First Aviation Job


New Member
I would like advice on obtaining an pilot job. I am a multi instrument commerical pilot and will be graduating from college with a BS degree this summer. I have 600 TT with 100 ME. I want to get a commerical job rather than obtain an instructor rating due to a large amount of education and flight instruction debt.

Has anyone used a aviation job locator service with sucess? If so, which one would you recommend?

Any suggestions will be appreciated. Just need steady employment.

Not sure there are many jobs for 600TT people today, a lot of regionals are hiring people with 1200TT minimum!

Why do you not want to go the CFI route? I can understand your debt, but atleast you'll be earning money to fly instead of dishing it out.

Start working on networking, big time.

Plus, if you're not on the telephone, be down at the airports in your local area. And I do mean the 'plural' version!

Also, avoiding becoming a CFI may not be an option. I was there, believe me. I went from a promising job flying right seat in a King Air with a Citation on the way, to being unemployed, out of hope and dreading working as a CFI.

Actually, being a CFI was one of my favorite jobs in my career so far.
Hey Rex: In a few months, I'll be in your shoes. While I'd love to go straight into the right seat somewhere, the reality of it is - that just ain't gonna happen.

As you well know, there are thousands ove highly qualified pilots (a) on furlough from the majors or the regionals; (b) even more thousands of high-time instructor types that can't move up because of "a", and (c) not a lot of movement anywhere.

Every instructor I've met to date thoroughly enjoys instructing and sees it as an incredible learning experience. Yes, some do grow tired of it and want to move on, but they're getting paid to fly and I'm not.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.

CFI ratings would add another 5,000 to 8,000 debt plus living expenses.
And are there any jobs for instructors now?

If I could haul freight, I would have an income without acquiring more debt.
You can haul freight, but most freight outfits are single pilot. Single pilot IFR minimums are about 1200 hours last time I checked.

There is banner towing in Florida, pipeline patrol, flying skydivers, etc, but we're going to have to build 'total time' in the near future.

What area of the country are you in now?

I am in the Atlanta, GA area.

Do not know if I can hold the loans off while I get my CFI and instruct.

I really want to fly full time rather than have to obtain other employment to pay the bills.
It may not be altogether possible in this market.

I think there are probably a few good networking contacts that you can run into down at PDK. Some of the guys I know flew freight out of there and there potentially may be some right seat/SIC opportunities, but they probably pay less than a full-time CFI.

How about line work at an FBO? I have a furloughed pal in CVG that was doing line work and ran into a job (I think!) flying a Falcon.
I agree with Doug. Networking is very important. I also agree with him that it's going to be very tough until you can get FAR 135 PIC minimums. Until then, banner towing, fire spotting, aerial photgraphy and sightseeing trips are about the best that you can hope for unless you meet someone who can let you fly SIC for a corporation.

Otherwise, I highly recommend the CFI route. I talked to a captain a few months back who stayed in school just enough to keep his student loans deferred. I have strong doubts about the wisdom of that plan, but I toss it out as another option.
Yes, an ASA captain suggested hanging out at PDK at night and talking to the freight dogs.

I am considering a partnership to fly a twin and built to 200-250 multi hours while working locally. Do you think a right seat job would be possible with more multi time or does one have to get to 1200 TT? Just how important is multi time vs total time?

I have not ruled out CFI or military route. Just trying to get moving to start repaying the large amout of loans I have acquired.
Ahh, the age old debate of total time versus multi-time

Well, unless you meet the minimum total time, your multi-time, in my opinion, doesn't supercede the lack of meeting the minimum total time.

Once you meet the minimum total time, multi-engine experience is like gold.

Most of the minimum requirements that a lot of operators have are based on satisfying their insurance underwriters and the ability to quickly satisfy the FAA minimums to upgrade to PIC (if the job is for SIC).

If money is tight, I'd suggest against buying into a partnership. It'll quickly accelerate your debt and put you in a bigger bind to try and find an aviation job to service that debt.
Once you reach the 1200 TT area, I would advise that you should have at least 200 ME. More is better. ME time is like money in the bank... you can't go wrong by having a lot of it.

As a former aircraft owner, I would say that if you buy an airplane, make friends with an A&P. I had a C150, which is a simple airplane, and maintenance costs almost killed me. They would be that much worse with a complex aircraft like a twin. Of course, if you have partners, that helps a lot. Additionally, I know that hangar space and gas are very expensive in the PDK area. Insurance on a twin for a low time pilot (or group of pilots) will also be expensive.

You might do better to find someone who already has a twin and cut a deal with him. Have him list you on the insurance in exchange for being his safety pilot, washing the plane, or just renting it from him.
I live about 10 minutes from PDK, but am about 3 years away from appropriate ratings... I have fairly decent connections to the Epps... should I start getting to know these guys now?
Radio station traffic pilot.

Good job and can avoid the CFI route.

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Another alternative is forest fire patrol. In Georgia, the Georgia Forestry Commission is transitioning from contract to state pilots. I did this on weekends for a year or so. You get a lot of time, but the down side is that, like traffic patrol, it's all SEL.
You get a lot of time, but the down side is that, like traffic patrol, it's all SEL.

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The FLorida Forestry Department has a couple of twins... but, I'd imagine time in those is few and far between. The majority of the Forestry pilots fly SEL as Dave indicated.