Well-Known Member
I just have a quick few statements and questions on networking. As Doug and many others have said on this site, networking is everything in getting a job in aviation. I never realized how much this was true, but i have just learned this first hand. I am only 16, going into my junior year in high-school and I am about to get a job at a very good corprate outfitworking on the line. It may not be a glamourous job but what 16 year olds get the chance to work around Falcons, Gulfstreams, and Dornier 328JETS? This was all thanks to some people that I knew who were nice enough to pull some strings and get my foot in the door. I feel very very lucky. Now on to my questions, I want to be an airline pilot and I just got thinking about how to network. I am glad that I am starting young and have time to think and plan. Will working at this corprate outfit help me with networking that could eventually pay off with the airlines, or would it just be beneficial in meeting people in the "corprate world"? Would working at an FBO be better for networking (airline wise)? I am just starting to think and am starting to realize that I might be being naieve thinking that I will know all these people 10-15 years down the road that can help get my foot in the door at XYZ Airlines. Just post any networking tips or thoughts that you feel would be beneficial to anyone. Thanks!

And PS. Doug thank you very much for all the time and effort you put into making this site such a good read for aspiring aviatiors such as myself. It just helps to keep that fire burning inside to succed. And now im off to try to sleep off some jet lag from a flight i just had from MEM to GRR! Just kidding of course, no jet lag! And by the way, those BAe-146's of Mesaba's are nice to fly in.
Networking is everything - it is certainly the easiest way to meet the right people who can get you in the door. Any networking is a good networking!! What people fail to realise with aviation is a student pilot who you sat ground school with is as good of a contact as a management captain who flies the 747 that you befriended. It will be years before that captain can help you get a seat, that student pilot who is slightly infront could trail you behind from company to company or has good friend who can hook you up rather then just knowing a bunch of ex-military pilots who are counting down the days to retirement!!
One other thing is that once you have a few aviation friends, and you emerse yourself in the community before you know it most of your friends will be pilots - and then there will be a whole posse of your guys planning the way to conquerer the airlines.
I am a natural networker and it really makes things easier. When I was applying to BA I got help on filling out my application - mainly to ensure I did not overprice myself! Recently (after watching C-SPAN) I have been considering a political career in the UK, my main concern was being abroad for so long could I still be the PM. We have a very good family friend who was extremely high up in the government (he took me to The Houses of Parliment for my 8th Birthday) who after one email was able to ensure me it would not be a problem. I think it could have taken a lot of searching to find such information. It shows how useful a network can be. If you are struggle read the Vault guide to schmoozing (sp.) their books are fabulous!
You can fly like an ace but without good networking you could still struggle to get airbourne!
If you ever get an opportunity, go to a Fly-In. I know pilots on these forums have actually been planning regional JetCareers Fly-Ins in Southern California and the Midwest.

I've never been to a Fly-In myself, but I'm willing to bet they really provide an outstanding opportunity to network with other pilots.
I also might be getting a line job working for Elliot aviation, out of the Quad City airport. Im very excited about this. I just hope my shyness doesnt take over and not try to talk to as many pilots that come through there as I can.

Heck I wouldnt have known to apply there if I hadnt know the guy in charge of operations. He's a good friend of my dads and in turn he got to know me a little to. He used to be a millright. I never would of thought he would end up doing that.

So I believe its not just pilots and other people in aviation you need to know.


Working the line at an FBO is an incredible way to network. You meet all kinds of pilots in all different aspects of aviation. Dont worry about being shy as often a nice "Hi, how are you?" opens the doors to a conversation how Mr. Such and Such the pilot you are talking just retired from United off the 777 after 31 years. Not only do you make nice connections for future jobs you do get some sweet opportunities and even some nice free stuff!