Anyone here a pilot for a private employer?

c172captain

Well-Known Member
I was offered the job of flying personally for a man who owns a Piper Meridian. I would have to move to Europe and he would pay for all my training and my housing. We would be flying all over Europe on business trips and for whatever personal flights he wanted. The business trips would last probably a few hours and then we would fly back, about 2 trips per week. 1 at least per week, 2 at most. I would be flying 30-40 hrs a week and would be paid a salary that we negotiate (I offer a salary and they agree or negotiate)

What I would like to know is how pilots who are in a similar situation are handling it. Is the life good? Bad? What do you do in your downtime; especially in a foreign country where you know no one. Also, how much should I charge for salary, is there anything I should watch out for so that I don't get screwed. Any help would be appreciated.

c172captain
 

TFaudree_ERAU

Mashin' dem buttons
I'd say no less than $80-90k USD. You'll be managing the aircraft, flying in a foreign country and 40 hours a week is a #### ton for a corporate gig. Don't sell yourself short.

PS. 30-40 hours a week divided by 2 days is 15 to 20 hours per day. Make sure he understands that you're going to be using Part 135 duty and rest requirements. If you don't set that in stone right off the bat, there is no turning back once you do it the first time. Trust me, I've learned the hard way.
 

c172captain

Well-Known Member
I'd say no less than $80-90k USD. You'll be managing the aircraft, flying in a foreign country and 40 hours a week is a #### ton for a corporate gig. Don't sell yourself short.

PS. 30-40 hours a week divided by 2 days is 15 to 20 hours per day. Make sure he understands that you're going to be using Part 135 duty and rest requirements. If you don't set that in stone right off the bat, there is no turning back once you do it the first time. Trust me, I've learned the hard way.
I apologize, I mean 30-40hrs a MONTH. Sorry for the mis-type.
 

Boris Badenov

Just running in to a burning house...
I'm guessing by your sigfile that you're relatively low time. I'd take a lowball salary offer for that gig, presuming that you do some research and verify that you can live reasonably on your salary wherever you'll be based. I don't think there's a chance in hell you'll get 80 grand for it, but then I'm not a contract pilot. I would let them start the negotiations ("What would you posit as a reasonable baseline figure?"). If it's offensively low (30k US), you can just say "uh sorry not interested". Otherwise, negotiate. What about healthcare? Language? Are you a citizen/right to work of the EU? You might want to ask about that, as the Europeans are a little prickly about that kind of thing. I wouldn't mind pitching a tent in the EU for a few years right about now myself, so let us know how it turns out. Good luck.
 

Fly_Unity

Well-Known Member
I fly for a Private person, and only have 1200 total time. I get around 40 K a year (30 K salary plus 40 an hour when flying) and do about three or four trips a week. I then work at an FBO as a lineman and flight instructor and get an additional 20 K a year from that. I love my job, very easy going. They treat me as their own son.
 

c172captain

Well-Known Member
I fly for a Private person, and only have 1200 total time. I get around 40 K a year (30 K salary plus 40 an hour when flying) and do about three or four trips a week. I then work at an FBO as a lineman and flight instructor and get an additional 20 K a year from that. I love my job, very easy going. They treat me as their own son.
Interesting, do you fly in the states or across the pond? How'd you get the job?
 

USMCmech

Well-Known Member
Make sure he understands that you're going to be using Part 135 duty and rest requirements. If you don't set that in stone right off the bat, there is no turning back once you do it the first time. Trust me, I've learned the hard way.
Under 91, you don't HAVE TO restrict yourself to 135 rest requirements. I would have no problem flying over 8 hours if I was well rested and going to have the next day off.

However you need to set some ground rules abour rest and duty times when you hire on.
 

TFaudree_ERAU

Mashin' dem buttons
Under 91, you don't HAVE TO restrict yourself to 135 rest requirements.
I know that, but the thing is, there are no other duty/rest rules in the FARs. If the boss asks you why you picked 14 duty, 10 rest, 8 flying, you can go straight to Part 135 and show him. Someone that questions duty/rest is certainly not going to know the difference between 91 and 135.

I would have no problem flying over 8 hours if I was well rested and going to have the next day off.
I would. There is no way in h-e double hockey sticks you can be on your A game after flying around for 8 hours. Most occupations have 8 hour work days, and they aren't flying around lawn darts at several hundred miles per hour.
 

Stone Cold

Well-Known Member
DO NOT SET THE BAR LOW IN EUROPE!!! Just because wages suck in the US does not mean $30K per year is okay. Especially going to a new country, and living this life. It's not easy and you need to be compensated for it.

How much international experience do you have?? It's an entirely different kind of flying over here than in the US. Will you be single pilot? How much time do you have single pilot in a high performance airplane? These departures and arrivals can eat your lunch, so be on your "A" game from the get go.

I would make sure you have a furnished apartment provided with internet access and satellite TV (see I do learn Allen!!! :D), with Western accomodations. In other words, not in the slums, and looks okay. Make sure it's a place you will feel safe. There's a lot of places over here and Western Europe that can have very bad areas.

Get Per Diem in the contract for when on the road at a minimum, and possibly even when in your home base. Figure out how you want to be paid...Euros or Dollars? Figure out how you are going to cover taxes. Go right now to an accountant. And possibly a lawyer to set up a business. Right now the IRS is doing a bunch of audits on Expat Pilots, so you want to have your bases covered when it comes to paying Uncle Sam. Yes, it can be tax free up to a point, but you'd better know what the point is and meet all the requirements for the Exemption.

Good luck, and let us know if you have any further questions. I would say, not knowing much about the Meridian other than it's a single engine TP, I believe, I would start negotiations around the $80,000/year mark. Maybe even more since you'll be managing it and all single pilot, etc.

Good luck and keep us updated.

For those of you saying to low ball it, or $30K, please stay in the US. Thanks, from your foreign pilots!!:rolleyes:
 

Boris Badenov

Just running in to a burning house...
Who said $30k/year was acceptable? I said it wasn't. Thanks from your literate US counterparts. :)
 

c172captain

Well-Known Member
DO NOT SET THE BAR LOW IN EUROPE!!! Just because wages suck in the US does not mean $30K per year is okay. Especially going to a new country, and living this life. It's not easy and you need to be compensated for it.

How much international experience do you have?? It's an entirely different kind of flying over here than in the US. Will you be single pilot? How much time do you have single pilot in a high performance airplane? These departures and arrivals can eat your lunch, so be on your "A" game from the get go.

I would make sure you have a furnished apartment provided with internet access and satellite TV (see I do learn Allen!!! :D), with Western accomodations. In other words, not in the slums, and looks okay. Make sure it's a place you will feel safe. There's a lot of places over here and Western Europe that can have very bad areas.

Get Per Diem in the contract for when on the road at a minimum, and possibly even when in your home base. Figure out how you want to be paid...Euros or Dollars? Figure out how you are going to cover taxes. Go right now to an accountant. And possibly a lawyer to set up a business. Right now the IRS is doing a bunch of audits on Expat Pilots, so you want to have your bases covered when it comes to paying Uncle Sam. Yes, it can be tax free up to a point, but you'd better know what the point is and meet all the requirements for the Exemption.

Good luck, and let us know if you have any further questions. I would say, not knowing much about the Meridian other than it's a single engine TP, I believe, I would start negotiations around the $80,000/year mark. Maybe even more since you'll be managing it and all single pilot, etc.

Good luck and keep us updated.

For those of you saying to low ball it, or $30K, please stay in the US. Thanks, from your foreign pilots!!:rolleyes:
First off, I have 0 International experience and I don't know what to expect, unfortunately, I barely have experience leaving my state lol. I have about an hour in a HP aircraft. I will be single pilot, flying the owner of the company to all his business meetings, just him and I in the plane, unless he brings guests. I will definitely do my best to be my best with all aspects of the IFR flying.

The employer will be setting up my apartment near his residence, which I can only assume is a nice neighborhood, be it that he's a millionare, I'd assume he wouldn't live in the slums.

I need to continue talks with the employers but I assume that I will start for asking 75k at first.

First question: If they register the plane in the US, with an N number, can I still use my FAA certs to fly in Europe, or does it not matter whether they register the plane in the states or Europe, would I still need JAA certs?

c172captain

P.S. I do not deserve this job, I greatly appreciate the opportunity and really would like to do it. A little background on me, I have a little under 400TT and these guys that want to employ me are students of mine who simply like me. They say that they get along with me and they just bought a Meridian that they need a pilot for, and they want me. I am assuming that this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance that I should not pass up, especially when I'm 18 and can take full advantage of youth in EU :) It was PURE luck that I got offered this.
 

flyTotheSky

Well-Known Member
It sounds like a great gig but I have a feeling the insurance underwriters won't be too thrilled with 400TT... They may require you to fly with an experienced guy to build up your time in type before they cut you loose.
 

av8or91

Well-Known Member
About the FAA cert in europe, Im pretty sure you would have get a JAA certificate. Do some google research.
 

USMCmech

Well-Known Member
About the FAA cert in europe, Im pretty sure you would have get a JAA certificate. Do some google research.

If it is a n#### registered airplane you can fly it anywhere with a FAA CPL.

Getting a FAA certified A&P might be real tricky across the pond, but they can be found.
 

Stone Cold

Well-Known Member
About the FAA cert in europe, Im pretty sure you would have get a JAA certificate. Do some google research.
This is NOT true. If you are in an N registered a/c with FAA certs, under 98% of circumstances, you are good to go. I say 98% because I am sure there is some situation I am not aware of that this would not be true. However, if it's Part 91, N registered, and you are FAA, then you should have no problems FAA wise. Now, Visas, etc. are a whole nother ballgame.;)

Sorry, Boris, I misread what you typed!!:p Where's that "situational awareness" little smilie thing? :D For his resposibilities, though, and the liability he's setting himself up for flying in Europe at 400TT single pilot, and managing an aircraft, he'd better get paid well!!!;)

In my defense though, you did say that you would "take a lowball salary offer for that gig". That's still not the thing people are wanting to hear when you are talking contract jobs overseas.
 

av8or91

Well-Known Member
Ok, I was just reading about being a commercial operator in Europe but did not read anyting about having an N number aircraft. It makes sense you can fly your aircraft anywhere you want but from a realistc standpoint, wouldnt you want some training on regulations and procedures?

If a company in Budapest owns and operates a N registered aircraft, they can hire a crew with a FAA certs to fly in europe with no additonal training?
 

JoelT

Well-Known Member
The biggest question is: WHAT COUNTRY?????? This is a big deal as the cost of living varies greatly across Europe. For example, Italy is not too bad and prices are relatively low even with the Euro. England, however, is really expensive. The pound is roughly twice the value of the dollar and prices reflect that. Just imagine everything in the USA costing twice what it does now but, you are still paid the same.

All that being said, I think you have yourself an amazing opportunity. If the price is right you could have a lot of fun.

Also, to reiterate some other folks, get a CONTRACT! Talk to a corporate or labor attorney before agreeing to anything. Pretty much anyone who is knowledgeable with contract law as well as international law.
 

Boris Badenov

Just running in to a burning house...
In my defense though, you did say that you would "take a lowball salary offer for that gig". That's still not the thing people are wanting to hear when you are talking contract jobs overseas.
Fair enough. "Lowball" is all relative, of course. If I were 18, had 400TT, the job seemed stable, the hours were reasonable, and there was a similar cost of living to the US in the country of my residence, would I do it for $50k? Absolutely. I don't think that would be "lowering the bar" since you're talking about an airplane a reasonably competent owner can learn to fly relatively quickly. But if it is "lowering the bar", well, tough tacos, cause if the OP doesn't do it, someone else will.

Now, would I do it for 30 large? If I were 18 and had no commitments, I'd be sorely tempted, but I wouldn't do it. That's just not enough money to be all alone in a different country.

Whatever the case, I'm all for starting the bidding at 80 grand. It sounds like these guys aren't exactly lickpennies, so maybe they'll go for it. Best of luck, it's a great opportunity if it's on the level.
 

CK

Well-Known Member
Alex, where are you?
I have been at school and the gun range all day! I would probally not move to Europe to fly a Meridian, for any salary. For a "chief pilot" on a Meridian in the U.S. I would want $75,000 a year, but $50,000 would be reasonable. If I were willing to work in Europe I would want atleast $80,000US. The Meridian is a great airplane, if you are getting a new one with the G1000 you will love it. I start school on the Meridian this Monday. My advice from one kid to another is to go to college and worry about flying a little later. You will get these kinds of offers fairly often if you keep flight instructing. Eventually you will get one at your local airport that will really work out.

Alex.
 
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