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Old 07-23-2007, 03:35 PM   #1  
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Default Berry Aviation anyone?

Anybody work for Berry Aviation? Just wanted to ask the typical questions... get the info out there for everyone to consider.
Thanks!
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Old 07-23-2007, 04:00 PM   #2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belliott View Post
Anybody work for Berry Aviation? Just wanted to ask the typical questions... get the info out there for everyone to consider.
Thanks!
Last I heard they were "pay to play"... as in they wanted you to cough up the cash to cover your training costs, then they would reimburse you the money over a one year period. It wasn't exactly cheap either... I seem to remember somewhere around $8K and $10K. I'll sign a training contract if you'd like. Heck... I'd probably planned on staying more than a year anyway (as long as you didn't try and kill me). But it'll be a cold day in Teterboro before I'm going to give you a one year loan (interest free, mind you) on $10K to pay you for my training so I can have the privelege of working for you.

Mini-rant complete.
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Old 07-23-2007, 04:28 PM   #3  
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Doesn't Berry Aviation fly old Falcon 20's, freight? I recall seeing Berry Aviation or something at CAE a long while back.
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Old 07-23-2007, 04:37 PM   #4  
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They fly Metro's. Not sure about the Falcons.
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:05 AM   #5  
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Default Berry Info

Hi All,

Here's a rundown on Berry:

Primary business is DoD contracts flying Metro II's and III's. There is also a growing charter business using Do328 props. The pay scale was recently bumped system-wide. Berry is not a great company to work for, but it is not the worst either. When I was hired it was not a pay for training place. About a year ago or so is when this happened. I cant blame them for doing it, guys come in to get multi-turbine time (I was hired with about 70 hours multi) and then bail in a few months for a regional. That being said, I hate pay for training and would never do it. The CP feels the same way and has refused to be involved in hiring F.O.'s (no PFT for street Capt.) I was hired with 1700 tt and upgraded in four months, but that was a right place right time deal. A new guy who just got hired was a caravan driver and was promised an upgrade in his chosen domicile after 6 weeks of time in the right seat to gain familiarity with the a/c. They called after 2 weeks, and asked him to change domiciles where he would upgrade (and old trick they use when short on F.O.'s back in TX). He wisely turned it down, but then was told that he was offered an upgrade, which he turned down, so the six week deal was off.

If you were to go to FI.com and run a search on threads, you would see a post or two where I defended Berry almost to the death. My belief is that your attitude is what makes an expereince a positive or a negative one. And to tell the truth, my two years there were pretty good, but again, that was my attitude. Many people, if they cared to write on these forums, could b***h for hours about Berry. Soon after I left they did do a couple of questionable things you might want to know about.

I told the CP about my interview and was given the time off. Then, the day before the interview I was called and given a $20,000/year raise. Now I would be taking a pay cut when I left. It was a desperate attempt to keep the pilots from leaving. I was told to keep it hush because they were not giving F.O.'s a raise. That changed when they too started leaving but they only got about 6 grand a year. I gave two weeks notice. At the end of my second week I was called and asked to work one more week (they were VERY short handed). I was going to study for my new job, but I decided to fly as a favor. When I asked for my pay for 8 unused vacation days, they pointed out the small print that said I must give 4 weeks notice to get vacation pay. I knew that, but had hoped that they would help me out since I helped them out. I should have known better. A few weeks later I returned to say hi to some friends still working there. We have a pilot who has been with the company for almost 10 years and who has over 10,000 in the metro. He is an IOE captain. His DoD run requires that he fly 8 days a month, and then he does slack work for the company on the side. He is a single father living in an expensive part of the country and when he was hired, he explained that he could only do slack work every other week because the weeks that he has his kids, he has to take them to and from school and such. ie..no overnights. He was told no problem because his job was to fly 8 days a month for the DoD and beyond that they were grateful for any extra flying he could do. Well, fast forward 10 years and we all get this pay bumb....except him. When he asked why, he was told that Berry wanted to see some more commitment out of him. They couldn't count on him for extra flying for two weeks a month because of his kids, so how could they really consider him full time and give him the raise? Please understand that this man flys 50-70 hours a month in his 8 days. Anything more is above many pilots normal flying and they're now, after 10 years of flying calling him part time and refusing to give him a raise because he has kids and is a single father? That right there pretty much ended my defense of Berry Aviation.

Now, I hate when people come here and complain endlessly. So here are some positive things. If you time it right, you can get a quick upgrade, but I would not PFT counting on it. Most of the other pilots are VERY cool guys. In my time there guys went DIRECTLY to: various 91 jet operators making VERY good money, SWA, Capital Cargo, UPS CitaionShares, Evergreen and Continental. Not all of them had internal recs either. The flying can be interesting and you fly mostly to military airfields. In fact, in two years I flew over 400 PAR's and only about 10 ILS's for that reason. You get to fly with and around the Military guys, and though you are by no means a military pilot, getting a closer look at their operation and seeing some things that you would not normally get to see as a civilian is pretty cool. On some runs you become friends with a lot of Navy pilots and find out that most of them are really cool guys and pretty talented individuals, it helps get rid of some of the Mil vs. Civ mindset you may or may not have. Also, most runs are only a few days a week. The one in San Diego is M-F with weekends and Federal Holidays off. And most importantly, it can possibly further your career in a manner that flying for regional could not (quick upgrade). I got my 1000 tpic and got out. Make no mistake, they are there to use you, not make you rich and treat you well. So do the same to them. Your responsibility is to your passengers, your crew and yourself, not to Berry. If you keep that in mind, maintain a positive attitude, and be and individual that people enjoy flying with, you will have a good time and be on your way to where you want to be.

I'm sorry for the length and scattered content of this post. I hope it helps. If you would like more information or constructive advice on considering employment with Berry, please pm me or fire away on this thread. I still have many friends there and can possibly give you a heads up on things like quick upgrades, pay and such. Best of luck in your job hunt.

Best Regards,

HnP

Last edited by highnpressurizd; 07-24-2007 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 07-24-2007, 01:26 PM   #6  
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Haha, I used to ride the berry-express metro to San Clemente Island for navy operations...

Talking to those guys they really appreciated a M-F job in San Diego, but doing the NASNI-SCI-NASNI run numerous times aeachday obviously got monotonous Presumably some of their other operations have more variety.
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Old 07-24-2007, 05:32 PM   #7  
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I just wanted to find out more about the company... they advertised for FO's on climbto350.com and wanted 1200TT... I thought that was a little high but if they have trouble retaining people I don't know. I just want to find a non CFIing gig where I could spend 2-4 years and gain some experience that I could not otherwise glean from my current job.
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Old 07-24-2007, 07:30 PM   #8  
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The 1200 hours in my opinion is not really "high." Compared to what the regionals are hiring at I guess they are. They went through a time when they were hiring guys with about 700-900 hours. There was a world of difference between those guys and guys that came in with 1200 plus. A few hundred hours more experience can make all the difference, especially flying the metro. Also, there is a lot of attrition in operations like Berry, they need guys that can upgrade. They do a lot of passenger ops and thus you must have 1500 hours to be PIC. Additionally last time I was in the know, you needed 2000tt for insurance. Waivers can be had but only if time in type is over about 300 or so. And one other factor is the Department of Defense has higher standards for their contractors that must be met. When I was a new Captain I had to fly with the same FO for a few months b/c he was the only one that, combined with me, met the crew requirements of the DoD. My advice, if your looking to spend 3 or 4 years with someone, Berry may not be that place. Especially if you have to PFT. Look at them again when you can walk in as a street captain. Much better proposition then.
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Old 07-25-2007, 02:18 PM   #9  
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Ameriflight is also desperate for pilots and if you have the 135 minimums, they'll hire you on the spot. We need pilots at ever base in nearly every aircraft.
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Old 07-25-2007, 04:59 PM   #10  
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Thanks for the information guys.... unfortunately I am not at 135 mins right now... otherwise AMF would have had my app. materials a long time ago.

Hopefully I can find something I like quick.... because my current contract is about to time out... no more wx mod until next summer...

Thanks again folks.... I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to share this information.
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