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Is it time to leave mil and go airlines?

Old 07-03-2013, 06:49 PM
  #1  
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Default Is it time to leave mil and go airlines?

Trying to determine if now is the time to drop retirement papers and make the leap. I have >19 years of service in the USAF and can retire 1 July 2014, with all my leave and PTDYs I could begin work around April '14. I am current and qualified and have ~3000 hours in T-37s, T-38s, and F-16s, with about 2/3 of it as instructor time. Not sure if it matters, but I'm also safety school trained, have a masters in aviation safety from ERAU, and taught undergraduate flying courses for ERAU for about a year.

I can afford the first few years as a low paying FO; however, I can't afford to not be hired for a year, then pay to get current and qualified again a year or two later. If I do not drop papers now, it is likely I'll get non-vol'd to a 179 day deployment beginning in Oct '14 which I'd really rather not do.

My question is how likely am I to be hired by a major in this 1st wave of hiring? I could eat the deployment, come back and get requal'd, and then retire and I'm fairly sure that by the time I get back in May '15 the flood gates will be open. That said, I really don't want another 179 away from my family, and I also don't want to drop about a year's worth of line numbers. The only thing worse would be my opening scenario: I decide to retire then can't get hired.

Appreciate your time.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:25 PM
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Drop those papers. You should be in good shape.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:12 PM
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Drop papers. I just retired & got hired. Several of my buds have as well. Next year will be even better.....skip the fini 6 month AEF.
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Old 07-04-2013, 07:08 AM
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If you are looking to get hired by a regional, do it!. If you are looking for a major, wait the year if you can stay current. The hiring is not in full swing yet and there are plenty of check airmen, interns, flow through still out there!

Even though you have high training, you only have mins for most majors. There are many 10+ year captains of 121 exp that are looking to make the jump.
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeF16 View Post
My question is how likely am I to be hired by a major in this 1st wave of hiring?
Depends, who and how man people do you know?

As mentioned, it's a hyper-competitive market right now and will continue to be for a while.
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:56 AM
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Even though you have high training, you only have mins for most majors. There are many 10+ year captains of 121 exp that are looking to make the jump.
I scoff that statement! 10+ year captains of 121 means jack. All it is is PIC time. We also have PIC time. Looks like many mil guys got the early call from UA. I also see many furloughed dudes with 121 PIC not getting called. That's an RJ pilot's wish. Unless you have a flow agreement you're out there with the rest of us.
Drop your papers!! You can't afford not to. Any missed opportunity will be later regretted! Take it from me, I wasted 10 years at a defunct airline (or soon to be). Don't pass on any opportunity!!
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeF16 View Post
...I'm fairly sure that by the time I get back in May '15 the flood gates will be open.
That's the million dollar question. A lot of folks have been wrong about this for over a decade.
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by strikeagledrivr View Post
Drop papers. I just retired & got hired. Several of my buds have as well. Next year will be even better.....skip the fini 6 month AEF.
Nice call on the fini AEF. Do you have anything that stands out other than pointy nose time? Thunderbirds? Relative flying for the majors? Best friend chief pilot? Anything along those types of lines, or just a dude with 3k+ hours of fighter time?

Originally Posted by xjtguy View Post
Depends, who and how man people do you know?

As mentioned, it's a hyper-competitive market right now and will continue to be for a while.
Any estimate how long it will take to clear the backlog of this hyper competitive market? We talking 3 months, 6 months, a year, 2 years?

Originally Posted by yimke View Post
If you are looking to get hired by a regional, do it!. If you are looking for a major, wait the year if you can stay current. The hiring is not in full swing yet and there are plenty of check airmen, interns, flow through still out there!

Even though you have high training, you only have mins for most majors. There are many 10+ year captains of 121 exp that are looking to make the jump.
Do other parts of the forum discuss how the majors weigh military fighter/trainer time? I'd heard certain airlines just add .3 per sortie while others have a flat multiplier for fighter/trainer time.
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by F15andMD11 View Post
Looks like many mil guys got the early call from UA. I also see many furloughed dudes with 121 PIC not getting called.
Actually, the first few classes at UAL were pretty even splits. Furlough/leave guys, then the usual mix of mil AND civ pilots.

Originally Posted by MikeF16 View Post
Any estimate how long it will take to clear the backlog of this hyper competitive market? We talking 3 months, 6 months, a year, 2 years?
No idea. But the MOST important thing to do is network network network!!!!!

Read this, from a guy that specializes in interview prep;

http://www.airlinepilotforums.com/mi...11-update.html

Originally Posted by MikeF16 View Post
Do other parts of the forum discuss how the majors weigh military fighter/trainer time? I'd heard certain airlines just add .3 per sortie while others have a flat multiplier for fighter/trainer time.
Yep. In fact, if you search for the terms "sortie conversion" you'll probably get a TON of results.

But most airlines have their own way of doing it, so usually the advice is to just enter your times the way the specific airline's app wants you to.

Just based on what you posted, time won't be an issue for you. What's going to make you stand out is your IP time and safety experience. But again, as mentioned, there's A LOT of guys out there with that on their resume as well.
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:13 AM
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Apply to several airlines/cargo operations. If you get offers from them all, then you have the luxury of a choice. If one hires you out of several applications, you've got a job and flying currency for whichever airline you'd like to remain with.
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