Airline Pilot Central Forums

Airline Pilot Central Forums (https://www.airlinepilotforums.com/)
-   Part 135 (https://www.airlinepilotforums.com/part-135/)
-   -   Boutique Air - Updated Info (https://www.airlinepilotforums.com/part-135/99364-boutique-air-updated-info.html)

RBZL 01-11-2017 03:26 PM

Boutique Air - Updated Info
 
Hello all,

Wanted to make an updated top-level post on Boutique Air since the other one is fairly popular and any posted information disappears to lower pages quickly. I'm currently a PC-12 SIC at Boutique and will be around for a while, so I'll keep this updated to the best of my ability.

Information posted will be information that is publicly available or information that you would be given during the interview process. If I inadvertently post anything that is considered sensitive information, send me a PM and I'll remove it as that isn't my intention. Other pilots should also feel free to PM me about anything I've got wrong or anything that's different at a particular base and I'll update accordingly.

Last updated January 11, 2017


About Boutique Air
Part 135 operator. Almost entirely EAS (Essential Air Service, aka subsidized) routes. Corporate offices in California.

Fleet:
~17 Pilatus PC-12s and ~2 King Air 350s.
PC-12s are executive configuration with 8 seats. All are certified for single-pilot IFR operations with autopilot, but all routes normally fly with both PIC and SIC. All have some form of GPS, most are Garmin 450/550, some 650/750, and one poor airplane has a KLN-90. All have a Stratus and iPads with ForeFlight for both PIC/SIC.
King Airs are currently only located in Denver.
Fleet is steadily increasing as we take on new routes/contracts.

Bases:
ATL, DEN, DFW, LAX, MSP, PDX, and PHX.
Denver is by far the largest base. See the current route map/schedule for details.

Commuting:
Impractical and/or a bad idea in most cases. Some pilots do it, particularly in the Denver area, but considering our schedules, it would be difficult to make work anywhere else.

Pay (source):
All pay grades have an 80 hour/month guarantee.
Captains are eligible for an extra $2k/year up to 5 years of service for retention.
LAX base has "cost of living" adjustment which is slightly higher (~$2/hour).

PC-12:
First Officer/SIC: $25.00/block hour ($24k/year at guarantee) :(
Captain/PIC: $62.50/block hour ($60k/year at guarantee)

King Air 350:
First Officer/SIC: $26.75/block hour ($25,680/year at guarantee)
Captain/PIC: $72.92/block hour ($70k/year at guarantee)

Upgrades (PC-12):
Upgrades generally happen right at 1200 hours and 135 mins, except in special circumstances. If you've been around since 500 TT, you can expect an upgrade right at 1200 hours in almost all cases.

Other Benefits:
Health, dental, vision, and $50k life insurance premiums are fully paid by company for all pilots. Health insurance plan is actually pretty good. Can add spouse/family for 50% of their premium.

We have CASS with jumpseat agreements for several airlines like Southwest, American, Virgin, Spirit, and others are being worked on.

KCM is apparently in the works but nobody is holding their breath on it to happen soon.


Hiring Info
All info is for PC-12 positions. King Air positions require ATP minimums.

First Officer (SIC) Qualifications (source):
500 hours total time
Instructor experience highly preferred
50 hours turbine or 75 hours instrument preferred
First class medical
Commercial single engine certificate with instrument rating

Captain (PIC) Qualifications (source):
135 IFR PIC minimums (1200 hours total time, 500 XC, 100 night, etc)
200 hours turbine or 150 instrument in flight (actual + simulated)
First class medical
Commercial single engine certificate with instrument rating

Contracts
Initial training contract of $10k for 1 year. Prorates down gradually to $4k through day 364.
Upgrade contract of $10k (? - unverified) for 9 months, assume it also prorates down (unsure of timeline/amount).

To apply:
Click on the "source" links for First Officer or Captain above and fill out the form at the bottom of the page. You'll need an up-to-date resume to upload.

After applying:
DO NOT contact Boutique Air via phone or email regarding your application. Different management sources say they receive between 30-100 resumes EACH DAY, so they've got a lot to sift through. You may visit the pages above again and upload an updated resume if your flight times or employment experience have changed significantly.

It can take a while for them to get back to you. Boutique is the type of company that you'll forget about after a month, and then out of the blue they'll call you to set up an interview. Don't sit around waiting on them unless you really want this particular job, and be prepared to wait a while even if you meet the preferred qualifications.

Interview process:
If selected, you will be contacted to arrange a phone HR interview. These are basic questions about your work experience, flight times, and simple HR questions common to any job ("tell me about a time when you had to work with a difficult colleague, what did you do", etc). You may be contacted by either phone or email to set up a time.

If you pass the HR interview, you may still experience weeks of radio silence before contacted for a phone technical interview. The technical interview consists of questions on the systems of the airplane you most recently flew, and basic IFR procedures.

If you pass the technical interview, you'll generally receive a job offer within the next few days.

Technical interview gouge:
You're not going to get one from me, and please refrain from posting any interview questions. They truly are basic IFR knowledge questions with no tricks. Pull out an old study guide from your IFR days and brush up before you get the phone call, and you'll be fine. The argument is that if you can't pass the technical interview, you have serious IFR knowledge deficiencies and you're going to have a difficult time in the condensed training environment you're about to be thrown into.


Life as a Boutique Pilot
Here's a basic rundown of the day-to-day.

Schedules:
There are generally two types of "lines" we fly, day trips and constant duty overnights (CDOs). CDOs usually go out in the evening, spend the night at a small outstation, and come back to the major hub in the morning to get pax to the big airplanes to continue their trips. PIC and SIC will generally alternate legs as PF.

Duty days can range from home reserve to 14 hours scheduled. Typical calendar days off per month is about 12. Flight hours vary from base to base, but are usually 50+ hours per month.

Time off can be requested in advance, and in my experience, is always granted if it is a reasonable request.

First Officer/SIC duties:
Include loading/unloading luggage, stocking drinks/snacks, briefing passengers, and other duties as required.

Captain/PIC duties:
Include lots of paperwork, filing flight plans, determining required fuel, and ultimately being responsible for the flight (obviously).

Crew cars/houses:
We have crew cars and houses/apartments at all overnight outstations. They are usually minimally furnished with beds and basic living room furniture, though recently there was a change to provide clean linens for each day (previously, crews usually brought sleeping bags or their own sheets). Some crew houses have a basic TV and/or internet/wi-fi, but not all.


Training
Training currently takes place in Denver and lasts about 3 weeks. There is a large crew house in Denver that you'll likely stay in if you're not based there. You may be put into a hotel if the crew house is full.

The first week is ground school and covers everything from Boutique's policies to the PC-12 and it's systems. There will be a few tests, you should have adequate time to study for them. Group up with others to review material and you'll be fine.

The next two weeks are flight training. You'll have four (five if PIC) flights in the PC-12 before your checkride. PICs will then have a day of IOE, usually in Denver. SICs will be sent home to start on the line.


Personal opinions on Boutique Air
Above information is based as much on fact as possible - this is my current opinion on Boutique for prospective pilots.

Boutique is great experience to fill the gap between flying a 172 or PA-28 and moving up to the 121 world if that's your goal. You'll be exposed to passenger operations, crew resource management, turbine aircraft systems, weather and maintenance issues, and pretty much everything else you'll encounter once you hit a 121 gig.

First Officer pay is pretty terrible, but considering SICs aren't required, it unfortunately makes sense as the SIC position is basically a (poorly) paid internship.

The PC-12s are a fun airplane to fly. They're generally kept in good shape, and several have Garmin 750s. Baggage space can be a pain in the butt, but passengers are generally understanding if bags need to be left behind until the next trip once they see the size of the airplane.

There are definitely growing pains right now - I think we're expanding faster than what was planned, and so we've been put in a tight position with airplanes and crew, but Boutique has been working to alleviate this as much as possible by increasing crew levels and acquiring more airplanes. The schedules in Denver have historically been a bit rough, but other locations seem pretty laid back.

I'd definitely recommend Boutique as a stepping stone from 500 hours to 1500 if it's something you're interested in.


Questions?
Post 'em in this thread (or the other Boutique thread, I don't really care) and myself or another Boutique pilot will do our best to answer them.

Javichu 01-11-2017 03:35 PM

THANKS! great information, thanks for the taking the time.

FlyingStormie 01-11-2017 03:49 PM

Great writeup! For me, I guess you could say that Boutique is my "dream" first flying job, so I really enjoy all the insider info being provided. There's still a lot of time before I get to apply though.

MaxMar 01-11-2017 05:11 PM

Awesome write up! Thanks for posting this! My girlfriend was a CSA in DEN until a few months ago when she had to quit for a trip, and I am currently sitting ~700 TT. Unfortunately, still got about a year and a half of school left but I will be graduating with ~1200. Hoping to go to Denver and upgrade within a year or so. 2 Questions

1. Any more news internally about your new east coast routes?

2. Ideally I'd graduate and go to ground immediately thereafter, but I understand that's not how reality works. When would be the best time to submit a resume to minimize time spent waiting around early May?

Thanks

LiuPilot 01-11-2017 07:59 PM

How's the ATL base looking in terms of hiring?

hawk21 01-11-2017 09:12 PM

Got most of my hours there. Good way to build time and then jump to the 121 world. Sounds like things have been messy the last few weeks with mtx and wx.

RBZL 01-12-2017 06:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MaxMar (Post 2279429)
1. Any more news internally about your new east coast routes?

2. Ideally I'd graduate and go to ground immediately thereafter, but I understand that's not how reality works. When would be the best time to submit a resume to minimize time spent waiting around early May?

I haven't heard anything about east coast routes - I'll let you know if I do. As for applying, may as well start throwing your resume in now but make it clear on your cover letter that you don't expect to be available until May. They may just jump through the hiring hoops with you and stick you on the back burner for a class then, who knows.

Quote:

Originally Posted by LiuPilot (Post 2279553)
How's the ATL base looking in terms of hiring?

Haven't heard of anyone going to ATL in the last few classes, so guessing they're good there until one of the current pilots leaves/upgrades or they expand.

Jecain7 01-12-2017 07:24 AM

Supposedly we were recommended for the massena, NY route over cape air. I guess it is running from BWI, ALB, to MSS or something to that effect. I haven't heard anything beyond that.

trc8301 01-12-2017 07:40 AM

One thing to add to the technical interview....if you have previously worked 135, be prepared to answer some 135 questions as well as questions about the aircraft you flew 135. Simply put if you were a proficient pilot at your last 135 job, you will be just fine for this interview.

hawk21 01-12-2017 07:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LiuPilot (Post 2279553)
How's the ATL base looking in terms of hiring?

I know some of the FOs looking to leave here soon when their contracts are up.

ssilver88 01-12-2017 09:45 AM

Thanks for all the info.

LiuPilot 01-12-2017 11:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hawk21 (Post 2279788)
I know some of the FOs looking to leave here soon when their contracts are up.

Good to know, I'm at around 400 hrs TT and applied recently. waiting to see if they give me a call.

Gapilot 01-12-2017 07:49 PM

I was curious does the 10k only go to CA or do FO get the 10k for signing a one year contract? Would that bring the total pay to about 34k? Also has there been any talks about possible expansion for the northwest because I remember they said they would possibly have a route from Pendleton to Seattle in the future after getting the route for portland to Pendleton. Thanks for providing the information.

N993T 01-13-2017 06:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gapilot (Post 2280238)
I was curious does the 10k only go to CA or do FO get the 10k for signing a one year contract? Would that bring the total pay to about 34k? Also has there been any talks about possible expansion for the northwest because I remember they said they would possibly have a route from Pendleton to Seattle in the future after getting the route for portland to Pendleton. Thanks for providing the information.

You don't get 10k for signing the contract. You owe 10k (prorated down after 6 months) if you don't complete the contract. This is a common practice and is done to ensure that the company gets a return on the free training that they provide.

PDX-PDT is up and running. Seattle was mentioned as a possibility but I haven't heard anything recently.

hawk21 01-14-2017 11:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by N993T (Post 2280357)
This is a common practice and is done to ensure that the company gets a return on the free training that they provide.

No it's not. Training contract should be a red flag to anybody. It means high turnover rate.

RBZL 01-14-2017 01:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hawk21 (Post 2281197)
No it's not. Training contract should be a red flag to anybody. It means high turnover rate.

Not necessarily. The company spends three weeks and ~10 hours of actual flight time to get you proficient in the PC-12. It's not unreasonable to want to protect that investment considering the time it takes to hire and screen pilots (think fingerprinting, background checks, PRIA, uniforms, etc), train them, and then replace them when they move on.

Street captains could bounce at 1500 TT after 3-4 months without a training contract, which would be the biggest reason for high turnover. Pilots can also buy out of the contract, and I haven't heard of any contract enforcement if you decide to be that guy (which you shouldn't). First officers are likely not affected much by the contract because most of them will take a year to hit 1200-1500 TT anyway.

Boutique knows it's a stepping stone, and that the majority that come here to fly are going to move on at some point. That doesn't make a 1 year contract a red flag automatically. It is something to take into consideration before you sign it, but the implications it has on most pilots are not too significant in the grand scheme.

USMCFLYR 01-14-2017 01:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hawk21 (Post 2281197)
No it's not. Training contract should be a red flag to anybody. It means high turnover rate.

I don't think high turnover in this segment of the industry should be a red flag at all. It should be applauded! It means movement in the industry as a whole which is a great thing.

hawk21 01-14-2017 06:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RBZL (Post 2281256)
Not necessarily. The company spends three weeks and ~10 hours of actual flight time to get you proficient in the PC-12. It's not unreasonable to want to protect that investment considering the time it takes to hire and screen pilots (think fingerprinting, background checks, PRIA, uniforms, etc), train them, and then replace them when they move on.

No training contracts in the 121 world and the cost of training per pilot is much more. My current company spends over $30,000 per pilot on training not including monthly guarantees. Only airline I can think of that has any sort of contract is Frontier and maybe Mesa. It's a ploy to get people to stay. Take it from me and several of my co workers at the time. Keep in mind Boutique didn't have training contracts for probably a year before implementing them.

Quote:

Originally Posted by USMCFLYR (Post 2281259)
I don't think high turnover in this segment of the industry should be a red flag at all. It should be applauded! It means movement in the industry as a whole which is a great thing.

Go work for a 135 EAS company and you'll understand why there's movement.



Not trying to scare new hires away. I'm trying to fill you in on the reality of this kind of position. It's a much better way to build time than instructing any day. Will be awesome when they get the charter side of things up and running again.

Warren d Morris 01-14-2017 07:10 PM

Sorry I'm new. Just testing

Sent from my SM-N920T using Tapatalk

Quarryman 01-15-2017 04:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by N993T (Post 2280357)
You don't get 10k for signing the contract. You owe 10k (prorated down after 6 months) if you don't complete the contract. This is a common practice and is done to ensure that the company gets a return on the free training that they provide.

PDX-PDT is up and running. Seattle was mentioned as a possibility but I haven't heard anything recently.

As has been said here many times, avoid training contracts. The regionals figured it out. It's a matter of time before the 135 world figures it out. When offered a training contract, send them the TBNT letter and move on. This isn't 2009. Company training is a cost of doing business. You have already paid for your training to get your certificates. This training contract garbage is an obsolete model. Don't do it because you don't have to.

Javichu 01-15-2017 02:41 PM

It's "easy" to say but the truth is that we have no choice (apart from CFI, banner towing, maybe some vfr tours....).

We could of course say thanks but no thanks, but that means thing become even harder for a newbie.

Is it fair? doesn't matter in my opinion, we won't change the facts at this point.

hawk21 01-16-2017 08:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quarryman (Post 2281497)
As has been said here many times, avoid training contracts. The regionals figured it out. It's a matter of time before the 135 world figures it out. When offered a training contract, send them the TBNT letter and move on. This isn't 2009. Company training is a cost of doing business. You have already paid for your training to get your certificates. This training contract garbage is an obsolete model. Don't do it because you don't have to.

Thank you. This guy gets it.

RBZL 01-16-2017 08:39 AM

Regardless of your opinion on training contracts, Boutique currently has one and it's no secret. People still apply, work here, and enjoy the job even with a contract. It's rather inconsequential to me as a FO when I'm going to be here a year anyway to build time in their generally nice $2.5 million airplanes.

If it's a dealbreaker for you, look on at your other limited options at 500TT. Enough said.

Javichu 01-16-2017 09:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RBZL (Post 2282419)
Regardless of your opinion on training contracts, Boutique currently has one and it's no secret. People still apply, work here, and enjoy the job even with a contract. It's rather inconsequential to me as a FO when I'm going to be here a year anyway to build time in their generally nice $2.5 million airplanes.

If it's a dealbreaker for you, look on at your other limited options at 500TT. Enough said.

Amen! [emoji1]

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

Jecain7 01-16-2017 12:17 PM

has anyone ever gotten out of the training contract? just curious...

RBZL 01-16-2017 12:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jecain7 (Post 2282571)
has anyone ever gotten out of the training contract? just curious...

People have left after a few months because 135 wasn't what they were expecting, and Boutique hasn't enforced the contract that I've been aware. It's an unprofessional thing to do, though. Don't sign the contract if you don't plan to see it through or buy it out.

hotice 01-16-2017 01:53 PM

Do you guys hire PT captains? I am flying air ambulance in a PC12. What series of PC12s are Boutique flying: 9, 10, /47, or 47E/NG?


Javichu 01-16-2017 11:02 PM

any BTQ pilot remember how long did it take to get the technical call after the HR interview? She said up to 5 weeks, and I'm just curious

Quarryman 01-17-2017 05:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RBZL (Post 2282595)
People have left after a few months because 135 wasn't what they were expecting, and Boutique hasn't enforced the contract that I've been aware. It's an unprofessional thing to do, though. Don't sign the contract if you don't plan to see it through or buy it out.

If said training contract is a promissory note then the company is acting as a bank giving you a loan. Such financial instruments are enforceable in court. If they want to bring legal action against the borrower, they certainly can. As I have said before, I am strongly against any of these pay to play arrangements. If you must play, then ask for the contract ahead of committing to any class date. Take it to a lawyer and have it reviewed. Then, and only then, can you make an informed decision.

Contracts are great until that first day on the line tossing bags into the back, thinking "man, this isn't what it's cracked up to be."

RBZL 01-17-2017 08:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hotice (Post 2282633)
Do you guys hire PT captains? I am flying air ambulance in a PC12. What series of PC12s are Boutique flying: 9, 10, /47, or 47E/NG?


No part time that I'm aware of. Series 10, /45 and /47.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quarryman (Post 2282896)
Contracts are great until that first day on the line tossing bags into the back, thinking "man, this isn't what it's cracked up to be."

If you've done so little research into a company that you're surprised about having to load bags as part of your job duties, that's on you. People that think they're above loading a few bags because "they're a pilot and they're better than that" are usually miserable to work with anyway, even if they weren't loading bags.

This is 135 - some days can be rough, but overall it's an easy job and I really have nothing to complain about. I've been here nearly four months and time has flown by.

chrisbnsvs 01-17-2017 03:43 PM

"Boutique is great experience to fill the gap between flying a 172 or PA-28 and moving up to the 121 world if that's your goal. You'll be exposed to passenger operations, crew resource management, turbine aircraft systems, weather and maintenance issues, and pretty much everything else you'll encounter once you hit a 121 gig."

Excellent! That's EXACTLY what many of us are looking for. Everyone has to pay their dues, the only question is how useful those dues-paying experiences are. Not all 1500 hrs in a logbook are equal.

Please add my thanks & kudos to all of the others you've gotten! Your honest and informative posts, like the others from BTQ pilots past and present, really represent the company & its people well. Sounds like a great place to work.

pilotnicco 01-18-2017 12:30 PM

Soo, I applied and got the opportunity to interview. I submitted dates and never heard back. Those dates have now expired since I never heard back. Is that typical?

Metroaviator 01-18-2017 03:54 PM

New posting tonight on the orange site for Captains and FO's in Baltimore MD. New east coast route coming?? :confused:

El Pilot 01-18-2017 06:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Metroaviator (Post 2284011)
New posting tonight on the orange site for Captains and FO's in Baltimore MD. New east coast route coming?? :confused:

I was just to ask the same question. It seems like a good opportunity and the PC-12 a cool airplane. Is it possible to commute from NJ? What is the schedule like?

RBZL 01-19-2017 02:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pilotnicco (Post 2283844)
Soo, I applied and got the opportunity to interview. I submitted dates and never heard back. Those dates have now expired since I never heard back. Is that typical?

If you were given any contact information, follow up and see if they still want to interview you. They're busy enough that things slip through the cracks sometimes.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Metroaviator (Post 2284011)
New posting tonight on the orange site for Captains and FO's in Baltimore MD. New east coast route coming?? :confused:

I heard about this last night too. It's possible. No official word through company channels to the pilot group yet that I've seen.

pilotlbs 01-19-2017 06:03 PM

Asking because I have a friend interested in applying. Do they accept applicants with less than 500 hours total time? Also, how do the co-pilots legally log the SIC time? Thanks for the info!

MaxMar 01-19-2017 10:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pilotlbs (Post 2284721)
Asking because I have a friend interested in applying. Do they accept applicants with less than 500 hours total time? Also, how do the co-pilots legally log the SIC time? Thanks for the info!

135.101

Also BTQ was selected to fly out of Massena and Albany, NY, to Baltimore. Not sure on the official status of that yet.

Javichu 01-19-2017 10:57 PM

dang this company is growing!! :)

RBZL 01-20-2017 11:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pilotlbs (Post 2284721)
Asking because I have a friend interested in applying. Do they accept applicants with less than 500 hours total time? Also, how do the co-pilots legally log the SIC time? Thanks for the info!

Not usually. They've got enough applications that they can be a bit picky, and 500 TT is pretty much the hard minimum right now.

Mike5250 01-20-2017 07:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by El Pilot (Post 2284143)
I was just to ask the same question. It seems like a good opportunity and the PC-12 a cool airplane. Is it possible to commute from NJ? What is the schedule like?

Seems like at other bases they get you home every night, which wouln't help with commuting much. Interested to see how they grow on E Coast as well.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:10 PM.


User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.3.0 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Website Copyright 2000 - 2017 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands