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Old 01-10-2006, 06:24 PM   #1  
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Default First year pilots....what to expect?

Hey everyone, I just found this forum, seems pretty useful. I am going to MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University) in a few days and I will be studying aerospace with a pro pilot concentration. Upon graduation, I'll have about 500 hours max with IFR, CFI, Multi, and Comm ratings. I know I'll probably end up being a CFI for a few years until I build more time, but what kind of times are most pilots being hired with? What kind of pay do first year regional f/o's recieve? Also, what kind of hours are these pilots working? Thanks a lot in advance for your input.

Chandler Hasemeyer
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Old 01-10-2006, 07:11 PM   #2  
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Cool Regionals

Just look at the mins for each airline and thats what most regionals will hire at. 1000-1200 total with 100-200 multi will get you on at most regionals. I have friends at Express Jet, Pinnacle, commutair and great lakes. ALL fly over the guarantee usually 85-95 hours a month. The typical being 4on with 3 days off. They love it, great lifestyle for a single guy.
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Old 01-10-2006, 07:11 PM   #3  
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I cant speak for everyone but i can tell you what i experienced so far.

I started submitting resumes at 1700 hours with 100 multi. i didnt really get many bites until my times crept up to about 1890TT/190ME. I was flying a lot so that didnt take too long.

Got offered three jobs within 3 1/2 - 4 months. My lowest time for the first interview was bout 1990ish with 190ME and highest was around 2050 / 195 for the later interviews.

That being said... my interview groups ranged in experience between 650 total time and 5,000 total time, as far as i know everyone in all of my groups were offered a spot. is a good web page for interview gouges and airline pay scales. average seems to be 20 - 25 per hour for a new hire F/O with guaranteed monthly hours running between 65 - 75 hours. Do the math. also is a good place to send resumes to airlines you choose to target.

the number of hours you get depends on the company, most new hired get reserve; some guys i know fly their butts off on reserve, others might get 20 hours a month.

Hope this all helps, good luck
Old 01-11-2006, 05:12 PM   #4  
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Default First year expectations

Well I am on reserve so I cant tell you much what to expect but I can tell you a little bit how I got hired with Colgan. Get all of your ratings and instruct at a respectable flight school, I say respectable becuase you don't want to have to worry about falling apart airplanes, also with a better flight school comes better students. I instructed for a little over a year, I did do a lot of personal flying i got hired with Colgan with 1100ttl and 140 multi but they were hiring guys with just over 100. Just get the 100 multi as soon as you can and apply everywhere.don't wait! If upgrade time is important then get on with a Turbo-prop carrier, if lifestyle and ego (shiny jet syndrome) then get on with Eagle or Expressjet) Regional jets are great but not as agreat as a 737 or 757. If you are older then get on with a regional where you will stay a, like Eagle and Expressjet and Republic etc... all make good careers, places like Colgan, Commutair, Piedmont, all good companies but lets face at least with the SAAB great airplane but no FMS or GPS I am not sure I could do 8 legs a day for 35 years w/o GPS or an FMS Get on with an airline that will fit your lifestyle, especially if you are young most important, just make sure you have a seat when the S?+$% hits the fan. (also a good idea to get the 1,000PIC Turbine).........and don't let people tell you Turboprop experience isnt good, its great just makesure the T-Prop weighs over 20,000lbs

Last edited by JoeyMeatballs; 01-11-2006 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 01-11-2006, 05:15 PM   #5  
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Start applying with 800 TT and 80 ME. Complete all your CFI certificates and ratings - CFI, CFII, MEI. Get at least three letters of recommendation including one from the DPE who does most of your students checkrides (hopefully he did your CFI rides and knows you). Do not wait to finish your degree. Do that after you get hired. Seniority is everything. Make sure your school work is B average or greater. Try to find someone to reccomend you. Make sure you get some sim time just before your interview. Take and pass your ATP written prior to interview. Make sure you get a good score. Be yourself in the interview. Look sharp and professional. Be honest, trainable, likeable. Understand as an FO you are on the bottom again and you DONT KNOW IT ALL. You'll make $20 - 22K your first year working 85-95 hours per month, 4 days on - 3 off. Try to find an airline with quick upgrades - Republic, Colgan, Mesa, etc. Not Eagle, ExpressJet, etc. (check for captain upgrade info - I just met a 6 year FO in an American Eagle Saab the other day, 4000 hours SIC in the right seat with no upgrade this year in sight - ouch!). It does not matter to JetBlue, SouthWest, Continental if you fly a jet or turbo-prop as long as it burns Jet-A and is greater than 20,000 lbs BTOW. Be persistent. You'll make it if you love to fly. If you are hoping to meet girls and make big money, please do us a favor and choose another career.
Old 01-11-2006, 08:21 PM   #6  
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It shouldn't take you four years to get to your CFI. You should have your CFI after two years, max, even in a college setting. I did a rating per semester. If you can't at MTSU then I would look elsewhere. Then you spend your last two years of college working as a CFI. Then you graduate with about 1000 hours and get a job with a 121 or 135 operator. I made 14K my first year so go ahead and apply for that student loan deferral as soon as you graduate. Keep your expenses and your debt low. Like any career, your pay will start low but unlike other careers you have guaranteed pay raises.

I agree with those who say shoot for the outfit that can give you the turbine PIC fastest. Who will that be in four years? Who knows?
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Old 01-11-2006, 10:07 PM   #7  
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I agree... A couple people from my new hire class got SJS and went to ASA, Air Whisky or Chautauqua, had to start at the bottom again for less pay and to sit on reserve

Within a couple months I had good seniority in base, decent pay increase after one year and usually get my first or second choice for lines.

Upgrade times aren't the best, but there's been a couple people I know hired from the right seat recently....

My advice, pick a place and stay with it and avoid commuting if u can, it sucks
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Old 01-12-2006, 09:14 AM   #8  
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I am trying to get hired someplace that flies the Beech 1900 is the 20,000 pounds really that important?
Old 01-12-2006, 12:01 PM   #9  
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I thought as long as it is turbine time, and above 12,500 lbs....but I'm just a retarted PP.
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Old 01-13-2006, 04:32 PM   #10  
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Look at the whole picture. Don't just pick based on upgrade time - the industry is too volatile right now. I would look at domicile, pay, benefits, then upgrade time. Many friends are getting interviews at 1000/100. Good luck.
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