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Preferred Experience for Regionals

Old 04-10-2019, 07:14 PM
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Default Preferred Experience for Regionals

It seems like a lot folks on this forum value (or think regional recruiters should value) CFI experience over "private owner" experience. Someone else expressed remorse at the higher number of "2nd career" types coming in. I'm not a CFI, but in 30 yrs of flying I've seen some really good ones and the opposite. So I'd like to hear thoughts and comments comparing two hypothetical regional airline apply-ees. Well, the second one is me, so I guess not hypothetical.

"Cadet" - Cadet/CFII/MEI (like for ATP for example) flying for 5-7 years? mid/late 20's? 1st real career? Let's give them credit for a 4yr degree in aviation mgmt.
1500TT 1000 last 12 months ( say 500 CFI, 400 CFII, 100 MEI)actual "stick" time in past 12 months? say 100/75/10?
X/C, night, IFR at ATP mins
how many approaches has this CFII actually flown themselves?
how much high performance or complex time do they have?


"Old Dude" - mid 50's, flying 30 years, IFR rated 29 years, commercial MEL and SEL 27 years.
1500TT, 1400 PIC (35ME PIC), 600+ high performance and complex, 700 XC (at least half flown in the "IFR system"). 600 hrs behind an EFIS (Aspen) IFR 150 (60 actual, 90 "hood")
last 12 mo - 150TT, 12 actual IFR, 10 IFR hood, 15 approaches (8 actual, 7 hood). IPC 2 months ago. Numerous IFR trips into class B airspace, almost all single pilot.
also 30 yr career as an engineer, held a few leadership positions in flying orgs such as CAP, CAF and the USAF aero club system.

Who's got the experience that is more attractive to regional recruiters today? Who will do better in training? Who would you rather have in your right seat? And why?

Last edited by DBono; 04-10-2019 at 07:16 PM. Reason: political correctness on pronouns :)
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:18 PM
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Do you have a pulse and hold the required ratings? Welcome to class!
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by DBono View Post
Who's got the experience that is more attractive to regional recruiters today?
Which one can be available for class first




Originally Posted by DBono View Post
Who will do better in training?
No way to know, varies by individual. Odds are good that it will be the younger guys simply due to the need to memorize a bunch of stuff. Experience doesn't help with rote memory, but youth does. Technical training/experience will help a little bit (I find it easier to learn things I understand). But 121 training has more rote than anything else.

Originally Posted by DBono View Post
Who would you rather have in your right seat? And why?
Again, depends on the individual. The older guy will typically be more mature, but bear in mind that millennials who pursue aviation to the airline level are likely to be "best of breed", and all-around better people than their stereotypical peers.

Experience has shown that the old guys don't fly as well, like some other skills it sticks better when learned young. A previous "operational" career like military, law enforcement, pro sports, etc will predict a better pilot in a career-changer. Long-time white collar professionals have survival instincts tuned to politics and bureaucracy, not hands-on endeavors. Even hobbies like motorcycles and skydiving help. Recreational private pilot GA obviously helps a bit but not as much as you might think.
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Old 04-10-2019, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by DBono View Post

Who's got the experience that is more attractive to regional recruiters today? Who will do better in training? Who would you rather have in your right seat? And why?
Fact: Both are attractive. They have a pulse and are qualified to sit in the right seat.


Opinion:
#1. Been through a lot more training, and school much more recently. Bad habits more than likely haven't set in over years of flying for fun. Has a bit more skin in the game and may study harder (subjective). Neuroplasticity.

#1. Has been flying professionally, under crappy conditions already, so less likely to complain about "company injustices" that are just daily realities of the regional world. Less likely to be a right seat captain... #2 types often tend to equate their "other job" experience with ability in this career, and have a very hard time taking leadership from someone younger or "less experienced" than them. #2 type often has the tendency to devalue younger people or throw things around like "you're just a millennial", while at the same time greatly overestimating their own skills.

Again. This is all based on anecdotal experience. Have I had #2 types totally shock me and not be like this, yup. Have I had FOs that were #1 types totally suck, also yes. Of the top 5 worst FOs I've had were 4 #2 types and 1 #1. At the end of the day though, most guys are pretty darn ok.
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Old 04-10-2019, 08:37 PM
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I'm in my 2nd week of training at a regional, and I'm kind of a mix between the two examples you gave. I'm 48, but I just started flying 3 years ago and did the CFI/CFII route. Here are some of my observations based on my (very) limited experience with this so far:

1. As others have mentioned, 1500 hours and a pulse gets you in, so don't even worry about who's more "valuable" to recruiters. Get your class date, then go and prove yourself. Having said that, I do think CFI experience is slightly more valuable to employers, but only slightly. Not enough to even debate it or give it a second thought.

2. The CJO is only the first very small step. Then comes months of proving yourself, or not. Very easy to get a job offer if you have the right creds, not so easy to make it through training. Regionals have a great need for pilots, but not so great that they're going to lower their standards as to who sits in their right seat. If you aren't cutting it during any part of the training process, you'll be given some extra help; but if you don't improve, they won't have any qualms about letting you go. My point: focus on succeeding vs. landing the job.

3. Regionals like it when you have prior 121/135 experience. More than the two examples you gave. It's a whole different world -- different set of regs and standards, and there's quite a bit of ground knowledge to learn before you even worry about flying a jet. If you already have experience in that area, it's a plus. I don't, unfortunately, which makes #2 even harder for me. But, like I said, I had absolutely no trouble getting the job. I just have to study my ass off for 2-3 months to make sure I succeed.

4. Speaking of jets. I don't think you mentioned any turbine experience. Much like 121/135 experience, regionals like turbine experience. I have very little myself, another thing to overcome via more effort from me. It's no small task to learn how a jet engine works, and it's absolutely nothing like a piston.

5. Your IFR experience will serve you VERY well. Most regional recruiters/trainers will tell you that IFR competence is by far the most significant deficiency people show up with. This will help you out a bunch, as it has me so far. (I fly IFR all the time, since I have my own airplane.)

Hope this is helpful.
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Old 04-11-2019, 05:10 AM
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All things the same (attitude, natural aptitude), I'd take the #1 guy any day. And I'm a #2 guy myself.
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteyT View Post
All things the same (attitude, natural aptitude), I'd take the #1 guy any day. And I'm a #2 guy myself.
I’ve found the #1 guy easier to train in the sim, but the #2 guy easier to finish IOE without tons of extra hours. The #1 guys have been getting up to 80 hrs of IOE. The #2 guys tend to finish under 50.
The #2 guys seem to have better aeronautical decision making ability. While both may arrive at the same conclusion or decision, the #2 guys do it consistently more swifly with less internal debate. Probably attributable to maturity, life experience making decisions, and years more of aeronautical experience making decisions. Not really sure why, but it just is.

In these days of upgrade instantly upon hitting 1000 part 121, I’ll take the #2 guy as new hire future CA over the #1 guy. Also has a proven verifiable professional history and track record. We can see what type of employee s/he has been over several decades which is a very good indicator of future performance or problems. You’re getting a time tested proven product with #2. Drug, crime or alcohol problems would more than likely already have manifested long ago.
With number 1 you’re getting a GPA, and 2 years of CFI work to evaluate. Maturity level unknown, untested.
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:30 AM
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In all honesty, and Im guy number 2.... #1 is probably much easier to train. Has a background that is heavily focused on standardization and intense flight training every other day. Although they might lack some ADM and solo time, what they would learn flying around in a 172/A36/B55 would only go so far in the 121 program. If they had a surplus of apps, Id guess the airline would lean towards the #1. Now, #2, would likely be very professional, but not as trainable for the 121 lifestyle. The light single and twin flying is great for some ops.... I just dont think it caters to the 121 world much.
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by TeamSasquatch View Post
In all honesty, and I’m guy number 2.... #1 is probably much easier to train. Has a background that is heavily focused on standardization and intense flight training every other day. Although they might lack some ADM and “solo” time, what they would learn flying around in a 172/A36/B55 would only go so far in the 121 program. If they had a surplus of apps, I’d guess the airline would lean towards the #1. Now, #2, would likely be very professional, but not as trainable for the 121 lifestyle. The light single and twin flying is great for some ops.... I just don’t think it caters to the 121 world much.
You make more decisions flying your C172 around the pattern doing touch n go’s than an FO makes in a week. You evaluate the weather and decide go, no go. You do the flight planning and the weight & balance load decisions (some regionals still are manual, but most aren’t) you decide your fuel load requirements. There are many PIC decisions going into every single flight you make. In the right seat, you’re a head nodder of decisions others made for you. Even if you’d like a change, you still need CA approval.

They like the young kids because they can indoctrinate them with things like that it’s okay to land with the fuel gauges in amber since that’s 45 minutes... (at long range cruise at FL370)....on a flight going into NYC at international push time. Then when they upgrade, they’re that much less likely to call for more gas. It’s like that in every aspect of the job. Getting you to perform with less is easier with younger kids not well experienced at saying no diplomatically.

The young kids are definately easier to train at the schoolhouse and in the Sim world though.

That all said.... for a regional job, it doesn’t matter.

If you have 1500 hours and can show proof of life.... you’re hired.
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:07 AM
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FFor clarity once training is complete, and the new pilot is established on line and somewhat experienced (a couple years, a couple thousand hours), the older guy is more likely to have better judgement and be willing to to say "No" when needed. Probably won't be involved in drunken liberty incidents either.
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