Buying 135 SIC Flight Time?

TangoIndiaMike

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I am considering buying some 135 experience. Wanted to hear goods/bads from others who have already done this. I know this isn't the most popular way to gain experience--I'm not sure if I will go with it or not...just wanted to hear of any decent outfits doing this and what the terms were like.
Thanks-Tim
 

AWACoff

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Tim,
Not many people are fond of your idea. If I were in your shoes, I would continue flight instructing (or get your CFI if you don't have it). I see lots of job opportunities for CFIs. Why pay for your job when somebody else wants to pay you? If you want 135 time to get an airline job, don't bother. We have hired people here at Air Wisconsin without any 135/121 time. It does make you a bit more marketable but nobody is hiring right now anyways (save for Alegheny....sorry 'bout the misspell). If you don't meet 135 IFR mins, jump on with some 135 operator with an SIC program. The pay is next to nothing but it is an honest way of building time. Good luck.
 

00Dog

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You're only 100 hrs. away from VFR 135 mins (you also need 300 x/c and a few other things) but as AWACoff wrote, not many people are hiring.
 

starchkr

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Don't be crazy, there are places out there that pay you to SIC. Why spend $5000 (or so) for 100 hours of time when for that same 100 hours you can get paid 16k per year plus any overtime you fly? Makes no sense at all !!! Even if you have the money to waste, which in my mind it would be, use that to have a beer or a couple thousand beers after you have a draining day flying in the soup.
 

starchkr

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Oh one more thing, don't go VFR 135. I know of many guys who are required to show up and sit for 10+ hours a night if it is not VFR weather. Also there are many companies out there that will throw you into very tight situations with that whole VFR crap. I have heard many a VFR 135 guy flying below 1000' AGL in IFR conditions trying to get a plane back to base because the company pressured them to do it. (most of this stuff happens with a company in DAL) Oh well, whatever floats your boat though.
 

00Dog

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Starchkr- I was referring to the VFR 135 in the Grand Canyon where it is VFR 355 days/ yr.
 

hawkerjet

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Think about what you are trying to accomplish. Most pilots including myself are against the pay for training idea. I believe, ( and it's just my opinion) that it takes jobs away from other pilots who are qualified and would have a chance at getting the job. It may speed things up a bit but in the long run look at the quality of training you will be getting. There are some places that will train you well and give you valuable experience but for the most part, I have seen operators use this as a money making enterprise with little regard for your future. One day you might be sitting next to a Captain who shows nothing but disdain for the pilot who bought his/her experience.
 

TurboS7

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save your money

Save your money and use it to live on. You guys still havn't caught the wind of what has really happened out there. I have lived through three of them. The days of AA, UAL, and NWA are gone, you are going to have to do some time-the hard way. You'll survive and the experience you get will make it all worth will in the end. At least you guys have GPS...
 

Dan CFI/CFII

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"I see lots of job opportunities for CFIs"

" If you don't meet 135 IFR mins, jump on with some 135 operator with an SIC program. The pay is next to nothing but it is an honest way of building time"

"Don't be crazy, there are places out there that pay you to SIC"

"...VFR 135 in the Grand Canyon..."

" you are going to have to do some time-the hard way"

Easier said than done guys. Honestly, if it was just a matter of "jumping on" with a 135 operator who has SICs, there'd be people all over that.

I'm not a time builder (I really, really just like airplanes), and can give an excellent reference to that fact, but that doesn't help any. I would like nothing more than to fly in the right seat of an aging radial or turboprop. Other than my measley time I wrote in the logbook, I would consider myself an excellent candidate for the more extreme 135 operators. I'd rate my skills as far beyond my hours (I can give great references to that too), I am not afraid of a lot of hard work (whoah, can ask any previous employer), I HATE to have a set schedule (I honestly would rather not know what I'm doing tomorrow), I'll have an A&P in about two weeks, I'll have a 2 year and a 4 year degree (an aviation engineering type degree) in two weeks, I'm not scared of international flying if need be (I've travelled extensively in the third world), weather doesn't bother me (I've been there before and I'll be there again), I am ALWAYS the top of my class (what can I say, I don't mind work), I'm a really sociable guy (years of youth ministry will do that to ya), pay doesn't bother me (youth ministry will do that to ya too :) )...

But I can't get the time of day right now. Literally, I called and asked what time it was... :) Yet in two weeks, I'm going home to New Mexico to who knows what. Youth ministry again probably, but that's a pretty long committment with NO flying. There's not a single person (other than those going to the military) graduating with me who has any semblance of a job lined up.

So the idea that one has even the slightest ability right now to end up with an entry level aviation job is laughable to me. Beleive me, I've been trying and sent my stuff to a TON of companies, haven't heard a singel thing from any of them. Voicemail doesn't seem to really help either anymore.

Before the 9/11 attacks I was the guy saying "yeah, Airnet, that'd RULE!" But then, after 9/11, there's all the airline wannabes who say "darn, now I have to go work for Airnet." You tell me who would be a better deal for a company like that. (I'm just using Airnet as an example)

VFR 135 at the Grand Canyon--the tour operators seem to have laid off en masse, they're not only airlines, but tourism based businesses too. Really too bad, the right seat of a Do-228 would be absolutely awesome.

CFI work? I love instructing. I can honestly say I am an excellent instructor (mostly because I like to do it and could care less about moving on to something else--yeah, can give excellent references there). But I haven't been able to find jiggity jack squat on that front. The place I used to work as a CFI has five new airplanes since September and they are doing a very brisk business, but are under a new chief CFI and nobody I worked with is still there. No dice.

Of course, even with ALL that, there's no way I'd pay for 135 SIC time. I pride myself on the fact that every single entry in my logbook is backed up by experience. I've never shared time with anyone, I never ganked my students for flight time, I've let a LOt of hours slip away unrecorded because I want there to be NO DOUBT that if my logbook says PIC, that I acted as PIC, in addition to logging it.

SO for all of the "old timers" there telling the young whippersnappers that they need to be ready to "pay their dues" and all that... easier said than done my friends. I'm not averse to "paying my dues." In fact, the way I see it, the system has worked for so long with young pilots flying catalytic converters all ove the country at all hours in all weather, that that experience has prepared them for the service the public has come to expect in the airlines. The system worked for my grandfather, and it'll work for me, if it works at all. The problem is getting started and having the chance to prove ones abilities (like everything else in life).

So, if you've heard of flight schools looking for CFIs, please post those. You're making the search more efficient for both parties which is better for the industry. Same for operators who are willing to hire low time pilots into the right seat of something. Unless you are able to be around airports constantly (and without an aviation job that's near impossible--and I work across the parking lot from a GA field) you just don't hear about most of those opportunities.

Dan

Paying dues? I'd kill to BE ABLE to "pay my dues."
 

bobbysamd

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Pay-for-training

I can relate to sending tons and tons of apps and resumes and not ever hearing the phone ring, having no messages on my answering machine, or seeing anything in my mailbox except FAPA baloney and similar junk mail. You can expect that even during good times. I was in the job-seeking pool ten years ago when these stupid p-f-t schemes began. I resisted the temptation because it sounded too good to be true. Things that are too good to be true usually are.

Listen to the others when they tell you that pay-for-training and pay-for-SIC is so much bull. Let's say you sign up for one of these FO training programs that promise a job with the airline upon completion. There's plenty of fine print contained in the contract you'll have to sign. You'll have to give them a hefty deposit up front. If you don't cut it during "training," don't expect a refund and don't expect much help to get over the tough spots. And if you do make it through p-f-t, there may not be any jobs open at the company the end of your training. So, again, you're out all that money. Maybe the airline in question might call you in the future, but don't hold your breath.

The truth of the matter is, born out of experience, that there's little you can do to advance in this business when times are tough. Really, the best thing you can do is be employed as a pilot in ANY capacity, e.g. flight instructing. It'll be easier to move up if you're in than out when hiring resumes.

Just another two-center. Good luck with your decision.
 
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TurboS7

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Trade???

Dan,
I work for a great charter company on the 737-800, I fly all over the world and do some great things. My whole drive in getting into aviation was to fly as a missionary with JAARS or Mission Aviation Fellowship. After finishing up at LeTourneau College I started up a Part 135 out of Chicago. I was blessed to meet a wonderful girl with the Murk Family Musical, eventually we got married. I ran the Part 135 during the week then flew the Murks around on weekends. My dream was for us to go with JAARS and return to Colombia where my Mom and Dad and my sister Brenda and Chet Bitterman were serving as missionaries. Everthing was on track then Chet was kidnapped by the M-19 then after 6 horriable weeks they shot him in the heart and hung the body up on the primero de Mayo in Bogota.
Everyone in my family left Colombia after that happened and my dream went with it. I kept on with the Part 135 hiring guys out of Moody,Letourneau. The business gave them a chance to pay their school bills and then get the flying time needed to accomplish their goals. I would hire them with an A+P and 500 hours. Eventually I got burned out and moved to Florida as a short term missionary with MAF, that lasted one year.
At that point my life totally changed I got into the real aviation world. Lot's of time away from the family, and a lot of time away from church and all the other things. It is not everything it is cracked up to be, I have spent 5 months totally away from my family this year. I have 7 kids. My wife did come to visit while I was away but I couldn't afford the kids. The bottom line is what has more eternal value, flying or youth ministry. I would give up anything to be involved in youth ministry, that is something that will last for eternity. This flying stuff, its great, I love it, but once I pass on my logbook won't go anywhere.
While I had the 135 I used to fly Bibles to Mexico, and Central America, that was the greatest flying I have ever done. I have always dreamed of living in New Mexico, I love ABQ, you want to trade? I get to keep the wife though. Dave
 

AWACoff

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To put my money where my mouth is ("there are tons of CFI jobs"), the local FBO in Green Bay, Wisconsin just hired some 300TT grad from ERAU. Plus there are operators advertising for CFIs on www.climbto350.com right now. I just looked! You are in a much better position to land one of those jobs than ANY of the furloughed pilots. The operator knows you HAVE to stay for a while...the furloughed guys and gals are gone the moment they get recalled. I have found that the best way to get a job is to be the loudest voice. You need to fax, fax, fax...call, call, call...Heck, go visit and drop off a resume in person to the chief pilot (I did all that myself and got hired at Great Lakes with less time than you have...and that was without knowing anybody at the company, just tenacity). The jobs will go to the person who wants it the most. Good LUCK!!!
 

Wiggums

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Dan CFI/CFII said:
"I see lots of job opportunities for CFIs"

CFI work? I love instructing. I can honestly say I am an excellent instructor (mostly because I like to do it and could care less about moving on to something else--yeah, can give excellent references there). But I haven't been able to find jiggity jack squat on that front. The place I used to work as a CFI has five new airplanes since September and they are doing a very brisk business, but are under a new chief CFI and nobody I worked with is still there. No dice.
If you haven't called or visited all the flight schools in a fifty mile radius from your home I would say that you haven't even begun searching for a CFI job. Nothing in your immediate area? Expand your search, because there are schools looking for CFIs. If you're really such a super-duper person, and have some dual given you should be able to find work as an instructor. Like the above poster said, most schools have a fat stack of resumes, but they are only looking for people not on furlough, which gives you the advantage.
 

bobbysamd

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Finding CFI work

Once again, there's never a "good" time for pilot hiring. Even in the best of times, there are always many, many more qualified applicants for what are really a miniscule number of jobs. Just the same, that doesn't mean you cannot be one of the fortunate ones who find a job.

Work up a resume and print tons of them. Then spam every FBO and flight school in your area. Get in your car and hand-deliver a resume to every Chief Instructor within sight. Print some business cards and hand them to everyone you know. Timing is everything in this business. Follow up on your contacts (nicely). You show up at the right place and the right time and you'll get your chance.

Really, getting the first flying job is no different than getting a first job in any other business. You have to be persistent. Once someone takes a chance on you, getting subsequent jobs will be easier. In other words, once you're in, you're in. Getting "in" is hard.

Good luck with your job search.

PS-How come you can't reapply to your old school and to the new Chief Instructor?
 

hawkerjet

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I don't know where you live but there are pipe line patrol, powerline patrol, state survey, etc, etc, types of flying jobs available to you can use these jobs as a way to build time. Just remember, in these times you are not lucky to be working but very fortunate. You'll be there soon
 

YV-135C

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beating the dead horse

There is more than one way to PFT. You guys seem to think that the only way to PFT is by taking someone else's job.The truth is that there are programs out there that put the pilot in the right seat of an airplane without taking someone else's job. Not all SIC programs are worthless. Some provide actual flight line experience in weather conditions in which a lower time pilot might not normally fly in due to lack of experiecnce, or whatever other reason. This is invaluable stuff. If it's not taking another person's job ( SIC in aircraft that don't require SIC for example), then wouldn't you rather get actual operating experiece that is more challenging and affordable in higher performance airplanes rahter that putting around the patch in a 152 for the zillionth time with your nervous first time student doing touch and go's while trying not to fall asleep??

I know w couple of folks who have gone through SIC programs like the ones I am talking about. These same folks were also CFI's who insisted that the experience they paid for ( NOT TAKING ANOTHER PERON's JOB, MIND YOU) was 1000 times ore beneficial than the time they spent being CFI at their local flight schools..

i can probably predict how you guys will respond to this ,with your "pay your dues " attitudes..Remember that just because you paid your dues one way doesn't mean that that is THE ONLY WAY....

just beating the dead horse....

YV-135C
 

Timebuilder

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I'll smack that pony one more time, and I'll agree that there is some value in what you have said. I am thankful, however, that I get that right seat experience while being PAID, and not having to pay FOR it.
I see warning flags when someone is providing a valuable service, even when acting as an "assistant" in a single pilot certified aircraft, and being asked to pay for the privilege of providing that service. If someone were to do that, then they would be taking my job, such as it is when I am not instructing, and I would be poorer both in experience and cash.

I'm certain that my arrangement is somewhat unique, and I consider it to be a blessing. The part 91 legs have been a real asset to me, since I could never afford to rent this aircraft.

Airnet and BankAir have sic programs that will provide money for a hot dog or two per day, enough to keep you alive. I'd start looking there before paying for the services you will perform, such as gear, radio, second pair of eyes, additional situational awareness, cargo handling, cabin cleaning, chart and checklist handling, etc.

Just exhaust the other options, first.
 

TurboS7

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I vowed years ago that I would never work for free-unless a missionary or non-profit venture- and NEVER,NEVER pay for work. I was flying Aztec when others were flying jets, but I got my chance. Jet are a lot easier to fly anyway.
 

YV-135C

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buying sic time

time builder


The guys I have flown with have never given me the backburner duties ...Most of them are stoked to have someone else fly the plane for them while they do the paper work or just rest their eyes and brains for a little while. We trade legs during the day, and sometimes they let me fly all the legs. Most everyone I know who has done this program, including my CFI friends, have had similar experiences. Sure , it would be nice to get paid for it. If i could then I would...know what I mean??
The traditional stages one climbs before landing that first good job as a pilot for a 135 or 121 operator can vary more than the norm seems to be open to. Being a CFI is not for everyone. real 135 operating experience, real weather decisions, in real high performance airplanes , is worth more to me than most of what I learned renting airplanes and flying around and shooting approaches and xcountry flying by myself. THis way i learn from pilots with more experience, i am challenged by going flying in dodgyweather conditions that i might elect not to go flying in to challenging airports in the mountains (for example) if i was doing a part 91 flight on my own. ......
so. It has more value than you and many others who share your limited opinion have given it credit for.

any questions?

YV-135C
 

Timebuilder

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First, I hope those guys are stoked to have you fly the plane only on part 91, non-revenue legs, as your flying during the actual 135 operation would be completely illegal. Read the regs. Only the part 135 pilots can manipulate the flight controls during that portion of the flight.

My only other comment would be an observation: they are apparently more valuable to you than you are to them. Why not check the sic programs I mentioned, and get paid the money and respect you no doubt deserve? Wouldn't that be an even better situation?

One other thing. When you are being paid, the back burner duties become a source of pride, part of a job well done. I have picked up valuable customer relations skills, for example. In addition, things like filing flight plans and copying clearances, briefing the pilot on weather and pireps, runway lengths, and services on field are a source of satisfaction. These are all parts of the professional pilot experience.

No one wants to deny you the opportunity to get ahead. I think it need not be done without being paid for your valuable contributions.
 
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