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Old 09-29-2009, 08:58 AM   #1  
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Default My theory on the regional roll of the dice

Regionals are a gamble most of us are taking at some point in our aviation careers. You make the best choice you can to get where you want to go in the future, be it a major or perhaps a regional career in city XYZ. We all weighed possible future benefits against immediate gratification. Some guys did more research than others and each put a different premium on QOL they'd have for the next five-ish years of their career. The following is a quick overview of a few paths I've seen taken and my thoughts on them.

Of my circle of acquaintances, I had a high time (2,500 TT) friend go to Colgan for the quick upgrade, a mid timer (1,200TT with a bunch of turbine) go to AWAC because of the contract and a specific base, a few lower time guys who waited to hit 1,000 hours to apply to SKW and Republic, and then a whole slew of guys who got whatever the magic number was back in 2006/2007 and went to PSA, ASA, XJT or whomever.

Fast forward to now, the Colgan guy has 1500 PIC turbine under his belt and is in a pool with a great airline but does a 2 leg commute for four days of locals, the Republic guy is a line holding captain on the ERJ, one SKW guy passed upgrade and is now sitting bitter out in SLC while another guy junior to him is a Brasilia reserve CA in FAT (also slightly annoyed albeit thankful). My ASA buddies went there after it was bought by SKW and some complain about being the red-headed step child while others are just glad they aren't getting the Comair treatment. The PSA guy got awarded upgrade but his class got canceled and of the XJT guys, one was furloughed after 2 years of longevity and the other is hanging on to his line with no sight of upward movement.

Point being that "regional envy" is quite common but usually we have no one but ourselves to blame for our situation. If I had interviewed with Republic instead of SKW, I'd be an ERJ CA instead of an FO. Sometimes I think that would have been a better move, but when I was regional shopping I decided that living in California was more important to me; it may bite me in the butt when 2012 comes around and I'm just getting my 1000 PIC while other buddies have better resumes. Conversely I could have gone to XJT and be on reserve (at the time they were just as viable as SKW, but I had heard their relationship with CAL has been souring since the split).

I'm not saying regional envy is a bad or unnatural thing, but the next time you see a guy at XYZ airline and feel that little twinge of frustration, remember to take a little bit of responsibility for your situation after you secretly make fun of his haircut

Safe flying guys and girls. 2012 can't come soon enough.
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:03 AM   #2  
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You sir have just hit it on the head. Good read without a doubt and I recommend it to everyone whether they have made the leap or are waiting for hiring to pick up.
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:05 AM   #3  
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I'm confused. You state the different paths all your friends took that were determined by the fates of the various regionals, then go on to state to take personal responsibility.

A friend of mine got hired on to CHQ 1 month before I got hired on to TSA. He had a few hundred hours more than me and met their minimums at the time, and I was just a tad short struggling in a slowly decaying flight school.

Fast forward, I am on the street and he's probably a fairly comfortable FO still.

You roll the dice and take what you get whether you like it or not.

Looking back, had I known what I know now, I would have "tried" to instruct for another couple months, then put in my stuff with CHQ or RP. That would have worked out better. We can monday morning QB all day, but the cards do not fall the way they fall until after they've fallen.

Part of my plan was potentially to work for TSA, get 500 hours or so turbine, then jump to another carrier. Then, NO ONE was hiring. I've been able to log over 1,000 before the end, so maybe I'll get my wish - just further along in life than I thought.

Oh well.
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:29 AM   #4  
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We will all know if we made the right choice on the day we turn 65(or maybe it will be 95 by then!)
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:31 AM   #5  
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Definitely some good thoughts. Hindsight is allllways 20/20.
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:38 AM   #6  
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If you chose to go work for an airline that relies on bidding their work then you get what you deserve.... those airlines exist solely to allow the whipsawing of the wholly owned ones.
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:09 AM   #7  
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You can never go wrong in going to a bottom feeding airline. Unless it's Mesa, although they got theirs the last 5 years.
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:23 AM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mason32 View Post
If you chose to go work for an airline that relies on bidding their work then you get what you deserve.... those airlines exist solely to allow the whipsawing of the wholly owned ones.
So no one should go to work for a contract carrier? But wholly-owneds exist only to take flying from mainline, right? And for a lot less money at that...
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:54 AM   #9  
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Good post. My question is this: A 25 yr-old-ish new professional pilot would now be looking forward to a 40 year career or so. Just how important is QOL for the first five to seven years?
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:09 AM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WEACLRS View Post
Good post. My question is this: A 25 yr-old-ish new professional pilot would now be looking forward to a 40 year career or so. Just how important is QOL for the first five to seven years?
Thats the big question. How do you know that QOL you have for the first 5-7 years wont be the same as 7-15yrs? If you told me I only had to work at Mesa for 5 years, then I would be guaranteed to be put on any mainline carrier seniority list I would love that. If you told me I had to work at Mesa for 15 years then get put at the mainline carrier then I wouldnt be so sure...
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