiring in the future. Getting hired at a major without recent flying is a pipe dream... you'll need to go to a RJ gig for about 4-6 months ten update apps.

HuggyU2
09-05-2017, 07:48 PM
... I'll likely end up in a cockpit after my current non-flying tour.

"Likely"? That doesn't sound like 100%.

Count, if you're absolutely loving what you're doing and just want it to last a few more years, then stick around.

But if you're purely looking for a strategy to go into the Majors, then I don't believe the extra 2 years in will help.

Also, won't you incur a 2 year commitment for requal? If so, that will add a few more months to your ADSC.

Hacker15e
09-05-2017, 09:44 PM
Don't be one of those military folks who foolishly does backflips to avoid going to the regionals because they think it is beneath them professionally.

Yes, there is some short-term financial pain incurred by going that route, but everything else about it is a net positive professionally that will pay off big in the long game.

Sliceback
09-06-2017, 07:18 AM
Don't be one of those military folks who foolishly does backflips to avoid going to the regionals because they think it is beneath them professionally.

Yes, there is some short-term financial pain incurred by going that route, but everything else about it is a net positive professionally that will pay off big in the long game.

Bingo. How many separating/retired military guys have posted "I learned..." from their regional time? You should learn from each new job.

JTwift
09-06-2017, 10:46 AM
Bingo. How many separating/retired military guys have posted "I learned..." from their regional time? You should learn from each new job.

I learned that I apparently suck at interviewing since I've now not been hired at two majors.

People say that prior-military is guaranteed job at a major, but...well, no. I know a few others who haven't gotten hired, too. Maybe it's just a crapshoot on that particular day, I don't know, but it isn't like we are just walking on to the big leagues with no effort involved.

I will say, though, that I really have learned a lot so far at my regional.

JohnUtah
09-06-2017, 06:23 PM
I learned that I apparently suck at interviewing since I've now not been hired at two majors.

People say that prior-military is guaranteed job at a major, but...well, no. I know a few others who haven't gotten hired, too. Maybe it's just a crapshoot on that particular day, I don't know, but it isn't like we are just walking on to the big leagues with no effort involved.

I will say, though, that I really have learned a lot so far at my regional.

I agree, as an ex AF pilot I am still on the outside looking in. I suspect it is because my current job is corporate, and not 121. It is really hard to give up a very good corporate gig in my hometown on the chance that a regional 121 job would get me in the door. If I was leaving AD today I would take a 121 job vs corporate to stay current if the majors had not called yet. However, when I got out 5 years ago essentially none of the majors were hiring and the regionals paid McDonald's wages, so went corporate.

DaRaiders
09-07-2017, 09:15 AM
Hello aviators and thanks in advance again for the advice...

I'm an Air Force pilot with an ATP looking at career options now. I was planning on retiring at ~21yrs (2020) out of an inactive flying job, but then saw (thanks to your all's replies to my first post) how important recency plays into the equation at the majors.

So, the AF has offered guys like me a second bonus at $35k a year, which essentially would commit me out to 2022 (2 years past my current commitment). It's tempting because the intent is to get pilots into cockpits meaning that I'll likely end up in a cockpit after my current non-flying tour. So, I have two plans...

Plan A: Retire from my non-flying job in 2020, roll the bones on a major and likely(??) end up at a regional for X months before being a candidate for a major.

Plan B: Take the bonus, do a flying assignment and retire with recency in 2022 at which point I'll be more marketable for the majors.

Thoughts?

Regionals are giving bonuses to ATP qualified pilots, too. Check the ads that pop up on this site.

Sliceback
09-07-2017, 10:44 AM
I learned that I apparently suck at interviewing since I've now not been hired at two majors.

People say that prior-military is guaranteed job at a major, but...well, no. I know a few others who haven't gotten hired, too. Maybe it's just a crapshoot on that particular day, I don't know, but it isn't like we are just walking on to the big leagues with no effort involved.

I will say, though, that I really have learned a lot so far at my regional.

Nothing is a guaranteed. Better odds? Sure. Guaranteed? Nope. Sorry to hear about your interview travails.

rickair7777
09-08-2017, 05:49 AM
I learned that I apparently suck at interviewing since I've now not been hired at two majors.

People say that prior-military is guaranteed job at a major, but...well, no. I know a few others who haven't gotten hired, too. Maybe it's just a crapshoot on that particular day, I don't know, but it isn't like we are just walking on to the big leagues with no effort involved.

I will say, though, that I really have learned a lot so far at my regional.

I certainly hope you've done some interview prep since then. Probably need some one-on-one prep given the track record.

The group prep seminars are good at helping you understand the process and pitfalls and making tactical preparations, but actually executing on that is up to you, you might benefit from coaching on your delivery.

Going in cold, you could very easily step on a land mine.

Also need to consider the composition interview team, may be non-mil pilots and the HR ladies likely have a very different outlook on life than a military professional. Too many unpolished military edges and they might think you're a baby-killer type.

Good news...they're gonna need you within a couple years regardless. I thing the only think that would be a permanent blackball would be lying or significant background issues.

JTwift
09-08-2017, 12:18 PM
I certainly hope you've done some interview prep since then. Probably need some one-on-one prep given the track record.

The group prep seminars are good at helping you understand the process and pitfalls and making tactical preparations, but actually executing on that is up to you, you might benefit from coaching on your delivery.

Going in cold, you could very easily step on a land mine.

Also need to consider the composition interview team, may be non-mil pilots and the HR ladies likely have a very different outlook on life than a military professional. Too many unpolished military edges and they might think you're a baby-killer type.

Good news...they're gonna need you within a couple years regardless. I thing the only think that would be a permanent blackball would be lying or significant background issues.

Did the prep. Maybe my stories are just too boring, or my military career was too average? Maybe I really bombed the JKT, when I thought I did pretty good? Who knows.

Lurchi
09-12-2017, 03:22 PM
Count,

Only you can answer this question....after you sift through everyone's biased point of view. Some things to think about:
1) What really matters to you? is it money, flying, quality of life, gardening in the back yard, leading people, achievement, surfing, skiing, family time...this list goes on, but how you answer this question determines a great deal. A lot of my Mil buddies that got out as soon as possible in order to get an airline job now feel "less than fulfilled" and are pursuing things in their off time like PhD, starting business, teaching, etc. Others are completely enjoying the time off and pursuit of personal hobbies that the airline life allows. Others that stayed in for 25-30 yrs are completely satisfied with what they achieved in the military and are happy to now just fly as little as possible and enjoy all the things their life in the military did not allow (not being on the road). Others that got out for "quality of life" have decided that they now need to seek max money so they can afford that turbo speedster to add spice to their life and are commuting to sit reserve in order to get Captain pay...(not a great lifestyle unless the money makes it worth while somehow)
2) Even without military recency you can still get hired by a major within a year of separation...sooner if you plan correctly. One buddy got out after flying fighters and did not fly for 8 years then started instructing in a C-172 followed by a year with a regional and is now at Delta...and he loved his time with the regional and was very happy for all of the 121 experience it allowed him to gain. (Delta will look for 100 hours in the past 12 months in anything (Cessna 172 is fine), United will look for complex time within the last year or so. Not sure what SouthWest, American, FedEx, UPS look for.
3) Where do you want to live? Is that a domicile for one of the airlines you are interested in? Are you willing to move? Getting paid to sit reserve at home in your underwear versus commuting the day prior to sit reserve in a hotel or crash pad could be a factor on how motivated you are to leave the military right away.
- It looks like the airline hiring will remain strong for the next several years, you may choose to stay in the military if you enjoy it and go to the airlines once the mil lifestyle, enjoyment, sense of achievement etc... starts to lose its attraction. But again this really depends on what makes you tick...which is a question that only you can answer. On the other hand, the sooner you get hired the more money you will make in the long run and the longer you will have to build seniority quality of life...if those are things that matter most to you.
- There is no "correct" answer....just your answer. It is great to have 1st world problems like this to deal with, best of luck with your choice!

JTwift
09-12-2017, 05:49 PM
Count,

Only you can answer this question....after you sift through everyone's biased point of view. Some things to think about:
1) What really matters to you? is it money, flying, quality of life, gardening in the back yard, leading people, achievement, surfing, skiing, family time...this list goes on, but how you answer this question determines a great deal. A lot of my Mil buddies that got out as soon as possible in order to get an airline job now feel "less than fulfilled" and are pursuing things in their off time like PhD, starting business, teaching, etc. Others are completely enjoying the time off and pursuit of personal hobbies that the airline life allows. Others that stayed in for 25-30 yrs are completely satisfied with what they achieved in the military and are happy to now just fly as little as possible and enjoy all the things their life in the military did not allow (not being on the road). Others that got out for "quality of life" have decided that they now need to seek max money so they can afford that turbo speedster to add spice to their life and are commuting to sit reserve in order to get Captain pay...(not a great lifestyle unless the money makes it worth while somehow)
2) Even without military recency you can still get hired by a major within a year of separation...sooner if you plan correctly. One buddy got out after flying fighters and did not fly for 8 years then started instructing in a C-172 followed by a year with a regional and is now at Delta...and he loved his time with the regional and was very happy for all of the 121 experience it allowed him to gain. (Delta will look for 100 hours in the past 12 months in anything (Cessna 172 is fine), United will look for complex time within the last year or so. Not sure what SouthWest, American, FedEx, UPS look for.
3) Where do you want to live? Is that a domicile for one of the airlines you are interested in? Are you willing to move? Getting paid to sit reserve at home in your underwear versus commuting the day prior to sit reserve in a hotel or crash pad could be a factor on how motivated you are to leave the military right away.
- It looks like the airline hiring will remain strong for the next several years, you may choose to stay in the military if you enjoy it and go to the airlines once the mil lifestyle, enjoyment, sense of achievement etc... starts to lose its attraction. But again this really depends on what makes you tick...which is a question that only you can answer. On the other hand, the sooner you get hired the more money you will make in the long run and the longer you will have to build seniority quality of life...if those are things that matter most to you.
- There is no "correct" answer....just your answer. It is great to have 1st world problems like this to deal with, best of luck with your choice!

I'll tell you what....after a month of sitting in a crash pad, and the days away from home for training and trips....I'm seriously reconsidering my decision to pursue the airlines.

Yeah, I know it "gets better", but man...

Of course, I don't know what else I'm going to do instead. Car sales, maybe?

Hacker15e
09-13-2017, 05:10 AM
I'll tell you what....after a month of sitting in a crash pad, and the days away from home for training and trips....I'm seriously reconsidering my decision to pursue the airlines.

Yeah, I know it "gets better", but man...

Personally, I wouldn't make any sweeping decisions about if the airline life is for you based on 6 months at a regional. Just recall that your time in UPT and AETC weren't a good predictor of what life was going to be like as a Lieutenant in an operational USAF unit, either.

That being said, there are a lot of military dudes who are a bit shell-shocked by the change in lifestyle in the beginning, even for those who go directly to a "career" airline right off the bat. I was just talking to a close AF bud who is about a year into flying the MD-88 at Delta, and he said the first 6 months weren't great -- new lifestyle to figure out, new airplane to learn, new people to figure out how to fly with, etc -- but now that he was a little further down the line it was becoming clear why this was a great second career.

rickair7777
09-13-2017, 06:29 AM
The first 6-12 months of anything worth doing is going to be sucky.

Sputnik
09-15-2017, 04:43 PM
I was really not too happy my first six months. Seniority heals all wounds.

I never really seriously considered punching, but man am I glad I stuck it out.

Commuting to reserve blows. Different job entirely once you can hold a line. Living in base....

TankerDriver
09-19-2017, 06:44 PM
I was really not too happy my first six months. Seniority heals all wounds.

I never really seriously considered punching, but man am I glad I stuck it out.

Commuting to reserve blows. Different job entirely once you can hold a line. Living in base....I know lots of guys recommend shotgunning applications out and taking the first company that offers a job, but this is precisely why I've been a little "picky" with who I've applied to. It does suck having to wait for a call wondering if you'll ever get a call, but I guess the best time to look for new job is while you have a job.

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