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G4Doc2004
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Posts: 120
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 7:49 am

Corporate MX Experiences............

Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:05 pm

As a corporate aviation mx, I'd like to poll the rest of you out there who currently work in the corporate mx realm as to your experiences and feelings about this side of the industry. How do you feel about the hours, wages, benefits, perks, etc. Is it better/worse than the airlines? Do you prefer the heavy iron to smaller jets?
"Failure to prepare is preparing to fail"--Benjamin Franklin
 
aogdesk
Posts: 748
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2004 2:26 am

RE: Corporate MX Experiences............

Thu Apr 07, 2005 12:16 am

My only experiences with the corporate side of the biz was working for the FBO before I was able to break into the heavy side. The two things that I remember were working in unbelievably tight spaces, most of which were in more cramped quarters than any big bird that I've worked, and watching another mechanic dedicated to a G2 & G4 kiss the CEO's ass. Not only was he a mechanic, he washed the CEO's car, laid out the red carpet, and was under immense pressure to make sure the airplane was always ready to go. Notice that I didn't say it was fixed and ready to go. I'm speculating that sometimes pressure overrode the necessity to get things done right in order to get it out of town, as there's little recourse as you might have working for a carrier. As I say, pure speculation.
Of course, I do remember everything that I did on corporate jets was in a cozy hangar too.....no -20 degree days where the snot freezes on your upper lip as you fumble gloveless while sitting atop a 757 pylon.
I guess there's pros and cons everywhere  Smile
 
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HAWK21M
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

RE: Corporate MX Experiences............

Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:30 am

Quoting Aogdesk (Reply 1):
Not only was he a mechanic, he washed the CEO's car, laid out the red carpet, and was under immense pressure to make sure the airplane was always ready to go. Notice that I didn't say it was fixed and ready to go.

Sad state,if a Mechanic has to do that to keep his Job.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13899
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RE: Corporate MX Experiences............

Thu Apr 07, 2005 6:08 am

I´ve seen the copilot of a corporate Challenger actually hold his hand between the tow bar and the nose gear steering mechanism during towing in case the tow bar disconnected accidentally, so that it wouldn´t smash into the nose gear. It should rather crush the F/O´s hand. Not to mention that both pilots had to clean the plane, carry the CEO´s luggage and stand to attention beside the airstairs when the CEO appeared in his Mercedes-Benz.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
aogdesk
Posts: 748
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2004 2:26 am

RE: Corporate MX Experiences............

Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:07 am

I probably wouldn't do well in that capacity, I can't stand the taste of ass. To be fair though, I have seen another corporate outfit behave a little nicer towards its maintenance and flight crews.
I imagine they'd pay for some pretty intense training..
 
lowrider
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 3:09 am

RE: Corporate MX Experiences............

Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:11 pm

When I flew corporate, a lot of mx was of the "just in case" variety. It was deemed better to pay a little extra now and get more reliability than suffer the consequences of a failure and delay later. For example, we had a C414 with excessive RPM drop on the mag check and was fairly difficult to start when warm. The decision was made to remove, examine, and clean all the plugs, check ground wires, and replance the offending mag and diagnose it on the bench rather than risk a problem on the road. It took a fair portion of the night, but the plane ran flawlessly when we needed it. The other a/c in the fleet recieved similar treatment.
Proud OOTSK member
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Corporate MX Experiences............

Thu Apr 07, 2005 10:12 pm

Lucky Im not in Corporate Aviation Mx.I'd probably throw the spanner on such CEOs before that.
Airlines are better that Way.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
amtrosie
Posts: 273
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 6:44 am

RE: Corporate MX Experiences............

Sat Apr 09, 2005 1:12 pm

I have worked both sides of the fence here. My experience has been primarily with the "heavy iron"- corporate and airlines.
Hours: Airline are all nights, but they are predictable and will allow for plans.
Corporate is "mostly" days, but you are "on" 24/7 and my particular situation requires 6 and usually 7 days a week.
Benefits: Airlines have soooo many more benies than others....yes, even now. The many different insurances, pensions, 401k's, the non-rev. travel
Corporate has basic health insurance, maybe a life ins. policy. No accidental death, long term/short term disability. It is the rare company that provides some sort of retirerment plan. There is no free travel, heck, time to take personal travel is rare.
Perks/Training: I am hard pressed to name perks for either side so the training is included. Here in the U.S. the federal requirerments for training in a Part 121 vs. 91 operation are dramatic. 91 operators have virtually no rules, so airliners win this one hands down.
Wages: Airlines wage scale is still better than any others. Although I am not a union proponent, the contracts found in 121 operations allow everyone to be paid rather well (this is relative) and to know when and how much the next raise will be. ----Yes, I know there is a down side to this.
Corporate has no contract (with the hours required, not suprising) so the wage/raises is VERY subjective and never dependable. One is at the whim of the ignorant "powers that be" who have no concept of the job or its responsibilities. You are closely tied to the profit margin of the corporation.
Job Security: I guess I'll address this here, as much as it is. Corporate Aviation is notorious for insecurity. Boards of Directors can and have directed the closing of flight dept. at the slightest dip in the profit margin, whereas with airlines you USUALLY (I didn't with PanAm) have an idea of termination.
The Intangibles: Airlines are fairly rigid and the employee has a good idea of what his/her job will entail from day-to-day. I loved the line maintenance work because you didn't know what problems you were going to encounter.
Corporate is the unknown x's 25, The unknown is as big as the aircraft. You will work every system/sub-system, be it avionics, lavs, engines, flight controls, and yes, the vital gold plated bathroom fixture or the all important entertainment system component. Then there is the bosses vehicles Rolls, Mercedes, etc.(they never have one) or maybe his "little" boat. YOU JUST NEVER KNOW!!!!

To sum it all up, they each have their own appeal to the individual. What are you looking to get out of a job? That determines which one is best.
 
MidnightMike
Posts: 2810
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 10:07 am

RE: Corporate MX Experiences............

Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:18 am

I have spoken with some of the mechanics of BBJ operators that came to Alteon for Flight Attendant, and they love it, in fact each of the mechanics that I have spoken with have been there for over 15 years.

About the only part of the job that is rather interesting is that they travel with aircraft and during flight act as the Flight Attendant, so, during flight they are serving & preparing meal, the works.

But, from what the mechanics tell me, they are paid very well....
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pilotpip
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RE: Corporate MX Experiences............

Sun Apr 10, 2005 2:21 am

Corporate work is just like anything else. It varies from company to company. I've had the oportunity to work at a couple FBOs with large MX departments and I didn't know a guy there that didn't like it. The company had a really good insurance plan, nice vacation bennefits and profit sharing. It is true that part 91 flight departments aren't as regulated as a 135 or 121 carrier. However, the whole purpose of that aircraft is to make money. It's not doing that if it's broken and I have seen a lot of the prevenative mx as previously mentioned. Many use a 135 style mx schedule so that while not regulated to more stringent standards, their work is up to the same level.

Having said that, I would never risk my hand for a #[email protected]**#& Challenger. I would hope that guy had enough dignity and common sense to go somewhere that he could fly, and not reduce himself to a slave like that.
DMI
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Corporate MX Experiences............

Sun Apr 10, 2005 3:04 am

Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 9):
Having said that, I would never risk my hand for a #[email protected]**#& Challenger. I would hope that guy had enough dignity and common sense to go somewhere that he could fly, and not reduce himself to a slave like that.

It was during the time after Gulf War 1, when Lufthansa parked a big part of their fleet in the desert and decided not to hire several hundred ATPL pilots freshly from their training school, all with huge debts and the knowledge that their licences would expire (and two years of expensive training for nothing) if they wouldn´t get their minimum annual flying hours together. During this time many airline CEOs or owners of corporate jets used the opportunity to treat aviation staff like sh*t.
E.g. the CEO of Germania Airlines at this time offered unemployed pilots with a 737 typerating that they could collect flying hours by working as F/Os on his jets, carrying tourists to Mallorca Island (major holiday destination for Germans). But they had to pay him several hundred dollars per flying hour. It was the capitalist´s dream come true, people who would pay for a chance to work. For the pilots on the other hand this was still cheaper than doing the whole ATPL training all over again or to hire a 737 for a training flight.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
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HAWK21M
Posts: 30120
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

RE: Corporate MX Experiences............

Sun Apr 10, 2005 9:49 pm

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 10):
During this time many airline CEOs or owners of corporate jets used the opportunity to treat aviation staff like sh*t.

It happened here too.
Guess its Supply-Demand.
When theres a Demand,There is respect.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)

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