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Old 07-24-2019, 05:53 AM   #1  
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Default Low time pilot looking for work

I graduated from Western Michigan University in June 2018 to be a pilot and since then have been struggling to get flight hours. It took almost a year to land a jump pilot gig and in the 3 months that I have been there, I have only accumulated about 25 hours. I have about 230TT, my commercial multi/single-engine license, instrument rating, high performance endorsement, and complex endorsement. I am willing to do any kind of flying, but trying to avoid getting my CFI to not add more debt on top of what I already have. I am willing to competely relocate and give a complete open availability. Any suggestions?
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Old 07-24-2019, 02:35 PM   #2  
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I think CFI will get you the most hours if you plan to go the 121 route down the road. If you are cash strapped, there are a couple of schools that will pay for your CFI for a time commitment (700-1000 hours). Since I need 1500 hours, that's what I did and don't have any regrets
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Old 07-24-2019, 05:01 PM   #3  
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CFI time will give you tons of experience which, in my opinion, makes it worth the investment.

However, if you still live in Michigan, check out IFL Group in KPTK.
It's a **** job. It's shady. A lot of what they do is illegal (when it comes to scheduling and rest FARs). But you'll get some flight time, and you'll learn how to fly an airplane.
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Old 07-25-2019, 06:52 PM   #4  
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Flight instructing
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Old 07-26-2019, 04:28 AM   #5  
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I know you prob don't wanna hear it but CFI is the best way to go as the previous posters stated.

But if you're totally against putting up the money for it networking is key and building hours the non-CFI route can be done. Getting a job fueling planes at a busy FBO or at a flight school will give you many contacts that might lead to a jump pilot, traffic watch, pipeline a small 135 outfit, etc. They used to be tough to come by but I'm not sure about now.
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Old 07-26-2019, 04:57 AM   #6  
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Check the Silver Airways website.
I believe they have a deal where they pay for your CFI once you sell your soul.
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Old 07-26-2019, 06:58 AM   #7  
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Exclamation Get your CFI and get into a Cadet program

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyeMex View Post
CFI time will give you tons of experience which, in my opinion, makes it worth the investment.

However, if you still live in Michigan, check out IFL Group in KPTK.
It's a **** job. It's shady. A lot of what they do is illegal (when it comes to scheduling and rest FARs). But you'll get some flight time, and you'll learn how to fly an airplane.
Justin,

Just bite the bullet and get your CFI and then get into a "Cadet" program with a Regional Airline, preferably one with a no-interview flow to AA rather than a CPP type, guaranteed interview only program. Unlike when I was a CFI during the dark 1990's when Regionals were looking for 4000 hours total and 1000 multi with pay for your own airline training, CFI's now can essentially get hired by a Regional before they even get their 1500 hours and even get travel benefits. Why not take this sure bet over something else? You will be a better pilot for it by learning from others. I guess that there are other routes like survey flying and freight, but beware of the safety and legality traps associated with them. Even in these happy, shiny days of the pilot shortage and great hiring, there are still companies out there that push young pilots do wrong, unsafe, or illegal things over threat of losing their jobs. I don't care what you are flying or how much they are paying you TODAY, but if they say "do it or you are fired", QUIT! You won't find this in the 141 flight instruction world or the 121 Regional/Major/Legacy Cargo world, but it is rampant in the dark and unregulated/unrepresented world of low time 91/91 corporate/Part 135 freight.. like RyeMex said..

As far as Part 135 Freight, or many companies in YIP, FNT, etc., I would personally avoid it from past experience, and it today's hiring market you can skip this step. Both YIP/PNT are the 36th Street, Miami/South Florida of cargo, LOL. Back as a hew hire at a Part 135 freight company in the 1990's, our entire class had cumulatively millions of dollars in student loans and flight loans, and we all had degrees from ERAU, UND, Parks, Purdue, MTSU, etc.. In our comparisons of how we all wound up here, my training buddy compared us all to the starry eyed starlet hopefuls who flocked from the innocent corn fields of the Midwest to Hollywood for silver screen stardom... only to end up on Valjean Avenue in Van Nuys in the adult film industry...

Stay the course and don't look for an easy out. The bigger and more established the company you fly for is, the more protections you have. Aviation is one of the most fragile careers that I know of. It is one of the only places where you can: Graduate high school as a Valedictorian, go to one of the Academies and graduate at the top of your class, get your top pick of fighters, become a Thunderbird/Blue Angel, then get selected by NASA for the astronaut program, then get hired by a Major Airline (Pan Am, Eastern, TWA, etc.), only to get furloughed and find yourself in the same unemployment line as the person next to you with a GED and GWAR t-shirt.... Don't laugh as it's already happened.

Last edited by B727DRVR; 07-26-2019 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 07-28-2019, 04:36 AM   #8  
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I was on an identical spot years ago with no money and no CFI. I got a multi- engine rating instead.

I wound up flying 100 hours a year.

I finally saved the money and got the CFI. Instruction was more fun and rewarding than I expected. There's a pathway forward without the CFI, but CFI is the easier and faster route.

I would have killed to have some of the options available to folks now.
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Old 07-28-2019, 04:57 AM   #9  
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Once more thing:
Despite all the noise you may see here, you are in the hardest part of your career right now. The future may have furloughs, drama, etc., but this is the most difficult time. It gets better. Don't quit.
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Old 07-30-2019, 07:35 AM   #10  
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Try and get a flight line job at a busy general aviation airport. Bonus points if it's at an FBO with a flight school. It's one of the best ways to kick start an aviation career. If nothing else it will give you a new perspective.
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