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Old 01-08-2009, 09:36 AM   #1  
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Default Great Lakes vs. Flight Express

I am in a bit of a conundrum.

I have an interview with Great Lakes tomorrow but was offered a class date with Flight Express for the 1/16. I need to tell Flight Express ASAP if I can take the date. I won't know from Lake until Monday at the least.

Considering everything would you choose Flight Express or Great Lakes? Great Lakes upgrade would be about a 1.5 years because I'm only 21. If I were with Flight Express I would be building PIC right away but would be about 8 months before I would build twin multi PIC time.

How difficult would it be for me to get a corporate or major airline job with only piston twin time?

Keep in mind that Flight Express would pay twice as much as lakes and they also pay you during training.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:43 AM   #2  
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As a former laker I would have to say it depends on where you live or where you want to live. Sounds like either place would offer great experience but the money would be way better at flight express. All things being equal I would probably do the flight express thing just for the better compensation and probably a better QOL. However to answer the turbin/piston question; Turbine is way better if your looking to check application boxes. But in the end, no one here can make the descision for you. Follow your heart young man and the right door will be obvious
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:49 AM   #3  
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No one can tell you what the right decision would be, but IMHO, I would strongly consider quality of life at both companies as the deciding factor. Hiring will be more or less stagnant over the next 1 to 2 years in the corporate and major airline environment and job security will be precarious at best. I would choose the job that better suits your desires in case you end up putting more time there than planned, but hey, either way you cut the cake, you're working your way up that ladder......
You're young and time is on your side, that is a huge plus. Good luck.
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:50 AM   #4  
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I agree with ovrtake that the decision will have to come solely from you, but from my background, I flew piston twins for Cape Air and gained invaluable experience in IFR flying, flying up to 8 legs a day and building quality pic time before I got picked up by American Eagle and later a corporate gig. Sounds like Flight Express would allow for the same kind of experience, only difference is you would be flying boxes instead of people. Pay and probably QOL would definately put Flight Express in the "plus side" of the column.

In the end, you need to do what you feel will work best for you and your situtation. Good Luck!
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:54 AM   #5  
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Without a doubt, I'd go with Flight Express. You will be paid much more money, and you will be logging PIC time.

Don't count on the upgrade at Great Lakes being even 1.5 yrs. There's no upward movement there (where the heck are the capts going to go in the next year??). Upgrades could (and I bet will) come to a grinding halt.

Turbine time looks good, but PIC time is very valuable and will set you apart from the thousands of low time pilots out there with a few hundred hrs of turbine SIC. Also, if you're looking to go into corp/charter, you'll make a lot more connections on the FBO side of things.
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:58 AM   #6  
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Like I said I'm only 21 so pay and QOL is not a huge factor for me, I could live in my car and be ok (not that I would). I'm just looking at the best "experience" for future jobs. I don't want to be stuck doing piston flying then have to go to regional before I can go anywhere else for a career position.

Is there a way for me to get a job with a major or corporate with only piston time?
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:53 AM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingPirate View Post
Like I said I'm only 21 so pay and QOL is not a huge factor for me, I could live in my car and be ok (not that I would). I'm just looking at the best "experience" for future jobs. I don't want to be stuck doing piston flying then have to go to regional before I can go anywhere else for a career position.

Is there a way for me to get a job with a major or corporate with only piston time?
There's always a way. Knowing the right people is really big in the corporate world. I am in the running for a corporate gig and can tell you that I am being considered for the job over somebody with much higher time than me simply because I have the internal recommendation and the fact that I have SIC jet time. I think both jobs would make you a great stick and you'd enjoy either one. One thing to consider (and I'm sure I'll get slammed for saying this) is the washout rate at Lakes. I'm not saying you're a bad pilot and can't handle it because I don't know you. It's just something to consider. The training is tough there but I don't know how tough Flight Express training is.

Anyway, best of luck. I've got the Lakes interview next Friday and would love to hear any gouge from your interview.
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:02 AM   #8  
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There are still plans for continued expansion at Lakes with more airplanes and continued upgrades. So, I would say if you were close to 1500TT, and close to 23 years old, Lakes would be a great gamble for you. You could sneak in here, and easily upgrade within 3-4 months. Upgrades are probably going to continue into the near future. But, with your situation (not being close to 23), I think sitting right seat for 1.5 years would not be a good move, and too much of a gamble. I think the expansion will catch up with the lack of attrition within the period of 1.5 years, and you may get stuck in the right seat at Lakes. That is no where anyone wants to get stuck, especially when no one else is hiring. People come to Lakes for the upgrade. I think PIC multi-piston is about as good as SIC-turbine, as far as where it will take you in your continued career growth. Because the two different flight times will be viewed equally, I would shoot for the better quality of life. Maybe the SIC-turbine would help in meeting insurance requirements in the corporate or charter world, I'm not sure. But, in the 121 world, it won't do much for you, except to maybe help you make a lateral move to a different regional. Just my opinion...

Last edited by 1900luxuryliner; 01-08-2009 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 01-08-2009, 01:52 PM   #9  
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IMO go with Flight Express! I was your sitution two years ago. I went and flew 135 for about 6mo. and then made the jump to 121 and it really set me up to be a better pilot in training and on the flight line. Also single pilot 135 will really put some hair on your chest. Good Luck.
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:12 PM   #10  
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To answer your question about the majors at least, no major will hire you without turbine time. Most majors won't even hire you unless you have PIC multi turbine time.
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