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Guest CRJ700FO

From PPL to freight dawg?

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How possible is it to go from getting a PPL and whatever other required certificates to getting a job with some small freighter outfit, maybe flying cessnas, or FO of a 1900c or something. Are there any smaller companies that will hire you right away, or do all of them look for 500-1200 hrs? So my only choices would either be, buy all of my time or become a CFI first?Thanks

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>How possible is it to go from getting a PPL and whatever>other required certificates to getting a job with some small>freighter outfit, maybe flying cessnas, or FO of a 1900c or>something. Are there any smaller companies that will hire you>right away, or do all of them look for 500-1200 hrs? So my>only choices would either be, buy all of my time or become a>CFI first?most fly under part 135 and thus need 135 mins (notably 1200 TT). some companies have some SIC programs (Airnet is one i can think of).get your instrument and commercial. from there CFI and instruct. you will learn 10x more teaching than simply flying around.

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Thanks for the reply. WHat is a SIC program? and what do you think about something like paying to be in the right seat, Ive read that a few companies like Alpine Air have those programs. is that what a SIC program is?Personally I dont have the time to go through being a CFI for a few years making minimum wage if Im lucky. but I might have to if it is the best way

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"Personally I dont have the time to go through being a CFI for a few years making minimum wage"Your going to have to pay your dues like everyone else. The pay isn't going to be any better in a SIC program. It most likely will be worse. Be careful what your getting yourself into. The industry is in BAD shape right now. There are worried about suicide now at some airlines If that says anything....

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I understand that, but I also am not out to make 100k+ a year like those pilots are. I would be happy flying for Mountain Air in a C208. The problem is, they want 1200+ TT just to look at me. I know about paying dues, Ive gone through it in my profession, but I was wondering whether there was another route besides being a CFI.

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At current: no, unless maybe by going through the airforce as a freighter pilot (but IMO that's all the wrong reasons to join the military).And in the current market the CFI route will be a tough one.With droves of experienced pilots out of work and willing to work for peanuts why would any company hire a rookie straight out of basic instruction and spend the money to train him?Especially as 99% of those rookies are only interested in your company as a way to build up hours until they catch the eye of a recruiter for a major airline...

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Big Al,There are alternatives to instructing, though, in my experience, instructing (especially instrument instructing) is valuable for building your skills. Some of the alternatives to instructing are:Banner towingTraffic watch pilotGlider towingParachute jump pilotWhen you go to a 135 operator for a job, you need to be a proficient instrument pilot. The company will train you on their equipment, but most operators haven't the time or money to teach you to fly a non-precision approach to minimums, enter a holding pattern, copy a clearance, or talk on the the radio, or find your way around an unfamiliar airport in a single-pilot environment. If you make it past the interview and through the initial 135 check ride, you may still wash out of initial operating experience if you aren't able to pull your weight.Banner towing, traffic watch, glider towing, and parachute jumping have little to do with IFR flying. They might get you the required number of hours, but they probably won't provide you the proficiency you'll need.Being an instrument instructor is an excellent way to solidify your own instrument flying skills. None of these jobs pay much, but instructing can do more to improve your skills than the other jobs.The freight dog life is not glamorous. Long nights, early morning show times, bad weather, flying alone under schedule pressure. Not everyone is cut out for this type of work.John

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>Thanks for the reply. WHat is a SIC program? and what do you>think about something like paying to be in the right seat, Ive>read that a few companies like Alpine Air have those programs.>is that what a SIC program is?>>Personally I dont have the time to go through being a CFI for>a few years making minimum wage if Im lucky. but I might have>to if it is the best wayno one has the "time", but it's called paying your dues.do NOT pay to sit in the right seat, if you do not have to.there are vfr 135 mins. there are also some night and x-country limits. please check this link for the totals (note 135 x-country time is different from what you normally think of as x-country, ie 50nm away. 135 is basically taking off from one airport and landing at a different one can be x-country).http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-....5.11.2&idno=14instruct is the BEST method. you will learn a lot. you will learn rudimentary CRM skills. instruct instrument students as if you want that C208 job you will be expected to fly into minimums ALL the time. you will be expected to fly into bad weather and icing also. 1000 hours of dual given would put you over 1200 TT.what school did you goto to obtain your private/instrument/commercial?

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The biggest reason why most people instruct is because they are at a school that has a twin. They can mark time by doing that because it's a lot cheaper than paying for that twin time. Most times they can fly it for free or at a reduced rate.The next biggest reason is it's the easiest and cheapest route to build up that total time along with that oh so elusive mutli/turbine time that you're going to need also.It usually about 1500 total time with 500 mutli/turbine on average, that you need to get looked at.Instructing means that you are also in contact with everyone on the field. Alot of instructors will get to pick up time helping to "ferry" or SIC (second in command) in jets and anything else on the field.

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I understand about paying dues, and how good instructing is... but I think asking people to work at a job making below the poverty level is flat out outrageous. it reminds me of working in show business... where they asked me to work OT without pay, over 40 more hours a week sometimes. and it was "pay your dues"I would have no problem instructing if it paid even a LITTLE above poverty, but I just find it sad how many people are willing to be taken advantage of in all levels of this business.I guess being a pilot will always be a dream, until I can afford my own little plane

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That's been the longest running conversation piece of the business. It's also the most ironic, but that's the way it is. There are a lot of other professions which are similar in nature.

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It's that way in any business where there are many many people for each job.It's an employers' market, meaning the lowest bidder gets the contract.Far worse IMO is that the system puts people in the role of flight instructor who aren't the least interested in giving instruction or teaching others to fly but only are counting the hours until they have enough time logged to land a job at an airline.

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Big Al,It is possible to flight instruct and make a living wage - well, nearly a living wage. I did it full time for several years. I still instruct part-time to supplement my paltry 135 salary and to keep my instructing chops.There are people out there who will take advantage of starving CFIs, but there are ways to set your own rate and not pay a percentage to an FBO. You have to be creative and persistent.If you are really motivated to fly for a living, you'll find a way to make it happen, regardless of what the naysayers say.John

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>I understand about paying dues, and how good instructing>is... but I think asking people to work at a job making below>the poverty level is flat out outrageous. it reminds me of>working in show business... where they asked me to work OT>without pay, over 40 more hours a week sometimes. and it was>"pay your dues">>I would have no problem instructing if it paid even a LITTLE>above poverty, but I just find it sad how many people are>willing to be taken advantage of in all levels of this>business.>>I guess being a pilot will always be a dream, until I can>afford my own little planewhat makes you think that life after instructing you will make above the poverty level? seen the regional fo rates?i made good money instructing, $19/flt hr and $19/hr ground. teach a ground school for a written exam (more than 10 students) for 6 nights, 3 hrs each class and i received 70% of the cut from the school (each at $150 apiece). i made a lot more instructing than my first 135 job or my first year at a regional.the key right now is flight time. get as much as fast as you can. once you are over 1200tt then concentrate on what you need next. get to know the 135 operators near you and network. aviation is a business about WHO you know rather than WHAT you know.

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