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ksna 05-10-2006 07:45 PM

Need some of the pros advice
Hello everyone,

I am new to this site and have heard some great stuff about it. I need some advice on how I am setting up my future. I just recently got a job flying a DHC-6 twin otter. I plan to work here for a few years and stay long enough to obtain enough twin turbine PIC time(1,000+ hours). After that I am thinking about getting some glass/FMS time in either the CRJ or ERJ for a year or two and then move on to a major like Alaska or Continental.
Could you guys/gals please give me your honest opinion on how well of a plan this sounds like and please don't make this a negative debate. I just need your professional advice on what the best route is to get to a major. Thanks for all your help!

SherpaLifter 05-10-2006 07:52 PM

Go Air Force. Serve your country, see the world, build a great resume, get the retirement check and medical for life then submit your applications. :)

HSLD 05-10-2006 09:00 PM

Hi & welcome to the forums!

A few years here and a few years there is a long long tme in airline years. What works today, may not tomorrow but nobody has a crystal ball. I think your plan is sound (providing you don't want to don't want to be a naval aviator - don't settle for second best ;)).

Welcome aboard and good luck.

ksna 05-10-2006 10:11 PM

Thanks HSLD and no- I have no desire at all to enter the air force. I will also have my BA degree done in about a year so I hope that makes me a little more competitive when I reach that point. Any other thoughts about what the majors are looking for in terms of aircraft experience? Thanks for the replies!

clear right? 05-10-2006 10:28 PM

The simple answer is as much experience as you can get in sophisticated, complex aircraft in a challenging operation where you have to make decisions and interact with all sorts of people. There are many ways to define that last sentence and no two will define it the same way. It's your journey, and task, to put your own meaning to it, and that's why they call it the game of life. The only thing I can guarantee you is that no matter how well you plan it out, things have a way of not going along with your plans. That's what keeps it all interesting.

The best advice anybody can give you is to not be "stupid". No dui's, no trouble of any kind, say your prayers, eat your vegetables, try not to hack anybody off (because it's a small world out there) and enjoy the ride. The most important thing to remember: nothing is guaranteed.

Good luck!

Packer Backer 05-11-2006 12:23 AM


Originally Posted by ksna
Any other thoughts about what the majors are looking for in terms of aircraft experience? Thanks for the replies!

Right now? 10,000 plus hours with 4-5000 hours PIC turbine. Even that won't guarantee you the job. Go be a dentist. But all that could change in 5 years.

BURflyer 05-11-2006 08:50 AM

Don't plan for more than 1 year ahead. Because your going to change your mind about something constantly. Sounds like you've got it all figured out. I hear they are hiring fork lift drivers that make more than regional captains. Go to college and get a real job.

Flatspin7 05-11-2006 09:20 AM


Originally Posted by Packer Backer
Right now? 10,000 plus hours with 4-5000 hours PIC turbine. Even that won't guarantee you the job. Go be a dentist. But all that could change in 5 years.

What you are saying in barely half true... Getting hired at any "Major" carrier is all about who you know...I am in class at Continental, there minimuns are very low, but that being said everybody in my class knows somebody, it ranges from Parents, to Relatives, to Friends, to Being a very good networker and putting yourself in a position to get inside support. I am pretty sure that all the others that are hiring are the same way.

The rationale is basically if some one who has been a good employee tends to associate with other people who are good employees. If you have a "Magic Bullet" some where all you have to focus on is finding the Holy Grail of Jet PIC. Continental does not have any significant Turbine PIC requirements.. .Its 1000 PIC and 500 Turbine (SIC is OK) or If you have 1000 hours in a TurboJET (props dont count) you only need 500 pic.

If you dont have a Magic Bullet your other concern is Networking... now dont be a tool and just go around asking Pilots for recommendations...If the person's rec is worth having he/she probably will not write you one unless they know you... Its nothing personal but when an airline pilot writes a reccommedation they are kind of putting their Arse out on the line for you. But what I can tell you to do is to keep track of everybody you fly with, stay in touch with them... You never know where people will end up, its a small world, The guy you fly with today in the Twin-Otter might find his way to a regional and then he might be in a position to help you out, and so on. Go to AirInc conventions and the like just to meet people and get ideas on what to do next. I do know of a guy who got hired at Alaska after meeting some of the higher ups at the Women in Aviation conference.

I hope this helps.. Good luck to you.


ksna 05-11-2006 11:19 AM


Thanks soo much for advice and your companies requirements. Continental would be at the top of my list for companies that I would dream of ending up at. I do also believe in being a good employee and to not burn any bridges along the way. That is why when I chose this job I looked at their benefits, upgrade times, and then made a decision that I would stick with this company for a good amount of time so that future employers do not see me someone that likes to move around a lot.
While I have your attention, how do poeple in your company move on to the international part of continental? I know it is a looong way away, but I have been wondering for a while now on how it works- is all about seniority? Thanks Adam!

Flatspin7 05-11-2006 01:17 PM

At CAL there is no specific Domestic / International bidding like American and maybe Delta... Its much more simpified... You bid either 737 (all models) / 756 (All 757s and all 767s) / 777.

At that point you bid your lines, so there are some international desinations that are less desirable for what ever reason, and they go Junior while domestic places can do senior if they are nice.

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