on networking.


New Member
Funny, I was talking to a guy I know not real well, but enough to make polite conversation, who is a CFI. He said he wanted to fly “corperate” and not for an airline. I explained, that the majority of the small biz jets you see are not corperate, they are either charter on demand (part 135) or fax ownership (under 135 or 91) and while I do not have the exact breakdown I would guess the bulk are 135 charter, easily 60-70% of the entire biz fleet. (I may be wrong and would LOVE to see if anyone could find the exact breakdown) Anyway, this guy wanted to know how I got my job etc, obviously networking, AS HE SHOULD BE!! You never know who might be in a position to drop your name in the hat…and as we are chatting he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a pack of smokes… politely offers me one, and lights up.. Funny part was up until that moment, I was thinking, yeah this guy is on the ball I could hit the road with him for a 5 day gig, but then that train of thought went up in smoke.. so to speak.

Another Person I know is right at the level where she could easily be picked up for a FO job, given the proper introduction. The problem with this person is she dresses like she is going out clubbing vs teaching, and has an awful work ethic in regard to keeping her lessons (known to cancel because she was up late the night before or can’t get in in time because she is in a different state for a concert.) Showing absolute zero professional ethic while in the most basic entry level position in aviation, a young, relatively new (under 2 years) CFI. Remember the student she blows off today, might be the guy who ends up marrying the chief pilot’s sister at a big carrier…. Stranger things have happened.

Just a few random thoughts as I have been flying the past few days..
The problem with this person is she dresses like she is going out clubbing vs teaching, and has an awful work ethic in regard to keeping her lessons (known to cancel because she was up late the night before or can’t get in in time because she is in a different state for a concert.)

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What I am about to say has kind of something to do with what you said about this CFI. I just met my new instructor yesterday for the start of my comercial/instrument training. One thing he made clear to me went down like this, "Are you 21" yes, I am, "Don't schedule something for a morning after a night you are going out. If you do schedule a morning and end up going out the night before (and drinking), call me that night and cancel and I'll be ok with it. Don't call me in the morning to cancel at 8 am because you are sick and can't get out of bed. If you do that, you ruin my night before because I could have went out and you will have made me get out of bed early in the morning." When he said that, I was like cool, this guy will be fine. And he had a few other students do that to him and he wasn't very happy.

Even though I won't go out the night before I fly, it was nice of him to say that to give me an idea how he is. I guess what the correlation was that if I did have a few no shows because of my partying habits, it would get around here at UND and that could hurt my future with anyone I might get to know here and want to use as a reference later.
I completly agree with you Eagle. All your points to me are good advice, and is part of being a professional. There's more of course, but those are points to ponder.

The smoking bit would of had me doing a 180 also. Dress is a valid consideration as well as being punctual. Be where you say you'll be, when you say you'll be. Why not take it up a notch? Be earlier than you'll say you'll be. This is a good habit to make, and can be an obsession.

These and other traits will separate you from the average to one of a status of respect.
In the name of love, I have to say you are all anal. I understand everyone has different "ideals", but really why does smoking make you down on someone? Unless this person lights up in the plane or in your hotel room why the hell would you care and change your opinion about them. I don't smoke but if a person wanted to light up outdoors I couldn't possible care less. As for the club girl she shouldn't be canceling on students cause of her party habits. And she should only wear club clothes if she is hot. In addition what rupperts cfi told him is pretty cool.
1. She thinks she is pretty hot, and some may think so, not me however she is so pathetic any hotness is out the window.

2. Smoking. I don't like smoking, NONE of my friends smoke. So when * I * am in the position to drop the name of someone into my Chief Pilots stack with a "Hey it would be a good thing to get this guy on board....." and I have two names, who do I want to spend the week with?

Remember if the person is qualified and knows how to fly, then the reason you look to hire or not will be based on other considerations.. smoking is one of them

I think you're missing the point.. This isn't about someone's freedom to do what they want, it's about the image this person is conveying to someone else. You wouldn't whip out a smoke in the middle of an interview, so why would you do it if you're trying to work a networking connection.. Isn't this, in effect, your pre-interview interview? If you want someone to vouch for you when they walk your resume in, shouldn't you give them a reason to vouch for you? Just because you can do something, it doesn't mean you should.

Here's a little secret about getting jobs in a competitive marketplace. It's ALL ABOUT IMAGE. There are a million people out there as qualified as you are to do this job, so why should someone hire you over everyone else?

I don't have the right to tell someone whether or not they can smoke outside, but I most certainly DO have the right to form my own opinion about the people I meet.


Cool that you mentioned that. I told my students the same thing when they started with me. I knew one was a partier (football player at a Big Ten school), and the other wasn't... but I still said "hey, if you are drinking the night before flight class, call me. I'll tell you not to come in. Then I'll either go out myself, or fly with the other person." I only had one problem where a student didn't show up.

It's better to be straight forward and fair with young students, in my opinion. But just don't let them walk all over you, and maintain professional respect between student/teacher and vice versa.

just out of curiosity, how old are you? I am 21, so I am older than some instructors here, though not many.

I have had 3 instructors here, one left to an airline back in November, he was awesome. He was one of the few who taught CFI students here, then I got another to replace him. This guy was awful and I didn't enjoy flying with him at all. Thankfully I just finished up with him. My new instructor, another instructor who teaches CFI students, is awesome. I just had my first flight with him (got back 20 mintues ago from it) and I can tell I'll learn a lot from him. Not sure why I just typed that, but thought I would let ya'll know. Just thought I would correlate that I have received two intructors here that are higher up on the food chain at UND and I have liked them both and were both very knowledgeable.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, keep in mind that sometimes it may not be the right one. Calling people "anal" for looking at appearance and/or smoking/drinking habits is insane.
Appearance is a first impression and like the commercial says..."You never get a second chance to make a first impression".
Smoking and drinking reflect that persons habits. Yes, smoking/drinking in the right place can be appropriate, but doing that in front of strangers can have negative effects.
Basically, you don't want to promote offending a potential employer!!!!!!
I still stand by my opinions on appearance and impressions. The reason for me "to be down on someone" as Hootie put it, are personal. Sure, go ahead and fire up that smoke, but what many smokers don't realize is that just because they are smoking outside and all that smoke seems to be blowing away by the wind, the stink stays on your cloths and on your breath regardless. So when a smoker chokes one more quick one before getting in the aircraft with you, they bring that stink with them, and then I have to smell it the whole flight. Not pleasant at all. That is is my personal opinion and my right to reject sharing the cockpit with them. I don't care how knowledgable an instructor you are or if your Chuck Yeager, it's my choice (when I have a choice)and the answer is sorry, no thanks.

Give it some more thought perhaps. Eagle and others made some other good points to consider.
So when a smoker chokes one more quick one before getting in the aircraft with you, they bring that stink with them, and then I have to smell it the whole flight.

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Ugh, speaking of that....I had an intro. a few weeks ago who was like that. She REEKED, and I mean absolutely REEKED of stale, nasty smoke, with a touch of cheap perfume on top of that. I had the vents all the way open, and was still gagging the whole flight, it was freakin nasty. I'm not one to turn down students, but I'm soooo glad she was just doing it for a one-time fun thing to do.

Smoking is a nasty stinkin habit, and its beyond me why anyone would willingly give themselves lung cancer. And "ya gotta die somehow" is one LAME ASS EXCUSE that all smokers seem to like. If you're stupid enough to light up and smoke in front of a potential good networking connection- you don't deserve the job they might've helped hook you up with anyways. [/off soapbox]
Because aviation can be an 'anal' profession.

If I'm a chief pilot sitting in a cramped cockpit with a potential newly hired copilot who smokes, the idea of smelling 3 hours of the odor of a two freshly spent Marlboro Reds 23 inches away from my nostrils isn't appealing.

Besides, some airlines (and I presume some corporate outfits) have no smoking policies where they'll test you during the pre-employment phase for traces of nicotine in your blood.

I think Alaska Airlines is one of the aforementioned companies.
THere is nothing that is more of a turn-off for me than smoking, can't stand it.
Yes Alaska, and Horizon airlines require all new hires to be "a non-user of nicotine products for the past six months." But, there are a few smokers who work for the company. They go hide in front of the airport here at Seatac to get their fix.
I don't think that it's anal to be professional. Whether you're flying as a CFI, charter, or an airline pilot, it's all about customer service and professionalism.

The slob may a good pilot, but will often not be perceived as such by the passengers. A pilot with a neat and professional appearance instills confidence in his passengers. That is why airlines and the big schools have uniforms.

Similarly, professional flying is largely about being on time. The girl who is out clubbing all the time needs to get her priorities straight. When working for an airline, you are expected to be punctual. You are expected to be responsible and not put yourself into a situation where you are too tired or hung over to safely fly. You can't simply cancel a flight if you want to go to a concert or something.

Beyond that, for flight instructors punctuality conveys a respect for your student. I can't count the number of times that I've heard student pilots complain about instructors who frequently cancel lessons or show up late. If you value your students, if not as people, at least as your source of income, then you will keep the Golden Rule in mind: Treat them as you would like to be treated.

I also totally agree with Eagle on the tobacco issue. I have to question the intelligence of smokers since it is one of the most stupid things that you can legally do to yourself. I personally do not like to be confined for 4-8 hours per day with someone who smells of tobacco smoke, or who becomes anxious when they can't smoke.

Additionally, while you are on a trip, you are going to be spending a lot of time outside the airplane with your crew members. This can be a problem because what do smokers normally do immediately after a meal? Light up, of course.

Not really material to this discussion, but my wife has a couple of friends who smoke and it really bugs me when they come over, go outside to smoke, and then throw their butts in my yard. It gives me the urge to go throw my trash in their yards.
If you are a smoker, please keep this in mind.
I have to chime in here:

As a former smoker myself, I can't stand the smell of the stuff. I can't stand the way people look when they smoke. It'll make a "hot girl" become a skank in a matter of second *IMO*.

That's hypocritical as hell, I know - but, when I smoked, I had the same rupusions to that I do now. I HATED the way I smelled. I HATED the way I looked when I smoked. I HATED the way I felt when I smoked and I felt that I looked like a total jackass. Problem was... I was TOTALLY hooked on niccotine.

But, after about three years of TRYING to quit "cold turkey", I sought medical assistance and kicked it and haven't looked back..Glad that's a thing of the past!

As for the image issue, let me relate this:

My former CFI - the guy I had for my priavte ticket is one hell of a pilot. Knows the FARS inside and out. Errs on the side of safety. Seems to make the right decisions in the plane. Steady on the controls...Great pilot....


...He's about 40 lbs over weight. Comes to work in wrinkled khaki's or shorts and wrinkled polo-style-FBO-shirt ... untucked - always! Smells like an ashtray which made for MANY a nasty flight in the Florida heat and is generally confrontational, arrogant and tuly believes he knows it all, has seen it all.

This is the same guy who has probably around 2000 TT now with about 300-500 multi... and wonders why he can't get a job outside of instructing. He's been on several interviews, but just doesn't get hired when folks with less time and experience do.

Coincidence? Probably not.
I have to chime in here:

But, after about three years of TRYING to quit "cold turkey", I sought medical assistance and kicked it and haven't looked back..Glad that's a thing of the past!

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R2F, If I can ask, what medical assistance did you receive to help you quit smoking. My GF smokes, and I really want her to quit, and she says she wants to quit, so any info would be appreciated. Thanks