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turboprop pic or jet pic?

Old 03-07-2006, 04:54 PM
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Hi
I am currently an FO in a 121 company flying a light turboprop( 16000 lbs).
I have been told by my chief pilot that I would upgrade around the summer.
On the other hand, I have an interview opportunity with Air wisconsin (whenever they decide to interview again), had my resume walked in at Chautauqua and should get an interview with ASA( just sent back my application packet a week ago).
A lot of people have told me to get the PIC time and a lot of people have told me to get Jet/glass time. I understand that 1000 hr turbine PIC 121 is necessary to apply to the bigger jobs ( to apply but not necessary to get selected) but there is plenty of 121 Jet captains out there and I believe that I might have to built more than 1000 hr to be competitive. I don't think i want to stay in my company until I get 2-3-4000 hr to be competitive.(poor pay, no beneifts)
One guy told me that Its also important to find a company where its ok to wait for a dream job.( air wisconsin?)
I personnaly think I should go to air wisconsin. the second year ill be making more than what i make as a pic in my company. Additionnaly I wouldn;t mind doing a career with air wisconsin.
If i stay, ill built the necessary 121 turbine pic time for a job with a major.
Opinions?
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Old 03-07-2006, 05:04 PM
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Go to the web sites for the majors that are currently hiring. If you have a dream company, focus on their requirements.

Some majors still hire guys with 1000 hours turboprop PIC (SWA). Some want the time in aircraft > 20,000# (1900 no; Saab, Dash-8 yes)

Others have gone to 1000 hours turbojet (ie RJ), but not necessarily PIC.

To be competetive really does require the PIC, so my recomendation would be get the turbine pic now, THEN go to a good regional where you can be comfortable and happy while you get your RJ time. You won't be in a hurry to upgrade cuz you already have the PIC. I think a mix or turboprop PIC and RJ SIC would be way better than thousands of hours of prop PIC.

Last edited by rickair7777; 03-07-2006 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 03-08-2006, 05:50 AM
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If you have a chance to get PIC, I would get it now. Just suck it up for a while (try to get 2000, 1500 at the very minimum) and then you can go hang out at a better place and get jet time. IMO, it is harder to get PIC time than jet time, so you might as well get it now if you have a chance.
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Old 03-08-2006, 07:01 AM
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AWAC is not the "career" place is used to be. Switching to the US Air flying has killed productivity and made the schedules horrible for the commuters, with an average of 13 days off a month compared to what used to be 17-18 days off a month.

Get the PIC time, it'll help you later in life. A career at a regional isn't viable, unless you like being on pins and needles and don't mind moving every year.
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Old 03-08-2006, 07:40 AM
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I think Rickair7777 hit it right on the money !!! Get the pic time now while you're in that position.
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Old 03-08-2006, 03:12 PM
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Agreed. Get the PIC time!

I know I sound like a broken record with this but Colgan captains with 1500 - 3000 turbine (turboprop) PIC are having no more problems than any other candidates with the same RJ PIC time in finding opportunities at the next level. There maybe an airline or two out there that favor jet time (Frontier???), but 28% of our captains have left in the last eight months (based on my senority number change, and that doesn't include several street captains behind me), several with '03 hire dates. I know of none who have left for the right seat of an RJ. That said, I'm about to get to put my money where my mouth is because I just slid over the 1000 PIC hour mark and am starting the "app" process in earnest! I hope I'm not deluding myself...

Last edited by WEACLRS; 03-08-2006 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 03-08-2006, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by WEACLRS
I know of none who have left for the right seat of an RJ.
That's interesting because we had a Colgan CA in my class (50-seat regional) and he failed out of training the first week...this was in mid-2005.
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Old 03-08-2006, 03:22 PM
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For whatever reason, people who come from a turboprop 121 background seem to have a horrible pass rate in RJ training. Folks who come from a 172 seem to actually do better, even low timers (ow! bite my tongue! I can't believe I just said that ). I have no idea why this is.
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Old 03-08-2006, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by fosters
That's interesting because we had a Colgan CA in my class (50-seat regional) and he failed out of training the first week...this was in mid-2005.
Thanks for correcting me...I'd like to know if any of our guys have left for an RJ. Was he a 1900 captain? I'm on the SAAB side and don't get the chance to interact with the 1900 guys much. I can believe possibly some 1900 captains have left because the company has been forced to keep some in position and not let them transistion over to the SAAB. We just had three more captains leave in Feb - 2 to CAL and 1 to SWA - that I'm aware of. We have had a number of FO's leave for RJ's.

Last edited by WEACLRS; 03-08-2006 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 03-08-2006, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by rickair7777
For whatever reason, people who come from a turboprop 121 background seem to have a horrible pass rate in RJ training. Folks who come from a 172 seem to actually do better, even low timers (ow! bite my tongue! I can't believe I just said that ). I have no idea why this is.
Rick - can you take a stab at whether you think they had PIC experience (capt's) or were FO's that wanted to move to a jet?

We do get a number of FO's at Colgan that stay for a few months and then get hired at an RJ carrier. The ones that are under 22 I can't blame - they might as well go and sit in a jet until they can upgrade - second year pay is better. But I try to talk the older ones out of it because turbine PIC time is so important and our upgrades have been fairly quick. I hope I'm not doing them a disservice.

That said we've also had a few "marginal" guys (for lack of a better term) that I think get nervous with the short upgrade times here and they jump ship...only to run square into their piloting weakness at the next stop. I can think of two that went ExpressJet. One I know didn't make it (he wanted me to recommend him back into Colgan) and I sure hope the other has found another career.
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