Best way to build time?

Steve

Curtis Malone
Joined
May 6, 2002
Posts
737
Total Time
1170
In everyone's opinion, what is the best (Fastest) job to build time on? Banner towing? skydiver flying? Instructing? Ferrying? have I missed any?
 

alimaui

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 23, 2002
Posts
207
Total Time
150+
Steve said:
In everyone's opinion, what is the best (Fastest) job to build time on? Banner towing? skydiver flying? Instructing? Ferrying? have I missed any?
You cannot boil it down to which one would be faster. It depends on a plethora of factors. Full time/Partime, big operation/little operation, you could easily build one hundred hours in a month in any of the above, it just depends on your scheduling.

Another question to ask would be which of the above would be the most VALUABLE time earned. Just about anyone you ask will tell you that although it is often the least paying, instructing will probably give you the most experience and knowledge for every hour you put into it.

Ali
 

1900cpt

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
246
Total Time
4000
the best way is whatever person will hire you;)

instucting is good if your at a busy flight school...banner towwing can probably build time quick, but in my opinion it would get boring rather quickly. You also may only find banner work in beach areas. Try 135 outfits, not sure if yu meet the mins for that.

1900cpt
 

bobbysamd

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
5,710
Total Time
4565
Best way to build time

"Best" is relative. Flight instructing is the time-honored, traditional entry-level job. It's probably the easiest job to get because fewer people than you might think want to be flight instructors. People who don't want to instruct try immediately to get the pipeline patrol and banner-towing jobs. That makes those jobs hard to get because of the crowded applicant pool. Anyone who can get a legitimate, legal non-instructing job at 250 hours is very lucky.

Flight instructing can burn one out, but along the way there's some great knowledge and learning to acquire. In other words, a CFI is license to learn with someone paying you to learn. I gained an unbelieveable amount of knowledge through flight instruction, along with the hours. Once you get the hours, you are in a better position to look for more advanced jobs.

If you can stay busy, you can build a good 500-800 hours in a year's time through flight instruction. That will put you near 135 mins. By the way, the commuters pick up plenty of flight instructors who have no 135 experience when there is hiring.

Hope that helps.
 

avbug

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 14, 2001
Posts
7,602
Total Time
n/a
The best way to build time is buy a new pen and write in your logbook until it's exhausted. Make it up. Takes an evening or two.

Building experience is another matter entirely, and this should be your primary goal. Don't be concerned with how much time you can cram in your logbook; it's meaningless and unimpressive. Concentrate on finding the experience that will give your the greatest learning opportunity and the most valueable flying upon which to base your career.

Or, you can just make it all up.
 

172driver

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2002
Posts
744
Total Time
4000
You mean 2000 hrs of towing banners up and down the same beach at 60 kts isn't valuable?

Seriously though...instruct. It doesn't pay much and can be as frustrating as it is rewarding. However, you will learn more from your students than they from you. You think you know a lot until you have to explain it a thousand different ways.

Also, those hours are respected. If I were an employer, I probably wouldn't hire a banner tower, skydiver flyer, or anyone else who performed the same repetitive task for thousands of hrs. A monkey can fly an airplane. It takes sharp people to make decisions and teach decision making day in and day out.
 
3

350DRIVER

I 100% completely agree with Avbug- well said.... "experience" is "priceless"- Building time up is relatively very easy with a good black pen. "Fastest way" is completely irrelevant in my opinion- be concerned with honing and perfecting your skills versus the whole "time building" concept- It appears that everyone that is working their way up those "magic stairs" is only concerned with TT and the so-called "minimums" .. I find it extremely funny that a regional can say at 1200 TT 200 multi that person is "NOW" qualified because the regional says so.

It is extremely sad that in this industry a pilot is completely judged as whether he is a "safe" and competant and oops almost forgot COMPETITIVE pilot just by the total flight time that person has aquired.- Amazing that ASA and FSI proved that a relatively low time pilot could be a safe and competent pilot minus the so-called "heavenly" minimums that the regionals say one must have to be hired. (in Europe I think BA has also proven this theory correct)

Cheers to ASA & FSI

3 5 0
(still not 121 "competitive" or qualified)
 

bobbysamd

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
5,710
Total Time
4565
Mesa

Don't forget MAPD. I've seen it work. The graduates who follow their Ps and Qs and who make it through the interview and training are very successful at 300 hours. Of course, that program is heavily focused on Mesa line procedures from the very beginning and its graduates don't need much more training if they go straight to the 1900s. Most probably do. I don't know if any go directly to the Dashes or the ERJs or CRJs.

Just the same, it's amazing how much you learn from flight instructing. I know I taught my students a few things, but I have a feeling that it was my students who taught me more.
 
Last edited:

Timebuilder

Entrepreneur
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
4,625
Total Time
1634
I chose my posting name as a sarcastic response to those "magic numbers" mentioned above, since you can be a good pilot at 500 hours and a lousy pilot at 2,000 hours.

Although building the time is important for opening hiring doors, it is the experience that you need to acquire to rise to the occaision. The best way to fully learn anything is to teach that thing, and practice it. In Judo, I had to practice a new throw 250 times, minimum. Then, I had to teach it to three black belts who were very good at acting like new students.

In aviation, teaching flying will cement and clarify concepts in ways you don't anticipate. If you want to be an aviator, teach flying for a while. A busy school will help you accomplish this quickly.
 

Jump Pilot

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 31, 2001
Posts
277
Total Time
1200
"I probably wouldn't hire a banner tower, skydiver flyer, or anyone else who performed the same repetitive task for thousands of hrs. "

Hmmm. Don't airline pilots perform the same repetitive tasks for thousands of hours? Don't CFI's perform repetitive tasks with students? Doesn't repetition lead to skill?

In terms of flying skydivers, how about this for repetition: 30 flights 5/4-5/5, weathered out 5/11-5/12, 20 flights 5/18-5/19. I look at each load as building a little more experience. Weights are different, CG shifts, winds aloft change, aircraft performance changes, etc.

Why jump out of a perfectly good airplane? You haven't seen our airplane!
 

seattle

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 29, 2001
Posts
70
Total Time
400
I just completed my first Angel Flight this past Friday. For what ever that's worth.

Put my name down for flight instructing. I'm not a CFI yet but that's the direction I'm headed. I would also think that variety is important. You might find that you realy love ag flying, or some other strange way of making money on the wing. It's the spice of life from what I hear. Best of luck.

Seattle
 

avbug

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 14, 2001
Posts
7,602
Total Time
n/a
There are no perfectly good airplanes. Jump them all.
 

Jump Pilot

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 31, 2001
Posts
277
Total Time
1200
Good point, Avbug. These folks want to jump out of anything and everything. There was a 340 on the ramp next to the DZ yesterday. The skydivers were actually wanting to know if it was possible to jump from it.

You obviously know what the most useless thing to a skydiver is once he leaves the plane. :cool:
 

GoingHot

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
266
Total Time
3000
These folks want to jump out of anything and everything. There was a 340 on the ramp next to the DZ yesterday. The skydivers were actually wanting to know if it was possible to jump from it.
Last weekend a Cobra (Attack Helicopter) landed at our dropzone. The skydivers went over and tried to get the pilot to let them stand on the skids and he take them up for a jump.
 

avbug

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 14, 2001
Posts
7,602
Total Time
n/a
There's no reason why a 340 wouldn't work. I've jumped a Cessna 411, but never a 340.

I think the Cobra would be a neat jump.

One thing I've tried for before, but can never be in the same place at the same time, is a hot air balloon for jumps. I had half a dozen of them lined up for the DZ one weekend, and they welched out for a group fly-over of the highest peak in the area.

A balloon would be a lot more interesting than a diving exit out the door of a kingair or caravan.
 
Top