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CBP Air Interdiction Agent (Pilot)

Old 01-13-2023, 01:18 PM
  #801  
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Originally Posted by mimark View Post
Depends on what you consider what a good QOL is.
As an AIA you will work more days per month than an airline pilot. However, you will sleep in your own bed more. Other than TDYs you will be home, but you will be working 5 days a week unless on leave or a Federal Holiday.
What are the chances you will be forced to fly a drone? What do you do besides flying on the job?
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Old 01-13-2023, 08:38 PM
  #802  
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Tucson is loosing all their MEAís. For the new hires coming in donít pick TAB if youíre looking for fixed wing time unless youíre really wanting to fly a Cessna.
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Old 01-13-2023, 08:42 PM
  #803  
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Originally Posted by OldNavyPilot View Post
Thanks for the info. Very helpful and a great start.
If youíre still looking at different locations Tucson will be loosing all their multi engine airplanes. Iím not sure if thatís a deal breaker but itís a fairly new development.
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Old 01-14-2023, 01:19 PM
  #804  
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Originally Posted by Edjasdojqweoj View Post
What are the chances you will be forced to fly a drone? What do you do besides flying on the job?
Chance of flying a drone- I really don't know the answer to that. There are only a handful of locations flying drones at the current time.

What do you do besides flying on the job- Law enforcement training and qualifications, collateral duties (safety officer, training officer, firearms instructor, aircraft instructor, sensor operator, etc), online training, standby for missions.
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Old 03-29-2023, 05:24 PM
  #805  
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A few things to consider. There is no seniority, no union and basically no contract. Where they send you and what you fly is completely unpredictable. There is no bidding on aircraft, no bidding on anything. There is no seniority, career monitor, chief pilot, union rep. If you have a problem at work... there is nobody. Tired of flying a C-206 at 2am... tough.... somebody told you that you could transfer in 3 years? Tough....Tired of working every christmas ? too bad..

That is the issue. Things generally start well, but things change. A new supervisor, new branch director, new leadership, and things change... or dont. You can have 3 years on the job or 15, you get the same schedule, work the same holidays, the same weekends. There is little to no..it will get better. Because there is no seniority.

This is not a good job for anyone newly married, soon to be married, or have small kids. Your wife will likely hate the location, and your kids will likely hate your schedule. Or both.

If you are low time, are single, or just need a flying job for a few years... give it a shot. But DO NOT accept a location you dont want. Tell the recruiter where you are willing to go, and wont go. If he pushes back, or laughs... remind him that you have other options. AMO is desperate right now... use it to your advantage, once you are an employee, they will take every advantage of you to make their flight hours.

You spent years and a lot of money to get qualified for this job. You have value. Years of training, years of experience and a lot of time and money invested. If you are qualified for AMO, you are qualified for a lot of other jobs. Dont let AMO do the typical bait and switch. Do not take this job to build time. Do it because you are ok with the location, are willing to fly the exact aircraft you didnt want to fly, have a strong marriage, and prefer stability over money. You will deal with bad leadership, you will get bad scheduling, and you wont get the flight time you expected.

You will get decent pay, some good stories, some fun VFR flying, and get to shoot guns. But many people get bored with that part after about 3-5 years. The wife will be upset you havent been paid for some 2 week foreign trip, and whatever you promised her, probably wont happen. Again, no bidding, no seniority. You can ask for things, but there is absolutely nothing you can do if you dont get it. They can deny a vacation request, make you stay late, just to answer the office phone. That plane you wanted to fly... they can move it to another location.. and you get stuck in the C-206.

If you are a helo only guy, and love helos.. this job is hard to beat. If you are taking this job to build fixed wing time, or make a 20 year career of it.. you can probably do better and not get divorced in the process.
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Old 03-30-2023, 12:50 PM
  #806  
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Originally Posted by Buck0Five View Post
A few things to consider. There is no seniority, no union and basically no contract. Where they send you and what you fly is completely unpredictable. There is no bidding on aircraft, no bidding on anything. There is no seniority, career monitor, chief pilot, union rep. If you have a problem at work... there is nobody. Tired of flying a C-206 at 2am... tough.... somebody told you that you could transfer in 3 years? Tough....Tired of working every christmas ? too bad..

That is the issue. Things generally start well, but things change. A new supervisor, new branch director, new leadership, and things change... or dont. You can have 3 years on the job or 15, you get the same schedule, work the same holidays, the same weekends. There is little to no..it will get better. Because there is no seniority.

This is not a good job for anyone newly married, soon to be married, or have small kids. Your wife will likely hate the location, and your kids will likely hate your schedule. Or both.

If you are low time, are single, or just need a flying job for a few years... give it a shot. But DO NOT accept a location you dont want. Tell the recruiter where you are willing to go, and wont go. If he pushes back, or laughs... remind him that you have other options. AMO is desperate right now... use it to your advantage, once you are an employee, they will take every advantage of you to make their flight hours.

You spent years and a lot of money to get qualified for this job. You have value. Years of training, years of experience and a lot of time and money invested. If you are qualified for AMO, you are qualified for a lot of other jobs. Dont let AMO do the typical bait and switch. Do not take this job to build time. Do it because you are ok with the location, are willing to fly the exact aircraft you didnt want to fly, have a strong marriage, and prefer stability over money. You will deal with bad leadership, you will get bad scheduling, and you wont get the flight time you expected.

You will get decent pay, some good stories, some fun VFR flying, and get to shoot guns. But many people get bored with that part after about 3-5 years. The wife will be upset you havent been paid for some 2 week foreign trip, and whatever you promised her, probably wont happen. Again, no bidding, no seniority. You can ask for things, but there is absolutely nothing you can do if you dont get it. They can deny a vacation request, make you stay late, just to answer the office phone. That plane you wanted to fly... they can move it to another location.. and you get stuck in the C-206.

If you are a helo only guy, and love helos.. this job is hard to beat. If you are taking this job to build fixed wing time, or make a 20 year career of it.. you can probably do better and not get divorced in the process.
IMHO, this is a little harsh. Absolutely, you may be stuck flying a 206 or an Astar. But, at pay rates potentially over 200G's if the bonus currently being explored takes effect. Obviously not Big Four Captain money, but hardly terrible. Much more when you factor in health care, pension (which new bonus won't count towards), TSP match, etc.

And I highly doubt our divorce rate is any higher than other segments of aviation. Plenty of dads around here like the night shift so they see their kids more, and your wife couldn't care less if you fly a Cessna or a Boeing. But she probably likes stability and good health bennies.

As far as AMO being desperate, no doubt about it. But so far it hasn't translated into negotiating locations willy-nilly. Should've, but hasn't.

Last edited by DustoffVT; 03-30-2023 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 03-30-2023, 01:15 PM
  #807  
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I think it is worth remembering that this is a government job. It isn't a flying job in a regular sector of aviation where you BID and seniority necessarily means anything (other than leave); but rather it is a job that involves flying.
I don't know - but tell me this....do the MARINE guys bid boats? Do the ground guys bid cars? Do anything of them bid duty days?
I don't know how similar AMO is to my gov't job - but we don't necessarily bid aircraft or schedules - and as I said above - seniority only applies to 'bidding' during the annual leave lottery and even when I was at the bottom of the list have I ever been denied leave.

DustOff - you keeping up with the changes in my organization?
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Old 03-31-2023, 02:31 PM
  #808  
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Yes, it was meant to be a little harsh. Because I know some people in management do read this this thread from time to time. AMO is bleeding pilots, and its not because of money. The pay is good, but anyone who defends AMOs quality of life policy, which doesnt exist...is ignoring the problem. I agree there are good locations, and bad locations. Good managers and bad. And that is exactly the problem. Its not consistent. Each location is a roll of the dice, and unlike the military, you are stuck there. Some people get paid moves, many dont. I paid my own move to get a location I wanted. Then they reorganized that location and took away the aircraft I went there to fly. Back to a C-206. My wife is happy with my Marriott Lifetime platinum status, and around a million points, but our health insurance and pension is nothing to brag about. I pay around $400 for a family plan with BCBS and anyone hired after 2013 pays 4.4% into the pension plan. Let me repeat that part that nobody tells you. That pension comes out of your pay. They deduct 11% of your pay every month to cover social security and the pension. Few people read their LES are even know what those deductions mean. Our 401k is a joke. They only match 1:1 up to 3% of your salary. Ok.. math time...

150k a year
- 16k goes to SS and pension
- 7.5k to your 401k/TSP (you put in 7.5k, they will match with $6000 ( 4500+1500=6000)

https://plan-your-federal-retirement...ial%20Security

The recruiter just says we have a pension. They usually dont know or wont tell you that pension is costing you a $6,600/ 4.4% a year deduction from your salary.

What does an airline pay? They will automatically throw up to 15% right into your 401k. Most AMO agents dont have enough facts, or dont care to enough to realize they are not getting the good deal they thought.
Recap: AMO bills you about 13k a year. That gets you a tiny TSP match and a 1.7% a year pension. Basically around 80k a year after 20 years. The airlines dont deduct anything except some small union dues, but they will give you 22k a year to invest how you want. Ohh, and when you die.. that pension gets cut 80% for your spouse. A real 401k is your money, and gets passed to your heirs.

The devil is in the details. Again, not a total bash of AMO, but after about 5 years many discover a lot of the bad things. Get tired of their schedule, the last minute TDYs, and downright stupid things that happen. If you can get the location you want, and it has the aircraft you want to fly, go for it. If they offer you a place that is bad for your family... expect to spend 4-5 years there, and pay your own move out. Ohh.. but your GS-15 boss will get a paid move.

So.. AMO.. stability, fun flying, decent paycheck

Want to live in McAllen, Puerto Rico, OKC or DC this is a great place. Want to live somewhere else? roll the dice...and be prepared to drink lots of Kool Aid. Because there is no seniority or bidding if you want to transfer. Not even a career planner or anyone to call.

Am I too harsh? What locations are the recruiters offering? How long will you stay there? What aircraft will you fly there, and how many hours a year? Will you be working holidays. weekends? every weekend?

Anyone who thinks my comments are too harsh doesnt work weekends and holidays.
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Old 04-02-2023, 01:18 PM
  #809  
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True, but at least you are home everynight. That's a lot of good info. Thanks for posting...
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Old 04-02-2023, 03:17 PM
  #810  
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Originally Posted by Edjasdojqweoj View Post
True, but at least you are home everynight. That's a lot of good info. Thanks for posting...
weíre not all home every night, depends on where your stationed at. Weíre in the month of April now and Iíve had already spent 39 nights in a hotel since Jan 1.
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