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Old 12-04-2017, 07:12 PM   #1
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Default RJ to U/LCC with no TPIC Theory

So I have a theory; As a young airline pilot at 24, and about to be upgrading at my current shop in a couple of months. Traditional thought would be to stay. Upgrade. Get 1,000 TPIC. Save kittens from trees on your days off. Wait. And leave for one of the BIG 4. My theory; is why not if offered a job at an U/LCC such as F9 or NK prior to upgrading taking it, and escaping regional purgatory? If hiring at the legacies picks up as its foretasted to, everyone's saying TPIC wont matter anyway, and if the economy tanks (already been 8 years since the last one) You're at a place that would be fine to hang the hat for awhile. Worst case with 40+ years left in this industry one would assume they could make it to a legacy at some point from F9 or NK if they wanted to anyway. I guess it boils down to, you never know when that legacy is going to call, there's still plenty of much more qualified pilots than someone like me in line for the Big 4. So why not make a move to the majors while the gettings good? Not saying I'm going down this path, but I'm looking for a little food for thought, as I'm sure I'm not the only one that has thought about this?
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:03 PM   #2
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In case of that economic downturn; TPIC can get you a job somewhere in Aviation. No TPIC is a handicap.

I hired 3 RJ pilots in a top corporate job during the “lost decade”; TPIC made them competitive and they have since moved to legacies.

GF
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Shangri La View Post
So I have a theory; As a young airline pilot at 24, and about to be upgrading at my current shop in a couple of months. Traditional thought would be to stay. Upgrade. Get 1,000 TPIC. Save kittens from trees on your days off. Wait. And leave for one of the BIG 4. My theory; is why not if offered a job at an U/LCC such as F9 or NK prior to upgrading taking it, and escaping regional purgatory? If hiring at the legacies picks up as its foretasted to, everyone's saying TPIC wont matter anyway, and if the economy tanks (already been 8 years since the last one) You're at a place that would be fine to hang the hat for awhile. Worst case with 40+ years left in this industry one would assume they could make it to a legacy at some point from F9 or NK if they wanted to anyway. I guess it boils down to, you never know when that legacy is going to call, there's still plenty of much more qualified pilots than someone like me in line for the Big 4. So why not make a move to the majors while the gettings good? Not saying I'm going down this path, but I'm looking for a little food for thought, as I'm sure I'm not the only one that has thought about this?
REAL BIG PICTURE;

1) PIC is STILL IMPORTANT, just LESS IMPORTANT as a discriminator as it once was.

2) Going to an LCC/ULCC with no PIC could help, might not matter. Sure, everyone likes to say “man, get that Airbus type and you’ll called by a legacy in NO TIME!!” Sure, maybe maybe not. Might still have to be saving kittens, updating frequently, preferably have good (enough) GPA, etc.

I know some FO’s that went to a LCC/ULCC/ACMI thinking it’d be the golden ticket to a legacy, crickets. As well as others that did and it worked out. But usually for those that it worked out they weren’t much different than the FO’s I knew that went RJ FO to a legacy. Good GPA, networked, lots of recruiter face time, rescue kittens on their days off, etc.

3) Sure, there’s a lot of “qualified pilots” in the app stack as measured from a bygone criteria. As in, lots of PIC. Thing is, those guys are “qualified” flight experience wise and clean records, but are likely dark decade guys. Meaning, they’re a little older, have obligations and families and don’t have time for things like kitten rescue on their min day off regional commuting schedule. As well as considered “career stagnant”.

Meanwhile the younger pilots can tend to check more boxes that are points drivers for the app review/score process that the HR people like to see in the performance based/targeted selection brave new hiring world in which we’re in.

Like I said, ALL REAL BIG PICTURE.

But one thing has proven sure, you can’t get hired if you don’t apply.

But I agree with GF. I’ve been furloughed with no PIC, and it sucked.....

Last edited by John Carr; 12-04-2017 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 12-04-2017, 09:44 PM   #4
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It's possible, if the shortage gets severe enough, that the bigs will end up hiring more from their LCC competitors, rather than raiding their own regional feed. Right now they seem fairly agnostic as to your current employer.

In that case, you might even get bypassed and left chained to the regional oar.

Tough call.
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Old 12-05-2017, 08:51 AM   #5
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You’re 24. Make steady, low risk, decisions for your career.

Few guys at your age are getting hired. Don’t worry about a few of them getting hired ahead of you.

What do YOU think adds more value to your resume? A 320 type rating or upgrading to Captain and signing for the jet? I’d put the upgrade ahead of a new FO job.

Write down different resumes if you’d choose either track on a yearly future basis. Avg newhire has 5500-7500 TT and 3000-4000 PIC. What option gets you there fastest?

Upgrading shortly? CKA in 2-3 years? How does that stack up vs 2000 hrs of 320 FO time?

Hiring will pickup. Do you think the majors will be beating the bushes looking for FO’s or perhaps young CAs and CKA first?

I’d get 1000hrs TPIC and then evaluate staying, vs my CKA prospects, vs going to a non Big 3/4 airline.

Last edited by Sliceback; 12-05-2017 at 08:54 AM. Reason: Added “I’d get...}
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:15 AM   #6
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Ask the 9/11 furloughees who didn't have 1000 TPIC how easy it was to find a decent flying job...
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Sliceback View Post
Youre 24. Make steady, low risk, decisions for your career.

Few guys at your age are getting hired. Dont worry about a few of them getting hired ahead of you.

What do YOU think adds more value to your resume? A 320 type rating or upgrading to Captain and signing for the jet? Id put the upgrade ahead of a new FO job.

Write down different resumes if youd choose either track on a yearly future basis. Avg newhire has 5500-7500 TT and 3000-4000 PIC. What option gets you there fastest?

Upgrading shortly? CKA in 2-3 years? How does that stack up vs 2000 hrs of 320 FO time?

Hiring will pickup. Do you think the majors will be beating the bushes looking for FOs or perhaps young CAs and CKA first?

Id get 1000hrs TPIC and then evaluate staying, vs my CKA prospects, vs going to a non Big 3/4 airline.
^^^^^^This^^^^^^
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:49 PM   #8
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There have been two very good arguments to be made from both sides. Decide what your career can handle via risk mitigation and if you have any realistic fallback options in case the industry massively tanks with another national emergency or downturn in the economy (ProTip: we're due for another bear market).
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:46 AM   #9
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There have been two very good arguments to be made from both sides. Decide what your career can handle via risk mitigation and if you have any realistic fallback options in case the industry massively tanks with another national emergency or downturn in the economy (ProTip: we're due for another bear market).
Given retirements, it would take a pretty big collapse to trigger furloughs... anybody who furloughs knows they might not get those guys back.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:56 AM   #10
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Given retirements, it would take a pretty big collapse to trigger furloughs... anybody who furloughs knows they might not get those guys back.
While I agreen with your rosy outlook, it always helps to have a “red” team look.

Factors that could change the picture:
  1. Upgauging on many routes. Using less frequency and larger planes would be more efficient and use fewer pilots. We may have reached the end of frequency competition.
  2. JV deals like the many DL JVs could “out source” jobs.
  3. Reduction in RJ flying providing fewer paths to majors. That could lead to ab initio programs
    Black swan event like another 9/11. Might not furlough but another decade of stagnation.

None are reasons for leaving or not entering aviation, but possibilities.

GF
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