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Old 08-03-2006, 11:25 AM   #1  
Che Guevara
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Default What pay cut should I take?

Ok right now I make about $60k as a CFI in Texas. As you can tell I fly an incredible amount. I usually do a minimum of 5 flights a day. I'm currently 24yrs old with my 135mins. Just hit em. As of right now I'll have my current contract still kicking for 4-6 months from now.

The owner of the FBO has a Merlin IIIB that I fly with him on the side. Right now it's in mx but we should be getting it back this up coming wednesday. I don't get paid when I fly that because I only have about 10hrs in one. Normally it's flown about 30hrs a month but like I said it's been getting a hot section on the engine done which has taken some time.

I'm hoping that when my CFI contract expires I'll be around 1500-1800hrs with a good 100hrs in the Merlin. After my contract is over I've been offered a job here flying an Air Ambulance 421 that pays $150 per day on call and $200 per flight. They are only getting about 8flights a month right now. That requires a 6 month contract. Or I could join Pennicle Airlines judging by what they've been putting up at climbto350.com. Then there's the thought of trying to go cargo.

One way or another I know I've been lucky with my current CFI job. But when it's time to move on I have no foresight. I've never flown cargo and I've never flown pax and I know nothing of Pennicle. Any ideas? Is the Ambulance my best bet? I'd stay here and fly the merlin on the side too. At what point (ME hrs and twin turboprop wise) should I make the move to an Airline or cargo outfit? Would it just be retarded for me to pay for a type rating in a jet and go apply at airlines? I'm young and don't want to make the wrong mistake. I want to find my nice little place to spend the rest of my life. I've never quit a job in my life and once I get on with a company I'll most likely stay there. Any info would be great.
Thanks!
Duck

PS I have a 4yr degree
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Old 08-03-2006, 01:23 PM   #2  
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Your options should be much more broad than Pinnicale and a 135 air ambulance gig. With that sort of time there should be lots of options available to you on both the 135 and 121 ends of this industry.

Do what fits you best. The more I think about it, the more I sway to the 135 side. The idea of not dealing with security, flying to many different airports and knowing your passengers appeals to me.
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Old 08-03-2006, 01:34 PM   #3  
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Keep the teaching gig for a while longer, and put the money in the bank particularly if you are headed to Pinnacle. I suspect you could get an interview with them right now, as their website is showing 1000TT and 200 multi as their prefered minimums. However, the rumor is they are starting to look at people with lower time than that.

It never hurts to have choices in life and it sounds like you'll have plenty if you keep building up your time before going to the regionals.
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Old 08-03-2006, 03:10 PM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C152driver
Keep the teaching gig for a while longer, and put the money in the bank particularly if you are headed to Pinnacle. I suspect you could get an interview with them right now, as their website is showing 1000TT and 200 multi as their prefered minimums. However, the rumor is they are starting to look at people with lower time than that.

It never hurts to have choices in life and it sounds like you'll have plenty if you keep building up your time before going to the regionals.
I couldn't agree more... If you are making 5 grand a month as a CFI, you need to seriously think about the immediate consequences of leaving that type of pay for the probationary wages at a commuter... Keep that job until you have enough money put away to get you through the welfare-qualification period.

On a totally different note, I made $800 a month when I instructed...
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Old 08-03-2006, 05:37 PM   #5  
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Forget the money. Get in a twin. Keep moving up to the airlines. The money will return. You don't need anymore single engine time.
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Old 08-03-2006, 07:37 PM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleared4Tkeoff
I couldn't agree more... If you are making 5 grand a month as a CFI, you need to seriously think about the immediate consequences of leaving that type of pay for the probationary wages at a commuter... Keep that job until you have enough money put away to get you through the welfare-qualification period.

On a totally different note, I made $800 a month when I instructed...

No doubt I've been very lucky. I'm not some idiot that has no idea what kind of blessing he's been given. When I graduated from Baylor I had still had to pay for my CFI and CFII with no loans. That meant tossing down the visa and racking up about 8 grand in debt including living ect. As of this past payment I have completely paid it off!!!! I'm so proud because I'm not having to rely on my parents. I actually went and helped dad on the ranch the other day just for th hell of it and it felt great getting to work out in the sun and reject him when he tried to pay me. I've made it thus far. however I haven't saved up any money really. Just paid everything off and have a little on the side. While I make good money while flying my average day is from 8am to 7pm minimum. Sometimes it goes to 9pm. No matter how much you want it, it begins to wear on you. I still haven't missed a flight but damn if it doesn't wear you down. And Del Rio has been over 100 degrees EVERY DAY. It's like the hottest damn part in the US lol. You just get at that point in your life where you know you're almost ready to take your next step but you don't know what the step should be. My current gig is trainging airforce students. However after I'm done with my current guys in 4-6months'ish I wont really have any students because without them there is nothing in Del Rio for me so I'll be forced to make a move. Hence why I'm asking.

I have to say that I've been here for a bit and you guys have always been very helpful. The reason I have this gig in the first place is because yall talked me out of going to gulfstream academy and all the other dumb things that other people had put in my head at one point. So I don't want anyone to think I'm asking for the hell of it. I've weighed all opinions heavily in the past and I just want you guys to know that your experience on the road ahead has helped me tremendously(sp?) thus far. I've taken it all in and made great decisions I think so far. So keep in mind that what you experienced guys say here really makes a differences. I owe many of you a beer and I thank you all for your advice. It helps!

Duck
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Old 08-03-2006, 08:34 PM   #7  
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Default Move on

If you move on from here you most likely will be disappointed. Where else will you earn 60k? On the other Hand how will you advance?

You are earning far more than you would at any regional for a long time. Is it about money and life or advancement for you?

I would stay and see what fate had in store.


Skyhigh

It would be a special day when one of my sons paid for lunch or turned down pay. Good for you !!
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Old 08-04-2006, 05:10 AM   #8  
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It's both. I enjoy the money yes. But the 5-6hops a day with no AC is really wearing me down. I'll stay till the gig is up but after that my hand will be forced.
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Old 08-07-2006, 10:51 AM   #9  
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60k by CFIing. wow. When you leave can I take your job?? I live in Texas.

Yeah going to a regional you'd take a massive paycut. Well anywhere you go, you'd take a big cut. I'm a CFI too, and I understand the being worn out bit.

Save up some money, do something with it. Buy stock or buy and sell real estate. Find a good 135 gig or that air ambulance thing. Then you can apply at major or something. At that time, and money, I may not go to a regional unless you really like the airline lifestyle.

Chris
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Old 08-07-2006, 06:50 PM   #10  
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I would avoid the shiny jet syndrome with a vengence. Pilots with time in an RJ aren't exactly one of a kind. Going straight into the seat at Pinchnickel narrows down your future opportunities. I'd go into an area the allows for you to gain a wide range of experience. Try and get into a respected charter operation in a major market and make friends and contacts. If you go into scheduled service now, you will always be an "airline" pilot. There will be plenty of time to get into the scheduled service arena at a later date. I was corporate before going airline and while I enjoy my airline job, I'm real glad that I started out somewhere else.
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