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View Full Version : Corporate opportunity Advice


LowerLoon185
06-19-2019, 02:18 PM
I've got 900 hours (GA flying) and will be finishing up my ratings this fall, should be around 1000 hours. I had been planning on building TT/instrument experience up in Alaska to get me to the Regionals.

Don't know how i did it, but a networking type opportunity might have just dropped in my lap flying for a high net worth family. They have a Lear and a Falcon 900. I have a close friend who's father has flown for the family for 30+ years with retire with them for sure. By all accounts its a good gig. They traditionally would want an ATP in the right seat, but times "are a changing" according to the source. Really struggling to find a FO that can stay and can also fit the culture.

My first reaction was "insurance?!?", but i'm told that it's not a barrier for the right candidate. Main thing I wanted to ask you guys is, with a 135 (or part 91)...what's reasonable to expect for training duration? Flying in an operation like that seems like it would be a huge leap for me and i don't want to be set up for failure. I know the regionals put you through school for at least two months...what would something like this need to be realistically?

Thanks in advance


JTwift
06-19-2019, 03:09 PM
First of all...damn! Congrats on this opportunity.

I teach at FSI on one of the Lear models. The course is 3 weeks. I don’t know what the Falcon 900 duration is.

If you’re flying strictly 91, you attend a recurrent every year, and that’s 4 days. If you’re 135, you have training every 6 months Same 4 days.

The people who come through that fly for the rich, private owners, generally love it. They’re compensated well, have good schedules, you’re at your home base, you get all expenses paid....you could seriously turn this into a solid long term gig, as long as the family doesn’t decide to sell the planes at some point. You also get a couple nice type ratings out of it.

Be cool with them and get paid fairly, and be clear on the schedule requirements they have.

As far as the actual training...if you’re coming from the Cessna 172 world, the fast jets can be a system shock, but I’ve had people make it through with no issues, and I’ve had people struggle. If you’re just getting an SIC type rating, the checkride is much easier.

I will say that, as far as FSI is concerned, we REALLY want you to pass, you get consistent training, and we won’t send you to check unless we have high confidence you’re going to pass. We won’t send someone forward just to watch them fail.

Good luck!

galaxy flyer
06-19-2019, 05:19 PM
It depends on what you want for a career path. Ask how much they fly, both hours per month/year AND days away, expenses. I know guys flying 8-10 days max per month and the plane only flies 175 hours per year (large cabin) paying 275k. Great job, but you’re not building time IF you want an airline path. Loads of great and not so great corporates, you have to know how to interview them as to what the operation is like.

Are the planes operated for charter? If so, lots of time away, lots of hours, likely little or no more money. Is it operated under a management contract or in-house department?

GF


LowerLoon185
06-20-2019, 06:08 AM
First of all...damn! Congrats on this opportunity.

I teach at FSI on one of the Lear models. The course is 3 weeks. I don’t know what the Falcon 900 duration is.

If you’re flying strictly 91, you attend a recurrent every year, and that’s 4 days. If you’re 135, you have training every 6 months Same 4 days.

The people who come through that fly for the rich, private owners, generally love it. They’re compensated well, have good schedules, you’re at your home base, you get all expenses paid....you could seriously turn this into a solid long term gig, as long as the family doesn’t decide to sell the planes at some point. You also get a couple nice type ratings out of it.

Be cool with them and get paid fairly, and be clear on the schedule requirements they have.

As far as the actual training...if you’re coming from the Cessna 172 world, the fast jets can be a system shock, but I’ve had people make it through with no issues, and I’ve had people struggle. If you’re just getting an SIC type rating, the checkride is much easier.

I will say that, as far as FSI is concerned, we REALLY want you to pass, you get consistent training, and we won’t send you to check unless we have high confidence you’re going to pass. We won’t send someone forward just to watch them fail.

Good luck!

Thank you so much for the heads up on FSI, exactly what i was looking to know. I'm in the very early stages of this, and i'll find out more next month. I'm going to fly out to meet the Chief Pilot. I got a few more details last night, they have 4 full time guys and at least two have been with the family for 25 plus years. This would be a SIC job at first on the Lear 60. Those are mostly local (east coast) flights for the family businesses/management. The 900 is primarily for just family and it goes on a lot of international trips.

LowerLoon185
06-20-2019, 06:15 AM
It depends on what you want for a career path. Ask how much they fly, both hours per month/year AND days away, expenses. I know guys flying 8-10 days max per month and the plane only flies 175 hours per year (large cabin) paying 275k. Great job, but you’re not building time IF you want an airline path. Loads of great and not so great corporates, you have to know how to interview them as to what the operation is like.

Are the planes operated for charter? If so, lots of time away, lots of hours, likely little or no more money. Is it operated under a management contract or in-house department?

GF

Thanks for the response, all great questions and i'll be nailing those down next month hopefully. From what i can tell it's a 200-300 hour a year type of deal. I don't know if they are all like this, but my contact is salaried/401k/PS/full benefits similar to how the management team is. Don't know the numbers yet obviously. I know the Chief Pilot also is in charge of scheduling maintenance, storage, etc and has an assistant for all of the documentation. I'm under the impression that at least some of the flying is done under 135 because he mentioned "IFR 135 minimums" for PIC. I may have that wrong though.

All of that aside, and it still may be a good gig, but i am worried about the hours from a career progression standpoint. I would like to set myself up for a move eventually to a LCC/FO position and this sounds like it would take a long time to get significant turbine PIC.

Mink
06-20-2019, 01:46 PM
All of that aside, and it still may be a good gig, but i am worried about the hours from a career progression standpoint. I would like to set myself up for a move eventually to a LCC/FO position and this sounds like it would take a long time to get significant turbine PIC.

How old are the others in the dept? If they’re “senior” they may be retiring soon. If they’re youngish then once they have the required PIC hours they’ll be off to the airlines. You may be PIC before you know it. Either way, I’d bring it up in your discussions to tell them you hope to be in their plans as a PIC at some point, and when do they think that might happen? Just general career progression kind of stuff.

2StgTurbine
06-20-2019, 02:06 PM
tell them you hope to be in their plans as a PIC at some point, and when do they think that might happen?

I don't see a point in that. At 300 hours a year, it will take the OP 5 years before they have have enough time to realistically upgrade (2,500 hours).

A lot can happen in 5 years. Most pilots are promised lots of things that never come true when they start a job. 5 years is a big career commitment for a promise.

And if I'm the owner, I would be a little shocked that a 900 hour piston pilot is asking me when they could be captain in a Lear. They are already taking a risk/helping out the OP by having them sit in the right seat of a Lear.

Macjet
06-20-2019, 03:03 PM
90%+ of every corporate job that I've ever know of disappeared when either the patriarch died, the company was thinning for a M&A, or the economy took a dive. I'd put more faith in truck stop sushi than any 91 gig. And I did it for over a decade and not a single one of them still exist. Maybe you found the golden ticket but I'd do some serious research. If you go sit in a 91 gig with no time flying minimum hours you're going to miss the greatest airline hiring boom since 1903. You'd better be damn sure this gig will last your until age 65 with a gamble like that.

LowerLoon185
06-20-2019, 03:22 PM
How old are the others in the dept? If they’re “senior” they may be retiring soon. If they’re youngish then once they have the required PIC hours they’ll be off to the airlines.

They are nearing retirement. Chief Pilot and #2 are both in their 60's...my contact says they want more time off and looking to "wind down." One has been with the family 30+ and the other has been 25+.

LowerLoon185
06-20-2019, 03:31 PM
90%+ of every corporate job that I've ever know of disappeared when either the patriarch died, the company was thinning for a M&A, or the economy took a dive. I'd put more faith in truck stop sushi than any 91 gig. And I did it for over a decade and not a single one of them still exist.

Absolutely. The only exposure i have to corporate aviation is actually flying on them in my first job out of school. I got to know the pilots a little there and the only constant was change. The flying (and planes) wax and wane with the economy, individual investment performance, and whims of family members.

To be honest...in making my decision to start trying to fly for a living i really only considered regionals due to the opportunity to build great hours and have good training. A "good" corporate job seems so hard to attain, even though the type of flying/equipment seems attractive. Like i said, this kind of came out of the blue and really took me off guard. I really appreciate the comments and watch outs. I have close friends mentoring me on the path to eventually get to a Major (where they work), but i'm not one to not examine each opportunity hard. This also potentially bridges a gap for me in regards to the 1000 hour to 1500 hurdles.

JTwift
06-20-2019, 05:37 PM
They are nearing retirement. Chief Pilot and #2 are both in their 60's...my contact says they want more time off and looking to "wind down." One has been with the family 30+ and the other has been 25+.

To this point....this means that “dad” (owner) is quite old, then, I’d wager. What happens when he dies?

LowerLoon185
06-21-2019, 06:39 AM
To this point....this means that “dad” (owner) is quite old, then, I’d wager. What happens when he dies?

I'll be meeting with the CP next month...I'll definitely get the details of how its structured and if there is a continuity plan. My understanding is that the Lear has been rolled into one of the Family's companies and is a listed asset. That is not the case for the 900....so who knows. Even the Lear though, companies can dump an airplane at any time. I'll get the info. Thank you.

galaxy flyer
06-21-2019, 07:06 AM
It today’s world of pilot hiring, departments going under only means another opportunity. Corporate jobs go begging, pay offers are going up, lots of opportunities. Take the job, get a few hundred hours of jet time, then decide. It’s pretty riskless.

GF

Falcondrivr
06-21-2019, 07:41 AM
If your goal is a major airline, then go to a regional. You will not build time quickly at a 91 gig. Let someone who wants to stay corporate have this one.

CFI Guy
06-21-2019, 04:31 PM
As another poster said, take the job and get the experience. I have 3 bizjet type ratings and don’t regret my 91/135 time.

I’ve recently made the leap to a 121 supplemental to check the 121/heavy box on my resume. I had no 121 time, but I felt a little better in class when I was the only one who knew how to pick up an oceanic clearance and had seen a plotting chart.

It sounds like you may have a good opportunity. I personally feel a little better knowing I have some my corp experience in my background in case the 121 thing doesn’t work out. I figure I could always find some kind of flying job to keep the lights on if the proverbial ****e hits the fan.

All the comments made by the experienced corp pilots on here are very valid. I learned to start asking the right questions. How many pilots are there? If the person says only two then my next question is schedule and vacation. One guy stated to say “well the plane goes down for maintenance every February...” Click....

The age of the owner is also important as others have mentioned. One company I interviewed for (hotel chain) had an owner who was in his 80s. The family has always had a jet since the 1970s. They were quick to mention the owner’s son was being “primed” to takeover the business. He was already starting to use the family jet more and more.

I know someone who has a really great 91 gig (flys a few days a month, $200K/yr) but the owner is pushing 90. He already knows the plane will be sold when the owner dies. He’s negotiated a severance and any type rating of his choice paid for by the estate when the day comes. I thought that was pretty smart and fair to both parties.

People would kill for your opportunity. Go have some fun and get the experience. I don’t think it will derail your path to the majors. Depending on your schedule/expectations, you may be able to contract fly on the side to make extra money and build time faster if that’s your goal.

Best of luck to you.

LowerLoon185
06-24-2019, 09:43 AM
Thanks again everyone for the advice and heads up. I've got a list of questions to cover with the CP next month. Keeping my fingers crossed, but my eyes wide open.

dera
06-25-2019, 10:41 PM
I'm under the impression that at least some of the flying is done under 135 because he mentioned "IFR 135 minimums" for PIC. I may have that wrong though.



IFR 135 minimums for PIC? In a turbojet airplane?
Would you like to double check that? :)

Vital Signs
06-26-2019, 03:54 AM
The company could be following 135 guidelines for safety and not really doing 135 trips.

LowerLoon185
06-26-2019, 06:17 AM
The company could be following 135 guidelines for safety and not really doing 135 trips.

That's my understanding. It's just an internal guideline/hurdle for looking at and training a new SIC. May be insurance driven, but i'll find out more next month. 5 years ago they were looking for college degree, ATP, 2000 hours TPIC for this job. Most junior guy in the job is a 45 year old ex-airforce B52 guy. Whole new world now.

1200 TT
500 XC
100 night
75 instrument