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Major U.S. Carrier Pilot Requirements  
User currently offlinejshjrm5 From United States of America, joined Nov 2012, 10 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2406 times:

If an aspiring pilot was looking for the Majors down the road and is not military, what is the best venue??? Do the majors hire out of the regionals and how long do you have to be in the regionals??? Also, what about Virgin America, Allegiant, and those arenas? Are they looking for similar experience as the majors are looking???

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7110 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2230 times:

Not a pilot but I am someone who looked into being an airline pilot for years.

Quoting jshjrm5 (Thread starter):
Allegiant, and those arenas? Are they looking for similar experience as the majors are looking???


Yes. There is not much of a different between an airline like NK or AA. Some of the better airlines to fly for are the none majors like AS, WN and B6. Sure there are no 777s in their fleets but they pay well, have a better quality of life sometimes too.

Quoting jshjrm5 (Thread starter):
what is the best venue???


That is fully up to you. Honestly the best venue is the military, free training and a good job right away. A lot of people now just stay with the military because it is a better job than flying for the airlines.
Another way is you can just take it step by step at local flying schools. I always think it is important to get your PPL first before you do anything. Make sure you really love it and can handle flying. While doing this you work in school and get a 4 year degree in a non-aviation subject.
You can go the university path like UND, Purdue or Embry Riddle and go to college to learn how to fly. It can be expensive but it is very good training and a good use of your time. The major downside is unless you try to get a degree in a different thing if flying does not work out to well you do not have a good thing to fall back on. It can be something like aviation management or english but I always think it is good to get something else besides for a degree in "flying"
Then there is the zero to hero way. Where you go with one program like ATP and go from Zero hours to a Commercial multi for $60,000+ and you can do it at your own pace or at a crazy pace of 190 days or something like that.
There is no right way really. It is up to you and what you want to do.

Quoting jshjrm5 (Thread starter):
Do the majors hire out of the regionals and how long do you have to be in the regionals???


They hire from anyone. It is about the amount of time and quality of time. An airline might rather hire a guy who flew King Airs in Alaska over a guy who flew a CRJ-200 in the South. It really depends. Many pilots going to major airlines do come from the regionals. Others come from Corporate or military etc..

Just take it one step at a time. I would not worry about the airlines until you get your PPL at least. Also I always think it is smart to get a Class 1 medical before you pour money into a program or school to make sure you will be able to fly.

Good luck. I am sure others, including actual airline pilots will have some advice.



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16991 posts, RR: 67
Reply 2, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2230 times:

As flymia says, get a PPL first and see if this is for you. And deffo get a Class 1 medical.

Quoting flymia (Reply 1):
Then there is the zero to hero way. Where you go with one program like ATP and go from Zero hours to a Commercial multi for $60,000+ and you can do it at your own pace or at a crazy pace of 190 days or something like that.

You don't need quite that much money or time. Commercial multi including instrument can be done for about under 50k (commercial single for about 5k less) including accomodation and you can do it in 13-16 weeks. Not "crazy pace" drinking-from-a-firehose either. More like "full immersion". You just don't do anything else during the time. Think of it as a full time job or uni program.


Choose wisely when it comes to flight schools. Many are outstanding but some are real crooks. And if you want to go "zero to hero" ensure the school has the experience and resources for this sort of thing. For example, Embry-Riddle is a great flight school but they are not "full immersion". You need a place that can make up a schedule that fits you and make the resources (aircraft and instructors) available.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlinebueb0g From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2010, 641 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 2230 times:

Quoting flymia (Reply 1):
A lot of people now just stay with the military because it is a better job than flying for the airlines.

Very debateable... Depends on the individual, anyway.



Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
User currently offlinefutureualpilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2602 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2229 times:

flymia makes very good points.

Quoting flymia (Reply 1):
Honestly the best venue is the military, free training and a good job right away. A lot of people now just stay with the military because it is a better job than flying for the airlines.

Best is debatable. Best training and certainly some of the most unique flying you'll ever do, to be sure, but remember that military aviation is about being an officer first, and a pilot second. Also remember that you won't be guaranteed to get a fixed wing pilot slot. It depends on the needs of the service and all you can do is put yourself in as good a position to get picked for one of those slots as you can. Should you make it, remember that it is a long term deal. Often a decade or more. A decade from now, nobody knows what airline hiring will look like, but the numbers support that there exists the possibility for there to be hiring then.

Quoting flymia (Reply 1):
While doing this you work in school and get a 4 year degree in a non-aviation subject.

This. A million times, this. DO NOT MAJOR IN AVIATION. Do something non-flying as a major. Fly on the side.

Quoting flymia (Reply 1):
It is about the amount of time and quality of time.

To an extent. Airline hiring is largely based on who you know. Never burn any bridges as you progress.


One thing to remember is the ATP rule is taking effect. The absolute minimum to be hired with any Part 121 carrier will be ATP minimums, so this means a longer period of instructing, pipeline flying, photo flying or whatever you find to build time.

[Edited 2012-11-06 17:08:35]


Life is better when you surf.
User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7110 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2229 times:

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 4):

Absolutely if you do the military route you have to want to serve your country and be an officer.

And you make a very important point. Networking! Does not matter who it is. It can your CFI or a King Air pilot you met you never know who might be the next Cheif pilot at Fed Ex or WN. Many airlines these days seem to want recommendations from other pilots about your flying skills. It sure would help if one of those pilots flys for an airline you want to get on.



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently onlineTWA772LR From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 1725 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2229 times:

What is the best way to become a military pilot? ROTC? Good grades in college? What branch has the least-competitive aviation branch (especially for fixed-wing)? I am putting more eggs in the military basket than the flight school basket because flight school is just too expensive and the military is just too good of a thing on a resume to pass up.

With the new 1500 hour law coming in, I don't think going to flight school or going military will matter in terms of how long it takes to get hours... How long does it usually take to get 1500 hours, before going commercial, that aren't gained in the military anyways?

I am keeping a close eye on this thread...



Go coogs! \n//
User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7110 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2229 times:

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 6):
What is the best way to become a military pilot? ROTC? Good grades in college? What branch has the least-competitive aviation branch (especially for fixed-wing)? I am putting more eggs in the military basket than the flight school basket because flight school is just too expensive and the military is just too good of a thing on a resume to pass up.


You have to really want to serve your country to go the military route. It can't just be about flying.
I think, but do not quote me on this, do some research that in the Marines you can chose between fix-wing and helicopter. I also think they have some agreement in training if you do not make it through flight training you do not need to serve. But I think I read that in an e-mail somewhere from them at some time no idea if things have changed or not.

ROTC is a good way to go and also I think they like to see you have at least your PPL. It is a life changing commitment not a "resume" or "time building" decision.



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently onlineTWA772LR From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 1725 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2230 times:

Quoting flymia (Reply 7):
It can't just be about flying.

I do want to serve my country. I have wanted to go this route for as long as I can remember. I see the experience, hours, and thrill as perks, but highly valuable ones that I can capitalize on.

Your information is greatly appreciated  .



Go coogs! \n//
User currently offlinejshjrm5 From United States of America, joined Nov 2012, 10 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 2230 times:

Thanks for the great advice. You guys definately put time into your comments and I thank you for that. Another question I have is about the new law. I read in one of the pilot magazines that you can have 1000 hours with a combination of some course curriculum and still get your ATP. Is this accurate and what are those courses???

Thanks again!!!


User currently offlinewoodreau From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1018 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2230 times:

Recommended reading for going military route is www.baseops.net

What you are reading about 1000 hours for a restricted ATP is a proposed rule. The FAA has not issued a final rule yet.

http://www.faa.gov/regulations_polic..._published/media/2120-AJ67NPRM.pdf

The aviation curriculum that would allow you to receive a restricted ATP with 1000 hrs is a college where you get an aviation degree - which kind of goes against the "Don't get an aviation degree" posts above.



Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21510 posts, RR: 55
Reply 11, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2228 times:

Quoting woodreau (Reply 10):
What you are reading about 1000 hours for a restricted ATP is a proposed rule. The FAA has not issued a final rule yet.

And from what I've heard, it's not likely to happen. But that could change if the regionals have trouble finding pilots to fly for the wages they want to pay.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinewoodreau From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1018 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2228 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 11):
And from what I've heard, it's not likely to happen. But that could change if the regionals have trouble finding pilots to fly for the wages they want to pay.

I can see RAA and ATA pushing the FAA to adopt the ICAO MPL to alleviate the regional airline "pilot shortage" where they'll be able to get pilots into the flight deck of an airliner with zero PIC, very little real world flying with most of the flight training taking place in simulators.

[Edited 2012-11-08 07:11:57]


Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
User currently offlineweb500sjc From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 726 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2228 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 11):

Same thing I have heard at one of those colleges...



Boiler Up!
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21510 posts, RR: 55
Reply 14, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2228 times:

Quoting woodreau (Reply 12):
I can see RAA and ATA pushing the FAA to adopt the ICAO MPL to alleviate the regional airline "pilot shortage" where they'll be able to get pilots into the flight deck of an airliner with zero PIC, very little real world flying with most of the flight training taking place in simulators.

They'll do the 1000 hour exception long before they ever do an MPL. The training programs in the US, for the most part, aren't up to the standard of the ab-initio schools overseas that do an MPL.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineDarksnowynight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1343 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2228 times:

Quoting flymia (Reply 1):
Yes. There is not much of a different between an airline like NK or AA. Some of the better airlines to fly for are the none majors like AS, WN and B6. Sure there are no 777s in their fleets but they pay well, have a better quality of life sometimes too

WN, AS & B6 are all majors, as defined by the US DOT. Interestingly enough, so is MQ.

Quoting flymia (Reply 1):
It can be expensive but it is very good training and a good use of your time. The major downside is unless you try to get a degree in a different thing if flying does not work out to well you do not have a good thing to fall back on. It can be something like aviation management or english but I always think it is good to get something else besides for a degree

I would say this is true to a pretty decent extent. At a crossroads in my own life, Structural Engineering got the nod for major. Can't say I regret it.

Quoting flymia (Reply 7):
. I also think they have some agreement in training if you do not make it through flight training you do not need to serve.

That's new. I don't remember anything like that in the Air Force, though that was well over a decade ago now.



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlinejshjrm5 From United States of America, joined Nov 2012, 10 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2228 times:

Another question, once I get somewhere between 1000 and 1500 hours, am I naive to think that flying for a smaller carrier abroad with bigger equipment, say md-80 or classic 737s, would be possible, or is it 6 one way half-dozen the other with flying U.S. regionals. If there is a carrier out in the world that is similar to what I described, who are they???

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