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I'm Flying For Continental!  
User currently offlineTropicalSkies From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (15 years 9 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1665 times:

Hello all!!!
Well, in just two days I start school again, and in just three short years I'm off to college at Sierra Academy, in Oakland.
I'll be there for four years or more, depending on how long it takes to earn a bachelor's in Aviation Business, and get a commercial pilot's license! 
Anyhoo, Sierra offers job opportunities at either American Eagle or Continental Express when you graduate. From what I hear, if you have a degree with Sierra, plus your commercial, you have a 100% chance of getting hired by one of the two. AND, you get to pick first-choice. Basically, if I want to fly for Continental, I bid for it. If it's available for me, I get the job, if not, I go to AA Eagle.  

Now for the interesting part!!
Are there any employees in here who work for Continental Airlines, or CO Express? Are you an FA? Pilot? Mech? Anything? I want to know what it's like to work for CO.
I plan on being with Continental for 5-12 years, depending. Also, pilots, what is it really like flying the big jets?
When/if I sign on to CO, I'll probably be flying a little turboprop, then a regional jet, and then maybe an old 733. In 12 years, I probably won't get much farther than that, but it's enough for me!  
How's the pay? When you start out at CO Ex, flying as First Officer, how much do you get paid per month/year?
Is it good to have a second job at McDonald's lined up?  
Finally, how much does the captain of a 733 get paid?  

Once my time at CO is done, I'll be moving on to try and form Pacific World Airways, my dream airline. Most of you have already heard about PW, so I won't discuss it now. I'm more concerned about becoming a pilot at the moment!

Oh, BTW, training. If I go with CO, will I have to move from Oakland to Houston to get trained for the job? Or is there a training base closer to California??

Thanks for your help guys!!!

and fly...


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Fly to new horizons

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineCapt.Picard From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (15 years 9 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 1517 times:

Hey, nice pictures and all, but why be a pilot for just a couple of years??

If I become a pilot, it'll be for life! Why don't you just become a management pilot for CO? That way, you get the best of both-piloting, AND managing the same airline?

Just a suggestion, but you go ahead and do what you want, good for you!

User currently offlineTropicalSkies From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (15 years 9 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 1502 times:

hmmm...souns good. Maybe that'll be my alternate plan. I've always dreamed of both piloting and owning my own airline, and I already have an airline I want to build. But if someday i can get into upper management with CO, that'll do just as nicely. The only problem is that I'll be 60 before I can fly a 777 for CO, let alone RUN CO. hence why I'd rather start my own airline and be at the upper management from the start!
I've actually been considering flying for life, but I'm fighting with myself over the issue.
Piloting certainly sounds more fun that sitting behind a desk all day doing paperwork for an airline, but to have the thrill of OWNING my own airline, have planes bought BY ME, have my family living in upper class in Hawaii, and have enough money to buy the car I've always wanted, a Trans Am, well that sounds more attractive!!
If I like flying for CO better, maybe I'll stick with it till I'm 60. But I'll have to decide when I'm there. For now, I'd like to do both!!!!    

Fly to new horizons

User currently offlineAirT85 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (15 years 9 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 1494 times:

Hehe, hey "TropicalSkies" (I prefer Brandon better lol) Well i sortof am doing the same thing as you. Although instead of training at the Sierra Academy I will be attending Beaver College outside of Pittsburgh PA for four years where i will nto only get my pilots liscence but a 4 year degree in business. Not just aviation, but busines sin general, as maybe someday i'll leave aviation to open a resteraunt or something lol. I decided on Beaver cuz 1) tons of USAirways pilots graduated from there(i wanna fly for either USAirways or AmWest) and 2) i can commute from my grandparent's house in Corraopolis(outside PIT), which is where i want to live!
Hehe, well anyways, all though im not guaranteed a job, oh well! Anyways, your plan sounds cool, remember, I'm VP when you start organizing Pwa!!! =)

User currently offlineJETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 27
Reply 4, posted (15 years 9 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 1498 times:

You're plan is 110% unrealistic. But good luck anways.

User currently offlineCba From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 4534 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (15 years 9 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 1458 times:

Then what is a realistic plan to becoming an Airline pilot?

User currently offlineNasmal From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 227 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (15 years 9 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1444 times:

BUt by the time your 60 the 777 most probroly be out of production and there will be a planes 10 times better than plance we have now. so by the time your 60 you will be flying the newest planes

User currently offlineC172sb From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (15 years 9 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1432 times:

If you think you will have a job with a commuter after graduating from "Sierra", good luck. Unless you have at least 1000 hours and 200 multi, you are in dream land. The title of your post is very misleading. Just curious, how much flying experience do you have?

User currently offlineNickV1r From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (15 years 9 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 1427 times:

Jeez folks...give the guy a break. When I was younger I dreamed of owning my own airline too...sure, it never happened, but it did drive me to get my pilot's license, which in turn has led to a very satisfying career as an airline pilot. Sure, his plan may be 110% unrealistic, but there was once a 25 year old named David Neeleman with an unrealistic plan to start his own airline too...he did, and ended up selling it to Southwest, making a pretty decent fortune in the process...he recently came up with another unrealistic plan...he calls it JetBlue. In a time when you cant read a newspaper or turn on the TV without seeing a teenager who is either a killer or a victim its kinda cool to see a kid talk up his dream of flying for continental until he can start his own airline. Sure, his eventual career path may differ from his plan, but at least he has a plan. So dont be so cynical and lighten up a little.
Good Luck Brandon

User currently offlineAdam84 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 1400 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (15 years 9 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1400 times:

I plan on going to sierra this upcoming summer. For the guy talking about how you cant get into the regionals until you have so many hours. Well you become an flight instructor after you get all your ratings, you get paid and you get the hours you need. Then its off to the regionals. The success rate for Sierra graduates at CO EX or AA Eagle is 97% and those odds are pretty good, and thats what tempted me to sierra.

User currently offlineJETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 27
Reply 10, posted (15 years 9 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1394 times:

It used to be young individuals came to this forum for advice on attaining their goals as proffesional pilots.

The reality is that if you are determined enough you have a good chance of attaining your goal of piloting a large transport aircraft. Who you will work for is completely out of your control.

You will go to work for whoever hires you. When you have no experience you will work for no pay at crap companies.

When you gain experience you will go to work for less worse companies. A job where you are able to feed yourself and sustain an existance independant of your parents.

If you are working for said less worse company A, and slightly less worse company B calls you will go there.

If American, FedEx, UPS comes calling you will not turn them down I assure you.

To say you will fly this or that and then become captain of this is rediculous. You'll fly what you get paid to fly.

You say I'll fly for a few years and quit to start my own airline. And throw away your retirment, your seniority, your extremely lucritive livlihood that pays your bills, and feedds your children. I don't think so. Flying is you and you will become flying they will be indistinguishable. It will be who you are. That would be like winning the lottery, and telling them you don't need a million. 20,000 would suffice.

Your falicy about Sierra and getting hired are beyond a joke. If this is what someone is telling you then run the other way. Those job opportunities you speak of are far from opportunities. These companies will offer you an opportunity to interview. If you blow the interview, or the aptitude tests your on the street. It happens every day.

You're in for an awakening.....

User currently offlineWncaptain From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (15 years 9 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 1384 times:

Hey there Tropical skies. Just reading the responses to your question. Pretty interesting. As much as I hate to tell you, they are right. Might seem pretty harsh to say it the way they did but it is all true.
I was a pilot for CONTINENTAL EXPRESS (EMB120 Captain) before left them in 1990 for America West, then Southwest after that. The experience at CO EX was interesting and I have a million stories for ya!! But I can tell you as others in this post have said, trust me buddy, when an airline calls you up and says come work for us you will NOT turn them down!! As far as the working conditions at CO EX, they SUCKED when I was there. However, things have drastically improved in every aspect and it seems to be a pretty decent place to get your experience, and then move on after that.
By the way, the pay will be substandard no matter where you go in the first year, so don't expect to pick up your check with a Brink's truck!! We are talking around 1500 to 2000 a month. This is true even with the majors.
And if you honestly think you will give up this awesome job after so many years, no way!! After 12 years of flying ANY jet with a major airline, we are talking 12,000 a month as a captain. And you are going to walk away from that?
About your dream about starting your own airline, more power to ya!! But there is a little saying in the business, "If you want to make a small fortune in the airline business, start with a large fortune!!" But if you do get one going all the best to ya!!
Anyway, hope to see you online someday!! Keep dreamin' big and never let up buddy!! Because that's how I got here. Been loving it ever since!! Take care!!

User currently offlineMacair SAAB From Australia, joined May 1999, 335 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (15 years 9 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 1376 times:

I totally agree with Jetpilot. I know all too well about setting a goal, planning everything around it and then being told you can't do it.

My lifelong dream was to fly fighters with the Royal Australian Air Force, but 18 months ago I was turned down. Why? I was 3cm (about 1.25") too tall. Suddenly everything that I had worked hard for had fallen to bits.

So what am I trying to say? Have ambitions, but don't say 'This is what I'm going to do and nothing will stop me'. Know what you want to do, but leave every option you have open. Just because you don't get to CO, it doesn't mean that you won't have a sucessfull career with AA, UAL or even an overseas airline.

Thanks for 'listening'.

- Macair SAAB

User currently offlineJETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 27
Reply 13, posted (15 years 9 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1377 times:

If you want to actually move closer to attaining your goal get a first class medical to see if you are eligable.

Call up a local flight schol, and get the name of a flight surgeon in the area. The cost is approx. $75.

The medical will also serve as your student pilot liscence which you will need when you solo.

The next step is to get an introduction flight at your local flight school. Notice I said introductory, and not complimentary. It will cost you $50.00.

After these steps are complete you can obtain your private certificate when you turn 16. That should be your immediate goal. All this could be completed by christmas. It would put you closer to a job at United than the above post ever will.

Get a job at the local airport puming fuel on weekends. Put yourself in an aviation environment. Become goal orriented now.

Think of how your interview will go with UAL when they see you had your private when you were 16 and instructed your way through college instead of learning to fly there. You have to be more competitive than the next guy.

Good luck !!

User currently offlineCapt.Picard From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (15 years 9 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 1336 times:

Thanks for the Brilliant advice here, even if I didn't ask the question!

Good insight into how it works in the US...
But do any US airlines sponsor/part sponsor? (I don't live in the US, but I'm curious).


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