Hello and Help!


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Hi, just signed in as a user.
I am a work at home mom with one son, Caleb, who is 15 months old. My husband is an instrument rated pilot and almost done with commercial single engine. He has about 225 hours. We are about to make a big change in our lives, as we decide where to go next. We are currently in Utah and are considering a move to FL. We are looking at a few options and we would love any feedback or advice you have to offer!

Currently we are seriously considering the Delta Academy, PanAm, Gulf Stream, ATP, and Eagle Jet.

Big factors for us are living situations, cost, and length of time. The end goal is for my husband to be hired on an Airline.

Plese be patient with me if I say something incorrect of dumb, as I am not the pilot here. Just, The Wife:) Thanks for any insight!
Firstly you would probably gain out of visiting http://www.fcapa.org that is full of wive and girlfriends of pilots and aspriing pilots who are along for the ride as well. I am sure they will be great support to you, and help you in your journey.

About flight schools. You mentioned a few places that we call PFT (pay for training) these are not looked at fondly. What PFT means is you are paying to build experience where a pilot should be paid for that experience. Eagle is a perfect example, you could be flying a Beech 1900 as a first officer and paying for the experience but really if you are a first office on a commercial flight shouldn't you be paid? There is a lot of feeling that PFT is undercutting people by paying for experience that many feel should be earnt.
Now the airline also do not like this that much. Would you rather hire who got hired and trusted because of his skills and not because he had some $$$ to buy the experience.

The large flight school (pilot factories) do teach people to fly but they are incredible expensive. You can learn all the same things, gain the same ratings and experience while flying out of a mom and pap flight school close to your family. This way he can probably fly on his days off, so he can still keep his day job until he gets his CFI and then he can pursue it full time. This will probably help out on the cost side too.

One he has his CFI then he can build time, and experience that way until he has the required time for a regional job. And then it is on and up from there.
First let me say that your husban is a lucky man to have your support. It reminded me that I would not be where I am today with out my wife's support, both financially and emotionally. You will find many insights (opionions) on this sight, sift through them and decide what is best for your family. I would recommend you get a legal size pad of paper and list advantages / disadvantages for each opportunity facing you. I would be carefull not to think any one situation will be a quick path to your family's goals, the industry right now is saturated with highly qualified applicants, this is not to say there is no opportunity for your husband, he will just have to be patient and work very hard. You both have a road ahead of you and just keep reminding yourselves that you are on the same team working for the same goal. Remember that no matter how tough it gets financially you are both young enogh that you will recover financially and it will pay off in the long run.

I don't have any recommendations as to the schools you listed, but I would consider a local school in your area that does not require a move this early in your endevours. You will find a plethera of opionion on local FBO training vs Big name school training. My recommendation is local training done under FAR part 141 is more than adequate.

Now that you've introduced yourself your husband has to introduce himself.
Well I guess I should introduce myself, and I suppose since my wife already got the ball rolling, I will do it that in her thread. Just in case anyone is confused my wife is (the wife) who started this thread and just so everyone knows, Yes. She is great. She's very supportive, and I consider myself a pretty lucky guy to have her.
I am 26, (my wife is 23) and have been working on becoming a pilot off and on for the last 10 years, (I know that's a long time) but the majority of my flight time has been done in the last 2-3 years. I hold a single engine private, and instrument rating, as well as complex and high performace endorsements. I am currently kicking myself for not getting after it a little better in the past, but hey that's in the past and an altogether different story.

I guess to sum up, as my wife said, I am looking at a lot of schools in FL, especially leaning towards either DCA or FSA, but I am mostly concerned with how good they are about hiring their guys back as instructors and if I were to get that lucky, how many hours could I count on a month? From what research I have done, those answers are typically not good ones, which is why I seriously am leaning towards what a lot of people here refer to as PFT. Is this really as mistake? I had an instructor that did a first officer program with Ameriflight and he loved it. He is currently about to interview with skywest (yes he has an interview date). I asked him what he would do if he were me and he recommended doing a first officer program with ameriflight, but that I should just buy more time. I could "buy" 750 hours in a beech 99 for 29,500 and yes I will have it in writing. I guess I am looking for what every other pilot that wants in with the regionals is looking for. The fastest way to get my 1000-1500 hours and the more multi the better. Money is an issue as it is only common sense not to want to lose or waste it, but time is a much bigger one. I need a structured full time program, and preferably one that delivers on it's promises. I know there are those that say not to hurry and to take the instructor route, that nobody is hiring anyway. But I want to be at the minimums asap so that when and if the hiring starts, I am there with everyone else. I realize that this is a pretty common question on Jetcareers, with a thousand possible answers, But I would appreciate it if anyone with more exerience than myself could look at the factors of my situation and give me some solid advice looking in from the other side so to speak. I am very glad to have found this website, and look forward to being an active member on Jetcareers.
PFT is morally wrong..

Does it work? Sometimes.. but it definately can carry a stigma in the industry.

In an industry where there are currently a definate lack of current job positions, PFT just serves to make the situation worse for us all.

that's as far as I'll go without getting into a PFT arguement (which is inevitable anyway).

I'd just say, try your best not to do it.. it just isn't the right thing to do, imho.

You are off to a good start with the hours.. Good luck!

Edit: As a non-pilot, or you could say future pilot, you can take my advice for what it's worth.. Not much
If you haven't already.

I would start by visiting all of the schools you are considering.

You have to decide based on what is goign to work for you and your spouse. Nobody else knows all of the particulars of your situation and personality better than you do. Having a supportive spouse has already put a dent in half the battle.

Good luck, if you are going to be in Vero let me know I'll show you around.
Thanks, I may just take you up on that. My wife and I plan on doing "the tours" September 3,4, and 5th. So we will probably be in the neighborhood around then. Also, question as far as PFT to all. My knowledge of the Ameriflight (Eagle JET) operation is that it is single pilot IFR hauling Freight. The First officer posistion doesn't "really" exist except only to supplement company profits as a first officer program. So the way I understand it, it's not really robbing anyone of a job. Am I wrong? Illinformed? I am honestly not trying to open a can of worms, but just wondering.
The First officer posistion doesn't "really" exist except only to supplement company profits as a first officer program. So the way I understand it, it's not really robbing anyone of a job. Am I wrong? Illinformed? I am honestly not trying to open a can of worms, but just wondering.

[/ QUOTE ]

You've essentially answered your own question. If it's single-pilot IFR ops why do they need a second pilot? [ QUOTE ]
except only to supplement company profits

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Beyond that what kind of experience are you really getting? Do you really think they're going to let you do much flying? You can't log SIC-time because it's single pilot operations. You're essentially paying them to be a cargo loader/unloader who may occasionaly get to touch the yoke.

Even if they have some way of allowing you to logtime it will more than likely be because their operating certificate requires a second pilot - in some capacity - and because of that requirement paying to be in that seat is taking a job.

Any way you look at it - PFT is just flat-out wrong. Would you pay to work at McDonalds, Wal-Mart, the job you currently have? Then why on earth would you do it for this?

Not slamming you here. ... using the "general you."
No offense taken, thanks for you opinion. I realize I need to find out how they are getting to log time if it's technically a one pilot requirment.
My knowledge of the Ameriflight (Eagle JET) operation is that it is single pilot IFR hauling Freight. The First officer posistion doesn't "really" exist except only to supplement company profits as a first officer program. So the way I understand it, it's not really robbing anyone of a job. Am I wrong? Illinformed? I am honestly not trying to open a can of worms, but just wondering.

[/ QUOTE ]

Well, there you have it. You're paying for the privilege of sitting in a position that is not required. So how are you going to log the time? You're not required for operations, so you can't really log the time.

In other words, yes, you are getting all kinds of hours, but how are you going to log them?

One thing you might want to consider is what another person said -- stay put, go to a local FBO and get hired as a CFI, thus sparing your family the problems of relocating, and build time that way.
I believe you can log the time due to a loophole, something like their insurance requires 2 pilots if the 3 axis autopilot is inop. (Quess what piece of equipment never gets fixed?)

That said avaition is really a fairly small industry and everyone knows all about Ameriflight, Gulfstream, ect. You're not going to impress any hiring board with FO time from these types of outfits.

Right now there really is no "fast track to the right seat" regardless of what any marketing types tell you. A career in this industry is not a sprint, it's a marothon....

Good luck!
I believe you can log the time due to a loophole, something like their insurance requires 2 pilots if the 3 axis autopilot is inop. (Quess what piece of equipment never gets fixed?)

[/ QUOTE ]

For single-pilot IFR, they probably have to be checked autopilot-in-lieu-of SIC, so if they keep the autopilot broken, there may be a loophole there.

Even going military these days, there's no fast-track to "the top" (whatever definition that may be for you) due to the long service committments following training graduation.
The problem with where we are at, is that he has been working at it for several years and not really get anywhere. We are constantly having to fight the airport because planes are always down, the weather is not good, and the people running it are just flakey. So we are looking at relocation no matter what and that is ok.

That said, of the schools we are looking at, we just have to figure out which one is the way to go. Unless some other light bulb goes off.
Where are you flying out of? I was born and raised in Salt Lake. I did my private and instrument up at SLC. I had an o.k. experience up there. I am now a CFI down at Pan Am in Phoenix and I believe it was the best decision I made for myself and my family. It may not be for you or others. I got hired as a CFI three weeks after finishing the program and I have built a little over 900 hour TT and 450 multi in that year. Those are decent numbers. I am now sitting at 1150 TT and 450 Multi. If you have further questions about Pan Am pm me.
He's been flying out of Provo. We are still interested in PanAm, but would go to FL location. (That's where my mommy is
)My husband might be pm'ing you. Thanks!
The Ameriflight program

I find it strange that, as a rabid anti-PFTer, I find myself somewhat defending Ameriflight's program. The way I understand it, they have it in their op specs to allow an F/O if the person goes through their training program. So you pay money to sit through their ground school and then pay to fly the line for them (gain experience) in the right seat. It's NOT a required position and doesn't take a job away from anyone, as it would otherwise be an empty seat. I'm sure the capts let you trade legs, as in a normal operation, so you'd get every other approach and landing....unless you're a total dork and he won't let you touch the controls. You can argue that it "should" be a paid position but, the aircraft are certified for a single pilot.

In my opinion, there should be a line drawn between PFT of Ameriflight and the PFT of Gulfstream, where you are actually paying to be a required crewmember...that's total BS.

As to the value of this sort of time and whether it will help you...I reserve comment for anyone on the board who has been though the program and how it turned out for them.

I think you can learn a lot from being a flight instructor and that, in being one of those guys who "justs wants to be an airline pilot right now", will miss out on a lot of great learning experiences in general aviation.
Re: The Ameriflight program

Again, forgive me if I say anything dumb here, as my husband SHOULD be asking the questions but isn't the board addict that I am.

He is leaning toward Ameriflight right now because they are offering 750 tt hours for 29K. It seems that the more ME time the better right? Whereas at Comair he would only be getting 100 total ME for the same price. Is this really beneficial to get more ME time cause I am leaning toward Delta.

Also, I am confused at the anti stuff. It seems to me like you are paying for your time no matter what aren't you? Is it not more beneficial to pay to get the FO experience then it is to just pay to build hours? I am sure I am missing something, but just wanted to bring that up.
Re: The Ameriflight program

What you are missing is what PFT does to the industry. You are paying for something that should be, traditionally, a paid position. So your hubby wants to be an airline pilot. How would he like it if Delta made you pay a fee to be a 737 copilot? Basically, you have to pay to get the job. That's what PFT is. A company called Gulftream is a small airline that has a program like this. You pay a fee to be a copilot for them. Programs like this are bad for the industry because it gets managment used to taking advantage of pilots in every way they can. I mean, why should you pay someone to do a job if they will pay you to do it? Is that the kind of industry your want to be involved with? In many ways, I've seen the piloting career going down hill for years as airline management execs line their pockets. We, as a group of professional pilots, need to do everything we can to raise the bar for our professions. While it may help the individual, PFT lowers the bar for the profession.