How do you guys network?

BCTAv8r

Well-Known Member
How do you guys network working at an FBO? I talk to many pilots on a daily basis about aviation in general and from time to time I'll be invited in the flight deck and shown around. However, I still haven't made any solid contacts that could be useful in the future.

How is this supposed to work? Are you supposed to try to get emails or do you just go about your job and when you have the necessary ratings someone usually offers you something? Is it too early for someone to network at a PPL level?
 

N519AT

Ahh! This is how I change this!
I don't think it's ever to early to network. I think it helps the whole process if you have regular pilots in which they and the aircraft are based out of your FBO.

For the record, I haven't made any solid contacts with any transient aircraft either though. Except for one who I'm now renting an aircraft from, but you can't really count that.
 

///AMG

Well-Known Member
During college I worked line service for a little while, and I'm definitely still in touch with some of the contacts I made back then. I'd say spend less time trying to chat up the transient guys (though of course occasionally you will meet some helpful folks), and make friends with the CFI's, chief pilots, and A&P's at your FBO. Many of the CFI's and often even senior pilots move along and these are the guys who can help you down the road. For example one of the CFI's that I would consider a friend of mine ended up moving on to Lear 45's after the old FBO gig. Not only can you network, but you can also get some flight time if you play it right. Granted I was a certified pilot at the time, but I did end up getting 2P time in the company Conquest and CJ this way, among other things. All good experience
 

beechpilot

Well-Known Member
I'm fortunate to work at an airport which has airline service and I saw those pilots regularly so I was(and still) able to get to know them. Networking with GA pilots is tougher because many times you don't see them more than once in a great while and that makes it difficult to get to know them. Of course there are many GA planes based here but they are mostly private owners who have no connections with any flying jobs.

I don't think it's ever too early to network. Many of the contacts I made were well before I was ever a CFI.
 

MikeFavinger

Hubschrauber Flieger
How do you guys network working at an FBO? I talk to many pilots on a daily basis about aviation in general and from time to time I'll be invited in the flight deck and shown around. However, I still haven't made any solid contacts that could be useful in the future.

How is this supposed to work? Are you supposed to try to get emails or do you just go about your job and when you have the necessary ratings someone usually offers you something? Is it too early for someone to network at a PPL level?
If these pilots you're meeting show up to your FBO often, just chat them up everytime you see them. At some point, let them know your plans, goals, etc. Mention they are where you want to be in the future, and ask if you could get their contact info so you can continue to learn from them.

Once you have their contact information, use it! Pick a time frame - once a month, once a quarter - whatever - and call or email them. (Calling is preferable) When you contact them - ask questions. Besides the small talk stuff - ask what they think you should do in this point in your training. Ask what THEY did when they were in your shoes. Ask questions you already know the answers to from your time on JC - the point is to keep your conversations focused on them. Even if it's just basic technique stuff about how they mastered a 180 power off - ask!

Nobody likes people who only talk about themselves, and no one likes someone who just always asks for things. Let the relationships build into a good aquaitanceship or even a friendship. Networking takes time, so be patient. Don't try to force a relationship, and don't think you have to maintain a relationship with absolutely everyone. If you know a guy who is a GV Captain but who is a total jerk - be cordial but really try and gauge if that relationship is worth pursuing. The idea is to not burn bridges while maintaining your dignity and sense of self at the same time.

The second hardest part will be to ask for their contact info. The hardest part will be actually using that contact info. I've often sat staring at a business card and my phone desperately trying to think of what to say if I grabbed my sack and actually made the call.
 
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