How necessary is a CFI to break into commercial aviation?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Positively_Weird, Feb 11, 2021.

Tags:
  1. Brad W

    Brad W Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2019
    Messages:
    535
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    BLW2
    I would suggest that your opinion of teaching could very well change in time with experience.
    There are lots of different ways of teaching, lots of different kinds of teachers, lots of different kinds of students.....it doesn't all fit in one box and you might end up finding some of it fun or rewarding.

    The other thing about teaching...even if it's not your most fun thing, it's a great way...in some ways perhaps the best way to better learn things for yourself!
     
    dtuuri likes this.
  2. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2019
    Messages:
    1,160
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Deelee
    Honest question about banner towing - aside from the beach, where are all these banners flying around? I have seen them at some of the east coast beaches (Ocean City MD, Rehoboth Beach DE). Maybe one or two planes lugging adverts for local seafood restaurants or bars. So that is maybe four pilots on a rotation during the summer flying them up and down beach towns? But where else? Seems there are a very limited number of banner tow pilot slots.

    Honestly, it seems like a kind of a fun job. You get to fly up and down the beach in the summer... maybe a little repetitive, but still seems like a fun job. But how many of these jobs are out there?
     
  3. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    13,150
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    eman1200
    See them a lot around the red neck rodeo, er, nascar. But half that crowd can’t read anyways so what’s the point. Maybe the banners just have pictures of a bud light bottle DILLY DILLY
     
  4. Brad W

    Brad W Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2019
    Messages:
    535
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    BLW2
    yes, it has always seemed to me that all the other options to build time really require knowing the right folks or just being very lucky to be in the right place at the right time.... not very many skydive operators, banner tow slots, pipeline or survey flights,etc... and even harder to get the coveted multi-engine time building jobs.... so it leaves instructing or military.... and my understanding is that even a lot of new military pilots instruct early on to build time.....
     
  5. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Messages:
    4,316
    Location:
    Madison, OH
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    dtuuri
    Lessee... dragging a hook on the ground from an airplane, spraying poison on the crops from 5 feet while just above stall speed, or teaching the fundamentals of safe flight from the different perspectives needed to connect with a variety of different students' learning styles, which one to choose? Hmmm... I know what I'd pick (because I did).
     
  6. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,799
    Location:
    North Carolina once again.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tarheelpilot
    That would make the difference in getting a shot at breaking into ag. No tail wheel time will absolutely close that door.
     
  7. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Messages:
    2,095
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Heywood Jablowme
    Lots of them in Florida. There was one based at my home airport in NH this past summer that spent lots of time over the lakes and beaches. If there are large crowds outside on a regular basis, there will probably be a banner airplane.
     
  8. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,799
    Location:
    North Carolina once again.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tarheelpilot
    Five feet above the crop just above stall speed???

    Do you always make things up when you have no knowledge of the subject?
     
    MauleSkinner likes this.
  9. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Messages:
    2,095
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Heywood Jablowme
    Why corporate, and not the airlines?

    You say cargo, wondering what the difference is between flying for United and flying for UPS?

    Have you passed a 1st class medical yet?
     
  10. texasclouds

    texasclouds Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2018
    Messages:
    1,431
    Location:
    Bryan, Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    roger, but for corporate I’ve heard that doesn’t mean much.
     
  11. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Messages:
    4,316
    Location:
    Madison, OH
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    dtuuri
    Eye-balled it from a picture. After I saw the burns on a crop duster pilot and pictures of the seven crop duster crashes Jim Holland once showed me, I steered far away from the business.
     
  12. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,799
    Location:
    North Carolina once again.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tarheelpilot
    Just so you know for the next time you want to deride an entire industry:

    We don’t fly anywhere near stall speed to include the turns where we are going the slowest while working.

    Burn injury’s have become very rare as the industry has moved to turbine equipment. Crashing happens to often but crashing and burning was a thing when 100LL was the common fuel.

    With the development of the PAASS program by our trade group the accident rates have plunged over the last 20 years and have been stable for the last few years. Still to many in my opinion but like any other kind of aviation endeavor it’s only as dangerous or as safe as the PIC decisions allow.

    edit:
    Ag is a great career but much like teaching it’s a fools errand if taken on for the wrong reason. I would never recommend it to someone looking to build time for some other non-utility job.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2021
    dtuuri and Groundpounder like this.
  13. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Messages:
    4,316
    Location:
    Madison, OH
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    dtuuri
    I gave you a "Like" for the educational portion of the above post, except for this part. What I said wasn't "derision" it was the absolute truth. Jim Holland pulled out an album full of plane crashes he said he survived while crop dusting, at least that's how I remember it from 1966 in Homestead, Florida. It was right after I walked over to a Pawnee that had landed to ask the pilot how I would go about getting trained to be a crop duster. Holland owned the Citabria dealership where the crop duster had parked and after I talked to the duster pilot I mentioned the conversation to Jim, who was giving me an aerobatic lesson. The duster pilot walked with a limp, had a shriveled up arm and burns on his face. I pretty much had said, "Nice plane," or something other than ask him what I intended, then went inside to relate the encounter to Jim. I'm glad you pointed out the changes in the industry. I would point out that Jet A burns hotter than avgas.
     
  14. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,799
    Location:
    North Carolina once again.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tarheelpilot
    I guess we can all take things however we like. I was just pointing out that you clearly have no idea what you are talking about. You peeked behind the curtain almost sixty years ago and have no experience in the field. That’s not a good position to be in if you are going to speak negatively about anything. Especially when there are people in this community currently employed in the field.
     
    Groundpounder likes this.
  15. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Messages:
    4,316
    Location:
    Madison, OH
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    dtuuri
    Touché! FWIW, I wouldn't be flying a hopper full of poison at just above stall speed, if I was forced at gunpoint to spray crops. I might have picked that up from some other ignorant author of a post on the subject and just accepted it in passing. My hat's off to duster pilots, it just ain't for me and I wanted to pass my experience on to a newbie. Now the OP has better information and that's a good thing. :)
     
  16. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,799
    Location:
    North Carolina once again.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tarheelpilot
    Lol
    No one would expect you to my friend.
    In my anecdotal experience the next big challenge we face is fatigue management. The work comes in waves and I have never meet a timid ag pilot. We have a tendency to be problem solvers and being the guy that shuts down because of fatigue doesn’t solve problems... at least not in the short term. Overall though it is a lucrative and rewarding career. It does require a strong personality and a high level of professionalism to accomplish safely and efficiently.
     
  17. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2018
    Messages:
    2,478
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Juliet Hotel
    Your knowledge of banner towing and crop spraying technique is impressive to say the least.
     
  18. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    8,847
    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MauleSkinner
    So you’d fly at the proper speed if forced at gunpoint to spray crops?
     
  19. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Messages:
    4,316
    Location:
    Madison, OH
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    dtuuri
    Heh. I knew I'd hear from banner pilots pretty soon. Glad I didn't say anything about building time towing gliders too! :p
    With a gun at my head and trees and powerlines up in front with a hairpin turn right after, probably not (whatever "proper" speed is), I'd be going like a bat out of hell! ("If altitude is money in the bank, speed is money in the pocket." - Stick and Rudder)
     
  20. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    8,847
    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MauleSkinner
    So you’d do it the way most ag pilots do (or at least did when I was around the business)...open the throttle for takeoff, and pull it back from there for landing.

    this whole “just above stall speed” thing is uninformed ********.

    And since you continued the uninformed ******** after being informed a couple of times that it wasn’t true, I’d say it’s sensationalist ********. Are you a news reporter?
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2021
  21. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Messages:
    4,316
    Location:
    Madison, OH
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    dtuuri
    Well for Pete's sake! Sorry I rubbed everybody's fur the wrong way. I wasn't telling the OP "how" to crop dust, I gave my impressions at the OP's stage in life where I took the CFI path at the same fork in the road. And I didn't double down as you claim either. I admitted immediately that I read that in an article and didn't think it through. I've seen crop dusters and banner operations up close since then and I feel the same: it's risky business and at 250 hours total time the CFI path, imo, is the wiser choice. YMMV. The more we talk about it though, the better for the OP, so keep it coming. Crop dusters never accidentally stall and crash? Same for banner pilots? How does that compare with CFIs who do thousands of stalls intentionally?
     
  22. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    8,847
    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MauleSkinner
    looks like doubling down to me.
     
  23. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Messages:
    4,316
    Location:
    Madison, OH
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    dtuuri
    You misunderstood, then. I said "I" (note the bold emphasis) would NOT fly just above stall speed even at gunpoint. Methinks you were looking for trouble.
     
  24. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,799
    Location:
    North Carolina once again.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tarheelpilot
    I’m not sure who you think would want you to do something that dumb. It’s a good way to die. No gun required. I figured you were just joking but I didn’t get the joke. That happens a lot.
     
  25. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2018
    Messages:
    2,478
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Juliet Hotel
    Crop dusters do indeed die when they fly with poor technique. Same for banner pilots. But I'm pretty sure CFI's are equally as susceptible to dying from poor technique. So what's your point?
     
  26. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Messages:
    4,316
    Location:
    Madison, OH
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    dtuuri
    The point is: the OP wants to get a job with 250 hours and has choices, just like I did. Being a CFI builds time fast, deepens one's understanding of the fundamentals of flight and sharpens one's stick and rudder skills all at a nice safe comfortable altitude. So, which choice has the lower insurance premium?
     
  27. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2018
    Messages:
    2,478
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Juliet Hotel
    Never had insurance as a pro pilot so I couldn't tell which one has lower premiums. As for building time fast, when I was towing banners, I used to put 40+ hours in my logbook every week. I'm sure there are CFI's out there that can log that kind of time, but the CFI I did all my certs with never got anywhere near being able to log that much time.
     
  28. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    8,847
    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MauleSkinner
    Ok...so you just threw in a random statement that had nothing to do with the thread to confuse people?
     
  29. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,799
    Location:
    North Carolina once again.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tarheelpilot
    I don’t think you understand.