Vanguard Hiring

njcapt

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I was asked by our Chief Pilot to get the word out about Vanguard's hiring plans. We currently have 135 pilots flying 6 737-200 and 7 MD-80 aircraft. There is going to be a big expansion this year which will see Vanguard flying 20 aircraft by year's end. To achieve this, we will need to hire nearly eighty pilots to cover the expansion and normal attrition.

Recently, some changes to Vanguard's hiring minimums have been made. The 1000 PIC turbine requirement still stands, but credit for part 121 Transport Category SIC time will be given toward this requirement. For example, if a pilot has five hundred hours PIC in commuter aircraft, but has 2000 hours in the right seats of a number of other Transport Category aircraft, they will be considered to have met this requirement.

After some stagnation in upgrades in the past year and a half, pilots should be upgrading just after their first anniversaries with the airline.

More information can be found at Vanguard's web site.

http://www.flyvanguard.com/careerdetail.asp?ID=174
 

instructor93

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Vanguard training contract

njcapt:

Does Vanguard still have that two year training contract?
 

njcapt

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The terms of the Company's training contract seem to vary over time. The pilots' union doesn't get involved in the terms or application of the contracts in order to not institutionalize the use of them.

Lately the contract has been in effect for 15 months (why that duration - I don't know). This is longer than the probationary period, but in line with how long upgrade has classically taken.
 

InHot

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Federal Backed Loan

njcapt,

What's the status of the federal backed loan application? Last I spoke with Vanguard they were hoping for a 1 Feb approval. Any insight?
 

njcapt

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HeII, I thought we would get the approval in January. I am now under the impression that the whole administration is just jerking us off until the mandate expires this summer. While the massive influx of cash would allow us to expand quickly and easily, I'm not sure the strings the Government are attaching to the loan guarantees are worth it. Vanguard has secured pending financial backing from a number of outside sources, including our biggest shareholder, Pegasus Leasing. They were hurt in a big way after 9/11, but have got their house back in good order.

We have been kicking butt in the 1Q 2002, with huge loads and reliable service (mostly due to a fairly mild winter). If we aren't careful we are in grave danger of showing a profit.
 

throttlejockey

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All that sounds pretty optimistic, but Vanguard still has tons of debt and creditors that have not been paid a dime in months.

Some of the creditors have been promised debt settlements pending the outcome of the loan guarantees. If the loan guarantees do not come through, and the creditors are not taken care of, I am afraid that both the short and long term viability of Vanguard is in VERY SERIOUS doubt.

However, if the guarantees do come through, Vanguards future is much brighter. If I were you, I would start lobbying your congressmen and senators in a BIG way. Your job depends on the federal loan guarantees.

throttlejockey
 

njcapt

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throttlejockey said:
All that sounds pretty optimistic, but Vanguard still has tons of debt and creditors that have not been paid a dime in months.


Actually, Vanguard's large creditors bought huge amounts of Vanguard stock at bargain basement prices with the hope that they would profit upon the expansion and (hopefully) financial success of the airline. The creditors due monies agreed to suspend payments after the 9/11 attacks.

[/Quote]Some of the creditors have been promised debt settlements pending the outcome of the loan guarantees. If the loan guarantees do not come through, and the creditors are not taken care of, I am afraid that both the short and long term viability of Vanguard is in VERY SERIOUS doubt.[/Quote]

I have flown for Vanguard for more than three years and have heard all kinds of doom and gloom prophecies about the airline's survival possibilities. I have not fooled myself for a minute about the security of the airline, but nowhere I have worked has offered me the opportunities that Vanguard has. I got my first jet time, upgraded into the 737 in less than a year, transitioned to the MD-80 after two years, and have all the airline experience I need to get a job with any airline on the planet. I challenge anyone to provide me with an airline (currently hiring) that would offer the same opportunities.

[/Quote]However, if the guarantees do come through, Vanguards future is much brighter. If I were you, I would start lobbying your congressmen and senators in a BIG way. Your job depends on the federal loan guarantees.[/Quote]

I have learned since my last post that the loan guarantee program is progressing just as quickly as Vanguard wants. The profits of the first quarter have bought the airline time to make an application based on our exact needs, not on desperation. We have lobbied the living sh*t out of any pertinent congressional members, and the ball is almost exclusively in our court at this time.

Let the interested parties educate themselves about the value in going to work for Vanguard. I take it that you aren't among the thousands of pilots who are out of work right now who are hoping to avoid my fate during my last furlough of painting houses to make the mortgage.
 

TSAV8TOR

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How is the relationship between pilots and management?

Also, what type of work atmosphere is there at Vanguard?

How many days do you typically get off during the month?

What is a normal monthly line like?

If you can't tell, I am interested in Vanguard.

Thanks for any insight on the company.
 

njcapt

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The relationship with Management is good, maybe a little too good sometimes. The pilot association has a true open door policy with the flight department. I speak openly with the Chief Pilot on a pretty much daily basis (I'm the Association Vice - Chairman). 95% of all beefs are handled to the pilots' satisfaction by the Chief Pilot without going to grievance.

By the contract, pilots at NJ get a minimum of 12 days off a month. Actual numbers vary, but lately 10% of the lines have 16 - 17 days off, 60% have 14 - 15, and 30% have 12 - 13. This does not account for pilots on reserve, who get 12 off. Having worked for three different commuters I have seen crappy schedules. Nearly all lines at NJ are superior to the dross I was forced to fly before. Usually we work four day trips with three days off after. The high day off lines comprise mostly of three out and backs to the west coast in a row followed by four days off. Most of the trips we fly are commutable, starting after 1300 and getting done by 1800. The reserve lines are a mix, but generally have five or six reserve days in a row followed by three off.

I've never had more fun at an airline than at NJ. Crews usually fly together for the whole month, so you get pretty close with the other pilot and the flight attendants. I've only had a couple of months where I dreaded coming to work because of who I was flying with, and in those months I was able to trade out of a lot of the trips.

You won't get rich working for Vanguard, but if you want to live in Kansas City or are looking to get excellent experience in a short period of time, give them a try.
 

AWACoff

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Is Part 25 Transport Category 121 SIC time transferable on a 1 for 1 basis for PIC 121 or is it a percentage (ie 1000 SIC equals 500 PIC)?
 

TSAV8TOR

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Would love to work for them. I have sent them a resume every 2 months in hopes of hearing something from them. My guess is they are getting flooded with resumes from higher time pilots right now. I will continue to send them off and hopefully wait for my shot at an interview.

Thanks for the information, I greatly appreciate it.
 

njcapt

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AWACoff said:
Is Part 25 Transport Category 121 SIC time transferable on a 1 for 1 basis for PIC 121 or is it a percentage (ie 1000 SIC equals 500 PIC)?
There is a conversion factor, but I haven't been told what it is. Expect a three to one or four to one ratio, since this conversion factor is intended to give long time F/O's credit for their experience in the industry.

Vanguard is still having trouble getting pilots to class. This is a rough estimate - based on observation alone. They receive tons of resumes (on the order of ten to fifteen a day), send out applications to probably a quarter of them (unbelievable how many woefully inexperienced pilots still send in resumes - in spite of the publicly stated hiring minimums and their commitment not to deviate from them), and call half of those for interviews. Probably no more than half of those called make it in for the interview (for a number of reasons), three quarters get offered a sim check, and three quarters of those get put in the hiring pool. The pool gets drained to the tune of 30% a month by people getting other jobs. When offered a class date, only about three quarters of the pilots called accept, and when the classes start someone fails to show up in about every other class.

So - if my math is right - in the best of months four qualified pilots a week make it to the show. Vanguard has been running, and will continue to run, two classes a month for six to eight new hires. They are obviously just making it with the staffing. Anyone who meets the minimums, doesn't come off as too big of a loser in an interview, can fly a basic profile in a 737/MD-80/727 sim, pass a background check, and show up for class should get hired. So - get going.
 

fly26

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njcapt,

Can pilots at Vanguard make extra $ for picking up trips on days off? Is that paid at regular unit rate, above guarantee?

Do you know if the company contributes to insurance costs? 401K?

Can you make a career at Vanguard?

Also, is it correct that the 737's are on the way out?

Thanks.
 

njcapt

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Yes.





Just kidding. Yes, right now lots of open time exists - due mostly to the staffing shortages I mentioned before. I picked up a couple of FLL turns that have my pay up over 100 units this month.

The company pays about half the cost of health insurance and contributes a share into your 401k fund. I can't remember the exact match.

The 737's are slowly going away. As of May, we will have only four of them, while the MD-80 fleet will continue to grow.
 

fly26

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Thanks for the info njcapt.

With the reduction of the 737 fleet, do you know if all new hires will go to the MD80?

Also, what does a senior capt max out at Vanguard?
 

TSAV8TOR

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Got a question!

I sent out my resume and cover letter to Vanguard and just got an application in the mail today. I know, fill it out and send it in, right?

Here is the catch. It was accompanied by a letter that says to send in the application when I have met the minimums. I currently do not have an ATP or 1000 hours PIC, however, I have all of the other requirements plus, I have passed the ATP written, and am currently employed by a part 121 air carrier with 1000 hours of SIC. Do I send it in?

Appreciate the help. Especially interested in hearing from anyone at Vanguard.

Thanks.
 

54fighting

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TSAV8TOR-

Quick question, when did you first start sending in your resume and how often. How long ago was it since you last sent one. Just curious, I sent my resume via e-mail on March 27th haven't received anything yet.

Thanks
 

njcapt

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TSAV8TOR said:
I currently do not have an ATP or 1000 hours PIC, however, I have all of the other requirements plus, I have passed the ATP written, and am currently employed by a part 121 air carrier with 1000 hours of SIC. Do I send it in?

Thanks. [/B]
Get the ATP then send it in. See the post above for a discussion on the SIC to PIC conversion. If you are close on the other times (not five hundred hours away, Chief), go for it.
 

proav

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Do they require a type rating? If so, who
pays for it. Also curious if they start new
hires in the 737 or not.
 

737/80Pilot

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Vanguard does not require a type. Depending on what the need is will depend on whether you are assigned the B737 or the MD80. Most newhire classes are in the MD80.
 
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