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F-16 to MD to Airlines - Need Advice


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F-16 to MD to Airlines - Need Advice

Old 08-11-2023, 03:41 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Panton
Former F-16 pilot (1700+ hrs total). Separated from the Air Force 12 years ago, went to medical school and now am a doctor. I'm in my mid 40's. Haven't flown since I was in the Air Force. Honestly I always wished I had gone to fly for the airlines after my time in the Air force. For years I thought it would be impossible to go back to being a pilot due to my gap in flying, but it seems like it actually might be possible right now. I'm looking for advice on the best path forward to flying for the airlines.

I have a commercial single engine (got it from my initial instrument check in F-16's. Beyond initial training in 172's I've never really flown civilian). I am going to at the very least get current and get a commercial multiengine. My hours should qualify for an unrestricted ATP (250 night, 350 instrument, single seat so all PIC). It's all turbine time. I was an instructor + evaluator pilot. About 200 multi engine from T37/38 as a student pilot. No failed checkrides / DUIs or anything sketchy.

From talking to some regionals, it sounds like if I get my multiengine and stay current I would be competitive.

Would I have any realistic chance with a legacy or LCC if I got my ATP? By the numbers it seems vaguely possible (e.g. United lists: Minimum of 1,500 hours of total time. Prefer 1,000 hours of fixed wing turbine time. Prefer a minimum of 100 hours of flight time within the last 12 months.)

Any recommendations for someone in my situation?

Thank you
Ahhh.... The grass is greener on the other side syndrome.........BTDT........You have done the hard work.......I advise you to tweak your current situation to your liking and stay in the medical field. You can't go home again.......As a pilot you may still end up with someone else's body fluids on you and there's no guaranty you won't be chewed out by a herion addict. Know this......airline mgmt doesn't like pilots and after a lifetime of efforts that goes down hard.
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Old 08-11-2023, 09:29 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by rickair7777
A viper guy should probably be OK in a Bonanza, even if he is an MD. Probably.
The snaggle toothed doctor killer has no mercy
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Old 08-12-2023, 09:15 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by TiredSoul
After about a year or two with a Regional yes.
No offense, you’re missing a lot of let’s call it exposure experience.
Flying 121 could not be more different from what you did before.
Its a different universe.
Multi crew, CRM, SIDs and STARs, big airport operations, little airport operations, the goings into O’Hare or JFK, LA or Miami.
The whole 121 world is totally different and does not require a we-must-complete-this-mission-at-all-cost mentality.
Your background is doing (very) dangerous stuff. That’s a different mindset and it requires some adjustment time. We are trying to do very safe and boring stuff.
Again…no offense.
I fly with a lot of former military.
Give yourself a fair shake and learn the ropes with a Regional, same as others that are “new” to this side of aviation.
No offense taken. I completely get this is a whole different style of flying, and I'm not trying to act like somehow my decade old Viper time means I can just waltz into the left seat of a 777. However, if I can put in the time and effort to get some qualifications it'd be nice to get established with a major if that's possible. Either way I realize there will be a lot of learning, but honestly flying operations and approaches can't be that different between a regional jet and a 737.
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Old 08-12-2023, 09:25 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by hercretired
Original Poster: All I can say is try to work for the major airline that is in, or close to your home town, and/or is the least painful commute to.

Generally speaking, if you are looking to get some experience at a regional, do not go to the "flow partner" of that home town airline. Statistically speaking, it seems getting hired outside of the flow is not common.

Also, keep your day job / keep your practice alive somehow. The airlines are like the oil business, in boom times, everyone has a new powerstroke Diesel super duty pick up truck, in dire times, the truck is for sale
I'm a little confused by this. Obviously I'd like to end up at a major near me, and fortunately I'm within driving distance of hubs for a few. You say that hiring outside the flow is not common, but also not to go to the flow partner of that airline? Are you saying that if my goal was to end up at Delta, I should, or should not fly for their associated regionals?

I'm well aware of the cyclic nature of airlines. Honestly its what scared me off at first. I'm assuming that if I finally make this career change it will kill the airline industry (sorry everyone). So yes, I do plan to stay current in medicine and take some shifts here and there as a backup. Fortunately physicians are also in very high demand right now so there are lots of options.
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Old 08-12-2023, 09:35 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by tnkrdrvr
You should qualify for a commercial multi based off your T37 & T38 time. The centerline thrust restriction has been deleted.
I didn't apply for the certificate until my F-16 check, so it's a single engine, not a centerline thrust restriction. Is it possible to go back and add on the multi? I think I have to get multi hours now anyway to be competitive, but if I could avoid a check or exam that'd be nice.
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Old 08-12-2023, 10:19 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Panton
but honestly flying operations and approaches can't be that different between a regional jet and a 737.
Absolutely true, however there are different experience expectations in training and on the line between a Regional and a Major.
At least there used to be and should be.
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Old 08-12-2023, 10:25 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Panton
I didn't apply for the certificate until my F-16 check, so it's a single engine, not a centerline thrust restriction. Is it possible to go back and add on the multi? I think I have to get multi hours now anyway to be competitive, but if I could avoid a check or exam that'd be nice.
Whatever process you used back in the day, seems they may shorted you a multi engine land on your certificate. If you’ve got your logbooks/flight documents from the Air Force, I’d reach out to a local DPE that can do Multi ratings to see if they’ll let you MILCOMP the commercial MEL and just add it to your license. If you’ve got enough hours for an ATP, some Cessna flying (25-50hrs in the next 12 months) will get you flight current enough for the regionals and ULCCs. If you want to go to Delta DO NOT go to their Wholly Owned regional. Same with AA and their Wholly Owned regionals or United and any UAX carrier with Aviate. More likely than not, You’ll get stuck there and won’t be able to get hired outside their program.

Id seriously consider applying to a ULCC over a regional. QOL will be light years better than most regionals, and better than most legacies also, allowing you to doctor stuffs part time. Napkin math puts you too old to get much if any time as WB CA at a legacy. What’s your specialty? Do you plan to work part time in it? If you’re not a fan of your specialty and want to leave all together, have you considered going to residency 2.0 for a new specialty? If you’re able to keep your medical license, it’ll be be a nice safety net in case you become a fallen angel. You may also never catch up to your current earnings potential by making the career swap. The best time to get hired was like 2015… we’re entering a period of uncertainty with the economy and age 67 changes and airlines don’t usually do a good job managing those. +1 is a physician and there is a lot of appeal to the earnings power and being home every night there. Doc’s only real plus for my airline career is the drinks in first class and the lounge pass. The time away is a big detractor from the paycheck.

Just food for thought. If you really want to be an airline pilot, you’ll probably be in the right seat if an airbus or Boeing within 12 months the way things are going, once you get your ratings updated and get flight current…
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Old 08-12-2023, 10:41 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by TiredSoul
Absolutely true, however there are different experience expectations in training and on the line between a Regional and a Major.
At least there used to be and should be.
If its true that a delta 767 captain who only had 14 months on property and flew through a hailstorm i beg to differ that there are different expectations in training. I would imagine this is an isolated incident. But IF this is true this is absolutely insane. I dont care how sharp the pilot is.
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Old 08-12-2023, 11:12 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Otterbox
Whatever process you used back in the day, seems they may shorted you a multi engine land on your certificate. If you’ve got your logbooks/flight documents from the Air Force, I’d reach out to a local DPE that can do Multi ratings to see if they’ll let you MILCOMP the commercial MEL and just add it to your license. If you’ve got enough hours for an ATP, some Cessna flying (25-50hrs in the next 12 months) will get you flight current enough for the regionals and ULCCs. If you want to go to Delta DO NOT go to their Wholly Owned regional. Same with AA and their Wholly Owned regionals or United and any UAX carrier with Aviate. More likely than not, You’ll get stuck there and won’t be able to get hired outside their program.

Id seriously consider applying to a ULCC over a regional. QOL will be light years better than most regionals, and better than most legacies also, allowing you to doctor stuffs part time. Napkin math puts you too old to get much if any time as WB CA at a legacy. What’s your specialty? Do you plan to work part time in it? If you’re not a fan of your specialty and want to leave all together, have you considered going to residency 2.0 for a new specialty? If you’re able to keep your medical license, it’ll be be a nice safety net in case you become a fallen angel. You may also never catch up to your current earnings potential by making the career swap. The best time to get hired was like 2015… we’re entering a period of uncertainty with the economy and age 67 changes and airlines don’t usually do a good job managing those. +1 is a physician and there is a lot of appeal to the earnings power and being home every night there. Doc’s only real plus for my airline career is the drinks in first class and the lounge pass. The time away is a big detractor from the paycheck.

Just food for thought. If you really want to be an airline pilot, you’ll probably be in the right seat if an airbus or Boeing within 12 months the way things are going, once you get your ratings updated and get flight current…
True, there is no way I'm going to be ahead financially with this choice. I do plan to keep working as a back up and to cushion the financial difference. A second residency is just..... no.

As far as the "home every night", that doesn't really apply to a lot of medicine. I may not be across the country on a trip, but when I spend 24 hours in the hospital it doesn't really matter that I'm in the same city. Post shift is also painful, it gets real old being up for 24 hours at a time. You are "off" the next day, but it's pretty much a waste as you try to recover.

That's good to hear the ULCC are a reasonable option. I don't need the "prestige" of a legacy, but it sounds like the regionals can be a grind.
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Old 08-12-2023, 12:08 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by idontknoworcare
If its true that a delta 767 captain who only had 14 months on property and flew through a hailstorm i beg to differ that there are different expectations in training. I would imagine this is an isolated incident. But IF this is true this is absolutely insane. I dont care how sharp the pilot is.
The 14 months on property is only relevant in the context of his prior experience.

If he was a CFI, then 1000 hours RJ SIC, then DAL... yeah experience is something to talk about.

But if he had 20,000 hours ACMI before DAL, then general experience might not be the issue at all.
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