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Old 12-16-2009, 04:49 PM   #1  
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Default Non-Flying Job with Avantair

Hi Everyone-

I'm looking for some advice, primarily from Avantair people, on working for the company in a non-flying capacity. I'm coming off a nearly two year recovery from a nasty accident, looking at going back to work, and noticed that Avantair has a couple non-flying positions open. It's going to be a while before I can get my medical back (although I'm completely confident I can), and a while before I can get myself current again.

So the question I'm asking is if this would be a wise career move. Avantair is a company I'd love to fly for some day, but would a non-flying job with them be a bad idea? I currently have about 1700hrs and 500 multi, nearly all PIC. Would there be any future chance of being hired into the right seat with those kind of times? I figure while working for them (or maybe another factional) I could get myself current and at least the ATP written out of the way. I guess what I'm thinking is that even if I put in a couple years with them, my times still be far too low to be considered and I'd have to leave in order to build more time. But I have heard of this path helping people get on with other companies. So any advice out there?

Thanks in advance!

-VAviator
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Old 12-16-2009, 04:58 PM   #2  
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Yes your times are too low to be considered. At least right now. But when I got into this business there were people paying to go to work. A couple years later when i finished my ratings I didn't even flight instruct and got on at an airline with 800 hours. And there was a huge learning curve. I am a Captain at Avantair and have been there a couple of years. I would say that working for Avantair as a non-pilot would absolutely not hurt your chances of eventually moving to the cockpit. I think they are often an employee oriented outfit with the understanding that money is still the bottom line. Which is good because we want the company to survive. I say go for it if the job you would be applying for is what you wan tto do until you can get back to flying. I would say though that if it is a job you would not enjoy and that may affect your performance then don't do it cause your just setting yourself up to look bad.
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:05 PM   #3  
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Thats one of the things I've noticed about aviation - that if you can get in with a company in a non-flying capacity, work hard, make a good impression, keep out of trouble, things have a way of working out. There were several guys at the 121 regional I flew at who'd done it that way.

Worst case scenario, you'll have all the right contacts in the flight operations department, so if you need to get current and build a little more flight time, you'll know who to contact, assuming you've left them with a good impression.

Fortune has a way of smiling on people like this.

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Old 12-16-2009, 08:20 PM   #4  
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This topic was recently specifically addressed by our Pilot Advisory Committee (PAC). The company wanted to know how the PAC wanted to handle non-pilot employees who wanted to transfer over to the pilot group.

I believe they came up with an agreement to maintain company longevity for vacation and other "company incentive programs" (read profit sharing) but to start at the bottom of the pilot seniority list and receive applicable pay.

Sorry it's vauge, but I hope it helps.

P.S. As to my opinion, I think it would help greatly to get a non-pilot job at Avantair and transfer over. Of course this assumes you impress at whatever your non-flying job is. If you are a pain in the rear at that job then I wouldn't expect you do very well moving over.
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:38 AM   #5  
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Thanks for the responses so far! I think all three of you mentioned something I hadn't thought of, so I'm really glad I asked the question. And I understand your points about impressing everyone in any job I might find myself in. It'd be quite stupid of me to make a big change (move) to work for a company only to be a jacka$$, but your point is well taken - it's only as much of an opportunity as you make of it. No one just hands you your dream job, most of all in our industry.

Glasss and RCAC - have you known anyone to get hired below the 1000ME and 150MET times? Or below any of the minimums for that matter?
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:10 AM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VAviator View Post
Thanks for the responses so far! I think all three of you mentioned something I hadn't thought of, so I'm really glad I asked the question. And I understand your points about impressing everyone in any job I might find myself in. It'd be quite stupid of me to make a big change (move) to work for a company only to be a jacka$$, but your point is well taken - it's only as much of an opportunity as you make of it. No one just hands you your dream job, most of all in our industry.

Glasss and RCAC - have you known anyone to get hired below the 1000ME and 150MET times? Or below any of the minimums for that matter?
One of our current Captain's started as a Pilot Services rep, became a Pilot Services Manager, bid for FO and is now a Captain.

There are four people I know of in the company in positions other than pilot that are working toward the goal of getting a pilot position. 2 in the OCC and 2 in the Maintenance department.

They hired low time pilots in the past if there was some reason they believed the pilot could pass the company training. One guy was a USMC Harrier pilot and had 1100 hours TT when he was hired. He is now a Check Airmen and has made a significant contribution to Avantair by helping to develop our current SOP's.

I have been told that there are positions open in the OCC now. One Flight Specialist position (they put together the aircraft schedules) and two Flight Followers (company has a rule that you must have a Dispatch License to be a FF)

Hope this helps and Good Luck
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Old 12-17-2009, 04:43 PM   #7  
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It certainly can't hurt. Do you know anyone inside the company?
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:51 AM   #8  
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It certainly can't hurt. Do you know anyone inside the company?
Unfortunately I don't, but I sent my resume in for the Flight Specialist and the Aircraft Records Clerk yesterday.

On a related note, anyone know what the cost of living is like down in Clearwater?
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Old 12-23-2009, 08:22 AM   #9  
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It certainly doesn't hurt to move laterally within a company (aside from Avantair), but you do have to be careful not to step on toes (which you probably would) if you get moved into the cockpit with significantly fewer hours than the thousand guys who also want the job. A company also has to be mindful of nepotism.....hiring a lesser or unqualified person into the cockpit because they have a dad or uncle, etc working in the management arena. This would **** off a LOT of pilots and cause problems between management and pilots.
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:05 PM   #10  
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It certainly doesn't hurt to move laterally within a company (aside from Avantair), but you do have to be careful not to step on toes (which you probably would) if you get moved into the cockpit with significantly fewer hours than the thousand guys who also want the job. A company also has to be mindful of nepotism.....hiring a lesser or unqualified person into the cockpit because they have a dad or uncle, etc working in the management arena. This would **** off a LOT of pilots and cause problems between management and pilots.
Why do you have to constantly "step" on our toes? How are those thousands of pilots who want the job even going to know if someone makes a lateral move within the company? It won't affect any pilots here because the policy is in place that puts the lateral mover on the seniority list just like a new hire. Bottom of the list.
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