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WatchThis! 07-10-2005 02:06 AM

Riddle CAPT program grads
Can anyone tell me what would cause a person to spend about $75,000 to get a job that pays $24/hour? Unreal.


Three Piedmont first officers are a first for Embry-Riddle's CAPT program

ERAU Press Release
July 10, 2005

Daytona Beach, Fla., June 23, 2005 -- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has placed three graduates of its Commercial Airline Pilot Training (CAPT) program as first officers at Salisbury, Md.-based Piedmont Airlines -- another milestone for the program.

Hillary Breen, Marcus Iammatteo, and Britton Tabor were signed on as first officers by Piedmont shortly after they graduated from the full-immersion program, which trains individuals with no flight experience to the highest standards of the commercial airline industry. Piedmont carries more than three million passengers a year to 49 destinations in the eastern United States, Canada, and the Bahamas with a fleet of 55 deHavilland DHC-8 aircraft.

The three graduates are completing their initial line operating experience with Piedmont and will soon finish qualifying for line flying out of the airline’s New York LaGuardia pilot base.

“We are extremely pleased with the addition of Piedmont Airlines to the list of employers hiring CAPT graduates,” said Gary Morrison, CAPT’s program manager. “We are confident that these three pilots will be successful in their new careers and will make excellent employees for Piedmont.”

Piedmont hired Breen, Iammatteo, and Tabor just after they completed the CAPT Program’s demanding jet airliner DC-9 series type-rating course. The course teaches airline operations skills and expert knowledge about complex jet transport category operations in an airline environment. Training in the Boeing MD-90, a Level-D simulator with modern “glass-cockpit” displays, full-fidelity visual systems, and six-axis motion capabilities, is recognized by the FAA as jet aircraft time. CAPT cadets log at least 100 hours of flight time and gain experience in pilot-in-command and second-in-command positions while earning their DC-9 series FAR Part 61 type rating.

Hillary Breen, from northern Virginia, graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. The daughter of a Navy pilot, she worked as a reservations and gate agent for United Airlines and a flight attendant for American Airlines before achieving her dream job: professional pilot.

Marcus Iammatteo, originally from Holmdel, N.J., was stationed at Kaneohe Marine Corps Base in Hawaii, where he was a helicopter mechanic. After his discharge, he earned a bachelor degree in professional aeronautics from Embry-Riddle and was completing a graduate degree in aeronautical science when he discovered the CAPT Program.

Britton Tabor, a native of Honolulu, Hawaii, was completing a master’s in theater at the University of North Carolina when the flying bug bit him. After completing the CAPT Program, he worked briefly as a flight instructor at Wilgrove Aviation in Charlotte, N.C., before being hired by Piedmont Airlines.

fr8tmastr 07-10-2005 07:00 PM

Please tell me this is some kind of flame bait?

WatchThis! 07-10-2005 10:29 PM

Originally Posted by fr8tmastr
Please tell me this is some kind of flame bait?

No, it's not, sorry to offend as that's not my intention. I do wonder what CAPT and other similar programs tell potential buyers about the state of the industry and what kind career earnings they might expect as a graduate of such a program. They finish $75,000 later with a few ratings but no real experience. So how many years at the regionals to get some PIC time while they pay back the student loans and try to eek out any kind of life?

This is not a dig at the buyers, they are big boys and girls and decided that going into debt is right for them. I'm really cynical of profiteers exploiting the dream of flying that some of these guys and gals have.

I have a hard time understanding the thought process when you do the math.

Figure $24 hour at an 85 hour month is about $1850 after federal taxes (11%), don't even mention FICA, Health care, or States taxes.

Also consider about $75,000 to finish the program (I'm told that's low) at 20% down would leave $60,000 to finance. The risk of default is high, so the interest rate is also going to be high. Using $60K at 10 years with 10% interest will cost around $800 per month.

So again, help me understand. Why would someone go through this to live off of maybe $12K per year for several years? Sincerely, I just don't understand. The industry has changed, paying ones dues to get that big job at the majors isn't worth it anymore.

capt.Longthrust 07-13-2005 10:58 AM

Very good point. Also I am not flaming, but take this a step farther. US Airways goes belly up and then what happens to Piedmont? They furlough or go out of business and now what do these guys and girls have to look forward to? With no experience and a pile of debt, the options are limited. I think as long as there are airplanes in the sky there will be some school trying to sucker people into their "dream" job. Just read any avaition magazine and you see the bs pitch these people throw........"Be a commercial jet pilot in 90 days ect." I am shocked that there have not been more lawsuits over this kind of thing. Actually kind of sad.

Av8trxx 07-17-2005 11:19 AM

What ever happened the website??? Were they forced to take it down by ERAUs lawyers?

Rama 07-21-2005 10:13 AM

I hate to see people throw that kind of money at such a low-paying job. The worst thing is rushing people into airline jobs so that the experience pool gets thinned out. You get a future where low-timers are flying you're family around.

jetlink1175 08-06-2005 11:18 AM

The last guy mentioned in the article is Britton Tabor. This guy was a dispatcher at my old flight school in Oregon.

The question was asked prior to the posting of the article: Can anyone tell me what would cause a person to spend about $75,000 to get a job that pays $24/hour? I can now honestly answer that question. Mr. Tabor had a whole lotta mommy & daddy's moola and was convined that HE would not be a CFI. I'm generally a pretty nice guy, but honestly, I've gotta call a spade a spade. This guy and people like him are the reason outfits like Gulfstream Airlines are around. The funny thing here is that if he had skipped the CAPT program and just become a CFI, his odds of getting a job at Piedmont would be about the same.

avbug 08-06-2005 06:31 PM

Originally Posted by Rama
I hate to see people throw that kind of money at such a low-paying job. The worst thing is rushing people into airline jobs so that the experience pool gets thinned out. You get a future where low-timers are flying you're family around.

First, Rama, great series of books!

Second, define lowtime?

jetlink1175 08-08-2005 07:34 PM

Originally Posted by Brown Cow
Having completed a course with 100 hours in the sim on a DC-9 will give a pilot a much better perspective on what it takes to fly for an airline.

Seriously? Really? Exactly who is going to programs like these? Newer pilots who need experience. Where does that come from?? It comes from flying yourself & friends on trips, being a CFI, towing banners, dropping jumpers, freight doggin etc. How does 100 hours in a MD-90 simulator help these people? What "perspective" are they really getting? Newer pilots need to develop their aviation & decision making skills. They need to test their boundaries, maybe make a few unwise decisions and learn from them. An occasional scare does more to teach a pilot then repeatedly running approaches in a simulator. Furthermore, there isn't anything they can do in a sim to fake the 5th leg of a 4day trip on day number 3. Passengers in bad moods, awful weather, ground stops, re-routes, physical and mental exhaustion. The list goes on. That "perspective" comes from doing the job.

Originally Posted by Brown Cow
Flying 1-2 years in a Dash 8 does not even remotely afford you the right to be called professional. Being a Captain on that 8 after a few years means you are a professional.

So I guess for those years you're logging SIC time, you should really be called a sandbag? It's a miracle they even let me sit in the seat. Maybe one day, I too will be a jet captain. Then, finally my wife can tell her friends that she's married to a "professional".

It seems like your perspective may be askew.

dhc8fo 08-09-2005 04:59 AM

As a five year FO (NOT by choice), I agree with Jetlink.

Am I still NOT a professional pilot because my company hasn't afforded me any upgrade opportunity?? Even though I met the minimum requirments to upgrade when I was first hired (which is 3,000 hours by the way)???

Or, does it mean that the little punk whose airline stole our flying by contract and who got to upgrade right at 1500 hours IS a professional???

If you think flying in a SIM makes someone more professional than actual line flying, then YOU need perspective!

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