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What Factors Go Into Flying As An Airline Pilot?  
User currently offlineSXDFC From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 2446 posts, RR: 23
Posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3155 times:

I am not sure if this is the right forum for this topic as well as I wasn't sure how to word the thread title, so I am sorry for either of those mistakes.

I myself am 19 years old and I want to become an airline pilot, pretty much like many other people on this site. I recently graduated High School and am working on getting my private pilots license.(I am not in collage yet due to family reasons). I however wonder what goes thorough the thought process of choosing which airline you want to fly for when you apply to one airline. I myself would like to become a WN pilot but I have never tossed away the idea of flying for AA or DL. So to those who do fly for an airline or in the process of accomplishing this goal, what made you choose the airline you want to fly for?


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFlymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7279 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3155 times:

Well first you need to just take it one step at a time and get through your ratings and licenses, your obviously going the civil way so you most likely will become a CFI. Gain more hours and then fly for some smaller operation like a 135 Freight or maybe a charter company flying lear jets or a Regional Airline. You are going to have to fly PIC with a Regional or some other smaller operation and gain multi and turbine experience before you can even think about applying to an airline like WN or AA. Also really a lot of people don’t give it much thought. Sure some would perfer to fly for WN while others for AA but realistically pilots will just send Resume anywhere accepting them and hope to get a job with a major. The state of the industry right now you can’t be too picky if you want to land a major job. Also I would say 98% of the pilots flying for major airlines have 4 year college degrees; I would highly recommend you try to get a college education. Also it is good for a back up because you never know what might happen. One eye injury one health problem and your flying career is done. So try to get that college education too.
I am not an airline pilot but for years that was my dream. After realizing the horrible pay and poor benifits I decided against it and now looking at a different career which I am also very pasionate about. But every now I than I wonder if I will one day decided after college to try for the pilot thing.



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2858 posts, RR: 48
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3155 times:



Quoting SXDFC (Thread starter):
I however wonder what goes thorough the thought process of choosing which airline you want to fly for when you apply to one airline. I myself would like to become a WN pilot but I have never tossed away the idea of flying for AA or DL. So to those who do fly for an airline or in the process of accomplishing this goal, what made you choose the airline you want to fly for?

Good luck pursuing your dream!

The reality is that you have to get a substantial amount of experience to meet the minimums for the major airlines (provided that's where you really want to be), and you will definitely need that college degree. Get a degree in something else you have an interest in, not an aviation-related field (unless it's an engineering degree) in case your career doesn't go smoothly. (Most don't.)

As for getting hired with your choice of airline, you will be lucky to have a choice. Most people go with the first major that hires them unless they are fortunate enough to have multiple job offers at the same time. People do leave one major for another starting over at the bottom of the list, of course, but it's comparatively rare. This isn't a problem for you to be concerned with at all right now. Right now you need to get a plan to obtain your certificates and ratings, experience, and a degree. You have a lot of hurdles to clear before you have to worry about turning AA down in deference to your WN job offer.

Good luck.


User currently offlineSXDFC From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 2446 posts, RR: 23
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3083 times:



Quoting Flymia (Reply 1):
your obviously going the civil way

Actually I was thinking of the military to go through that route- however the reason why I am going for my ppl is because when I do talk to a pilot or someone in the aviation field it makes me look somewhat good compared to if I don't.

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 2):
You have a lot of hurdles to clear before you have to worry about turning AA down in deference to your WN job offer.

Oh I understand that, however I used myself as an example, I am really referring to the pilots that actually fly with AA , UA , CO , WN , B6 today, asking why they chose them- since there is alot of pilots on there, they can share their input as to why they fly with the airline they do, as well as those who are aspiring to fly planes as well.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineFLY2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3083 times:



Quoting SXDFC (Thread starter):
I however wonder what goes thorough the thought process of choosing which airline you want to fly for when you apply to one airline.

With how the industry is nowadays, the airline picks you, IF anything.

Now more than ever you can't just send one resume to one airline and assume you'll get a phone call for an interview. You have to send out tons of resumes and IF you're lucky you'll get the call and IF you're luckier you'll get the job... as a cropduster, because basically none of the majors are hiring right now.

Hopefully by the time you get all your ratings and have enough hours to apply for a major there will be great demand for pilots once again.


User currently offlineDL767captain From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2539 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3084 times:

Quoting SXDFC (Thread starter):
I myself am 19 years old and I want to become an airline pilot, pretty much like many other people on this site. I recently graduated High School and am working on getting my private pilots license.(I am not in collage yet due to family reasons). I however wonder what goes thorough the thought process of choosing which airline you want to fly for when you apply to one airline. I myself would like to become a WN pilot but I have never tossed away the idea of flying for AA or DL. So to those who do fly for an airline or in the process of accomplishing this goal, what made you choose the airline you want to fly for?

I'm 18 and will start my training this summer. I originally wanted to fly for WN (they pay pretty well) but i really would like to fly larger planes than the 737. My dream job is flying a DL 767 from SAN-ATL (as you might be able to tell from my user name). I'm getting a degree in business as something to fall back on but it will take a little while until i get hired.

I always wondered if you could be a pilot while going to school, i was thinking flying for skywest out of CLD

[Edited 2008-11-06 16:09:01]

User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2858 posts, RR: 48
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3083 times:



Quoting SXDFC (Reply 3):
Quoting PGNCS (Reply 2):
You have a lot of hurdles to clear before you have to worry about turning AA down in deference to your WN job offer.


Oh I understand that, however I used myself as an example, I am really referring to the pilots that actually fly with AA , UA , CO , WN , B6 today, asking why they chose them- since there is alot of pilots on there, they can share their input as to why they fly with the airline they do, as well as those who are aspiring to fly planes as well.

And since I am in that group, I gave you an answer, even though it may not be the answer you want. The airline ultimately chooses you, and getting hired at your favorite carrier is NEVER assured.

FLY2HMO hit the nail on the head when he said "With how the industry is nowadays, the airline picks you, IF anything."


User currently offlineBoeingFever777 From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 409 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3083 times:



Quoting SXDFC (Thread starter):
I myself would like to become a WN pilot

Simple answer:

Southwest Airlines Pilot Application Requirements:

Certificates / Ratings: U.S. FAA Airline Transport Pilot Certificate. Unrestricted1 U.S. Type Rating on a B-737 not required for interview but required for employment.2

Age: Must be at least 23 years of age.

Flight Experience: 2,500 hours total or 1,500 hours TURBINE total. Additionally, a minimum of 1,000 hours in Turbine aircraft as the Pilot in command3 (as defined below) is required.

Southwest considers only Pilot time in fixed-wing aircraft. This specifically excludes simulator, helicopter, WSO, RIO, FE, NAV, EWO etc. NO other time is counted.

Currency: A minimum of 200 hours must be logged in the preceding 36 months.

Medical: Must possess a current FAA Class 1 Medical Certificate. Must pass FAA mandated Drug Test.

Authorization to work in the United States: Must have established authorization to work in the United States.

Driver License: Must possess a valid United States Driver License.

Education: Graduation from accredited, four-year college preferred.

Letters of Recommendation: At least three letters from any individuals who can attest to the pilot’s flying skills, by having observed him/her over a sustained period of time.



This is if you get an interview and meet all these requirements.



Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre.
User currently offlineDRAIGONAIR From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 708 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3083 times:

In Europe there are also airlines who have flight schools. I.e KLM Flight Academy, Lufthansa etc. If you get in those schools there is a big chance that once you have fninshed you can start at that airline as a 2nd officer on a 747/777/MD11 or maybe even a co-pilot on Fokker100/70 without any actual jet hours (offcourse you have had training in simulator before getting accepted in the airline it self). Maybe try looking for something like that (cathay pacific/ SIA also have these programs, however you need a local citizenship).

Good luck.

Nick



cheers
User currently offlineSXDFC From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 2446 posts, RR: 23
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3083 times:

I thank you guys for the input! I greatly appreciate it and I hope you guys know that I take all of your advice very seriously. I look forward to flying with you guys one day!  Smile


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineDashTrash From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1565 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3083 times:

It's already been addressed, but honestly when the time comes you fire resumes to any and every airline that is hiring.

I've interviewed at 5 different carriers and been hired by two. During my initial job hunt, I applied to everyone out there, and got interviews with Trans States and Continental Express (pre-XJet). Got turned down by both of them, then 9/11 happened. No one was going anywhere for a while. Then in 2004, I got an out of the blue interview at Piedmont. I got that job, but still applied to other airlines when the doors opened up. I interviewed at Comair, got turned down (thank God!), then turned down an interview at Chautauqua / Republic. During the summer of '07, I was really fed up with Piedmont and applied to every non-regional airline out there. I finally got the job I was after in December and have been happy with it. My recent experience of working for my number one choice doesn't happen very often, but it does happen.


User currently offlineTb727 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1652 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2835 times:

Good luck and keep going once you start flying. It also doesn't matter what college you go to. You'll notice that SWA only wants a 4 year degree(no specific major) from an accredited college, they are all like that. Best thing to do is to pick a major that you would want to do as a back up career. Go to a college that will allow you to not come out $100k in debt. During your first few years in the business you won't be making jack for cash and that is when you will have to start paying all those loans off. The other thing is to know people on the inside. FedEx and a few others are starting a trend in which they want up to 5 internal letters of recommendation nowadays!

Don't burn any bridges in aviation, you will be surprised how small of a world the aviation world is. I just did my monthly updating of my resume for SWA since I just made the 1000 PIC jet requirement, I'm not planning on them calling tomorrow, but it sure would be nice if they did it in the next year but it's in their hands now. Luckily I am very content with where I am flying and love my job so I am not trying to leave due to necessity. I got lucky on that one and I have only worked for 1 airline in my career so far. Some guys go through quite a few before they find a home. It's not an easy career so be ready for some heartaches and headaches.



Too lazy to work, too scared to steal!
User currently offlineSXDFC From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 2446 posts, RR: 23
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2801 times:

I once again thank you for the advice and I give all of you good luck too! Its great to see people taking their time to help me out! I will always remember this too!  Smile


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
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