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View Full Version : Part Time Gigs?


usafltg
10-25-2018, 02:01 PM
Gents -

New to the forums, and I was having a discussion today with a CFI about this. I've been thinking about flying a lot lately, and trying to understand if there are any part-time gigs out there for Cargo / Corporate. I've never ever wanted to fly for the big boys. But a weekend route or something would be right up my alley. I don't have my commercial yet, because quite honestly, I've never really needed it until now. Instrument SEL and MEL. 780TT, 150 Actual IMC, First Class Medical, lot of cross country logged with a lot of glass cockpit Also ex-military though not an ex-military flyer.

I see a lot of full-time positions out there, but honestly, I make way too much money in my current career field that I'm not looking to go full-time and take a position at $30k. But... at the same time, I love to fly and just go somewhere. Anywhere! What better way, than a part-time route some place?

I don't even know if that type of a job exists, or where to find it, but I would be interested to understand what the typical requirements are anymore. Can anyone help steer me in the general direction?


cliffnd
10-25-2018, 02:28 PM
I suggest buying your own airplane if you make crazy money. The pros are you decide where and when. The con is you have to pay the bill, but with your income, you should be able to afford it. At least that's what a lot of guys that work for the "big boys" do with their spare change, and they only make in the $250-550K range.


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Ghost Pilot
10-25-2018, 03:58 PM
Volunteer with Angel Flight.


JohnBurke
10-25-2018, 04:05 PM
For some, this is actually a job, not a hobby.

usafltg
10-25-2018, 04:54 PM
Well...

That was relatively unhelpful. I asked specifically about part-time gigs. I know they exist. Iíd like to get paid / augment and maybe someday Iíll transition fully, but right now thatís not really of interest to me. I donít view it as a hobby, if I I fly somewhere, I fly for a purpose today not as a hobby. I would like to use my skills for something useful. Yes angel flights is fine... but realistically that requires a decent airplane like a 421C.

I would rather find something part time for a while and I would think a cargo route would be the way to go and fit a scheduled.

goinaround
10-25-2018, 05:15 PM
Well...

That was relatively unhelpful. I asked specifically about part-time gigs. I know they exist. Iíd like to get paid / augment and maybe someday Iíll transition fully, but right now thatís not really of interest to me. I donít view it as a hobby, if I I fly somewhere, I fly for a purpose today not as a hobby. I would like to use my skills for something useful. Yes angel flights is fine... but realistically that requires a decent airplane like a 421C.

I would rather find something part time for a while and I would think a cargo route would be the way to go and fit a scheduled.

Hmmm. I had a part time gig once being an on call lear jet guy. With your time I'd think getting the CFI done and doing that would be the best option. Can't think of a cargo gig that would work.....except maybe senior FedEx 777 :cool:

awax
10-25-2018, 05:37 PM
Best bet is pay as you go and continue to drill holes in the sky. Your low time isn't really attractive to most employers that can have pilots with similar experience profiles wanting to fly their butts off.

Maybe you could meet someone with a cool airplane and sit right seat to quench your "love of flying" for free. :rolleyes:

Diver Driver
10-25-2018, 06:17 PM
Well...

That was relatively unhelpful. I asked specifically about part-time gigs. I know they exist. Iíd like to get paid / augment and maybe someday Iíll transition fully, but right now thatís not really of interest to me. I donít view it as a hobby, if I I fly somewhere, I fly for a purpose today not as a hobby. I would like to use my skills for something useful. Yes angel flights is fine... but realistically that requires a decent airplane like a 421C.

I would rather find something part time for a while and I would think a cargo route would be the way to go and fit a scheduled.

As unhelpful as those responses may have seemed, theyíre rooted in experience. As you continue to accumulate experience, I think youíll find, as I have seen, that the common denominator among aircraft operators is the basic premise that an aircraft sitting doesnít make money. Most operators will try to operate their aircraft as much as possible to maximize cash flow for each airframe. This translates to very little part time work, particularly on the cargo side. If youíre looking for a part time position, I think you would be better to focus on corporate aviation - with a private individual/owner. These generally offer the most schedule flexibility and least amount of time away from home. The kicker is getting in the door as these are often filled by word of mouth, but keep your eyes open and network as much as possible. Get involved with angel flight and try to go to fly-ins and immerse yourself as much as you can in the community. This is a great way to find positions like this that arenít advertised.

I know this isnít the greatest answer, but it can be difficult to find the right flying position to balance with working a full time job that seems to be going well for you. Good luck and I hope you are able to find what youíre looking for.

radish
10-25-2018, 06:42 PM
I would recommend working as a CFI if you want to work weekends. I have had plenty of past students that could only fly weekends because of work obligations. It's not as exciting as flying a jet, but its probably your best bet at getting paid to fly part-time with your hours.

Reactivity
10-25-2018, 07:09 PM
and trying to understand if there are any part-time gigs out there for Cargo / Corporate. I've never ever wanted to fly for the big boys. But a weekend route or something would be right up my alley. I don't have my commercial yet, because quite honestly, I've never really needed it until now. Instrument SEL and MEL. 780TT, 150 Actual IMC, First Class Medical, lot of cross country logged with a lot of glass cockpit Also ex-military though not an ex-military flyer.


What you're hoping for is a contract pilot position. But that requires having a particular type rating (if a type rating is required) and time in type. No corporate operator is going to spend the money to hire and train a "weekend guy".

At this point, your best bet is to get your CFI (CFII would be even better) and find weekend work as an instructor. That should be easy enough. One local training operation has a list of students waiting to start training because they don't have enough instructors. Once you have 1200 total time, you might be able to find part-time charter work. There may be a small freight forwarder out there that would be looking for part-time-ish people, maybe.

Checkers21
10-25-2018, 07:54 PM
I hear that the cartels are always looking for part timers... lol

No Land 3
10-26-2018, 06:28 AM
The only viable option you have is to be your own boss. Your other job nor you will tolerate a real job in aviation. Aviation simply isn't a 9-5, 5 days a week gig. If that's the only reality you know, stop wasting your time thinking about it. Volunteer with one of the many groups that fly patients or relief.

ajAK
11-11-2018, 08:40 AM
Seems like quite a bit of pessimism in the responses here.

The truth is, there are plenty of part-time flying gigs out there. I know, because I did some of them for years. It is not uncommon for corporate or charter operators to hire part-time pilots to help fill-in for full time pilots. It allows the operator to minimize the number of full-time pilots they have to maintain to run their schedules, while providing a way to fill in for the full-time pilots while they are out on vacation or training.

The trick is that these part-time positions are rarely advertised - they're often word of mouth, and there's not typically much turnover with them. They typically use folks who they already know, so it's difficult to even find out about them unless you happen to know someone who works there who will recommend you.

On the plus side, they can be some of the most flexible positions, as they typically call down their list of part-time contractors when they have some time to fill. If you're not available, they simply call up the next person on the list. Downsides are that there typically won't be a guarantee on how much you fly, and you definitely have to have a large amount of flexibility in your availability for them to justify keeping you current. Oftentimes the flying time they are trying to cover is vacations or holidays when most folks prefer to be off. Every place will be different.

Your best bet in finding something along these lines is network, network, network. Go out of your way to talk to working pilots everywhere you stop. Visit the local airports and talk with folks. Be casual, personable and flexible - they're looking for someone who's easy to work with on sometimes complex scheduling issues, as well as being a good pilot. It's pretty hit or miss, but you just may get lucky. In today's pilot job market, your chances of finding something like this are probably lots higher than when I did it.

Nitpicky, but speaking of being open-minded- you addressed your message to "Gents". The contact who opened the doors for my first part-time gig was a female. Hint, hint.

Oh, and you'll definitely want to have your commercial before you start networking, if you're serious. When places have a need for this kind of position, they likely want someone "right now" on short notice. Good luck with your search.

Turbosina
11-11-2018, 02:08 PM
Seems like quite a bit of pessimism in the responses here.

The truth is, there are plenty of part-time flying gigs out there. I know, because I did some of them for years. It is not uncommon for corporate or charter operators to hire part-time pilots to help fill-in for full time pilots. It allows the operator to minimize the number of full-time pilots they have to maintain to run their schedules, while providing a way to fill in for the full-time pilots while they are out on vacation or training.

The trick is that these part-time positions are rarely advertised - they're often word of mouth, and there's not typically much turnover with them. They typically use folks who they already know, so it's difficult to even find out about them unless you happen to know someone who works there who will recommend you.

On the plus side, they can be some of the most flexible positions, as they typically call down their list of part-time contractors when they have some time to fill. If you're not available, they simply call up the next person on the list. Downsides are that there typically won't be a guarantee on how much you fly, and you definitely have to have a large amount of flexibility in your availability for them to justify keeping you current. Oftentimes the flying time they are trying to cover is vacations or holidays when most folks prefer to be off. Every place will be different.

Your best bet in finding something along these lines is network, network, network. Go out of your way to talk to working pilots everywhere you stop. Visit the local airports and talk with folks. Be casual, personable and flexible - they're looking for someone who's easy to work with on sometimes complex scheduling issues, as well as being a good pilot. It's pretty hit or miss, but you just may get lucky. In today's pilot job market, your chances of finding something like this are probably lots higher than when I did it.

Nitpicky, but speaking of being open-minded- you addressed your message to "Gents". The contact who opened the doors for my first part-time gig was a female. Hint, hint.

Oh, and you'll definitely want to have your commercial before you start networking, if you're serious. When places have a need for this kind of position, they likely want someone "right now" on short notice. Good luck with your search.

Everything this gentleman (or lady) said.

Although, to be honest, if you get your 1500 hours, get hired at a 121 carrier, and get senior enough as an FO, it can practically be a part-time gig. It's not impossible to fly just 9-10 days a month, and since most people bid-avoid weekends, it's possible to literally be a weekend 121 aviator. Realistically, you could fly 10 days/month if all of the following are true:

1. You've been at your airline long enough to be in the top 10-20% in your seat and base. The time to get there varies, of course. It could easily take 5+ years, and during those years you will generally be flying a great deal more than 10 days/month.

2. You're able to bid and hold high-credit trips on the days you want them (ie. Saturdays and Sundays.)

3. Your airline actually has locals and 2-day trips in your base and equipment, and you can hold them.

Again, you have to get from where you are now, to this theoretical situation. To do so, you'll need to build your 1,500 hours, apply to a 121 carrier, get hired, and then go to training -- which is more than a fulltime commitment for about 3 months. Then you'll be on reserve for a while (in which case it is impossible to hold a regular 9-5 job, unless said job is OK with you regularly disappearing on 2 hours' notice. Then you'll hold a line, but you'll be a junior lineholder with a schedule not too different from a reserve guy (or gal.)

Bottom line: Yes, it's possible in the 121 world, but there is a lot of sacrifice required to get there.

As others have said, part-time contract gigs in the part 91 and 135 world do exist. They are hard to find, and you must be :

1. Typed and current in the aircraft. Given that a decent type rating costs anywhere from $30K to $80K for the G-V or Globals, this is not a trivial investment. Also, don't pay for your type — it's just not a smart thing to do, nor will it get you much beyond some ink on your certificate.

2. Note the 'current' part. Nobody will hire you with just a type rating and 0 time in type. Unless, that is, you're lucky enough to find an operation that will hire you and pay for your type rating. But then they're gonna want you to be available when they need you.

Bottom line: the part-time gigs in the 91 and 135 world usually go to guys (or gals) who've been there, done that, made lots of connections, and want to scale back their flying somewhat.

The best thing you can do at this point, really, is get your CFI/I/MEI and start teaching. You'll make all kinds of contacts that way. Of the three people I know who are part-time bizjet FOs, they all got those gigs through the networks they'd built as CFIs.

Also, get your commercial multi as a bare minimum, and ideally your ATP. Getting to that level shows that you're serious. With just a basic commercial-ASEL ticket, nobody will talk to you...and with a comm-AMEL ticket, you might get a few nibbles. But go out and build up your resume and ratings, and network like crazy, and good things can happen.

Flydaplane
11-12-2018, 12:24 PM
Try Alpine Air, Ameriflight, or some smaller 135 companies. They may be willing to train and check you if you commit to being their weekender for a year or two.

gsphuntr
11-12-2018, 12:27 PM
PlaneSense advertises part time pilot positions. Have to live within 100 miles of one of their bases. Good luck

trip
11-12-2018, 05:12 PM
Well...

That was relatively unhelpful. I asked specifically about part-time gigs. I know they exist. Iíd like to get paid / augment and maybe someday Iíll transition fully, but right now thatís not really of interest to me. I donít view it as a hobby, if I I fly somewhere, I fly for a purpose today not as a hobby. I would like to use my skills for something useful. Yes angel flights is fine... but realistically that requires a decent airplane like a 421C.

I would rather find something part time for a while and I would think a cargo route would be the way to go and fit a scheduled.

Your looking to play, what your looking at hires pros who are willing to commit themselves 100% to the success of the operation. You might have better luck sitting in the right seat for some rich dude or corporate operator, **these stints often come with questionable operations.

Reactivity
11-12-2018, 05:45 PM
You might have better luck sitting in the right seat for some rich dude or corporate operator, **these stints often come with questionable operations.

In case you're wondering what such an operation looks like, this is one example: https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/business-aviation/2018-10-08/ntsb-crew-falcon-50-crash-not-qualified

happypilotj
11-12-2018, 06:18 PM
What you are looking for exists, but requires some ďpaying your duesĒ and effort on your part. I recommend getting your CFI, and look to be hired at a smaller FBO that has a 135 charter operation. Flight instructing will open doors and let you become a known quantity within the company. The business I work for has never posted a want ad for a pilot, because they hire from within from the CFI ranks. I suspect many good operators work that way too. It helps if your current job is flexible or will allow you to be off some weekdays too. You need enough availability to financially benefit the company, as training and 135 checkrides cost real money, even at the lowest piston twin level. Lastly, with regards to being a CFI, you will also find aircraft owners who lack the confidence to fly their airplanes in any sort of instrument conditions, and will hire you to do it for them.