Beech 1900 versus Metroliner


Apparently a "terse" writer
Staff member
Ok, with all due respect to the person that asked me the question -- you shall remain nameless! :)

But a pilot has an opportunity to transition to the Beech 1900 or the Metroliner.

I said that I'd choose the 1900 as it's a solid airframe, carries lots of ice, provides a lot of options and, in my opinion Beech built a quality airplane.

However, word on the street is that you get more "street cred" by transitioning to the Metro as it's harder to fly and they're flown single pilot.

I can see system complexities between the aircraft there may be some more challenges flying the Metro as it's an older, not very updated design compared to other similar 15-18K pound twin turboprops, but... street cred? :)

If I flew a 1900, are my counterparts on the Metro going to look down upon me and if they did, I guess that co-worker consternation and $3 may get me a tall iced double tall non-fat latte.

I'm going from largely a 1970's-design 767 to a bigger, six-panel EFIS "modern" design fly-by-wire aircraft and all I got from my fellow co-workers was "Damn man, more money and better flying. Brilliant".

I like the 1900 - haven't flown both obviously, but the 1900 was a lot of "fun" to fly. If you've got the chance to upgrade to "both" go for the 1900 in my opinion. The advantage of the 1900 is career-wise rather than street cred - street cred doesn't pay the bills. There are a hell of a lot of KA200 jobs, not a lot of Merlin jobs. I wouldn't mind getting to fly the Metro - it'd be fun I think to fly - but in terms of career - a 1900 is a good bet.
Q400, bigger turboprops automatically mean more chicks...chicks dig beta.

Chicks DO dig beta.

And pilots, it's all about...

Are you ready for this?

It's the only thing that matters.

Say it wit' me now...


Can I get a witness. Hallelujia! Praise lord. Woo!​
I'd certainly agree that I'd rather be flying the 1900 for several reasons. I've also heard the same thing regarding both the Metroliner and the Jetstream, i.e., the 121 carriers used to look for people with time in those because they knew they could really fly. I don't know how true that was or if there is any truth to it today, but I've heard that many times in many places. I do know that when two people who have flown those beasts meet it has all the tone and flavor of two old war veterans at a reunion. There is an instant bonding between those who have truly "been there and done that".
Unless it comes with better pay, better domicile choice, and or more time off I don't think it would be worth switching airplanes. I haven't flown a 1900, but did fly the Metro and thought it was a pretty good airplane.

Oops, reading comprehension failure on my part, I somehow thought the person in question was thinking of a move from one to the other.
Sounds like AMF I think we are the only ones who use both planes. As for which one is better for your career down the road it's split. Unless you go corporate down the line. KA gigs are plenty and a 1900 is nothing but a KA. Choosing the 1900 was the worst thing I did. Costed me 10k and a year wait because of the DHL fold. Two less senior pilots went to metro. I've have also seen pilots pass on the metro because it a "hard" plane single pilot. Than they wash out in sims for the 1900.
How does your logbook look now? Do you already have lots of single pilot PIC and now you have the chance to get some turbine PIC? If that's the case then I'd go for the 1900. Loads more single pilot time is not going to further your career all that much. Some crew experience however, can help you out if you plan to go corporate down the road. The metro is way better looking though.
In reality neither are used as often as in the past. The 1900 might be a better transition to the corporate world because the King Air series of aircraft being essentially the same.

The metro as far as street cred is true in some ways(pilots only) but we are in a world of HR rules. HR at companies only care about what their computers spit out at them.

I have yet to find a major/legacy pilot that believes that RJ time is somehow better than Metro/1900 time.
I'm not a 121 guy, but if everything else was equal (and it rarely is), I pick the 1900. The Beechmobiles seem to be a common reference point in the industry and there always seem to be 1900 (and KA family) opportunities.
Honestly, it's similar to asking if a 1988 Honda civic with a manual transmission is better than one with an automatic. Personally, I prefer the manual (metro), and i think it is likely more fun then the automatic (1900), but both are worth zilch anymore. The automatic may have a bit more resale value, but it's worth 1200 bucks vs. the 5 speed worth 900. I have 5,000 hours in a metro and have been offered jobs in both 1900's and king airs, so the metro time is not worthless. If you want to move into more advanced equipment quickly, neither is the way to go. Both likely have 6 packs and limited avionics. Moving to Delta from either airframe, although not theoretically impossible, is highly unlikely anymore without glass time. That being said, part of the reason I've been flying a metro for 7 years is I truly love it. I honestly get excited to go to work almost every Monday (a line of storms from Canada to Mexico will kill that feeling, but it wouldn't matter what I was flying). I absolutely love it. It make me happy to fly.