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Posted: 4/17/2002 8:01:21 AM EDT
I know there are some professional pilots on this board, so I thought I'd post this here. Would you see now as a good time to start training for a career with the airlines? I have a degree in business IS and currently have a well paying job. I know that flight school is expensive, and I have no formal flight background. Once you begin the phase of flight instruction to build up your hours for ATP, how much money can you make? Anyone know what the average salary for regional airline pilots is (Comair, etc.)? What is the overall average salary for ATPs? Also, how old is "too old" to consider entering this profession? Thanks, Chimborazo
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 8:52:01 AM EDT
As an Aviation Major, I know a little about the industry, but I am no expert. I am attending the University of North Dakota and just got my Commercial Pilot certificate. To answer a few of your questions: The best time to start training for the airlines it yesterday! You can never start too soon. If you are real serious about flying for a living, call your local airport and start making plans for your Private Pilot License. I had mine before I went to school here, and it really helped. Flight school is very expensive, epecially when you get into multi-engine stuff - paying almost $200/hr for the plane and about $40/hr for the instructor. I think the best way for you to go, is train somewhere that has a good name and is highly regarded by the airlines. Comair has a training facility in FL somewhere I think. Since you already have your degree, I would strongly consider going to someplace like that. I hear they hire 97% of their pilots that go through the program. When you get a job with a commuter or larger airline, plan on flying the puddle jumpers first. You will be starting around $30k/yr if you're lucky. Within 10 years of being hired, you will be making quite a bit more. I am no expert, so I cant give you definate numbers. As far as being too old, thats up to you. I know a gentelman getting his Commercial Aviation Degree here that is in his 40's. I have a good buddy that is 30 that just completed his training as is hanging out for a job. The only tip I have for you, is to hang out where the airlines look for pilots. When you finish your training, see if you can get a CFI job at U of North Dakota, Embry Riddle, Purdue Aviation, someplace like that. The airlines look there FIRST. Piedmont just interviewed 30 of our instructors and are taking 29 of them. The industry is getting more attractive for us propheads, so START NOW!
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 9:12:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/17/2002 9:12:40 AM EDT by Chimborazo]
Congrats on your recent certificate. I was looking at Comair...I might go for a tour when I can get a day off. I'm only 27, but I'm not sure how the airlines like to hire. I guess I was wondering if they would hire somebody my age but only if I had recreational flight experience before entering a full length program. Also, can you get student loans for places like Comair Academy? Edited to add: Thanks for the response!
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 9:18:26 AM EDT
i cant wait to go fly for a career! unfortunatly i am still 17
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 9:32:10 AM EDT
I've been thinking lately about learning to fly helicopters. Is the process much different from planes? Does it take longer, cost more, harder to do?
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 9:36:25 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Malpaso: I've been thinking lately about learning to fly helicopters. Is the process much different from planes? Does it take longer, cost more, harder to do?
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I believe it is more expensive because of rental. I'm not suure how long it takes though or what the FAA requires. As far as difficulty goes, I've been told that the learning curve is high because it takes a while to get used to manipulating the collective, cyclic, and tail rotor fluidly. Apparently, once it clicks you got it. Take that for what it's worth as I've never flown a helicopter before.
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 9:37:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/17/2002 9:40:47 AM EDT by thee12nv]
About how much does the Comair program cost? How long is it? I have alwasy wondered what it takes to become a news helicopter pilot or EMS pilot- I figured military was the only path to that..Am i wrong Thanks
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 9:49:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By thee12nv: About how much does the Comair program cost? How long is it? I have alwasy wondered what it takes to become a news helicopter pilot or EMS pilot- I figured military was the only path to that..Am i wrong Thanks
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I hope you're wrong! I don't know about costs yet...I've requested information from them so I'll let you know when I get it.
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 10:30:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/17/2002 10:32:37 AM EDT by Chimborazo]
For those interested, I found these links: [url=http://www.acespilotshop.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard//ikonboard.cgi]Ace's Pilot Shop Forums[/url] [url=http://www.calforums.com/calboard/index.php?s=7930d28c1a3536c2f44dde5e3d7a0824]Continental Airlines Forums[/url] Edited to add that the first link seems pretty new...it's really quiet around there.
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 10:33:21 AM EDT
Unfortunately, going military is the only real practical way you will get a decent job as a helicopter pilot. Helos are VERY expensive to rent and operate, and unless you have a lot of $$$$$$ to work with, it will be really hard to do. As for you guys interested in Comair, I think the program is around 30k. Not too cheap. I'm not sure about student loans, but I'm sure that they offer some sort of financing. You can enter the program with ZERO flight experience. I would recommend going the Comair (or the equivalent of) route ONLY if you have your 4 year degree already. If you don't, you are better off going to U of ND, or Embry Riddle Aero Univerisity. You NEED a 4 year degree to be a marketable pilot. At the age of 27, I would say you are not at any disadvantage. Airlines care more about your flight experience and character rather than age. Just don't pussy foot around if you plan on going the Aviation route. The more time you waste thinking about it, the less chance you have. Good luck.
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 10:34:32 AM EDT
[url]www.comairacademy.com[/url]
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 11:08:57 AM EDT
Pretty tough time right now getting a decent flying job. Before Sept. 11, it was a pilots market, now it's just the opposite. I fly a little Cessna Caravan and am glad to have that job right now. Cannot believe the stack of resumes our chief pilot has received since Sept. 11. Lots of furloughed pilots (although they are getting called back little by little) with tons of flight time would all of a sudden wouldn't mind flying a Caravan again. Being a pilot isn't for everybody. Most flying jobs you're away from home quite a bit, which can be hard on a marriage and other things. There is hiring taking place, however. One of our guys got hired on with Comair a couple weeks ago. He'll be flying a Regional Jet (starting pay: $18,000 per year). He was making over 40k as a MetroLiner Captain.....paying your dues in the aviation industry is a fact of life. You HAVE to love to fly in order to stay in it (or too stupid like me to get out of it). vmax84 [img]http://community.webshots.com/rz/r1/0/38/22/17803822xNzhUEVEvn_ph.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 11:12:59 AM EDT
Go here for a few more pics: http://community.webshots.com/user/vmax83 vmax84 Not trying to discourage you about flying. Has a lot of good things as well. Hardest part for me is being gone from my family.
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 11:19:19 AM EDT
Vmax is right, I have a lot of friends that got laid off recently, or damn close to it. The problem with the aviation industry is it is very easily disrupted by the economy, other things like terrorists attacks, and often take a long time to rebound. If you are starting your pilot training now, I think things will be back to normal by the time you start looking into the airlines. I hear things are already starting to look up, and ferloughed (sp?) pilots are starting to be recalled. Give it time, and the industry will be booming again and begging for pilots.
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 11:39:38 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Malpaso: I've been thinking lately about learning to fly helicopters. Is the process much different from planes? Does it take longer, cost more, harder to do?
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it costs more because for every hour a helicopter is up, it has to go in the shop for like at least 4 hours i think. plus the jet A fuel is more $$ not to mention parts when it is being repaired. it is a very $$$$$ investment.
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 11:46:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Citabria7GCBC:
Originally Posted By Malpaso: I've been thinking lately about learning to fly helicopters. Is the process much different from planes? Does it take longer, cost more, harder to do?
View Quote
it costs more because for every hour a helicopter is up, it has to go in the shop for like at least 4 hours i think. plus the jet A fuel is more $$ not to mention parts when it is being repaired. it is a very $$$$$ investment.
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Insurance is a REAL bitch too.
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 12:29:59 PM EDT
VMAX, Do you work for Superior??
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 12:57:43 PM EDT
I take the "fifth" on who I work for (hey, the Enron guys did it, why can't I???!!!), but it wouldn't be too hard to figure out. We haul the UPS next day air in Michigan....that should answer your question. Man, I hope I haven't been too negative on pursueing a flying career....I really enjoy it (even though the Caravan has never been accused of being "sexy, fast, etc.", I really like flying the Caravan and enjoy the type of route/schedule I have. I feel it's better than most flying jobs (although the pay isn't all that great, it is a FUN job for me). Hey, it beats working for a living most of the time!! I would suggest try and hook up with as many pilots as possible....guys that fly corporate, freight, airline, etc. and try and put something together. Get as much info from these folks as possible. Be realistic about the job. Ask yourself a couple questions: Can I handle the crappy pay at first (most of the flying jobs out there start you pretty low), being gone (this is a big one for me), odd work schedule (yes, there is life at 3 a.m. when you're still out flying and everybody else is either sleeping or drunk!!) It's a decision only you can make. But as we lowly freight dogs like to say on company chat frequency, "everybody loves a Caravan pilot".....gotta pass the time somehow when you're droning thru the skies, so what better way than patting oneself on the back??!!! Spend a few days (if you can or are allowed) flying with some pilots. I suppose that's easier said than done, but it would give you a little flavor on their work. Hope this helps a little. vmax84 "pilots helping pilots"
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 4:34:09 PM EDT
VMAX, Many years ago, I used to fly Spendair 69/70 APN-MBS-LAN, APN-PLN-LAN on weekends. I flew the 404, they only had one C-208 then. I would have loved to have the radar and autopilot (in that order). From pushback to gate arrival flying is the best job in the world, but all the other B.S. gets really old. At least I get to start every work day with a groaping at security. I get more action at the security checkpoint than I got the last two years of my marriage. Are 26SA and 28SA still kicking around??
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 5:36:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Malpaso: I've been thinking lately about learning to fly helicopters. Is the process much different from planes? Does it take longer, cost more, harder to do?
View Quote
I am currently attending TSTC in Waco and am in their aviation program. I've heard that it is somewhat cheaper to get a Private Pilot Certificate in a fixed wing airplane and then take a transition course for the helicopter.
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 5:46:40 PM EDT
Here's another great link: [url]http://www.jetcareers.com/[/url] Homepage of a Delta Airlines first officer that caters to the aspiring professional pilot. It even has a forum that has a pretty good amount of posts.
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 5:55:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/17/2002 5:57:33 PM EDT by Pontius]
Leave the guys at the Continental forum alone, it's company-specific discussion, and "iwannabeapilot" posts aren't all that welcome. For the aspiring and upward moving pilot, try [url]http://www.flightinfo.com[/url]
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 9:39:56 PM EDT
Comair is at Sanford Fl. about 25 minutes by car from downtown Orlando. The cost is more like $41,762 through ATP plus other expenses like housing and eats, your transportation, etc. They do *not* guarantee you a job, only an interview. You could get a degree after Comair from a local community college, etc. while getting experience and time flying waiting for the big one. Helicopter jobs are just few and far between - there just aren't many of them whirly-birds. Aviation is the only career that I know of, where if you make a lateral move from one company to another, (airlines) you will start at the bottom again. I have been in it since 1969, have moved my family 12 times. I am in Fl now, my family is in Iowa, Columbus Oh and Ft Sill, mostly because of moving around. I have boo-coo hours, nearly 12,000, but if had it all to over again, I would beg, borrow or steal the money to buy a Pizza Hut. Then I would eventually sit in the back (or front if I wanted) of the company jet while one of you guys fly me around and I pay you $50k and I make millions from pizza....just the fact,Jack Flying is fun, especially when being paid to do it. It's a helluva way to live and worse to raise a family. just my .02 worth.......
Link Posted: 4/18/2002 4:02:21 AM EDT
Wow, what a small world!!!! I've got to get to Grand Rapids....Dad and I are driving down to Mennard's Lumber Yard for all the hot deals, but I'll bring you up to date on all the great things happening at the bottom of the food chain. vmax84
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