Cadet Programs..

JDean3204

Well-Known Member
It seems that every regional airline now has some sort of cadet program in place. However, when I read the details it doesn't seem like much of a deal for a prospective pilot. All of these programs boast about the reputation of their airline and the support a cadet will get while in the program. Aside from maybe top seniority in class, low priority non rev bennies and a "mentor" the benefits seem minimal. The biggest issue isn't getting addressed, that is the cost of flight training. Do any regionals provide financial help to cadets? The only financial help I noticed in a few programs was 10-15k that will later get taken out of a new hires bonus. For example Envoy has a cadet program through ATP. ATP costs are now 70K, none of which Envoy will cover and the new hire will be responsible to finance and pay back. They advertise a guaranteed instructor job at ATP to build 1500, which we all now is a guarantee whether one is a cadet or not. Doesn't seem like much of a leg up to me... @tcco94 I know you were a SkyWest cadet. Do you feel like that program was beneficial to you in any financial matter?
 

tcco94

Professional GTA V Pilot
I know Max has some great insight on the reimbursement program we have here. I'm not up to date with that especially with rotary wing transitions and all sorts of pay back programs. By no means do I want to sell company kool-aid, but if you are even remotely considering coming here you should do the cadet program. You sign nothing, free trip to the hangar, a nice glass of kool-aid, get to see some cool stuff, then you're on your way. You start building seniority (company seniority not pilot) the day you arrive. It's a HUGE advantage.

Let me give you an example: when I showed up I was 3rd in my class of about 30. 7 of us wanted, SLC. I got in first, I'm ahead of all those in my class. Once we started shrinking the flying I held a line for months while someone just 5 below me not being a cadet was on reserve. Eventually the shrinkage did catch up, but I held a line for over a year giving me my minimums to upgrade fast. On top of that I had 9 months of company seniority on day 1 of new hire class. I spent 1 month off IOE and I could bid and use vacation time. Another huge advantage while those who didn't, spent 10 months after just to use vacation. I get all our bonuses, which last year I think gave me a whopping $1,200. This year should be a lot higher now that I get financial, performance, and profit sharing each quarter.

Now if you decide you don't want to come here, that's fine. I totally understand with pay and QOL how it is from our competitors, you just send the badge back. You owe nothing, you're in your way. I was a huge proponent of not signing anything until I had my minimums. I believe most airlines will make you sign something, mainly because they have huge sign on bonuses and we don't. I didn't want to tie my hands. 1 year in this industry changes airlines drastically now.

Certain situations may change that though. I've talked with @Maximillian_Jenius about this a lot. Not going to post his scenario here, but they're all different. All I had to do was time build, so for me it didn't make sense to sign a contract at 300 hours. For some people with tuition reimbursement, paying for training, military transition programs, etc (whatever else they're throwing money at) it might change your decision. If you have a contract, obviously don't sign up for a cadet program. If you don't, you have all your training done, I'd sign up for them all and don't sign anything until you're done or you're absolutely sure that's the air carrier you want. The way they advertise this stuff looks very intriguing to those who don't do any research. You don't really need a "guaranteed" CFI job. You have the option to go anywhere you want.

I like to think of this as being an athlete in the sports world (Don't hate me, Max). If you're just time bundling you're like a free agent. Wait it out a little, hear the offers, take the free pizza, sign up for all the free programs, then outweigh your options only when you're within a few months of a class date so you're absolutely sure. Those in training who need help are like student athletes looking for a scholarship. Again, evaluate your decision, make sure it's a good fit for you in your future, a stable company, and take the financial help. It's better than loans that's for sure. Kind of a stupid analogy, but it's the best advice I give when people ask me.

Always remember, things change fast. When I did my interview Envoy was paying like $22/hour I think? In a matter of weeks that rose to what we make at OO. Then 6ish months after being on the line Republic and Endeavor are paying amazing wages. Anyways as I digress, a lot of very informative people around here. I'm still a youngin in the industry so take it all with a grain of salt.
 

JDean3204

Well-Known Member
Good stuff. I’m not looking into it for myself as I’m already at the regionals. Just curious as to the marketing of regional cadet programs and what they actually help with
 

Maximilian_Jenius

Super User
I know Max has some great insight on the reimbursement program we have here. I'm not up to date with that especially with rotary wing transitions and all sorts of pay back programs. By no means do I want to sell company kool-aid, but if you are even remotely considering coming here you should do the cadet program. You sign nothing, free trip to the hangar, a nice glass of kool-aid, get to see some cool stuff, then you're on your way. You start building seniority (company seniority not pilot) the day you arrive. It's a HUGE advantage.

Let me give you an example: when I showed up I was 3rd in my class of about 30. 7 of us wanted, SLC. I got in first, I'm ahead of all those in my class. Once we started shrinking the flying I held a line for months while someone just 5 below me not being a cadet was on reserve. Eventually the shrinkage did catch up, but I held a line for over a year giving me my minimums to upgrade fast. On top of that I had 9 months of company seniority on day 1 of new hire class. I spent 1 month off IOE and I could bid and use vacation time. Another huge advantage while those who didn't, spent 10 months after just to use vacation. I get all our bonuses, which last year I think gave me a whopping $1,200. This year should be a lot higher now that I get financial, performance, and profit sharing each quarter.

Now if you decide you don't want to come here, that's fine. I totally understand with pay and QOL how it is from our competitors, you just send the badge back. You owe nothing, you're in your way. I was a huge proponent of not signing anything until I had my minimums. I believe most airlines will make you sign something, mainly because they have huge sign on bonuses and we don't. I didn't want to tie my hands. 1 year in this industry changes airlines drastically now.

Certain situations may change that though. I've talked with @Maximillian_Jenius about this a lot. Not going to post his scenario here, but they're all different. All I had to do was time build, so for me it didn't make sense to sign a contract at 300 hours. For some people with tuition reimbursement, paying for training, military transition programs, etc (whatever else they're throwing money at) it might change your decision. If you have a contract, obviously don't sign up for a cadet program. If you don't, you have all your training done, I'd sign up for them all and don't sign anything until you're done or you're absolutely sure that's the air carrier you want. The way they advertise this stuff looks very intriguing to those who don't do any research. You don't really need a "guaranteed" CFI job. You have the option to go anywhere you want.

I like to think of this as being an athlete in the sports world (Don't hate me, Max). If you're just time bundling you're like a free agent. Wait it out a little, hear the offers, take the free pizza, sign up for all the free programs, then outweigh your options only when you're within a few months of a class date so you're absolutely sure. Those in training who need help are like student athletes looking for a scholarship. Again, evaluate your decision, make sure it's a good fit for you in your future, a stable company, and take the financial help. It's better than loans that's for sure. Kind of a stupid analogy, but it's the best advice I give when people ask me.

Always remember, things change fast. When I did my interview Envoy was paying like $22/hour I think? In a matter of weeks that rose to what we make at OO. Then 6ish months after being on the line Republic and Endeavor are paying amazing wages. Anyways as I digress, a lot of very informative people around here. I'm still a youngin in the industry so take it all with a grain of salt.
I can't really add much to what @tcco94 has already said.

In my situation, I really wanted to stay close to home to train. I applied at ATP, with a 750 FICO and was denied because I didn't have a co-signer. (Still salty about that). I checked out tcco94's old place Aeroguard. They had a pretty good program, at least from the walk through, but it was $87k out the door and a fixed rate wasn't offered, only a variable rate loan. On a $87k loan nope! Besides the boyfriend said I can't attend Aeroguard with all the Asian students, lol.

@thepedroid told me about www.bountifulflight.com in Utah, and their SkyWest cadet program. I had never heard of BF. Like tcco94 has said you get a seniority number day one of training and get assigned a pilot mentor (I was really disappointed when I learned that it wouldn't be @Autothrust Blue) and you get to go to SkyWest HQ and visit the hanger and get to touch a 900 and 175, several times during your training and guzzle the Kool-Aid straight from the source. And you don't have to sign anywhere on a dotted line. You're free to bounce at anytime.

But what really sold me was the program cost, it's and 8 month program and pretty cheap and an alternative to ATP. It's $69k out the door but you get $20k back if you fly for SkyWest for one year. So the program is only $49k. With my PPL, I'm getting credited $10-12k. So the program is only $35-37k, that's like 1990-2000's cost of training. Can't beat that. Also Bountiful Flight allows you to join the SkyWest cadet program at any point in your training. Unlike other schools where you can only come in already having a PPL.

I'm very excited about the program and hopeful that its a good fit for me.
 

Autothrust Blue

Commander Air Group, BSG-75
And for some reason, you qualify for operating and financial bonuses from your cadet date of hire, not your actual productive labor date of hire.

Ugh.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
Hmmm. This has me a little intrigued. Up to this point, I have mostly ignored the concept of a cadet program since I'm very close to completing CFI and will likely roll into CMEL relatively soon after that.

Could a cadet program make sense for a mid-life career changer?
 

Cptnchia

Dissatisfied Customer
I can't really add much to what @tcco94 has already said.

In my situation, I really wanted to stay close to home to train. I applied at ATP, with a 750 FICO and was denied because I didn't have a co-signer. (Still salty about that). I checked out tcco94's old place Aeroguard. They had a pretty good program, at least from the walk through, but it was $87k out the door and a fixed rate wasn't offered, only a variable rate loan. On a $87k loan nope! Besides the boyfriend said I can't attend Aeroguard with all the Asian students, lol.

@thepedroid told me about www.bountifulflight.com in Utah, and their SkyWest cadet program. I had never heard of BF. Like tcco94 has said you get a seniority number day one of training and get assigned a pilot mentor (I was really disappointed when I learned that it wouldn't be @Autothrust Blue) and you get to go to SkyWest HQ and visit the hanger and get to touch a 900 and 175, several times during your training and guzzle the Kool-Aid straight from the source. And you don't have to sign anywhere on a dotted line. You're free to bounce at anytime.

But what really sold me was the program cost, it's and 8 month program and pretty cheap and an alternative to ATP. It's $69k out the door but you get $20k back if you fly for SkyWest for one year. So the program is only $49k. With my PPL, I'm getting credited $10-12k. So the program is only $35-37k, that's like 1990-2000's cost of training. Can't beat that. Also Bountiful Flight allows you to join the SkyWest cadet program at any point in your training. Unlike other schools where you can only come in already having a PPL.

I'm very excited about the program and hopeful that its a good fit for me.
Wow! That sounds like a great deal for where you are in your training. Good luck and happy flying!
 

JDean3204

Well-Known Member
I can't really add much to what @tcco94 has already said.

In my situation, I really wanted to stay close to home to train. I applied at ATP, with a 750 FICO and was denied because I didn't have a co-signer. (Still salty about that). I checked out tcco94's old place Aeroguard. They had a pretty good program, at least from the walk through, but it was $87k out the door and a fixed rate wasn't offered, only a variable rate loan. On a $87k loan nope! Besides the boyfriend said I can't attend Aeroguard with all the Asian students, lol.

@thepedroid told me about www.bountifulflight.com in Utah, and their SkyWest cadet program. I had never heard of BF. Like tcco94 has said you get a seniority number day one of training and get assigned a pilot mentor (I was really disappointed when I learned that it wouldn't be @Autothrust Blue) and you get to go to SkyWest HQ and visit the hanger and get to touch a 900 and 175, several times during your training and guzzle the Kool-Aid straight from the source. And you don't have to sign anywhere on a dotted line. You're free to bounce at anytime.

But what really sold me was the program cost, it's and 8 month program and pretty cheap and an alternative to ATP. It's $69k out the door but you get $20k back if you fly for SkyWest for one year. So the program is only $49k. With my PPL, I'm getting credited $10-12k. So the program is only $35-37k, that's like 1990-2000's cost of training. Can't beat that. Also Bountiful Flight allows you to join the SkyWest cadet program at any point in your training. Unlike other schools where you can only come in already having a PPL.

I'm very excited about the program and hopeful that its a good fit for me.

That’s great! It’s good to see that SkyWest is doing something about the financial situation while they make you chug the kool aid. I’m sorry you had to choose SkyWest in this situation. :D:D Only kidding.. sort of...lol

Glad that it’s working out for you and you’re making this happen! Keep us posted on your progress
 
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Maximilian_Jenius

Super User
That’s great! It’s good to see that SkyWest is doing something about the financial situation while they make you chug the kool-aid. I’m sorry you had to choose SkyWest in this situation. :D:D Only kidding.. sort of...lol

Glad that it’s working out for you and you’re making this happen! Keep us posted on your progress
As a pro union guy. I would have loved to go to an ALPA shop, but none were putting out the kind of money that SKYW is. But hopefully, in the near future, SKYW, will be a union shop!
 

SlumTodd_Millionaire

Evil Landlord Capitalist
I can't really add much to what @tcco94 has already said.

In my situation, I really wanted to stay close to home to train. I applied at ATP, with a 750 FICO and was denied because I didn't have a co-signer. (Still salty about that). I checked out tcco94's old place Aeroguard. They had a pretty good program, at least from the walk through, but it was $87k out the door and a fixed rate wasn't offered, only a variable rate loan. On a $87k loan nope! Besides the boyfriend said I can't attend Aeroguard with all the Asian students, lol.

@thepedroid told me about www.bountifulflight.com in Utah, and their SkyWest cadet program. I had never heard of BF. Like tcco94 has said you get a seniority number day one of training and get assigned a pilot mentor (I was really disappointed when I learned that it wouldn't be @Autothrust Blue) and you get to go to SkyWest HQ and visit the hanger and get to touch a 900 and 175, several times during your training and guzzle the Kool-Aid straight from the source. And you don't have to sign anywhere on a dotted line. You're free to bounce at anytime.

But what really sold me was the program cost, it's and 8 month program and pretty cheap and an alternative to ATP. It's $69k out the door but you get $20k back if you fly for SkyWest for one year. So the program is only $49k. With my PPL, I'm getting credited $10-12k. So the program is only $35-37k, that's like 1990-2000's cost of training. Can't beat that. Also Bountiful Flight allows you to join the SkyWest cadet program at any point in your training. Unlike other schools where you can only come in already having a PPL.

I'm very excited about the program and hopeful that its a good fit for me.
This actually sounds like a really good deal. I’m surprised. Good find!
 

thepedroid

Well-Known Member
I so wish I could go to Bountiful Flight. Their program seems pretty amazing and is very well priced. I have an 11 year old boy and I can't see myself leaving town for that long.
 

word302

Well-Known Member
Hmmm. This has me a little intrigued. Up to this point, I have mostly ignored the concept of a cadet program since I'm very close to completing CFI and will likely roll into CMEL relatively soon after that.

Could a cadet program make sense for a mid-life career changer?
The thing is there are 0 strings attached. There’s really no reason not to do it. I started flying at 34 and joined the cadet program at 38. Although I got in at the very beginning of the program, I see no drawbacks.
 

Cherokee_Cruiser

Well-Known Member
I can't really add much to what @tcco94 has already said.

In my situation, I really wanted to stay close to home to train. I applied at ATP, with a 750 FICO and was denied because I didn't have a co-signer. (Still salty about that). I checked out tcco94's old place Aeroguard. They had a pretty good program, at least from the walk through, but it was $87k out the door and a fixed rate wasn't offered, only a variable rate loan. On a $87k loan nope! Besides the boyfriend said I can't attend Aeroguard with all the Asian students, lol.

@thepedroid told me about www.bountifulflight.com in Utah, and their SkyWest cadet program. I had never heard of BF. Like tcco94 has said you get a seniority number day one of training and get assigned a pilot mentor (I was really disappointed when I learned that it wouldn't be @Autothrust Blue) and you get to go to SkyWest HQ and visit the hanger and get to touch a 900 and 175, several times during your training and guzzle the Kool-Aid straight from the source. And you don't have to sign anywhere on a dotted line. You're free to bounce at anytime.

But what really sold me was the program cost, it's and 8 month program and pretty cheap and an alternative to ATP. It's $69k out the door but you get $20k back if you fly for SkyWest for one year. So the program is only $49k. With my PPL, I'm getting credited $10-12k. So the program is only $35-37k, that's like 1990-2000's cost of training. Can't beat that. Also Bountiful Flight allows you to join the SkyWest cadet program at any point in your training. Unlike other schools where you can only come in already having a PPL.

I'm very excited about the program and hopeful that its a good fit for me.
Oh nice! Glad to hear this Maximillian!
 
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