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Old 08-10-2008, 11:21 AM   #1  
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Default Pilot hiring cycle?

I'm sorry if this has been discussed before...I'm a n00b.

Anyways, as you know, the pilot shortage came to a screeching halt in about March. I once overheard someone say that there is a "6 year cycle" as to these pilot shortages. Is that true?

I am just worried as I am a junior in college, and in 2 years, I will graduate and be ready for the regionals, and I hope I will be able to find a job, or at least land a job with the once-low minimums of yesteryear.
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Old 08-10-2008, 11:30 AM   #2  
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I think you need to plan on how you are going to gain your experience till you can apply for the regionals. CFI, banner towing, etc. I hope when you graduate the mins are still high. Why? Because when someone can walk into a job from no experience with only a few months of training, it means you are easily replaceable. When you are easily replaceable, you'll never earn a decent wage. There is no shortage of people dreaming to do the job. There was a shortage of experienced pilots. With furloughs, not so much these days. When the barriers to entry are higher, only those who are dedicated and experienced(and sometimes lucky) will hang around, thus the bar would be raised. If you decide to stick with flying for a living, you'd be better off in the long run if the above happens.

Nobody can predict the cycle, this industry is FUBAR.
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Old 08-10-2008, 11:59 AM   #3  
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I agree with Slice. Don't think about trying to squeeze into the regionals with the bare-bones minimums. Think about how you can set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd. Better yourself. Instruct, banner tow, give aerial tours, and most importantly NETWORK!!! Pad that resume. Gain that valuable life experience that is necessary to excel at the next level. You won't regret getting your hands a little dirty in the beginning.
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Old 08-10-2008, 12:09 PM   #4  
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NW727, listen to Slice and Laxrox43, they know what they're talking about and I completely agree with them. There's not too much I can add and most everyone who adds to this thread will add the same info just with different points.

Good luck and enjoy the journey.

Last edited by JetJock16; 08-10-2008 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 08-10-2008, 12:46 PM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northwest727 View Post
I'm sorry if this has been discussed before...I'm a n00b.

Anyways, as you know, the pilot shortage came to a screeching halt in about March. I once overheard someone say that there is a "6 year cycle" as to these pilot shortages. Is that true?

I am just worried as I am a junior in college, and in 2 years, I will graduate and be ready for the regionals, and I hope I will be able to find a job, or at least land a job with the once-low minimums of yesteryear.
A few low time guys aren't going to change pay rates for everyone else, the companies choose to do that. Look around the world, you can get a job fly a 73 or 74 with 200 hours yet you're still paid well. If you have 1500 TT it's more prudent that you get that TPIC faster vs 500 when you know qol will mean a lot more.

This whole thing is in relation to the uncertainties at the Majors because of oil prices. I have a feeling once things calm down, we'll likely see minimums we've never seen before, no one is dumb enough to become a comm pilot now. I strongly suggest you do something else though.
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Old 08-10-2008, 01:06 PM   #6  
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It is impossible to have a strategy or a plan within an industy that is so unpredictable. The most important and wise thing to do at your stage is to make sure while you are pursueing your dream to become a pilot, that you have a back up career. Make it something that is not cyclical with the economy. Also, try to avoid debt while you are in training. CFI and regioanl FO pay will be tough to survive on if you have a mountain of debt.

Also determine what is important to you because you will have to make some tough decisions about sacrificing QOL for a job. Some pilots are willing to do it, and others are not. Of course you can get to the shiny jets faster if you make bigger sacrifices but it is not always the best route to go. There is nothing wrong with holding out at a CFI job to get more hours to go to the regional of your choice. Just plan on instructing up to about 1500 to 2000 hours but look for other options if you feel ready to move on.

Keep in touch with as many pilots as you can. You never know when that will help you in the end. It has proven true many times over for me. Also, be professional to all pilots you meet because you never know when that person will be on your interview board, your captain for a 5 day trip, or even worse, the check airman at your first job. Even your peers at your flight school. Aviation is a small community and don't burn bridges.

Last edited by kersplatt; 08-10-2008 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 08-10-2008, 01:12 PM   #7  
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Northwest727: Before this thread becomes about how many hours you need to fly a jet, I would like to say 2 things. First, in 2 years things we'll be more or less stable, we are in a transition phase where airlines are adjusting to the changes in high energy costs. Some will adjust succesfully and take over the flying from the loosers. I'm guessing there's going to be some hiring in 2 years at the regional level but probably very slowly and still competitive.
Second thing, it's true about your experience, right now your goal is to build up that resume with experience. You should be CFIing right now if you want to graduate with decent times (if you are not already). Also, I would be aiming to have at least 1200TT by the time you graduate, those are the mins to be PIC 135. A job flying light twins overnight could be a great experience and give you an edge among the other 1000s CFIs competing with you for the job. More or less, the cargo and freight industry is going to recover before the pax industry, usually cargo operations have a better chance of passing cost of fuel on their costumers. Just my advice. Good luck and don't stress about it...........
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Old 08-10-2008, 01:18 PM   #8  
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Northwest727: Also, I would be aiming to have at least 1200TT by the time you graduate, those are the mins to be PIC 135. A job flying light twins overnight could be a great experience and give you an edge among the other 1000s CFIs competing with you for the job. More or less, the cargo and freight industry is going to recover before the pax industry, usually cargo operations have a better chance of passing cost of fuel on their costumers. Just my advice. Good luck and don't stress about it...........
Very good advice. When times are tough, cargo usually is doing much better than passengers. There are many well respected 135 operations with turbo props and jets that have sent some of their employees on to the majors without ever carrying passengers before.
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Old 08-10-2008, 01:20 PM   #9  
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Slice, Laxrox43 and JetJock16,

As somebody who doesn't even have a commercial yet, I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who wants hiring minimums to go back up (but not too far up ). When 200hrs is sufficient to get hired, all the clowns who would otherwise have been washed out get in and start working for peanuts- which drags the industry down. I'm working to get my commercial soon, so that I won't miss the next wave!
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Old 08-10-2008, 02:55 PM   #10  
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Instruct for a few years and take advantage of all the foreign students over here at the moment.......
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