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Old 08-16-2008, 02:22 PM   #1  
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Default Want a pilot slot - settle with Flight Engineer??

I am currently a CRJ 900 FO. I was previously an F-16 crew chief in the Air Force, active duty. I have my B.S. in Professional Aeronautics, almost done with my Masters in Aeronautical Science, CCAF in Aviation Maintenance Technology and my A&P license, 26 years old. I have been talking with the guard base near my home which is a C-130 base trying to get information about getting hired as a pilot. Instead they keep wanting to talk about being a flight engineer for them. They have immediate spots available and would like to hire me on. I have been told that most guard units dont like to hire off of the street but take their own guys for pilot slots so I would have a good shot at moving into a pilot slot eventually. If I was a few years younger I would definetly sign on as a FE and then pursue the pilot slot after getting to know everyone and would feel pretty good about my chances. With my age though, I feel I would just be "settling" for an enlisted position with no chance of getting the pilot slot after the time spent in training and then serving with the unit because of my current age. Not that there is anything wrong with being enlisted or being a FE but I am a pilot and that is what I want to serve as..I have been trying to contact other guard units and either do not get my calls returned at all or just get vague information or told they are not currently hiring. I am starting to feel the way I did when I orginally enlisted in the military and had to deal with recruiters and their BS..Luckily I have been there done that and know better now. Anyways, would I be selling myself short if I just went ahead and signed on for the flight engineer position and then continue to pursue the pilot slot with very limited time and chance to actually get it?? I miss being apart of the military and really want to serve again but also do not want to not live up to my full potential and worth. What would you guys reccomend I do. Just looking for any words of advice before I wind up signing on the dotted line. Thanks
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Old 08-16-2008, 02:29 PM   #2  
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Would you be selling yourself short? Of course you would be. Have you spoken with the unit's chief pilot? I am certain he would not be advocating becoming an FE with your background and qualifications. You should try some Reserve units as well as they seem to be a little more standardized and less of a boys club like the Guard.
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Old 08-16-2008, 02:46 PM   #3  
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Originally Posted by L'il J.Seinfeld View Post
Would you be selling yourself short? Of course you would be. Have you spoken with the unit's chief pilot? I am certain he would not be advocating becoming an FE with your background and qualifications. You should try some Reserve units as well as they seem to be a little more standardized and less of a boys club like the Guard.
Two weeks ago I set up a time to go to the base and meet with the pilots, navigators, and fe's just to hear what each one had to say. I spent several days putting together packages to give to each one with cover letter, resume, copies of all of my awards from active duty, epr's, medical records, letters of reccomendations..etc. The day of the appointment I get to the base and the guy I have been talking to is not there. My name is not even on a list to meet with anyone or that I was ever coming. A recruiter pulls me into his office to see what as up and so I go over everything I had been talking about for the past several weeks with the other guy. He makes a call for me and says we can go over to ops and meet up with some people that are there. Well the only ones around that would talk was the flight engineers main guy. He was great and had a lot of good info and even took me out to the planes and showed me around. I left one of my packages there with him but never got a chance to talk to any navs or pilots. The recruiter set me up a date for the flight physical which I have to do no matter which way I go. It was just a very frustrating experience to commute home when I only had one day off to speak with all of these guys which was made out two weeks in advance and then find out nothing was ever said to anyone about it and nothing was ever set up. If I was not previous military I guess i would have been suprised by this,haha..
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Old 08-16-2008, 06:29 PM   #4  
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Either they are fat on pilots and short FEs, or the guy you have been talking to is really tight with the FE recruiter.

Joe
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Old 08-17-2008, 02:18 PM   #5  
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Thanks guys. Any of you know any units that are getting ready to hire or units thats you reccomend??
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Old 08-17-2008, 02:45 PM   #6  
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What state do you live in? I'll be honest, most prefer homegrown with roots in the local area. Not saying that's all that gets hired, but it does weigh in when considering who to hire.
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Old 08-17-2008, 02:50 PM   #7  
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Thanks guys. Any of you know any units that are getting ready to hire or units thats you reccomend??
Try looking in the jobs section on Baseops.net Flight Planning and Aviation Weather

I agree with the previous recommendations. Time is of the essence here and going for the FE slot might prevent you from going to UPT. Good luck.
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Old 08-17-2008, 03:31 PM   #8  
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Im from Illinois and the unit Ive been talking with is fifteen minutes from my house. I agree they like local guys and thats why I figured my best shot was with them. Ive been to baseops and the ANG home page that lists who is hiring, just not getting my calls returned which again is why I figured the local unit would be easier. Thanks guys..
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Old 08-17-2008, 04:11 PM   #9  
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Big thing and someone may have hit on it - DON'T talk to the recruiters, they have certain billets to fill and the enlisted ones are always tougher to fill then the pilot slots.
Like another poster previously mentioned BaseOps.net has a good jobs board, but call the units near you and talk to the Squadron Commander or the pilot in charge of hiring.
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Old 08-17-2008, 04:17 PM   #10  
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Big thing and someone may have hit on it - DON'T talk to the recruiters, they have certain billets to fill and the enlisted ones are always tougher to fill then the pilot slots.
Like another poster previously mentioned BaseOps.net has a good jobs board, but call the units near you and talk to the Squadron Commander or the pilot in charge of hiring.
Yea, thanks Waldo. Im begining to have flashbacks of when I first enlisted in the AF and had to deal with recruiters, what a miserable experience. By the way - good luck at your SWA interview..
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