Post CPL Options & Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by rt4388, Jun 24, 2017.

  1. rt4388

    rt4388 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    So it's official... I'm giving up my corporate finance job to attend ATP flight school and get my multi/instrument ratings and CPL. In about 4 months I'll have some big decisions to make regarding whether I want to be an instructor, look for a 135 job, try to get on with an asian airline, or any other possibilities. Any of you have thoughts or recommendations? Ultimately, my goal is to make it to a legacy carrier (far down the road, obviously). But the idea of doing some flying in Alaska, moving to Asia or Europe (if possible), or anything other than the typical CFI role sounds pretty exciting.
    As always, thanks for the input!
     
  2. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    I may be a little biased, but Alaska will put a lot of hours in your log book per year. If you hunt and/or fish you will be in the right spot. Minimum hours for a job will be 500 though.
     
  3. rt4388

    rt4388 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks for the thoughts! Did you do flying up there? What were the pros and cons? How many hours per year should I expect? I'm really attracted to the Alaska idea just cause it's different and I'll learn some good skills while flying in that environment.
     
  4. mtuomi

    mtuomi En-Route

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    I just flooded Alaska with applications :) (640TT)

    @rt4388 how many total hours have you got? Asia is not an option without at least 4 figures and usually they want jet time too. I think Susi Air in Indonesia needs 750 now (250TT is the official minimum but most people have 750+ who go there)
    Europe is difficult because of EASA - EASA ATPL is not a joke. Also you'll need to make sure whether you can obtain legal status there - airlines won't sponsor your working visa in EU. Your certificate also does not directly convert into EASA - you'll need to sit the tests (which are pretty hardcore compared to FAA).
    Another "popular" low-timer destination is Maun in Botswana.
     
  5. rt4388

    rt4388 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hopefully you'll hear some good news from them soon then!

    I've got 55 now (low, I know), but I'll have over 250 (CPL, IR, multi, CFI, and CFII) within the next 6 months or so. And interesting that you think you need 4 figures for Asia. I work with a former 737 captain from an Asian airline and he was saying they'll hire you once you get your FAA CPL. And yea, I figured EASA was pretty difficult--overall, they're ahead of us in a lot of way IMO. I'll have to look into Botswana! That sounds exciting.
     
  6. mtuomi

    mtuomi En-Route

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    One thing you'll learn very quickly is that nothing happens quickly in aviation recruitment. I sent my apps last week and hope to hear back within a couple of months. 2-3 months seems to be an average, at least in Alaska.

    I wouldn't say EASA is ahead, more of a sideways move. The exams for EASA ATPL are mostly irrelevant c**p - a bit like pre-ACS FAA stuff. There's just a lot more of it. It does take around a year of studying to pass them. After that you can do celestial navigation and can calculate coordinates between different map projections, but they definitely don't make you a better pilot.

    They won't hire expat FO's with just a commercial. If you are a Chinese national, then you might find a job in China on the right seat with a fresh FAA CPL, but laowais - not a chance.
    Many experienced people actually know very little about the minimum requirements - they exceed the minimums and that's all they really need to know.
    Most Asian jet jobs are done via agencies - you can check out the requirements from companies like Rishworth. Asiana for example is 1000 preferably jet time with 500 hours on type for their expat A320 FO jobs.

    There's a very good thread about Botswana in pprune, highly recommend taking a few hours and reading through the whole thing.
     
  7. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    I lived and flew in Alaska full time for 7 years. Now I just go back most summers, except this summer. My original plan was to spend one year there and move on.

    The most I flew in one year was 1200 hours. One summer I flew the max allowed for two quarters, another time I flew 90 straight days over two quarters. I went there with 800 total hours and 25 multi, and left with over 8000 hours and 2700 multi.

    The cons of flying in Alaska are many. 14 hour days, loads like 14,000 pounds of canned Pepsi to move to a village 1000 pounds per trip. Short butt freezing days in winter, long mosquito filled summer days. There will be times of 1 mile visibility and you will be glad it is up to one mile, days that start out crystal clear blue skies and one hour later you can't see your hand in front of your face. Station managers that will want you to fly VFR in bare minimum weather, icing conditions in a C-207. Sick passengers, horrible smelling passengers and even worse smelling native foods. And many more....

    I originally went to Alaska to stay for one year and it turned into 7. It is more than job, it is a life style, and it can be hard every now and then. I have seen people show up for the first day of ground school and then not show up the next day. Winter is cold. Let me repeat: winter is COLD. You will learn to fly a plane wearing bunny boots, Carhartt insulated coveralls and a parka, with insulated gloves and hat. You will get used to light ice on the wings of the C-207, which carries ice well by the way. Summers are absolutely awesome..!!!

    The Eskimo are quiet people. When you first get there they will ask you how long you have been flying. Don't take it personal if some do not fly with you. Remember, these people have more time riding in airplanes than I have hours flying them. But the Eskimo are great people. There is no greater feeling when after a flight someone reaches up, pats you on the shoulder and say "Goot Flight". Or to get passengers to load up and someone says, "Oh, we are glad you are our pilot." The Eskimo love to laugh and will play jokes on you to test you. Respect the elders, and help them on and off the plane.

    You will get flight experience that is unique to Alaska. Like flying 500 ft agl patterns. Even some legs may be 500 ft agl with 2 mile visibility. Or 1000 ft agl and 1 mile visibility. You may not start the day that way but it could end up that way. Prepare to be stuck in a village due to weather.

    Company housing can be austere to say the least. Shared beds are common, that is when you are on your days off someone else will be sleeping in your bed. I usually found a place to rent and had a roommate that worked opposite of my schedule so we hardly saw each other.

    I am missing Alaska as I type this.

    Another bush pilot, Davidwhite should be here shortly and give you more insights. All I can suggest is that if you are single and love adventure, GO..!!!

    One little warning in case you are married or attached, women either love Alaska or hate Alaska. I have not met any women that said they tolerate it because their husband/boyfriend is here.
     
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  8. BalooAirService

    BalooAirService Pre-takeoff checklist

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    dont quit your corporate job and do ATP part time.
    Not everyone gels with ATPs "program". So its good to have that job as backup.
     
  9. Htaylor

    Htaylor Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Like Zeldman, I came to Alaska to fly for 1 year just for the experience. That was 6 years ago. There's really nothing like it. ( BTW Billy, I came around South Tip today at 400', picked up the river and followed it to the runway. The wx was below IFR mins. and The Cut was socked in). I keep saying this is my last Summer here, but as soon as I leave in the fall, I miss the flying here. It really is unique, and most employers are easing up on the push to fly in bad weather. Too much bent metal and too many lost lives. Grant Aviation lost another last month.

    Flying in AK will test you as both a pilot and a person. And make you better at being both. One thing for sure is that the local people do have favorite pilots and they watch closely at your decisions as a pilot. Most have grown up flying and know when it's time to turn around and when the wx is good enough to push on. I actually turned around today. Tried again and just barely got in when the wx was still lower than advertised.

    Pilot pay in AK has come up considerably in the last couple of years. One can actually make pretty decent money here and live reasonably well in spite of higher housing costs. And as Zeldman mentioned, some employers have company housing.

    But 500 hrs is the absolute minimum time for VFR part 135 operations.

    Best of luck with whatever your aviation dream is.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
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  10. bijanmaleki

    bijanmaleki Pre-Flight

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    Are you already at Atp?
     
  11. CC268

    CC268 En-Route

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    My soon to be wife is from Soldotna :p maybe I can go fly in Alaska for a while
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
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  12. ircphoenix

    ircphoenix Pattern Altitude

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    From AZ to AK.... Hope you didn't like your butt... 'cause you're gonna freeze it off. Lol
     
  13. CC268

    CC268 En-Route

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    Lol Soldotna is Kenai peninsula so it isn't nearly as bad as anchorage and north but we have no plans of moving up there anyways
     
  14. rt4388

    rt4388 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Not yet. I start on the 17th.