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.




hopefulharry
06-12-2019, 05:52 AM
I used to be a regional FO 11 years ago and haven't flown since then. I was furloughed. I have about 1000hrs in the CRJ and 2000 total. I've been working as an air traffic controller since and never thought I would go back to the airlines until I heard that United's minimums are 1000 turbine. What are my chances of being considered? Should I get some recent flight time and if so how much?

I can't afford the pay the cut of going to the regionals and the uncertainty of the industry and being stuck there if the majors stop hiring.

I could justify the risk for the majors if there's a decent chance. Any input would be appreciated. Thank you.


PhantomHawk
06-12-2019, 06:02 AM
No PIC, and no recent flying? Iíd say you need to do more than that to be considered. Thereís always a chance......but Iím thinking your current quals, as you stated them, arenít competitive at the moment.

Xjrstreetcar
06-12-2019, 06:37 AM
Give it a go. Stranger things have happened. And make sure to share your story if you do get hired...Would love to see the reactions..

But, realistically, non-current fighter pilots are having to do six month stints at a regional, so that's the more likely route. You would get called immediately. And if you go somewhere hurting for pilots, you might be surprised what you can make first year..


full of luv
06-12-2019, 07:02 AM
I used to be a regional FO 11 years ago and haven't flown since then. I was furloughed. I have about 1000hrs in the CRJ and 2000 total. I've been working as an air traffic controller since and never thought I would go back to the airlines until I heard that United's minimums are 1000 turbine. What are my chances of being considered? Should I get some recent flight time and if so how much?

I can't afford the pay the cut of going to the regionals and the uncertainty of the industry and being stuck there if the majors stop hiring.

I could justify the risk for the majors if there's a decent chance. Any input would be appreciated. Thank you.

What about getting transferred inside the FAA as an inspector....getting assigned to the UAL training center and making some contacts while getting a bit of currency.

rickair7777
06-12-2019, 07:28 AM
United's minimums were 1000 turbine 11 years ago IIRC. But that was not the *competitive* minimum then or today (unless we're talking fighter time).

As others have said, no harm in applying but the reality is (assuming average white male) 1000 hours as an RJ FO 11 years ago is simply not going to get a call. There are folks who stayed at the regionals for the last 11 years, have 8,000 hours TPIC and still haven't been called.

The hiring wave has actually not even warmed up yet, so opportunities will improve over the next few years but I suspect that you will still need to be current and recent (ie some recent professional turbine flying) to get a major call. If you do some 91/135 turbine flying on the side, you might get a call from a LCC once the big three start really vacuuming up the regional pilots (they are already vacuuming up the mil pilots).

If you go back to the regionals, you would very likely have a Big-6 opportunity in a few years. Even an economic downturn will not stop the retirements, although hiring might slow. Nature of the industry, can't wish away all of the risk.

As somebody mentioned regionals pay better now, especially if you go somewhere with a fast upgrade and your life circumstances permit moving/commuting to junior reserve. That 1000 RJ hours means you can upgrade before all of the 121 noobs, but of course you'd remain junior in seat for a long time if you take that.

captjns
06-12-2019, 07:32 AM
hopefulharry... first step is to get yourself current.
Then apply to all carriers across the board.
Be forthright about your career... especially why you hung up the goggles, and why you want to use them again.

Youíve got nothing but everything to gain.

Good luck.

hopefulharry
06-12-2019, 08:21 AM
Thanks for all the great advice. I didn't think I had much of a shot but wanted some second unbiased opinions. I might still apply and see what happens.

bryris
06-13-2019, 07:30 AM
So you are looking to bypass the regionals and go straight to a major?

I'm in a similar boat. I've got 1,050 hours logged on the right side of an ERJ-145, but my last landing was Dec 15th, 2008. I've been flying since then, but only in GA. I own a Piper Cherokee and fly around VFR about 10-12 hours a month. Not "competitive" flying, but it's something regular in the book.

I have no doubt I could get back on with a regional lickity split if I wanted to. But, to a major directly? Nope.

NYC Pilot
07-02-2019, 03:23 PM
You want to give up a solid career with the FAA as a controller for the airlines? Why not retire from the FAA and then do whatever you want? I had the same opportunity years ago and I chose to fly but had I taken the offer with the FAA, I would have been retiring in a few more years. I still regret not doing ATC when I had the chance. I would have retired before the age of 50. If you retire at 50, you can go back to flying till 65 if you wanted. Enough time to get the flying enjoyment out of your system IMO.

Oh and it did work out for me in flying also. I am a captain on the A350 and was an A330/B777 captain previously. Early 40's. In hindsight, I would have taken the FAA opportunity and never looked back.

PerfInit
07-02-2019, 04:57 PM
The retirement and healthcare benefits cannot be beat with the Gubment, particularly for ATC since they have the law enforcement pension calculation (1.7 vice 1.0%). Flight Check is also hiring right now too!

TheRaven
07-02-2019, 07:37 PM
You could probably get hired straight into a major.....as a flight attendant. Would you want your family on a plane crewed by someone who hasnít flown in 11 years? Get some recent experience

rickair7777
07-03-2019, 08:41 AM
You want to give up a solid career with the FAA as a controller for the airlines? Why not retire from the FAA and then do whatever you want? I had the same opportunity years ago and I chose to fly but had I taken the offer with the FAA, I would have been retiring in a few more years. I still regret not doing ATC when I had the chance. I would have retired before the age of 50. If you retire at 50, you can go back to flying till 65 if you wanted. Enough time to get the flying enjoyment out of your system IMO.

Oh and it did work out for me in flying also. I am a captain on the A350 and was an A330/B777 captain previously. Early 40's. In hindsight, I would have taken the FAA opportunity and never looked back.

I would have stuck with airlines (I did), it's cyclical and typically what goes around comes around. I started too late, so my good run will be relatively short but if you start young you have good odds of making out like a bandit over the course of your career. Career-changers will need some luck and timing for that last.

Although I did mil reserves, so I do have that (smaller) retirement. Reserves is a great fit for airline pilots, including non-flying reserves if you can't get a flying slot. Backup employment, supplemental retirement, good medical for life. You can do as much or as little as you like, and the airlines only recourse is to say "aye, aye sir!" (although Uncle may occasionally "request" that you do more than you'd really like). *Most* pilots are suitable military material.

My big career take-away is get in early, be aggressive, and stick with it. I've got several buddies from the early days who fell by the wayside and are looking at coming back... they frankly wish they were me right now, and they could have been me if they stuck with it.

It's helpful if you can defer marriage until you have a major job, or at least defer kids. Trust me there's almost no good reason (for a dude) to get married in your 20's.