Realistic contract pilot options

hawkerjet

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Maybe I wasn't clear on what I was trying to tell you earlier. Some states will give you a lump sum payment (California is one) for job training costs. I'm not exactly sure but it's in the vicinity of $6000-8500. We took on 3 furloghed pilots to shore up our needs (2 were ex employee's who were furloughed and the third was a US Airways pilot. All 3 got money from the state to help offset training costs.We know the 2 pilots from Delta and USAirways will be with us for at least a year, the other pilot already retuned to America West. I strongly suggest you look into the matter, maybe someone reading this can expand further on the name of the program and a web address for you. I guess I'm a hypocrite because I don't think this is considered PFT, I don't know, maybe because you already paid your dues or something like that, but that 's not the issue, you're elgible for some money so make the best of it. I know most of the operators around Socal pretty well and only a handful ( VNY ONT SNA) operate the 525. If it's the one at VNY be very careful. PM me if you like. You are an Airline pilot and can offer the right carrier an experienced dependable person for a short or long term contract. The more up front and honest you are makes it easier for the company to utilize your skills effectively. Good Luck...
 

marcs60

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WIA funding

Airbaker,

I am a soon to be furloughed DAL pilot I am interested in finding out how you were able to get funding for the training. I visisted my unemployment office in FL and was told that only specific schools were approved under the program and none of the schools provided aircraft type ratings. PM @ mschroe747@aol.com.

Thanks!
 

Chocks

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Furloughee to Corporate

I just went through this whole mess. I am a furloughed UAL 737-300 pilot. I got hired by Avolar after being furloughed, rode that wave for about 2 months (At least I got a Lear-45 type out of it) and then found myself on the street after UAL shut it down.

Because I was with Avolar and they are based out of Chicago, I was eligable for WIA benefits from the State of IL. They pay 6K towards a type rating. I networked with some military buds and got an interview with a kick a$$ corporate outfit in BUR. They hired me as a Westwind pilot, the 6K towards the type helping a lot.

I have been flying quite a bit. It's a 24/7 kind of schedule, but we aren't on a specific time teather and if it's 1900 and no phone call you can crack a beer.

I'm thankful for the job, the money is better than I could have hoped for with EJA or a regional and I get to fly. Most of our destinations are cool places and our customers are top notch.

Do I want to give my UAL seniority - NO. I'm probably looking at a couple years before I could go back to UAL. If the ERP thing passes I would go back on 4th year pay (Over a 100 bucks an hour) with lots of days off.

I am enjoying the corporate thing - Could see how the schedule would get old.

Best of luck - would recommend finding out how much $$ you can get from your state and then walking into a corporate outfit and tell them you can apply that much cash to a type. This way you don't get typed in something that the company who eventually hires you doesn't have.

Fly safe - Chocks
 

CCDiscoB

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Very interesting info here. I actually find myself siding with the corporate pilots. Maybe because I'm looking to go down that route. But a furloughed guy needs to work. I hope they all get work.

It sounds like Empenage is very senior at his company, either way, sign me up. At my age I need to find a company like that.

I see you guys know a lot about companies in CA. What about good corporate jobs in the Boston/NE area. I can't do full time NYC yet because of my ANG job.
 

501261

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Airbaker,

While I personally don't have a problem with you getting a type and flying charter while on furlough, there will be some pilots that take offense to it. Some pilots in the business jet world have decided to become Independent Contract Pilots (ICP's), guys like Jeff Beck, etc. For them this is a lifestyle choice as it combines the entrepreneurial spirit and the love of flying. Some of the top guys charge as much as $1,500 per day, while this might seem like a lot of money; they also pay Flight Safety up to $40,000 per year and other associated costs of being a true business (lawyers, accountants, advertising). I truly respect these guys because they are running a successful business.

The biggest advice I can give you is to not undercut the competition (ICP's), the going rate for Citation V captains in S. California is $500 per day; the problem is there are moonlighters that are willing to do it for $250 per day, because they don’t have to pay for training and other business type expenses. According to a recent Pro Pilot article Clay Lacy pays his GIII captains $450 per day (industry standard is $1050).

Finally if you do decide to do it don't think that all corporate jobs are alike, it would be like comparing Atlas Air to AA, even though they're both 121 carriers. Some of us would never leave our corporate jobs for the airlines, because we find it to be superior to any 121 job. Unfortunately you will probably not find any of these good corporate jobs as they are few and far between. More than likely you will end up working for a POS charter outfit. Don't let the bad experience you WILL receive from that POS charter leave you thinking that we're all like that.
 

CXAV8

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Hire me and I'll give your company a $6,000 kickback. Sounds alot like pay for training. This hurts the salaries and quality of life for of all of us.
I.E. G-IV cpt. accepting a 60,000 salary. Demand the appropriate wage for the A/C your flying. Just my two cents.
 

DC8Driver

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Having thousands of qualified pilots out of work is what hurts wages. Supply and demand,period.

Where should we stop paying for training? Should we make them pay for college? After our private?

When you are out of work, do what it takes to get hired. Feed your family.

If you were out of work for say 11 months I wonder what your feelings about the gov't giving you money for a type.

We all look through our own set of glasses.
 

501261

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You know I have to agree with the airline guys on this issue. If the government buys you a type and somebody hires you because of it, more power to you. As long as you don't undercut the going rate and hurt fellow pilots because of it.

My issue with this has always been the cheap operators that take advantage of pilots. I have never had a problem with a pilot putting food on the table, it's that cheapskate bum that pays 20% below industry average and thinks it makes any difference in the cost of operating an airplane!
 

Ty Webb

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Look guys, it's pretty simple-

Get hired on your own merits. If you qualify for a program, then let them know it, but don't make it an inducement to hire you over someone else. Use your head. If you come with Uncle Sam's $6,000. check towards your training, whats to stop some other guy with bucks in the bank to get wind of it and to offer $7,000. to hire him instead, and then the company decides that pilots are flying whores and makes it a requirement for wll pilots to pay for their training.

Don;t screw things up by lowering the bar for your fellow pilots.

I'll tell you this- quality operators already budget in their training costs per employee, but the bottom-feeders are always looking to cut out a few thousand here and there, especially when it comes to their pilots- wshen you start waving your checkbook around, you start attracting the bottom-feeder companies, so be forewarned.

If you went to my old employer, and offered to pay part of your own training costs, you would be shown the door in a hurry.
 
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DC8Driver

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Ty Webb:

Spoken like a man with a job.........

Lets see....what are my options.........I can go to work for a regional for $1500 a month or I can go to work for a 91 operator at say $45K. If offering to buy a type gets me the job that costs me 15k that leaves 30k. Regional 18k....hmmmm Am I not raising the bar for myself?

To use your logic I could say you lowered the bar for us all by taking a job at a low pay/low fare airline.....B717......Airtran?
So you think you lowered the bar for UAL and AA? Nonsense. You did what you thought was right.

Again, do what you have to do for your family.

By the way, I have turned down two regional jobs......I won't work for $100 more a month than unemployment.

It is easy to to be rightous when you have a paycheck.
 

airbaker

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Guys and Gals,

It's nice to see that my original thread is still generating responses! I guess I can give you all a status report on what happened since I started the discussion.

First of all, I went through the incredibly tedious process of getting funding through a combination of WIA and the National Emergency Grant. Incredibly, I recieved full funding for an Excel type through Simuflite. Now I know some of you said doing that would be comparable to PFT'ing. I happen to disagree, but can fully respect that the issue is painted with a gray hue. Bottom line is that I was incredibly proud that our (sometimes disfunctional), government offered a program that provided results. Shortly after receiving the type I was hired for contract work by a growing 135 outfit. Definately not a "fly-by-night" 135 job; all of the aircraft are impeccably maintained, and I recieved $500/day (industry standard) for my services. The program got me off the street, and allowed me to be a productive, tax-paying citizen again. After a few months the company offered me full-time and typed me on a C525. I've been treated with nothing but respect by all corporate guys I've run into. And I'm truely enjoying to fly again. (not to say that flying MD-80's was rough!, it's just that flying biz-jets has revived that spark that used to exist when I first started years ago.)

Now for the kicker. I'm in the running for a really great 91 job that would pay in the high 80's. At the rate that the economy is recovering, I don't expect to get recalled from AA for at least another 1 1/2 to 2 years. I definately don't want to burn a bridge, especially since my current employer was one of the few that didn't laugh me out of their offices when they saw that I was a furloughee. To be honest, I really don't know which way I'll go if I'm lucky enough to get an offer. Loyalty seems to be a fading character trait these days.

Anyway, good luck to everyone!
 

airbaker

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Ty,

I just got done reading your thread. I fully respect your opinions, and I thank you for your original response and opinions months ago. But DC8 makes a pretty good point...Most AA guys I flew with hated the smaller carriers for undercutting the profession.

Just food for thought, but when I eventually do get recalled, I'll be making around $128/hr. as an F/O. Aside from the fact that Airtran has a quick upgrade (I want to compare apples to apples), how many years would it take to make that hourly rate as an F/O at Airtran?

Honestly, not trying to insult you, just trying to play devil's advocate.
 

airbaker

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One last thing before I go to bed...

Yes I accepted a "grant" from the government. I'd hardly think many of you would turn it down if you were in our shoes (all 7000 of us)

I can fully appreciate the emotions this causes. None of us wants to degrade this profession down to the lowest bidder. For all I know the D.O. gave himself a bonus with the training costs he saved. But the fact is I demanded and received industry standard wages for the position.

It's somewhat ironic...I'm probably furloughed now because years ago I refused to PFT and go to Comair, COex, ACA, ASA and a few others (I know they don't now, but they did in the early, mid-nineties). Instead I flew single-pilot freight for 2 years and lost out on all the 121 time, networking contacts, etc...(just so that I could get hired by one of the few commuters that didn't make you PFT) The salt in my wounds is that I know plenty of guys that ponied up $$ years ago and are now "worry free" with several thousand guys below them as a buffer from future furloughs.
 
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Ty Webb

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Again, keep it simple.

I didn't go to AirTran because of the F/O pay at year 6. I went to AirTran because it was a growing carrier that offered an upgrade around the 2 year mark.

I went to AirTran because the senior guys offered to take a pay cut for 90 days so the junior guys didn't get furloughed after 9/11.

I went to AirTran so that I could have a 50-minute commute. I went to AirTran so I could deal with happy flight crews who didn't spend their time sitting around bitching about guys who weren't "upholding the profession" while their co-workers were working at Home Depot.

You can compare your 12th yr FO pay with someone who is at a carrier where pilots sit FO for 12 years. If you want to compare your 12th yr NET earnings with me, make sure you factor in the two or three years of furlough pay, too, just so we are comparing apples with apples.

Enjoy corporate flying. I did, too. It's what I did when I wouldn;t PFT either. Who'd have thought that you would be flying a CJ now, and I'd be flying a B717? Pretty crazy world.
 

chepito

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Realistic contract pilot...

Airbaker:
The way I see it is that you are not "paying for training" to get a job. You are not buying a job, you have a lot of experience and are only trying to get ahead. You have been fourloghed and have the right to take advantage of the WIA benefits that the government offers; afterall you have paid taxes for many years. You can get $8000 max. from the WIA program in California. I do not think that FlightSafety is WIA approved but Simuflite is as well as SIMCOM.
I am in the same boat you are on and I am barely living on unemployment.
Good luck!!
 

Tinpusher

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Contract vs. Employee

Airbaker,

Best of luck in the corporate world. I must hasten to add that although I clearly share the distaste expressed by many for PFT,
the world of contract piloting is a different animal. As an employee you are hired, trained and provide labor for a salary.
As a contract pilot you are your own business you provide for your own overhead...including training.....and hire out to whom you choose for the length of time you choose. You are expected
to pay for your own training...because you are both employee and employer...the aircraft owner is merely contracting with you for a prepared off the shelf ready to go product...you! All the best...I think you'll be an asset.:cool:
 

Toad4

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I have a couple of thoughts on this. I am a 26 yr old white guy with 2800 hours. I had to sign a 1 yr/$4000 dollar contract as an FO (no type/no school) and am upgrading to Capt. next week (Simuflite $9000/18 month contract). I have paid dues as a flight instructor, as a 135 freight dog, as a 135 freight dog co-pilot, and now as a 135 freight dog Capt. When does this all pay off again? Can I get a Federal/State grant to go get a type? How do I find out about this?

I would love to know what a furloughed airline guy still makes without doing anything. I wonder how many 121 guys go instruct while on furlough or fly single engine night freight? There is no law on instructing past age 60. How about giving a little back instead of taking fractional/corporate jobs that new guys rely on when you are already fat off of your "A" and "B" funds. This industry is so strange. We have the least experienced guys teach and eat Ramen noodles and the most experienced guys go on strike because they "only" make $285,000 per year and "have" to work 14 days a month. It makes me want to puke sometimes. I just want to be paid a reasonable and fair wage, with legal equipment, with no less time off than a "normal" person. I am sorry that I am coming off bitter here. I would cash a senior United Capt paycheck just like anyone else and I wouldn't want to descend the food chain again either. The difference here is they still have the almighty seniority number and know that this is temporary.

Ok, it's time to put my soap box back in the hangar and sorry for the rant. This industry is just frustrating sometimes and I don't blame these guys in the least. It's smart on their part and killing young guys like me. If you know the program to get free types, email me at:

toad04@mindspring.com
 

CCDiscoB

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Give Something Back!!

Hey Toad4

Dude, you argue like my wife, you're arguing two different points in the same paragraph. Very hard to follow. Speaking for the furloughed pilots that are military, they did give something back! They were in the military for 8-15 years. The civilian 121 pilots took the same track you did and I'm quite positive that they earned the position they are in now.

If you don't like the ladder you have to climb to get to the top, you can always quit and sell shoes. You're only 26, what's the rush. It sounds like you won't be "giving back" when you get to the higher ranks of being a professional pilot, because you already "paid your dues." I got news for you, we all did.
 
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Toad4

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I hope your wife is better looking

I will say only this. I was ranting a bit and expressing some of my frustrations on the way the industry works. We all (mil and civ) have to make tremendous sacrifices to get where we want.

I can't sell anything because people are naturally distrustful of the Irish. It looks like I'm stuck flying. I am too stupid to make an honest living anyway.
 

CL60

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Two to Tango

Toad4,

I understand your frustration and used to feel somewhat similar, (although to a lesser degree), to what you have expressed here. When airline pilots get furloughed, many of them successfully look to our industry for temporary employment which may push an aspiring and dedicated corporate pilot aside for a while. I think this is the general nexus of the frustrations you described earlier.

Eventually, I came to realize that the employers who hire a furloughed airline pilot or any pilot who brings extra barganing chips to the negociating table are looking at one thing... the bottom line. A furloughed pilot is already professionally trained, probably has sharp skills, and can probably fly whatever you put in front of them. There is one thing however they can't do... they can't take a corporate or frax job unless its offered to them first.

Territorial thinking is understandable. Airline unions are extremely territorial and very protective of their jobs. It is only natural to be protective of one's livelihood. Unfortunately, on this end of the industry, we have little control over this aspect.

I've corresponded with several furloughed pilots here and realize that they are just trying to pay the mortgage like the rest of us. They are only doing what anyone else would do in a similar situation. There are good agruments for both sides of this long-running dispute. I believe the best answer to this problem is to support our fellow aviators who are in need, no matter who they work for. Perhaps we would all be better off if this attitude were pervasive throughout our beloved industry.

See you all out there...
 
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