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View Full Version : The Best Route to SWA


emersonbiguns
02-16-2018, 04:41 PM
I'm preparing to retire from federal service this summer/fall and will re-enter the 121 fray with WN as my ultimate goal.

My background:

FAIP (T-38) - 3 years
Rotor wing downgrade (MH-60G) - 4 years
Regional (DHC-8) - 1 year
Federal Service (C-550/UH-60/AS-350) - 20 years

6,500 Total TIme
2,500 FW
4,000 RW
1,000 PIC (FW)
Last FW time is 5-6 years old.

My options may be....

Regional as a captain street hire... PIC time sooner rather than later with a very low QOL.

Regional FO with a better QOL, but only SIC time.


What would be better for me to get a WN interview?

Thanks


Smooth at FL450
02-16-2018, 05:18 PM
Wherever you can get some fixed wing currency the quickest. Not so much for the interview, you have the quals already, but more so to make sure training goes smoothly. Only guy in my class who struggled had been an all-RW guy until very recently. Good luck!

Otterbox
02-16-2018, 05:44 PM
I'm preparing to retire from federal service this summer/fall and will re-enter the 121 fray with WN as my ultimate goal.

My background:

FAIP (T-38) - 3 years
Rotor wing downgrade (MH-60G) - 4 years
Regional (DHC-8) - 1 year
Federal Service (C-550/UH-60/AS-350) - 20 years

6,500 Total TIme
2,500 FW
4,000 RW
1,000 PIC (FW)
Last FW time is 5-6 years old.

My options may be....

Regional as a captain street hire... PIC time sooner rather than later with a very low QOL.

Regional FO with a better QOL, but only SIC time.


What would be better for me to get a WN interview?

Thanks

Where do you live? With you lack of fixed wing currency Iíd caution against going to a regional as a street hire Captain.

You could go to a place like Piedmont Airlines where youíd go through training as an FO and be able to upgrade as soon as you felt ready after training (provided you meet upgrade requirements). Depending on how your time is counted you may need to get 1000hrs of 121 SIC time before you can upgrade anyways.

Either way, SWA doesnít count helicopter time and they want you to be flight current a minimum of 2 of the last 5 years (If I remember correctly) so youíd be looking at flying RJs that long anyways if they only count fixed wing time towards that requirement.

Good news is youíll have the FERS pension so with that and regional pay and signing bonus you wonít be taking a gigantic financial hit that first year.


flensr
02-16-2018, 08:15 PM
Only 1000 PIC after 3 yrs as a T-38 FAIP? No IP time? If there's a story behind that, make darn sure you chat with someone with an HR background about how to consistently present whatever happened.

As for what to do now... You meet the min requirements I think so you might be fine almost anywhere getting 121 time. A few of my mil friends with poor recency or low PIC time seem to have ended up at skywest, with at least one of them sticking it out a few years to upgrade and start building PIC time.

From the website - Flight Experience: 2,500 hours total or 1,500 hours Turbine total. Additionally, a minimum of 1,000 hours in Turbine aircraft as the Pilot in Command* is preferred. Southwest considers only Pilot time in fixed-wing aircraft.

If you have that, as far as I can tell it's recency and recommendations that gets you the interview sooner rather than later. Based on anecdotal evidence I've seen, just one year of active flying may be all you really need especially if you have any internal recommendations to help out.

Also, don't wait to apply until you think you meet the super secret minimums. Apply immediately. Keep your application, resume, and recommendations current. Re-apply every time the application window opens, and make sure your email account isn't sending SWA HR email to the spam folder since that seems to be an issue for some people.

Also also, don't wait until you have an invitation to do your HR prep. There are a few people and groups out there who have a good reputation for making sure you're ready for the SWA interview process, so make sure you get that done early. More specifically, if possible you should get your resume and application reviewed before your first application window to make sure you don't have any unintentional errors that when corrected, might raise integrity questions.

flensr
02-16-2018, 08:19 PM
2 of last 5 flying is not an absolute requirement. I'm not sure what sort of background, recommendations, or interview prowess is necessary to get past that preference, but I do know that it's not a strict rule.

CaptYoda
02-17-2018, 04:41 AM
I thought recommendations carried no weight until you actually interviewed. I donít think the app even has a section for it.

emersonbiguns
02-17-2018, 05:22 AM
Where do you live? With you lack of fixed wing currency Iíd caution against going to a regional as a street hire Captain.

Tucson.

Well, unfortunately it looks like I'd end up being displaced to captain at several of the regionals no matter what (Skywest, Envoy, maybe Endeavor). So, I figured I'd avoid the uncertainty and just face it head on, especially if it added to my "resume'" for WN.


Good news is youíll have the FERS pension so with that and regional pay and signing bonus you wonít be taking a gigantic financial hit that first year.

Yup. Even then, we're pretty lean as it is right now, no college tuition or weddings to pay for, etc.


Only 1000 PIC after 3 yrs as a T-38 FAIP? No IP time? If there's a story behind that, make darn sure you chat with someone with an HR background about how to consistently present whatever happened.


No skeletons in my closet, I just generalized my numbers for the post relative to published min numbers. I've got IP time. Low times are from '90-'92ish during the drawdown. Went to helicopters for some fun flying and haven't regretted it.


2 of last 5 flying is not an absolute requirement.

I was hoping to hear that, thanks.


After reading this (https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/swapa/assets/pdf/Industry_Research/Industry_Pilot_Demand.pdf?mtime=1518451101) it sounds like there's growing concern for the future. Hopefully I'll start to look good pretty soon.

So it sounds like the solution is the quickest path to recency, PIC or SIC time really isn't a discriminator.

Thanks for all the thoughts.

Otterbox
02-17-2018, 05:57 AM
Tucson.

Well, unfortunately it looks like I'd end up being displaced to captain at several of the regionals no matter what (Skywest, Envoy, maybe Endeavor). So, I figured I'd avoid the uncertainty and just face it head on, especially if it added to my "resume'" for WN.

So, you have 1000hrs part 121 SIC flying a dash 8 from 21 years ago and havenít flown fixed wing in 5 years and youíre shooting for a direct entry captain position?

Your lack of currency puts you at significant risk for a training failure and termination going that route. Hopefully an airline recruiter would have enough sense to tell you ďnoĒ, but some of the places are pretty desperate.

Even going to a place with displaced upgrades (and Envoy only recently made that a thing) youíd at least go through the FO training and regaining currency and flying the line a bit and re-learning all the stuff thatís changed in the last 21 years since your previous airline stint before youíre in a position where you HAVE to upgrade. Chances are youíll be ready in under 12 months but going into a DEC program cold, your probably going to be biting off more than you can chew.

A training failure is not going to help you get to SWA.

One thing that would help you is a 737NG type rating if youíve got the time and disposable income to get one since it and the 4 year college degree are the largest points grabber on the swa app.

emersonbiguns
02-17-2018, 07:46 AM
So, you have 1000hrs part 121 SIC flying a dash 8 from 21 years ago and havenít flown fixed wing in 5 years and youíre shooting for a direct entry captain position?


No, I'm actually trying to decide whether there's any benefit to it, especially since, at a number of carriers it will probably be forced upon me. I am actually leaning towards a carrier where it won't happen AND I won't end up at LGA on reserve for eternity.

Thank you for all the input, it is sincerely appreciated.

Smooth at FL450
02-17-2018, 10:57 AM
No, I'm actually trying to decide whether there's any benefit to it, especially since, at a number of carriers it will probably be forced upon me. I am actually leaning towards a carrier where it won't happen AND I won't end up at LGA on reserve for eternity.

Thank you for all the input, it is sincerely appreciated.

I'd say aim for Skywest then. They seem to have an unofficial flow to SWA anyway...and sounds like a good company to work for in the meantime.

Laramie
02-17-2018, 11:23 AM
No, I'm actually trying to decide whether there's any benefit to it, especially since, at a number of carriers it will probably be forced upon me. I am actually leaning towards a carrier where it won't happen AND I won't end up at LGA on reserve for eternity.

Thank you for all the input, it is sincerely appreciated.


I mean you no disrespect but your words, taken together, indicate an ego issue. Everyone denies it so don't feel like the lone ranger.

This job is harder than it looks--especially if one is not flying in the "system" every week. As others have suggested, get yourself a job--and soon. We have "drawdowns" too as an industry.

Oh, and heed the advice about paying for interview prep.

I truly wish you luck. The trip isn't easy but the result is pretty cool.

slimothy
02-17-2018, 11:44 AM
Helo ďdowngradeĒ? Smh.

Chunk
02-25-2018, 11:49 AM
I'm preparing to retire from federal service this summer/fall and will re-enter the 121 fray with WN as my ultimate goal.

My background:

FAIP (T-38) - 3 years
Rotor wing downgrade (MH-60G) - 4 years
Regional (DHC-8) - 1 year
Federal Service (C-550/UH-60/AS-350) - 20 years

6,500 Total TIme
2,500 FW
4,000 RW
1,000 PIC (FW)
Last FW time is 5-6 years old.

My options may be....

Regional as a captain street hire... PIC time sooner rather than later with a very low QOL.

Regional FO with a better QOL, but only SIC time.


What would be better for me to get a WN interview?

Thanks


Found the Customs Air & Marine guy....

B73flyer
02-25-2018, 12:05 PM
I spent 34 wonderful years there. Getting hired or getting an interview was not easy. Canít say enough good things about a SWA! If I was still a young guy or gal I would go to Delta just because of attrition if given the chance. Had a lot of FOís that flew elsewhere and was amazed of the horror stories on how they were treated by the company. But getting on with a major is a great thing.
If you get the interview be positive,tenacious, and most of all highly qualified. It is very competitive. If youíre not out going or like to work donít go there. It will come out later and they will can you. Good luck.

emersonbiguns
02-26-2018, 05:02 PM
Found the Customs Air & Marine guy....

Well hello there handsome, didn't know you were looking for me. ;)

Choppersnplanes
02-27-2018, 11:17 AM
From someone who has nearly the same quals as you..... I would definitely recommend holding back the ego a little especially during an interview.

The only difference in you and I is that I was current in Jets before I came back to the 121 world. I would highly recommend sucking it up for a year before you decide to upgrade. Just enjoy the schedule as a Regional FO and take in the experience. There is so much to learn. Even for guys like you and I whoíve flown everything under the sun in the past 20 years.

Personally I disagree with most the airlines who donít take our HELO PIC time. Itís more about leadership. But hey I donít make the rules.

Donít take the Regionals for granted nor look down upon them while applying and interviewing at them. I wish all mainline pilots started here. I can tell you Iíve been at a regional for over a year now and already have gotten a couple interviews. Even before I took the upgrade. So be patient...

Donít take offense to the ego comment. I had it when applying at the regionals. I absolutely was brought back to Earth while in training.



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