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Old 11-06-2018, 09:05 PM   #1  
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Default Retired Navy Looking at Airlines

I realize Iíve posted this in other threads, but I think we military guys are looking for the gouge wherever we can find it.

Iím a retired Navy EA-6B and FA-18 pilot and Prowler squadron CO with 3240 hours (all turbine) and 2991 hours turbine PIC. I have interviews with SkyWest and Horizon this month. My problem is I havenít flown in 14 years since my squadron change of command.

Iím treating this process like flight school - studying my butt off for the interviews and looking for them to hire me for what I bring to the table. A regional will pay for me to get my ATP so I can be a Part 121 newbie FO to gain currency and recency.

Nobody cares how many strikes I led over Iraq and Afghanistan or how many traps I have. They only care that I can learn the business, fly the jet and execute the instrument procedures, and be in a mindset to work hard and learn.

I readily accept that I will have to take the low pay and new guy scheduling to learn the ropes of a new industry. If Iím so fortunate as to get hired, I will treat my ATP-CTP course and regional ground school like flight school. Thatís how Iím playing it: Iím here to learn from the captains, build recency and currency, learn the modern airline cockpit and procedures, and help the regionals with their pilot shortage - not to do a touch and go on my way to the majors.

I think one thing old military guys like me bring to the table is weíre salty. We know how to fly a jet manually and how to recognize and deal with things like loss of airspeed indication, icing, or deep stalls that seem to have bitten some airline pilots in recent accidents. We know how to feel the energy state of an airplane. We have big picture SA and years of experience under pressure with low fuel, bad weather, breaking out at mins, going missed approach and diverting to alternates, talking to ATC in busy situations and complex airspace, overcoming inflight emergencies, and bringing the jet back no matter what. Young guys just donít have that.

OBTW, Iím 57 so only have max 8 years before I have to retire. I just want to fly again. Hopes are regional FO, upgrade to CA, and maybe a couple years of being an FO at Alaska. That path, along with no more night traps, is fine with me.
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:58 PM   #2  
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I realize I’ve posted this in other threads, but I think we military guys are looking for the gouge wherever we can find it.

I’m a retired Navy EA-6B and FA-18 pilot and Prowler squadron CO with 3240 hours (all turbine) and 2991 hours turbine PIC. I have interviews with SkyWest and Horizon this month. My problem is I haven’t flown in 14 years since my squadron change of command.

I’m treating this process like flight school - studying my butt off for the interviews and looking for them to hire me for what I bring to the table. A regional will pay for me to get my ATP so I can be a Part 121 newbie FO to gain currency and recency.

Nobody cares how many strikes I led over Iraq and Afghanistan or how many traps I have. They only care that I can learn the business, fly the jet and execute the instrument procedures, and be in a mindset to work hard and learn.

I readily accept that I will have to take the low pay and new guy scheduling to learn the ropes of a new industry. If I’m so fortunate as to get hired, I will treat my ATP-CTP course and regional ground school like flight school. That’s how I’m playing it: I’m here to learn from the captains, build recency and currency, learn the modern airline cockpit and procedures, and help the regionals with their pilot shortage - not to do a touch and go on my way to the majors.

I think one thing old military guys like me bring to the table is we’re salty. We know how to fly a jet manually and how to recognize and deal with things like loss of airspeed indication, icing, or deep stalls that seem to have bitten some airline pilots in recent accidents. We know how to feel the energy state of an airplane. We have big picture SA and years of experience under pressure with low fuel, bad weather, breaking out at mins, going missed approach and diverting to alternates, talking to ATC in busy situations and complex airspace, overcoming inflight emergencies, and bringing the jet back no matter what. Young guys just don’t have that.

OBTW, I’m 57 so only have max 8 years before I have to retire. I just want to fly again. Hopes are regional FO, upgrade to CA, and maybe a couple years of being an FO at Alaska. That path, along with no more night traps, is fine with me.
I assume you are trying to stay within the PNW.

Options in the PNW:

Compass:
Pros: SEA base easy to get. LAX and PHX only slightly harder
You won't sit a ton of reserve
Cons: Delta contract expires in 2020 unless it gets renewed. Of course by that time with military training you may have moved on.

Horizon:
Pros: Seattle basing
Cons: Right now they got FO's up the ying-yang and you won't fly much.

Skywest:
Pros: Stable, going to be around awhile, and they'd love to have you,
Cons: you'll be sitting reserve in LaGuardia or ORD for quite awhile and you'll be awhile getting back to the PNW.

BUT YOU DON'T have to worry about a regional wanting you. They'll be glad to have you and most don't expect you to stay around very long anyway. You might also consider Hawaiian in the mix (not a bad commute from SEA) and possibly someone you coukd go to after 1000 hrs (or less)of flying at a regional. You actually have more than adequate TPIC, just get your currency, 121 chops, and move on. The first couple years pay at a major are often not a great deal better than six year regional captain pay. Go for a major FO position ASAP, unless your ego absolutely demands upgrading. Personally, I'd just content myself knowing that I had more traps and done more mid-air refueling than the AC and take the major money and 401k contributions, but your option.

My recommendation woukd be to take whatever regional lets you live in base and fly lots, get your type rating, and start putting in apps to Alaska, Hawaiian, and whoever else interests you as soon as you have 500 hours of 121 SIC.
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Old 11-07-2018, 07:50 AM   #3  
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Thanks for the great reply, Excargodog. I live in San Diego now and SkyWest has a domicile there flying the E175. Itís easier to get than LAX or SEA so hopefully that will work out. Yes, I may have to sit reserve or commute for awhile. That is certainly true of Horizon. I will check out Compass. But your tip about trying to move on to the majors after 500 hours of 121 SIC time is gouge.

One question: if you are sitting reserve, does that mean 2 hours away from your domicile? Or does that include a commute? If Iíd have to move to Chicago to sit reserve at ORD for months, that might be a problem. If they called me in SAN and I could get to ORD, that would of course be way better. But my guess is you have to be 2 hours from the start leg.
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Old 11-07-2018, 08:56 AM   #4  
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Thanks for the great reply, Excargodog. I live in San Diego now and SkyWest has a domicile there flying the E175. Itís easier to get than LAX or SEA so hopefully that will work out. Yes, I may have to sit reserve or commute for awhile. That is certainly true of Horizon. I will check out Compass. But your tip about trying to move on to the majors after 500 hours of 121 SIC time is gouge.

One question: if you are sitting reserve, does that mean 2 hours away from your domicile? Or does that include a commute? If Iíd have to move to Chicago to sit reserve at ORD for months, that might be a problem. If they called me in SAN and I could get to ORD, that would of course be way better. But my guess is you have to be 2 hours from the start leg.
Yeah, you actually have to be at the crew desk in two hours most places which sort of necessitates commuting in adequate time to actually be in a crash pad within that two hour travel envelope for the reserve period. And some regional's even have airport reserve.

The good news is that most airports have those crash pads for rent around them and some are reasonably nice - in fact luxurious compared to those aboard a CVN.

https://blockedinncrashpads.com/?gcl...SAAEgLs8PD_BwE
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Old 11-07-2018, 09:27 AM   #5  
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Originally Posted by baronbvp View Post
I realize I’ve posted this in other threads, but I think we military guys are looking for the gouge wherever we can find it.
Please stick to one thread, thanks. I created one for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by baronbvp View Post
I’m a retired Navy EA-6B and FA-18 pilot and Prowler squadron CO with 3240 hours (all turbine) and 2991 hours turbine PIC. I have interviews with SkyWest and Horizon this month. My problem is I haven’t flown in 14 years since my squadron change of command.
They will both hire you immediately. Be prepared to make a choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by baronbvp View Post
I’m treating this process like flight school - studying my butt off for the interviews and looking for them to hire me for what I bring to the table. A regional will pay for me to get my ATP so I can be a Part 121 newbie FO to gain currency and recency.

Nobody cares how many strikes I led over Iraq and Afghanistan or how many traps I have. They only care that I can learn the business, fly the jet and execute the instrument procedures, and be in a mindset to work hard and learn.
Good plan. It will come back quick for a guy like you, but it's possible to fail if you have bad work ethic or attitude. Most experienced civilian pilots have a jaded attitudes toward military heroics. Most appreciate and respect it, but they also know it doesn't necessarily mean you're automatically a good airline pilot.

Don't be like iceman...

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xk75ps

Quote:
Originally Posted by baronbvp View Post
I readily accept that I will have to take the low pay and new guy scheduling to learn the ropes of a new industry. If I’m so fortunate as to get hired, I will treat my ATP-CTP course and regional ground school like flight school. That’s how I’m playing it: I’m here to learn from the captains, build recency and currency, learn the modern airline cockpit and procedures, and help the regionals with their pilot shortage - not to do a touch and go on my way to the majors.
Consider getting a little GA instrument currency before you go to class. You'll *probably* be fine without it, but better safe than sorry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by baronbvp View Post
I think one thing old military guys like me bring to the table is we’re salty. We know how to fly a jet manually and how to recognize and deal with things like loss of airspeed indication, icing, or deep stalls that seem to have bitten some airline pilots in recent accidents. We know how to feel the energy state of an airplane. We have big picture SA and years of experience under pressure with low fuel, bad weather, breaking out at mins, going missed approach and diverting to alternates, talking to ATC in busy situations and complex airspace, overcoming inflight emergencies, and bringing the jet back no matter what. Young guys just don’t have that.
That's true but entry-level airline training doesn't test that, you'll need to focus on what they do test.

The airlines get all that, they just want to be sure you'll be a good ROI: Pass training, don't create conflict on line, and stick around for a while. Actually the regionals will hire all military pilots, even the ones who probably won't stick around just in the hopes than one in ten will stay for whatever reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by baronbvp View Post
OBTW, I’m 57 so only have max 8 years before I have to retire. I just want to fly again. Hopes are regional FO, upgrade to CA, and maybe a couple years of being an FO at Alaska. That path, along with no more night traps, is fine with me.
Progression to the majors is probably going to the best choice for QOL (and obviously pay). Unless you want to be certain you retire as a CA.

You will get calls from multiple majors with less than two years at a regional, just based on your military experience after the cobwebs are knocked off. The only stumbling block at an interview might be why you didn't go for airlines immediately after retirement so you'll want to have a good answer for that (didn't want to sit reserve in NY is probably not a good answer).

For PNW, I'd plan DAL as a first choice, you'll move faster than at AS due to retirement numbers. Also it's hard to get hired at AS and nobody has cracked the code on exactly what the right formula is. I know guys who were SEA born and raised, numerous internal recs, but could never get an interview, or bombed the one they did get. Others got called out of the blue and hired after applying with no history or connections. YMMV. Nothing wrong with working there, just saying it's risky to plan on getting in, or trying to predict when it might happen. Although they might like you, knowing that at your age you probably won't bother leaving for a DAL a couple years later.

Last edited by rickair7777; 11-07-2018 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:03 AM   #6  
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That path, along with no more night traps, is fine with me.
Officially triggered...the thought of bringing another Blk82 Prowler aboard ship on a dark stormy night is making me have cold sweats.

On that note...PM sent.
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:13 AM   #7  
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Officially triggered...the thought of bringing another Blk82 Prowler aboard ship on a dark stormy night is making me have cold sweats.

On that note...PM sent.
You can rest easy, they're all going to land themselves soon.
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Old 11-07-2018, 04:06 PM   #8  
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Omni has home basing with widebody equipment. 1st year pay is more than 100k a year. I think you can have just the ATP written and during your type ride it will include the ATP ride. There are some risks doing this with regard to repeating a maneuver, but some pilots have done this successfully.
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:15 AM   #9  
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Thanks for the replies, guys, and for consolidating my posts into one thread, Rickair7777. My bad on the multiple threads.

I live in San Diego now, which makes SkyWest attractive since they have a E175 domicile here. I definitely need currency and recency. I am doing a Flight Review with a CFI here at Montgomery Field next week before my first interview. I will stay humble in interviews and beyond. Should I get hired, I plan to work hard and approach everything in "new guy here to learn" mode - keep sea stories to a minimum and not be Iceman.

This board is gouge for all kinds of reasons including discussions about what is currently happening at different airlines. Glad to be a member.

FlewNavy, going from the Hornet back to the Prowler was a bit of shock - losing the HUD and the radar. The Prowler was the last model in the fleet to land on the ship at night with steam gauges and no HUD. Yeesh.

Last edited by baronbvp; 11-08-2018 at 06:32 AM.
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:35 AM   #10  
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You can rest easy, they're all going to land themselves soon.
Magic Carpet
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