What should I do now?

AV1ATRX

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I was recently fired from a charter job for refusing to fly in bad weather. Has anybody else had this happen to them? It hasn't been quiet, either, so all the other companies in the area know what happened. The folks who know the details know it wasn't my fault, but prospective employers don't know that until I get a chance to interview, and so far I haven't had any luck landing any interviews. I'm fairly low time (136 hours of multi time, 1700 total), and I know there aren't many jobs out there. I've got one student and am looking for others. Should I forget a charter job now? I have never known anybody that this happened to, so I don't know how bad it is, or if it's even bad at all.

I felt really bad about how it happened at first, but now I'm proud of myself. I have always let people push me around before, so I did trips that weren't legal or were unsafe in other respects, but then I realized that I wasn't acting as PIC when I let them do that to me. So I stopped letting them push me to fly when I was overloaded (that happened ALL THE TIME) or in icing conditions (they don't own any airplanes that are legally certified for flight in known icing conditions). Also, to head off the unsults, I am not afraid of a tough flight - the greatest thrill in an airplane for me is an approach to minimums, day or night.

That said, did I screw up? Should I forget ever flying charter or 121? I just can't help but put my passengers (and my own) safety first, regardless of how much the trip would have made. And no matter how many hours I accumulate, I refuse to compromise the FAR's (except in an emergency, of course), so that a company can make money. I realize that making money for the company is the reason I get a paycheck, so don't flame me with that. I'm just saying, I won't compromise safety or FAR's to make money. I know there are ways to still make a flight in some cases, and I'm all for that, but I won't "bend" the rules. For instance, if an airplane is legally unairworthy, maybe not unsafe, but legally unairworthy nonetheless, I am going to write it up and get another plane.

So, what do you think? Is my career over? Should I go work for the FAA since I seem to be such a stickler for regs? (I don't want to do that - I love to actually fly every day.) I have made myself sound anal, but I'm not. I loved flying charter, and I didn't want to have to cancel trips or delay them, but sometimes I had to. Thanks for reading, and if anybody answers, go easy on me. I'm still new compared to all you high-timers, and I really just want to grow into a great captain someday. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
 

AV1ATRX

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No, I haven't applied there. Are they hiring? Would my times be competitive? Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it.
 

RJones

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Refuse to fly?

I'm super proud of you! You can't let these charter outfits use your certificates to make them money. All you have is your life and certificates and you CAN'T let these 135 operators push you around. The bottom line for them is to make money and they careless about your certificates. Now this seems odd that they think this way, but they do even though they would face a fine if your violated.

You have personal minimums and you have to stick by them. Don't let them waiver one bit. If your not comfortable with a specific situation don't go. If they don't like your decision they can get screwed!

I'm sorry, that c#$p makes me mad!

RJ
 

Andy Neill

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You have less than average times among our current applicants but we do interview those with less. Those with below average times need to give above average performance in the interview.

We have a class that started today. The average time among non-previous employees is around 1870. I do have one with considerably less time than you have. 4 of the 14 are ATPs. The chances of you getting on without an online application are roughly 0%. I strongly encourage you to apply.

We started interviews yesterday. I am expecting those who interview successfully this week to be in class in the June/July time frame.
 

skydiverdriver

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A few small operators who don't know all the details may have blackballed you, but your career is certainly NOT over. Many 121 airlines would love to have you, if not all of them. Since you were fired, you will have to disclose this at an interview, but you can make this a plus if you think about it. You have to remember that airline interviewers are moslty pilots, and they know what happens at some operations. Don't worry about it, and don't give up.

Right now, things are tough and there are few jobs to be had. However, I'm sure if you keep flying somehow, and things start to pick up, you should have no trouble. You also may get a job at a very good regional like Skywest or Comair, or another that is still hiring. Just don't give up and keep on trying. I would also suggest you read the book "I could do anything if I only knew what it was," By Barbar Sher. It will help you to decide what your dream job is, and help you to go for your dreams.

I hope this helps, and I look foreward to hearing your voice on the radio again soon.
 

AV1ATRX

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I'm sitting here with a great big grin on my face because of all the kind things being said. Thanks for the replies and advice, and I will certainly not give up now! I guess my next move is to work on an application with the afformentioned (sp?) regional :)
 

publisher

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dead

If you are dead, the job is not worth much. The title is Pilot in Command and not ATC , an employer, or anyone else should or could usurp that authority.

Tell you future interviewers exactly what the situation was. If that keeps you out, you do not want to be there.
 

DC9stick

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Hang in there, Don't let anyone tell you when to fly (weatherwise)
Don't break the regs. The people who run these places are there because they can't get to the top, and to the top you will go. Stick to your guns. Good luck
 

banned username 2

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Stick to you guns, don't give up and never give in... YOU are the PIC, and YOU will be the one to die if you let someone else push you to do something unsafe....

Don't worry about what you think they are saying about you... If other companies look down on that you don't want to work there either... Don't sweat it, there are many people this has happened to before and they have all gone on to make very lucrative careers for themselves...

If you really get pissed, you could try a wrongful termination and slander lawsuit against them, that would most likely shut there mouth (and maybe even their doors if you were to win it!)

Not that I encourage sueing people, but I really hate to see this crap go on in the industry!
 

wildbill

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Remember the old saying, " It is better to be down here wishing you were up there, than being up there wishing you were down here." Stick to your guns. Only you know your limitations and don't ever let anyone change them. I had an employer once who called me everything under thesun because I refused to fly his plane with the engines running rough. He relented a had them checked only to find that 12 cylinders were cracked on a navajo due to the previous pilot overboosting the engines. Remember, you are a professional and you are trained to make those unpopular decisions. Best of luck to you. When you explain what happened to a potential employer, they would be foolish not to consider a safety minded aviator.. Don't give up on your dream..
 

IAHERJ

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hmmm?
The responses you have received were all very nice and productive. I will offer you a little more advice as I once sat at the other end of the interview table. You will be interviewed in the future by a regional airline given your qualifications time wise and I assume you have graduated from college. You will have to address the termination issue and how you chose to address this will be very crucial to the interviewer. When a recruitor from a regional sees that an applicant has been terminated from a flying job, a red flag instantly goes up. Questions that arise in the head of the interviewer consist of things like; "is he/she and attidude problem?, too slow and anal?, not a team player?,". You have the chance to make your case in the interview. Be honest about your end of employment status and do not under any circumstances degrade any of the pilots or the company in the interview. Tell it like it was and don't be afraid to openly admit that you might have not done the right thing but that you stand by your decision at the time. Good luck in the job hunt.

IAHERJ
 

Boeingman

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A lot
This forum is very enlightening for guys like me that have only flown military and went straight into the airlines.

Some of these stories are incredible.
 
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Cardinal

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For some further food for thought, don't forget that they can fire you just as easily for going in marginal conditions and then having an incident/accident. Better to be fired before the wreck than after. Think about it this way. When you're interviewing at the majors, imagine what the great story about your personal integrity you'll be able to relate.
 

AV1ATRX

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All of the information I have recieved has been very helpful, so I want to ask another question. I was fired by the company owner, not the chief pilot, who strongly disagreed with the decision. After the fact, he told me that when the paperwork had been done, it was in my file that I had been laid off for lack of work, and that is what the airlines will hear when they call them. Should I still tell the whole story, or just leave it at whatever information they get from my former employer? I feel like it's an important part of my past work history, and I'm not ashamed of the truth. But, I know very well not to dig a hole for myself if I don't need to.

Y'all have been great with all of this. I really appreciate the information, as I'm sure it will help me in the future.
 

bobbysamd

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Pilot Pushing

You didn't state exactly how "bad" the weather was, but, nevertheless, good decision. I'd hire you. You exercised good judgment. Don't forget one of the Five Hazardous Thought Attitudes in ADM. Follow the rules; they're usually right.

You did the right thing. It's an age-old problem. People should read Chapter 3 about Pilot Pushing in Flying the Line.

I guarantee that if an incident ensued , that "company" of yours would have hung you out to dry. Always, always, put safety first and protect your certificates.

You could stand a few more multi hours to be competitive. Getting your ATP would be a good idea, too, if you haven't already.

At least your Chief Pilot is a standup guy. He is doing you a favor because a layoff will let you collect a full award of unemployment benefits. See if you can get an LOR from him that states all the circumstances about why you left that company and states specifically you were laid off for lack of work. That may obviate any need to disclose a termination on an app.

Good luck with taking the next, big, positive step in your career. Actually, you just took a big, positive step.
 
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bayoubandit

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Outstanding decision! I also think every airline out there wants a guy or gal who makes a decision and sticks to it. I know AA would love to have a person like you based on my experience there. Almost every interviewer will bring up a "situation"you've encountered.You've got a great one here. There is nothing wrong with being terminated when you were in the right and the interviewers know this. Airlines want conservative pilots, not cowboys. I am most impressed that you were able to tell the boss what you think about that situation and stuck with your answer. Good job!

Once mgmt/mx tried to pressure me into a situation I didn't like at a 121 airline. I was an FO at the time and would not give in to their requests to put it mildly. I heard from everyone from why mx to marketing needed the plane. I told the CA they could find another FO or send a mgmt. pilot to come get it. We were at a remote outstation in another country. The CA backed me up and the chief pilot went along with it also. I never heard anything about it later. I told this story on my interview at AA and they sucked it up. They want to see the right thing done even if you have to answer for it later.

Judging from my experience, you won't have any problems with getting an airline job. Good luck!
 

justApilot

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A lot of good advice. Seeing that your boss was such a dirtbag, I would want to get a copy of your employment records. Just to make sure that nothing negative has been documented without your knowing. Good luck to you. You did the right thing.
 

AWACoff

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Okay, flamesuit on.
Call me the devil's advocate but you posted:
"...so I did trips that weren't legal or were unsafe in other respects..."

"I refuse to compromise the FARs..."

"Should I go work for the FAA since I am such a strickler for the rules..."

Your post seems contradictory. I'm all for your decision making. If you deem a trip unsafe, you don't go. That's what a PIC does. A competent PIC does not fly illegal and unsafe trips though. I'm guessing those incidents were in the past and not at the same operator that fired you and that you have learned from them (haven't we all broken FARs in the past?..yep). Everything from a DUI to an accident can be talked through in an interview. It's all in how you present yourself. Take responsibility but DO explain thought processes involved and lessons learned. You will succeed in this industry if you want to...guaranteed.

Tenacity.
 

Timebuilder

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TB for the defense, your honor.

I'll bet those early "bad" decisions were a part of the learning curve, and there is remorse shown for those decisions. This last decision shows a growing maturity in flying, and a greater responsibility being exercised.

I'm asking for a suspended sentence.

Keep flying.
 
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