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Guest avallillo

Flying Professionally

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Who in here flies professionally? It has always been my dream to get paid to fly, I always wanted to be an airline pilot. However, I quickly realized that it was most likely not possible, seeing as I'm not made of money.So I got to thinking, what about some kind of job flying small a/c? Maybe some kind of charter or really small airline. Anything that requires a cert that's cheaper than selling my kidney to be certified on a CRJ or some such.Does anyone have that kind of job? If so how did you get to where you are now? This question goes for all who fly professionally; how did you end up where you are?

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>Who in here flies professionally? It has always been my dream>to get paid to fly, I always wanted to be an airline pilot.>However, I quickly realized that it was most likely not>possible, seeing as I'm not made of money.>>So I got to thinking, what about some kind of job flying small>a/c? Maybe some kind of charter or really small airline.>Anything that requires a cert that's cheaper than selling my>kidney to be certified on a CRJ or some such.>>Does anyone have that kind of job? If so how did you get to>where you are now? This question goes for all who fly>professionally; how did you end up where you are?you do not need to spend billions to make hundreds as an airline pilot. do not believe all those silly ads you see in flying magazine. i got my first airline job after spending $24,000 total on my fligh training (close to 400hrs / 150 multi). i then instructed for a year and earned close to that amount back. i flew checks in a small/medium sized twin (seneca ii and cessna 402).you do not need to be certified in a CRJ before interviewing at an airline. the simulator time these "schools" sell is basically WORTHLESS. so you learn a little about the CRJ? big deal, you still go through the same ground school as EVERYONE else. you still will go through the SAME simulator training as EVERYONE else.goto college, get a nice degree. if you can afford to fly, then start out. if not, use your degree to get a nice job. then you can start flying. by 25 you'll be well on your way.

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Thanks, that's encouraging. I'm 2 years into my BA right now, so in another two I'll be done with my degree. I hope to start flying lessons sometime soon.I've been kind of misled by the school I go to, I guess. They have an aviation program that takes you from no experience to a supposed "guaranteed regional airline interview" (Probably with Horizon, I'm in the Seattle area). However, it costs $52,000 plus normal BA tuition and room/board. So it ends up being alot. I guess that kind of made me think I had to be rich.

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I have two friend who fly profesionally. They took very different paths. The fist was hired by Aer Lingus without having ever flown an aircraft. Yep, that's right, he never flew an aircraft at all, and was hired to be a pilot. This still amazes me. Of course, he had a Masters degree in Electrical Engineeing, and is a lot smarter than I am. They spent the money to train him (and he didn't make a lot of money at that time either). After that, he underwent some sort of training programme where he did a lot of things except flying passengers around. By the time he became an actual pilot, he had invested a lot of time with the company, and they had invested a lot of training in him. I guess that due to his educational backgound, they determined he was a good risk, and I think that there was some sort of clause in his contract that he had to repay if he left the company, etc. Even today though, he claims he could have made more money working as an engineer, based on other offers he had at the time, and he is quick to point out the slow progression he faced as a pilot. The second took the "traditional" path of spending lots of money to go to flying school, and hoping to get recruited by an airline. Most of the money he spent wasn't on actual lessons, but was on buying flying time to get his hours up for his CPL. He spent close to $50,000, if not more (that's all he'll admit). And he went deep into debt on student loans, plus he borrowed some money from his parents. He hit a snag when his school went belly-up, but he was able to transfer to another school with few problems. Eventually, he finished his training, and then found a job with a regional airline flying Dash-8s, for which he had to relocate for. He says he doesn't make as much money as the flight school promised (due to lack of seniority - doesn't get many flights), and he doesn't feel secure in his position, but he still loves it.I'm sure this would be a dream job for most of us, but make sure you have something to fall back on, just in case.*Edit - actually I have another friend who flys for a living - in the military. I guess this is a no-cost option too. He had to commit to 9 years "commisioned".- Martin

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I've thought about the military here, but last time I checked you weren't guaranteed a flight position when you joined, and it was an 11 year contract. From what I understand, it's a gamble. My grandfather was a USAF pilot, and he always reccommended that I join, but I think it's a little harder to get a pilot position now that it was when he joined during WWII. He was 19 years old, and they basically picked him off the street and asked "You want to fly B-29s?" and that was it. He was the youngest B-29 pilot in the USAF over Germany. He eventually went on to fly KC-135s and KC-10s.

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Hmmmm. Your grandfather was 19 years old when he joined in WW II, which would make him at least 55 years old and six years past a mandatory 30-year retirement when the KC-10 first entered service in 1981. ????Bob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Santiago de Chile

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Well, I thought he flew them anyway. That's what my dad always told me. He was 19 when he became a pilot, and that was at the very end of the war in Europe. I don't know all the particulars of his carreer, just what I've been told. He didn't talk about it too much when he was alive. He showed me some pictures and stuff, but they were all from the Korea-Vietnam era. If the KC-10 entered service in '81, he may have still been flying.

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Thanks for the link, I'll have a look.

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The short version:Got my Private Pilot certificate when I was 19.Went to college for 3 years for economics before I realized I would die of boredom if I pursued that path.Transfered to Embry Riddle as a NON-flight student. Tuition for NON-flight students is pretty much in-line with out of state tuition for any college. Spent 2 1/2 years there, graduated with a B.S. Aerospace Studies.Graduated in Fall of 95, went to Myrtle Beach, got a job pumping gas on the line at an FBO there. Not the greatest job for a colllege grad..but I loved every minute of it. Just being around the airplanes was inspiring. Every payday, I'd give back about 80% of my check to the FBO for flight lessons. Got my instrument, commercial, CFI, CFII over the course of about 2 years. The hardest part was getting the 250 hours for the commercial..you just have to fork over the dough and keep plugging away. The CFI was the ticket to at least making a living wage flying.Couple years later a guy from a corporate flight department in Charlotte offered me a job flying Citations in Charlotte. Did that for 2 years, then jumped to my current job, flying air ambulance in 3 B200s and a Citation V. Been there about 7 years..and will probably never leave. Love the job.Good luck..you can do it..if you can make the initial sacrifices and really *love* aviation... And my advice...don't go fly for a commuter for 19K a year. That just nuts.BeachAV8R

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Assuming that you are an American you might want to look into the U.S. Army Warrant Officer Flight Training Program. If you get accepted and do not wash out of the training you are guaranteed a spot as a helicopter pilot. After you have been in for a while you can apply to fly fixed wing stuff.

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>Assuming that you are an American you might want to look into>the U.S. Army Warrant Officer Flight Training Program. If you>get accepted and do not wash out of the training you are>guaranteed a spot as a helicopter pilot. After you have been>in for a while you can apply to fly fixed wing stuff.you can also look at the air national guard. there you will have a guaranteed pilot slot if you interview for one.the guy who flew citations in charlotte....who did you fly them for? i instructed at KJQF and a lot of my friends fly corporate in KCLT and for the race teams.

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That might have been true in the past, but with airlines falling left and right and thousands if not tens of thousands of applicants for every opening, you don't stand a chance of getting hired these days until you have at least a type rating on the relevant type or something very close to it.For example Transavia Airlines won't hire anyone as a pilot or first officer who doesn't hold a 737NG rating, and even flight attendants will have a tough time getting hired unless they have experience on type.This is now the case for most airlines.

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I flew for TPT Aviation (now known as CottonAir) out of Gastonia (AKH). They are a group of textiles manufacturers and other business in a partnership...we flew a B200, B300, Citation II, Citation V, and a CJ..I've since moved to MedCenter Air out of CLT. I know quite a few of the race team guys and have flown occasionally on the side for Rusty and Mike Wallace...JQF has really exploded in the past 10 years..Regards..BeachAV8R

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Things have changed a great deal since I joined the USAF in 1971, and used the military track to eventually qualify for a job at American Airlines in 1977. But the basic career paths are still there, and in many ways the opportunities are much more evenly spread across the spectrum of qualifications these days.In 1976, when I started to apply to the airlines, 9 out of every 10 new hires was a former military pilot. This had been true since the 1960's at the major airlines. Only at the local service airlines were opportunities more frequent for the non-military pilot. By around 1984, after deregulation, things reversed for awhile - 9 of 10 were non military. The last time we hired, in the late '90's up until 9/11, the mix was about even, 50/50. So it is fair to say that opportunities for non-military pilots have improved considerably since deregulation. Of the two major paths, the military path still has some attractive elements, not least of which is that you get paid to learn and gain experience, rather than pay to do that! And the pay is much better than it ever was! Today, an Air Force pilot at the 12 year point, when he or she is now eligible to leave the service, will take a big pay cut to hire on with just about any airline, and may not catch up, pay-wise, for some years. This is why some pilots now try to get a full 20 year career in with a military service, and then retire and try to work for an airline. This way, they already have retirement pay adding to the nowadays rather meager starting pay, especially at a lowcost airline or regional. A pilot aged 42 or so is no longer the anathema that he once was, and the experience is valuable. Military pilots fly the most advanced airplanes in the world.Of course you might just be getting shot at while you are flying that advanced airplane, to say nothing of doing some shooting yourself. Some take to that, others may not. But it is something to consider. And even as a trash hauler, I hauled more than a few items of ordnance on the first leg of their journey to a target!I'll let others, who have actually trodden the path of the civilian route, describe the trials and tribulations of that ordeal. Suffice to say that a lot of money goes down the drain, to say nothing of the even greater amount of money you could be earning in some more rewarding pursuit! Flying, even at the airline level nowadays, is no longer as lucrative as it once was, nor is the airline job the sinecure that it had become toward the end of the regulated era. A pilot spends more time away from home today than ever before. So if you think that flying is a way to get rich, think again!On the other hand, airline flying can still be a great deal of fun. I just got back from Rome yesterday. That sort of thing has a value all its' own. If you like to fly airplanes, and are willling to accept the career probabilities of the modern commercial flying world, then I urge you to follow the dream. It will always be a decent way to make a living, and getting paid to do what you like to do is about as good as labor gets!Having said all of that, it is not a bad idea to spring a few bucks for one or the other of the various pilot career counseling services. I myself tried one last year, when it seemed possible that early retirement might force an end to the airline career. They have an enormous amount of information about which airlines are hiring, and more importantly what the qualifications of the successful applicants are. This is the key - who are they actually hiring? And, of course, what do they ask in the interview! This is a lot more than any of us knew back in 1976, when I was interviewing!Keep your ear to the ground at your local airports. At the entry levels, flying jobs are as much about hearsay and networking as anything else. Always be looking around and talking to other pilots. Who knows, that Learjet pilot you talk to may just be on her way to Continental, and the seat may be about to become available! This sort of personal networking has been emphasized time and again by my copilots who came up the "hard way".I would be checking very carefully about that RJ course that "guarantees" an interview. Interviews are easy to promise - how many of those free interviewees actually got hired? That is a statistic you need to have and carefully consider before ponying up around 50 grand. Besides, the bloom may be about to come off the RJ rose. Those little dinks are the most expensive airplanes in the world on a seat-mile basis, and the major airlines are apparently beginning to take a hard look at the arrangements that have been in place up to nowwith the regional partners. That may not bode as well for the regionals. One thing you may have going for you -- it will be several years, at a minimum, before any major airline except Continental does any hiring. So you will be able to build time without having thousands of pilots hiring on ahead of you. Try to position yourself to have several thousand hours of multi engine PIC, preferably turbine, by around 2009. And Good Luck!Tony Vallillo

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