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Old 11-16-2005, 02:07 PM   #1  
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Default Mountain Air Cargo question

I seek the counsel of wise men, so I have come here yet again LOL. I have a question for y'all regarding Mountain Air Cargo. Would this be a wise stepping stone on the way to (hopefully, eventually) FedEx? Are they a reputable company, and would it be a stable job with good experience? Also, would it make a big difference flying for them as opposed to, say, ExpressJet, flying RJs? Or is multi time multi time, regardless? I think I'd like go with Mountain because I live in Middle Tennessee and I'm hoping that it would be possible for me to fly out of Nashville, especially with the proposed FedEx BNA mini-hub that I've heard about. Basically I'm asking if one would be better over the other, or if it's the same difference either way, and what you would reccomend.

Thanks guys,
Joey
"Elvis"
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Old 11-16-2005, 03:44 PM   #2  
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Don't know much about Mountain Air...but I can tell you one of the tougher requirements to meet in getting hired with FedEx is the 1000 hours PIC time--Especially with the civilian-time-only folks.

The FedEx pilots' website states, in addition to other req's, you must have:

"1500 hours total fixed-wing time as pilot-in command (PIC) or first officer (SIC) including a minimum 1000 hours PIC in fixed-wing jet, fixed wing multi-engine turbo-prop, or multi-engine recip over 20,000 LBGW or combination thereof.
Note: PIC for this purpose is defined as Captain/Aircraft Commander of record, not simply the sole manipulator of the controls."

So I would say go with the outfit that will get you the fastest upgrades and consequently these PIC hours the quickest.

Good Luck!
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Old 11-16-2005, 04:01 PM   #3  
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Joey:
Be aware that if you go with MAC, they will send you anywhere they need you. The chance of getting BNA is probably slim. Dont forget, FedEx is opening a new Hub in GSO soon. I interviewed with MAC in April and only BAL was open. They are a good company to work for from what I have heard. Also, you would most likely go to the C208 unless you do not meet the 135 requirements, then you would probably get the ATR right seat and wait for the upgrade. Single engine turbine PIC time vs. multi jet time as an SIC is something you have to weigh carefully. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 11-19-2005, 03:03 AM   #4  
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I worked for MAC for almost 2 years, and I'll try to answer your questions. No, yes, very much so, even more so, no. The long version is that MAC is a great place to fly well maintained airplanes on a relaxed schedule. The company is small and is mostly managed with a consience, and they don't skimp on training or maintenance. THe pay is farily good, I'd say on the slightly above average mark. My experience was particularly diverse, including lots of interesting routes and such, but in my first year I flew just under 500 hours. If Fedex is where you want to go, you will certainly get there faster in a regional jet. Don't let the colors on the plane decieve you; Fedex has probably had better results in training pilots to fly their glass-cockpit jets by hiring pilots who fly glass-cockpit jets. Before you can fly as PIC in a twin you have to have flown as PIC in the caravan, unless you were exceptionally experienced (like several thousand hours of part 121 pic). Since the captains have such a good schedule, and because you fly so little, upgrade times can be long if you come in with low time (1000 hours) like I did. Personally I had a good time in my stay there, but I knew that it was going to be several more years before an upgrade. For me, that wait wasn't worth upgrading into a position that would have meant staying up all night and not being competitive for as many jobs as my regional jet classmates. If you want to fly little and enjoy life, I'd say mac is a good place to go. Unfortunately the trouble with flight time is that if you want it you have to work for it. When I started there, I wasn't worried about building time, because I thought of it as the kind of job that you build time to get, but over time that changed. Finally, I saw too many captains looking for jobs at other companies and not really being able to find what they wanted. The hardest part of picking a job for me is deciding what I want to do... I would suggest that if you can do that and then find a company that matches your goals, do that. Don't go to MAC just because you want to stay at BNA. When I left, they had all the FOs that they needed at BNA anyway. Oh, and if you start in the caravan at 30k per year, and then go back to the right seat of the twin, you keep the caravan pay.
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Old 11-22-2005, 08:02 PM   #5  
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I was in a similar situation years ago. I was an F/O at Zantop in the Convair flying a fair amount but looking at years before a left seat would become available. I quit and went to a commuter flying a Beech 99 to get my PIC time. I put my 3 years in as commuter (regional) captain and was hired by a major (at least it is now). I look at guys that stayed with nonsched freight and I am glad I made the choice I did even though they have the more interesting war stories.
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Old 12-04-2005, 06:47 PM   #6  
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Anybody know if they hire directly into the Left seat of the ATR 42? What is the pay? benefits?
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Old 12-27-2005, 12:15 PM   #7  
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First, just to clear the air... I'm not a MAC pilot, but rather a Line Mechanic with the company. I've been with them for nearly 10 years, now, and have worked at several different stations around the countryside. In general, I like the company, and feel they do the best they can to run a quality operation. I have come to know many of my fellow mechanics personally, and in general feel like we all are sincerely dedicated to keeping the aircraft flying as much as humanly possible, with no compromise to safety.

Now, as to flight crew jobs: I've seen a number of pilots, both left and right seat, come and go. In general, most seem to be reasonably satisfied with their experience with MAC. Of course, there are always those few dissatisfied people, but those are everywhere, right? I could write a book!

Anyway, about the ATR positions. I should think that, if you were to come in with appropriate experience and time as PIC, you could go directly to the left seat of the ATRs. I know it happened several times in the past with the old F27s we've been flying (and still do!), but in each case, it involved an individual with specific and exceptional previous experience.

Pay: well, as I say, I'm a wrench-bender, not a "driver", but F/Os start somewhere around $25k, and Captains (I think) about $42k, with maybe $1k increase each year. Benefits are fairly typical: TCA, health (with dental-good for single man, kinda expensive for family coverage), 401K (vested in 5 years) and a fairly average annual vacation schedule (1 week first year, 2 weeks 2nd year, additional day each year after that.) I will say that, in case of any personal/family emergency, the company seems to go out of their way to be as helpful as they can.

Be aware: you WILL be moving around the countryside! MAC has operations up and down the Eastern seaboard, in the Caribbean, and in South America! You will not, in all probability, be based at any fixed location until you have several years seniority. Keep your bags packed...

All in all, I like MAC. Certainly, there are problems: can you tell me of any company that doesn't have problems? Still, though, the general attitude of the company is one of what I think of as "benevolent professionalism", if that makes any sense. They do seem to try to strike a balance among all the pressures they have to deal with: i.e., the FAA, FedEx, "normal" business pressures, etc., and still deal fairly and honestly with their employees.

Yeah, you might be able to do better, but you could do a LOT worse, too!

See ya!
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:55 PM   #8  
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Default Mountain Air Cargo Bases

Anyone know the current bases for MAC?
Also I see there not in CASS, why is that? they are 121? Anyone able to jumpseat?
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Old 05-02-2008, 03:13 PM   #9  
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cass is on the work. should be up and running soon.
my opinion is: the way this economy is, MAC is one of the most stable outfit outhere. maybe not the best but not the worst neither
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:45 AM   #10  
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CASS is up and running now.

Management will hire people directly into the left seat if they really need to but they've had bad luck with it in the past. Most people will have to fly the caravan first before being an ATR Captain but its not a requirement. I think the requirements to be Captain are 3000 total time with 2000 PIC or 1500 PIC with a type rating and 1000 multi engine. Pilots that come in as an ATR FO with 1000 total time will eventually have to fly the Caravan simply to build the PIC time. I came from another cargo operator flying single pilot in Cessna 402s and that was enough experience to allow me to upgrade to Captain on the ATR after putting in my time in the right seat.

For pilots that want to move up to FedEx, Mountain Air may or may not be the best place to go. One would think that flying a FedEx owned aircraft operating out of FedEx stations that it would count for something but I don't know that it does. I don't know of any pilots that have gone from being a Captain at Mountain Air to FedEx. The Mountain Air pilots that I know of that have gone to FedEx all went to fly jets elsewhere first.

Mountain Air offers decent pay and good schedules that allow for a nice life at home, but not a lot of time building.
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