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Old 07-11-2007, 08:51 AM   #1  
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Default New to site, making an Into, and asking some questions.

Hello all,

First, a little about me before I bombard the knowledge base here with my questions.

I 28, a low time CFI, CFII, MEI, with a Bachelors degree. I only teach part time because I work for the company that builds most of the airplanes in the air today. I have an OK job..it pays the bills, but would consider making the move if the right opportunity came along.

I also fly for the Civil Air Patrol, getting a bunch of time with them flying their cadets around. I have been picked up with the national guard to fly Chinooks as well.

So, here are my questions. I am not sure if i want to fly people due to the constant volatility of the industry. I am thinking perhaps to jump ship to a regional, take the pay cut from my current 47k a year, and work my way up. With the upgrades being what everyone says they are, at the current rates, I would be back to making what I am now in about 4 years. My wife works, and is getting a promotion which would off-set the initial pay cut.

I am also considering an SO/FE position with the cargo industry but am not sure where to start. Do I study for the FEX and get that out of the way? If I start as an FE/So, how do most companies work the upgrade to the right seat? Would I have to continue flying in my off time to get the mins?

Obviously I am pretty new to this, so anyone that could offer any real help and advice would be thanked immensely.
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Old 07-11-2007, 08:59 AM   #2  
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Welcome to the forum.

NOT flying people was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

I'm not sure where you're thinking of for the FE/SO job but those seats are becoming fewer and fewer, while at the same time, occupied more and more by over 60 guys.

The best thing you can do for yourself is get qualified with the 1000 PIC turbine. Then see what happens.
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:02 AM   #3  
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Thank you for the response. I was thinking of going to Cargo 360 here in Seattle since they fly older 747's.

As far as the turbine is concerned, will it count the same if it is obtained in the Chinook?
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:26 AM   #4  
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Ummm....I'm not really sure. Not a chopper guy.
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:36 AM   #5  
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Once you get outside of the two big cargo carriers, there is just as much volitility, if not more, on the box-hauling side. AMCI carriers come and go much more often than pax haulers. You don't hear about them because they're usually small ops with just a few aircraft.

Don't know what to tell you other than that. Seems that the regionals are just the first step inside the door. After that it seems that people will go in a ton of different directions. Some to majors, some to the big cargo guys, some to the smaller ones to get to the bigger ones, some to fractionals and so on.
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:56 AM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChinookDriver47 View Post
Thank you for the response. I was thinking of going to Cargo 360 here in Seattle since they fly older 747's.

As far as the turbine is concerned, will it count the same if it is obtained in the Chinook?
First off, keeping your day job while teaching is usually a good thing so you're on the right track there. With the instructor ratings and 1000 hours (or even less) you should have your pick of the better regionals.

Unless you get lucky with a personal connection, you will probably need to go to the regionals to get some turbine time. Even a low-tier ACMI is not going to hire a CFI to fly 747's.

Helo time is not counted by most airlines, a few will give you partial credit. The ones that do will state it explicitly on their web sites. If they require "1000 Hours Fixed Wing Turbine"...that means EXACTLY what it says: no credit for helo time.

Skywest (and a one or two other regionals I think) gives some credit for helo time. Also you will make $50K as a second year RJ FO at SKW and several other regionals (Horizon, XJet, AWAC, maybe others).


This is the historical career progression for civilian pilots...ending with the most desireable jobs (FDX/UPS). This worst case, when hiring is slow and at times you can skip some steps (like right now). But you can't skip a whole bunch of steps...as a CFI you can get a turboprop or jet regional job, but not a national airline job.

1) CFI/MEI
2) Night Freight in light ASEL/AMEL (AmFlight)
3) Turboprop Commuter (Colgan, Great Lakes)
4) Jet Regional (Eagle, Republic)
5) National Airline/ACMI (Jetblue, World)
6) Major Airline (UAL, DAL, SWA)
7) Major cargo (FDX, UPS)
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:22 PM   #7  
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Great, thank you. I think that after I get back from flight school with the Army National Guard, I will keep doing what I am doing and get my TT up. I just don't want to miss the rush while its hot. Hopefully, 2 years down the road the need will be just as great.
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Old 07-11-2007, 01:38 PM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChinookDriver47 View Post
Great, thank you. I think that after I get back from flight school with the Army National Guard, I will keep doing what I am doing and get my TT up. I just don't want to miss the rush while its hot. Hopefully, 2 years down the road the need will be just as great.
Do your best to get a regional job BEFORE you go to flight training...you will accrue seniority the entire time you are gone!
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Old 07-11-2007, 05:24 PM   #9  
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I heard third hand something about a guy who was with SWA, did the reserve thing once a month, missed too many trips with SWA during his first year there and they fired him. After a lawyer and court got involved, he's back at SWA, and is "happy as can be" or something to that affect.

Regardless of the protections afforded reservists, how does the industry overall view guys who get hired, then go off for reserve duty not long after being hired, and then come back 90, 180, 360 days later? At this point in my career, I'd be crazy to not take the reserve retirment, and it would be fairly easy for me to get hired by a regional, jump in with a reserve unit and get activated for 90 or 180 days, perhaps more, and then go back to the regional with a little bit more seniority. I would consider that gaming the game, and assume the airlines see through that as well, even if legally there's not much they can do about it.

I guess what I'm getting at is that, legally, they could wait the 5 years required by law to fire me, and then when I try to get another job, I find myself blackballed...
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Old 07-11-2007, 05:42 PM   #10  
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I heard third hand something about a guy who was with SWA, did the reserve thing once a month, missed too many trips with SWA during his first year there and they fired him. After a lawyer and court got involved, he's back at SWA, and is "happy as can be" or something to that affect.

Regardless of the protections afforded reservists, how does the industry overall view guys who get hired, then go off for reserve duty not long after being hired, and then come back 90, 180, 360 days later? At this point in my career, I'd be crazy to not take the reserve retirment, and it would be fairly easy for me to get hired by a regional, jump in with a reserve unit and get activated for 90 or 180 days, perhaps more, and then go back to the regional with a little bit more seniority. I would consider that gaming the game, and assume the airlines see through that as well, even if legally there's not much they can do about it.

I guess what I'm getting at is that, legally, they could wait the 5 years required by law to fire me, and then when I try to get another job, I find myself blackballed...
If possible, I always recommend being off of probation before going on extended leave. However, you can leave after day 1 of indoc and still be protected by USERRA laws. I did the mil leave thing twice in almost 10 years at my last airline. The first tour was just shy of 4 years, the second about 15 months and never went back(straight to the current employer). It was legit and there's nothing they can do about it. I know the story you're speaking about. It wasn't justified and thus he's back at SWA. I wouldn't worry about the blackball thing. If you're out you're out. Just don't pull the leave over Xmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, etc., every year when you can't get it off by seniority.
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