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Old 01-20-2006, 08:12 PM   #1  
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Default Jets or turboprops? Is the jet worth the long upgrade time?

I'm about a year away from college graduation from MTSU, and I'm starting to really research job options hardcore. My ultimate goals aren't any different than everybody else out there, fly for UPS or Fedex. I have a ton of connections at UPS, including a few MTSU alumni there who offered to fly with me so as to do a pilot referral when the time comes. My question is reguarding the turbine time required. I've got connections at places like RegionsAir, who operates Jetstreams, and Air Cargo Carriers, a 135 operation with a ton of Shorts. They both offer about 10 months to the left seat, which would be fantastic to get the turbine PIC that early. I'm also set to graduate about 3 months after my 21st birthday, so it really wouldn't do me any good unless I was at a 135 operation whereas I'd have to be 23 for the ATP. Anyway, the guys I know at UPS have told me that now, I'll really need jet time rather that turboprop to get on there. Is this true? Basically, are the long upgrade times (4-7 yrs) in a jet worth the jet time? Or will turboprop carry just the same weight on a resume? Really seeking some experienced opinions here. Thanks.....
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Old 01-20-2006, 08:33 PM   #2  
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This is the same question we all have. Apples to Apples, the jet is faster, larger, (other than the Q400) and flown at higher Alt's. The only downside to your idea about a fast upgrade is; what if you never get the UPS job? Your stuck at Great Lakes working 5 on 2 off, and pay sucks. If you go somewhere else that pays better, it's not the end of the world if you don't get the UPS job. The way things are right now at the majors, we all need to consider a carrer at the regional's. I'm planning for the worst, however, I have the best in mind. Just my 2 cents!!!
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Old 01-20-2006, 08:58 PM   #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GliderCFI

Anyway, the guys I know at UPS have told me that now, I'll really need jet time rather that turboprop to get on there. Is this true?
Are you asking us to contradict what the guys you know at UPS have told you?



Here's the deal: The minimums are published on the websites, and you can read them there. The trouble is, you don't have those minimums today, and by the time you do, they may have changed, the economy may have changed, the companies may have changed... and the guys you know may have changed their minds.


Unless you know someone with a crystal ball, you make the choices that are best for you based on your own personal likes and dislikes, and the best information available at THIS time. Once you've made the decision, don't look back to second-guess it. Even if you subsequently learn something that would have changed your decision had you known it then, you can't criticize your decision. You made it with the best information you had, and you live with it. Don't look back, look ahead.


My 2 cents? All things equal, I'd go for the job that promises the best potential for turbine PIC. How soon, and how much? Upgrading in 6 months and flying 15 hrs per month would not be as good as upgrading in 12 months and flying 75 hrs per month. Do the best you can do in whatever seat you find yourself. FedEx looks for discriminators like Line Check Airmen, Chief Pilot, stuff like that. Go the extra mile, and it will pay dividends.


Good luck with your decision, and with your career.



- The truth only hurts if it should -
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Old 01-20-2006, 09:01 PM   #4  
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Turbine time is turbine time. When you compare turboprops to jets you're letting your ego do the reasoning. Sure, jets go fast but there's not as much challenge since most are automated and fly themselves. Flying something like a B-1900 or a Jetstream will make you a more proficient pilot and you actually have to think about what you're doing.
 
Old 01-20-2006, 09:22 PM   #5  
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I agree with what intheair and tony c say. I do have some right seat jet time but all my PIC was in a turboprop and UPS hired me. If you have all the "connections" you say you do at UPS, especially management......you don't have to worry about PIC turboprop vs. PIC jet....seriously.
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Old 01-21-2006, 04:00 AM   #6  
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I'd agree with intheair10 to a certain extent. Turbine time is turbine time depending on where you want to go. I believe SWA min quals require 1000 PIC jet, thus you'd need to find a jet to command. Most other places donít list the jet time as a min qual however (last I checked anyway). I have MANY friends who got hired at AirTran and they ALL had nothing but turboprop time and most from RegionsAir. I also have a couple friends that got hired at UPS with nothing but turbo prop PIC time, but that has been 6 months to two years ago so it might have changed.

My point is really, that it all depends on where you ultimately want to go. If you are just looking to get on with a stable (and I emphasize the word stable) airline for your career airline Iíd go with a quick upgrade type place such as Regions. However, if you are targeting an airline that specifically requires the JET PIC I'd go with some type of fractional or corporate jet gig. Going to most regional airlines with jets now-a-days will require probably a minimum of two to four years sitting the dummy seat, and that is a long time of passing up opportunities to go to better airline jobs. Those jobs fill up quick (there are A LOT of qualified pilots out there) and the longer it takes to become qualified for those jobs the less of them I think you will see. Also, my take on regional airlines is that they are ALL like a pair of shoes worn by the Major airline that buys them. Once the shoe no longer serves its purpose and is used up, they (the Majors) move on to the next "discounted" pair of shoes. So the argument of picking a "stable" regional airline to use as a worst case place to end up and make a career out of is not a good one in my humble opinion.

I'd also agree with intheair10 about flying a turbo prop like the JetStream making you a better pilot. I've flown both J31/32 and EMB135/140/145 RJ and I definitely would tell you that the prop made me a much better stick. You can't make a pitch or power change in that thing (JetStream) without having to retrim, and anyone who says that have made more that three greaser landings in a row in that thing is a liar I also flew the ATR before swapping into the EMB and while the ATR is a pretty easy plane to fly it was way more challenging than the EMB. The EMB is easy and relatively nice if thatís what you are looking for, but I will say this about the EMB - you get what you pay for (from an airline company's perspective).

In short, evaluate your goals and decide what you ultimately want (which airlines you'd like to target as your career job), and do what you need to do in order to meet those particular job requirements.
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Old 01-21-2006, 05:14 AM   #7  
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SWA mins don't require PIC jet. It's PIC turbine just like all the other airlines. The only one that sticks in my head that likes PIC jet is JetBlue.....but that's only a competitive minimum. They prefer people with jet time but I know a few guys there with only turboprop PIC.
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Old 01-21-2006, 11:32 AM   #8  
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Thanks guys, I really appreciate the input.
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Old 01-21-2006, 07:47 PM   #9  
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I work with a company that flies mostly SAABS (any guesses out there hehe) I recently met up with a Captain whom just had an interview with Jet Blue, so whomever said that they require "jet" pic is incorrect, by the way the last time I checked a Turbo-prop engine had a jet engine, just not a turbofan engine. when I lfy, I work when my buddy at Expressjet flies, he pushes buttons, don't let anybody tell you that pure "jet" time is so much more valuable, becuase its not, different than a Turbo-prop....yes, make you a better or more desirable pilot, absolutley not, but hey thats just my opinion
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Old 01-21-2006, 09:07 PM   #10  
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Well crap guys excuse me. I thought SWA still required the 1000 jet PIC time. I'm pretty sure they used to, but I could be wrong about that too. I'm sure you will be quick to point that out if I am wrong though.
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