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Old 11-14-2020, 10:25 AM   #1  
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Default Regional Hiring Qualifications Question

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Old 11-15-2020, 06:07 AM   #2  
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Thanks Rick for starting this thread for me. My newbie account won't let me start a thread.

In any event, I'd like to pose a question about regional airline hiring, and I'm especially interested in hearing from those who have been involved in hiring decisions. I'm trying to best position myself to be competitive when they do start hiring again, even if that means a year or two from now.

The short question is this- in the environment that will exist when hiring begins again, and all else being equal, which applicant stands a better chance- one with an ATP in hand and maybe 100 hours multi, or one with just a commercial but with some (say 500 hours) part 135 turbine FO experience?

The longer story- I'm a late 40s career change type. I was a CFI with airline dreams in college, got out in the early 90s when the market was terrible and my flight school went under but stayed active in GA. About 1800 hours total, all ATP minimums, working part time again as a CFI to stay current (including some multi time.) Stable work history since the 90s (big city law enforcement if that makes a difference,) 4 year degree, no DUIs or other red flags.

I'm facing a choice right now- continue working and instructing part time until things start moving again, or quitting my job for an opportunity as a part 135 FO. The rub is this- the 135 job would be low QOL (on the road weeks at a time) and would probably preclude being able to complete the CTP/ATP course, which is why this is an either/ or dilemma. I'm willing to suck it up for a year or two if that's what it takes, but if it wouldn't improve my chances, then I will just maintain present course.

Thanks for any advice you can offer.
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Old 11-15-2020, 07:54 AM   #3  
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Originally Posted by 187Breezy View Post
Thanks Rick for starting this thread for me. My newbie account won't let me start a thread.

In any event, I'd like to pose a question about regional airline hiring, and I'm especially interested in hearing from those who have been involved in hiring decisions. I'm trying to best position myself to be competitive when they do start hiring again, even if that means a year or two from now.

The short question is this- in the environment that will exist when hiring begins again, and all else being equal, which applicant stands a better chance- one with an ATP in hand and maybe 100 hours multi, or one with just a commercial but with some (say 500 hours) part 135 turbine FO experience?

The longer story- I'm a late 40s career change type. I was a CFI with airline dreams in college, got out in the early 90s when the market was terrible and my flight school went under but stayed active in GA. About 1800 hours total, all ATP minimums, working part time again as a CFI to stay current (including some multi time.) Stable work history since the 90s (big city law enforcement if that makes a difference,) 4 year degree, no DUIs or other red flags.

I'm facing a choice right now- continue working and instructing part time until things start moving again, or quitting my job for an opportunity as a part 135 FO. The rub is this- the 135 job would be low QOL (on the road weeks at a time) and would probably preclude being able to complete the CTP/ATP course, which is why this is an either/ or dilemma. I'm willing to suck it up for a year or two if that's what it takes, but if it wouldn't improve my chances, then I will just maintain present course.

Thanks for any advice you can offer.
If itís a jet 135 job, Iíd recommend going. You should be able to get an ATP out of it and set yourself up for a good corporate job, if the airlines donít pan out. Only caveat is where do you live? If itís near the coasts, this is better for corporate jobs. If in Iowa, few corporates and longish commutes.
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Old 11-15-2020, 08:09 AM   #4  
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If itís a jet 135 job, Iíd recommend going. You should be able to get an ATP out of it and set yourself up for a good corporate job, if the airlines donít pan out. Only caveat is where do you live? If itís near the coasts, this is better for corporate jobs. If in Iowa, few corporates and longish commutes.
It's a turboprop job (Brasilia) and might result in an ATP in a couple/ fews years depending on upgrade opportunities. That timeframe might extend beyond when the regionals start hiring... or not.

My strong preference at this point is the airlines, kind of a childhood dream put on hold for 40 years. I'm an hour drive from ORD so obviously looking at regionals with bases there. I've been watching the job market for several years (and lurking here on the forums) waiting for my chance. A year ago I probably could have multiple regional job offers, but today... Life is just like that, you need to make the most of it and be ready for the next opportunity.
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Old 11-15-2020, 08:24 AM   #5  
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Depending where you are in your LE organizational structure, that might be one hell of a pay cutóbut Iím sure you already knew that.

Iíve always been told, and Iíve learned the hard way...flight time is king. High quality flight time is even better...ONCE youíve met the minimums. Iíve got ~1100TT as a former F/A-18 pilot, and Iím getting passed over for low time jobs by C172 CFIs with that magic 1500TT that so many companies want. Lots of companies have hard minimums, especially now, and many applications have flight hour filters...flight time is flight timeójust is what it is. Anyway...need be, at some point in the future you can take out a small loan and bang out your ATP in a month. 500+ hours of turbine MEL time is much harder to find. If youíre going to make the jump, I would be very hesitant to pass up a job that will give you turbine MEL time. ATP can be had at any time.
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Old 11-15-2020, 08:38 AM   #6  
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Not advice, but my opinion, and what I would do if I were in your shoes. And for perspective, I was in recruiting at my regional for a few years.

Flight instructing is a very valuable experience for any professional pilot. And the skills you master there are vital building blocks for the rest of your career, no matter how long or short it may be. But from my experience, flying in a commercial operation, especially as a PIC, will prepare you for 121 or good corporate jobs much better. Regardless of whether itís a jet, turboprop, or even an aircraft requiring a type rating, the fact is youíre flying a higher-performance aircraft, in and out of many more airports and weather conditions than your 172 can fly in, flying the aircraft all the way to limitations, with constant pressure from the boss to move the passengers/cargo from A to B. That is experience you just donít get while flight instructing. And from my experience, Iíve seen people transition much easier to a jet if they had that 135 commercial (especially PIC) experience.

Iím not sure how much of a pay cut you would be taking by going to this 135 job. But if you and your family can live with it for two years, are ok with the schedule and the number of days youíll be gone, and especially if your current job will let you come back if things didnít work out here, I would definitely take the 135 job. Like I said, the experience you will get there will be way more valuable, and absolutely will make you much more competitive when the hiring starts again.

Again, my opinion, based on my experience. However, at the end of the day, you need to do whatís best for you and your family. If the pay cut or schedule is just too much, thereís nothing wrong with staying put for the time being. And if they ask you why you didnít progress in your flying when you had the opportunity to, doing what was best for your family is a perfectly acceptable answer in an interview.
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Old 11-15-2020, 08:56 AM   #7  
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Hate to say I see a red flag...
saying a job with "weeks" on the road is low QOL....(hate to say it but attitude determines a lot...some people love cargo life, some hates it, case in point)
​​​​​​Just might want to reconsider how much you are willing to sacrifice to start over in new industry if that's the issue.
Unfortunately I have met more than one person who fell in love with the idea of flying, not really understanding that it would mean holidays away from loved ones, Christmas in hotels rooms eating Ramin out of a coffee pot, and missed family events.... maybe even missed deaths in the family or other emergencies, sometimes for years or life depending on the choices you make.
Sure, many regional jobs are 3-4 day trips, as are some majors, but a significant part of the industry (much of cargo, 135 and 91k) is much longer trips, often 1-3 weeks depending on the company.
Not saying that you cannot aim for a job that matches what you want in QOL, but I am saying that if something spooks you so easily, maybe you aren't as into it as you truly think.
Soul searching time....while flying gives you some amazing travel opportunities, it's a job, and it does come with a cost.
It might be $$$, social, or simply time.
Determine which is most important to you...
You you want to "live the dream" and fly...
Or sit around waiting, watching for the perfect time to jump?
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Old 11-15-2020, 08:57 AM   #8  
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Keep instructing. I was always unimpressed with the way 135 guys interviewed.
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Old 11-15-2020, 09:57 AM   #9  
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Originally Posted by 187Breezy View Post
A year ago I probably could have multiple regional job offers, but today... Life is just like that, you need to make the most of it and be ready for the next opportunity.
A year ago you were competitive. Today, through no fault of your own, you are not. And you are not because several regionals have closed - so there are already many guys who will be deemed far more qualified than you out on the street, and both flying and airline fleets have been cut back, leading to some furloughs and massive underutilization of existing pilots.

sadly, nothing you can do will make you competitive until all that slack is taken out of the system, thatís just fact. But those same circumstances have resulted in a whole bunch of people who would have been your competitors dropping out of the system altogether. When that happens you will again be competitive. Would turbine time - even as SIC make you more competitive? Yeah, probably, and probably even SIC turbine time. Would it make you enough more competitive to justify the financial hit? Especially if you are getting ME time as a CFI if you donít take the job? That would have to be your call.

Personally, I think Iíd recommend continuing in your present job for at least another year, until things start to rebound more, doing as much part time CFI work as you can. The 135 job will likely still be there 18 months from now, or another just like it. That would give you another 12-18 months of your current income while still burnishing your resumeí.
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Old 11-15-2020, 11:02 AM   #10  
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Thanks guys, good advice and perspectives on both sides, please keep it coming. This is a tough call. My ultimate goal is to make it to the regionals (beyond that, we'll see what happens) so everything I do between now and then is with that goal in mind.

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Depending where you are in your LE organizational structure, that might be one hell of a pay cutóbut Iím sure you already knew that.
The Golden Handcuffs come off in December, which is why I've been eyeing up this date for a few years. I'm pretty high up and yes it would be a major pay cut initially but I've been planning for this and have enough saved to swing it for a couple of years if need be.

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Originally Posted by ZippyNH View Post
Hate to say I see a red flag...
saying a job with "weeks" on the road is low QOL....(hate to say it but attitude determines a lot...some people love cargo life, some hates it, case in point)​
That's a fair point but I can assure you I am no wide-eyed naive kid going into this. A regional lifestyle (3-5 day trips with a few days off in between) fits into my/ our lives much better than 1-3 weeks on the road at a time. This is one of the reasons I'm pursuing the airlines over corporate/ fractional etc. However, if a year of the road dog life gets me closer to the ultimate goal than it may be worth it. That's essentially the big decision I'm facing.
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