Flight Express

Air Bear KC

New Member
I'm new to the site. Love you, Love the show.
I'm starting a class in a few weeks with Flight Express and just wanted to get a no BS opinion of the Company and flying there. I was told I'd have the Kansas City runs. It looks like a pretty good company.
I flew for Central Air for a short time and I know what it's like to make the runs to central Kansas...boring unless the thunderstorms and ice are waiting.
I've been looking forward to starting again and want to make the best possible choice considering the airline situation.
My flight times for the position are respectable (1760TT & 270ME), but my recent time is the only thing lacking. Which I'm working on, shouldn't be a problem. I wanted to ask about the sim they use and the profile. Just wanted to get a little gouge together.
I know Boris has flown for them. Any input is appreciated.
Thanks alot. I'm amazed at how many people can come up with so many answers to one question.
 

Hernandezcfi

Well-Known Member
I for one have not heard any bad things except pressure to fly in weather that makes you wish you were home in bed. On the other hand, that type of flying gets you some respect in the business!
 

Boris Badenov

Just running in to a burning house...
The sim wasn't done when I was there. I think they stopped in early 05 and only recently brought it back (new CP). That said, the new CP is the old director of training, and he's a good guy (albeit a little, uh, different). I'd imagine he brought the sim back because he's now in a position to do so and used to have to deal with all the guys who couldn't fly. I would be surprised if there were any tricks.

Since you're already in a class, he's probably already told you to visit his website (www.austincollins.com). I believe it has all the handouts and training manuals you'll use, so that would probably be a good way to start preparing. The class is no joke, although it's not as hard as some people make it out to be. If you study, you'll do fine. I'm sure having previous 135 experience will make it easier, too.

I had a great time working there. Now, granted, it was my first "real job" in aviation, so I might be slightly biased. That said, once I'd "proven myself" by taking a crappy base for a couple of months, flying through some crappy weather, and doing some crappy TDYs, I really felt like a "valued member" and all that rather than an easily disposable wal-mart employee. Ernst (DO) can be a hardass at times, but if you're usually a team player he will allow for special circumstances. My general policy was to try to make it so he said "who?" when I called asking for something.

Maintenance was good everywhere I flew, schedules can be brutal, pilots are a good bunch and fun. If you have more specific questions feel free to ask, or PM, whichever.

Also: There are a lot of current and former FLX guys (and girl!) on here and the subject comes up all the time. If you "search" you'll probably find a lot of info and some names to PM if you're so inclined.
 

citabriapilot

Well-Known Member
My favorite part about his website is the picture of him sleeping in the back of his 210 during "the long layover"...

Whew, makes me appreciate the days I spent at Ameriflight even more!
 

Boris Badenov

Just running in to a burning house...
citabriapilot said:
My favorite part about his website is the picture of him sleeping in the back of his 210 during "the long layover"...

Whew, makes me appreciate the days I spent at Ameriflight even more!
Heh. I think Austin just likes to scare off the guys who are dreaming of four star hotels and hot stews. There's almost always a nice recliner to take a nap in until the fat old corporate guys come in and and turn Fox News up to 11 ;)

In the interest of explaining what I meant by "valued member" (ok, that sounded wrong): My Mom died while I was at FLX. Ernst basically told me to take as much time as I needed to go home, take care of her affairs, and when I got back, my job would be waiting for me. Now, granted, of course he didn't pay me, but it was the sort of human touch you just don't get at a big company. And when we had the funeral, there was a nice flower arrangement that said "From Flight Express". It's not always a fun job, but you can't say they don't have class. I wouldn't quite walk through hell in a gasoline suit for those guys, but it's not far off.
 

mtsu_av8er

Well-Known Member
It's not always a fun job, but you can't say they don't have class. I wouldn't quite walk through hell in a gasoline suit for those guys, but it's not far off.

Well said, Matt. Best groups of people I've ever worked for.

BTW, I'm gonna probably be doing my PC up in STL next month . . . I've gotta prove that I can still ding the flight attendant correctly, and adjust the air conditioning while monitoring all of the screens for abnormalities with the FADECS. There must be drinking.
 

Boris Badenov

Just running in to a burning house...
Well said, Matt. Best groups of people I've ever worked for.

BTW, I'm gonna probably be doing my PC up in STL next month . . . I've gotta prove that I can still ding the flight attendant correctly, and adjust the air conditioning while monitoring all of the screens for abnormalities with the FADECS. There must be drinking.
Be careful what you wish for, buddy. With my three-day weekend, I can drink with you and still have two days to convalesce. Alas, in my doddering old age, I'll probably need all of them. Say the word and, barring some unforeseen circumstance, I'll be there with beer mug in tow.

And on subject, we'll have to remember to drink one to Gary "Playa" Hillyer and the rest of those crazy cats down at ORL.

PS. I should add that, unlike you SkyGods, I gotta carry my lunch pail to work on Regular Nights (Mon-Thurs), so if your PC falls on a weekday, I'm going to have to attend in spirit vs. spirits.
 

wildfreightess

Well-Known Member
Be careful what you wish for, buddy. With my three-day weekend, I can drink with you and still have two days to convalesce.
You Marines are all alike!

Lloyd, let me know when you're going to be in town and I'll try to pry myself away from Sweet Cheeks for a night to come hang with you and the Captain.
 

Boris Badenov

Just running in to a burning house...
wildfreightess said:
You Marines are all alike!
Oh contraire. Candlestick-making, REMF Reservist-Pogues like me dream at night of swimming through mud with a smile on our faces like REAL Teufel-Hunds like Lloyd. That said, this drinking question calls for scientific experiment, and thereby a neutral (albeit not necessarily sober) judge. I call on you to be present to officiate.
 

nbv4

Well-Known Member
I remember a while ago reading between the lines that Flight Express pays really well compared to other similar 135 cargo companies. How true is this?

Also, will they reimburse me for airline fare when I come out to interview? I'm stuck in a situation where my current job is basically a dead end one, but I don't really have the money to buy a plane ticket plus hotel to try to get another one. Are they even hiring currently?
 

braunpilot

What day is it?
I remember a while ago reading between the lines that Flight Express pays really well compared to other similar 135 cargo companies. How true is this?

Also, will they reimburse me for airline fare when I come out to interview? I'm stuck in a situation where my current job is basically a dead end one, but I don't really have the money to buy a plane ticket plus hotel to try to get another one. Are they even hiring currently?
First off, Flight Express does pay well compared to some other companies but Flight Express makes you work a very long day for it. IF you work at 14 hour day, or can get a run with a long day, then you can make 40K+ per year. But if you got a min pay run then you get somewhere in the neighborhood of 24K. All depends on where you want to go, PM me for more details about that. I currently fly for them.

No, they do not pay for your airfare but they do pay for the hotel. Last time that I checked they do not make you come out for an interview but you need to call Gary at 800.677.5675 at extension 610 for more information. IF you really want more detail seriously PM me.
 

Mark83

New Member
Can anyone shed light on what kind of times they are hiring right now? Also, what kind of experience they like to see (instruction, meat drop's, banners, fire, traffic, etc.)?
Thanks in advance!
 

Boris Badenov

Just running in to a burning house...
If they're hiring (and they probably are), it'll be standard 135 IFR PIC mins. (1200, 500 XC, etc etc). As to experience, most of the guys I knew there had been instructors, but that may have just been because most guys have been instructors. If they think you can do the job, I doubt where you got the experience is a huge deal. Just my humble opinion.
 

bpowell

New Member
I used to work at FLX, loved it. Lloyd? RAH? werd.

Spoke to Ernst yesterday to try and go back and he say's they're pretty fat right now---I couldn't believe it!

Training is very straightforward and Austin does a good job presenting it.

Enjoy!
 

wheelsup

Well-Known Member
I remember one day Gary called me talking about making a cattle call on climb to 350, anyone who showed up had a job!!! Haha how times have changed everywhere, from the top to the bottom of the industry, in the blink of an eye it seems.
 

Air Bear KC

New Member
Can anyone shed light on what kind of times they are hiring right now? Also, what kind of experience they like to see (instruction, meat drop's, banners, fire, traffic, etc.)?
Thanks in advance!
I got hired 1 month ago and the training was basically a 2 week job interview.
There were 10 spots, 3 no shows, 1 guy flew his plane to the interview and still crashed the sim ride and another that had 4000hrs and towed his camper also crashed the sim. They were excused.
That left 5 including myself that has 1700+hrs with a CFI, a little 135 and part 91 corporate flying and 3 that had flown for Mesa and other airlines and 1 that had been a CFI at Delta connection and gone through Part 135 training for a light jet airshare and got dumped before he could finish.
In the 2 1/2 weeks that I was there, we were force fed the info from Austin. He has taught so many classes that he's a machine and it was a struggle for me to keep up.
After a week and a half of ground school and tests you get in the 210.
When you get to fly the airplane the flows are the most important thing to learn and it seems like there just isn't enough time to do the ground school and learn the flows at the same time but you will find the time. Note to anyone interested, If you do get the opportunity to attend training, don't go to the beach or disney. It's not a vacation.
During ground school, 1 of the guys with airline experience dropped out and another didn't make it past the final test.
Which left 3 of us.
The other pilot with airline experience did well and got through and also the Delta connection pilot. They were flying the line the next week.
All of the folks I met in ground school and flight training were great and I'd call them all friends and wish them the best.
I made it through and have been flying a reserve/line.
I've been flying the 5 runs out of KC with the other line pilots to learn the ropes. These guys have been great.
I had some anxiety when it comes to weather and after flying through a little weather and having to shoot approaches down to mins at night and being ramped checked by the FAA, it's been exciting. And I still have the ice to deal with. I'm more confident. When I see the Nexrad has yellow bands of rain it's not the big deal that I thought it was.
It's different and exciting. I met a guy while I was waiting on a run that took me for a flight in his plane and showed me where Buddy Holly crashed. Stuff like that.
As far as the pay, it is better than the others where I'd worked and also the regionals and I'm home every night and off on the weekends.
Ernst, Adam, Joe, Austin and Gary are really great people and want you to get through. They really strees that a positive attitude is one of the most important traits that a pilot could walk in with.
I kind of rambled a bit.
So far, good company, good experience.
Air Bear KC
P.S. invest in a GPS w/XM weather.
 

mtsu_av8er

Well-Known Member
I used to work at FLX, loved it. Lloyd? RAH? werd.
That's crazy talk, huh, you old freight dawg?:p

Mark83 said:
Can anyone shed light on what kind of times they are hiring right now? Also, what kind of experience they like to see (instruction, meat drop's, banners, fire, traffic, etc.)?
As previously mentioned, you MUST meet the part 135 mins.

Experience? They want to see that you meet the mins. They also require REALLY strong instrument skills - I can't stress that enough. Austin Collins says it well:

"If you are not already current and proficient on instruments in a complex, high-performance airplane, common sense dictates that you need to get current and proficient on instruments in a complex, high-performance airplane before you go out and apply for a job flying on instruments in a complex, high-performance airplane!"

Not only that, but you've got to be willing and able to fly down to mins, period.
 

upup89

Well-Known Member
This seems like a great place and after reading all of this it makes me even more excited to start.
 

flx820

Well-Known Member
Best pace fly in my career thus far. All the guys in training are great as well as the pilots. Study hard in the ground school and keep those IFR skills sharp cause u will be going right down to Mins. Good Luck!
 
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